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Thread: Thief 2 HD Texture Mod

  1. #251
    Member
    Registered: Dec 2006
    Location: Berghem Haven
    Quote Originally Posted by Gecko View Post
    After a longer break the Thief 2 HD Mod v1.0 release comes closer.

    This is a short preview of the Thief 2 Mission 'Trail of Blood'. All grass animations were created with a 3DS Max plugin by hand. I bought the 3DS Max plugin for a lot of money and it was a bunch of work to get this result of quality grass. The smooth wind animation fits better to the gaming atmosphere. All giant trees were replaced and it looks more realistic now. The new Thief 2 vegetation is finished to 90 % on all Thief 2 missions. More info in coming days.

    Hey man, it looks awesome

  2. #252
    Zombified
    Registered: Sep 2004
    looks great when paused, but the animation is really far from being smooth, it seems. if it can't be tweaked, I would highly recommend just leaving it static - no animation is probably better than choppy animation.

  3. #253
    Member
    Registered: Nov 2004
    Location: Germany
    thx @ lowenz

    I will upload a new video these days with a lot of new vegetation which can be used by FM creators (bushes, flowers, grass). And i will release all this stuff when the new HD mod is released.

    @ voodoo

    The animation plays super smooth. The problem is that i've set the LOD distance to high because i want this overgrown distance look of vegetation. That can be changed. The next thing is that it doesn't give you better FPS rate if the vegetation use a static texture. I can tell you that NewDark gives a shit on if a texture is animated or not (on this grass object!). You will get the exact same FPS. So it's not relevant. I've tested it many times in detail and i've learnd a lot of things in this time.

    And anyone has the option to choose the HD mod without vegetation in the Setup installer...
    Last edited by Gecko; 27th Apr 2018 at 04:43.

  4. #254
    Member
    Registered: Nov 2004
    Location: Germany
    And because of all the FPS problem questions. Here is a short video test with the exact same grass with near stable 60 FPS rate:


  5. #255
    New Member
    Registered: Aug 2017
    Really great to see news from this mod coming up right when I'm about to get a better PC for myself. Playing the HD Mod for Thief Gold on my ancient PC was a great experience, but I had to endure some stutters and FPS drops once in a while, still worth it.

    I see that the grass is probably going to be the biggest feature of this update considering you bought a plugin just for it, that shows some amazing levels of dedication and love for Thief. I also noticed the new water arrow FX and HD inventory models from Thief Gold HD Mod in the video. Can't wait to see what more you have planned for this!
    Last edited by Oregano; 26th Apr 2018 at 19:36.

  6. #256
    You get drops below 60 FPS just in that small field of grass, that's a warning sign already. No wonder the framerate drops so hard in a fully-fledged mission. My guess would be either problems with handling that massive amount of transparency textures or/and the texture size itself.

  7. #257
    Member
    Registered: Nov 2004
    Location: Germany
    Thanks Oregano. Yes, there are some more small new things. You will see it in a video soon.

    Judith, this game engine is from 1998 as you know. Thanks to the NewDark creator because of that i could create all HD mod versions as i want. And yes, you will have FPS drops for sure in some areas because you can't have grass vegetation like a game from 2018 with such an old single core engine without impact. And if you want no FPS drops ( > constant 60 FPS in all areas) it's better you don't touch the vegetation version because this doesn't work. And again...anyone has the option to choose the HD mod without vegetation in the Setup installer...

    I will do my best to optimize the vegetation.
    Last edited by Gecko; 26th Apr 2018 at 17:13.

  8. #258
    Yup, we would need to have the whole engine re-written in e.g. DX 11 to have access to more hardware power. AFAIK, the code that has been re-written for DX9 is mostly stuff responsible for displaying the image in modern resolutions, and with some basic postprocess effects. It's still a trusty old Trabant under that fresh coat of paint

    I don't mean to undermine your efforts, because what you do looks great, but I do wonder what purpose of HD mod would be, if the performance isn't one of the major concerns. People will encounter these drops many years from now, and on much better hardware, because the limitation is in engine code that doesn't scale with anything.

    IMO the true technical craft always lies in balancing fidelity with limits. E.g. in DarkMod I can have 6 million triangles displayed in a scene before FPS start to drop, but I can't add anything else to it. So I can't use 6 million as my limit, I need to balance it with other factors, like drawcalls, real-time shadows, AI logic, etc. So in the end, after many hours of testing, it seems like 2 million triangles is more realistic limit (which is still amazing, for a game this old). In a similar manner, I could make 8K textures for all my materials, now that we have Substance and all the resolution-independent stuff for textures. But what would be the purpose of that, except for showing that I can do it?
    Last edited by Judith; 27th Apr 2018 at 04:28.

  9. #259
    Member
    Registered: Apr 2016
    Location: Strawberry Fields
    Depends how often it drops and how low it drops. If I'm hitting 30fps for longer than a few seconds I'm turning it off. If it stays at 50fps for a good few minutes doesn't bother me. I imagine if I'm going to drop it'll consistently stay at a much lower framerate than 60?

    Love your work, Gecko. Lots of work for free and at such a fast pace all considering.

  10. #260
    Member
    Registered: Oct 2004
    Location: Ireland/Poland
    The grass looks amazing, but I can't see the trail of blood anymore...

  11. #261
    Could the blood be added to the grass as well so that it can be tracked? (just the hand-placed trail, not all blood)

  12. #262
    Member
    Registered: Nov 2004
    Location: Germany
    That's no problem. The player can see the blood if he looks at the ground. The plants are flat surfaces. The objective "follow the trail of blood ..." is now more challenging I like it.

    But it wouldn't be a problem adding a small plant with blood...

    Last edited by Gecko; 28th Apr 2018 at 11:02.

  13. #263
    Member
    Registered: Jul 2006
    Location: Tartu, Estonia
    It looks fantastic and I can't imagine the amount of work behind it! From a personal viewpoint, I would try out a shorter version grass (lower), maybe it will help with FPS too, I don't know. Also (just curious), is it possible to make the edges smoother somehow (houses, some transitions from land to water etc)?

    But again, thank you so much for your incredible work and passion!

  14. #264
    Member
    Registered: Nov 2004
    Location: Germany
    What you see in this demo is the work of months. All was rendered with 3DS Max and with the help of a 16 core CPU. Hours and hours of rendering to get this quality. In this demo i show you eleven different types of vegetation. After the Thief 2 HD Mod is released i want to share all this stuff with all FM makers. Hopefully we will see some of this in some future FMs. I know that not all animations are perfect. But i did my best! Don't forget that we can only use 99 different frames on any animation.

    Last edited by Gecko; 1st May 2018 at 02:33.

  15. #265
    Member
    Registered: May 2009
    Location: Germany
    Nice !
    Compared to previous preview versions the vegetation now moves just at the right speed, matching much better the typical mission setup.

  16. #266
    ZylonBane
    Registered: Sep 2000
    Location: ZylonBane
    Quote Originally Posted by Gecko View Post
    Don't forget that we can use only 99 different frames on any animation.
    You are the enemy of common sense.

  17. #267
    Member
    Registered: Nov 2004
    Location: Germany
    Thx @ gnartsch

    @ ZylonBane

    that is not enough for a complex plant animation...

  18. #268
    Member
    Registered: May 2015
    The problem is, this completely disables the enhanced skies mod provided by TafferPatcher. Any workarounds?

  19. #269
    Dóttirin klęšist oft móšur möttli
    Registered: Apr 2015
    Rename Fam/skyhw in HDMod.

  20. #270
    Member
    Registered: Nov 2004
    Location: Germany
    Quote Originally Posted by Gecko View Post
    Okay. The t2skies folder from the HDMOD doesn't include all the .dml sky files. It will be added with the next update.

    Edit 2:

    @ Mixthoor
    Download this and extract it to \HDMOD\t2skies. That's it.
    This is a known problem in v0.9.5.

  21. #271
    Member
    Registered: May 2015
    Quote Originally Posted by Unna Oertdottir View Post
    Rename Fam/skyhw in HDMod.
    Rename it to what?

  22. #272
    Member
    Registered: May 2015
    Quote Originally Posted by Gecko View Post
    This is a known problem in v0.9.5.
    That didn't do anything?

  23. #273
    Member
    Registered: Nov 2004
    Location: Germany
    It should work. These DML's are missing in 0.9.5!

    Make sure all DML's are here -> HDMOD\t2skies\

    Restart your mission!

  24. #274
    Quote Originally Posted by Gecko View Post
    Thx @ gnartsch

    @ ZylonBane

    that is not enough for a complex plant animation...
    Quote Originally Posted by ZylonBane View Post
    You are the enemy of common sense.
    Unfortunately ZB has a point. I'd study frame budgets for other games to get some better perspective on that (they seem to be much lower, especially for "low-priority" props). There are some interesting discussions on the web that should help you a bit, f.i. here and here.

  25. #275
    Member
    Registered: Nov 2004
    Location: Germany
    I don't think that the discussions help me with the FPS problem.

    For example if i create a grass animation for the unreal engine it works totaly different (of course). It's very easy to make it work in UE4 and the file size of the total animation is 15 MB for example (3D object)! And for sure there is no FPS problem in UE4. And no limitation for the length of the grass animation. But it wouldn't make any sense to compair a game engine from 2018 with a game engine from 2000...

    But if i want the same animation in Thief i have to choose 2D frame animation. If i want it extremely sharp i have to choose a very high resolution -> 4096 x 2048 or 2048 x 1024. If i go lower than this it will look extremly pixled if you stay close to the grass in-game. But i think most of the FM authors will choose 1024 x 512 for their own projects maybe because they use lower texture resolutions in total. But i want to go to the limits because i want this high quality look of grass. There will be the option in the setup where the player can choose the resolution of the grass. Also there will be the option without grass!

    And there is no other way in dromed if you want this overgrown grass effect in thief. The only thing you can do is to use fewer grass objects (by loosing a bit of the overgrown effect) and optimize the LOD's. I'm working with this 3DS Max plugin for months now and i know how to use it.
    Last edited by Gecko; 29th May 2018 at 10:41.

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