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.

What is PBR?

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.

Post Processing & Effects

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.

Not Just for Players

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:

  • Shaders & Skyboxes: Jon Micheelsen
  • Any updated textures or meshes: dolynick & Ironclad Games (original work)


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.

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0.91 Beta Release

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.

Non-Shadowed Shader

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.

Subsurface Scattering

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.

See the source image

Subsurface scattering on translucent stone

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.

See the source image

Subsurface scattering on a face. Left is without, right is with it applied.

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.

Bloom & Post Processing

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.

PostFX 091b sidebyside

Default on left, Bloom & Post Processing enabled on right

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.

Sins: Remastered v0.91b

Sins:  Remastered v0.90 Beta Released

Sins: Remastered v0.90 Beta Released

Feature 3 comments

The 0.90 Beta version of Sins: Remastered has been released.

For Modders:  Overview of Ship Shader (v0.91+)

For Modders: Overview of Ship Shader (v0.91+)

Textures Tutorial

An explanation of the new texture format required for the Sins: Remastered ship shader and explanation of some PBR mechanics.

RSS Files
Sins:  Remastered v0.91 Beta

Sins: Remastered v0.91 Beta

Full Version

Full version of Sins: Remastered v0.91 Beta for Sins of a Solar Empire: Rebellion v1.94.

Sins:  Remastered v0.90 Beta (Revised)

Sins: Remastered v0.90 Beta (Revised)

Full Version 15 comments

A full version of the 0.90 beta of Sins: Remastered for Sins of a Solar Empire: Rebellion v1.93. **Fully playable, but ship shadows must be set to minimum...

Comments  (0 - 10 of 22)

I love the concept, but for whatever reason all of the models look very shiny and reflective, even ones that definitely should not be. Idk if that's an issue with the mod, an issue on my end, or a conflict with other mods I'm using (currently using star wars interregnum). Any help/possible fixes would be awesome!

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dolynick Creator

There is nothing to fix. Mods that have their own custom content will have to update their textures to use the Sins:Re shaders if they want to do so. In the case of E4X and Interregnum, I will probably give them a hand since I'm already somewhat involved in the Interregnum project. There is already a compatibility mod for E4X in testing but it's on the cusp of a major 1.94 update so there likely won't be an official download for it until that happens.

The only mod, that I know of so far, that fully supports integration with Sins:Re in official releases is Stargate Races. There might be others that work without requiring updates (because they don't introduce new textures of their own) but I couldn't say which for certain.

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my computer cant run the mod its extremely laggy barely can move :(

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dolynick Creator

That is unfortunate. I haven't been noticing a big performance change with the new shaders myself but PCs can be vastly different in hardware too.

There are a couple things you could try to help smooth things out:

1) Turn off Bloom & Post Processing. Like the original Bloom option, there is a significant performance hit to enabling it.

2) Keep cinematic mode off. I only noticed it last night but enabling cinematic mode does seem to impact FPS in a noticeable way.

3) The tactical grid overlay is an FPS killer as well. It is in the stock game and it's no different here. Turn it off and let the game momentarily enable it for you automatically when placing modules, etc and things will go smoother - particularly in the later stages of a game.

Hopefully one or more of these will help matters for you.

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i tried but still doesent work rip thanks anyway tho :)

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I don't know if this is valid, but there are few things that make no "sense", more like oddities, to me:
-The gamma on emblems is way too bright;
-There are some irregularities with the shadows;
-The screen blurs when zoomed out;
-Ship details are a bit odd;
-Dark side planets need a lot more work - too much color;
-Weapon fire is the same as vanilla. I would love some improvement;
-Don't really get why it is yet bright when not needed and dark when not...
I understand it's a beta and all, but it isn't ready yet. Anyway, gread job. Ironclad made nothing major so far to improve graphics in the game...

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dolynick Creator

Thanks for the feedback.

Several of the things on that list seem to point back at the current post processing settings in this version of the beta. They are being adjusted for the next release. In the meantime, you can certainly just disable Bloom & Post Processing and still use the PBR shaders.

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Really nice I love it. Though I dont know if im doing something wrong or its not compatible with maelstrom but there are no effects. Like no explosion effects, warp effects or no spawn wait points. Am I doing something wrong ? Or is it more likely not compatible ?

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You are right, even the extra factions will throw "String not found" into descriptions and ship names, pretty sure they conflict in some way. Most weird, graphics seems to work just fine aside from the fact that explosions look lame.

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dolynick Creator

"String not found" issues are most likely due to stacking order of mods. If Sins:Re is on top, it's string file will override the other mods and all custom strings will, of course, be missing. It should be fixable by making sure Sins:Re is at the "bottom" of the stacking order.

As for missing effects... We finally identified a cause for it yesterday and I believe we have it solved today. It was a problem in the particle and beam shaders affecting users with Radeon GPUs (not sure if it was all or just older ones) but worked fine on Nvidia hardware. I'm not sure when we post the next update, but the fix will surely be in it.

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JonMicheelsen Creator

If there's any shader modifications in the Maelstrom mod(does it do anything in the PipelineEffects folder), it might conflict. Effects could be broken by this.

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dolynick Creator

Any mod that has its own ship assets will likely need to be updated or patch modded for real compatibility. What your describing sounds entirely different than what should happen
normally though.

Make sure that SinsRe is "below" other mods in stacking. I still wouldn't expect that kind of result but it's the most obvious thing I can think of to check.

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