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Enhanced sky mod Version2.0


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#1 Happyhaddock

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Posted 04 November 2014 - 17:07

I'd previously posted here about a mod I'd been tinkering with to re-paint the skydome file to get a bit more interest and drama into the sky around twilight, sunrise and sunset. I don't know how well received it's been and if lots of folk are actually using it, but plenty of people have certainly downloaded it to try.

Anyway if I thought that creating a new texture file for the skydome made a big difference I hadn't reckoned on what re-painting the texture file used to created the intensity and colour of the light in game at different times of day would do… Oh so much more! The two have to go hand in hand to look believable.

As before because of the infinite combinations of time of day, bearing and altitude possible on each map I can't test every possibility to be 100% sure that there are no glaring problems with the way different bits of these files are combined at any instance, but I've given the previous skydome mod a bit of spit and polish to tweak a few little issues I was aware of and combined it with a whole new light texture file and I'm ready to let this new mod loose on those that want to try it out.

Attached File  mod contrast.jpg   106.18KB   1009 downloads

Attached File  sky montage 2.jpg   136.57KB   1010 downloads

So if the following link is working it should be a download to the JSGME ready mod and you will need to remove/deactivate the previous skydome mod of mine before trying this new one.

http://www.mediafire...ppyhaddock).zip" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;">http://www.mediafire.../download/myuj0 … ock%29.zip

Any thoughts or feedback let me know, and if describing problems ideally could you paste screenshots noting time of day, map and approx. location and altitude such that I might attempt to recreate these problems myself to identify the cause.

Cheers

HH
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#2 NewGuy_

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Posted 04 November 2014 - 18:54

Will this mod work only in mods on or mods off, as well? I would love to use this in multiplayer. Thank you for making the mod. :)

:S!: MJ
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#3 Happyhaddock

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Posted 04 November 2014 - 20:05

As it is it needs mods on, you could try just copying the two amended files straight from the mods folder into the appropriate sub directory rather than using it as JSGME mod, that might get around things but honestly I wouldn't actually know how to set this up to work in mods off mode.

HH
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#4 Panthercules

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Posted 05 November 2014 - 00:26

As it is it needs mods on, you could try just copying the two amended files straight from the mods folder into the appropriate sub directory rather than using it as JSGME mod, that might get around things but honestly I wouldn't actually know how to set this up to work in mods off mode.

HH


Nope - that's not how it works. Using JSGME or not doesn't have anything to do with whether something will work with "mods off" or only with "mods on". JSGME simply makes the process of copying the files into the right locations simpler and easier to reverse if/when you want to deactivate them.

For most things, unless the devs have specifically approved them and tweaked the game code to make them work in "mods off" mode, they will only work with "mods on", and using (or not using) JSGME doesn't affect that. For example, I use JSGME to install (and uninstall) the skin files from the official/approved skin packs because I do a lot of testing and it makes it easier to group these things up into JSGME-ready packs. Because the devs have approved those skin files for "mods off" use, they work with "mods off" whether or not JSGME is used to copy them into the game folders.
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#5 yeikov

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Posted 05 November 2014 - 10:11

I tried your previous version and, although there were some banding issues in some circumstances, I liked the new colouring. So I'm looking forward to trying this update when I get home, pictures look very good.
Thank you very much!
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#6 Happyhaddock

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Posted 05 November 2014 - 12:11

Hopefully there should be less banding problems with this new version though I can't promise perfection.

The colour you see in any one pixel of the sky is rarely the result of just one hue taken from one pixel in the texture file but is created by blending different proportions of hues sampled from different sections of the texture files with the balance affected by altitude, bearing and time of day. As such two adjacent sections of the sky may be created by subtly different mixes of hues sampled from slightly different parts of the texture file leading to big differences in final appearance and hence the bands or stripes.

The stock sky plays it very safe with largely similar hues across much of the texture file such that a broader range of samples will still lead to essentially the same end result giving less banding problems but less variation overall.

So, whilst I can definitely claim to have made changes to eliminate banding problems I was aware of there's always a small risk that it may create new problems in previously unproblematic areas, times of day or altitudes.


HH
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#7 B24_LIBERATOR

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Posted 05 November 2014 - 14:16

I really like your sky, but I think the colors are a tad too bright, normally I'd use sweetfx to fix hat but… you know…

Anyhow, would you mind making a version that's desaturated by around 10-15% ?
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#8 Happyhaddock

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Posted 05 November 2014 - 16:34

Liberator,

I personally like a bold, punchy "painterly" use of vibrant colour (a small part of my living I make through painting copies of JMW Turners paintings) which is why I've pushed things as far as I have.

If you want a less saturated version you could just open the amended skydome.bmp file in the graphics package of your choice, and de-saturate the whole thing. That would of course affect the saturation of the ordinary blue sky colours I took from the standard ROF sky so in effect to "partially undo" only certain parts you'd have to selectively change the saturation across different areas of the file or go back to re-paint a new one from scratch which is no small undertaking. (well actually that part is quite easy it's the hours and hours of little tweaks to reduce banding, and to check, check and re-check that you're not creating new problems elsewhere through making each little correction.)

If loads of folk start requesting something with just a little less saturation I could put in the effort to re-work this but colour preference is a very subjective thing so you'll never please everyone all of the time and the unmodified stock sky is good for those that like milder and more subtle colour changes.

Cheers

HH
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#9 B24_LIBERATOR

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Posted 10 November 2014 - 14:12

I had a bit of spare time this morning so I decided to play around with it before I left. I ended up desaturating it about 10% (although I may desaturate the light a little bit more) but it turned out looking really nice! Thanks for the tip :S!:

Image

Image

Image

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#10 Happyhaddock

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Posted 11 November 2014 - 07:34

Liberator,

pleased you were able to achieve what you wanted, myself I'm digging heavily into writing yet another more extensive mod for the whole sky and many more of the factors that affects its make up, (to date it's over a half a dozen new texture files and close to a dozen other scripts and files regulating the way things are used)

At the moment I'm playing around with the optical properties of the clouds to see what a difference I can make to those… primarily to get better colouring at sunsets but it's also having a decent impact on the look of the clouds during the day.

Attached File  sky9.jpg   149.08KB   679 downloads

Cheers HH
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#11 SYN_Bandy

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Posted 11 November 2014 - 11:06

Thanks, will give it a try on MP today and let you know. Surprised nobody else has report.

S!

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#12 Spag

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Posted 11 November 2014 - 11:57

Hello Happyhaddock,

I just flew a 0900hrs sortie and the new mod is fantastic, thankyou for taking the time.
I will be looking forward to each and every flight from now on to see the differences.
Also I will be looking forward to any new mods you make.

Cheers,
Spag. :)
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#13 B24_LIBERATOR

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Posted 11 November 2014 - 15:37

Liberator,

pleased you were able to achieve what you wanted, myself I'm digging heavily into writing yet another more extensive mod for the whole sky and many more of the factors that affects its make up, (to date it's over a half a dozen new texture files and close to a dozen other scripts and files regulating the way things are used)

At the moment I'm playing around with the optical properties of the clouds to see what a difference I can make to those… primarily to get better colouring at sunsets but it's also having a decent impact on the look of the clouds during the day.



Cheers HH

Wow! the shadowing on those clouds looks much better than before! :D

I haven't played with the sky any more just because I started working on some new skins yesterday, the main thing I personally wanted to change was the lighting around sunrise, the red seems to glow like a fluorescent pink light, the regular blues and yellows look fantastic though and I :S!: you for doing such an amazing job with this mod :D

Maybe you can get it implemented into mods off!
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#14 Happyhaddock

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Posted 11 November 2014 - 18:50

Well for what ever reason I do seem to have got quite hooked on reworking the sky. I'm a long way from completing all the changes and file re-writes I've now started but the more I play the more I find I can improve, so I thought I'd post just a couple of screenshots here from the latest effects/mods I've been testing today.

It seems the more I tweak and change the easier it becomes to tie every different aspect together to get decent looking end results that complement each other rather than fight each other..

Attached File  sky montage 3.jpg   78.9KB   345 downloads

Cheers HH
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#15 Panthercules

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Posted 11 November 2014 - 23:36

@ HH - I only had time for one test flight yesterday with this mod, and so far so good. Looking forward to taking it up for a few more spins later tonight.
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#16 hq_Reflected

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Posted 12 November 2014 - 07:44

Image

I'm terribly sorry for the offtopic, but which terrain mod is that on this picture? It looks amazing. (And so does the sky! )
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#17 SYN_Bandy

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Posted 12 November 2014 - 08:31

Ankor's terrain bump map at least.
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#18 B24_LIBERATOR

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Posted 12 November 2014 - 13:52

What Bandy said :S!:

Here's what my desaturated and slightly modified sunrise looks like.

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#19 EmerlistDavjack

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Posted 18 November 2014 - 05:44

I didn't take a screenshot, but earlier I had a dawn escort mission with v2 of your mod have green cirrus clouds. Rest of it looked beautiful, though.
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#20 Happyhaddock

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Posted 18 November 2014 - 07:19

…difficult to diagnose or correct without more details but potentially an unhappy mix of a hint of yellow light in the cirrus clouds overlaid with blue/grey fog.

I will however make a mental note of the issue and see what I can do about it.

Cheers

HH
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#21 tvrtko

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Posted 21 November 2014 - 07:07

What Bandy said :S!:
Here's what my desaturated and slightly modified sunrise looks like.
How about sharing your modified file Lib? Via PM say…
I'm also into less-saturated/more-real-life colours satte of mind.

Needless to say, big kudos to Happyhaddock for original idea. :)
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#22 Happyhaddock

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Posted 21 November 2014 - 14:55

The v3 mod I'm still paying with uses less saturation in the skydome as I've been able to get more interest into sky through all the other things I'm changing rather than having to force the one texture file to over compensate for deficiencies elsewhere.

Quite when v3 will be ready for release I can't say as real life has got a bit hectic (as a professional artist the run up the Christmas can be busy with exhibitions and living on the road - Birmingham this weekend London next weekend etc etc.)

However feel free to share further modified versions of this mod.

HH
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#23 B24_LIBERATOR

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Posted 22 November 2014 - 00:17

What Bandy said :S!:
Here's what my desaturated and slightly modified sunrise looks like.
How about sharing your modified file Lib? Via PM say…
I'm also into less-saturated/more-real-life colours satte of mind.

Needless to say, big kudos to Happyhaddock for original idea. :)

Sure, Here's what I have so far.

https://www.mediafir...o0152xbuwff4hzd" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;">https://www.mediafir...o0152xbuwff4hzd

It's a little more toned down and I altered a few of the twilight colors to be more on the cooler toned side instead of neon pink (no offense to HH I know you like the bright colors better). I'm thinking of altering the light file a bit more to appear more blueish before the sun comes up.
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#24 SYN_Bandy

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Posted 22 November 2014 - 10:58

Excellent work the both of you. Collaboration is where it's at. May we call this version 3 for clarity sake?

:S!:
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#25 B24_LIBERATOR

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Posted 22 November 2014 - 16:44

We haven't really been collaborating, I just kind-of stole the idea from him :lol:

I wouldn't mind working with him if he needed any help though :S!:
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#26 EmerlistDavjack

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Posted 23 November 2014 - 07:12

I like your desaturation, Liberator. It will probably cut down on wonky colors.

As for what is more realistic: well, it should have to do with the air conditions, but I've seen sunrises/sunsets brighter than anything in Haddock's mod.
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#27 B24_LIBERATOR

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Posted 24 November 2014 - 05:56

What if Steven Spielberg combined Warhorse with E.T.?

Image


I played with the morning colors a little bit, but oddly enough the screenshots take away from the color for some reason, still looks cool though…

Image

P.S. Not trying to take away from what you're doing at all HH, I'm a bit of an artsy guy myself and you got my interested in tinkering with this :lol:

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#28 Spag

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Posted 24 November 2014 - 07:00

Hello B24_LIBERATOR,

Those colours look really cool, great that is, I have installed your 'mod', but as yet haven't had a chance to check it out.
Many thanks.
I am sure that HH is not worried about you doing the same sort of mod.

Cheers,
Spag. :)
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#29 Happyhaddock

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Posted 26 November 2014 - 08:20

Liberator,

No worries about further modding my mod.

To be honest having spent far too much time playing around with my third version of this mod I briefly went back to v2 just to check what sort of extra difference it is making and check it's actually worth the effort; the simple answer is lots; it really shows how much more room for improvement there was in v2. There's so much more to the environment than just the skydome and light texture files and even those I've worked a lot more into since v.2.

I'm still fighting to find a satisfactory solution to numerous issues with the wet weather states but will release a third version once I'm happy with all the changes.

Attached File  rain clouds.jpg   34.72KB   176 downloads
"just one screenshot from last nights experiments with new rain clouds"

I'm currently at about 60 new files, can see a few more things I've not yet attempted to improve and may then need to cut things back a bit just to keep it manageable and trim out new things I've created and since surpassed with even better alternatives. My biggest issues are with the inconsistent ways different parts of what is becoming a large compilation mod are implemented through the Quick Mission editor and the full Mission editor, and what it's possible to influence in terms of default weather states and custom weather states. I suspect by the time I do release a v3 of this mod no two people will experience it in exactly the same way.


Cheers HH
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#30 SYN_Bandy

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Posted 26 November 2014 - 11:29

The only 'issue' I've seen with these mods ('testing' in QMB) is that early morning colours are not appearing on clouds, so the juxtaposition of heavy gray clouds and bright background sky colour just is eye-jarring to extreme.

Was this just an unlucky combination? Or have you noticed this as well?

Otherwise it looks very good, thank you.
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#31 Happyhaddock

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Posted 26 November 2014 - 11:47

The only 'issue' I've seen with these mods ('testing' in QMB) is that early morning colours are not appearing on clouds, so the juxtaposition of heavy gray clouds and bright background sky colour just is eye-jarring to extreme.

Was this just an unlucky combination? Or have you noticed this as well?

The big issue here is that the colours of the sky are created by a blend of hues sampled from across different parts of the skydome texture file that vary with time of day altitude and bearing enabling the colour of the sky to be reasonably well matched to the observed position of the sun (although in game the two are not directly connected so you can have a bright orange sky at mid day if you want or are careless with how you position sectors of the skydome file).

I suspect from its layout that the light texture file in the digital nature engine was originally set up to work in a similar way (it might be that BOS uses this feature?) but was subsequently disabled in ROF as it can be reduced to a one dimensional file without effect.

Sadly this means you have to optimise the light file for a nominal time representing sunrise/sunset but can't allow for the fact that there can be more than an hour difference between observed sunrise at altitude and from ground level… hence there are many occasions that the sun crossing the horizon and the skydome file can be matched to give orange hues in the sky at observed sunrise but the light file colouring the clouds either lags behind or runs ahead as it can't allow for the fact that the time of sunrise is variable depending upon where it is observed from.

However there are at least four factors I've found that affect the colour of the clouds at any one moment (not just the light file) and with v3.0 of my mod I've been tinkering with all of these as well as refining the match between the light file and the skydome file so whilst I can't eliminate such problems I can promise they won't be quite as bad with the next version.

Cheers

HH
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#32 Spag

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Posted 28 November 2014 - 01:03

On Ya H Haddock,
Looking forward to seeing your next creation.
Cheers,
Spag. :)
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#33 EmerlistDavjack

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Posted 28 November 2014 - 03:39

Beautiful work, both of you. I can't wait for v3, Happy.

These are Sunrise over Dover with Liberators v2 Tweaks.

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#34 EmerlistDavjack

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Posted 28 November 2014 - 15:36

One more! The morning mist is the valleys is part of why I love this game so much.

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#35 B24_LIBERATOR

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Posted 28 November 2014 - 16:24

Here's the newer version since others seem to be fairly interested in the slightly dimmer colors, mostly tweaked the light file and the twilight colors.

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#36 tvrtko

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Posted 28 November 2014 - 21:30

Is it just me or the night isn't the night anymore ?
It's just not dark as it should be.
Tested in QMB and on two maps.
On summer and winter terrain and in time in which it should be quite dark (3-4 am).
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#37 EmerlistDavjack

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Posted 29 November 2014 - 00:54

I tried night, Full Moon (of course), looked about right to me.

Your newer version is subtly better, Liberator. Good work!

If you want to see some of the better effect, fly south from Dover at 5:00-5:30 (summer) and watch to the west as the pink tendrils of dawn creep around from the edges.
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