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24 minutes ago, So_ein_Feuerball said:

@HappyHaddock hi, have you determined what the impact of update 4.006 has had on your project?

 

I've been really busy since the start of the year with a lot of commissioned work so had very little time for IL-2. I thought covid-19 might see my work dry up but aside from a brief blip when the whole world stopped to revaluate priorities I've been busier than normal since the social distancing restrictions came into place in March.

 

Jason Williams (IL-2's official producer) did contact me about six months ago to discuss my work and their proposed changes to the game engine's lighting and I'm not expecting any impact directly from the switch to deferred shading, but I've not had a chance to try things yet... we'll see how my diary looks in June....

 

In terms of the clouds and lighting it looks as if Rowdyboot's mods have been playing with much of what I'd been looking into, so  although I've only had a brief look through the files he's been changing these last few months and not had time to actually  install and run his work, if his mods still function then it's likely the bulk of what I'd been doing should still function.

 

HH

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26 minutes ago, HappyHaddock said:

 

I've been really busy since the start of the year with a lot of commissioned work so had very little time for IL-2. I thought covid-19 might see my work dry up but aside from a brief blip when the whole world stopped to revaluate priorities I've been busier than normal since the social distancing restrictions came into place in March.

 

Jason Williams (IL-2's official producer) did contact me about six months ago to discuss my work and their proposed changes to the game engine's lighting and I'm not expecting any impact directly from the switch to deferred shading, but I've not had a chance to try things yet... we'll see how my diary looks in June....

 

In terms of the clouds and lighting it looks as if Rowdyboot's mods have been playing with much of what I'd been looking into, so  although I've only had a brief look through the files he's been changing these last few months and not had time to actually  install and run his work, if his mods still function then it's likely the bulk of what I'd been doing should still function.

 

HH

thx for your quick answer

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On 5/20/2020 at 12:56 PM, So_ein_Feuerball said:

@HappyHaddock hi, have you determined what the impact of update 4.006 has had on your project?

 

Well having woken at a silly early hour of 3-30am and not been able to get back to sleep I spent some time before breakfast taking a first quick peak at what the new deferred shading can do.

 

First impressions are that overall it makes lots of subtle improvements visually that I like and that some of the bits of my work I was most pleased with now look even better. However  after even a quick cursory skim through things I've already spotted a couple of things about my mod work that this latest version of the game doesn't like.

 

I've been getting strange inverted shadow/reflections; that is where I'd expect a momentary bright glint of sunlight bouncing off the sea, a clear canopy or polished metal engine cowling  I'm getting  flashes of dark black shadows. I've already identified the "culprit" and it's taken all of about 10minutes to change some settings in my mod to get rid of the "black glints" and turn them back to white... however  I will now have a lot to change to re-balance the look of everything else affected by changing these key settings.

 

Another thing I've noticed which will probably seem trivial to everyone else but has really caught me by surprise and caused me some head scratching is that the  ground level seems to have been raised by about 5-10cm... At least something about the way small objects and textures at ground level are visually represented is now different as they've sunk into the surface.  This could be a fix for some other issue or problem or may relate to changes brought about with the move deferred shading; at this stage I don't know which is the case... I've a lot of experimentation ahead of me before being certain what has changed, if it is consistently different or only different under freak circumstances, and what I can do about it. However if I can't get to the bottom of this then I've got an awful lot of previous work which I'm going to have to go back and re-do simply to lift things back above the surface of the earth. 

 

Nevertheless this all relates to stuff I've not really posted images of or spoken publicly about in anything other than the most casual passing manner. Everything I've previously posted images of is still possible, these issues are with all the good stuff I've been keeping to myself  until I'm satisfied I can make it all function and it can be turned into a reliable stable mod others can use.... I did earlier today however have one of those rare moments when everything came together in a HOLY S**T! sort of experience that left me thinking I've not seen youtube clips  or screenshots of the new MS Flight sim 2020 that looked as good.. if only I could deliver such quality consistently under all scenarios and at a high resolution and fast frame rate.

 

Anyway for the time being it's back to paid art work and sculpting commissions... I'll pick up IL-2 again as and when I can but the finishing line of this long slow mod-making project seems to have moved a little further away, but as it technically started in 2014 for ROF as a one man band working in my limited spare time I may always be chasing to keep up with a team of professional developers.

 

Cheers

 

HH 

 

 

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On 5/26/2020 at 12:22 PM, HappyHaddock said:

Another thing I've noticed which will probably seem trivial to everyone else but has really caught me by surprise and caused me some head scratching is that the  ground level seems to have been raised by about 5-10cm

 

There were many reports of objects looking like they were floating, I wonder if this was their way to fix the issue.

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Well it seems an eternity since I last posted anything here, largely on account of  having had a year of being  manically busy with more work than I've seen in 20years of being a self employed artist( I think covid has curtailed most of my client's other expense leaving them excess cash to keep commissioning creative work from me). Unfortunately (or fortunately judged from the point of view of my own finances) that doesn't look as if it's going to change any time soon, where I've not actually flown IL-2 for about 12months now.

 

Anyway just for the sheer rebellious need to say sod it I'm wasting a day and clients be damned!   - I want a day off and have therefore spent some time looking back through my mod work on IL-2.

 

So after more than 20Gb of missed dev updates I needed to  download and install just to bring the base game up to date I've  finally been able to play around with a few more screenshots.

 

I wasn't going to share them  as there's a lot of stuff that's still a bit too experimental to know if/how it will pan out and actually function  as a mod but I couldn't resist sharing the following image of a misty sunrise viewed from within the woodlands.... a view I expect flight sim pilots would never see from the cockpit.

 

HH

 

 

 

 

sunrise in the woods.jpg

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2 hours ago, HappyHaddock said:

So after more than 20Gb of missed dev updates I needed to  download and install just to bring the base game up to date


  I can’t remember if I told you but the ski.ini files have new parameters from the haze update that you’ll need to add. :salute:

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17 hours ago, rowdyb00t said:


  I can’t remember if I told you but the ski.ini files have new parameters from the haze update that you’ll need to add. :salute:

 

Yeah I'd picked up on that, but cheers anyway

 

...it doesn't really do anything I wasn't already able to do already, it merely gives an end user the easy option to vary parameters I was modding without having to dig into the individual files to manually edit numerical settings.

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2 hours ago, HappyHaddock said:

 

Yeah I'd picked up on that, but cheers anyway

 

...it doesn't really do anything I wasn't already able to do already, it merely gives an end user the easy option to vary parameters I was modding without having to dig into the individual files to manually edit numerical settings.


  They added an alpha line to the rgb haze settings I noticed. Also the fog layer value is like before, on every other preset which seems odd because there is a fog option in the QMB that I’m assuming won’t select a preset file that has a no fog layer? You would have thought it would been added to all of them. Great pic by the way! I’m really loving what your doing with the landscape. The forest looks phenomenal, just need a panther silhouette in the pic :)

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On 3/16/2021 at 5:25 PM, Beebop said:

OOOH!  Now that's desktop material!  👍

 

One would almost grab a wet towel to save some poor Koala ...

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Well I know the clouds and lighting in MS Flight-sim get a lot of praise , and that the new system in DCS is also getting a lot of praise, but I've said before that under the hood of IL-2 is a system that is in many ways just as capable, it just needs balancing so all the clever stuff works together rather than against itself.

 

I know rowdyb00t has been putting a lot of time into his work in this area and has been showing a few decent screenshots of late. Where as I've been tied up with too much work over the last 18months, not to mention dealing with some sort of post-viral infection which may or may not be covid related. However I'm starting to snatch a little bit of time again for my own work in this area and thought I'd share this screenshot grabbed today.

 

 

clouds 38.jpg

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7 hours ago, HappyHaddock said:

Well I know the clouds and lighting in MS Flight-sim get a lot of praise , and that the new system in DCS is also getting a lot of praise, but I've said before that under the hood of IL-2 is a system that is in many ways just as capable, it just needs balancing so all the clever stuff works together rather than against itself.

 

I know rowdyb00t has been putting a lot of time into his work in this area and has been showing a few decent screenshots of late. Where as I've been tied up with too much work over the last 18months, not to mention dealing with some sort of post-viral infection which may or may not be covid related. However I'm starting to snatch a little bit of time again for my own work in this area and thought I'd share this screenshot grabbed today.

 

 

clouds 38.jpg


   Possibly working on some shaders? Looks amazing! The cloud lighting needs some help in the game, looks like you’ve been successful here. Good to hear you have a bit more time for tinkering. 

Edited by rowdyb00t
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6 minutes ago, rowdyb00t said:


   Possibly working on some shaders? Looks amazing! The cloud lighting needs some help in the game, looks like you’ve been successful here. Good to hear you have a bit more tome for tinkering. 

 

I'd love the time to properly learn HLSL coding but  at the moment that's just not going to happen.  I know a certain somebody on this forum is very much driven by the idea that the best way to fix everything is through re-writing all the shaders, and there are one or two things where that might really be the best way, plus if starting with a proverbial blank page I probably would do some things differently. However to be honest there are so many ways to skin the proverbial cat that it's really not that necessary. Plus I suspect one or two of the problems I'd really like to address may be a stage deeper inside the game engine and are not shader related anyway.

 

As I've said before you can achieve so much more just by balancing the data that 's fed into the existing game engine before thinking about re-doing bits of the game engine itself.

 

Anyway keep up the good work rowdy.

 

Cheers HH

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Posted (edited)

Well after seemingly months  I've finally found time to download and take a quick look at the work rowdyb00t has been doing modding the clouds. After various conversations, questions  and private messages its not exactly surprising to see a lot of visual similarities in his work where he has been modding the same things I'd started on some time ago. Furthermore I don't want the following to be taken as criticism as I fully accept that many would say it is far better to have something we can actually download and use now, and which keeps getting improved upon, rather than just some guy that once in a blue moon posts about work he hasn't actually finished or made available for others to try.

 

However without wishing to appear rude, disparaging or patronising as I know full well the work rowdyb00t will have gone through to create his mod, the first thing that hit me was not the look but the performance hit with his work... my frame rate more than halved compared to my own tests and experiments and that wasn't something I was expecting.

 

I've only got an old PC (i5 3570k) with a 1070GPU but I was able to max things out and even under stress tests get visually smooth frame rates  (~45FPS) at 4k with my own work, but this dropped to a stuttering sub ~20FPS with Rowdy's mod.

 

Anyway just for reference here is a quick screengrab taken whilst testing my own efforts;  QMB 8-v-8 dogfight with heavy clouds in early evening with a low low angle of sunlight. This one testing lowest graphical settings to see what the highest FPS it would give me at 4k where I was typically averaging well over 100FPS with an end look that wasn't significantly down on "best".

 

Anyway keep up the good work rowdy as you've clearly got more spare time to make more rapid progress than I have.

 

Cheers,

 

HH

 

 

 

low quality screen test.jpg

Edited by HappyHaddock
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Posted (edited)
2 hours ago, HappyHaddock said:

Anyway keep up the good work rowdy as you've clearly got more spare time to make more rapid progress than I have.


  Thanks HH! However I do not actually have much for spare time, between 3 toddlers and a teenager, wife and work, my time for modding is usually in the middle of the night on the weekends  :biggrin:. It’s going to be two years now in August I think since I started tinkering around with the mod. Releasing bits and pieces along the way while learning new things. 
  As for the frame rates, I suppose the clouds keep getting larger and more detail. I kinda go by the motto “ BIGGER IS BETTER” haha. Lowering the detail and noise brings the frames down dramatically but it seems here of late, that medium cloud setting has done the trick. I must say you’ve done a nice job keeping detail and FPS balance. I obviously haven’t figured out that formula yet. Hopefully you get some more time on your mod! I’m really looking forward to seeing it. It’s probably going to be 50 gigabytes! :salute:

Edited by rowdyb00t
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10 minutes ago, rowdyb00t said:


  Thanks HH! However I do not actually have much for spare time, between 3 toddlers and a teenager, wife and work, my time for modding is usually in the middle of the night :biggrin:. It’s going to be two years now in August I think since I started tinkering around with the mod. Releasing bits and pieces along the way while learning new things. 
  As for the frame rates, I suppose the clouds keep getting larger and more detail. I kinda go by the motto “ BIGGER IS BETTER” haha. Lowering the detail and noise brings the frames down dramatically but it seems here of late, that medium cloud setting has done the trick. I must say you’ve done a nice job keeping detail and FPS balance. I obvious haven’t figured out that formula yet. Hopefully you get some more tome on your mod! I’m really looking forward to seeing it. It’s probably going to be 50 gigabytes! :salute:

 

Well I have no kids to look after, but the last 12months have pretty much been fully occupied with other work so if my average hours per month on IL-2 has been zero then that doesn't equate to much progress on my modding of a project that started for ROF back around 2014.

 

As for file size; the part of my mod work  on the sky and lighting currently stands at about 5Gb and just over 1100files (many new , some placeholders awaiting replacements), though I'm sure much of that can be stripped back and scaled down.

 

In part I'm my own worst enemy, when doing creative work professionally there are always deadlines and budget restriction to stay within meaning you don't ever do anywhere near your best, you do what you can whilst a client rushes you to hand over something. Doing this as hobby means I don't feel any pressure to rush or compromise.

 

Most of my paid creative work is physical (paint/canvas) art work, sculpture or model making but I imagine that time pressures are probably worse rather than better in the video games industry. Where to date the only work I've done professionally for a game developer was a minor bit of consultancy for Ninja Theory the people behind  Hellblade Senua's Revenge. It would be disingenuous of me to imply I was in anyway responsible for the multiple awards the title won, but they were obviously happy with my advice as they paid me again as a consultant when they started on the sequel a year or two ago.

 

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2 hours ago, HappyHaddock said:

I've only got an old PC (i5 3570k) with a 1070GPU but I was able to max things out and even under stress tests get visually smooth frame rates  (~45FPS) at 4k with my own work, but this dropped to a stuttering sub ~20FPS with Rowdy's mod.


  Was this this an overall average or just with heavy and overcast? Just curious. My rig runs smooth on my 4K monitor at a custom balanced setting with high on the clouds. However, I’m running 32gb ram, ryzen 7 5800x and a 2080ti. 

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30 minutes ago, rowdyb00t said:


  Was this this an overall average or just with heavy and overcast? Just curious. My rig runs smooth on my 4K monitor at a custom balanced setting with high on the clouds. However, I’m running 32gb ram, ryzen 7 5800x and a 2080ti. 

 

This was just the heavy/overcast with a lot of clouds in the sky, clearer skies are no challenge to the GPU,  the real frame rate killer is my groundwork/foliage mods.

 

Generally I find that to be sure of always meeting/exceeding the 60FPs refresh rate whilst having all the graphics options turned up  I have to run in a slightly smaller windowed mode, but that most of the time I can run  heavy clouds at 4k without actually getting to the point of visible stutters. 

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Thanks for your efforts you two.

 

The search for higher FPS is greatly appreciated. It is the only thing that has kept me away from trying these mods, since my system is already struggling to keep up with the vanilla game on balanced settings in VR. What strikes me is the huge FPS gain by lower detailed clouds settings in vanilla IL2, whilst not looking much worse than detailed settings...

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