Modding, Mission Design, and Coding > The Modding Workshop

Release: Shader Tests 0.2.0

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It's really hard for me to pick between things like this, and comparing simlar but not identical scenes makes it harder. So today I spent something like tn hours on and off whittling at the code until I made my FSO spit out a set of screenshots, one for each mapper, whenever I hit the printscreen. I'll probably take more, but here's a selection of my output so far.
First person of spray and pray Achilles lighting up a Deimos' hull
Subspace portals and beams
Orange Ravana in the dark
Hecate and Deimos in decent light
Hecate shadowy underbelly over neptune.
Background destroyers, beams, and 'splosions, midground achiles wing.
Foreground achilles, background orange ravana lit by beamfire
Moloch gonna **** you up.

Each link is to an imgur gallery of seven variations on each scene.

...Now if I could just pick a consistent favorite across them...

Ah these are very helpful, awesome work!

Oh yeah, if anyone code inclined wants to mess with that capability, the code is at

Lest this look like a dead end for passers by, a little status roundup.

As I dug deeper and deeper into this and learned more about PBR, tonemappers, and how FSO handles them both, I became increasingly convinced that a mods using custom shaders or a switch to the engines' defaults would both be inadequate, and that if we're going to finally put the matter of FSO tonemapping to bed we have to go a lot harder.

Where this effort has gone, then, is to a plan to introduce a new table to FSO that allows mods to take control of their choice of tonemapper and various currently fixed settings. My hope is for this to take over entirely for the lighting flags that are currently standard, and overcome some of their limitations as well. There are a lot of things that look not quite right (or at least, not always what you want) in the current rendering pipeline that I think can probably be cleaned up in the course of adding everything to this that needs to be in that table.

Right now that project is on the shelf, but it's at the front of the shelf and as soon as WM R2 is out it's moving up the list.

Added new shader, designed to reduce specular glinting/shimmering on distant ships. See original post for details and video


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