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Noved742

Using TES5Edit to edit ELFX and ELFX-Exteriors?

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I use Vividian ENB with ELFX and ELFX Exteriors, and overall it's been great. However, I've encountered two problems with ELFX, and I was hoping I could fix these myself using TES5Edit but I'm a bit lost at the moment.

 

First of all, ELFX-Exteriors adds it's own shadows to certain exterior lights. However, these shadows require that I set bDeferredShadows=0, which completely ruins the far superior ENB shadows. If I leave bDeferredShadows=1, then the shadows around lights become more intense but still come from the moon, which creates funky shadows on people, particularly when it's overcast. Unless anyone knows how to turn bDeferredShadows=0 and keep the ENB shadows; if you can do that then my first problem is immediately fixed ;)

 

I wanted to turn off these shadows so I went into TES5Edit and found there was a setting under “Light†called LightCampFireShadow and SlightStreetStreetShadow that had shadows checked under them. I turn them off and Voila! - campfires no longer have broken shadows. I checked the Windhelm Khajit camp and several Giant Camps to make sure. However, certain places still have have those funky shadows, like for example the brazier near Gildergreen in Whiterun. How can I find in TES5Edit the reference for these extra shadow casting street lights? I can't find any reference that seems to make a difference.

 

The other problem I noticed is that certain lights in the main ELFX Interiors module seem to use the old Vanilla shadows instead of the much improved ENB shadows. Examples include the Whiterun Temple of Kynareth, Whiterun kitchen, Winking Skeever, Windhelm inn upstairs, etc.. It's jarring to go from one place with the realistic ENB shadows and suddenly switch to the ugly Vanilla shadows. Where can I find these in TES5Edit so I can switch them back so they can be affected by my ENB? I don't need to change them all, just the ones that are the most annoying like the Winking Skeever.

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ENB shadows are just replacements for the default ones already in the engine, with a few added on top (SSAO, skylighting). AFAIK then any mod will also just use the default shadow generation, and hence ENB should automatically render all of them. 

 

I am also not entirely sure I follow what you mean about the issue. It would be helpful if you could provide some screenshots of the issues. Some conditions are just not fixable even with ENB after all... short of disabling the shadows entirely ofc, as you have found out. 

 

In general then you can find the shadow settings under individual lights, and then disabling the shadowcasting feature of any given light source. However most of the time then the same light source is used many times over in many different settings. Perhaps individual issues are only related to the placement of that particular light... hence you want to do cell edits, and alter the location of the light relative to what it is casting on. 

 

Alternatively you can simply create a new light with no shadow casting, and then replace it in every problem cell. At least that is what I would do rather then go about messing with the general settings since they apply to the entire game. 

 

Hope that made some sense! :) 

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Here, I took some screen shots for comparison.  ENB shadows, are far superior to vanilla shadows, they don't have the blocky weird flashing shadows and look much more realistic.  Here's a picture of my character standing near a fire in Dragonsreach.  If I enable or disable my ENB it makes a huge difference, notice that the side of the hood leaves a shadow across the face. 
 I'm using ELFX, and this is how most shadows appear.
 
However, here's a picture taken in the Dragonsreach kitchen:
See how the face has a splotchy shadow that isn't consistent?  These are encountered with my ENB on, and I notice no difference turning on or off my ENB.
 
I used to use RLO, and with an ENB enabled ALL the shadows I encountered looked vastly superior to Vanilla, hitting shift-f12 would show a huge difference.  However, I've encountered several light sources using ELFX that seem to not be affected by my ENB.  So I'd like to edit ELFX using TES5Edit so that all the light sources are affected by my ENB, if that makes sense.
 
My Exterior problem, is different, and I cant show some pictures.  Here's a picture of a Khajit Camp at night, near a bright fire using unedited ELFX:
Notice how the character on the left is standing next to a bright fire but is completely covered in shadow.  These shadows are actually coming from the tree behind me, the light sources are simply amplifying the shadows cast by the moon.
 
So I edited the ELFX-Exteriors, turning off the shadow cast by these fires, and I get this:
Notice that the bright light illuminates the whole scene, which is how it should work.  
 
The creator of ELFX suggests that users of the Exterior module set bDeferredShadows=0 in SkyrimPrefs.ini. However, if I make that change then ALL of my shadows become like Vanilla:
Notice that my hood here doesn't leave a shadow across my face.  If I enable or disable the ENB, the shadows are the same.
 
So my question is how can I fix the lighting problem with ELFX that is causing certain light sources to not use ENB shadows?   I personally prefer the idea behind ELFX and the general lighting placement over RLO, but I just want to fix these weird shadows.  I'm thinking I can edit the lighting in certain locations (particularly the Winking Skeever, the Windhelm Inn, maybe a few other places if I encounter them) using TES5Edit, but I don't know the particular setting that ELFX has that causes shadows to not be handled by the ENB.
 
I already fixed a big problem with all the campfires that were creating strange shadows at certain times, but I am still stuck with a few outdoor lights casting weird shadows, like the brazier near Whiterun's Gildergreen:
So I'd like to remove these few entries too, if possible.

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Well again.. if detailed shadows is on in ENB, then it handles all shadows, as long as deffered shadows is on ofc. If you disable that then you disable the mechanic that ENB use to handle the shadows. 

 

The problems you illustrate, are kinda sought out imo. Most of your screens look quite good in my optic. Granted the camp fire one is bad, but again this is related to how weird the night time is. If you use an ENB with high direct lighting values during the night then the fake sun (There is no moon light if you notice it then the shadows always follow the sun path not the moons.) will cause rather intense shadows since it might at the same time have a rather high contrast setting. First you can try to lower the skylighting value for night time which is what controls the shadow intensity from stuff like trees. Other then that then you would have to go into messing with contrasts for night, and/or direct and ambient lighting settings.  

 

The main problem is a math one... if you have many shadow sources then the pixels inside a shadow will get multiple values less then 1.0 multiplied to them causing them to go dark no matter what you do really... other then reduce the effect of the shadows. The higher the contrast related variables are the worse it is going to get on top of that. 

 

Splotchy face shadows inside interiors can only really be fixed if you got the performance to do it. You can up your SSAO quality and sample size which will create much better looking face shadows, but will eat your performance like a beast. You can also increase the shadow resolution in the ini files, which will also help, but again at a cost. At the end of the day then since the issue with faces is a fine detail one.. then you require massive amounts of performance to fix them no matter how you do it. 

 

Hope that helps a little bit more. 

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I mean, ENBs are known to kind of blur shadows edges, making them less sharp and defined but also casting more realistically, like when wearing hoods.  However, in these very specific locations the shadows from ELFX aren't blurred at all, they very sharp but sort of splotchy.  When I was showing the pictures, look on the right side of his face (his left side) and notice that the hood will cast shadows with an ENB, but with the ENB turned off the hood won't cast shadows on the characters faces, and leave splotchy shadows.  It's really noticable, especially with hoods.  You can test that by putting on a hood, standing like my character is standing with one side facing towards a fire or towards the sun, and then turning on and off the ENB.  RLO had all light sources affected by the ENB and the hood would correctly shade the face with my ENB on.  
 
The hood actually isn't the most annoying thing to me actually, it's more the flashing and speckling of the shadows, compared to the much more consistent shadows of an ENB.  It's startling, turning on and off your ENB (hitting shift-f12) and you can just watch and see how different the shadows are.  For a test, go into the Drunken Huntsman and just look at people with your ENB on and off.
 
The big problem I'm having with the Exteriors module is that it adds shadows, but the angle from which the shadows are cast is from the fake sun you mentioned, not from the light.  So it's weird that the closer you get to the light, the darker the shadows are, but they could be facing towards the light instead of away.  Here's an example, a picture facing toward the light. Notice how dark those shadows are, and how they actually all point in one direction, regardless of the bright brazier in the center:
 
But if I turn around and take a picture nearby, you can see that the shadows are not nearly as dark.  This picture was taken within seconds of the previous one:
 
It's because the shadows are adding in intensity, but they are all coming from the same angle, the fake sun, so it looks weird.
 
If I set bDeferredShadows=0 in SkyrimPrefs.ini then I get what ELFX author intended, this image:
 
but I lose the more realistic and softened shadows of my ENB everywhere.  Gopher showed the difference an ENB makes in shadows on his Twitch channel when he was testing out ENBs, how the originally splotchy face shadows turned into beautifully perfect shadows with his ENB on. However, it seems he to have deleted it.  I'll try to check and see if I can find a video showing the difference and add a link in a bit.
 
EDIT:  Thanks for the help so far, sorry if I'm not being clear, I just love tweaking my Skyrim game to perfection. :)
 
And here's Dragonsreach, same spot with the splotchy shadows, but with ELFX turned off:
Shadows look great again, no splotchiness at all.  not anything like the old one:
 
So it's clearly ELFX that's causing this, I just need to find that little option in TES5Edit and turn it off :)
Edited by Noved742

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Hehehe I am quite aware of the difference between ENB and non ENB... i would never touch Skyrim without an ENB on at all... it is just too ugly. 

 

You can control the blur of the shadows directly in the detailed shadows settings if you want to find the perfect balance between sharp and blur for you. And again, for hood etc. then high SSAO is the way to go... it will smooth out and make faces look really nice. But again it will also lower performance. 

 

 

As for the exterior stuff. Altering the various intensities of the ENB would be the way to go, since the CK have no real influence over this. It can only turn shadows on or off, and most of the time then it is more an issue of view angle and placement of the shadow casting objects. This is partly why it takes so very long to create a lighting overhaul.... the very limited shadow functionality of the engine is quite frustrating. 

 

 

But yeah that fake sun is kinda annoying, but it is all we got to play with. If you do not like those shadows, settings direct lighting intensity to 0.0-0.2 will all but remove them entirely. If you have skylighting on then you can increase its value until shadows during night time are also gone. It is part of the engine that those shadows will get priority over other shadows, and you are right in that they multiply to the pixel color... again engine limitations. 

 

However that specific location is also a bit wonky due to its high detail. You can stand in nice shadow conditions in one location and take one step back and you will be almost in full shadow. 

 

Here are two shots from my ENB and settings showing that. 

https://www.dropbox.com/s/t0rtrtra4ds0y2f/Whiterunshadow.jpg

https://www.dropbox.com/s/5jitpbmlo3vzxls/Whiterunshadow1.jpg

 

Another issue with that location and ELFX and or mods that add more guards with torches is that it can momentarily shut of a given shadow casting light since there are too many at once. This is a general issue though since you can only have 6 shadow casting lights per cell at once, or the engine will shut one of them off, or do other weird stuff. 

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So, I seemed to have found a fix for at least most of the campfires that one Brazier in Whiterun.  If you want to check, you can open the Exteriors module in TES5Edit and then go to
 
Worldspace > WhiterunWorld > Block 0,-1 > Sub-Block 0,-1 > 0001A276 WhiterunPlainsDistrict04 > Temporary > 020035A1 DefaultTorch01Desat
 
and then change "NAME -Base" from "DefaultTorch01Desat" to "DefaultTorch01NS".
 
To fix some of the external fires, you can go to 
 
Light > 0200136D LightCampFireShadow
 
as well as
 
Light > 0200D263 SLightStreetStreetShadow
 
and change Flags from "Dynamic, Flicker, Shadow Omnidirectional" to just "Dynamic, Flicker" by unchecking "Shadow Omnidirectional" in the drop down.
 
Phew, I'm sure there are more but at least I got the ones that were the most annoying.  Now I just need to figure out how to fix the interior shadows.  
 
I feel like perhaps the lights that are not omnidirectional might cause problems, for example in Dragonsreach the two weird shadows are caused by
 
Cell > Block 5 > Sub-Block 5 > 000165A3 WhiterunDragonsreach > Persistent > Temporary
 
"02083D5D BleakFallsSunlight01" and "02002324 DefaultSunlight01 Closer03."  If I change these lights to omnidirectional lights, the shadows are fixed by the ENB but I haven't found the right settings to make it look okay.  Is there anyone more familiar than I am with lighting that can suggest a better "NAME - Base"?
 
The most annoying light source for me is in "The Winking Skeever", so once I find that source maybe I can switch it to an omnidirectional light source and at least make the Winking Skeever interior look better.
 
EDIT:  I wasn't clear, the ELFX-Exterior changes fixes ALL campfires I've seen, including Giant's campfires and Khajit caravan campfires, along with the Brazier in Whiterun.
Edited by Noved742

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I'm not really in a position to test it at the moment, but have you tried playing with the Detailed Shadow options in the ENB GUI?

 

I basically use ENB just for shadows (anything else slows things down way too much on my card & mod lineup,) and for example I've noticed that turning of the ShadowCastersFix option will allow some shadow effects to appear that would otherwise not show up with ENB on. One in particular is some sunlight coming through a window of the basement of the meadery in Riften, which is a super cool effect that didn't show up with ENB's shadows turned on. I'm not sure if that one instance is ELFX supplied, but I'm guessing yes.

 

When I have a chance I can check into it more.

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And so begins a lighting mod to make shadows with ENB on look nicer!

 

Guess we will see you again in two years when you have covered the entire gameworld hehe! :P 

 

Jokes aside then yeah, you can do stuff like that to fix up various locations. But you cant make a directional light behave like an omni one and the other way around. Having light shafts on an omni light will always look just plain weird. 

 

This is part reason why I do not play in 3rd person... you get to notice so many small things that the engine was just never supposed to handle! :) 

 

That said then do continue to share what you find, it will most likely help make others enjoy their game some more! 

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Okay, so I've fixed the Winking Skeever as well, it also was because it wasn't omnidirectional so it looks like a trend here.  My guess is that Boris would need to fix his ENB to apply to all shadows and not just omnidirectionial shadows to make everything look better, but at least shadows won't look weird in the Winking Skeever.

 

Go to

Cell > Block 6 > Sub-Block 8 >0016A0E SolitudeWinkingSkeever > Temporary > 206163B SolitudeInnFirePlacesShadowHemi

 

and change the "NAME - Base" from "SolitudeInnFiresPlaceShadowHemi" to "SolitudeInnFiresPlaceShadowDefault".

 

You can check that suddenly the shadows aren't splotchy and flashing near the center of the Winking Skeever.  Lisette when she sings shouldn't have weird shadows anymore, yay!

 

 

@Aiyen  I think you are right though, that directional light can't act like an omnidirectional, so I don't think I would mess with that.  I think the best fixes would be to change hemispherical shadows into omnidirectional shadows, although I wouldn't know where they all are.  This does seem more like something Boris should change in his ENB, so even directional shadows apply.

 

@keithinhanoi  I haven't made it to Riften in my recent playthrough, so I can't check Riften shadows now.  I'll have to drop by Riften and give it a try.  However, these areas with bad shadows don't seem to be fixed by any changes to ENB shadow settings, these seem completely unaffected by my ENB.

 

 

So I think I'm probably done then, I've fixed the most glaring and annoying problems for me, if anyone sees another location like this that's super common and annoying, and isn't a directional shadow (like the direct sunlight) you can post it here and let me know, I'd like to fix up these few problems.  Maybe you guys could also find the TES5Edit value to change as well, so I can make my Skyrim perfect ;)

 

EDIT:  I don't know if I was clear earlier, but my fix from above for ELFX-Exteriors should fix all giant campfires, all Khajit caravan fires, possibly other campfires(?) as well as that one brazier in Whiterun.  So I'm pretty happy with the Exteriors module now, if anyone else notices these funky darkened shadows using ELFX-Exteriors let me know.

Edited by Noved742

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Noved742 - have you considered using ELE (Enhanced Lighting for ENB)?

 

(https://enbseries.enbdev.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=6&t=1930)

 

As the name suggests, it's specifically designed to work well with ENB.

 

Also, it's quite modular, so some plugin modules can be used in tandem with parts of ELFX. Also, it's very "friendly" with Relighting Skyrim if you were to think about switching to it from ELFX.

 

 

I've had a chance to look at the example area in Whiterun next to the big tree. Changing the detailed shadow settings didn't affect things there - just deffered shadows as you had found.

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