Sins: Remastered is a graphical update mod for Sins of a Solar Empire: Rebellion. It includes new PBR shaders and revised textures of stock game assets to work with those new shaders. The end result is a modern rendering style and a new look to an old game.
Physically based rendering or PBR is a philosophy in computer graphics that seeks to render graphics in a way that more accurately models the flow of light in the real world. Many PBR pipelines (though not all) have the accurate simulation of photorealism as their goal. Modern game engines like Unreal Engine 4 and Unity are now PBR based.
The new shaders for Sins: Remastered are a PBR metalness & roughness system. A discreet texture channel for ambient occlusion is available as well. They also support Sins' original team color, emissive and bloom channel set up.
The bloom effect has been reworked and generally improved. In addition, the old toggle command for enabling bloom in-game has been co-opted and now also controls the use of post proecessing in general. The new post processing effects give a more cinematic feel, with sharper contrast and more vibrant colors on effects.
While we certainly want and invite all players to enjoy Sins: Rematered, it is not intended just for them. This mod is also meant to serve as a base mod platform for other mods to incorporate the new shaders if they so choose.
All shaders may be used and all core game assets converted herein to PBR may be used in full or in part as needed. Expansion style mods can simply stack on top of this base mod and convert their unique assets to the PBR format without having to worry about everything else. Total Conversion mods are invited to simply incorporate whatever textures they still retain from the core game as needed.
We do ask that you include credit when using the base mod assets, in full or in part as follows:
Sins: Remasterd is the work of Jon Micheelsen and dolynick, based upon the original artwork of Ironclad Games.
All the wizardry under the hood is the work of Jon Micheelsen. Jon is professional game developer who's work has included Blindmind Studio's Star Ruler 2 and Hazelight's A Way Out. He has graciously donated his time to write all new shaders for the project.
All base game textures were converted to PBR-compatible format by dolynick. A long-time player and modder, dolynick's work includes Stargate Races for Sins of a Solar Rebellion and DOF for Star Ruler 2. He is also a member of the Stargate Invasion team and has contributed work to the Sins of a Galactic Empire and Star Wars: Interregnum projects.
We are pleased to announce that the next beta version of Sins: Remastered is now available. While this update does not contain a lot of new content, it does bring several notable improvements and additions.
The initial release of the mod did not include a ship shader for when shadows are disabled. This meant that things would look extremely wrong if you did not have shadows enabled at some level. This state of affairs has now been corrected and the PBR shaders for ships can now be enjoyed using any combination of settings.
Those of you who have looked more closely at the shaders may have noticed that we had a texture channel that was going unused. That is no longer the case as we have now implemented subsurface scattering into the PBR shaders.
Subsurface scattering is also sometimes referred to as subsurface light transport. It refers to the mechanism by which light penetrates the surface of a translucent object, is scattered inside the material, and then exits. It is used in the rendering of objects like leaves, wax, marble and skin. In Sins it can be used to help along textures for organic ships.
The most obvious effect of strong and extensive subsurface scattering is visual effect of light glowing through an object. You can see it above on the statue. Other examples would be a hand held in front of a bright light and the red glow it takes on or the way leaves light up when viewed with the sunlight hitting the opposing side.
Another effect of subsurface scattering is more subtle and has to do with the way light interacts with the surface of an object. This is illustrated above by the difference in the skin on the two instances of the faces. The face on the right has subsurface scattering implemented and appears more natural in the way it is being lit.
Subsurface scattering is available in the red channel of the normal texture.
We knew when we released the initial 0.90 beta that the post processing effects could use some dialing-in yet. Several users have commented and we agree that changes were needed. After going through several iterations of adjustments, we have arrived at new settings that we think are going to be more acceptable over the long term.
The new settings reduce bloom a little bit to help avoid washing out the screen when large bright objects or areas are present. They also adjust tone mapping to be much more subtle than the first release.
We invite you to grab the new version and give it a try! Let us know what you think.
An explanation of the new texture format required for the Sins: Remastered ship shader and explanation of some PBR mechanics.
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Full version of Sins: Remastered v0.91 Beta for Sins of a Solar Empire: Rebellion v1.94.
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