Development Update – March 2023

Hey folks,

It is once again time to go through some updates and future plans, although not quite as many as usual as I’ve been occupied with some other things as of late, so this post focuses a bit more on the things I have planned for future updates to give you some interesting insight into upcoming stuff.


As there are various new features that I can take advantage of since Iris 1.5 released I am planning to give KappaPT a bit of an internal overhaul, as there are many things that I could now do in more efficient ways. This applies especially to the SVGF denoiser as well as the irradiance cache, both of which can benefit a lot from compute shaders, in fact the former is already something I am actively testing with the denoiser of Soft Voxels since I added spherical harmonics there. So far it seems to work out well there so I am intending to use this updated and more performance and buffer space efficient approach in KappaPT as well.

These improvements might also allow me to free up some buffer attachment space, which means things like TAAU, temporal specular denoising or entity motion vectors (once the latter are fixed on Iris’ end) are possible in the future and should introduce some performance and quality-of-life improvements without having to sacrifice visual quality. As KappaPT is currently in a fairly solid state these updates currently aren’t as big of a priority for me though, since I still have a couple other long overdue updates ahead of me and I really want to tie up some of the loose ends that I haven’t paid any attention to for too long now, such as the recently finished UShader rewrite, FastPBR or the reworks for Nostalgia Shader and especially NostalgiaVX.

Screenshot made by Noelle

Soft Voxels

There haven’t been that many changes to Soft Voxels recently, but I am busy behind the scenes nonetheless as I am still working out various ways that could allow me to improve the performance without impacting the visuals through smart compute shader tricks or the upcoming overhaul of the LPV that is being used for a lot of the path-traced lighting. Naturally it takes a bit of time to figure out how to leverage these things in the most ideal ways, as a lot of that just wasn’t viable at all with OptiFine, so it’s a bit like having to reinvent the wheel in some ways there.

Screenshot made by JDaddy


This pack is currently my main focus of sorts, as it’s about time for it to get its proper release. I’m also using it as a playground to improve some of the older parts that are shared between my shaderpacks, as various things can be done in much more efficient ways with compute shaders and the likes. That means that a lot of these improvements will eventually make their way into my other packs later on. This also includes fixes of some older issues such as broken edges around coloured shadows under specific circumstances and the likes.

In addition to that I am also still tinkering with its visuals, since I want to make it more exciting than just being “Kappa Lite”. This also allows me to try out some new ideas or those that never made it into other packs, such as the new look of the volumetric clouds, which are now a bit more broken up rather than being the usual large-ish cumulus clouds. Stuff like that should help with making it look more unique and distinctive, a quality that many of my packs already have and naturally I’m trying to bring some of that to those packs that have been neglected for too long :)

As of now the overworld part of it is mostly finished, which means I can start working on dimension support soon, so the first public previews should be available soon once I got all the planned features added and working. I am also still trying to figure out some minor performance weirdness, as something seems to prevent the pack from performing as intended on specific setups, though as it only really happens at fairly high framerates (>90) this isn’t a priority. I’d like to get this figured out nonetheless though, as its some really strange behaviour given how lightweight and minimalistic this pack is.

Closing words

As I said I’ve been a bit occupied with other important things recently, which is why there have been less updates than usual in the last month but I hope that I’ll get things sorted out soon so that I can get back to working on some more updates again since I got a lot of things in mind as you can guess based on some of my plans and ideas for future updates.

As always I also want to thank my patrons, of which there have been more than one thousand once again in the last month and I am very grateful for your ongoing support as you already know and I hope that you’ll enjoy the upcoming updates, especially since I am finally starting to try some of the more exciting ideas I couldn’t do before :)

That’s all I got to say for this month, keep an eye out for the exciting new updates folks.

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Posted in Blog, KappaPT, Soft Voxels and tagged , , .