Post news RSS Radium graphical features

I want to give everyone a rundown on graphical features that either we are already working on or have planned for the future.

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Update #1: 11/25:

I don't want to make AMD users hate me, so I've decided under certain conditions, I AM going to add a technology that was developed by AMD.
What technology is that? AMD's TressFX.
However, just like Subsurface Skin Scattering, this would take a while to implement.
So I will only add it on condition that I also end up adding SSS!
If anyone out there wants to make this happen quicker, and has the know-how to do it, send me a PM and join the team, especially if you also have an AMD card so we can compare performance!

Update #2 11/28:

I've decided to hold off on doing a video for now. Some effects simply aren't finished, and I think you guys would enjoy it more when you have more eye candy you can see :)
We'll have some surprises for you when the time arrives!

So I promised a news update regarding graphics that this mod will have. However: this is going to be a less content filled post than what I had initially planned. I had planned a bunch of screenshots and a video but there simply isn't enough done in a final state to show yet.

So, what new graphics features have currently been implemented? Well, since I'm new to rendering and I'm doing most of this alone, so not a whole lot...yet.

I'm registered as a Nvidia Gameworks developer, so I have access to various effects Nvidia uses and I'm taking advantage of that.

So far I've added:

  • Nvidia's HBAO+
  • Color grading from OGSE (which we may use to give certain scenes different moods)
  • Metlac's reflective visors (yep, we have dynamic helmets/visors if you choose to enable them. I'm not a fan of visors personally but I'm finding that I'm leaving them turned on so I can see the reflective effect :p )
  • K.D.'s SSDO (however the adaptation didn't go as well as I was hoping: either the SSDO formula will be replaced, or I'll use SSGI instead)
  • K.D.'s DX9 Percentage Closer Soft Shadows (Heiker is working on integrating Nvidia's advanced PCSS for DX11)
  • SMAA 1X
  • Bokeh DOF
  • K.D.'s Thermal vision (though it isn't picking up heat the way I like as it was meant for SOC's system that uses textures.ltx: without it we need a different solution)
  • A different motion blur formula


Effect's currently being worked on:

  • TXAA (have access to it, facing one small dumb hurdle due to being a noob)
  • Wet surface reflections for both DX9 & 11 (again, have a small hurdle: this time it's not knowing/remembering proper shader model 3.0 to shader model 5.0 syntax)
  • On a small scale: physically based rendering. This won't be done everywhere, as that would be a lot of work. At the moment I'm only working on weapons, and as you can see in the image below, I briefly tested it on the ship in Zaton (though obviously the effect is not meant for a beam in a rusty ship, it's just a demonstration)
  • Height-based fog


Then comes the long list of things we would like to have in a world where we have another graphics programmer or two, or I learn more or Heiker becomes less busy.

As I mentioned I have access to pretty much all of Nvidia Gameworks. Heiker will be adding Nvidia's PCSS solution to DX11, and he's also interested in giving VXGI a whirl.

The effect he's worked on the most, and hope I can show you guys soon, is DX11 displacement mapping. Optional of course, but I think it could make certain things look a lot better that steep parallax mapping simply can't achieve.

One global illumination system that anyone could use, and I would like to have implemented, is Light Propagation Volumes. Whether or not Stalker is suited for it remains to be seen.

Other potential effects:

  • Lens flares and lens dirt (pretty easy: it just depends on whether people want it as an option, as I'm not a big fan of lens flares)
  • Volumetric clouds
  • If I end up with a ton of time on my hands or someone new joins the team: subsurface skin scattering. This would be quite an undertaking though as it would mean going through every human mesh (and I suppose some mutants too) and individually selecting the the parts of each model that represent exposed skin, grouping them separate, and then in the SDK assigning an SSS shader to those parts. It probably isn't as hard of an undertaking as it sounds, just a boring one


I am also interested in another thing that is partially visual based but would take a good chunk of time to implement: a PhysX solution or two. This would allow us to have very complex particle effects that allow for shadowing and light as well as great collision detection. The reason we're interested in this is due to the limitations of GSC's particle system: it's slow, even after some optimizations have been made, and it performs poorly with collision detection enabled.

To clarify, we're not using various Nvidia effects because we don't like AMD or want people to miss out: Nvidia simply has lots of cool effects we can use, plus I don't believe any of us have AMD cards so we can't test out effects that would be catered to AMD users. We will try and make this up to you though.
In terms of something like a PhysX solution: we would simply offer GSC's system in it's place for AMD users, and there's nothing wrong with that as Loner has done an amazing job with various particle effects and working around the limitations of GSC's system.
If someone knows of a complex particle system that allows for hundreds to thousands or particles at once, with self-shadowing and lighting, great collision detection, and it works on all graphics cards, feel free to tell me about it. Otherwise PhysX will be the direction I hope to move in.

Another thing I want to mention is what renderers we have. As I mentioned in the past we have removed the DirectX 8/static lighting renderer. We are approaching the year 2016 and it would simply be a hassle to provide support for this ancient system. Don't fret if you have a laptop as all graphical effects are optional and you can still choose any of the DirectX 9 modes you'd like.

Likewise, we are giving DirectX 10 the boot. Why would we do that? For several reasons. One reason is out of all the rendering systems it is by far the slowest. Another is that we fixed the inherent problems in DirectX 11 such as the blurry text, the static lighting for various effects, and a bunch of other things. Another reason is simply due to the fact that it's extra work adding all the rendering effects to DirectX10, and it doesn't make a lot of sense: it has absolutely nothing to offer over DX9 or DX11. I'm expecting some users to protest this, but the fate of DirectX 10 has been sealed. I promise you that you won't miss it.
I'd like to add that few game developers use DirectX 10. These days games are usually DirectX 11 only, or they provide two renderers: 9 and 11. We're simply adapting to the times.

I have also mentioned both DirectX 11.3 and DirectX 12 in the past, so what about those? Well 11.3 works, but I see no benefit to it really. It's not as good as 12, and only a little better than 11. Away it goes.
That leaves DirectX 12 which I was pretty adamant about at one point. DirectX 12 is a huge undertaking, much more so than I had realized. I will not be pursuing it. That said, Heiker is very interested in it, and may experiment with it in the future.

In related news, and I don't mean to make this a footnote, we are teaming up with several modding groups, all organized by the Ray of Hope development team.

We will be sharing some of our creations with them, and in return we have access to some goodies they have made. Among those goodies is a 64-bit, heavily optimized engine, which they will be providing the framework for. A huge thanks goes out to them in advance, and be sure to check out Ray of Hope!

Last but not least: we are looking for more people to work on the engine, specifically graphics :) If you want to help and know HLSL feel free to apply to the team. Knowing C++ certainly helps but it's not required.

v1ld - - 852 comments

Great update, lots of cool stuff! I have an AMD card and I think it's great you're doing the NVidia effects - better some get it than no one at all.

Just as exciting that you're working with the RoH team - the promise of the opened up source is really starting to deliver. Also cool that you're reusing the OGSE shaders.

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Capt.Host - - 854 comments

Great rundown. I can see a lot of people happy with all this hard work. I don't know how you guys do it... Just amazing.

Also, does this collab with the RoH team mean that you're also working with the SGM3 and ISOTD3 teams? Because if that's the case, I can see all these mods learning and improving a lot with each other.

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Lоnerboner - - 8,303 comments

I can say at least one thing:

"the gap has finally been bridged"

I can say loads of teams are collectively working on a greater good. This includes the teams mentioned in the post and a few others. Expect loads and loads of amazing updates

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WastedSky - - 631 comments

Nice :)

Lens flares and lens dirt, yes for me.

Great work.

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Argoon - - 1,079 comments

Has a AMD user i see this with concern because Nvidia Gameworks stuff or doesn't work or runs like garbage on AMD hardware, so i hope you do what you said above and don't remove the AMD friendly effects already in, like for example the contact hardening shadows.

BTW before someone thinks Nvidia is the only one with this effects, AMD has also a developer's site with advanced graphical samples and documentation.

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mp5lng - - 7,996 comments

The bloody shaders are getting better and better, that's one of the factors we really need in the STALKER, damn well done Matt! I wish we could get a video considering the visors, I know there is at least one in youtube, but one made especially in Radium is what we're seeking.

That's some interesting SKS you got there, or is it the Type-63 ? I lean to the second choice :3

Cheeki Breeki!

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D.M.E - - 4,445 comments

Using Nvidia's effects should not be an issue for AMD hardware unless it's a feature there locked out from, The performance problem comes from dev's going OTT on the tessellation used for the effect as that is where AMD hardware struggles and if you look into it that is what tends to be overused. It hits Nvidia just as hard, Look at the god rays in Fallout 4. Going from Low to ultra took 30 fps of the 980ti while giving limited visual improvements.

If you get the balance between visuals and performance right by not going overboard with tessellation just to get minimal visual improvements it'll be fine for everyone.

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Alundaio - - 1,758 comments

I'm interested in the 64-bit, is there code for it or a repo yet? COC 64-bit would be EPIC

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CheekiTheBreeki - - 355 comments

Oh thank you soo much for finally fixing that DX11 blurry text issue, I'v been reinstalling COP over 10 times in hopes of some how getting rid of that issue and it still there, maybe its just a problem with my graphics card, or DX11 it self is a one buggy and unstable mess that was rushly implemented into COP during its development. For some reason the DX11 blurry text issue came out of no where for me, a few months back i used to play a COP mod called SGM 1.7 Repack 2016 and after I finished it I found another good mod to play Misery 2.1 Enhanced Edition, so I did a clean reinstall of COP just to have the mod running well and stable without any conflicts with left over files of SGM. Once installing the mod I started up COP and changed to DX11, upon restarting the game I came across this mind breaking blurry text issue that I can only get rid off when switching back to DX10 or DX9. So I wrote a post on the main Misery mod db page and so far no one there managed to get their head around this issue leaving me with only one choice: to play on DX10 or DX9. And dear Radium devs if you are reading this I would give you anything, only if you can provide me with a quick download link or a solution to this blurry text issue I'v been cursed with.

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