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dreadflopp

Better Dynamic Snow vs bEnableProjecteUVDiffuseNormals

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The people behind Cathedral Landscapes claims that setting bEnableProjecteUVDiffuseNormals=1 does mainly the same thing as Better Dynamic Snow does but without the need for conflict resolution. To test this, I took some screenshots. There are only six screenshots per setting and this is on a heavily modded game using my STEP build but all basic textures are STEP. All six screenshots are around Dawnstar with the following settings (no ENB active):

 

  1. Better Dynamic Snow + Patches + Better Dynamic Mountains, bEnableProjecteUVDiffuseNormals=0, bEnableImprovedSnow=0
  2. Better Dynamic Snow + Patches + Better Dynamic Mountains, bEnableProjecteUVDiffuseNormals=1, bEnableImprovedSnow=1
  3. No BDS, bEnableProjecteUVDiffuseNormals=0, bEnableImprovedSnow=0
  4. No BDS, bEnableProjecteUVDiffuseNormals=1, bEnableImprovedSnow=0
  5. No BDS, bEnableProjecteUVDiffuseNormals=1, bEnableImprovedSnow=1

Don't mind the LODs, I didn't rebuilt them when i turned off BDS.

 

To download the sreens: https://mega.nz/file/0WohjILY#i-GiX4Lomo8VvtzivcpruuxOCeE_0mNeoQ0B0QmAwlY

For a gallery: https://postimg.cc/gallery/338Qy4w

Edited by dreadflopp

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Holy crap! There is no way I can recommend the improved snow shader after seeing those shots! Looks like it's the culprit of that mine entrance issue users have asked about. It also darkens the snow. Thanks for the shots!

As for BDS, I guess the cat is out of the bag. SparrowPrince and myself are fully aware that the enabling the projected diffuse (which BethINI does by default, I think) does the same thing as BDS. In fact, I've been aware of it for some time. The thing that we weren't aware of was how far reaching the INI tweak went. We recently found out that it should cover anything that has a snow material applied.

 

The main differences from my own testing turned up just about the same as yours. In some cases BDS is a bit smoother, which can be seen in shot 2 (porch) and shot 6 (up-close ground). In other cases, the projected diffuse is better, as seen in shot 1 (logs on entrance, ground at entrance, mountain side behind barrels) and shot 3 (rock cliff).

With all that said, we're already planning a remake of BDS.

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We're going to rely on the projected diffuse, but correct objects that have issues such as bad application, stretching, etc. Then the rest of the most will be an expansion to what we're already doing with the farmhouses. The farmhouses should see some improvement too.

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How would you guys feel if I disable the "Improved Snow Shader" by default in BethINI? I'll leave it as an option, of course. Or I could just make it a part of "Recommended Tweaks" too.

 

BTWbEnableProjecteUVDiffuseNormals=1 is a Bethesda default setting for Medium and above presets, which is mirrored identically in the BethINI presets.

 

Other related snow settings that I do not yet know how they affect the game but may prove useful:

 

Skyrim.ini

[Display]
bEnableProjecteUVDiffuseNormalsOnCubemap=0
bEnableSnowMask=1

SkyrimPrefs.ini

fProjectedUVDiffuseNormalTilingScale=0.5000
fProjectedUVNormalDetailTilingScale=1.2000

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How would you guys feel if I disable the "Improved Snow Shader" by default in BethINI? I'll leave it as an option, of course. Or I could just make it a part of "Recommended Tweaks" too.

 

BTW, bEnableProjecteUVDiffuseNormals=1 is a Bethesda default setting for Medium and above presets, which is mirrored identically in the BethINI presets.

I wouldn't mind it being removed by default and Project Diffuse to be on for all presets. I wouldn't put it in the Recommended Tweaks, though. Seeing that it darkens the snow, and knowing now that is it likely the cause of the mine entrance going white, I wouldn't recommend it. It can also cause some issues with landscape textures that aren't snow.

 

Other related snow settings that I do not yet know how they affect the game but may prove useful:

 

Skyrim.ini

[Display]
bEnableProjecteUVDiffuseNormalsOnCubemap=0
bEnableSnowMask=1
SkyrimPrefs.ini

fProjectedUVDiffuseNormalTilingScale=0.5000
fProjectedUVNormalDetailTilingScale=1.2000

I'm not sure about the top two, but the bottom two most likely control how the either the projecteddiffuse.dds or projectednormal.dds is scaled/tiled over the objects (or both since the normal is the "normal map" for the diffuse).

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Do we know if the projected diffuse and projected normal textures are used on things other than snow? Such as the ash on Solstheim?

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I think if it did, we would have heard complaints of snow in Solstheim instead of ash a very long time ago. I didn't check, but I'm 100% on the "no" for the diffuse, at least. Good question though, considering there is ash material like snow material. Now I'm curious why it doesn't... ^_^

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Ok. I am really confused. I thought bImprovedSnow would only affect snow. Clearly, that is not the case.

 

Screenshot16.png

bImprovedSnow=1

 

Screenshot18.png

bImprovedSnow=0

 

Edit: Nevermind the above. It appears that I accidentally stumbled onto why T4GTR34UM3R says to set iLandscapeMultiNormalTilingFactor to 1. It appears that setting bImprovedSnow to 0 fixes the iLandscapeMultiNormalTilingFactor bug. Therefore any images taken with iLandscapeMultiNormalTilingFactor set to anything other than 4 are invalid comparisons, since this bug can be fixed by setting it to 1.

 

 


(All landscape textures that are flagged as snow in the plugins get an additional texture apllied.
But this texture causes a bug with surrounding landscape textures that aren't flagged as snow.
I've reported the bug to Bethesda. But...
The setting below fixes the bug by setting the tilesize of the additional normal equal to the tilesize of the landscape textures.)
 
iLandscapeMultiNormalTilingFactor=1
Edited by DoubleYou

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Ok. I am really confused. I thought bImprovedSnow would only affect snow. Clearly, that is not the case.

 

Screenshot16.png

bImprovedSnow=1

 

Screenshot18.png

bImprovedSnow=0

 

Edit: Nevermind the above. It appears that I accidentally stumbled onto why T4GTR34UM3R says to set iLandscapeMultiNormalTilingFactor to 1. It appears that setting bImprovedSnow to 0 fixes the iLandscapeMultiNormalTilingFactor bug. Therefore any images taken with iLandscapeMultiNormalTilingFactor set to anything other than 4 are invalid comparisons, since this bug can be fixed by setting it to 1.

That looks like a normal map being applied. I wonder if it's the projectednormal.dds?

 

Good finds coming in!

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I explained it or tried to explain it in the edit. It is a bug that tiles the normal wrong when improved snow is enabled that is fixed by setting iLandscapeMultiNormalTilingFactor=1.

 

However, I am curious if the projected normal tiling settings might also be able to fix it.

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I also think that mine entrance issue is caused by this bug. Where is the mine?

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I also think that mine entrance issue is caused by this bug. Where is the mine?

Dawnstar has this snowy mine entrance.

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I found the mine and it is the picture I took in the other thread. The improved snow shader messes with the normal map somehow, and the rim lighting puts a white ring around it.

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