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Thread: t2skies - Enhanced skies for Thief 2: The Metal Age

  1. #1
    Member
    Registered: Nov 2001
    Location: Sunny Finland

    t2skies - Enhanced skies for Thief 2: The Metal Age

    t2skies - Enhanced skies for Thief 2: The Metal Age

    Contents

    • Realistic star field, generated with t2stars (with default parameters).
    • High resolution texture replacements for
      • The Moon (t2moon).
      • Clouds.
      • Distant art.
    • t2skies.exe - a program that patches the celestial, sky, cloud deck and distant art parameters in the mis files (obsoletes t2fogskies, unless you don't want to use the high-resolution clouds and distant art). Source included (GPL).

    Installation

    Requires ddfix.

    1. Uninstall any installed FM (in Darkloader, select "Original (Thief 2: The Metal Age)" -> Install Only).
    2. Backup your *.mis files - or, if you installed t2moon or t2fogskies previously, restore from the backups you should have made.
    3. Extract this package (with paths) into your Thief2 installation directory. If you've previously installed t2stars or t2moon, some files may need to be overwritten.
    4. Navigate to the t2skies directory and double-click on t2skies.exe. You will be prompted for each file to be patched (type "y" and <enter>).
    5. Put this setting in your ddfix.ini: TextureReplacement=1
    6. If your ddfix replacement texture path is not the default (RES/ddfix), then move the directory RES/ddfix/t2skies to the correct place (to the directory pointed to by "TexturePath" in ddfix.ini).
    7. If you installed t2moon previously, the "pmoon" replacement texture directory is now unused and can be removed.

    After installation, if you load a game that was saved during a mission, you'll need to restart the mission for the changes to take effect.

    Fan Missions

    Re-run t2skies.exe every time after installing an FM to fix the stars. (Or temporarily remove FAM/skyhw/STARS.BIN to go back to the original stars.)

    To fix the stars in T2X, run t2skies.exe from the command line with the -d option, for example "t2skies.exe -d c:\Games\Thief2\T2X" (without the quotes).

    Currently, the only thing this mod touches in FMs is the stars.

    Uninstallation

    • Remove the file FAM/skyhw/STARS.BIN (and to save space and avoid clutter, any and all files extracted from this package).
    • Restore the mis files from backups that you made before installation.

    Screenshots

    Running Interference


    Ambush!


    Masks


    Desktop Background


    Last edited by jermi; 22nd Sep 2010 at 14:10.

  2. #2
    Member
    Registered: Oct 2005
    Location: UK


    I'm working now and only have time to read the title and look at the screenshot. I'll be back to check this out properly later, but for now I say again:


  3. #3
    Member
    Registered: Aug 2006
    Location: Great. Now I can't get back in
    I'm no Dromeder, but speaking as a player that screenshot not only looks superb but very realistic & natural too

    Some designers have come up with some terrific skies / backdrops, but I can't remember one that good!

  4. #4
    Member
    Registered: Apr 2009
    Location: Alaskaland
    looks great!



    I'd even use that screenshot as a wallpaper if it was big enough. Can't imagine how awesome it would be in game!

  5. #5
    Clearinghouse
    Registered: Aug 2002
    Location: Siberia, Russia
    Looks beautiful!

  6. #6
    Member
    Registered: Nov 2001
    Location: Drinking baby lemonade!
    Looks fabulous, jermi! I can't wait to replay some OMs with this installed.
    Death's Cold Embrace - Info and screenshots

  7. #7
    Member
    Registered: Nov 2001
    Location: Sunny Finland
    Thanks guys. A lot of work went into this, much more than I anticipated - three and a half months pretty much non-stop. Paradoxically, all that time I was trying to change as little as possible and stay true to the original. Of course especially the cloud deck makes many missions look dramatically different. So check it out, tell me what you think. According to the official party line, I'm open for suggestions (corrections, changes, further development, etc.)

    Quote Originally Posted by Nephthys View Post
    I'd even use that screenshot as a wallpaper if it was big enough.
    Working on it.

  8. #8
    Archivist
    Registered: Sep 2002
    Location: Following Dr Jones
    That looks gorgeous jermi Amazing work!

    I do have a comment regarding the Ambush screenshot: the shade in the lower left corner in the background, is that part of the sky or actually land?
    It looks a bit like a modern day suburb to me and therefore out of place in combination with the factories.

    But other then that, I very much like what I see

  9. #9
    Classical Master 2008
    Registered: Jun 2002
    Location: Civitas Quinqueecclesiensis HU
    Beautiful city distant art! The one in baseline TMA is pretty blah, but this -- this is perfect (and I would love to see a TDM version!). How did you create it? Photoshop? Based on a collage of real photographs?

  10. #10
    Member
    Registered: Jan 2009
    Location: Germany
    Greetings and thanks for you work. A question: Is it also possible to play fanmissions with this sky package?

  11. #11
    Member
    Registered: Mar 2007
    Location: Spain
    Wow, I always loved the skies from T2, but this is waaay better now, beautiful! Well done!

  12. #12
    Member
    Registered: Nov 2001
    Location: Sunny Finland
    Quote Originally Posted by The Phantom View Post
    Ambush screenshot: the shade in the lower left corner in the background, is that part of the sky or actually land?
    It looks a bit like a modern day suburb to me and therefore out of place in combination with the factories.
    If we're talking about the same thing, that's part of the distant art. Maybe it's the lights that make it look like a suburb. I don't see it myself, though.

    Quote Originally Posted by Melan View Post
    The one in baseline TMA is pretty blah, but this -- this is perfect (and I would love to see a TDM version!). How did you create it?
    The original is pretty unimpressive, but I'm not sure I could do any better with a 512x128x8 texture.

    TDM ... cubic environment? Should be pretty trivial.

    This was modeled in 3dsmax, rendered (scanline renderer, cylindrical panorama) in several passes and composited in Photoshop. I used Tyson Ibele's Building Generator to make some buildings, most of them I modeled from scratch.

    Quote Originally Posted by PsymH View Post
    Is it also possible to play fanmissions with this sky package?
    The only thing this does to FMs is to replace the star field. Everything else is too invasive to do "blindly". However, I've been thinking that it should be possible to come up with reasonable parameters for many FMs simply based on the existing values in the mis file.

  13. #13
    Member
    Registered: Nov 2001
    Location: Drinking baby lemonade!
    Would the new distant art not serve as a drop in replacement for distcit1 and distcit2?

  14. #14
    Clearinghouse
    Registered: Aug 2002
    Location: Siberia, Russia
    jermi, what about "enhanced" water for Thief 2?

  15. #15
    Member
    Registered: May 2004
    Location: Toronto, Canada
    Wow, Jermi, those are amazing. Easily the best city backdrops I've seen.

    TDM ... cubic environment? Should be pretty trivial.
    Would you be open to having them used in TDM? City backdrops are an area that is very lacking at the moment.

  16. #16
    Classical Master 2008
    Registered: Jun 2002
    Location: Civitas Quinqueecclesiensis HU

    Quote Originally Posted by Springheel View Post
    Wow, Jermi, those are amazing. Easily the best city backdrops I've seen.

    Would you be open to having them used in TDM? City backdrops are an area that is very lacking at the moment.
    I hope the answer is yes. These beauties in high-res... Love is in the air.

  17. #17
    Member
    Registered: Sep 2005
    Location: Hiding in Garrett's wardrobe.
    Ooh. Nice!

    I noticed this, though:
    Quote Originally Posted by jermi View Post
  18. Put these settings in your ddfix.ini:
    • Thief2Extensions=1
    • EnableFogFix=1
    • EnableLifeOfThePartyFogFix=1
  19. EnableLifeOfThePartyFogFix is for the "Life Of The Party" OM only. It may break fog in all other missons that use fog. Is EnableLifeOfThePartyFogFix=1 absolutely necessary? I was thinking of removing it from future versions of DDFix.

  20. #18
    Member
    Registered: Nov 2001
    Location: Sunny Finland
    Quote Originally Posted by Yandros View Post
    Would the new distant art not serve as a drop in replacement for distcit1 and distcit2?
    It should, since I matched those maps pretty closely, even though there's not that much detail to match. What I'm worried about is that detailless maps can be placed almost anywhere with any aspect ratio at any brightness and alpha and the player will accept it. But when there's loads of detail, it suddenly becomes very difficult, and you'll spend a lot of time tuning the parameters before coming up with something non-distracting. So I'm not too confident about simply dropping in a replacement in a random FM, it could easily look terrible.

    Quote Originally Posted by clearing View Post
    jermi, what about "enhanced" water for Thief 2?
    I guess I'll be getting back to that soon.

    Quote Originally Posted by Springheel View Post
    Would you be open to having them used in TDM?
    I have no objection to that. You can grab the dds and use it right now, if that is suitable for TDM - it's a cylindrical 180 degree panorama. Hmm ... the alpha trickery in this dds might make it difficult to use.

    Quote Originally Posted by SiO2 View Post
    EnableLifeOfThePartyFogFix is for the "Life Of The Party" OM only. It may break fog in all other missons that use fog. Is EnableLifeOfThePartyFogFix=1 absolutely necessary?
    I'm afraid it is. I haven't found any other solution that really works, and I've tried them all. With this mod, the only thing EnableLifeOfThePartyFogFix "breaks" is locational fog in Masks - by making fog global. Whether that is bad thing depends on personal taste. Either way, it's not possible to break fog in Masks worse than it already was.

    The biggest problem, I think, is having to go and change that setting in the ini file when switching between OMs and FMs.

    Quote Originally Posted by SiO2 View Post
    I was thinking of removing it from future versions of DDFix.
    Please don't. I still maintain that you should instead rename that option to something more descriptive, like ForceGlobalFog or something. That's what it actually does, right?

  21. #19
    Member
    Registered: Jul 2006
    Location: Moscow, Russia
    There's a fixed version of LoTP mission with proper fog cells, you don't need to turn on EnableLifeOfThePartyFogFix in ddfix.ini. I don't remember if it fixes the foggy sky though.

  22. #20
    Member
    Registered: Mar 2009
    Location: 22 Jump Street: Jump Harder
    Quote Originally Posted by SiO2 View Post
    Is EnableLifeOfThePartyFogFix=1 absolutely necessary? I was thinking of removing it from future versions of DDFix.
    Well, as long as some older FMs get fixed so they run fine without that LOTP boolean (There are a few, like Raid on Washout Central, which works best with the LOTP boolean set to 1), I don't see why we need that extra fog fix option.

    EDIT: After reading through the thread, I also take Jermis argument into consideration. Is it at all possible to come up with an alternative way, instead of removing that LOTP boolean, that we instead look somewhere else, like an update to Dark/Garrett Loader that checks a small tag in the FM zips files on whether it recommends the LOTP boolean on or off, maybe?

    Though really, my first idea is much simpler, but risks destroying a certain feel that most FMs have. Not to mention, we would have to hunt down alot of these older FMs, as I've only found one, so far.

    But what do I know? I was just hoping one of these solutions would be considered possible.
    Last edited by Albert; 8th Apr 2010 at 14:09.

  23. #21
    Member
    Registered: Nov 2001
    Location: Sunny Finland
    It's been a while but I'm pretty sure I had some problems with the fixed version of LOTP. But even if it worked, Masks cannot be fixed the same way.

    Who wanted a desktop background based on the Ambush screenshot? Check the first post, download the image, crop/resize to fit your screen. If you take a close look at that image you'll notice that the distant art wasn't quite as good as you thought it was, after all.

  24. #22
    Member
    Registered: Apr 2006
    Location: Hessen, Germany
    The new sky looks fantastic!. I just have two questions:

    1. Do I have to change EnableLifeOfThePartyFogFix in ddfix.ini only for this special mission?

    2. Makes the fix any changes to FMs skies? I tried it with my FM "In dubio pro Garrett" but something looks wrong:

    http://img404.imageshack.us/i/idpgsky.jpg/


    Dainem

  25. #23
    Member
    Registered: Feb 2003
    got my new desktop background!!!


  26. #24
    Member
    Registered: Nov 2001
    Location: Sunny Finland
    Heh, enjoy.

    Dainem,
    1. With this mod, EnableLifeOfThePartyFogFix=1 for Framed, LOTP, Precious Cargo and Masks. No effect on all the other OMs. This implies that EnableLifeOfThePartyFogFix=1 can be set for all OMs. Some FMs benefit from that setting, too, but for most FMs it shouldn't be used.
    2. That happens when the mis file hasn't been patched. The only thing t2skies.exe patches in FMs is the "max sky intensity" value, which fixes the problem in your screenshot. So there's two alternatives when playing FMs:

      After installing the FM, re-run t2skies.exe. It'll say something like "4 bytes patched at blah" and that'll fix the stars. This has to be done every time an FM is installed. I'll update the instructions in the first post.

      OR

      Temporarily remove/rename FAM/skyhw/STARS.BIN to revert back to the original stars.


    After letting t2skies.exe do its thing on your mission, the only remaining issue is that the moon doesn't have a proper alpha map and therefore the stars are visible through it. Common problem.

  27. #25
    Member
    Registered: Apr 2006
    Location: Hessen, Germany
    Re-using T2skies.exe solves the problem. Another question: is it possible to integrate your sky in a new Fm?

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