Time for another devblog, and it’s an extensive one as well this time thanks to many updates and even a new project that is coming soon.
Version 4.1 has finally entered public testing and thus received numerous small updates and improvements. The clouds for example have received another lighting update which produces more realistic results and lessens the “dirty cotton” look. The accumulation and filtering of the indirect lighting has also received some updates, as it’s now using a stripped-down version of the SVGF filter used in KappaPT, which gives much smoother and consistent results.
Version 4.1 is nearly ready for release and should be a solid all-around improvement.
As I’ve teased in last month’s post, there has been a unique feature addition in the shape of volumetric light contribution of emitters and bounced light (I call it “Irradiance Volume” in the settings). This feature allows for some very unique visuals and greatly enhances the atmospherics as the attached image gallery should demonstrate.
There have also been numerous updates to the irradiance volume since its debut, as it is no longer suffering from bleeding issues or the lack of interpolated sampling, which was causing the blocky visuals some of you may have noticed.
Of course, this addition went hand in hand with the newly added irradiance cache, which allows for a much more stable and faster multi-bounce lighting when compared to the traditional approach of calculating multiple bounces through the path traced lighting on its own.
The irradiance cache has also been one of the last roadblocks of the addition of world-space reflections, which is something I am planning to tackle very soon, as it is the last point where KappaPT falls short compared to other shaderpacks that use world-space path-tracing with voxels.
I am also planning to make some minor adjustments of the distribution model of KappaPT, namely by making older milestone versions (e.g. P7/P7a) available for Tier 1 patrons (1€). This should allow more of you folks to get access to it, while still being appropriate for the enormous amount of work that went into this pack so far.
Version 3.1 is pretty much ready for release and should iron out some of the more noticeable quirks of 3.0. I’d have wanted this update to be done a lot earlier, but as the ones who follow this blog for a while or are active on my discord server know, things are not always going the way one might intend them to go.
Nonetheless I also begun working on the revamp update that is 4.0, which should be comparable to the massive leap that Kappa 4.0 was. This will not only introduce the screen-space path-traced lighting that you know from Kappa Shader, but also a small performance improvement while maintaining or improving the visuals in some areas. So far it has been looking very promising as you can see in the attached image gallery.
Version 4.0 should be ready for the first previews for patrons later this month.
Yes, you have read correctly, Nostalgia Shader is about to get a bigger sibling, one that uses a slightly more unique approach to achieve world space lighting, namely a hybrid of flood-fill lighting using voxels and screen-space path-tracing to provide extra detail without suffering from the performance impact of voxel marching.
This project is intended to be exclusive for Tier 2 patrons (5€), with occasional dropdowns to Tier 1 (1€) similar to KappaPT.
As with Kappa Shader and KappaPT, the free version of Nostalgia Shader will obviously still receive updates just like before while also doubling as a demo version of sorts for NostalgiaVX for the ones of you who can’t or don’t want buy it.
There will be a full announcement of this pack later this month once it is more complete and ready to be launched.
As some of you might already know, Vanilla Plus 3.0 has finally entered public testing a few weeks ago and is now almost ready to be released. There have primarily been minor bugfixes and a coat of polish since last month’s blogpost, which I am however considering a good thing, as late big feature additions tend to be more prone to issues.
Version 3.0 should be released within the next few weeks.
How things are going otherwise
I am starting to like this small section at the end of the blogposts, as it gives me an opportunity to give you folks a brief overview of things that are outside the scope of the shaderpacks themselves.
As you may noticed I’ve managed to pick up development in a faster (and by my standards closer to norm) pace again, which is quite a welcome relief after the last few months that pretty much felt like trying to wade through deep mud (definitely not a really nice experience). Nonetheless there are still a few slow and unproductive phases mixed in, but it is manageable so far and much better than it used to be a few months ago. I’m hoping that things will properly normalise until the end of the year, which may just happen thanks to a few potentially very positive milestones that lay ahead of me.
I also want to give my patrons an absolutely massive shoutout at this point since this month has yet again resulted in an insane record-revenue. The support you people are showing is just staggering, and not just through Patreon but also through the downloads on Curseforge, which are a grand total of 1.6 Million across my shaderpacks on there at this point. It’s almost crazy how much my shaderpack projects have grown in the last few months with you people backing them up like this. So, this is just a huge thanks to you folks and I feel like it’s going to be quite a ride in the months to come xD