it’s once again time for another update blog, and as always there’s some pretty interesting stuff, especially for those of you who want to get the best visuals to performance ratio.
I’ve worked some more on the overhauled skybox for Kappa Shader v5.0, which now also has somewhat accurate sunlight colours for the clouds that also depend on the elevation of the clouds. This creates some very nice visuals and gives the different layers much more depth than before, as you can see in the images below.
This project is a bit on the backburner as of late, since it pretty much maxed out what is reasonable with OptiFine, so adding new features to it isn’t exactly fun but thankfully it already reached a pretty complete state a while ago. Obviously it will still catch up with the regular Kappa Shader once version 5.0 of that is close to being finished and path traced refraction is also still on the list to wrap up its high-end feature palette.
I finally got around to add proper support for The End to NostalgiaVX, which more or less means that “feature-complete” regarding the core features has been reached. What’s left now is maintenance and some small gimmicks here and there, you can read more about my future plans for this project here: NostalgiaVX P7 and Project Status Update
I am however rather undecided regarding the addition of Temporal Upscaling (TAAU) though, as a quick test has shown that the gains are much lower than expected, as the main performance issue is caused by the voxel volume and not the on-screen scene. Sadly I don’t know how I can work around this issue in the current state of the OptiFine shaderpack-pipeline so it’ll just have to stay that way until I either figure something out or am able to finally move away from OptiFine.
As you might expect on such a new project, Soft Voxels has once again received vast amounts of updates last month. Version P2 brought a host of improvements as well as a completely overhauled skybox. The TAAU is also a lot sharper than before, which means it is once again the default and might even become an essential part of the pack in the future. I have also filled some gaps regarding core features and added some simple fog that is combined with screen-space godrays, which turned out to be a surprisingly good combination as the screenshots below should demonstrate. I will most likely reuse the latter in another pack at some point :P
I’ve finally picked up work on the UShader rewrite again and thus promptly added the improved TAAU from Soft Voxels, which works extremely well in this pack. Due to that I’ll try to work some more on it to eventually get this major overhaul into a good state without it performing worse than I’d want it to.
Temporal Upscaling Things
As my TAAU solution is now in a pretty robust state I am considering to use it in more packs, especially in the non-voxel packs as those could gain the most from it. This should become especially interesting in the lower end packs like Vanilla Plus and FastPBR (yes, I intend to revive the development of that one, though it might end up looking a bit different than what you remember), but also in something like Nostalgia Shader, which could gain anything between 25% and 100% performance depending on the scene.
This should be a good step towards making my packs perform even better for the visuals that they deliver, which in turn should be something many of you will appreciate :)
As you can see I am starting to shift my focus towards the projects that I haven’t worked on for a while, since I finally want to bring those up to a more modernised and solid state. Especially the TAAU should help with massively improving the visuals to performance ratio as I already outlined, so there are definitely some interesting updates to come as always.
Last but not least it’s time for a shoutout to my patrons again, who once again brought me another revenue record on Patreon. As I’ve said before I’m very grateful for the awesome support you folks are giving me and for allowing me to spend this much time working on something that’s enjoyable for me and that gives you folks some great visuals :)
That’s it for this month and stay tuned for the upcoming updates.