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[REL | SA] Effects Draw Distance Enhancer

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S_G
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#1

Posted 07 January 2009 - 04:02 PM Edited by S_G, 17 January 2009 - 04:10 PM.

Changelog:
- v0.0.1: Initial version. (Jan 7)
- v0.0.2: Fixed a bug that was not changing all LODEND and LODSTART; differentiates between START and END now. (Jan 9)


In my quest to figure out how to further the draw distance of vehicles, lamp post lighting, and most importantly vehicle headlight lighting, I came upon something a little interesting...


In /models/, there is a file called effects.fxp. Like timecyc, which controls weather and visual draw distance, I found out that this file also has a very small draw distance for EFFECTS. Basically, not only do effects like smoke, fire, and explosions only appear at a VERY short distance, the level of detail on them is harsh as well. So, I was going to modify mine and release it, but I realized that many of you use different effects.fxp files from various texture mods. Instead, I've created a simple application.
  1. Download the latest version here (fxpcull vX.X.X.zip), extract it somewhere.
  2. Copy /models/effects.fxp to the place you extracted the files.
  3. Run fxpcull.exe. It will ask you how much you want to multiply the distance values by (I suggest something between 10 and 20), which values to ignore (this means it will skip anything that already has a draw distance this high; I suggest between 150 and 500), and also how high to clamp (if after multiplying, the value exceeds this, clamp it; I suggest 1000 to 2000).
  4. It will output a new file, effects.new.fxp. Rename it to effects.fxp and copy it over to your /models/ directory.
  5. Play the game.
user posted image
user posted image

user posted image

Now you can actually destroy vehicles from a distance and see if you're landing any hits or not. Looks particularly great with better textures, like KING_OF_SA's mod. According to GTA_XP's test on integrated video, extending the draw distance of effects has virtually no negative effect on performance.

Here is a video, thanks to dingleman: icon14.gif



And for any coders wondering why the hell this includes so many DLLs, I didn't want to do it in C, since I'm pretty rusty. So, I wrote it in PHP and compiled it with the Roadsend IDE, which sucks in Windows.

SLAYERMAGGOT
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#2

Posted 07 January 2009 - 04:12 PM

This is great icon14.gif

FullMetal
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#3

Posted 07 January 2009 - 04:12 PM

2 concerns:

1) What's the performance difference?
2) Why are there a lot of installation steps? I know, you did a great job explaining how to install it, but still. That's the only reason why I am not downloading it.

S_G
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#4

Posted 07 January 2009 - 04:19 PM

QUOTE (fullmetal @ Jan 7 2009, 12:12)
2 concerns:

1) What's the performance difference?
2) Why are there a lot of installation steps? I know, you did a great job explaining how to install it, but still. That's the only reason why I am not downloading it.

1) I haven't taken a framerate hit on an 8800 Ultra. Can't vouch for any other hardware.

2) There are only 4 steps, which take about 3 minutes to do, not including the download time. The reason for this is so that everyone can customize their effects draw distance as they like (or as their hardware allows, if it turns out that this causes a hit in performance).

_Rob_
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#5

Posted 07 January 2009 - 04:29 PM

wow looks good, are you running enb?

S_G
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#6

Posted 07 January 2009 - 04:35 PM

Yup, ENBSeries with settings that took me forever to do, custom timecyc, custom palette, effects and particles from "real mod" (or whatever it's called), SRt3, and who knows what else. I've lost track.


user posted image

_Rob_
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#7

Posted 07 January 2009 - 04:44 PM

can you pm me your settings they look good, and you shoul relaese all that stuff with your settingsin a pack, i'd definately dl that

anadolu1923
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#8

Posted 07 January 2009 - 04:57 PM

really great, amazing icon14.gif

[SAK*]KING_OF_SA
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#9

Posted 07 January 2009 - 06:17 PM

OH, YEAH!!!!!
This program was my dream.

Bandiits
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#10

Posted 07 January 2009 - 08:33 PM

Look's good icon14.gif

okei
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#11

Posted 07 January 2009 - 08:49 PM

QUOTE ([SAK*]KING_OF_SA @ Jan 7 2009, 18:17)
OH, YEAH!!!!!
This program was my dream.

Now you can make NGE even better!

[SAK*]KING_OF_SA
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#12

Posted 07 January 2009 - 09:44 PM

QUOTE (okei @ Jan 7 2009, 20:49)
QUOTE ([SAK*)
KING_OF_SA,Jan 7 2009, 18:17] OH, YEAH!!!!!
This program was my dream.

Now you can make NGE even better!

Yes, using this program i learnt how to make it manually so i'll do it.

Dingleman
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#13

Posted 07 January 2009 - 10:56 PM

This is awesome.. I downloaded it and installed it with all the reccomended multiplications and liked it, so I took it up a notch and multiplyed it by 100. Thing is it seems like it still has the same veiw distance for the objects before they dissapear, like fire and such. Is this because they are designed to just completely dissapear when it is a certain distance from the player? Or is this only happening to me..

S_G
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#14

Posted 08 January 2009 - 12:31 AM Edited by S_G, 08 January 2009 - 12:33 AM.

@bammargera
I can post my ENBSeries settings and timecyc. Other than that, I cannot post anything. The texture/particle/model mods are not mine, so I don't have permission to send them myself in a custom mod pack (I really dislike it when people steal work like that). All I can say is which mods I've used.


@dingleman
It's possible the game has a hard-coded limit. I have not done any extensive testing to see how far it can actually go.


@KING_OF_SA
This is a dream for anyone who uses your particle mods. Now, since you're going to be doing it manually, I suggest you take it one step further. You could make proper use of LODSTART and LODEND. This app only multiplies everything by the same amount. So, for example, you could do:
CULLDIST: 1000.000
LODSTART: 100.000
LODEND: 1000.000

Level of detail of particles starts reducing at 100 distance, and they continue to get worse until 1000 distance, which is where CULLDIST kicks in and makes them disappear. For me, this really makes no difference. But I think that it could be more important when using very large textures on slower systems, as it could cause quite a performance hit when drawing many big effects at once.

BlazerRotare
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#15

Posted 08 January 2009 - 01:01 AM

Mirrored on CodenameGTA.net

Matt.

GTA_XP
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#16

Posted 08 January 2009 - 02:02 PM

Does this affect the performances?
Currentley I have an sh*t Intel gfx card.

S_G
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#17

Posted 09 January 2009 - 09:50 AM

QUOTE (GTA_XP @ Jan 8 2009, 10:02)
Does this affect the performances?
Currentley I have an sh*t Intel gfx card.

I have not felt any performance hit, but it may vary from system to system. You don't have a graphics card, you have integrated video. I would expect that there may be some performance hit on low-end graphics cards and integrated video, but I cannot verify this myself. You can give it a try and report back.




Also, updated to v0.0.2 to fix a bug. It was not changing all the LOD settings, now it does. Probably the last version, I don't really see any more improvements I could make to this software, unless there's another bug.

Dev1ant
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#18

Posted 09 January 2009 - 06:00 PM

Marvelous! If only there was a way of improving the draw distance on vegetation

GTA Realizzer
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#19

Posted 10 January 2009 - 07:29 PM

Man, that mod is awesome!

I've tried it for some hours during playing the game, very great.

So nice to see the fire by the Alhambra Club or the water in front of Caligula's Casino from far far away. I've chosen 250 in the first step, the other two 1,000. I guess, that is enough.
If you push it to far, the effect will be lost. But it's definately perfect right now.

@Dev1ant: This is maybe my last wish for the game! That would make it absolutely great.

There are so many mods outthere that I use in the game to make it more perfect. And the chance to improve the draw distance of vegetation would be the highlight.

@S_G: any chance to do that?

GTA Realizzer

BLlTZ
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#20

Posted 10 January 2009 - 10:04 PM Edited by -BLITZ-, 11 January 2009 - 07:56 AM.

Nice stuff, here, but much I see that the single effects that seems improve are the smoke and fire, water fall at las venturas a little bit, but much more I don't see improve... how many effects has been improve ?! smoke, fire and ??!

[SAK*]KING_OF_SA
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#21

Posted 11 January 2009 - 09:23 AM

QUOTE (-BLITZ- @ Jan 10 2009, 22:04)
Nice stuff, here, but much I see that the single effects that seems improve are the smoke and fire, water fall at las venturas a little bit, but much more I don't see improve... how many effects has been improve ?! smoke, fire and ??!

It improves all effects. But it don't do it correctly. When i tested it i multiplied all for 50 and i noticed it i shooted with a rhino (modified by cleo to make it shooting proyectiles) while i was in sf and the proyectile exploded in mt chilliad with (i could see the explosion). But other effects like gunshells were not increased correctly. Example
if the next line is the distance before using the program:
................................................gunshell
and this line the distance after using it:
........................................................gunshell
We can see that the program can't do it very well with some effects. For that reason it's better to do it manually.

S_G
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#22

Posted 11 January 2009 - 10:17 AM

@KING_OF_SA:
Are you using the latest version? The first one I released was failing to modify all of the LODENDs, so the distance was not being affected on all of them. Should be fixed in v0.0.2. I think there may be an "upper-limit" of how far it can draw; put it too high and it won't work, so you need to have a reasonable clamping value, but I haven't tested this theory yet.

@BLITZ / GTA Realizzer / Dev1ant:
effects.fxp can only control whatever is in there, and I think that's generally restricted to whatever effects are in effectsPC.txd (ie. snow, fire, explosions, blood, smoke, splash, sparks, hydrants, insects, clouds, puke, etc.). However, I do see some "tree" items in effects.fxp, but I think that these are only for the leaves on trees, nothing else. The draw distance on them is pretty low.

BLlTZ
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#23

Posted 11 January 2009 - 10:51 AM

Yeah... that's why I don't think that vegetation draw distance will not be something sweet or possible to work. Possible to see the grass only 20-30 meters from player.
The grass still gona dissapear at large disstance, but it will be cool, to see the grass from high altitude.
And about trees, they are objects (.dff, .txd ) I made some confusion wink.gif

kakarot_9
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#24

Posted 11 January 2009 - 04:03 PM

Awesome mod, really nice. biggrin.gif

[SAK*]KING_OF_SA
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#25

Posted 13 January 2009 - 02:05 PM

QUOTE (S_G @ Jan 11 2009, 10:17)
@KING_OF_SA:
Are you using the latest version? The first one I released was failing to modify all of the LODENDs, so the distance was not being affected on all of them. Should be fixed in v0.0.2. I think there may be an "upper-limit" of how far it can draw; put it too high and it won't work, so you need to have a reasonable clamping value, but I haven't tested this theory yet.

@BLITZ / GTA Realizzer / Dev1ant:
effects.fxp can only control whatever is in there, and I think that's generally restricted to whatever effects are in effectsPC.txd (ie. snow, fire, explosions, blood, smoke, splash, sparks, hydrants, insects, clouds, puke, etc.). However, I do see some "tree" items in effects.fxp, but I think that these are only for the leaves on trees, nothing else. The draw distance on them is pretty low.

As you created a tool that can increase effects draw distance. Could you create a tool to increase the max allowed prim emiters?

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#26

Posted 13 January 2009 - 04:12 PM

QUOTE (S_G @ Jan 9 2009, 09:50)
QUOTE (GTA_XP @ Jan 8 2009, 10:02)
Does this affect the performances?
Currentley I have an sh*t Intel gfx card.

I have not felt any performance hit, but it may vary from system to system. You don't have a graphics card, you have integrated video. I would expect that there may be some performance hit on low-end graphics cards and integrated video, but I cannot verify this myself. You can give it a try and report back.




Also, updated to v0.0.2 to fix a bug. It was not changing all the LOD settings, now it does. Probably the last version, I don't really see any more improvements I could make to this software, unless there's another bug.

I have tested it and Im gonna report it.
This amazing mod doesnt affect any performances.
The FPS is still same as without the increased the effects.
It didnt have any bugs/glitches and it doesnt crashes.
Tested on a GML910/GMA915 128MB shared Chipset.
I know, a sh*t videocrap, but SA support it atleast colgate.gif
With the New Great Effects by SAK*]KING_OF_SA this effects looks unreal and insane!!

l.l.cool.j
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#27

Posted 15 January 2009 - 09:19 AM

0.0.2 download link not working, can u upload it again please?

[SAK*]KING_OF_SA
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#28

Posted 15 January 2009 - 03:33 PM

QUOTE (l.l.cool.j @ Jan 15 2009, 09:19)
0.0.2 download link not working, can u upload it again please?

It is working, try again

Dingleman
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#29

Posted 16 January 2009 - 06:13 AM

I made a little video about this that sorta shows what can be done with it..

http://au.youtube.co...h?v=rVNu8QnRQgU

wink.gif

S_G
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#30

Posted 17 January 2009 - 04:18 PM

QUOTE (GTA_XP @ Jan 13 2009, 12:12)
I have tested it and Im gonna report it.
This amazing mod doesnt affect any performances.
The FPS is still same as without the increased the effects.
It didnt have any bugs/glitches and it doesnt crashes.
Tested on a GML910/GMA915 128MB shared Chipset.
I know, a sh*t videocrap, but SA support it atleast colgate.gif
With the New Great Effects by SAK*]KING_OF_SA this effects looks unreal and insane!!
Great! Thanks for the info, added the the first post.

QUOTE (dingleman @ Jan 16 2009, 02:13)
I made a little video about this that sorta shows what can be done with it..

http://au.youtube.co...h?v=rVNu8QnRQgU

wink.gif
Nice, I've added that to the first post. Thanks!


QUOTE (SAK*KING_OF_SA @ Jan 13 2009, 10:05)
As you created a tool that can increase effects draw distance. Could you create a tool to increase the max allowed prim emiters?
Hmm, from what I understand, the FX_SYSTEM_DATA sections contain the "main" effects that are called by the game. By increasing NUM_PRIMS, all we are doing is saying that there are "NUM_PRIMS" (ie. 3) sections of FX_PRIM_BASE_DATA after it. If you can clarify what exactly you want to do, I could make something, but I'm not sure how increasing NUM_PRIMS would help with anything.




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