written by sydney666
14 February 2013 22:42:17
Misconceptions and known issues of RLO features
Misconceptions and known issues of RLO features
Before you begin reading, please note that I may sound arrogant or like a complete ass - and I apologise in advance. After 10 months working on this mod, I have become a bitter old man.
Next Module Release Date: (No ETA)
At the moment there are very few bugs with RLO but here are ones we know of:
1. COT may seem a little too bright with 4.0.7 at the moment, which is because Adaptive Interiors has not yet been "balanced" for RLO's new imagespace brightness levels. COT 3.0 should have this fix directly implemented.
Update : Video showcasing 4.0.7 adaptive interior fixes for vanilla weathers + future of the mod.
Misconceptions and some clarification on RLO features
RLO is too Orange or Red!! Ugly and overuse of this color!
As of 4.0.7 this should be a thing of the past.
Firstly, if you are using ENB - please don't blame RLO for reddish lights or say "RLO is not ENB friendly". That is total hog wash and nonsense talk...ENB is post processing and RLO is designed to be used without Post Processing, but if your lights are too saturated with ENB, then please use your brain. You will need to just lower the point light saturation within your ENB or just reduce the ENB's saturation. ENB is highly configurable and rather easy to do so. Just ask your friendly ENB profile creator what you can do. Just don't go posting everywhere that RLO is not compatible with ENB - it's total bull crap! :P
Three new pics have been updated showing a common issue reported about "over saturated lights" or "red lights". It is also related to people who say RLO is too dark or that it's too bright (I have had both reports equally in abundance).
A common complaint amongst the minority of people, even though it has appeared on some reputable sites as fact.
If an interior has no windows and there are only big fires and candles lighting it, what color does one expect it to be? White and Blue? Obviously not.
While I am colour-blind I have studied photography and I have close family members who are professional artists and photographers. These very people look at colours, contrast and lighting balance on a daily basis and it is through them that a lot of the decisions were made on the colours in RLO. I also did a lot of testing in my own home to try and understand what an interior would look like lit with candles alone.
While I did a lot of personal research, some sites below can help you understand why we pick the colours we did.
While some interiors (like Markarth) look really orange or "red" depending on how poorly calibrated your monitor is (and trust me most monitors have really off colours) it is actually as realistic as it's going to get. I couldn't care less if people think it's too orange or red and that a less saturated light would look better, this is a realism mod and the candle/fire lights are CORRECT, no matter what the opinion is on it. The issue is down to bad load orders, people looking at vanilla cells and blaming RLO for unedited cells. This does get frustrating after a while of reading these comments. Some issues could be related to RLO and some incorrect imagespace settings which are getting fixed for 4.0.7 - it's a work in progress so give it time.
Many people use UNEDITED cells to prove that RLO interiors are too "orange" or "red", yet fail to understand I have yet to add ambient lighting via sunlight and Adaptive Interiors to those cells. I honestly feel that this issue is ONLY related to unedited cells and mainly Dwemer ruins/Makarth.
The problem with orange/red/over saturated lights happens when my new imagespaces interact with the silly fade settings of vanilla lighting. Most of my lights have very dim fade such as flames with a range from 0.8 to 1.8 and usually 180-399 radius. Sunlight is usually 1.25 fade and looks nice and balanced in edited cells. This bug happens when VANILLA lights have my new light colour, but have some absurd radius and fade settings (within the actual cell). We are talking about lights that have 600-2000 radius and 3.0 to 9.0 fade. When you have an orange flame light, designed for 0.8 fade (brightness), when you suddenly boost that X4 to X10 you then get really intense saturation. Then put an ENB over it with even more saturation and you got some seriously "Red" lights which quite frankly is no real fault of our own. It has been explained countless times, but people just wont listen or understand and blame the entire mod.
I can't actually edit these base lights directly once lights have been edited because it can reset all the lights that use it to 0 fade - a bug within the CK that has caught us out before (Daemon knows about this one.) and sadly the work was already done before we knew of this CK issue. I don't even know if it was a once off bug or if it will happen again.
A work around would have been for me to create totally new lights and use ONLY them, increasing my own work load considerably and then introducing even more issues like lights being vanilla colours and RLO colours within the mod itself - which is why I released my imagespaces to begin with. People were complaining that there were too many vanilla cells mixed with normal cells.
The problem is that the bug isn't game breaking, but people tend to just jump on the bandwagon and blame THEIR issues on the mod. Most "red" light issues are caused by wrong gamma settings, poor calibrated monitors, bad load order, conflicts, ENB and other end user issues. Heck, even the video by Hodilton in my page has RED lights and I even messaged him about it. His reply? "Oh I love red lights, the ENB I use does this". So that is great for him, but some people might think RLO looks that way.
People will even watch that video and come to a conclusion with the mod without even trying and then start posting opinions. It is when I start reading stuff like "Can tell RLO's colours are all off, hes colour blind" or "Man how do people like this mod, its all monochrome" when I start to just begin to lose interest working on the mod.
To me RLO is like building a bridge, imagine trying to build it block by block and every once and a while a car shows up and drives to the edge and complains there is a hole in the road. You then advice them the bridge isn't complete but there is a detour you have made so they can still get to the other side. Well RLO is like that, especially the imagespaces I have provided...people just need to give me time to finish it off.
Also the last issue I run into is people then saying "I am going to use X mod until RLO is complete". I then get frustrated because every other lighting mod IS INCOMPLETE and most are just imagespace alterations (not all, but most). The cells we edit aren't just a few fixes and adding a light where one is missing, this is a massive project with thousands of edited lights, loads more effects (yes RLO adds effects) and at the same time I am watching performance and fixing bugs AND trying to keep it working with all the Unofficial Patches at the same time. I also don't want RLO to be a "slam in your face" kind of mod and most of the edited cells are very subtle. This is why bad load order, other lighting mods, post processing and even monitor/room lighting really throw everything off.
Is RLO perfect? Certainly not, but by god the effort we have put into this and the support for our users goes far and beyond the norm.
If anyone finds a bug, please come to me about it - post on the forums HERE, so it gets addressed. Don't start dissing the mod on whatever forum you are on, because it just makes these comments sound like opinionated anti RLO rants and sends people to my doorstep with "concerns". This goes for every mod, if you have constructive feedback, even negative stuff - get your facts right first and then go to that mod page and tell them. I know it has landed me in hot water before, and I probably suffer for it now - but at least every negative comment thrown my way has improved the mod, even the lies and hate.
I was told by another modding team that this feature uses the default vanilla interior system, the only difference is that RLO is using custom "4 states" meshes (FALSE) - This doesn't even make sense! This is not based on fact and whoever said this will need to read this page to understand how it works. We have not edited or added any meshes whatsoever with Adaptive Interiors. Check TESVEDIT or the CK and you will see that what we said we did, we actually really did.
Adaptive Interiors does not change the interior lighting depending on weather mods. (FALSE) - Anyone who has stated this confused and needs to understand the facts involved and consequences of their comments. Please see the attached videos or try this out for yourself in game. It is one of our most obvious features and can be seen by anyone as fully functional.
Adaptive Interiors is basically the same as every other lighting mod. (FALSE) - Many lighting mods use the default static FX setting for interiors. We have actually used the regional settings for each cell, to match the region they are meant to be in, located via the lighting templates within the CK. This helps our interiors adapt to other weather mods because each weather mod has unique lighting depending on their regional weather settings. As an example, Climates of Tamriels will have reddish night lighting in our interiors, while vanilla Skyrim will be bluish. Go in game and check this out for yourself!
Adaptive Interiors do not play thunder sounds or cast lightning flashes indoors (FALSE) -Currently this is fully functional with Climates of Tamriel because our adaptive interiors take on whatever weather mod is installed. While it isn't something we added, the features added by COT will work fine with RLO and the lighting strikes/flashes will light up our ambient lighting! Again, check it out for yourself.
Adaptive Interiors do not play rain sounds inside interiors (TRUE) - This is true! The only way to add sounds to interiors is by adding them via the Ambient settings and adding a sound file to whatever regional weather is inside the interior at the time or by post processing. Credit to jjc from Climates of Tamriel for this pointer.
Adaptive Interiors currently do not shut off god rays or ambient light completely (TRUE) - To do this, we will need to edit every single FX setting for weather mods. I also am still deciding if I will include this feature into Adaptive Interiors because it causes lighting to go a little flat and can make the FX settings of water go black.
X mod does "minute per minute" updates inside interiors and I can even see the sky! Why can't RLO do this? - We already do this and most of it is already in the Vanilla game! Do you know you can do this in the CK by clicking on "show sky" button in the Image templates? It is simple to add and doesn't even need 200 lines of specialized post processing code.
How it is done :
Since some people are spreading lies about my mod - I will tell people exactly how we added this feature and feel welcome to view my mod in TESVEDIT.
Adaptive interiors edits every single window, god ray, ambient light and effect in the game (in edited cells obviously) to have the same settings as the weather which is currently outside of the cell. This is done by editing emittance settings within the light objects and can only be done by hand in the CK editing these individual lights, all windows and objects.
Adaptive interiors also changes light placement of the cells so that fire lights do not interfere with the ambient lighting to produce a more balanced lighting scheme.
We then increase the radius of these lights so that the day/night cycle is far more clearer and evident to the user. This can EASILY be seen in our comparison shots or by a simple walk about in the game.
This is unique to Realistic Lighting Overhaul and no other lighting mod does interior lighting like we do. It is not so technical - but it is time consuming and requires a keen eye for attention and an artistic view of things.
It doesn't edit any meshes or animations with Adaptive Interiors, it uses just the CK because that is what RLO is about - proving to people that we can make realistic lighting without resorting to hack utilities like post processing.
We do include meshes by Mindflux but they have nothing to do with Adaptive Interiors. They are mere reflectivity patches for particle effects (so things like water don't glow in the dark).
There might be some slight performance loss in areas with very long radius shadow casting lights near windows where Adaptive Interiors have been implemented. These dips in performance are not global, but depend on a cell by cell basis. A mid to high end machine will not experience any performance loss, but very old systems with low CPU processing power (Shadows are CPU intensive, not GPU!) may lose 5-20 fps in approximately 5-6 of our cells. We are actually working on an optimizations for these cells.
Firstly, I would not recommend people to use this module. It's a nice little feature for people who can handle the drawbacks. I just basically allowed people to use it, and it's probably best used with vanilla lighting to avoid seeing lots of bugs. As of 4.0.7 this will become a separate download.
Why do you make the spells cast light and shadows too? It causes bugs!
- I am well aware of this, and that is why we have clearly stated the draw backs of using this optional esp. The problem we have is that engine limitations don't let us use non shadow casting lights for spells! If we do, the light doesn't appear. We are going to work on this module in the future to try and figure it out - but we aren't rocket scientists so things take time and testing.
How we did it :
Oh this is a very very very simple CK edit to add a light object to a spell! Easy!
NOTE : Please use this esp at your own risk, because it may cause flickering or not always function correctly due to engine limitations. It will NOT break your game, but due to how the engine works, it could cause other lights to not function correctly.
CAUTION : This esp also causes FPS dips on some machines. The fps dips usually occur out in the wilderness or around many light sources. Projected FPS loss on lower spec machines could be 10-15 fps (at times), while on a top end video card + decent quad core CPU the fps drops are minimal. If you do not like this esp or it causes you fps dips, then feel free to disable it via your game options.
Shadow Striping Fix
(this is a real comment sent to me)
"Hi I read the following comment on another site,
"Unfortunately all that glitters is not gold, Bethesda could have fixed the "striping" bug ages ago, but it never did because of a very simply technical reason: cell limits. We need to face the fact that the graphic engine behind Skyrim is very old, and each single cell has a limit both to the amount of shadows that can be generated and to the light sources that can be handled concurrently inside of each cell."
...is it true?" (FALSE)
This is an incorrect statement that unfortunately is not based on fact. Shadow striping can only occur with SHADOW CASTING lights and thus the count of shadow casters in a cell has nothing to do with it. Most shadow striping issues in the game are mainly due to an oversight by Bethesda where they forgot to set the correct shadow bias settings for the light object - just like any other bug happens in the game.
I don't really blame Bethesda because there's literally hundreds of shadow casting lights and they only missed a few of them. This is a typical bug that occurs with any kind of game release. We have to be wary of shadow casting lights because we add hundreds more shadow casting lights and it means we need to remember to set the shadow bias setting to a correct point to avoid striping issues!
Striping Fixes cause GPU's to overheat (FALSE)
Proof here that RLO runs on par with vanilla Skyrim, while improving the lighting system :
This is complete nonsense and can be easily proven to be so. If you are worried about this issue just download a monitoring tool for your graphics card and see for yourself. It is normal for video cards to use more processing power with lighting mods because they are on most part adding new things to the game, but to go as far as saying it causes hardware failure - no one can put these issues down to a mod - it does not make any sense.
The reason for this is because shadows in Skyrim are not GPU intensive, because the game engine uses CPU processing power to cast shadows. Post processing can and will cause these issues, especially decreased performance, but RLO only uses the game engine and thus cannot possibly cause any issues of this nature.
Whoever has made this comment needs to do some research into how the Creation Engine works. So far this comment seems to have surfaced on only one obscure third party modding page that isn't very frequented (thanks to the many people who reported it).
If you have any concerns you are safe to ignore them or even contact Nvidia or AMD (or your graphics card manufacturer) and ask them.
How we did it :
We went into every cell in esp's where we have cell changes and loaded up each one in the render window of the Creation Kit. We then sorted the lights by name and went to all the "shadow casting" lights. Once here, we clicked on each light, one by one and ensured the shadow bias setting was not set to 1.0 (which is what causes the bug). We then set it to anywhere between 10 and 31 so that it removes the striping and does not detach shadows from the object.
We have current fixed striping on 156 cells, which equates to over 600 shadow casting lights.
Also please note that shadow striping in exteriors is also caused by shadow bias settings located in your skyrimprefs ini file!
Again this is a VERY easy but time consuming fix, with no draw backs.