[MOD] STARS - New skybox, nebulae and planets

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Realspace
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[MOD] STARS - New skybox, nebulae and planets

Post by Realspace » Fri, 22. May 20, 13:44

Image

Version: 2.0

Created on X4 3.30 Split V

Download from https://www.nexusmods.com/x4foundations/mods/507/

Short description:
Changes the background stars, replace the nabulae with X2's style nebulae, modifies many planets to better visual and less rotation
(ITA: Modifica delle stelle sullo sfondo, delle nebulose e di diversi pianeti)


Description:
This mod modifies all the backgrounds in the game. The stars are made more realistic and immersive, no more spots on the background but real stars. Also the skybox has been made less intrusive by regulating the intensity of light.

Nabulae have been redone entirely. The game looks much more as the predecessor X2 now, of course in a high resolution.

I took care of the planets too. Most of the gas giants have been graphically improved into an higher resolution and sometimes different look.
Other planets have been slightly changed in many details. Small but significant changes as the city lights, Xenon's too.

The main planet in Black Hole Sun has been changed with another. So has the gasgiant in Silent Witness.

All planetary rotations have been reduced. Clouds still move a bit but at a more realistic speed (still visible). Those in the orbital planets remain faster, as it should be.

The gas giant in Unholy Retribution that is close behind the earthlike planet has been removed.

Stardust has been reduced (not eliminated)

There is a bonus mod (Main Menu replacement) and my Reshade settings in the optional files

Install:
Simply unzip the file and put the STARS folder into your game's 'extrensions' folder. Check that it is active ingame. Done.
No new start needed.

Uninstall:
Remove the folder from the 'extensions', done.

Compatibilty and Usage:
Since the mod does not modify any game mechanics it can be used with almost all other mods and does not need to be included, so for the moment it has to be used as it is, no inclusion in other mods sorry, no need. Instead if you wish to modify planets etc. further and to work on more improvements please be free to start form this mod on and be kind to inform me in the forum. Happy to join the efforts.

EXTRA:
I added my personal settings for Reshade. The mod has been created with these settings and the shaders put on "OFF". Nothing dramatic, ligthweight (no fps drop) but significantly better overal gamma and tone for the game and the backgrounds too.
The shaders also use their Antialising that works better than the game's AA, so please set the following parameters to OFF or NONE in the graphic settings:

* Antialising
* Color correction
* SSAO
* Chromatic aberration
* Distortion


Reshade version used 4.9.1
https://github.com/crosire/reshade
NOTE: The mod DOES NOT need the Reshade to work, you can use whatever version and settings of Reshade you like
See the optional files for donwloading my Reshade

Bonus mod: MMMod - Main Menu Mod, a lightweight version of the start menu where all stations and ships are removed. 2 version abvailable, one with and one without the X4 logo


- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

Known issues:
None for now

Final note: To be sure any graphical issue is due to my mod, please disable it in the extensions and start the game again to see if the problem is solved, before reporting. Thanks
Last edited by Realspace on Fri, 15. Jan 21, 23:11, edited 35 times in total.

Realspace
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Re: [MOD] STARS - New skybox, nebulae and planets

Post by Realspace » Fri, 22. May 20, 13:50

I've done a quickfix for the terran sectors. This is only a quick mod, more will come
This addon changes only the stars in the milky way and the planet Mars. Other planets will be improved later

COH dlc is required of course
Instruction: unzip and put the subst_02 files inside the STARS mod folder

I added a new ReShade setting that, I think, make the terran sectors look better, it is made with a ingame setting's GAMMA at 0.90

Go to the same page and look for the addon file https://www.nexusmods.com/x4foundations/mods/507

New Mars:
Image

New Brennan's Triumph
Image

New Jupiter
Image
Last edited by Realspace on Fri, 11. Jun 21, 03:57, edited 11 times in total.

ziplock815
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Re: [MOD] STARS - New skybox, nebulae and planets

Post by ziplock815 » Fri, 22. May 20, 14:03

Great work! Much thanks!!!

kmunoz
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Re: [MOD] STARS - New skybox, nebulae and planets

Post by kmunoz » Fri, 22. May 20, 16:23

What is the effect of using the wrong ReShade version? I'm assuming it's that different versions interpret the values differently. The current version is 4.6.1, the one you suggest is 4.5.4, and over time that gap is just going to get bigger.

Realspace
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Re: [MOD] STARS - New skybox, nebulae and planets

Post by Realspace » Fri, 22. May 20, 16:34

kmunoz wrote:
Fri, 22. May 20, 16:23
What is the effect of using the wrong ReShade version? I'm assuming it's that different versions interpret the values differently. The current version is 4.6.1, the one you suggest is 4.5.4, and over time that gap is just going to get bigger.
I tried the 4.6 some weeks ago and it crashed my game. With default settings too. Never looked for the latest version. If it works than nothing bad should happen, just try it. Hopefully the settings are read by the new version too. I will take care of this aspect in the future, now I am "done", my eyes hurt, too much time spent on modding, my age calls for going outdoor :lol:

If it works please report here, thanks

kmunoz
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Re: [MOD] STARS - New skybox, nebulae and planets

Post by kmunoz » Fri, 22. May 20, 16:53

I just tested it with 4.6.1, using the default shader install plus legacy shaders (I wasn't sure which ones you used and I was too lazy even to open the config and check!). It works great - no problems for me.

The only thing I adjusted after the fact was to turn off the FXAA shader, since I'm using GEMFX as well and its modifications seem to interact better with the built-in FXAA.

Your work is really quite stunning. I only got a chance to go to a few sectors (quick peek before going to work...), but The Void in particular looks fantastic.

As for the slower planet rotations... I'm torn. On the one hand, I prefer the realism of slower rotation, but on the other, it makes the backgrounds a little more static. That said, the other eye candy definitely makes up for it.

ziplock815
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Re: [MOD] STARS - New skybox, nebulae and planets

Post by ziplock815 » Fri, 22. May 20, 17:44

Wonderful. Love Argon Prime and Black Hole Sun now. Stars and planets look awesome, the immersion is great. Didn't have a chance to play X2, but I like new nebulae. It'd be also very nice to see nebulae from X3 in some sectors. I think it'd bring diversity.
Btw, I don't have that gas giant planet in Unholy Retribution anymore, but I didn't start a new game - seems like it works well with the old saves.

Mycu
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Re: [MOD] STARS - New skybox, nebulae and planets

Post by Mycu » Fri, 22. May 20, 17:55

I like what you have done with visual part of galaxy.
Thanks for your work.

Found one "bug" - moon in Profit Center Alpha is quite bland: https://i.imgur.com/ICD7anW.png
kmunoz wrote:
Fri, 22. May 20, 16:53
As for the slower planet rotations... I'm torn. On the one hand, I prefer the realism of slower rotation, but on the other, it makes the backgrounds a little more static. That said, the other eye candy definitely makes up for it.
+1 vote for more planet rotation.
X3 AP 3.1 + XRM
X3 AP 3.1 + LU

Realspace
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Re: [MOD] STARS - New skybox, nebulae and planets

Post by Realspace » Fri, 22. May 20, 19:04

Mycu wrote:
Fri, 22. May 20, 17:55
I like what you have done with visual part of galaxy.
Thanks for your work.

Found one "bug" - moon in Profit Center Alpha is quite bland: https://i.imgur.com/ICD7anW.png
kmunoz wrote:
Fri, 22. May 20, 16:53
As for the slower planet rotations... I'm torn. On the one hand, I prefer the realism of slower rotation, but on the other, it makes the backgrounds a little more static. That said, the other eye candy definitely makes up for it.
+1 vote for more planet rotation.
Thank you, yes seems the engine doesn't like some bump tex I used, it should be also in Bright Promise (same moon model there), going to correct. About rotations...ego made a great work in simulating the clouds (a very difficult animation), I tried to speed up and it is very nice to watch. Seems like watching the weather forecast :D I reduced them only for realism's sake. In X3 with seta they rotate as crazy (in a bad linear way), reduced them there too. I am torn too, generally speaking realism is better for immersion. I don't want a simulator, love the game as it is. But I also don't want some gamey unbelievable visuals that distract me from the immersion. The illusion of space is nice to have thou, not the simulation (I recently tried playing ED I purchased for cheap and got bored as hell :o )

Realspace
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Re: [MOD] STARS - New skybox, nebulae and planets

Post by Realspace » Fri, 22. May 20, 20:17

ziplock815 wrote:
Fri, 22. May 20, 17:44
Wonderful. Love Argon Prime and Black Hole Sun now. Stars and planets look awesome, the immersion is great. Didn't have a chance to play X2, but I like new nebulae. It'd be also very nice to see nebulae from X3 in some sectors. I think it'd bring diversity.
Btw, I don't have that gas giant planet in Unholy Retribution anymore, but I didn't start a new game - seems like it works well with the old saves.
Happy to read it ;-) It is viable, specially in split sectors that use sector's specific nebulae, to use some from x3. I liked those but never was enthusiast, they covered the moons and had this 'dreamy' look which is nice but strange. Always preferred the X2 ones, some, simple and deep, Made them back in X3 too (which I still play btw, not yet X4 :roll: ). Anyway after I've finished with those damn planets I'll look for these too.

Realspace
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Re: [MOD] STARS - New skybox, nebulae and planets

Post by Realspace » Fri, 22. May 20, 21:55

Updated version (1.1)
Corrected the missing textures in the moons of PCAlpha and Bright Promise.

As for clouds rotation, that many ask... I did not remove it from the planets, only from the moons. First, it makes no sense that moons have 'clouds'. Ice moons and such yes oc. Clouds have been changed or removed completely from rocky moons. Planets' clouds still rotate but not so fast as in vanilla. But...go to the see orbital planets, there on contrary the clouds move faster than in vanilla, as it shoud be. Great show there :wink:

shovelmonkey
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Re: [MOD] STARS - New skybox, nebulae and planets

Post by shovelmonkey » Fri, 22. May 20, 22:11

This sounds fantastic. When can we expect DeadAirGates support? It's "only" 105 more sectors. :lol:

Realspace
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Re: [MOD] STARS - New skybox, nebulae and planets

Post by Realspace » Fri, 22. May 20, 22:30

shovelmonkey wrote:
Fri, 22. May 20, 22:11
This sounds fantastic. When can we expect DeadAirGates support? It's "only" 105 more sectors. :lol:
:mrgreen: :mrgreen: :mrgreen:
Maybe soon. I don't play X4 now, only enjoy digging in the editing. Maybe I'll take a look at DeadAir galaxy. Also want to see the X3's remade map, to learn a bit how to edit the map. Missing the nice galaxy editor in X3, great tool..

ziplock815
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Re: [MOD] STARS - New skybox, nebulae and planets

Post by ziplock815 » Sun, 24. May 20, 15:11

Realspace wrote:
Fri, 22. May 20, 20:17
ziplock815 wrote:
Fri, 22. May 20, 17:44
Wonderful. Love Argon Prime and Black Hole Sun now. Stars and planets look awesome, the immersion is great. Didn't have a chance to play X2, but I like new nebulae. It'd be also very nice to see nebulae from X3 in some sectors. I think it'd bring diversity.
Btw, I don't have that gas giant planet in Unholy Retribution anymore, but I didn't start a new game - seems like it works well with the old saves.
Happy to read it ;-) It is viable, specially in split sectors that use sector's specific nebulae, to use some from x3. I liked those but never was enthusiast, they covered the moons and had this 'dreamy' look which is nice but strange. Always preferred the X2 ones, some, simple and deep, Made them back in X3 too (which I still play btw, not yet X4 :roll: ). Anyway after I've finished with those damn planets I'll look for these too.
When I first played X3 I thought: "Wow, such a realistic (and dreamy :)) nebulae", I could even imagine how stars are born in these distant gas clouds, but I found the fact that they covered moons and planets quite strange too))
Btw, seems like your mod's improved all textures in the game. Or is it just beta 3.20 improvement?

Realspace
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Re: [MOD] STARS - New skybox, nebulae and planets

Post by Realspace » Sun, 24. May 20, 23:33

I touched only skybox, nebulae and some planets. I am quite sure they'll improve the graphics. Vulkan is still quite raw, X4 is both very nice and sometimes worse than X3 in some compart. I think it depends on the optimisation of vulkan. Hope they'll improve further. This game can become great, another X3 with many iterations. But from my mod's perspective, I hope they ameliorate at least the gas giants. Add a bit of haze and better lighting. (And give us a galaxy editor soon or later....please!!!) You did surely notice that those in Split sectors are much better made.

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