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xLODGen - Terrain LOD beta 69 for FNV, FO3, FO4, FO4VR, TES5, SSE, TES5VR, ENDERAL


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#931 sheson

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Posted 31 October 2020 - 08:20 AM

Setting the format to DDS solved it, now I feel like a bit of a dolt. :lol:

 

Thanks for the help, much appreciated! ::D:

Really, no problem. It seems that important detail is missing from the guide, unfortunately.


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#932 sheson

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Posted 03 November 2020 - 06:07 PM

A couple month ago we discussed flickering while new terrain is loading in Skyrim Special Edition. After some testing, we realized this is caused by a new land fade feature added to Skyrim Special Edition (and Skyrim VR) - which thankfully can be disabled:

 
Skyrim.INI
[Display]
bEnableLandFade=0
 
By default this setting is missing from the Skyrim.INI and thus defaults to 1 = enabled. Add the setting to the INI to disable the stipple fade so that terrain fades like it does in Skyrim.

 

I did several tests back when we discussed the issue, but it seemed prudent trying to explain this issue and its simple fix properly with videos and images since more people seem to notice the issue.

 

Top left shows vanilla Skyrim Special Edition meshes.
Top right meshes were generated with Oscape and are from the mod Terrain LOD Redone.
Lower left shows high quality = 0 xLODGen meshes with protect cell border which are z-shifted (lowered) by 25 units - an idea suggested by users.
Lower right show high quality = 0 xLODGen meshes with protect cell border.

 

For the video the terrain LOD textures have been made way too bright to better show the artifacts. If the terrain LOD textures (together with noise.dds) match the full textures well, the artifacts are barely visible if at all.
 

 
Here are some stills from the video to point out what to look for.
 
32382-1604439187-1220797613.png32382-1604439189-343202961.png
 
The left image shows the artifacts that happen because of the new fade mode. Terrain LOD meshes and full terrain meshes now briefly at same time while the full terrain is faded it. If the terrain LOD mesh is slightly higher, then the fading of the full terrain can not be seen because it is underneath the terrain LOD. In case of the high resolution xLODGen the terrain LOD more or less matches the full terrain exactly, so z-fighting happens. Lowering the terrain LOD seems to eliminate the issue, but pay attention to the video, as a straight line can be seen the currently active cell and the loading cell while the fade happens.
 
The right image shows the same scene again, not with the fade disabled. No artifacts for all 4 types of terrain LOD meshes. Watch out for the very obvious rise of the z-shifted terrain LOD meshes.
 
32382-1604439195-888468427.png32382-1604439200-584218309.png32382-1604439206-247696240.png
 
Flipping back and fourth the first and second images shows why z-shifting terrain LOD is not a useful workaround (in case the straight line artifact of the first scene seemed bearable). Because the full water immediately loads and does not fade, the LOD coastline and shallow islands simply disappear for a second until the full terrain is faded in. As always, it is generally better trying to find the cause of an issue and fix that if possible, instead of using band aids / workarounds for the symptoms.
 
The red circled areas point out a common visual bug of vanilla/Oscape meshes, which are terrain drops at the edge between active cells and terrain LOD. This is fixed by using the protect cell borders setting in xLODGen.
 
The visual issue with the mountain range of the Oscape meshes is a well known bug where cells have bottomless terrain LOD. It happens if other plugins - including DLC - overwrite landscape data of Skryim.esm.


Edited by sheson, 03 November 2020 - 06:19 PM.

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#933 SenseiJT92

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Posted 07 November 2020 - 04:15 PM

Not sure if this helps - I used xLODGen with better terrain, which seemed to work great - however, upon 'cell changing' there is a little 'black load' fuzz - I guess that's the best way of describing it? 

 

I suppose this is what you referring to when you said to DISABLE benablelandfade

 

So I did that - okay, problem solved! (almost)

 

The issue with this is, I use an ENB - and with an ENB there's a constant 'dark circle' in all directions which doesn't match the terrain LOD in the background. Disabling 'detailed shadow' in the ENB fixes this, but then I lose a lot of the intended quality!

 

Is there any workaround? 

 

-- Also, can I ask if SSE-Terrain-Tamriel is necessary in every XLOD generation regardless of landscape mod used? 

 

Image - ENB activated (no Dyndolod generated - just xlodgen)

 

UB6Sboa.jpg

 

Image - ENB (detailed shadow) disabled

 

bD1kCJc.jpg


Edited by SenseiJT92, 07 November 2020 - 04:20 PM.

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#934 SenseiJT92

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Posted 07 November 2020 - 09:28 PM

Apparently, that (crappy) vanilla snow LOD is only white because of the vanilla version of /textures/terrain/noise.dds in combination with the vanilla terrain LOD... With Cathedral Landscapes (CL) and Majestic Mountains (MM) installed (as in STEP), CL provides the noise map. The gamma correction noted in the STEP guide results in the terrain snow LOD (as well as other terrain) matching the rest of the mountains/rocks objects as well as the full terrain (as in your third image, which IMHO looks correct and consistent with the rest of the landscape). Sheson has told us again and again that the brightness/gamma corrections technically should not be used, because xLODGen is using the full (base) terrain textures to produce the terrain LOD. This should ensure that all terrain matches whether near or far IF the noise map is compatible (note that the 'flat' noise map should be totally compatible with any terrain LOD; although, you will see the terrain tiling).
 
No noise texture edit that Tech and I have played with result in a 'good' result with CL and MM ... this includes the 'flat' noise map that sheson provides in the OP. The terrain textures are always too dark, and ONLY a brightness correction (or gamma) achieves the desired result with the CL noise map and landscapes ... Tech and I have tested and tested, regenerating terrain LOD over and over again to no avail.
 
Ultimately, the issue lies with the CL mod in that they designed a dark-ish noise map and used xLODGen for the terrain LOD to work with that (again, brightening that CL noise map using various methods does not look as good as the brightness correction ... the noise map would need to be redesigned to maintain the white-gray-black steepness and granularity, which we did NOT do in our testing). And yes --contrary to sheson's advice-- they did use a brightness correction in their LOD gen that ships with their mod, so we are technically deviating from best practice by using a brightness correction in our LOD gen methods simply because we are trying to get everything to look consistent and must replicate CL methodology (note that we are using gamma rather than brightness, because it preserves more of the LOD color saturation).


Hi, I've read through the threod a couple of times - but I just want to know are there any final gamma/brightness adjustments when using CL and MM? I am going to try generate with 1.25 but don't want to waste a few hours if it's wrong!

Cheers
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#935 sheson

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Posted 08 November 2020 - 02:45 AM

Not sure if this helps - I used xLODGen with better terrain, which seemed to work great - however, upon 'cell changing' there is a little 'black load' fuzz - I guess that's the best way of describing it? 

 

I suppose this is what you referring to when you said to DISABLE benablelandfade

 

So I did that - okay, problem solved! (almost)

 

The issue with this is, I use an ENB - and with an ENB there's a constant 'dark circle' in all directions which doesn't match the terrain LOD in the background. Disabling 'detailed shadow' in the ENB fixes this, but then I lose a lot of the intended quality!

 

Is there any workaround? 

 

-- Also, can I ask if SSE-Terrain-Tamriel is necessary in every XLOD generation regardless of landscape mod used? 

 

Image - ENB activated (no Dyndolod generated - just xlodgen)

 

 

 

Image - ENB (detailed shadow) disabled

 

If there is an issue with ENB settings/effects then you should ask on the ENB forum or maybe the author of the ENB you are using.

 

The Terrain ESM plugins adds back terrain for Skyrim (Tamriel worldspace) at the outer edges so there is no missing terrain meshes/textures when generating terrain LOD for Skyrim. It should always be loaded when generating terrain LOD.


Hi, I've read through the threod a couple of times - but I just want to know are there any final gamma/brightness adjustments when using CL and MM? I am going to try generate with 1.25 but don't want to waste a few hours if it's wrong!

Use the chunk option to limit the number of textures that need to be generated. For example, check [x] Specific chunk, leave the drop down empty and set WS to the lower left cell coordinate of an 32x32 area, like 0, 0.

It will then generate all textures up to 31,31. Not all worldspaces have their origin at 0,0 so you will have to check already generated meshes/texture filenames for their lower left coordinates.

 

Then you can check the result in the game by checking the updated area for the result. Once the settings are satisfactory generate for the whole worldspace.


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#936 SenseiJT92

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Posted 08 November 2020 - 04:25 AM

If there is an issue with ENB settings/effects then you should ask on the ENB forum or maybe the author of the ENB you are using.
 
The Terrain ESM plugins adds back terrain for Skyrim (Tamriel worldspace) at the outer edges so there is no missing terrain meshes/textures when generating terrain LOD for Skyrim. It should always be loaded when generating terrain LOD.
Use the chunk option to limit the number of textures that need to be generated. For example, check [x] Specific chunk, leave the drop down empty and set WS to the lower left cell coordinate of an 32x32 area, like 0, 0.
It will then generate all textures up to 31,31. Not all worldspaces have their origin at 0,0 so you will have to check already generated meshes/texture filenames for their lower left coordinates.
 
Then you can check the result in the game by checking the updated area for the result. Once the settings are satisfactory generate for the whole worldspace.


Thanks - with the ENB I get its not the fault of this tool, but I thought that most people using the step guide will use an ENB. It might be worth including what 'detailed shadow' should be disabled when (if) disabling landfade in the .ini


Sorry - can you clarify with the terrain-ESM, it should still be used even if using mods? I just thought those 'mods' would've generated the same back textures? I'll trust your word if you're certain

Also thanks for the chunks idea, I know a cell coordinates outside Whiterun so I might just keep generating for that one to test!
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#937 sheson

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Posted 08 November 2020 - 05:02 AM

Thanks - with the ENB I get its not the fault of this tool, but I thought that most people using the step guide will use an ENB. It might be worth including what 'detailed shadow' should be disabled when (if) disabling landfade in the .ini


Sorry - can you clarify with the terrain-ESM, it should still be used even if using mods? I just thought those 'mods' would've generated the same back textures? I'll trust your word if you're certain

Also thanks for the chunks idea, I know a cell coordinates outside Whiterun so I might just keep generating for that one to test!

Are you saying the bEnableLandFade setting changes how the ENB effect behaves?

 

"It should always be loaded when generating terrain LOD." No idea how to say it any more clear. There are no mods that add back missing terrain, especially if all they do is change landscapes textures.


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#938 SenseiJT92

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Posted 08 November 2020 - 09:56 AM

Are you saying the bEnableLandFade setting changes how the ENB effect behaves?

 

"It should always be loaded when generating terrain LOD." No idea how to say it any more clear. There are no mods that add back missing terrain, especially if all they do is change landscapes textures.

Yes exactly that - but it only affects how the ENB processes 'detailed shadows' which is a fundamental setting of most ENB presets

 

Without ENB activated there's no 'flickering', and no dark circle - as intended by the enablelandfade=0

 

However, with ENB activated, and detailed shadows, there's the dark circle seen in my photos 


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#939 sheson

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Posted 08 November 2020 - 11:49 AM

Yes exactly that - but it only affects how the ENB processes 'detailed shadows' which is a fundamental setting of most ENB presets

 

Without ENB activated there's no 'flickering', and no dark circle - as intended by the enablelandfade=0

 

However, with ENB activated, and detailed shadows, there's the dark circle seen in my photos 

I would like to know which ENB preset you are using, as I can not replicate. Maybe custom ENB effects or other INI settings play into it. Maybe also upload a modwatch or the Skyrim/Prefs INI settings.

 

If the exact circumstance can be identified (and can not be fixed with useful INI settings etc.) it should be reported to Boris so he can look into it.


Edited by sheson, 08 November 2020 - 11:51 AM.

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#940 MoodysShuffle

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Posted 21 November 2020 - 06:12 PM

I had to make an account for this, and I really do hope someone can aid me on this. I have a multitude of questions specifically regarding generating LOD for Fallout: New Vegas. Put simply, I cannot figure out for the life of me how to make it generate a completely proper thing. I've had multiple issues in spite of not messing with the settings too much, and pretty much just using the defaults and an increased atlas size. Despite this, I get missing objects in the distance even on a completely unmodified game, it tells me there are missing normal maps for vanilla objects, and I also get a lot of distant z-fighting. This happens regardless of mod load order, setup, included mods, etc. I also ran into a truly baffling problem where after failing to generate the right LOD, I turned off the package including it and getting into the game with NO LOD mods enabled, it was all broken, missing textures and polygons and everything. I'm really at my wit's end, having been dealing with this on and off for about two weeks now, and I really, really hope somebody can help with this, I am so close to giving up completely.

 

For reference, I'm using Mod Organizer 2, have the output set up correctly, have archive invalidation enabled, pack each output into its own zip and add it to MO, all that. I've tried setting the mod as low down the priority list as I can, I've tried putting the files directly into the game's folder to no avail, and I've tried running the program multiple times into the same output. None of this has solved the issue. I'm specifically getting a lot of missing objects around Vegas itself from a distance, including the Lucky 38 tower, but also Camp McCarran and another building on the Strip. The Lucky 38 may be due to a mod I have, no clue what yet, but the rest vanishes no matter the mod setup.

 

Please, I am begging for help on this.


Edited by MoodysShuffle, 21 November 2020 - 06:23 PM.

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#941 KLWaster

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Posted 21 November 2020 - 09:50 PM

In regards to the bEnableLandFade setting in Skyrim.ini, is there a similar setting for building and object LOD fade? The setting is working well for me for the terrain, but I am also seeing similarly ugly flickering as I approach city exteriors etc. 


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#942 KLWaster

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Posted 21 November 2020 - 09:56 PM

...I also ran into a truly baffling problem where after failing to generate the right LOD, I turned off the package including it and getting into the game with NO LOD mods enabled, it was all broken, missing textures and polygons and everything....

 

...I've tried putting the files directly into the game's folder... 

I am most definitely not an expert, but based on the above it sounds like you may have over-written or deleted some of the vanilla assets. To make sure that you have the full vanilla file set, I'd start by using the Verify Integrity of Game Files button in Steam (right click on the game in the Steam library, choose Properties, then go to the Local Files tab). 

 

That won't help you with getting improved LODs, but it may at least help you with the missing objects problem. Good luck. 


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#943 sheson

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Posted 22 November 2020 - 01:47 AM

I had to make an account for this, and I really do hope someone can aid me on this. I have a multitude of questions specifically regarding generating LOD for Fallout: New Vegas. Put simply, I cannot figure out for the life of me how to make it generate a completely proper thing. I've had multiple issues in spite of not messing with the settings too much, and pretty much just using the defaults and an increased atlas size. Despite this, I get missing objects in the distance even on a completely unmodified game, it tells me there are missing normal maps for vanilla objects, and I also get a lot of distant z-fighting. This happens regardless of mod load order, setup, included mods, etc. I also ran into a truly baffling problem where after failing to generate the right LOD, I turned off the package including it and getting into the game with NO LOD mods enabled, it was all broken, missing textures and polygons and everything. I'm really at my wit's end, having been dealing with this on and off for about two weeks now, and I really, really hope somebody can help with this, I am so close to giving up completely.

 

For reference, I'm using Mod Organizer 2, have the output set up correctly, have archive invalidation enabled, pack each output into its own zip and add it to MO, all that. I've tried setting the mod as low down the priority list as I can, I've tried putting the files directly into the game's folder to no avail, and I've tried running the program multiple times into the same output. None of this has solved the issue. I'm specifically getting a lot of missing objects around Vegas itself from a distance, including the Lucky 38 tower, but also Camp McCarran and another building on the Strip. The Lucky 38 may be due to a mod I have, no clue what yet, but the rest vanishes no matter the mod setup.

 

Please, I am begging for help on this.

If xLODGen generates meshes and texture with the -o command line into a dedicated output folder that is outside of any game and modding folders and then those meshes and textures (or any mod files) are installed as a mod in MO2 and then removed, none of that can not affect anything permanently in the game or load order. If installing and removing meshes and textures would have a lasting effect on the game or load order, it would be a problem with the mod manager. 

 

However, the game braking like you describe is consistent with the meshes and folders being generated into game or any mod folders, like when the -o command is not set.

 

Carefully check the log for all warning and error messages, especially messages about textures not on atlas or too many vertices/triangles. The messages about missing normal map for tree LOD billboards are expected.

 

Make sure nothing, including the game, mod manager, tools and xLODGen are not installed in protected Windows folders like Program Files or are blocked by antivir etc.


In regards to the bEnableLandFade setting in Skyrim.ini, is there a similar setting for building and object LOD fade? The setting is working well for me for the terrain, but I am also seeing similarly ugly flickering as I approach city exteriors etc. 

The game has to first load in all objects (with LOD) of a cell, before it can disable the LOD for them. In that brief time both show. That behavior itself can not be changed. There is a stipple fade setting, but changing it only makes things worse for trees, as the tree LOD unloads too early, while the tree fades in, so there is a brief disappearance.


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#944 MoodysShuffle

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Posted 24 November 2020 - 08:48 AM

Hi again! I actually did find something of a solution, though I'm sure it's highly unintended and really hacky. I'm still not sure why the vanilla meshes got broken the way they did, I verified the integrity of the cache and it didn't change anything, and I double checked the internal files and could not find any remaining LOD files. Generating a new LOD file did fix them. In the end, what I had to do was generate an LOD file with ONLY my location mods loaded, and that ended up making a mostly perfect LOD with several of the issues I described fixed. I then loaded that LOD file with my main mod setup in MO, and it did not cause any major issues yet. Maybe my load order is just messing with it? I'm not sure. Definitely something in my load order removing the Lucky 38. There are still a couple of missing pieces (Lucky 38 and Camp McCarran were restored, but a building in New Vegas, and another structure further away vanished). I haven't gotten a single error line about vertices or atlas during my time with this version of the generator, except for the time I generated LOD with the Nexus version's resources loaded just to see what would happen (that thing NEVER gave me anything usable even on a completely, thoroughly unmodified game. I still have no idea why.). I am experiencing a lot more z-fighting with various LOD overlapping each other, but I have yet to look into that at all because I was just happy to get the LOD itself functioning mostly right after two weeks of fighting it.


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#945 Patrick

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Posted 07 December 2020 - 04:59 AM

Hi all, just a small problem with flickering mountains...I have two mods to compare the problem, one done by someone else, one mine. On the first mod, LOD mountains nicely fade in when approached, on my mod they flicker in, the transition between lod and the actual model is abrupt and takes about 2 seconds. Anything I can look at? Known culprits? I'm on LE.


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