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EncryptedReality

GTA IV/EFLC long-range rendered shadows

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EncryptedReality

I was wondering if anyone was interested in long-range rendered shadows in GTA IV/EFLC like i am... so that is why i created this topic!

 

 

By "long-range redered shadows" i mean the shadows that don't seem to appear in GTA IV/EFLC like they do in GTA V, below i have shown the example of what i mean:

 

GTA IV(it's about the same in EFLC) aerial shot, shadows don't appear anywhere but close-up on the aircraft/vehicle/object that you are looking at while airborne

 

IO1kz.jpg

 

 

 

GTA V long-range rendered shadows(as you can see they are lower quality while looked at in distance but it's certainly enough to satisfy me)

 

795-1280.jpg

 

 

 

I wish there was an ENB or even better an independent graphics modification for GTA IV/EFLC that could bring shadow system from GTA V into these aforementioned games...

 

I think that shadows in GTA IV/EFLC suck because they dissappear/fade away after 100 or so meters which is a really short distance to stop rendering shadows at...

 

If anyone knows a mod that fixes this or more informations related to this matter, please post it here!

Edited by GTARandom

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nkjellman

Glad you started this. Its definitely something I wanted to explore. That and getting more shadows casting from other light sources, like getting vehicles to cast them. The other thing is getting the old shadow system to work as well.

 

So basically your not going to want to just increase the shadow draw distance, which I imagine would be easier to do. Your going to want to have really low quality shadows in the distance or else your game is going to lag a sh*t load. IV can barely handle the Very High shadow graphics setting with the new shader system. Your going to want what I would like to call "LOD Shadows". Basically they are shadows that begin to render when the regular shadows stop rendering, which render much further, and are much lower quality than the regular shadows. However, since they are farther away, that isn't as noticeable.

 

It also might be possible to increase the regular shadow draw distance. The regular shadows do decrease in quality the further they are, but they would need to continue to decrease more. Though, the benefit is, the models casting shadows become lower quality the further they are from you, so the game has an easier time rendering the shadows.

 

I think it should be possible. Whether it is, I'm not sure. I also think it might be possible to have EIV mapping in the game as well, making little cracks more 3D. The game does have this effect if you crash your car into a cement object in the cracks, or shoot something with your gun, leaving a 3D looking bullet hole.

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EncryptedReality

Yep, i would also love to see every other improvement you brought up in your post in addition to my desired shadow render range increase!

 

I would also like to mention one more thing, and that is to point out that the cars do not reflect on roads while it's raining, and well. in general....

While they do reflect in water, they don't seem to reflect on anything else in the game, except for interior reflections that i shown in Liberty State topic(if you count that as well).

 

Rockstar could've at least made the cars reflect on roads while it's raining because it looks really silly that cars are like ghosts in such weather conditions...

To point this out even more, i embedded one of Yeardley Diamond's videos below because it contains a scene which shows this perfectly!

 

 

 

Fast forward to 1:11 point in time in that video and you will see cars driving in the rain without any reflections below them...

 

 

 

It's kind of funny that there are no car reflections on roads even on GTA V(in last-gen versions), but perhaps they will be included in the current-gen versions...

 

 

Even PS2 title True Crime: New York City had car reflections on roads... so i guess it shouldn't have been hard for Rockstar to implement it into RAGE versions of GTA's

Edited by GTARandom

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PacketOverload_x64bit

Don't really have that problem on older patches in GTA IV + ENB. This leads me to believe that the lack of shadows is caused by one or more things such as: Lack of actual skylighting in GTA4 1060/1070/EFLC and View Distance in the timecycle.

 

This is from GTA4 Patch 1040 + iCEnHancer base. If you're looking to fix, you would need to fix the .DLL for ENB, or provide a fix for GTA4 that adds the skylighting back to the engine (rather than using AMb0/1/Direct Light to create the appearance of skylighting. :)

 

@GTARandom: It was shown a while back that the trees use a certain shader, unlike water or buildings, that cause them not to reflect. The same goes for cars if I am not mistaken. You'll notice that buildings reflect on cars and water but cars don't reflect in buildings (at least I think they don't). It's the shaders that are the problem for that stuff, the shaders in the models for the trees would have to be changed if I am not mistaken. and anything else you want to reflect in other things. Trees were made to reflect in one of the racetrack 3rd party mods a while back - the effect is jaw dropping. :) By the way, do you know that Yeardly Diamond just died about two days ago :( Something with his heart.

_AUIRB2U-SNOWJOB-EDITION-GRAPHIC_1064.jp

Edited by PacketOVerload_x64Bit

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EncryptedReality

That screenshot is painted with awesomeness all over it...

 

Although this problem was present in PS3/Xbox 360 versions as well as the older patces in the PC version, the range of shadow rendering was higher by at least half the amount it renders at in the latest patches...

 

Getting the old shadow render range to work on 1.0.7.0 and EFLC as well as car night-shadowing from various light sources such as the ones in the Booth Tunnel would be a great start of solving these issues/problems! :^:

 

 

Pictures below show once again what i mean:

 

 

GTA IV PS3 / PC 1.0.4.0 and lower

CFJPrm3.png

 

GTA IV PC 1.0.7.0 latest version (MAXed settings)

eMsQKLf.png

Edited by GTARandom

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PacketOverload_x64bit

-Contributing to the discussion by removing this post- :)

-Packet

Edited by PacketOVerload_x64Bit

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EncryptedReality

View distance in ENB and the setting in the game with the same name do not affect shadows at all... if either of them actually did affect them, i wouldn't be making this topic in the first place and pointing this all out!

 

 

I just thought of another thing that IV/EFLC could learn from V!

 

Take a look at these images below:

 

 

blTQQb9.png

 

 

OigkF2U.png

 

 

 

 

Also, i forgot to answer your question that you asked whether i knew about Yeardley Diamond's passing away or not, yes i found out as soon as a topic was opened here on these forums...

 

My condolences for him and his family

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NTAuthority

It's a shame how the shader patches ENB does aren't documented at all, which makes modifying any of the internal details of them, or updating them to work with more up-to-date shader sets fairly difficult.

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EncryptedReality

Indeed... i really wish i had more knowledge about shader editing... but i'm a noob in this area so i can't do sh*t about it probably.

 

I did what i could do though, and that is to point these things out so that someone who may know more about this fixes these mentioned issues...

 

 

 

I only know how to edit ENB shaders because they aren't encrypted like GTA default shaders and can be viewed with a notepad while the latter shaders require a hex editor or a dissassembler such as IDA Pro for proper editing

Edited by GTARandom

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PacketOverload_x64bit

Cool man, I don't know much about much of this stuff. I remember Scrush (?) knew how to edit shaders but that was from a while back. I'm going to subscribe to this thread and read now and again to see what you guys come up with :)

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nkjellman

This is stuff that all should be looked into.

 

I was also thinking about this idea as well. What if we could get the game to transition between two different spec maps? What I mean is there would be a spec map for Extra Sunny, Sunny, Sunny/Windy, Cloudy, Foggy, and Extra Sunny 2, and there would be one for Rain, and Rain/Lightning. Drizzle would have a mix of the two. The idea of this is to add puddles that accumulate.

 

By the way, the car shadows don't appear in the booth tunnel at all on PC. Only on console. However, I think I was playing on a 1.0.4.0 install that was downgraded from 1.0.7.0, but I swore that I used a 1.0.0.0 install for it. Anyways, if we could simply get the night shadows to produce car shadows, we could have cars casting shadows in street lamps, and in the head lights of other cars as well which would be better than on console.

 

As for z-fighting. I think it is fixable. If your flying a helicopter, cycle the camera to first person view. Then z-fighting will be greatly reduced. Its still there, but its not as bad. From here, you can switch the camera to any view you want and you will still have reduced z-fighting. However, it goes away when you exit the helicopter, and you have to do it again the next time you get in a helicopter.

 

Also another thing. I think that adding the sky lighting feature to the engine may fix the darkening in the distance issue whey your looking far away on Patch 6, 7, and EFLC.

 

As for the shader bug on the vegetation where the bottom is dark, if someone knows how to edit the shader files, I'm sure that it can be fixed. If you use the patch 6 shader, it fixes it, but the vegetation aren't affected by shadows casted by other objects.

 

Another bug in the game that I haven't fully resolved in my mod is the reflections show the polys on the cars. This can be fixed by using ENB Series though.

 

The last bug I couldn't resolve is getting the APC headlight source to show through the mesh cover in front of the headlight.

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cp1dell

Cars having shadows sounds great and all, but wouldn't that completely wreck IV's performance?

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nkjellman

Cars having shadows sounds great and all, but wouldn't that completely wreck IV's performance?

We don't know until we try.

 

By the way, what patch did they add the Shadow density setting (if it was any patch at all).

 

Shadow Density (1.0.4.0) and Night Shadows (1.0.7.0) do the same thing. By that I mean objects cast the same shadows from the same light sources.

 

However, Night Shadows have more bugs than Shadow Density. One thing is they restrict the distance that light travels from a street lamp. If you go out of the Algonquin side of the Booth Tunnel, you will notice that the light from the street lamp doesn't pass the base of the street pole. Its more noticeable here because it is on a steep hill. Another one is they make some street lamps cast two shadows. The shadow looks like there is two poles, rather than one. Its not caused by separate lights. Its only one light. They also make the light on the ground look slightly darker when you get close to it.

 

As far as the regular shadows go. The Patch 4 shadows use more memory than the patch 7 shadows. However they don't have as much of an issue drawing at the base of the shadow.

 

Patch 7 shadows have the following issues.

-Very High makes your computer lag like a bitch. Even if you have a very high end gaming PC. Computers that can max out Crysis 3, can max out everything in GTA IV (1.0.7.0), but can't put shadows on very high with out fluctuating FPS. My PC runs the game better with everything maxed out and Shadows on High, than it does with everything down, and shadows on Very High.

-Shadows don't meet up with their source. If you drive in your car on a sunny morning, or sunny evening, you will notice that the shadow of the tires on the side of the car facing the sun have no shadow. You will also notice that the character's feet don't have a shadow. This effect gets worse the lower your shadow settings are. However, say your on high shadows. In the graphics setting menu, if you put them to very high, with out applying the setting you can see the problem reduces, but the shadows still look like High. The lower quality the shadows are, the worse this effect is.

-The bottom half of vegetation is in a shadow so it makes this horizontal divider.

 

I'm interested in the shader files from GTA IV Patch 1.0.0.0 (no patches), and EFLC Patch 1.1.0.0 (no patches). If anyone can provide those to me, I can research this a little more in terms of shadow density/night shadows. I want the ones from patchless IV because that was when the PC version was most identical to the Console version. I want the patchless EFLC ones because they are on the new shader system, and may not have the vegetation bug. IV Patch 6 and EFLC Patch 1 both had different issues with the vegetation.

 

There is some hard coded data ether in the exe, or in the dll files which is needed to get the old shadows working. It also might enable us to increase shadow draw distance, and determine what casts a shadow and what does not.

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EncryptedReality

Did you see this video, nkjellman?

 

 

 

If not, i think you should because it shows how much stuff got visually ruined in the latest patch!

 

 

Also, i think that the shadow render range was longer in the older patches, so it may be a good start to compare these older shaders from older patches with the most recent ones, it's be really cool to at least merge the good things from the old shaders that the new ones already have!

Edited by GTARandom

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nkjellman

Thats probably how Rockstar lowered the ammount of memory they shadows use.

 

In all honesty, they should of kept the old shader system, and worked on updating the DLC textures so they are the GTA IV PC resolutions, and not the console resolution.

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TWIST_OF_HATE
Posted (edited)
On 9/5/2014 at 2:02 AM, EncryptedReality said:

eMsQKLf.png

Nice catch !

I found a playthrough video of "Tunnel of Death" mission on old patch(or maybe from console version, I'm not sure):

They f*cked up so many things with patch 6 and newer ...

Edited by TWIST_OF_HATE

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T-ru
On 8/15/2019 at 12:08 AM, TWIST_OF_HATE said:

Nice catch !

I found a playthrough video of "Tunnel of Death" mission on old patch(or maybe from console version, I'm not sure):

They f*cked up so many things with patch 6 and newer ...

WOW this's great catch! The truck (the vehicle) cast shadows from the lamps in the tunnel lol 

 

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