Dynamic Shaders - 2.0

community technology preview

Author: Meltac (C) 2011-2015
With contributions from Sky4ce, Kingo64, BAC9-FLCL, Daemonjax, LoNer1, Lyoko774, DDraig, OGSE Team, Thunderfreak, Gnomus, and ket

Version 2.0 Main Features

- Reflective dynamic wet surfaces (totally new implemented)
- Indoor light reflections in selected places
- New Sun Shafts aka "God Rays" (totally new implemented) with additional sun effects
- Rainbows with dynamically changing size and intensity depending on sun appearance
- Adaptive Night Vision Scopes, now also switchable by keypress
- Dynamic Depth of Field and Zoom DoF
- Reflective suit visors (from the outside and the inside)
- Reflective lighting optimized (slightly improved lighting model)
- Thermal/Infrared Vision
- Soft Shadows - Improved shadow jitter implementation
- Refractive water drops on visor HUD during rain fall
- Lens Flares on specific light sources (not only sun)


Tested on SoC patch 1.0005 and 1.0006
- might work with other versions will no to little changes (untested). Please check the Release Notes .

Many thanks to everybody who helped developing, testing, and releasing this mod!

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Dynamic Shaders 2.0 CTP

Community Technology Preview

The long awaited version 2.0 of Dynamic Shaders is now available as CTP in the download section. When installing it make sure you've read the following notes.

2.0 CTP 2.0 CTP

Why CTP ?

This is a preview version, which means that the final release has not been finished. In software development we talk of a Community Technology Preview for pre-releases that don't "fit" in the regular "Alpha-Beta-Final" release chain, and serve as a showcase of what main features the upcoming version is about to contain. In terms of DS 2.0, there are still a lot of areas that need refinement, balancing, or even one or the other fix to be applied in order to be considered a "final" release.
In other words: Enjoy the new features - but be prepared to encounter some glitches or bugs ;-)

2.0 CTP 2.0 CTP

What new features does it bring?

The CTP contains almost all features that DS 2.0 has been advertised for, plus two or three things that haven't been announced publicly. A few minor features have been crossed out, and things that have not been mentioned as part of DS 2.0 will not be contained.

Feature List (as on the mod's summary page):
- Reflective dynamic wet surfaces (totally new implemented)
- Indoor light reflections in selected places
- New Sun Shafts aka "God Rays" (totally new implemented) with additional sun effects
- Dynamic rainbows
- Adaptive Night Vision Scopes, now also switchable by keypress
- Dynamic Depth of Field and Zoom DoF
- Reflective suit visors (from the outside and the inside)
- Reflective lighting optimized (slightly improved lighting model)
- Thermal/Infrared Vision
- Soft Shadows - Improved shadow jitter implementation
- NEW: Lens Flares on specific light sources (not only sun)
- NEW: Water Drops on Visor HUD during rain fall

Further improvements:
- Semi-transparent HUD cross-hair of selectable color
- Improved Parallax Mapping
- Added jitter and edge distortion to night vision scopes and NV binoc
- support for all 41 levels of the extended Kostya's STALKER Map Pack
- support for mods with zoom-less weapons (to still have zoom DOF in aim mode)
- support for modified FOV (Field Of View), like with FOV-Switcher tools
- scopes with additional scope zoom
- many small fixes and improvements.

What unfinished things are to expected?

As for a CTP some areas of the mod either haven't been finished, or would be ok but haven't been fine tuned and balanced well yet. The following list contains features with refinement requirement:

  • Wet surfaces create glitches under certain circumstances and are toned down for that reason.
  • Indoor reflections behave like wet other areas, therefore they are not refined yet as well.
  • Sun Shafts are most complete but might need adjustment to your liking.
  • Rainbows move with the skybox when you have a rotating sky.
  • Switching night vision on/off disables the "current task" feature as they take over the Tab key.
  • Depth of Field effect looses intensity when used together with sun shafts.
  • Thermal vision is a fake effect and therefore creates "false" or strange results sometimes.
  • Soft Shadows change the way the entire shadowing behaves so need to be balanced out well.
  • Lens Flares are only configured for Agroprom Underground, and only on certain light sources.
  • Water Drops appear / dry out with the wet surfaces without taking indoor areas into account.
  • Many things that need further fine tuning and sometimes even bug fixing.

Do I need to make any configuration effort to get this working?

This mod is all about configuration - it is not meant to be run "as is". Sure, the release *does* run out-of-the-box, when put onto a vanilla installation (i.e. no other mods installed), but realistically in most cases you'd wan't to adjust one or the other feature to your liking and other mods.

So, it's really worth the effort looking into the various pieces that might be configured:

1. Shaders
The shaders themselves have several settings files - those end with .txt extension in gamedata/r2 folder. There is a general ShaderSettings file (including wet surfaces settings), and decidated files for sun shafts, visors, rainbows, and lens flares.

2. Scripts
Some scripts have configurative elements as well: shader_control, weather_control, visor_control. Most settings can be left as they are, but you'd want to check the console settings in weather_control (only change first list value of respective console setting, leave the second one!).

3. Configs
There are some .ltx files in the config sections, most important those in the shaders subfolder. There you can also add locations for areas in the game that should have a ground always dry, wet, or reflective.

Can it be merged with / into other mods?

Short answer: Yes, it can. Realistic answer: In most cases some basic file merging might be required. This affects mainly a few script and config files, although in some rare cases shader merging might be needed as well.

I can't give a general merging instruction here because the effort to be taken depends very much on the mods that you want to run DS 2.0 along with. However some file comparison / diff tool will certainly do a good job in assisting the merge procedure.

Files that need merging in almost every case (when not run on plain vanilla) are bind_stalker.script and environment.ltx, often also level_weathers.script, ui_main_menu.script, and ui_custom_msgs.xml. There are also some files that you might or might not take over, such as the textures (but some features might not work then as expected), or anything that is duplicate with no differences in your other mods, obviously.

What about the system requirements?

DS 2.0 is a beast, shader-wise. You'll want to make sure you have a well optimized (and not extremely out-dated) rig. The mod is DirectX 9 only (full dynamic lighting / R2 renderer). Check the sample user.ltx provided in the download section to avoid renderer errors on a fresh game installation. Plus, DirectX 11 runtime needs to be installed on your system. But relax - you won't need a fully DX11 compliant graphics adapter to run the mod. Anything not older than a Geforce GTX 260 should do, although in order to get a decent frame rate you'll need something like a GTX 560 Ti or newer. CPU load is reasonably high as well, but a moderate multi-core machine should do. However be sure to have enough memory available and run a patch of the game allowing to address enough of it (in my tests the game used about 1.7 GB on full load).

Ah, almost forgot: An SSD disk or at least decent harddrive might really help speeding up launch times!

Why does it come with a bin folder?

As mentioned above, the mod runs on the DX11 runtime. To enable best hardware support I had to provide two binaries to copy into your bin folder. This way you won't need to replace any native DirectX binaries on your system.

If you got any questions or comments don't hesitate to contact me. I can't always reply instantly, but I will look into any request as soon as I get a chance to.

Important Note: Fix for start-up crash
In case you get an error message on start-up after installing the CTP with this log (or similar):

error is error X3539: ps_1_x is no longer supported; use /Gec in fxc to automatically upgrade to ps_2_0
error X3539: Alternately, fxc's /LD option allows use of the old compiler DLL

Can't compile shader postprocess

To fix this, simply copy this sample user.ltx into your stalker documents folder (something like C:\Users\Public\Documents\STALKER-SHOC).

[Announcement] Patch 1 for DS 1.2 Beta

[Announcement] Patch 1 for DS 1.2 Beta

News 1 comment

A first update for the current Beta release of Dynamic Shaders 1.2 containing a set of hotfixes and improvements will be available soon.

Beta Release 1.2 ready for download !

Beta Release 1.2 ready for download !

News 1 comment

The long awaited next version of Dynamic Shaders has finally come to a state where we can proudly announce the beta release of version 1.2.

Community Technology Preview announcement

Community Technology Preview announcement

News 3 comments

We are preparing a CTP containing a subset of the new features.

Dynamic Shaders 2.0 announcement

Dynamic Shaders 2.0 announcement

News 21 comments

After extensive work including various code rebuilds I've come to the decision to start version 2.0 instead of continuing with 1.2.

RSS feed Downloads
User.ltx for fresh SoC installation with DS 2.0CTP

User.ltx for fresh SoC installation with DS 2.0CTP

Script 0 comments

This sample user settings file will fix a crash of DS2.0CTP on a new installation of the game or with some setups.

Dynamic Shaders 2.0 CTP

Dynamic Shaders 2.0 CTP

Full Version 66 comments

Community Technology Preview (CTP) of the long awaited Dynamic Shaders 2.0 mod. See details for more information...

Dynamic Shaders 1.2 Beta - Patch 2 & ThermalVision

Dynamic Shaders 1.2 Beta - Patch 2 & ThermalVision

Patch 7 comments

Second patch (non-cumulative) for Dynamic Shaders 1.2 Beta containing a set of further improvements, including thermal/infrared vision scopes. Check out...

Dynamic Shaders 1.2 Beta - Patch 1

Dynamic Shaders 1.2 Beta - Patch 1

Patch 14 comments

First small patch for Dynamic Shaders 1.2 Beta containing a set of hotfixes and improvements. Check out the readme.txt before installation.

Dynamic Shaders 1.2 Beta

Dynamic Shaders 1.2 Beta

Full Version 31 comments

Beta release of the next generation of the Dynamic Shaders mod. Please read description before installing and also install Patch 1+2 (separate downloads...

Dynamic Shaders 1.1 Beta Patch 2 (non-cumulative)

Dynamic Shaders 1.1 Beta Patch 2 (non-cumulative)

Patch 2 comments

Second official patch for Dynamic Shaders 1.1 Beta, fixing an issue with iron sights. Not cumulative - please install Patch 1 first. See description for...

Post comment Comments  (260 - 270 of 551)
Kocayine
Kocayine

Has a way to avoid stripes/lines in the distance, when SSAO enabled, been figured out yet?

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Meltac Creator
Meltac

Unfortunately, no. Even with the SSAO implementation ported from CoP those are still there. I believe the guys from OGSE have found a way to get rid of the stripes with their modded binaries for SoC patch 1.0006, but for versions 1.0005 and earlier there's no fix I would know of so far.

Reply Good karma+1 vote
Kocayine
Kocayine

Ah bummer. How about with your new sunshafts... The old ones created this sort of wall of light some 50m in front of the player. (Sorry, I can't explain it better, hope you understand). It was quite subtle, but it was there... Is it the same with your sunshafts?

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Meltac Creator
Meltac

I assume with "the old ones" you mean the sun shafts implementation by Sky4ce, right? If so, mine has nothing to do with that one because it's a completely other approach. So there's nothing like a "wall of light", however the entire scenery is brighter when looking in sun direction because of the shafts.

Reply Good karma+1 vote
Kocayine
Kocayine

Yeah, I supposed that's what I'm talking about. Well, judging from videos, yours are already miles better.

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Meltac Creator
Meltac

They are not comparable at all. Mine are purely post-processing with all its advantages and disadvantages. A downside is that sun shafts won't be visible anymore once you turn away from the sun, the same way as with lens flares. Another thing is that it's computationally rather expensive compared to Sky4ce's solution.

However I believe the visual improvements to outplay those downsides easily ;-)

Reply Good karma+1 vote
grazegrabber
grazegrabber

Thanks for your help Meltac. :)

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Meltac Creator
Meltac

No problem.

Reply Good karma+3 votes
Zyklo
Zyklo

One question Meltac, im seeing the sunshafts in the shadows and not in the objects (trees, windows), is this normal? if not, how I can fix it?

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Guest
Guest

Thats original sunshafts from sky4ce. They suposed to be like that. Thats why Meltac created new version which is not released yet. :(

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Meltac Creator
Meltac

Exactly. The sun shafts in DS 2.0 will be a totally new implementation which has nothing to do with that in DS 1.1. I've got one last major bug to fix before I'll release it.

Reply Good karma+3 votes
Swartzy
Swartzy

One more question for you Meltac, I hope you don't mind.

You seem to know pretty well what will and won't work in X-Ray whereas I have no clue.

I was wondering if the following was possible in X-Ray:
1) Filmic Tonemapping: Filmicgames.com
There's also a wonderful Powerpoint about this, correct gamma, and other things but I can't find it. I think I have it on my HDD if you'd be interested in it.

2) Sample Distribution Shadow Maps: Visual-computing.intel-research.net

I downloaded the demo and it's in DX11. I realize it likely wouldn't be possible to sorta down-port it to DX9 for SOC, but since CoP supports DX10/11 do you think it might be possible?

I realize it would take some time to look this stuff over so I completely understand if you don't have the time for it. I also don't expect a response anytime soon as I know you're very busy.

Thanks for your time and keep up the awesome work. :)

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Swartzy
Swartzy

Found the Powerpoint: Filmicgames.com

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Meltac Creator
Meltac

Hey, you're quite looking out for new goodies ;-)

As for what a can say after a quick glance: 1) yes 2) no.

In Detail:

1) seems to be quite easy stuff to implement as it's basically just color manipulation (at least most of the functions described there). However I'm not the fine-tuning guy, nor do I have the eye to see every single little nuance in those screens so I'd need somebody to tell me which approaches and settings to implement.

2) AFAIK, shadow maps are computed by the engine itself and not by the shaders, so I *assume* that any change in shadow mapping would require engine tweaking, which is not my field of application.

EDIT: Just to make sure, when talking about what's possible and what not, I'm always talking about unmodded X-Ray 1.0005 or earlier binaries. The various modified binaries for patch 1.0006 may provide additional features which I cannot make use of in 1.0005.

Reply Good karma+2 votes
Swartzy
Swartzy

That was fast :D

In terms of finding shaders, it's because for a little while I was trying to mod a free game engine like OGre3D to use an advanced rendering system and I've spent a LOT of time looking up what smart graphics industry people believe should be implemented in next-gen games.
It's too bad that Crytek encrypted their shaders as I really wanted their new pixel-accurate displacement mapping :(

But yeah I had assumed Sample Distribution Shadow Maps weren't possible, but one can dream. It's such an awesome technique, I'm amazed the latest games like Metro: Last Light and Crysis 3 didn't utilize it.

I'm pretty sure even the modded binaries can't do it, as I've looked them over (you can find the source for the modded binaries at: Code.google.com
But yeah, unfortunately they will only work on 1.006 :(

As for Filmic Tonemapping, YAY! :D
I realize when you say this it doesn't necessarily mean you'd implement it, but in terms of those nuances what do you want to know?

The powerpoint explains how it works pretty well, but in terms of shader settings for the correct gamma, exposure, etc. I can likely find some example shader code which shows the correct settings, if you'd be interested.

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Meltac Creator
Meltac

In all honesty I haven't checked that powerpoint in details but primarily looked at the code samples on the website you linked. Basically I'd need to know which of those code samples you'd like to be ported to the SoC shaders and I'll do the rest (of course you can do it yourself if you like as you seem to have some shader dev experience as well).

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Swartzy
Swartzy

The main one at the end, which is this: Pastebin.com

The reason I don't do it myself is it needs to replace the current tonemapping technique which I believe is defined in common.h and I figure I'd probably break it. It isn't just an additional thing, the game needs to read it as the new tonemapping technique to use.

I also don't really have any shader dev experience, I'm just learning and mostly just wing it ;)

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Meltac Creator
Meltac

Hmm, well I'm not sure whether it's possible to entirely *replace* the game's tonemapping with another one. I thought you'd like it as an additional post process. However I think it should be possible to disable the default tonemapping in console and setup the new one purely shader wise, that way the two should not interfere.

Reply Good karma+1 vote
Swartzy
Swartzy

Oh, I see. Yeah I wasn't sure about that either. I guess adding it as a new postprocess was still work if you disabled the default tonemapping of the game. You couldn't really have both running at the same time though, it would look strange.

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