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WIP Beta released Graphics Mod AL Part 2 NEW VERSION OUT 2020-10-28

Discussion in 'Mods and Skins' started by Brother_Dave, Jun 16, 2020.

  1. Republican Cat

    Republican Cat
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    Thanks
    --- Post updated ---
    Yeah I went down 30ish fps also, from around 70, (although my monitor only runs at like 40)
     
  2. Brother_Dave

    Brother_Dave
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    Ill come back to the posting and answer you all in a while but for now ill post an addition to the AL5, should bring fps up slightly (very slightly) and take away some of the brightness, as i didnt like a few of the overblown stuff :)

    Install:

    Extract the levels.zip into your Documents/Beamng.drive-folder so that it overwrites the current files in the levels-folder.

    Go into your latest cache-folder (still named "cache.0.20.1.2") and delete the folder called levels, that way the game reload only the levels, now with the latest small change.

    Done :)


    EDIT: OBSOLETE AND FILE DELETED. AL5.ZIP ON PAGE 2 IS UPDATED SO THIS FILE IS UNNECESSARY.
     
    #42 Brother_Dave, Aug 18, 2020
    Last edited: Aug 23, 2020
  3. Mar4ick

    Mar4ick
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    Whats that change tho? Im afraid it will break my game after an update or something
     
  4. Brother_Dave

    Brother_Dave
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    None of these mods change stuff that can crash the game unless the devs more or less change the way graphics are sorted. My files only change values for the levels themselves, the levels files specificly use a higher brightness value, which i edit by opening the world editor i game, change the value and them save.
    These shouldnt (i even believe one of the devs said in this or the Part 1 thread that it wont break the game) effect the game in that way.

    The latest file only has adjusted brightness value for each vanilla level.

    A breakdown of what ive done in the Alternative Lighting mod:

    *Increased Brightness for each level (thats the big fps dropper, but it also makes the specular, normal, bump maps crispier, for example the tarmac on Small island)
    *Changed colors for the sun color gradient throughout time of day to make light at morning and evening brighter without midday being overblown bright, also changed the color to my liking
    *Decreased sunsize
    *Chosen a different sun flare texture, beamngs has a few to choose from
    *Changed size of that sun flare texture
    *Changed a few of the limits or adjustment increments in the PostFx application
    *Changed code and values for part of the tonemapping, making the black/white/color balance abit more aggressive when the balance is uneven between them
    *Increased SSAO resolution for the HIGH setting
    *Adjusted the PostFx values to suit the above stuff to my liking
     
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  5. divebomber

    divebomber
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    it does not give me an option to unzip it..
     
  6. Brother_Dave

    Brother_Dave
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    Its a zip file so i dont know what could be wrong for you. Maybe your zip program is broken.
    --- Post updated ---
    Posted in Community Screenshots but just a quick one from earlier :)

     
  7. ArdaCsknn

    ArdaCsknn
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    Sorry for the late reply but yeah this looks much much better. It doesn't have the dark shadows anymore. I only tested the Italy so far but I will test more when I have more time.
     
  8. Brother_Dave

    Brother_Dave
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    You helped me find a problem i had a hunch existed, thanks for that!
     
  9. Brother_Dave

    Brother_Dave
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    Work blogish post i guess. About Clouds. Here we go:

    Lately ive off and on been working on a new way of creating clouds for Beamng. A long time ago i started exploring horizon cludding clouds cause ive always thought the clouds looked weird out of the T3D box. Ive explored and talked about different ways of getting that good looking on the T3d forums (and here i think) but then horizon clouds appeared out of nowhere in Beamng using the same way ive been testing so that shows it works. Ive talked some more about this at the T3d forums but i thought id share it here too, if not that many Beamng users (i assume the devs are there :) ) spend time there.

    Ive been testing more stuff around that since then, getting realistic looking clouds and still have them effected by Time Of Day. Pretty convinced its the very same way GTA 5 does it.
    The problem has been that Beamng (or T3D from early days) use a normal map texture to create them and just having textures and converting them using a normal map generating tool really doesnt give the relut that they are used ingame. The tool handles the texture as if its embossed, not multi colored, so the end result isnt whats expected.
    I searched long and hard to find a way to recolor cloud textures to work with the game engine. I wanted a way of coloring the cloud textures only using the colors Normal maps use (not going into the depth of colors of normal maps here but its a bit odd) and ive finally found a way. The game engine seems to handle the different colors in the nromal map cloud textures as different grades of color so i needed to normalize that to begin with.
    I begin by making sure the textures transparency is right. Its no problem when the clouds are thick and has a clear edge/not semi transparent, cause then the blue sky can just be removed, but when they are semi trasparent/half blue its one hell of a job to get that right. What can be used (in theory, not tested yet) is replacing the color that the semitransparent (as in half blue since its letting the sky show through the cloud) part of the clouds use with a semi transparent color.
    When thats done i desaturate the whole texture, to see the actual brightness/grey scale of the clouds.
    After that i use a tool ive only found working good in a good old online image editor (ive tried many different free and not free apps like Paint.net, GIMP, Photoshop and either i dont know what its called or it doesnt exist in that app) called Pixlr. I use 'PIXLR E' which is more editor, less Insta filters. The downside here is that it can only handle images with a max size of 3840x3840 so potentially one would need to cut up and image to edit it if its a good size texture.
    The very important tool i use is found under 'Adjustment' and is called 'Color Lookup'. Tool looks like this, and you need to add a scaler in the middle:

    upload_2020-8-26_12-6-41.png

    It allows you to grade the colors/greyscale of the image between colors. In this case we need the 3 normal maps colors; bright red, bright blue/purple, bright green. For the actual colors one can google normal maps and use example images to find the correct values. Test it out and hit Apply. Instead of a normal map looking texture we get something like this:

    upload_2020-8-26_11-56-33.png

    Not your average normal map is it? o_O:p

    Now, i dont remember if this is the right order of the colors in the gradient (i think it isnt to be honest) but you get the idea. I think the gradient should go green-bluepurpleish-red from left to right. Here its quite obvious that i havent given the source image transparency cause the sky is still there, which it shouldnt be.

    After this its all a matter of making a circular texture of a sky, can take some testing about with polar effects in different tools, i use Gimp if im not mistaken, placing the cloud texture at the bottom of a square image and then use that polar effect to get it circular. I dont get the dds texture export right from Gimp so i save it as a .png and instead use the latest Paint.net for that. I usually have a hard time getting along with how the game engine distorts/stretch the texture across the game sky so i think i use a tool called Pinch in Paint.net, to get the right perspective on a circular texture.

    Thats basicly the whole process that ive worked out, i as usual dont have much time but i try to cram some in there when i do. I never took any screenshots of the progress cause time was of the essence and after that i overwrote the best test file so yey, but ill get back at it at some point :)
     
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  10. Exchy

    Exchy
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    And im sitting here like, what, coloring with normal map? You mean it distinguishes different cloud layers/textures through a certain color palette painted in a Normal map?
     
  11. Brother_Dave

    Brother_Dave
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    If ive understood the cloud layers right. My guess is its like that in order for it to work with the sun position and color. Its not ideal when using static clouds but for the moving ones out the box its a good solution. I really think the mix of using static could layers and moving ones work good and gives a good enough sky for the little strain on cpu/gpu.
     
  12. Brother_Dave

    Brother_Dave
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    Just saw that Beamng 0.20.2 is live, awesome! Now, does this effect the mod or vice versa, you might ask yourselves.

    Going through the level changes makes it sound like it might. What can be a effect of it then?

    Lets say the devs found a hole in the terrain in some place and fixed it, or they added a building somewhere. Changes like that will probably not pop up if you keep this version of AL (AL5). Nothing lethal obviously but ill make sure i update the version as soon as i can, just in case.
     
  13. Exchy

    Exchy
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    Are you interested in tweaking or moving some presets onto couple of most popular mod maps? Like Pikes Peak, it shouldn't require any permission i guess
     
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  14. Brother_Dave

    Brother_Dave
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    I usually do that for my own pleasure lol :p
    The latest releases, using the 'new' way i do this, i havent used on many mod maps though. Mod maps usually require more work since its not one specific way of setting it up, such as the vanilla maps now use. I used to adapt my earlier work to the old Rally maps, the Pikes Peak maps, the aussie maps and a few other. I can take a look at how Pikes Peak is set up and see if its alot of work or very little, like for the vanilla maps (ive partly adapted my mod to require only small changes to the vanilla maps, thats why) :)

    I do still recon id need permission though.
     
  15. bgrunwald

    bgrunwald
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    Don't know if this is something you already know about... but after enabling the preset, my game looks like this.
    screenshot_2020-08-28_17-46-26.png screenshot_2020-08-28_17-46-41.png

    EDIT: It only does this when I put the color correction to al5, I assume I'm not supposed to do it there, but when I apply it regularly, it does absolutely nothing.
     
  16. Brother_Dave

    Brother_Dave
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    Never seen that before although i havent tested color correction on al5. Ill test that as soon as i get time to Beamng again! Ideally it shouldnt be effected by al5 but im not sure atm :)
     
  17. Brother_Dave

    Brother_Dave
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    New test vid out :)



    CAUTION, for some reason this part of the Industrial map kills my computer.. Also i think im reaching the limits of how my computer (low spec) can handle my mod. Youtube as always gives the vid more contrast for some codec reason. Has less contrast in the game.
     
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  18. Zero_The_Fox

    Zero_The_Fox
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    Love the mod! However I'm finding it unplayable if set to mid day, I don't know what type of monitor you got but with an IPS monitor the colors are so vibrant the grass is sometimes almost neon and so bright the details are washed out
     
  19. Brother_Dave

    Brother_Dave
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    Bruh, reported your post since you need to sort your manners. If you dont get it to work then ask for help. if you think it works and dont like it, dont use it and post decent critique. Hope that helps you in the future.

    EDIT: The only thing i can think of, if youve installed itcorrectly, latest version, INCLUDING the delete cache part (in your case id use the beamng launcher version) then you might need to delete your settings folder OR do a complete reinstall of the game. None of these files should produce what you get.
    --- Post updated ---
    Major screenshot dump and the latest release :D

    Install:

    1. ALTERNATIVE 1 - Open the Beamng launcher, hit Support Tools, Clear your cache. Dont start Beamng.
    ALTERNATIVE 2 (i do this) - Go to your Documents/Beamng.drive-folder and delete the latest cache-folder, at the moment its called "cache.0.20.2.0". That way you wont loose as much stuff as compared to the Clear Cache-option.

    2. Unzip the folders and the postfxpreset-file from the AL6.zip into your Documents/Beamng.drive-folder so that you get the folders called Art, Core, Levels, Shaders and the AL5.postfxpreset-file into your Documents/Beamng.drive-folder

    3. Open Beamng, click Options from the main menu. Make sure you have advanced menus activated to see the POST FX button.

    4. Scroll down so that you see the POSTFX button. Click it. Click 'Load Preset...' and look up the file that was in the AL5.zip. should look something like this:
    'C:\Users\YourUserName\Documents\BeamNG.drive\AL5.postfxpreset' , that way you also know youve extracted the folders and file correctly.
    * Make sure you activated light rays, its check box is above the POST FX button.

    Done!

    Changelog from AL5 to AL6:

    Increased brightness settings which effects specualr maps and 3d depth of normals maps. Will reduce fps.

    Changed light color throughout TOD so that its less bright midday compared to AL5

    Reduced ambient color strength throughout and given it a slight yellow/orange tone when the sun is yellowish, giving a nice atmosphere light and IMO kinda raytrace lookalike

    Custom light flare texture and settings

    Slight changes to SSAO, to be less distinct in some places, gives a more harmonic feel

    Probably some more stuff but dont remember them now.



    Still constains my fog mod, which if you use fog itll grow stronger in the morning and evening
    Also still contains my Tonemapping mod and some PostFx mod
     

    Attached Files:

    #59 Brother_Dave, Oct 3, 2020
    Last edited: Oct 4, 2020
  20. Meccanizer

    Meccanizer
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    Changelog for AL6?
     
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