Author Topic: How to get the most graphics-wise out of FSO  (Read 79615 times)

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Offline colecampbell666

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How to get the most graphics-wise out of FSO
These instructions are rather old. Read at your own risk. If someone wants to update them (and has the time, and has the access...) please do so.
-- Jeff Vader











I'm going to make this in order to post how to make your FSO look as pretty as possible. I'm also looking for your tips/tricks/pretty stuff.

Command Lines

These are command lines that you input into the launcher. They can enable pretty maps (textures), change the lighting, and other cool stuff.

IF YOU WANT TO GET GOOD GRAPHICS WITHOUT MUCH WORK, SIMPLY DOWNLOAD THE 3.6.10 MEDIAVPS, AND ENABLE ALL OF THE LAUNCHER OPTIONS LISTED HERE.


Launcher

Under the "Features" tab is where you find these:
Under "Graphics":
  • Specular
  • Glowmaps
  • Environment Maps
  • Mipmapping
  • Normal Maps
  • Lighting to Missiles

Everything under "HUD"

Under "Gameplay":

  • Use Models For Ship Selection
  • Enable 3D Warp
  • Enable Flash Upon Warp

Enter the following lines in the "Custom flags" box:

  • -ambient_factor 0
  • -no_emissive_light
  • -spec_exp 11
  • -spec_point .6
  • -spec_static .8
  • -spec_tube .4
  • -ogl_spec 80

Note that these flags can be adjusted by changing the numbers, what looks cool to one person may not look good to another, and you may have to adjust them to suit your monitor. THE HYPHENS ARE PART OF THE FLAGS!

Files

MediaVPs 3.6.10
The latest and greatest graphical updates for FSO. Available in two versions, a single-file version (although you also need mv_music.vp) and a multi-file version. The MediaVPs include graphical and musical enhancements to the original FreeSpace, and they require FSO 3.6.10 Final or newer to work well with little hassle. Simply follow the instructions in the thread here. If your computer can't handle the Advanced Effects, download the separate packs of the normal quality effects.

These are downloadable addons that aren't included in the MediaVPs (3.6.10)

Any .POF files go into /mediavps/models
Any .TGA, .DDS, .PCX, .ANI files go into /mediavps/maps
any .TBM, .TBL files go into /mediavps/tables. You should not use .TBL files, as they will not generally include table entries for other custom ships you may have added. Simply open the table in Notepad, copy the info for the ship you want into another blank Notepad, and save it as "<ship name>-shp.tbm". Then put it in /mediavps/tables.

Bobboau's High Resolution Beam Textures
These textures are included in the MediaVPs 3.6.10, but they are in MV_Advanced.vp. If you want to use these textures but your computer can't run MV_Advanced.vp, use these.

As for FSO builds, 3.6.10 Final is recommended.

Other

I will add to this list.

I'm looking for links to:
  • Anything else that looks cool. This can be command lines, models, mods etc.
  • Comments/notifications. e.g.: The HTL Apollo is already in the 3.6.10 MVPs! (if it is)
« Last Edit: September 27, 2010, 12:01:59 pm by Jeff Vader »
Gettin' back to dodgin' lasers.

 

Offline blowfish

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Re: How to get the most graphics-wise out of FSO
Bobboau's Beams.  And don't you mean high resolution, not high poly?  Plus, aren't those in the 3.6.10 beta Advanced Effects VP anyway (I know some people will want to use them w/o all the other AdvEffects stuff though)?

 

Offline Mars

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Re: How to get the most graphics-wise out of FSO
The media vp betas don't seem to have a lot of the hi-poly models, I run multimod with the old and beta media vps

 

Offline Vasudan Admiral

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Re: How to get the most graphics-wise out of FSO
Um, the betas have more models than the 3.6.9s. In fact if there are some missing then that's a problem we need more info on to fix. Are there any that somehow fell out?
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Offline Jeff Vader

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Re: How to get the most graphics-wise out of FSO
There are some additional command line options. What I'm listing here affect lighting settings. Generally darker is cooler. These must be typed to the Custom flags field. Below is a list of some recommended entries. In the entries where there are numbers involved, the numbers without brackets are the default ones, and the numbers with brackets are the values that I use and recommend for starters:

-ambient_factor 120 (0)
-no_emissive_light
-spec_exp 16 (11)
-spec_point 1.0 (0.6)
-spec_static 1.0 (0.8)
-spec_tube 1.0 (0.4)
-ogl_spec 80 (80)
01:06 < T-Rog > welp
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01:07 < achillion > penis infection?
01:08 < T-Rog > Chlamydia
01:08 < achillion > O.o
01:09 < achillion > well
01:09 < achillion > I guess that happens
01:09 < T-Rog > at least it's curable
01:09 < achillion > yeah
01:10 < T-Rog > I take it you weren't actually expecting it to be a penis infection
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Offline Mars

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Re: How to get the most graphics-wise out of FSO
Redownloaded mv_assets, models there now, thx

 

Offline Snail

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Re: How to get the most graphics-wise out of FSO
Normal maps don't work on ATI Catalyst graphics cards, do they?

 

Offline Herra Tohtori

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Re: How to get the most graphics-wise out of FSO
Normal maps don't work on ATI Catalyst graphics cards, do they?

Why wouldn't they work? :nervous:

If the card supports OpenGL and shader model 3 (IIRC), FS2_Open shaders should work.

Also, Cataclysm is just ATi's driver control panel. It has sucked since... ever. NVidia's control panel has been much much better for a long time, but recently they moved to "vista-optimized" control panel that sucks ass, but not as much as Catalyst. The old NVidia control panel was good and I don't know why they ever felt the need to dumb it down since the new CP doesn't add anything to it...
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Offline Snail

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Re: How to get the most graphics-wise out of FSO
Ehh, so how would I go around making them work?

 

Offline colecampbell666

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Re: How to get the most graphics-wise out of FSO
You have to have the maps, a Shader Module 3 GPU, a 3.6.10 build, and the flag enabled in the launcher.

To find if your card is SM3, look at GPU-Z. (Google it)
Gettin' back to dodgin' lasers.

 

Offline Herra Tohtori

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Re: How to get the most graphics-wise out of FSO
You have to have the maps, a Shader Module 3 GPU, a 3.6.10 build, and the flag enabled in the launcher.

To find if your card is SM3, look at GPU-Z. (Google it)

Actually you'll need an eXperimental Taylor build, or XT build for short, because those are thus far the only ones with shader system... as far as I know. Xt0314 works pretty well.

Also, from build Xt1107 onward, you will need a shader VP because the shader set is no longer compiled into the build as resources, but instead managed like any other form of media. Without the shaders, the shaders won't work and the engine will use fixed render pipeline only.
There are three things that last forever: Abort, Retry, Fail - and the greatest of these is Fail.

 

Offline Zacam

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Re: How to get the most graphics-wise out of FSO
I would recommend sdr1107, sdr1111 or sdr1112. I don't fully know what changed post 1112, but afterwards all the nameplates have angle transparency issues. (Interestingly enough, no ship I've seen yet shows the same issue with insignia. Confusing, neh? Probably because the insignia overlay differently and don't have -shine, -glow or -normal maps to contend with.)

Of course, even with those, the Orion shine map renders the nameplate lettering almost completely invisible, even if there is no alpha channel present in either, but at least you don't see a weird black rectangle around the letters that fades in and out on your viewing angle.
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Offline Vip

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Re: How to get the most graphics-wise out of FSO
Hmmm, I've installed the 3.6.10 mediavps like yesterday. An Orion to Taylor for his build and to all the people who worked on the new vps! No zebra or chess effects even with the current nVidia drivers for 8800GT). Still, the capships firing beams are lacking the animation for the "power up" phase. There is big fat nothing instead of those scary big balls of energy at the tips of the Sathanas firing its uberbeamz. I believe I've seen this mentioned somewhere here, but finding it is like searching for a Pharo without a radar in the nebula. Does anybody know if this is a glitch in my FSO or if it's something wrong with the beta vps ?
Lieutenant Commander Richard "Viper" Pred

 

Offline Herra Tohtori

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Re: How to get the most graphics-wise out of FSO
Hmmm, I've installed the 3.6.10 BETA mediavps like yesterday. An Orion to Taylor for his build and to all the people who worked on the new vps! No zebra or chess effects even with the current nVidia drivers for 8800GT). Still, the capships firing beams are lacking the animation for the "power up" phase. There is big fat nothing instead of those scary big balls of energy at the tips of the Sathanas firing its uberbeamz. I believe I've seen this mentioned somewhere here, but finding it is like searching for a Pharo without a radar in the nebula. Does anybody know if this is a glitch in my FSO or if it's something wrong with the beta vps ?

Fixed - and pointed out the reason why you're having problems.

Almost every problem in MediaVP 3.6.10 public beta release is because they are, you know, in beta phase. They aren't finished so there's bound to be some issues - like indeed with some beams lacking the beamglows or having incredibly big tiling factor resulting in the texture being "compressed" along the length of the beam way too many times, asteroids being horrible resource hogs, and other miscellaneous errata.

 :)
There are three things that last forever: Abort, Retry, Fail - and the greatest of these is Fail.

 

Offline Vip

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Re: How to get the most graphics-wise out of FSO
Typical ^^ I was asking more out of curiosity, not like I have any other option than to use those betas (the official mvps don't work too well with nVidia drivers, and I am not desperate enough to downgrade those :P). Do we have any idea when the 3.6.10 is becoming official (the answer is of course 'when it's done', but I just had to ask it).

Anyway, great topic, somebody should stick it out. After using the command line options that Lobo suggested - HOLY FRAK THAT SATHANAS IS HUGE !!! :D Now it's really a scary sight in 'Bearbeating'... Gotta try 'Into the Lion's Den', that's gonna be one hell of a view at the beginning :)
Lieutenant Commander Richard "Viper" Pred

 

Offline rbxplayer

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Re: How to get the most graphics-wise out of FSO
Where should I put the DDS files? eg. fighter05-01a.dds and fighter05-01a-shine.dds

BTW. Can the custom flags be standard in the Installer?

I am so angry ;) These settings are much better. If I only knew them before argh!!! I nearly finished playing all FS campaigns.., :D
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Offline colecampbell666

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Re: How to get the most graphics-wise out of FSO
DDS files are textures, they go in maps.

And I've asked Turey about the whole preconfigured installer thing, and he hasn't bitten.

Anyone know where the topic about Axem's Wormhole went to?
« Last Edit: April 14, 2008, 05:12:29 pm by colecampbell666 »
Gettin' back to dodgin' lasers.

 

Offline Herra Tohtori

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Re: How to get the most graphics-wise out of FSO
Where should I put the DDS files? eg. fighter05-01a.dds and fighter05-01a-shine.dds

What were you doing out here Roemig? ;7

You shouldn't need to download individual ship textures... unless you are knowingly trying to tweak some ship to use a different texture than in provided VP's... erm... nevermind.

Yeah, they go in maps. More fundamental explanation proceeds...

FS2_Open reads data from an abstract pool of files that encompasses the root ../data directory tree, all VP's in the root operating directory, and additionally the ../<modfolder>/data/ and VP's in all activated mod folders, as specified with the -mod <modfolder1>,<modfolder2>,...,<modfolderN> command line option.

These are all smushed together into a huge pool of data to be read. Textures are read from data/maps subdirectory, so that's where ship textures (and also some effect files that are essentially textures for models, such as the 3D-warp and 3D shockwave effects) belong. If there are multiple files with same filename in activated mod folders, the game simply uses the one that is read first. So mod folders placed first on the command line will take precedence over the ones after them, if there are corresponding file names on them.

What you most likely want to do is make a mod folder like "<INSERT SHIP HERE>-TEXTURES" with ../modfolder/data/maps subdirectory, place the textures there, and add that mod folder into your -mod command line... preferably first on the line so there aren't any problems with other mods you may be using.

Alternatively, you may create ../mediavps/data/maps folder and put the files there, which will replace the corresponding files in the VP's. I prefer multimod functionality, though - keeps troubleshooting easier in the end. Or if it's some other mod you're trying to... modify, place them there. The idea is the same.
There are three things that last forever: Abort, Retry, Fail - and the greatest of these is Fail.

 

Offline rbxplayer

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Re: How to get the most graphics-wise out of FSO
Thanks for the explanation guys.

I wanted to update the Valkyrie and the apollo fighters obtained from Freespace mods. Unfortunately, not all downloads have a read me file which states where to input the stuff.
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Offline colecampbell666

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Re: How to get the most graphics-wise out of FSO
That's mainly why I created this topic, to help with making FSO pretty for newbs. (and n00bs too, if they want to mend their ways and listen)
Gettin' back to dodgin' lasers.