written by sydney666
25 January 2013 11:43:52
Realistic Lighting Overhaul FAQ
Update : 30/1/2013
Q. Makarth is too dark. (omg this is a statement.)
A. No Markarth is not too dark. This is a realism mod and Markarth has approximately 3 windows in over 30 cells. Any interior lit with only candles and fireplaces will not only be really dusty and smokey, but be very very dark. Anyhow, due to popular demand, we have increased brightness in Markarth for 4.0.7. I will not increase it's brightness levels any further than this. It's underground, there's no sunlight and this is a realism mod.
Q. This mod makes me crash at the menu, it sucks! (oh no another statement!)
A. Modding takes basic modding skills. You need to know what you are doing, what you are installing and how master files work.
If you are crashing with this mod, it means you are installing one of our files that requires a master file - usually being one of the DLC. So this begs the question - why are you installing a patch for a DLC when you do not own a DLC?
This is also not helped by the fact that our installer places the dawnguard weathers directly into your folder if you select "weathers" but this will be fixed soon.
Q. Why did you re-upload the mod and start over? Your mod has over 7000 endorsements!
A. The lead dev of the mod has changed and the mod itself has evolved so much it deserved a fresh start, just like the two previous generations of the mod. The series of this mod has over 9000 endorsements!
Q. So far you have only released Major City Interiors and Illuminated Spells. What about the rest? What happened to customization and Weathers? What about Lore Lighting?
A. This is one of the biggest lighting overhauls for Skyrim. It literally completely revamps the games lighting system and is composed of over a dozen mods all created in house. These additions take time, testing and are not easy to implement.
As these changes take time, we are making the mod in parts (modules) and as each part is completed and tested it is released. Some components may be discontinued in order for us to focus on some sections more, while leaving other things to different mods that do things already at a brilliant level.
Q. So when will you release weathers.
A. We will leave our legacy weathers up for download, but we have discontinued work on 4.0 weathers because we feel there are great mods out there that cover weathers already, such as Climates of Tamriel.
Q. Is this mod compatible with other lighting and weather mods?
A. This mod edits a lot of things from lighting, imagespaces, light objects, light templates, weathers and references. It is however very modular and thus should be compatible with ALL weather mods. This is a very modular project so people can pick whatever they like from our work.
Q .Why are some light radius very short?
A .This is because of engine limitations. To avoid flickering, light radius of some lights need to be set smaller than they might be in real life. A work around would be to edit meshes, separating them to make more connecting pieces. This would trick the engine in allowing more lights to be used on one surface at a time. If you know how to edit meshes, please contact me.
Q. Torches/Lights are too dim/too bright.
A. This is all a matter of taste and opinion. Hopefully this will be customizable with the new patcher if Plutoman decides to come back to modding.
Q. There is some flickering, why?
A. Some flickering is difficult or impossible to fix, but if you can report back as to where you noticed it, we can try to fix it.
Q. I notice light flickering only when using ENB, but its different from lights going on or off.
A. I could be wrong, but this is probably because the ENB you are using is changing radius or brightness of lights on a global level. The flickering you are seeing is probably only minor texture glare flickers and I cannot fix those.
Q. Not all lights cast shadows, why?
A. There is an engine limit to 4 shadow casting lights per cell and I tried to keep it under this limit to avoid using scripts or cause vast FPS loss. I could have made a version that is heavy on scripting, but this could have caused drastic performance degradation or save game bloating if the scripts were to go bad. I really don't want to cause crashes for the sake of a few more shadows.
Q. I see some lines through shadows, why?
A. Another annoyance of the game engine that is present on vanilla as well. This is because the shadow is not a single texture, but two hemispheres placed closely together, but not close enough and they have a gap. Its ugly and there is nothing we can do but try and hide it. Sometimes I can miss one, and it may need to be fixed.
Q. Some shadows look hideous, what is going on?!?
A. The normal shadows in the game look hideous. Sometimes no matter what we do in the Creation Kit, we can't eliminated jagged shadows or "fake striping" cause by blocky shadows. Sometimes we have to rotate shadows to make them look better, but usually its a waste of time.
Q. Is this mod compatible with ENB, if so which one?
A. YESSS!!!! This mod changes the game's shader package so any post processing will work just fine. However some people say RLO is not ENB friendly as it makes lights look too saturated. Those people are just confused and don't realise that ENB's are configurable.
Q. I see lots of floating candles and missing items! What happened?
A. This mod is not compatible with mods that edit vanilla cells. Mods that edit statics in anyway (such as tables) will cause that said static to move. My mod will depend on those statics to be in the same place as vanilla Skyrim. My edited lights will seem like they are floating when that static is missing or moved.
Q. Is this compatible with Climates of Tamriel?
A. Yes, this mod is highly modular, so its compatible with most weather mods as long as they do not edit city or dungeon lighting or if they do - do so with modular esp's.
Q. Does this mod hurt my FPS?
A. There should be minimal performance impact with this mod as it stays within the boundaries of the original game. In fact it removes bloom which could increase performance and also removes a lot of stacked ambient lights that were present in Vanilla, causing fps loss on older systems. Some instances there might be a performance dip, mainly if we have added a few shadow casting lights in close proximity.
Q. Does this mod use lighting scripts?
A. At this stage it does not use lighting scripts, everything you see is done within the limits of the game engine. I highly doubt we will ever use scripts with RLO.
Q. I spotted some shadow striping, now what?
A. Please report the location and the area it happened and we will fix it. Sometimes general ugly shadows and bad ini settings will make this worse - and is not shadow striping.
Q. I noticed some shadows are detached from the object, why is this happening?
A. When you rise the shadow bias settings, you remove striping and introduce detached shadows! It is virtually impossible to find a balance between the two and that comes down to a faulty and outdated engine. Sometimes we can get away with a low bias setting, sometimes we can't. As the mod matures, we will be able to balance this better. ENB can also resolve this and shadow striping. At this stage we use a shadow bias setting between 10 to 31. In some cases it may be 50, which detaches shadows, but we are in the process of fixing those up. (points at lazy team members! :P)
Q. I can see light seep through walls, book shelves, wardrobes and other object why?
A. This is because of the light radius sometimes breaks right through any objects in it's path. We have worked with a number of settings to diminish this but in some cases it is difficult to avoid and get the visual effect we are trying.
Q. Why are all the ambient lights white and not blue like before?
A. Blue lights during the day are not realistic, unless of course that is the colour of the light. They may look beautiful in game and in screenshots, but we are after realism.
Q. Why are inns and player homes so much brighter than all other "non dungeon" interiors?
A. We read a lot of requests from players who wanted a brighter and more welcoming feel for their player homes and inns. So we did our best to ensure inns were always well lit and had a warm feeling to them. This feature will be discontinued in 4.0.7 and all inns and player homes will go back to regular imagespaces.
Q. Some windows have god rays but others don't why is that?
A. Sometimes I don't add god rays to windows due to aesthetic or performance reasons. I would say about 95% of windows have god rays in edited cells, with varying intensity.
Q. Is this mod lore friendly?
A. Yes, I have tried to stay true to the game design and artwork. In some instances such as lore lighting, I have added extra objects to cells like candles, notes, offerings and statues because it adds to the lore and immersion of the game. There may be minor cell changes, but nothing drastic such as adding new meshes or totally changing the feel of the game.
Q. Why is it the light's don't match the colour of the window tinting?
A. This is for a few reasons. Mainly because people may mod their window colours and thus I cannot assume what colour they will be and secondly there is no way that I know of to make windows the same colour as the light. Usually the colours go from the external weatherspace and the colour of the sunlight applied.
Q. Why have you disabled so many candles throughout the game? I love candles.
A. Less is more my friend. Having overhead lights and candles in every home inevitably makes the interior look like a ball of glowing flame light and drowns out shadows from ambient lights like windows. If you look at most cells, I find a balance between flame lit lights and ambient lights and I do this by removing some candles. This also helps with flickering light bugs in the engine. In future versions of RLO, we will be adding more candles around NPC's, unlit candles and more.
Q. I notice some micro-stutter with the mod enabled, why?
A. This is another engine flaw and happens with most mods that edit cells or add more objects to cells. The game doesn't do a very good job of loading info and can cause stuttering, something that happens often with Bethesda games, all the way back to Oblivion.
Q. Why are there god rays and lights coming out of walls...there's no holes there!!!!
A. In the original game, there are "vent" like holes in walls to allow light in and smoke out of buildings. You more than likely have a custom texture pack that edits these meshes or textures and closing those gaps. You will need a lore friendly texture pack or find out why the mod author of your texture pack took it upon him/herself to change the game in such a drastic way.
Q. Why are some windows completely black? Why is there no light coming from them?
A. This was a tough decision because in vanilla some windows are BLACK and would emit no light and when viewing the cell design from outside, theres a wall there! Nothing I can do can make them have a day/night cycle. So I have to assume they are boarded up or under heavy shadow. Sometimes the interior windows also do not match exterior design - so this is frustrating for me as a designer.
Q. Why are interior ambient lights during nights too bright?
A. This mod has a feature called adaptive interiors, but will not be fully functional without directly editing weather mods (with a patch) fx settings. At the moment the mod is adaptive in nature, in that it takes on the lighting from weather mods. So you may get reddish light at dusk (and windows appear brighter at dusk or dawn as windows are in direct sunlight) or a reddish night (as with Climates of Tamriel). I will release a patch for Climates of Tamriel, Vanilla Skyrim and my own weathers in future so that ambient lights shut off at night. The vanilla patch is now done and will be released with 4.0.7. COT will incorporate the fixes directly into the mod.
Q. When will we be able to customize the mod?
A. When Plutoman101 has time to update the patcher for us.
Q. Where do I put this mod on my load order.
A. Usually after all player home, lighting and weather mods. To make things easy, just follow the load order guide on the main page (usually loading all modules last on your load order.)
Q. Is this compatible with DLC?
A. We will release DLC updates as we can, but remember changing an entire cell takes anywhere from 1 to 10 hours, and so far we have edited 156 of them. Usually DLC's come out with 30-100 cells, so it takes time!
Q. I got a crash to desktop when loading this mod!
A. Disable all your mods via plugins.txt and then only enable this mod. If it still crashes on a test save game or a new game, then it will be my mod. However if it doesn't then it's a conflict and the issue is your load order.
Q. Are you really colourblind?
A. No I pretend so I can pick up women through sympathy and show them how brave I am to mod lighting with this horrible disease. Of course I am colour-blind. I ask a lot of questions or use RGB codes to get by.
Q. So this mod has an unofficial lighting patch, is it compatible with the Unofficial Skyrim Patch?
A. Yes, all my changes were made with the Unofficial Skyrim Patch installed and were missed or not yet rectified. It will not cause any issues if the issues I have fixed are fixed by the USP.
Q. So you have included a bunch of Meshes with your mod? What is this?
A. These meshes are a MUST HAVE for any lighting mod and fixes the particle effects and reflectivity issues inherent in vanilla. These fixes are created by the wonderful Mindflux. Ignore the part where it says it's just for ENB. It does wonders for RLO.
Q. ELFX is better than RLO because it has smoke effects and revamps interiors. So I will use that instead, but I will use RLO if you do it. So will you?
A. I am happy for you, but I only add things I feel are realistic. Smoke to candles and fires needs to be done right, not for the sake of looking pretty. 4.0.7 will introduce smoke to fire pits and 4.0.8 will introduce realistic new effects.