Development Update – July 2021

Oi folks,

it’s been a bit longer than usual as some of you may have noticed. This is due to some personal stuff I have been dealing with lately, which kept me from releasing updates at a regular pace, thus there wasn’t really a lot to write about for a June Devblog. Things are however slowly picking up again as I move along, so there’ve been a bunch of updates recently.

Kappa Shader

There have been a bunch of tweaks and improvements since May, which are providing some solid polishing of the visuals for version 4.1. This includes a variety of adjustments of the atmosphere simulation, which should now give some slightly more vibrant results at dawn or dusk. The overall lighting has also been tweaked to appear a bit more warm and welcoming rather than producing a neutral-cold white lighting throughout the entirety of the daytime. This also includes a more balanced out ratio of sunlight and skylight brightness. Ontop of that I have been doing a small tonemap rework to move to a slightly more flexible and lightweight solution that allows me to control the final color grading a bit more precisely.

A rather big change of how the skybox is being rendered has also happened, which results in a much nicer and less blurry horizon area, less artifacts and even improved performance thanks to a dedicated fixed-resolution render target that is now used for the sky projection. I have also used this opportunity, that required some changes to how sky reflections work, to improve the behavior of the reflection capture feature. It should no longer produce weird bright reflections indoors or when transitioning from outdoors to indoors.

Last but not least I have given the volumetric clouds a minor touchup, which includes some improved volumetric noises. This results in slightly nicer clouds overall, as you can see in the attached gallery.


KappaPT has recieved most of the updates the regular Kappa Shader has recieved, with a slight delay as the cloud and tonemap changes have not yet been brought over. In light of the situation I described at the start of this post I have decided to put it a bit on the backburner as I don’t want to rush things, which would lead to a rather sub-par result that I’d need to rework again later. I am having some interesting ideas that should enhance the visuals by quite a margin (both lighting and atmospherics wise) but since there might also be some new shaderpack pipeline features in the near future, and the reasons I just mentioned it seems smarter to wait a bit and focus on the other pieces of work that I have.

Nonetheless it recived full support for the nether now, which looks fantastic as the attached gallery shows.

  • KappaPT and Patrix' Resourcepack

Vanilla Plus

I have been slowly progressing towards feature completition on version 3.0 of Vanilla Plus, with the only remaining big section being reflections. Support for the nether and end has been added recently, as well as lens effects (which finally includes the high-quality depth of field that you are used to from my other packs). Overall its moving forward slowly but steadily, and version 3.0 will be quite the refinement pass that this pack has needed for a while now.

What lies ahead?

I can’t say with certainty how things will be going this month as that involves quite a bit of guesswork but I am nonetheless trying to release updates as possible and reasonable for you folks to enjoy. That being said my primary goal is finishing up the Vanilla Plus update, since that would take one big thing off my todo list so I can start working more on other fancy stuff.

Last but not least, massive shoutout to my patrons who have been over 100 people in the last month. Thats quite an insane milestone that I’d not really expected to reach yet so big thanks y’all.


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Posted in Blog, Kappa Shader, KappaPT, Vanilla Plus Shader and tagged , .