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A few words on the release of the completed Sins: Remastered v1.00 mod for Sins of a Solar Empire: Rebellion.

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Sins: Remastered v1.00 Released

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We are very pleased to announce that the official v1.00 release for the Sins: Remastered mod and shaders is now available. It’s been three years of work, but we can now say that the mod and shaders are feature complete. A PBR implementation is available for all 3D assets in the game space and the shaders offer many advanced features not available in the stock set.

A great many things were revised, re-written or just all-out new for this release, so let’s have a brief run down of what you can expect to find.

Planets

A full suite of PBR planet shaders are now implemented. Rather than just have a generic planet shader, we have opted to implement specialized shader paths for different types of planets, allowing us to add additional special effects to the individual types.

We didn’t just convert planets to PBR either. All planets have brand-new, high quality texture sets that fully support the new features.

Ocean/Standard Planet Mode

The standard planet type feature set includes:

  • PBR metal/roughness with additional specular map support
  • Height map based terrain
  • Height map interactive water level
  • Height map interactive fog
  • Terrain shadows for the planet surface
  • Animated water surface with shore interaction effect.
  • Animated, shadow-casting cloud maps with volumetric and light scattering effects as well.
  • Lighting strike/flash effects for planet atmospheres/clouds.
  • Raleight Mie scattering atmospheres

Sins: Remastered Terran Planet 1

Terran Planet


Sins: Remastered Ice Planet 1

Ice Planet

Greenhouse Mode

Greenhouse mode is specialized for Venus-type planets that are very fog heavy without much visible surface. They do not offer any additional features over Ocean Mode but rather remove unnecessary features like water and clouds from the rendering path to improve performance.

Gas Giant Mode

Gas giants have a very specialized shader variant dedicated just to themselves. They use a very unique and efficient set of textures to generate an animated gas surface effect.

Volcano Mode

Volcanic planets have unique requirements all to themselves and a dedicated mode has been implemented with the following specialized features:

  • Dedicated lava mask that emissive on both day and night side of the planet.
  • Animated lava flow surface support
  • Surface based animated smoke plume support
  • Full cloud layer support in addition to the smoke plumes

Sins: Remastered Volcanic Planet 1

Volcanic Planet


No Atmosphere Mode

Barren and dwarf style planets have very thin and negligible atmospheres. For these planets we have implemented a very specialized path that used specialized, higher resolution planet meshes to implement mesh surface deformation support. This allows the heightmap to actually affect the boundaries of the mesh object itself, making craters and other large features stand out very convincingly. This mode also supports surface fog to interact with the height map data.

Sins: Remastered Dwarf Planet 1

Dwarf Planet


Ship Shader

The ship shader has been largely complete for several releases now but has seen a fairly significant addition for the full release version. Secondary UV support has been implemented for Ambient Occlusion and Baked Self-Illumination maps. While both those types of maps were already supported, having the option to use an alternate set of UVs for them specifically allows for much more flexible and aggressive mirroring without having to worry about effect overlap over non-symmetrical geometry. This also makes trim sheet workflows possible with Sins: Remastered.

Support for overriding the team color with a custom RGB value for a given mesh has also been added. The ability to disable team color for a mesh is also supported.

Asteroid Shader

The asteroid shader’s core features all remain intact as before, but a new branching option has been added to allow a mesh to fall back to a ship shader mode for a given material. By using the ship shader mode, access to parallax height maps and baked self-illumination is available for non-ship objects like station-type planets that would not otherwise be possible with the standard planet shader.

Skyboxes

Skyboxes now support parallax depth effects and mid-field procedural stars. All stock skyboxes have been replaced with new high-quality, depth enabled custom skyboxes. The depth effect is subtle but adds nicely to the environmental effect of the scene. A range of brightness and colors have been used across the new skyboxes and hopefully there are at least a few that suit each individual’s tastes.

Remastered Sky Box Depth Demo 2


Remastered Sky Box Depth Demo 3


Bloom mask support has also been implemented for skyboxes. This allows for fine control over which parts of a skybox bloom and to what intensity.

Post Processing

The tone-mapper has been completely replaced for the final release. The new version is much more modern and does a much better job of preserving the contrast and brightness balance in its default settings.

Bloom implementations have also been revised and the overall effect on particles in particular has been reduced. This allows for a better balance of bloom on specular effects on ships without as much of a blowing out effect on bright particles.

Models & Textures

While completely revising all meshes and doing custom re-texturing for all stock assets has never been planned for Remastered, there are several notable ships that have been redone for this release:

  • Advent Rebel titan height map added
  • Vasari Loyalist titan revised & re-textured
  • TEC Loyalist titan revised & re-textured
  • TEC Rebel titan revised & re-textured
  • Advent star base height map added
  • Vasari star base height map added
  • TEC star base revised & re-textured
  • Advent research station height maps added
  • Advent capital ship factory height map added
  • Advent frigate factory height map added
  • Advent Orbital Hangar height map added

TEC Ankylon Titan TEC Ragnarov Titan

TEC Ankylon and Ragnarov titans


Vasari Kultorask Titan TEC Argnonev Star Base

Vasari Kultorask titan and TEC Argonev star base


Other Fun Stuff

Lastly, a few little things have been added into the shader controls just for some fun modes.

Gold mode is implemented in the ship shader again. This allows you to easily convert all objects rendered by it into pure gold.

Pixel Art and Retro mode controls have been implemented in the post processing shader. Pixel Art mode reduces the resolution of the rendered output to achieve an old-fashioned pixelated look. Retro Mode allows you to reduce the color bit depth of the rendered output to mimic older systems that ran with very limited color palettes.

So, is it finished then?

Yes. We consider the mod to be “finished” now, in the sense that it is shader feature complete. The goal of the Remastered project was to provide a fully featured set of PBR shaders for Sins of a Solar Empire: Rebellion and make them available to modders for use. This is now complete – and in fact covered a much larger range of features than we imagined when we set out.

To serve as a base for other modders, all the original content had to work with a PBR rendering path as well. While custom PBR-native textures for all content would be the ideal, we have converted all content to be PBR compatible. In some cases, completely new native PBR texture sets have been implemented as well.

Will we be continuing to re-texture and revise ship textures for future follow-up releases? Possibly. It may be that some of that is done for fun but we’re not going to make any promises or commitments to further content updates at this time.

It’s also possible that we may have to do some bug patching. Remastered has been pretty extensively tested over the years and, while we believe that we have addressed all the known issues, it’s always possible something was missed. If you do run into an issue that you think is a bug, please feel free to report it here or visit our Discord to let us know.

Sins: Remastered v1.00 Stargate Mods Discord


Thank you to all who have been following this project and we hope you enjoy the mod.

-The Sins: Remastered Team

Comments
GoaFan77
GoaFan77 - - 3,883 comments

Great to see this released, congrats and thanks for all the hard work!

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hnanoha
hnanoha - - 95 comments

It's a very nice present for Christmas,thanks!

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Velovar
Velovar - - 28 comments

Insane work, simply amazing, thank you for sharing!

It looks so good that there is no need for Sins 2 now (not a fan of stylized art approach they got in Sins 2). So I cant express enough gratitude for this beautiful mod

Thank you and happy holidays <3

Magnificent

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Q-field_Theory
Q-field_Theory - - 82 comments

The planet work is insane, take my upvote sir

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Astrovirology
Astrovirology - - 1 comments

Hey Dolynick,

Doci here - I'm not too familiar with texturing, and really trying to learn. When using the Distant Stars mod that includes additional planets with obviously different textures, the shader combined with this mode is not rendering correctly. Is there a way to easily convert textures into the format needed for PBR shading or at the very least - for the fx files to render the texture correctly? After reviewing only obvious differences to someone new to texturing - the texture files on planets not rendering correctly are 2024 x 2024px as opposed to 4048 x 2024px. Is this the issue? Appreciate any help man. Thanks.

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dolynick Author
dolynick - - 637 comments

The PBR shaders require significantly different texture to work properly. Planet shaders in particular require a lot more data maps to support all the features.

You should see this article for reference on what the planet shader wants and how it works:

Moddb.com

The Remastered planet shader requires that planets be unwrapped with an equirectangular projection. That normally means 4096x2048 or some factor of it but a square 2048x2048 texture should work so long as it's still using the right projection. You'll find it may looked stretched or lacking detail along the axis it is stretched to fit though.

Also, you're not the same Doci from the Emipre at War mod community are you?

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