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Problems with generating 3D LODS for Realistic Aspen Trees

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#1 Eruntinco

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Posted 25 July 2018 - 08:15 PM

I have been struggling to generate decent 3D LODs for Realistic Aspen Trees in SSE for some time now.  The first issue that I encountered was that the leaves of the aspen LODs were almost invisible.

 

In response, I followed the steps in DynDOLOD_CreateStaticTree.html.  I created separate aspen meshes for DynDOLOD using merge.bat, ran the textures though nvDXT with the command "nvdxt.exe -dxt1a -alpha_threshold 0.3125 -file x.dds" (with .3125 gotten by dividing the nifs' threshold by 256), renamed the textures (creating a copy of the normal maps for each texture), and edited the meshes to correspond with the altered textures.  I verified that the right meshes were being used by DynDOLOD in the log, but none of this resulted in an appreciable difference in the game.

 

Next, I attempted to use the textures and meshes for Realistic Aspen Trees present in the DynDOLOD SE Resources.  I changed the CRC32 checksums of the meshes to the ones determined by DynDOLOD_CRC32Gen.pas.script, ran DynDOLOD, verified that the right meshes were being used, yet the problem persisted.

 

My third attempt involved using the meshes and textures for RAT from Enhanced Vanilla Trees (the Classic version, not the SSE one).  This did result in a change; the leaves on the distant trees were visible (at least on the trees a few cells away).  However, the distant leaves had these hideous dark "blotches", which are not present on any of the aspens in loaded cells.  I think that this problem is a consequence of the "solution"; the leaves in the textures from EVT are "copied" over each other, making the distant leaves more visible, but too dense in some places, causing the blotches.

 

I am at a loss here.  I know that this can be fixed, as I found a post on the Skyrim Mods subreddit from 2 years ago containing a download with the fixed files.  Naturally, that download is now unavailable.  Is there anything that I have missed here?

 

Thanks in advance.

 


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#2 sheson

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Posted 26 July 2018 - 07:04 AM

So the 3D LOD generates just fine and it seems the problem is with third party diffuse textures.

 

DXT1 uses 0/1 transparency, so converting to it is a good choice since then you have full control over each pixel to make sure it is either transparent or opaque.

 

So if the result of converting with nvdxt.exe seems to be too thin / missing pixels, lower the threshold for the conversion until the result in the game is acceptable.

 

Black splotches usually mean that a background pixel was set to transparent. So the threshold for conversion was set too low. Can also be fixed easily with an image editing program.


Edited by sheson, 26 July 2018 - 07:14 AM.

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#3 Eruntinco

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Posted 26 July 2018 - 02:44 PM

Alright, I have run the original, unedited textures from Realistic Aspen Trees through nvDXT on a few different settings, with alpha_threshold set to .3, .15, .01, and 0.  There is a small improvement on the smallest values, but trees that are more than 6 or 7 cells away still look terrible (i.e. transparent), and the trees that are 6 or 7 cells away still look rather off.


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#4 sheson

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Posted 26 July 2018 - 05:43 PM

Alright, I have run the original, unedited textures from Realistic Aspen Trees through nvDXT on a few different settings, with alpha_threshold set to .3, .15, .01, and 0.  There is a small improvement on the

smallest values, but trees that are more than 6 or 7 cells away still look terrible (i.e. transparent), and the trees that are 6 or 7 cells away still look rather off.

I have no idea what you could do to make the opaque/transparenct pixels of the source DXT1 texture to all of sudden be not be the exact same way opaque/transparenct in the texture atlas. The source texture or atlas are most likely being overwritten or you are looking at something way to close which is impossible to do with LOD / does not matter with LOD when looked at from afar.

 

Compare both the source texture and its version in the LOD atlas Textures\DynDOLOD\LOD\DynDOLOD_Atlas_Tamriel.dds in an image viewer. 

 

LOD typically starts beyond the loaded cells, which is typically just 2.5 cells away unless you changed uGrids.

 

Post a screenshot.


Edited by sheson, 26 July 2018 - 05:51 PM.

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#5 Eruntinco

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Posted 26 July 2018 - 07:43 PM

I didn't properly phrase that part about trees 6 - 7 cells away having leaves but looking wrong; it is all LOD trees looking off until 6 or 7 cells (maybe more), at which point the transparency problem becomes very visible.  I compared the DynDOLOD Atlas texture and the textures used by the static tree meshes and they seem to be identical.  Additionally, Mod Organizer is not reporting any conflicts between the files.

 

CvMPk29.jpg


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#6 sheson

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Posted 27 July 2018 - 03:11 AM

This is what I get using EVT Skyrim version with the RAT install option
 
59721-1532678488-806010431.jpeg

This is what I get with RAT Skyrim SE version and renamed 3D LOD meshes. I also redid the LOD textures from the 4k version.

59721-1532678792-798733993.jpeg

Here are the updated 3D LOD resources for RAT SE I am going to include in the next version.
 


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#7 Eruntinco

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Posted 31 July 2018 - 11:33 PM

Thanks Sheson, the new files are considerably better than my own were (for some reason).


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#8 sheson

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Posted 05 August 2018 - 11:17 AM

The updated 3D tree LOD assets for Realistic Aspen Trees SE are now included in DynDOLOD Resources SE 2.43 beta.


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