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Vivid Landscapes - Dungeons and Ruins

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Vivid Landscapes - Dungeons and Ruins

"This mod is an overhaul of nordic dungeons and ruins, it adds a set of textures and - more important

- a set of edited meshes enhanced with parallax depth-effect."

 

I just got into Skyrim modding a week ago so my understanding is limited but from what I gather it's basically another texture upgrade with the highlight of having meshes that use a parallax depth-effect to make them look better. It conflicts with SMIM but the author says the work around is to just not overwrite any of the SMIM meshes and it should play nicely. He's currently contacting the SMIM author for permission to make a SMIM patch.

 

My main reason for posting this though is to talk about the parallax depth effect as I'm new to this and I'm confused about what the STEP communities opinion on it is. When I searched for discussions about the parallax effect on the forums I got a lot of people saying good things about the mods that use it but none of them were included in version 2.2.6, in fact the 2.2.6 wiki makes only one reference to this with the real ice mod and that is to not use it.

 

Are there comparability issues? Performance issues? Stability issues? Is it simply subjective as to whether it looks better or not or are we just waiting untill version 2.3 to start using it?

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Parallax mapping is something that was added in DirectX 10, but you would need an ENB to get those effects to work with Skyrim since it's DX9. I've never heard of parallax meshes though, I've only ever heard of it being able to augment geometry without recalculating the meshes, so that would be less demand than adding in a thousands of polygons. It would probably be as heavy in VRAM usage as a normal map, but a graphic artist would know more about that.

 

EDIT: I see now what you meant the meshes have been altered to allow parallax mapping. Sorry, it's still early here.

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parallax maps do not need enb to say the truth, we have 2-3 examples in plain skyrim if i remember correctly.... one is the stone base in whiterun,just in front of main gate when you enter...the base arrives up to the market district... it got parallax in default game.

another example are the glaciers...all of them... limited to second layer of glacier meshes .

enb fixes many distorsion artifacts due to wrong vertical displacement... makes easier the job for texture makers since "normalize" the displacement into proper range of values... with enb u can use even a black and white schematic parallax map without problem...in normal skyrim you have to spend HOURS improvizing the right bump in greyscale values... believe me...it's boring :)

 

parallax/displacement is also a pretty old tecnique, at least as normal and bump maps.

the pourpose is to complete the normal map bump work...use of resources is not particularry heavy for vram... but heavier than normal maps for computing...since object need to be recalculated with rendering.

 

limits: distorsion artifact...as said out of enb.... and major limit is that can be used just on walls stone eventually wood if the bump is not much... and similar stuff...would create a very weird effect on any other surface like metal, on armors,on weapons.

results in terms of realism can be very good or painfull...all depends on the quality of maps.

 

ndo2 and crazybump are mostly the program used to bake the displacement maps from normal automatically ...clear parallax maps can be created also by hands... as said is quite boring.

 

i like this mod in particular...for me in general some good normal do the job pretty well, but having some moderate parallax is anyway interesting.

textures are detailed and not overdone...i must say i like it.

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The few mods I have tried out have been a bit overdone. The best one I have tested is the one for roads. However the main issue with parallax mods is that once you use one... then if you do not use it for most textures, then it makes the textures that lack it stand out way too much which ruins the overall feel of the scene imo.

 

Also I prefer having the lighting done great over the parallax so do not really want to mess to much with the meshes. But one can only hope that more stuff like this comes out!

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The few mods I have tried out have been a bit overdone. The best one I have tested is the one for roads. However the main issue with parallax mods is that once you use one... then if you do not use it for most textures, then it makes the textures that lack it stand out way too much which ruins the overall feel of the scene imo.

 

Also I prefer having the lighting done great over the parallax so do not really want to mess to much with the meshes. But one can only hope that more stuff like this comes out!

yes... very true... there is indeed a big difference in rendering with or without displacement maps..it can be pretty noticeable...would be nice to have all with parallax... but you know...is already good that beth gave us the normal (some wrong... but are there :D )

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The reason it takes so long to do it without ENB is that you are using the old way of achieving displacement. Since DX10, it is done natively on the GPU in real time so the effect is a bit more GPU/VRAM intensive, but the old way is more CPU intensive. I have no clue how Boris gets all that stuff to work, but ignorance is bliss. Anyways, bring on tessellation!!!!

 

I actually was wondering why it took so long to get parallax mapping indoors since you are up against walls instead of viewing things from a distance, like all the outdoor stuff? Glad to see a few mods come out with it finally.

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since the author modified the normal and diffuse maps from beauty of skyrim, i dont think it would even make sense to consider this. although i guess it could be a non-Core option/alternate. i like what he did with some of the normal maps.. now they do a good job of hiding the the smooth "cookie cutter" ruins floors .. looks a lot more realistic and less like plastic molds. the only thing i did was darken most of the speculars because i think the walls are a little too shiny/sparkly/glossy. but that was an easy fix. overall i like the mod and will probably keep using it on my personal profile for little while.

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