FlaconOil Texture Resolution Understanding by FlaconOil
Fallout 4 » Modders Resources and Tutorials
Added: 12/10/2017 - 07:31PM
Updated: 12/10/2017 - 07:31PM

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Last updated at 19:31, 12 Oct 2017 Uploaded at 19:31, 12 Oct 2017

ATTENTION ========================================

BEFORE ALL this is not a complete 400 pages book about textures, resolution etc. You cna find a lot about on the web.

THIS is only a support to help you understand and choose which kind of package you need from my mods :

FlaconOil's HD ReTexture Project in 4k 2k - Made from Scratch
FlaconOil's Courser HD ReTexture
FlaconOil's MiniGun HD ReTexture

ATTENTION ========================================

So i decided to write this for helping people to understand what really means when we talk about 4K. Not only 4K of course, but the term 4K is sharing everywhere and most of the time, not in the right way.

So for helping gamers who don't understand why they can download 4K packages even if they have an "only" 2K screen (1920*1080 for example), here is my modest contribution for Nexus Community !

First of all, all is about pixels. Here i will always talk "game friendly". So it's always referred to textures resolution, and so in square mode. Others terms like 720p, 1080p are usually used in video terms.

For a texture, in game industry, 2K resolution is a 2048x2048 pixels. Same for 1K (1024x1024), 4K (4096x4096), 8K (8192x8192 which isn't actually used in much games). Not need to talk about 512, 256 etc.

Screens, most of the time, are not square. Mine is a 16/9 24inches for 1920x1080 pixels, so basically 2K cause we always refer to horizontal resolution.

There's a lot of website explaining how pixels works between textures/screen, but i think pictures can explain a lot more than words in this case !

Starting with this first picture, a simple FO4 view from screen, on my 24inches, 1920x1080 :

Link to the picture

Now i added some information to understand how textures works in game and so how it is displayed :

Link to the picture

As you can see upper, the wall of the building have it's own texture (bricks), same for the NukaCola machine, same for cigarette vendor etc.
You can see the 1K texture for the NukaCola machine is good enough for the screen resolution at this distance.
Also, the 4K texture for the wall is really good and detailled. In fact the texture resolution is larger than the screen so the game engine use the better optimized MipMap version for the case. MipMap are lower resolution of the texture stored in the initial texture (2K, 1K, 512, 256, 128, 64, 32, 16, 8 ....) In this case due to the distance, certainly the 2K version.

Link to the picture

In this third picture, in front of the NukaCola machine and closer to the wall, you can see how blurry is the NukaCola now, because the 1K texture is not enough for the screen resolution at this distance. As i noted, a 150 x 110 pixels part of the texture is used for a 530x480 real screen resolution.
The wall is still really good, because the 4K texture is still larger than my screen resolution.

Link to the picture

In this fourth screen, i'm close to the wall, and because the 4K texture is used for almost 1/3 of this view, it's enough for my 2K screen and the result isn't blurry at all.

Link to the picture

In this last screen, as you can see, as i replaced the 4K texture by a 1K, the wall is now blurry, because the texture is now larger than my screen we now see an almost 500pixels larger part of the texture.

That is a small summary of how pixels works (textures, resolution, 4K, UHD, anywordyouwant) from game/software to screen. That's why it's not because you have a "2K" screen like me you don't need 4K textures. Cause the tinier details you want, the more resolution you need (of course if the texture were goodly made by texture artist, cause a bad 4K texture can be blurry as hell).

Also, i would like to talk a bit about how big some new games comes those last months. Because most of gamers do not understand how games are
developed, and so how textures resolution works, they do not understand why a game like the last 170Gb's one can be that big.

The fact is, few years ago only "2K" screens were available and this was the max resolution available for most of the games. So studios were able to
develop games with 4K as Max texture resolution (for big vehicles, buildings etc).
But nowadays a lot of PC gamers play on multiple screens station, and NextGen console like PS4 Pro can now handle 4K TV.

So, if the screen we use can display up to 4K or more, this means that games need to follow the new rules and so, developers need to create
higher and much more 4K and upper texture resolution.

If you just do a simple calculation :

A FO4 game model need a minimum of 3 different textures (diffuse, specular and normal). In 2K, diffuse cost at least 3Mb, spec and normal almost 5Mb each. In 4K, as you can see in this below picture, it cost almost 4X more, in average (in fact +3x more thanks to compression) :

Link to the picture

Let's say FO4 need 2.000 models (more in fact but just let's say that for the exemple) so it need :

For 2K : 2.000 X (3+5+5) = 26.000 --> 26Gb
For 4K : 2.000 X (11+22+22) = 110.000 --> 110Gb

Of course, all the textures in a game are not the same resolution. In FO4 there's a plenty of 512x512 and 1K too, but here its essentially to show
you how many Gigabyte a game can reach just because better texture resolution.

I hope this will help some of you to have a better understanding ! :)

Enjoy my mods, enjoy Nexus Community, enjoy games !