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DoubleYou

ENB Complex Grass - Patch Compendium for various grass mods (by Skurkbro)

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Complex grass looks good with Step. My only problem is that it doesn't match LOD at all and transitions are very obvious, particularly with the sun behind the PC:

sun behind:

SkyrimSE 2022-05-22 23-30-36-24.jpg

sun in front:

SkyrimSE 2022-05-22 23-30-59-36.jpg

 

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Perhaps we no longer need to darken the grass lod with complex grass? Or maybe the texture atlas merely needs grass normals added as well? 

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5 hours ago, DoubleYou said:

Perhaps we no longer need to darken the grass lod with complex grass? Or maybe the texture atlas merely needs grass normals added as well? 

I'm not clear on DynDOLOD support for complex grass in LOD. If it's supported, it didn't work for me with latest alpha. If it isn't supported, then complex grass is probably not worth it. I have a discussion going with sheson troubleshooting this in the DynDOLOD topic. I haven't RTFM on DynDOLOD support for complex grasses yet, but it seems to support it ... whether or not ENB supports in LOD is another question.

Grass tint settings may need to be altered, since CG renders slightly different colors in loaded grass, but it's a moot point until I understand the LOD support for complex grass and rendering under ENB.

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On 5/23/2022 at 4:41 AM, DoubleYou said:

Perhaps we no longer need to darken the grass lod with complex grass? Or maybe the texture atlas merely needs grass normals added as well? 

It seems as though you are on the right track with this suggestion according to sheson's latest response. I will test.

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I spent quite a lot of time working with DynDOLOD settings to make this compatible with grass LOD. I've had some success. Settings that work well for the tundra do not necessarily work well elsewhere. this is also true for grass LOD without this mod or ENB for that matter. This issue is only really apparent on the tundra, as it's rare to notice grass LOD elsewhere. While it does peek through now and again, it isn't obvious. The compares below were all attempts to find such situations.

All testing using most up-to-date 2.1.0 DEV mods, patches, and configs. Note that I'm fairly certain that DynDOLOD doesn't use the normal portion of the complex grass textures. It splits them and uses the diffuse half, which should be identical to the original textures. Then it creates normals with Texconv from the diffuse I think.

First question: How does this mod affect grass look, irrespective of using ENB or complex grass? The following are compares with vs without this mod installed.

  1. No ENB
  2. ENB (wo/complex grass)
  3. ENB (w/complex grass)

without this mod  >>  with this mod

SkyrimSE 2022-05-26 15-17-48-58.jpgSkyrimSE 2022-05-26 14-37-33-12.jpg

SkyrimSE 2022-05-26 15-18-02-59.jpgSkyrimSE 2022-05-26 14-37-47-79.jpg

SkyrimSE 2022-05-26 15-18-13-24.jpgSkyrimSE 2022-05-26 14-37-57-21.jpg

As these shots show, grasses with normal maps are more responsive to lighting in all situations. Grasses with normals just act more like other models in the game.

All the remaining shots have this mod installed:

No ENB  >>  ENB (wo/complex grass)  >>  ENB (w/complex grass)

SkyrimSE 2022-05-26 14-37-33-12.jpgSkyrimSE 2022-05-26 14-37-47-79.jpgSkyrimSE 2022-05-26 14-37-57-21.jpgSkyrimSE 2022-05-26 22-25-58-30.jpg Last is reduced ENB effects

SkyrimSE 2022-05-26 14-38-10-16.jpgSkyrimSE 2022-05-26 14-38-17-34.jpgSkyrimSE 2022-05-26 14-38-23-55.jpg

SkyrimSE 2022-05-26 14-43-17-16.jpgSkyrimSE 2022-05-26 14-43-23-85.jpgSkyrimSE 2022-05-26 14-43-29-06.jpg

SkyrimSE 2022-05-26 14-47-11-30.jpgSkyrimSE 2022-05-26 14-47-17-31.jpgSkyrimSE 2022-05-26 14-47-22-27.jpg

SkyrimSE 2022-05-26 14-50-29-23.jpgSkyrimSE 2022-05-26 14-50-37-83.jpgSkyrimSE 2022-05-26 14-50-46-65.jpg

SkyrimSE 2022-05-26 14-53-16-08.jpgSkyrimSE 2022-05-26 14-53-22-55.jpgSkyrimSE 2022-05-26 14-53-28-94.jpg

SkyrimSE 2022-05-26 14-57-48-61.jpgSkyrimSE 2022-05-26 14-57-56-50.jpgSkyrimSE 2022-05-26 14-58-01-67.jpg

SkyrimSE 2022-05-26 15-01-35-83.jpgSkyrimSE 2022-05-26 15-01-43-36.jpgSkyrimSE 2022-05-26 15-01-52-12.jpg

 

DynDOLOD settings used in all LOD (optimized for Cathedral Landscapes & CL compex grass)

TexGen grass settings:

GrassBillboards=1
GrassBillboardsDirect=300
GrassBillboardsDirectLR=4
GrassBillboardsDirectFB=4
GrassBillboardsDirectTB=-4
GrassBillboardsAmbient=15

DynDOLOD_SSE.ini:

; grass LOD brightness multipliers
GrassBrightnessTopR=0.355
GrassBrightnessTopG=0.335
GrassBrightnessTopB=0.275
; make bottom darker to fake shadowing
GrassBrightnessBottomR=0.020
GrassBrightnessBottomG=0.015
GrassBrightnessBottomB=0.010

NOTE: The above settings are optimized for complex grass, so the non-complex grass shots are at a bit of a disadvantage in comparison to LOD out of the gate. Those settings have historically been:

GrassBillboards=1
GrassBillboardsDirect=160
TreeBillboardsDirectLR=0
TreeBillboardsDirectFB=0
TreeBillboardsDirectTB=-100
GrassBillboardsAmbient=25
; grass LOD brightness multipliers
GrassBrightnessTopR=0.295
GrassBrightnessTopG=0.315
GrassBrightnessTopB=0.300
; make bottom darker to fake shadowing
GrassBrightnessBottomR=0.170
GrassBrightnessBottomG=0.175
GrassBrightnessBottomB=0.180

 

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I'm confused that this is changing anything without ENB enabled. We use the brown tundra from Cathedral Landscapes. Is it possible you accidentally installed the green tundra option from this mod?

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1 hour ago, DoubleYou said:

I'm confused that this is changing anything without ENB enabled. We use the brown tundra from Cathedral Landscapes. Is it possible you accidentally installed the green tundra option from this mod?

No, I have the brown tundra installed for both CL and this mod. I just verified by installing duplicate mods of each and comparing dirs in WinMerge to be certain.

It changes loaded grass with or without ENB enabled because of the added normals as I mentined in my post after the first screens. If you add normals to the grass via atlas, it's bound to have an impact. As you can see, the impact is mainly in lighting, but it does impact tint to a small degree, making the brown grass a tad bit greener. Probably due to weather/lighting enhanced by normals. This is precisely why I included the first compare set. It illustrates the impact of adding normal maps via atlas. The game just uses them, and it makes me wonder why Bethesda never did it.

Here's how CL compares to this mod in Explorer. These are thumbs of the actual files, and it's clear that the diffuse are both using brown. So the diff has to be the normals/lighting:

CL  >> This mod

image.png

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That is so strange! One thing I notice is that with complex grass, the grass has places that seem very stark and over bright. In you working with the vanilla grass normals, did you notice a way in which to reduce this? Perhaps it looks better in-game, but the shots make the complex grass look worse to me.

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47 minutes ago, DoubleYou said:

That is so strange! One thing I notice is that with complex grass, the grass has places that seem very stark and over bright. In you working with the vanilla grass normals, did you notice a way in which to reduce this? Perhaps it looks better in-game, but the shots make the complex grass look worse to me.

Some of that looks like specular, or alpha of the normal map. It likely needs to be reduced on some of those grasses. The brighter the alpha, the more glare it's going to have. No alpha will be interpreted as a pure white alpha.

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3 hours ago, TechAngel85 said:

Some of that looks like specular, or alpha of the normal map. It likely needs to be reduced on some of those grasses. The brighter the alpha, the more glare it's going to have. No alpha will be interpreted as a pure white alpha.

Agreed. This is why I kept the specular maps brightness down on the vanilla complex grasses. I learned this when I created the one CL grass a month or two back. The author of this mod used lower values in the lower left pixels, evidently to tell ENB to "tone it down". A value of 127,127,127 RGB supposedly yields full ENB effect. Some have a value of like 103. But it's better IMO to keep the specular from being overly bright.

Load up vanilla and check out the ones I created. They don't have this problem so much. You can also reduce the ENB subsurfacescatteringamount to like 0.1, and that helps but at the expense of the overall effect.

Best to keep control of the alpha in the normals.

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4 hours ago, DoubleYou said:

That is so strange! One thing I notice is that with complex grass, the grass has places that seem very stark and over bright. In you working with the vanilla grass normals, did you notice a way in which to reduce this? Perhaps it looks better in-game, but the shots make the complex grass look worse to me.

Some look better and others look worse. Maybe I will try doing the CL tundra grasses to illustrate how this can be mitigated.


I added a screen to the first row of the second set with much lowered specular multiplier ... but I still think the effect could be improved with changes to the normals.


This is the specular and normal for one of the shiny tundra grasses (specular is the alpha of the normal):

image.pngimage.png

The leaves are fine, but the MA placed a halo of brightness that might reflect light in a halo around each leaf and essentially wash out the leaves. Not sure why they did this or if the alpha of the diffuse will block this. I don't fully understand how exactly Skyrim interprets or renders this stuff.

image.png

My specular and normal would look like these and use the same alpha as CL provides for this one (which I assume is same as above):

image.pngimage.png

The specular alpha dictates what of the normal shines through. Again, I don't know if the diffuse alpha governs the entire set, but I would assume so. I will recreate these using my algorithm and see what it looks like in comparison. Probably not till Monday:

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