Originally Posted by Gaco
PonyCar are your additions focused on improving visuals without performancehit or on improving performance without visuals degrading?
improves performance a hair (mainly from turning off POM)
But primary focus is on improving lighting and shading. Specifically:
- More realistic HDR -
Back in the old thread we had regarding the crysis retail configs, I posted vanilla vs some other guy's tweak that made the hdr way too over blown and the shadows way too dark. Then I started messing with the HDR settings in game to see what it did in low light and bright light scenarios and I discovered that in brightly lit maps, a higher HDR setting around 1 (r_HDRlevel=1) is sufficient for standard daylight maps but the night mission I loaded for the first part of the harbor mission, the sky had this crazy blue glow and everone's faces glowed bright blue. Lowering the hdr value to 0.75 (to me) seemed to be the best value.
- Tweaked SSAO settings -
The SSAO darkening and other values affect the shading and can greatly reduce the drab washed out look that vanilla crysis settings offer. They're very powerful as small changes can make a nice surface in the shade totally devoid of details/color/textures. I also noticed that a darker SSAO value adds shadows in places that they SHOULD be in the first place. Best example is in the picture below showing the sun peaking around the big metal storage container. It and the trees next to it should be casting shadows onto the asphalt but they're not. With tweaked SSAO settings, there are now shadows there.
Look at the bottom two pictures below at the palm tree on the left. vanilla has no shading or shadowing or anything under the tree. Seems to me that there should be SOME degree of shading. With tweaked SSAO settings, the shading is there.
I know I probably went a bit extreme, but I actually went outside at various points of the morning/afternoon and actually looked in the general direction of the sun and looked at how the plants shadows looked, how the shadows looked and the biggest thing I noticed is that when you face the sun like in some of those pictures below, you don't see surface details and levels of color the way you do in vanilla crysis. You see much more shade, less details on surfaces and you get more "light" and glare in your vision. There's a point where it gets to be too much regarding overdoing the HDR settings like some of these config files do. (Pydon's mod for example)
I probably sat in front of the console in various points of the game for hours tweaking the ssao and hdr settings to try and mimic what my actual eyes were seeing in real life and though the pictures below appear darker than what they actually are on the screen, these have a much more realisic shading and lighting atmosphere than the washed out vanilla crysis provides.
Another small setting I changed is "r_TerrainAO_FadeDist=1" which adds self shading to bushes and tress and stuff. I think it may be 0 by default but setting it to 1 makes a difference in the vegetation self shading with no hit on the FPS.
In all, I'd say the mods are more along the lines of bettering the immersiveness and tweaked light and shading really does improve the overall feel and atmosphere of the game. going back to vanilla cfg settings the game is just so bland and washed out.
These are vanilla very high settings vs my tweaked cfg. (along with a very slight avg fps increase)