Jump to content
Sign in to follow this  
DoubleYou

Sun Shadow Transition INI Settings

Recommended Posts

I created these videos a while ago, and finally uploaded them to Youtube for your viewing pleasure. Most are linked on the INI guides, but I think one or two are not.
 
Skyrim.ini

Smooth sun-shadow transitions

fSunShadowUpdateTime sets the speed of sun-shadow transitions in seconds. It is recommended to be adjusted to minimize the transitions.
 
fSunUpdateThreshold sets the time between sun-shadow transitions. A value of 0.05 is equal to 1 second, so a value of 1 equals 20 seconds. Increasing this also increases the distance the shadows will move during the transition. It is recommended to be adjusted to minimize the transitions.
 
Default Sun Shadows
fSunShadowUpdateTime=1
fSunUpdateThreshold=0.5

 

STEP Tweaked Sun Shadows
fSunShadowUpdateTime=0.25
fSunUpdateThreshold=1.5

 

Other Various Tweaked Sun Shadows

fSunShadowUpdateTime=0
fSunUpdateThreshold=0

 

fSunShadowUpdateTime=1

fSunUpdateThreshold=0

 

fSunShadowUpdateTime=0

fSunUpdateThreshold=2

 

fSunShadowUpdateTime=0.5

fSunUpdateThreshold=0.05

 

fSunShadowUpdateTime=0.5

fSunUpdateThreshold=1

 

fSunShadowUpdateTime=1

fSunUpdateThreshold=1

 

fSunShadowUpdateTime=2

fSunUpdateThreshold=0.5

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi. So I have a different setting used than what is recommended, based on what the STEP wiki provides for information on the two Sun values. And I wanted a couple questions answered since it's confusing.

 

fSunShadowUpdateTime=3 ;;Game takes 3 seconds to transition to the new shadow position

fSunUpdateThreshold=3 ;;Game takes 3*20 or 60 seconds to send the update.

 

Am I wrong in thinking this causes the game to do more work in a burst, and/or less work over time? Is the game still checking for sun/time changes every 3 seconds or whatever for 1 minute to pass in-game? Are any of the 3 below statements true?

 

- More GPU work in a burst because it has to move all shadows at once for a longer period of time.

 

- Less GPU work over time because it's not frequently changing the shadow position.

 

- Less CPU work over time because it's not constantly checking the sun time (i.e. fSunUpdateThreshold = gametick checking?)

 

 

Maybe I'm misunderstanding what these settings do/expecting more out of them. I actually enjoy 3/3 settings because shadows are more static (which I prefer but it's probably not as good as constantly moving shadows), but they also sort of shimmer like they would in real life with birch trees and such when the wind blows. And best of all, they don't drastically change in position. I was mostly hoping it helped with game performance at high shadow distances, though.

Edited by Yakuza

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I do most of my shots with default values for the other settings so that they cannot possibly have an effect on my tests. That's why that bug is in there.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I've always been curious - is it possible to set these up so that the shadows are actually continuously moving, IE, simulating real time update? ANY kind of jump is jarring to me, no matter how quickly it happens, so I'd rather have a slow transition that ends just as the next one begins to make it look like one smooth continuous motion. Possible or Pipe Dream?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

A good friend of mine explained to me what he thinks is happening (from a quick look). He said that there are shadow tracing artifacts in the way Skyrim shadows are traced, visible when the shadow moves as flickering. The sun shadow update mechanic is a hack to mask the faulty shadow tracing code. You would have to fix the code and disable the hack. He said fixing the shadow tracing might be possible with draw call interceptions, but he would have to know the possibilities of the ENB shadow shaders and find the time etc.

Edited by Spock

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

See the videos. They can be continuously moving, but the timescale is so fast that it really seems odd. It feels like you're in a time-lapse video.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

@Yakuza

Forget about CPU load, I didn't have a single situation in four years of Skyrim where the CPU became the bottleneck.

 

I've had the 0.25/1.5 settings recommended by STEP so far but the "not moving for a while"/"moving alot at once" transitions always annoyed me. It becomes smooth when for example using 0.25/0 (inspired by your 1/0 video) - but even when using an ENB (Vividian default) the shadow isn't smooth enough to not look weird. Is there any solution to this except for going to extreme shadow resolutions? I would but I actually have to GAIN performance (thanks JK/ETaC/Verdant/CoT/ENB!) to get a well playable Skyrim in all situations.

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ObXhsBIjXNk

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g1XJpqjugYA

 

/edit
Recorded with "set timescale to 100"

Edited by elwaps

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

How about this:

 

fSunShadowUpdateTime=500000000000
fSunUpdateThreshold=500000000000

 

I guarantee you will not see the sun transition  ::P: 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

:woot: 

 

I'm currently trying to merge some AOS2 patches (that for some reason include a huge amount of sound files when merging and therefore apparently take ages to finish) followed by an approximately half hour reproccer and a one hour DynDOLOD run so I can't test for myself at the moment - but what would happen when setting both values to 0? Incredibly smooth realtime sun transitions bought with 30 instead of 17% CPU load?  :O_o:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Afaik CPU load is not the problem, shadow tracing artifacts are. It just doesn't look good.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

So all one can do is playing with 8192 shadow resolutions and buy this with 5-10fps? ^^

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I always thought the STEP recommended settings looked terrible.

The philosophy of "well it's bound to look bad so let's just get it over with quickly" does not jive with me.

 

Skyrim is such an immersive experience, and the one thing that was consistently killing immersion for me was these ridiculous sun shadow transitions.

 

My philosophy: "let's try to make it look as realistic as possible with the smallest performance sacrifice".

 

I recently tried:

SSUTime: 0.25

SSUThreshold: 0.005 (10 times per second)

 

It looked great. The visible transitions were gone, the sun was simply crawling across the sky like real life. The only shimmering I noticed was on the anti-aliased edges of stairs. A small price to pay for 0 immersion breaking transitions. For someone playing at a resolution higher than 1920x1080, that shouldn't be noticeable at all.

 

Now I'm going to try:

SSUTime: 1

SSUThreshold: 0.05 (1 second)

Edited by spaceoden

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Yeah 1 to 0.05 looks very good. 10 to 0.5 should look just as good, I'll test that next. That's a digit away from the defaults. I think that must have been what beth started with. I guess they either made a math error, or perhaps they, like whoever chose the step values, didn't like how the shadows looked and sped up the transitions.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
Sign in to follow this  

  • Similar Content

    • By sheson
      This is a beta of [FNV|FO3|FO4|FO4VR|TES5|SSE|TES5VR|ENDERAL|ENDERALSE]LODGen/Edit with terrain LOD meshes and textures generation.
      This is for experienced mod authors and users that know how to use xEdit, xLODGen or DynDOLOD already.
      Installation and Setup
      Download
      xLODGen beta 83 - based on 4.1.3g
      Unzip into a dedicated folder outside of any game and Steam folders or special Windows folders like Program Files.
      (Pro users can merge with existing xEdit installation. Make sure to overwrite older LODGen.exe/LODGenx64.exe TexConv.exe/TexConvx64.exe in Edit Scripts. All other files with the same filenames are the same as the latest version of xEdit.)
      Rename xLODGen.exe to [game mode]LODGen.exe (TES5LODGen.exe for example) or start with command line parameter -fnv, -fo3, -fo4, -fo4vr, -tes5, tes5vr, -sse, -enderal, -enderalse
      Use -o:"c:\OutputPath\" command line parameter to change where files are generated to, default is the game folder. Use this if a mod manager with a virtual file system (like MO) is used.
      Do not generate into any game or any mod manager folders that are part (direct or indirect) of the virtual file system.
      Requirements
      Microsoft Visual C++ Redistributable for Visual Studio 2015, 2017 and 2019 - Required by LODGen.exe/LODGenx64.exe and Texconv.exe/Texconvx64.exe. Get matching platform x86/x64 depending on which xLODGen.exe (x86) or xLODGenx64.exe (x64) is used.
      RTFM and Share Results
      See the included Skyrim-Occlusion-Readme.txt for a brief explanation of the Skyrim TVDT Occlusion data generation. Read the hints that are shown when the mouse pointer rests on a setting. Ask specific questions or give feedback in the dedicated Skyrim TVDT - Occlusion Data thread.
      See the included Terrain-LOD-Readme.txt for a brief explanation of the settings for terrain LOD generation. Read the hints that are shown when the mouse pointer rests on a setting. Ask specific questions about terrain LOD in this thread for a more in-depth explanation if required and share feedback (with screenshots) about results or problems.
      These tools generate LOD meshes and textures "exactly" like CK, but not like the meshes and textures which are shipping with the games (they are often manually edited).
      However, these tools provide more options and higher resolutions (use the x64 version if there are memory errors because you believe you require 4k or higher) and can be updated to add more useful features and options.
      I did some testing in the different games, but finding the best combinations of options and settings requires lots of testing and are a matter of personal opinion and which game is used, the load order, mods, even different worldspaces probably.
      That means, I am only able to give generic guidelines and hints to send you off to find and test for yourself and share your results. My main interested is that generations works correctly and without problems for now.
      Check out the thread xLODGen Terrain Settings Compare. Also refer to any modding guide which has a list of relevant mods close to your load order.
      The object and tree LOD generation is the same as the current versions of xEdit / xLODGen. Refer to their respective descriptions and explanations.
      Obviously, users of Skryim/Enderal/Skyrim SE/Skyrim VR/EnderalSE continue to use the easier and more comprehensive DynDOLOD for drastically improved object and tree LOD generation and only use xLODGen for terrain LOD (and maybe Occlusion) generation.
      First Time
      Here are suggestion to start without going crazy and that should be quick enough to generate:
      Set quality of meshes for LOD4 to 5 and then +5 for each next level. Or just set levels 8/16/32 to 10.
      Check protect cell borders (yes it fixes the ugly terrain drops at outer cell borders that still exist in Fallout 4).
      Use the max vertices setting only if you want to hard limit max file size.
      In Skyrim Special Edition or Skyrim VR, if you notice terrain briefly flickering when new areas are loading in, set [Display] bEnableLandFade=0 in Skyrim.INI
      Set Optimize Unseen to off for LOD4 for first generation. Start experimenting with a value of 550 with a quality setting of 10 or lower for LOD32 (used for map) and compare coastlines and file size to other settings.
      To quickly generate terrain LOD meshes just for the map, check only terrain LOD Meshes, check the Specific Chunk checkbox and set drop down to 32. Leave SW fields empty for complete map or set SW cell coordinates to same values as a *.btr filename to test a specific area with lots of water, river etc.
      Set texture sizes to 512 for a start. Larger sizes and large world spaces will take a considerable time (like 15 to 30 minutes or more easily). Each higher resolution means quadruple the work.
      Use DXT1 for diffuse and 565 (DXT1 if on Windows 7) for normal maps. If generating for Skyrim Special Edition use BC7. Uncheck mipmaps, raise steepness and Bake normal maps.
      For now, leave the Brightness, Contrast and Gamma at 0 and 1.0 respectively. It seems that only Skyrim CK and Skyrim SE CK are manipulating the intensity of the textures to adjust for the noise.dds and the god awful "improved" snow shader of Skyrim SE (just turn that thing off, really). If textures seem too dark in the game, brighten the noise.dds instead or vice versa. That way you can get perfectly matching LOD textures that look just like the textures in the loaded cells. For Skyrim a good average color of the noise texture seems to be around #C0. See below for a couple noise texture downloads.
      If you want to test larger texture sizes, use the chunk option to limit the number of textures that need to be generated. For example, check [x] Specific chunk, leave the drop down empty and set WS to the lower left cell coordinate of an 32x32 area, like 0, 0. It will then generate all textures up to 31,31. Not all worldspaces have their origin at 0,0 so you will have to check already generated meshes/texture filenames for their lower left coordinates.
      Questions and Feedback
      Obliviously anything related to terrain LOD should be posted in this thread.
      Posts related to Occlusion should be made here.
      Recommended Optionals
      TES5-Terrain-Tamriel.esm, SSE-Terrain-Tamriel.esm
      TES5-Terrain-Tamriel-Extend.esm, SSE-Terrain-Tamriel-Extend.esm - These extend the sea of ghost further to the north (see screenshots)
      SSE-Terrain-Tamriel-Full-Extend.esm - Entire map from -96,-96 to 95,96 with northern ocean extension. Useful for mod authors.
      Put in game data folder obviously. Adds back terrain for Skyrim (Tamriel worldspace) at the outer edges so there is no missing terrain meshes/textures when generating terrain LOD for Skyrim.
      Load as early with lowest priority as possible, so that any other plugins overwriting or adding land records or cells with the same coordinates take precedence.
      Only required to be loaded when generating terrain LOD. No harm done when loaded in-game but typically the player can not get close to these areas. There are no effects outside the far away added cells.
      Noise
      Single color flat noise, Adjusted vanilla noise, HD Terrain Noise Texture SE
      Examples for Skyrim. Install to game folder like any other texture mod. The noise texture is applied in-game on top of terrain LOD textures, so no effect for LOD generation.
      Only the red channel is used in case the textures is not a grey channel format. MipMaps are ignored. The textures is tiled 3x3 per LOD quad, e.g. for LOD level 4, the noise texture is repeated 3 times to cover 4 cells, for LOD level 8, the noise texture is repeated 3 times to cover 8 cells and so on.
      Test-Terrain-Tamriel.7z
      For testing terrain LOD distances. Plain color terrain LOD textures for Tamriel with coordinates for every LOD quad. Green for LOD 4, yellow for LOD8, blue for LOD 16 and red for LOD 32.
    • By Lili_Cakez
      So I've noticed that rain drops appear black when falling over certain terrain backgrounds. From my own research, I can see that this is somewhat common, and people have said to install weather mods to fix this. The only thing is that I am using Snapdragon ENB, and the author says its incompatible with other weather mods. Is there a way to prevent the rain from looking black without installing other weather mods? I love this ENB, so I am hoping I wont have to find another one. I also don't want to just entirely disable rain in ENB.

    • By Darklustre
      So I'm playing the College of Winterhold quests, that I've played before just fine. For some reason the NPCs aren't initiating their dialogue, Tolfdir isn't leading the way through Saarthal, and I can't get the quest started. Once he goes in Saarthal, no one follows. I'm using ICOW, AFT and Interesting NPCs. I've used these all before with no trouble. I don't know what the problem is now.

      What is it called when this happens because I'm not getting good search engine hits with what I put in my title. Thanks.
  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

By using this site, you agree to our Terms of Use.