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Glacier LOD Meshes (by Phlunder)


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Glacier LOD Meshes by Phlunder
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Higher quality glacier LOD meshes. Oldrim page, but works on Special Edition no problem. Should be an easy compare/add.


Mod testing notes:

Install ONLY the Main File. Do not include the Cathedral landscapes textures. To maintain compatibility with Just Ice in LOD, run TexGen against the Step mod list, and copy/rename the following file in the TexGen Output ...

  • textures/landscape/glacierslabnoalpha.dds
  • textures/landscape/glacierslabnoalpha_n.dds

to

  • textures/lod/glacierslablod.dds
  • textures/lod/glacierslablod_n.dds
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  • 1 month later...

Compares are against Step 2.0.0:

vanilla LOD  >>  DynDOLOD Resources LOD  >>  This mod LOD  >>  This mod with updated textures

ENB

0.jpg1.jpg2.jpgSkyrimSE 2022-06-05 12-16-30-91.jpg

No ENB

2-5.jpg3.jpg4.jpgSkyrimSE 2022-06-05 12-17-10-30.jpg

 

Transitions are noticeable in all three but maybe slightly less with this mod. Hard to compare this objectively.


Note: differences in the last screen are due to updating my setup to account for the discovery made by Mousetick in the following post. At this time, we are testing with Ambiance instead of Luminocity and there have been some updates to our ENB and patches affecting lighting and weather. This still provides a clear indication of this mod's mesh improvements, and transitions are definitely better with this mod now with the texture change.

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See screens in my previous. Although I don't think LOD necessarily looks better with these LOD meshes, the transition is theoretically better, even if I cannot quantify this difference myself. Also, because this mod should better facilitate retextures and fixes UV problems with the vanilla meshes ... AND has the Cathedral Snow option, I think we should accept it.

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  • 4 weeks later...

Just seeing this now, and I gotta say this comparison seems kinda strange... there are enough proper comparisons on the mod page that show you what the mod actually does, even with completely vanilla texture setup. Not trying to convince anybody here, I don't really care if people use it or not.

110367-1641166135-1694500705.png 110367-1641166126-1532120019.png 110367-1641154904-1968254438.jpeg 110367-1641154912-789927848.jpeg

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6 hours ago, Phlunder said:

Just seeing this now, and I gotta say this comparison seems kinda strange... there are enough proper comparisons on the mod page that show you what the mod actually does, even with completely vanilla texture setup. Not trying to convince anybody here, I don't really care if people use it or not.

110367-1641166135-1694500705.png 110367-1641166126-1532120019.png 110367-1641154904-1968254438.jpeg 110367-1641154912-789927848.jpeg

The screens I posted are how the LODs look in game without using TFC as you must be doing in your screens. My comparisons are a 1:1 with the only diff being your mod. It's most certainly a 'proper' comparison ;)

I should have added the TFC comparisons, but it's essentially a moot point, because our users don't play that way ... this is just a real-use comparison of vanilla, DynDOLOD and this mod's LOD under Step, with and wo/ENB.


As mentioned, I vote to accept it for Step (this is how we add mods to our guide versions ... it doesn't mean that its only 'acceptable'. It's proposed as getting the "ACCEPTED" tag)

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12 hours ago, Phlunder said:

Just seeing this now, and I gotta say this comparison seems kinda strange... there are enough proper comparisons on the mod page that show you what the mod actually does, even with completely vanilla texture setup. Not trying to convince anybody here, I don't really care if people use it or not.

I see Z kind of answered this, but we always take our own compares for several reasons, but the main reasons are...

  • We need to know what mods look like with the Step SkyrimAE Guide setup
  • We need to know what mods look like in real gameplay scenarios
  • We need proper compares with no camera movement between them

As Z mentioned, this is all for our Guide and authors will hardly ever have all the compares we need because the likelihood of them running a pure setup from our Guide is quite low. :happy:

Btw, I gifted you the Mod Author badge and user group. It'll open up some extra forums and remove most restrictions that might have been in place.

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Speaking of transitions, and the possible incorporation of this mod into the guide, some caution must be exercised and some manual assembly would be required to achieve the best outcome.

The problem:

  • STEP uses Just Ice textures for the full glacier models.
  • The LOD textures don't match the full model textures.

I think the same issue must exist anyway without this mod, but I can't be arsed to regenerate all my object LODs with DynDOLOD in order to compare. It probably looks different but still mismatched resulting in noticeable transitions. So the remainder of this discussion and all screenshots will be with this mod's meshes.

Note: DynDOLOD Resources don't provide LOD meshes for glaciers. When using DynDOLOD for object LODs, the vanilla LOD meshes are used for glaciers. This point may have been missed in Z's comparisons. As can be seen in the comparison screenshots, there is no difference between 'Vanilla LOD' and 'DynDOLOD Resources LOD' - which is expected.

This mod provides LOD meshes only, they replace the vanilla meshes. Its LOD meshes use textures/lod/glacierslablod.dds for the LOD textures, which exists in vanilla, and is overwritten by DynDOLOD Resources. The version provided by DynDOLOD Resources appears to be simply an upscaled version of the vanilla one.

In any case, it doesn't look at all like the Just Ice textures, resulting in this visual mismatch:

Far (LOD) > Near (Full)

b1. far glacier lod dynolod resources.jpgb2. near glacier lod dyndolod resources.jpg

In the Far view, you can see in the center one of the glacier pieces' full model is already loaded and looks noticeably different than the rest, due to the mismatched textures.

This mod provides some optional downloads for LOD textures to properly match. The Cathedral Snow LOD textures option would not work either, because it doesn't match Just Ice.

To remedy this, the MA provides a manual procedure for making LOD textures that match whatever glacier retexture might be used. I tried to follow that procedure to produce the LOD textures based on Just Ice's full glacier texture. But the results were completely wrong. Probably due to my incompetence, I can't tell.

Finally, I found an easier solution: it happens that TexGen generates a glacierslab texture that matches perfectly, because it's actually based on Just Ice full textures, and it has the right properties: Correct brightness for LODs, 512x512, no alpha channel. This texture is textures/landscape/glacierslabnoalpha.dds.

So I just copied this texture to textures/lod/glacierslablod.dds and ta-da, beautiful LOD textures matching with Just Ice, and very smooth transitions:

Far (LOD) > Near (Full)

a1. far just ice texgen.jpga2. near just ice texgen.jpg

 

Some other shots for your perusal:

LOD Textures: DynDOLOD Resources > This mod's Cathedral Snow version > Just Ice version from TexGen

1. DynDOLOD Resources.png2. Cathedral Snow.png3. TexGen.png

1. vanilla dyndolod resources.jpg2 .glacier lod cathedral.jpg3. just ice texgen.jpg

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Yeah, Sparrow is suppose to be expanding and possibly reworking Just Ice at some point. It's on his agenda to tackle at least. I have no strong feeling on this mod. I haven't redone any of my LODs in a while so I'm out of the loop on testing this one.

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@Mousetick Thanks you for the analysis. I completely agree with your approach and now see why I wasn't completely happy with any of my glacier LOD in the compares I posted.

So ...

I vote to accept this mod WITHOUT using the CL optional textures in favor of using the TexGen texture created during LODGen. I will update the OP with these instructions.


If we wind up using this mod, then we can simply add this renamed texture to the CR patch and add a note to the patch mod page warning those that may not want to use Just Ice.

Above screens updated with note.

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