It’s once again time for some updates, especially regarding the upcoming update for Kappa Shader.
I’ve been focusing on getting version 5.0 more and more complete in the last month, which lead to some interesting and very useful changes and additions. One of these is an improved cloud upscaler, which no longer struggles with temporal artefacts and gaps around moving objects. In addition to that the new upscaler is also a lot sharper than the old one, which almost looks overly blurry in direct comparison. This means that you will now get clouds that almost appear to be rendered at native resolution, which is especially nice with all the extra detail that I’ve added through the various layers and cloud types. I have also added even more variety to the clouds, which are now properly driven by procedural per-day weather parameters, which in turn means you won’t be seeing the same type of clouds on each ingame-day anymore. I have included some examples of the different weather scenarios in the gallery below.
Another big addition is temporal upscaling (TAAU), which helps a lot with achieving an even better performance than before with a rather small loss of visual quality. Unlike Soft Voxels the default setting in Kappa Shader will be 75% though, which felt like a good middle ground for a high-end pack like this. This also means that there is now a proper solution to scale with high resolution displays or less powerful setups without having to use the rather inadequate render quality setting of OptiFine.
Those new additions combined with all the new things for version 5.0 that I have already made before should turn this update into a quite exciting one for many of you, and I hope that I’ll be able to wrap this update up soon, so that you can finally get your hands on it. There is of course still some work that needs to be done before that, like cleaning up some of the internals, fixing bugs and such, but unless I have another great idea for something (you never know :p ) that would be my main focus to finally get this update out there.
As I’ve already said before, this pack is pretty much just in “maintenance mode” until Kappa Shader 5.0 is done, so it just received a few minor bug fixes in the last month, though the Mesa driver compatibility should be of interest for some of you. Once the update for Kappa Shader is done I might consider some mild reworking of this pack though, especially to improve the lighting and the performance, though I am still trying to work out a good approach for that. It is safe to say that this pack still has a lot of headroom for major improvements once I have the time to do a bit of an overhaul.
I already have a few interesting bits on my to-do list regarding this pack, most importantly the obvious addition of TAAU as you might already know, but also a bunch of smaller things to improve the overall atmosphere like some proper distance fog when inside caves. I’ve already worked on the latter, which means I can also give you some images regarding its look in the gallery below.
Another obvious addition is local exposure, since it’s just extremely useful to help with the many high-contrast scenes my packs tend to produce.
As you might expect the next update will take a little while though, since I am focusing my resources on the Kappa Shader update for now.
As you know this pack is in a situation that is similar to the one of KappaPT, though there is still a major change ahead when I get back to working adding TAAU in order to somewhat improve the very inconsistent performance (which as you know is an unfortunate result of being limited to OptiFine).
This pack is still receiving a steady stream of updates, as there are still many interesting things for me to work on.
Some of the noteworthy additions of the latest version were local exposure (as I have showcased for Kappa Shader in last month’s blog), which is very helpful with a pack that can still achieve a broad dynamic range like this one even despite its overall soft lighting, as well as rough reflections. The latter should be very exciting for all those of you who like to use proper labPBR resource packs, although I haven’t added any denoising steps for the reflections yet.
In addition to that I have revamped the water wave normals which are now more unique as well as the atmosphere coefficients. The latter now give a look that is slightly more fitting for the overcast aesthetic of this pack.
The free lite version also slowly but surely starts to take shape as the pack matures, so you might see some news regarding this soon :)
There was another contest on my discord server last month, with the theme being “Flags”, which means I’ll show the winners here like I did on the previous contest :)
As you can see my primary focus is still Kappa Shader for now, as I really want to finish up version 5.0 soon and once that is done I can start working on some of the other long overdue updates like the rewrite for UShader as well as the revival of FastPBR before I start looking into some of the others ideas I’ve had recently.
Last but not least the usual shoutout to my patrons who make all of this possible with their absolutely crazy support that just keeps going and going in the last few months and allows me to spend this amount of time on these projects.
That’s all I have to say for this time, stay tuned for all the upcoming updates and such :p