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Official STEP Lighting Solution


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#1 z929669

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Posted 20 January 2013 - 07:13 PM

STEP continues to assist Skyrim enthusiasts in enhancing the vanilla experience. However, STEP has not consistently addressed a lighting/weather solution to top off all of its existing visual enhancements. The reason being that lighting and post processing both can have dramatic impacts on each other, and there are many solutions for each with a near infinite array of possibilities. Couple this with the subjectivity of lighting and PP, and it gets pretty difficult to decide upon a single Baseline STEP solution.

We have an admin discussion about an official STEP lighting solution and if we should break down and support a default lighting solution to round out the STEP experience. My answer is "yes", and I think most others feel the same way. The trick is to decide on which is the best Baseline solution.

To make the task of deciding more efficient, we are bringing the conversation here, in the public forum, to help arrive at a solution. The task is greatly simplified by the STEP Mandate (enhance the aesthetics of vanilla Skyrim). Thus, all of the more "creative" lighting solutions are non-starters. The goal then is to use the simplest and most efficient solution that does not change the sort of fantastical vanilla lighting style, but rather enhances this experience and corrects any of the more obvious issues with vanilla lighting and shadows. Here are the rules:
  • No ENB shall be part of the Baseline lighting solution for STEP
  • Vanilla light levels should be fairly well approximated (i.e., no darker dungeons/nights)
  • Vanilla style should be preserved as much as possible
  • Vanilla lighting inaccuracies and inconsistencies should be 'fixed'
  • Performance impact should be minimal
The main contenders are ...
  • No lighting adjustments (the present state)
  • RLO
  • EL&FX
  • Relighting Skyrim
  • Climates of Tamriel

... awaiting community feedback ....  General discussion around this one topic for next release.

See the stickied threads at top of Mod Suggestions Forum for details

#2 Feodoa

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Posted 20 January 2013 - 07:44 PM

Posted ImagePosted ImagePosted ImagePosted ImagePosted ImagePosted ImageI fail at linking screenshots

Cave ELFX>>Cave RLSkyrim>>>Cave Vanilla>>Trader ELFX>>Trader RLSkyrim>>Trader Vanilla
*ELFX=Enhanced Lights and FX
*RLSkyrim=Relighting Skyrim

Remove Interior Fog V2 is being used in all screenshots. No texture mods are being used, all vanilla and using I believe VandB ENB
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#3 rpsgc

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Posted 20 January 2013 - 07:47 PM

I fail at linking screenshots

Press the button on the bottom row to the right of the PHP icon and then paste the image URL.
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#4 z929669

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Posted 20 January 2013 - 08:22 PM

Posted ImagePosted ImagePosted ImagePosted ImagePosted ImagePosted ImageI fail at linking screenshots

You simply need to link directly to the image not the page (right click the image at the destination and copy/paste that link).

Now, I assume that these are images relating to lighting, but could we have some labels?

#5 Feodoa

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Posted 20 January 2013 - 08:54 PM

I had originally screwed up and posted full sized images..hence the fail. Labels added to my original post now. I might just get this right yet. Thought the titles I had given each image would carry over when linked.
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#6 TechAngel85

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Posted 20 January 2013 - 09:36 PM

Posted ImagePosted ImagePosted ImagePosted ImagePosted ImagePosted ImageI fail at linking screenshots

Cave ELFX>>Cave RLSkyrim>>>Cave Vanilla>>Trader ELFX>>Trader RLSkyrim>>Trader Vanilla
*ELFX=Enhanced Lights and FX
*RLSkyrim=Relighting Skyrim

Remove Interior Fog V2 is being used in all screenshots. No texture mods are being used, all vanilla and using I believe VandB ENB

When testing lighting mods it will be best to do so without ENB as the is no ENB installed during STEP and also without mods that are not included in STEP (Remove Interior Fog v2). Also, a few tips:
  • When you find a spot you want to take a screenshot (when taking shots of multiple mods like this)...
  • DO NOT MOVE YOUR MOUSE!
  • Open the console (~)
  • type tm and pres Enter (this turns off the interface)
  • Hit ~ again to close the console
  • DO NOT MOVE YOUR MOUSE! :no:
  • Press your screenshot button (F10 for FRAPS, Print Screen, etc)
  • Hit ~ again to open the console and type tm. Press Enter to turn the interface back on.
  • Hit ~ again to close the console.
  • DO NOT MOVE YOUR MOUSE!
  • Press the Escape key. Okay, now you can use your mouse. :happy:
  • Make a new save
  • Exit the game and switch mods
  • Load the game and load the save you created. DO NOT TOUCH THE MOUSE!
  • Repeat.
This process will get you perfect screenshots. :thumbsup: As long as you don't touch the mouse your shots will be exactly the same just with different mods installed. *RING* Class is dismissed! :cool:

#7 z929669

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Posted 20 January 2013 - 09:37 PM

Posted ImagePosted ImagePosted ImagePosted ImagePosted ImagePosted ImageI fail at linking screenshots

Cave ELFX>>Cave RLSkyrim>>>Cave Vanilla>>Trader ELFX>>Trader RLSkyrim>>Trader Vanilla
*ELFX=Enhanced Lights and FX
*RLSkyrim=Relighting Skyrim

Remove Interior Fog V2 is being used in all screenshots. No texture mods are being used, all vanilla and using I believe VandB ENB

ELFX is by far the best in the first scene; however, ELFX fails miserably in the second. Are you sure about the order on the second scene? ELFX on that one looks like fake source lighting and the other two do much better with depicting shadows and effects of existing ligting (first image of scene 2 looks like fake vanilla light sources).

#8 Farlo

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Posted 20 January 2013 - 09:53 PM

Moved a few posts from the v2.2.1 thread to this one so we can find them later. Carry on!
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#9 JudgmentJay

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Posted 20 January 2013 - 10:21 PM

I tried out Enhanced Lights and FX a while back and while it made the game look amazing, I experienced a ton of texture flickering/lights turning on and off as I move the camera around. Pretty typical for lighting fix mods I guess since I get it with Relighting Skyrim as well. The only one I haven't seen flickering on is Volrath's. I saw the author of ELFX say that nobody should be getting flickering because he stays under the "4 shadow-casing lights" limit, but that's not the only thing that causes issues. Simply having too many light sources, shadow-casting or not, in an area will cause the same problems. One place that was particularly bad was the Whiterun Halls of the Dead. Whip out a torch/lantern and it's even worse. Like I said though, it's by far the most extensive and best-looking light fix mod.
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#10 Feodoa

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Posted 20 January 2013 - 10:44 PM

Posted ImagePosted ImagePosted ImagePosted ImagePosted ImagePosted ImageI fail at linking screenshots

Cave ELFX>>Cave RLSkyrim>>>Cave Vanilla>>Trader ELFX>>Trader RLSkyrim>>Trader Vanilla
*ELFX=Enhanced Lights and FX
*RLSkyrim=Relighting Skyrim

Remove Interior Fog V2 is being used in all screenshots. No texture mods are being used, all vanilla and using I believe VandB ENB

ELFX is by far the best in the first scene; however, ELFX fails miserably in the second. Are you sure about the order on the second scene? ELFX on that one looks like fake source lighting and the other two do much better with depicting shadows and effects of existing ligting (first image of scene 2 looks like fake vanilla light sources).


The first of the three Riverwood Trader shots is the ELFX..went back and double checked. I liked it because of the more vivid shadowing..seemed more pronounced and realistic. In particular the way the kettle blocks the light from the fire and casts its shadow on the counter, and the way the trader fella (forget his name) is being shadowed on the wall by the candles on the counter. The other two didn't do that as effectively imo.

And sorry Techangel..I'm a bit rusty on taking screenshots. Haven't really done any since Skyrim first hit and I was taking them to help showcase Project Frenzy ( now abandoned..not sure but I think the head of the project had run into accusations of using other peoples work without permission).
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#11 rpsgc

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Posted 21 January 2013 - 07:40 AM

I'll be honest here, I'm not too fond of 'Enhanced Lights and FX', no matter how much better than the rest people say it is. It changes hundreds of meshes and that is just begging for countless mod conflicts (and a pain in the ass to uninstall).


Dragonsreach:
Vanilla » Relighting Skyrim » ELFX

Posted ImagePosted ImagePosted Image


Riverwood Trader:
Vanilla » Relighting Skyrim » ELFX

Posted ImagePosted ImagePosted Image


Markarth:
Vanilla » Relighting Skyrim » ELFX

Posted ImagePosted ImagePosted Image
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#12 WilliamImm

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Posted 21 January 2013 - 01:13 PM

Since you appear to be so concerned as to Enhanced Lights and FX, despite the fact that it changes lots of meshes, following Nevolan's Skyrim Revisited install, the only conflicts are with: Unoffical Skyrim Patch (several meshes for Solitude/Farmhouse interiors, the latter overwitten by SMIM) Better Dynamic Snow (some nordic meshes - don't know how this affects the actual mod) SMIM (which already has a compatibility patch from ELFX) I'm pretty sure the situation with STEP 2.2.1 would be similar to my findings using Mod Organizer. So there's no real concern from me about adding this into STEP 2.2.1. And I think the "pain in the ass to uninstall" comment about the mod is pretty irrelevant to STEP, considering the fact that most people will be using a mod manager to install the project. So, Enhanced Lights and FX not only gets my vote, but I feel it should go directly into STEP 2.2.1.

#13 z929669

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Posted 21 January 2013 - 01:35 PM

ELFX completely messes up the Riverwood Trader ... waaay too bright, and a fire is a relatively dim light source with a lot of yellow/red light in it. Not sure what it is doing at Dragonsreach either ... is there a skylight up in the ceiling there?

#14 Neovalen

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Posted 21 January 2013 - 01:59 PM

Agree on River wood trader. Honestly no single lighting fix is perfect yet. I know relighting sky rim is just now starting to work skylights etc so imagine it will improve over time. Its also the only one supporting dawn guard and soon hearthfire.
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#15 Farlo

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Posted 21 January 2013 - 02:09 PM

Agree on River wood trader. Honestly no single lighting fix is perfect yet. I know relighting sky rim is just now starting to work skylights etc so imagine it will improve over time. Its also the only one supporting dawn guard and soon hearthfire.

Hopefully we can provide enough feedback through this thread to nudge them in the right direction.  I'm still not sure why they aren't all working together, but whatever :P
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