Best Graphics & Sound Enhancement Mods For Tsc

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by KodiakJac, Oct 23, 2022.

  1. KodiakJac

    KodiakJac Member

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    I'm fairly new to TSC, and now I'm ready to start adding some graphic and/or sound enhancement mods. I'd like to start at the global level with mods like the Armstrong Powerhouse "Sky & Weather" and "Track" enhancement mods, and maybe the RW Enhancer 2, and then move on to mods like the AP locomotive mods, etc.

    But I'm still not sure of what all my options are, or which may be the best DLC packages to max out the graphics and sounds for TSC. So, I'm interested in everybody's opinion on their "Must Have" list, and the order of importance of what to get first.

    I've got a fairly fast single thread CPU (i9-10900K) and an nVidia 2070 Super, so I'm not too concerned about frame rate at this point, and I'm ready to hotrod my TSC installation!

    Thanks! :)
     
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  2. peterchambers

    peterchambers Member

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    A personal view only - being somewhat inept - and old - I tend to rely on others for mods, scenarios and tools. Railworks Enhancer has made my TSC as good as I can make it and better than I could have done on my own. The new version adds in train announcements, track and other sounds which makes a real difference to my enjoyment. The RWE 2 hud is also minmal and unobtrusive whilst at the same time giving you the info you need. It is not fully developed yet regarding steam locos. RWE 2 also allows you to add station stops into Quick Drives. It is constantly updated. It is the one thing I would keep if I had to let everything else go.

    AP sky/ weather and track are very good and enhance most of the routes available. The AP stuff is very good but you need to consider purchases carefully and how they will be used because AP is costly and often requires other payware to make best use of the addons.

    Many are able to modify the look and immersion of TSC without recourse to things like RWE 2 and there are guides under that label "Guides" on the TSC steam page explaining how to make scenarios, improve performenace the look of the sim etc.

    The more modern routes, esp those done by Just Trains and SAD are superb out of the box.
     
    Last edited: Oct 23, 2022
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  3. Pookeyhead

    Pookeyhead Well-Known Member

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    For the trains themselves, the best thing you can do it use Armstrong Powerhouse assets (unless you like steam). Both sound and visuals are greatly enhanced over even modern releases from others.

    RWEnhancer 2 has some nice sound features apparently, as well as graphical enhancements including better anti-aliasing, reflections and transparency effects. I use the original version for these things and they make quite a difference.

    The AP Sky and Weather pack is another massive improvement that is will worth investing in.

    One of the most underated AP packs though is the track enhancement pack ( on routes that support it, or can be made to support it).
    Without it
    [​IMG]
    With it
    [​IMG]

    The above images also use ReShade, which, so far as I'm concerned is the best addon to make TSC look good. The only issue with it, is that it's devilishly complex to get looking right, as there are hundreds of shaders you can use, and the set up of each individual one can be very time consuming. Once set up though, it transforms TSC.

    If you use AP stock, RWEnhancer (1 or 2), AP Track Enhancement Pack, AP Sky & Weather pack, and ReShade, you can make TSC look surprisingly good. In fact, it can give TSW a run for its money.

    The screenshots below include:
    AP Rolling stock
    AP Track Enhancement
    AP Sky & Weather pack
    RWEnhancer Pro
    ReShade with the following shaders active -
    FocalDOF.FX
    PD80_04_Contrast_Brightness_Saturation.fx
    PD80_04_Selective_Color_v2.fx
    PPFX_Bloom.fx
    PPFX_Godrays.fx
    FXAA.fx
    HexLensFlare.fx
    Levels.fx
    MagicHDR.fx
    20220505151015_1.jpg
    20220604133942_1.jpg
    Railworks64 2022-08-17 10-55-44.jpg 24010_20220517183227_1.jpg 24010_20220724073057_1.jpg

    These effect are not just for screenshots. I use them in game, and while there is a slight performance hit, it adds so much more enjoyment to the game for me, that it's worth it. The only effect I switch off for gameplay is the depth of field shader, as it looks quite bad in game, as it can't decide what should, or shouldn't be in focus. Having said that, neither can the DTG implementation of it either. It's great for screenshots though.

    Here's my TSC in actual gameplay.



    TSC can, I hope you agree, look quite impressive, but it really is a pain in the ass to do. I think overall, I spent 2 weeks messing with ReShade to get it looking like I wanted. Needless to say, everything here is thoroughly backed up - the thought of having to do all that again is depressing.
     
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  4. Pookeyhead

    Pookeyhead Well-Known Member

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    If anyone wants a head start on setting up ReShade, here's my config file attached to this post.

    I have also attached my RWEnhancer config file.

    I don't think my RWE config file will work with RWE2.
    The ReShade config probably will not give you exactly the same results as it does on my system, as many of the settings depend on screen resolution, and also because the actual TSC in game settings can radically change how some things appear, but it will give a starting point for further experimentation.
     

    Attached Files:

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  5. KodiakJac

    KodiakJac Member

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    Thanks for all this great information, Pookeyhead!!! I really appreciate your config files for ReShade and RWE. And I understand how config file results and compatibility can vary from system to system and version to version, but this really gives me a great head start! Time to roll my sleeves up and dive in :)

    P.S. And thank you for your reply, too, peterchambers!
     
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  6. Cuddy_Man

    Cuddy_Man Active Member

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    You don't say where your interests lie. Armstrong Powerhouse (AP) are primarily post 1980 UK.

    Be aware that opinions on enhancements can be highly personal and what one person thinks is great may not fit your style of game play or what you want from the sim.

    Personally. I'm not such a big fan of AP products, especially when price is taken into consideration.

    Of what you've mentioned, here's my view on them:

    RW Enhancer 2. I don't have it so can't comment.

    RW Enhancer Pro. The predecessor to the above. Very good, works on all content. Some of the effects can be a bit extreme if applied straight out of the box, but everything is easily configurable.

    AP Weather Enhancement. Out of the box this mainly works on UK routes but can be made to work on most routes. Worthwhile, though I find the partial clouds effect odd at sunrise and sunset.

    AP Track Enhancement. I have it but no longer use it. Works on most UK routes (there are exceptions, e.g. Western Lines of Scotland). Little provision for the rest of the world. I don't like the way every route ends up with the same track look, and I question its value as you soon stop looking at track when you're driving. Very hard to selectively uninstall.

    AP Stock Enhancements. Expensive if you don't buy in one of their short sales. Some have more impact than others, but this depends on how big the problems are in the base product. They won't work with existing DTG supplied scenarios without scenario editing.

    AP Sound Enhancements. More affordable and what AP initially built their reputation on. Have the advantage that they work with existing scenarios. I don't like the rolling stock sound packs as I think they are too quiet.

    Don't forget Steam Sounds Supreme, a couple of their sound packs have quite wide UK applicability up to approx 2000, and they are louder than APs.
     
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  7. KodiakJac

    KodiakJac Member

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    That's good information, Cuddy_Man! Thank you!

    When I bought TSC about 6 months ago, I thought my primary focus would be the steam era. But then I fell in love with the diesels across all time periods and have been driving them more than the steam locos. I particularly like the diesel introduction period in the middle of the 20th century. I guess the electric locos would be my least favorite, but I'm also driving them. Right now, I'm like a kid in a candy shop bouncing around a lot between eras and motive power sources :)
     
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  8. Pookeyhead

    Pookeyhead Well-Known Member

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    Good point. If you like non-UK stuff, steam, or older UK stock, AP isn't going to help (although there are some older 1st gen diesels). I didn't mention price, as I've no idea what the OP's budget is, however, it is indeed worth mentioning that AP stuff is at the higher end compared to other products.
     
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  9. 749006

    749006 Well-Known Member

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    There are a number of free track replacement packs for European routes on RW Austria and RailSim.de
    DB tracks is one that is used on European routes and sometimes on UK routes
    https://forum.railworks-austria.at/wcf/filebase/index.php?entry/63-db-tracks/
    And RWA has a Starter set
    https://forum.railworks-austria.at/...95-railworks-austria-starterset-rwp-ohne-dem/
     
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  10. Doomotron

    Doomotron Well-Known Member

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    The AP Sky and Weather and Track EPs are great. As for RWE, I found they made the game look worse. Too dark, too much contrast, and make train windows as reflective as mirrored sunglasses. Absolutely unplayable.
     
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  11. Pookeyhead

    Pookeyhead Well-Known Member

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    It is completely adjustable, as you can see in my screenshots.
     
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  12. class2ldn2801

    class2ldn2801 Active Member

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    Where do you put the ini file? Do I just put it anywhere and then select it in reshade itself?
     
    Last edited: Oct 24, 2022
  13. 878606

    878606 Member

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    If you don't mind me asking what game settings you got?
     
  14. Reef

    Reef Well-Known Member

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    I bought a new hifi system with a 20 band graphic equaliser and a huge volume control dial that went from 0 to 100, it made my music sound worse, it was so loud it made my ear drums bleed, absolutely unplayable.
     
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  15. Doomotron

    Doomotron Well-Known Member

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    Not particularly sure what you're trying to suggest here, but if it's a veiled insult I do not care for what you have to say.
     
  16. Pookeyhead

    Pookeyhead Well-Known Member

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    Settings 1.
    24010_20210512183833_1.png
    Dynamic clouds are off because AP Sky&Weather pack takes care of that.

    Settings 2.
    24010_20210512183837_1.png
    Water quality shows no improvement if taken higher than this, but continues to have a frame rate hit. Anti-Aliasing is actually handled by RWEnhancer Pro, so the in game settings are overridden.

    Settings 3.
    24010_20210512183843_1.png
    I no longer use procedural flora, as it just dumps random veg in ridiculous places.
    Ambient Occlusion is off because RWEnhancer Pro takes care of it.
     
    Last edited: Oct 25, 2022
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  17. Pookeyhead

    Pookeyhead Well-Known Member

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    He's saying that it was user error: You had it set wrong. RWEnhancer made your game too dark, with too much contrast, and made train windows as reflective as mirrored sunglasses because that's how you had it set. His analogy/joke was comparing it to buying a new Hi-Fi, turning everything up to max, then saying that it's rubbish because it's impossible to listen to it, because it's too loud :).
     
    Last edited: Oct 25, 2022
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  18. Pookeyhead

    Pookeyhead Well-Known Member

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    The same folder ReShade is installed in, so probably your Railworks folder.
     
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  19. 878606

    878606 Member

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    So you say the Anti-Aliasing in game can go to full wack using RWE-Pro doesn't affect the frame rate in game?
     
  20. Pookeyhead

    Pookeyhead Well-Known Member

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    They work in tandem so far as I've been able to tell - I probably didn't make that clear in the previous post. Ambient occlusion however, is completely redundant if you have it set in RWE, which is why I have it turned off in game.
     
    Last edited: Oct 25, 2022
  21. 878606

    878606 Member

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    Fair enough i will give a try then see what is like cheers
     
  22. 5cip

    5cip Active Member

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    Pookeyhead
    first thanks for your settings
    im running excactly the same resolution and AA settings with rw 2 and reshade
    your reshade settings helped me to optimize my gfx quality
    i only used TAA filter before in reshade which significant makes the screen clearer and less flicker
    now with your filters too and TAA it looks awesome which raise the question why DTG Matt they dont make a dx 11 version of ts classic like in ets / ats which also was a dx 9 game before.............

    i saw in your rw2 settings that u have completly deactivated sharpness is that intended ?
    im running it with full scale 1000.000 and ssao 2.000
    Screenshot_20221025_165833.png
     
  23. Pookeyhead

    Pookeyhead Well-Known Member

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    I found that moderate AA settings in game, coupled with moderate AA settings in RWE gave the same level of anti-aliasing as having the game set to max, but with much less of a frame rate hit.
     
  24. Pookeyhead

    Pookeyhead Well-Known Member

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    You're welcome. I've been a long standing advocate for ReShade for ages now, and I'm glad it helped. Looking good.

    Yes, as I found that it didn't really play nice with the AA settings, and to be honest, at 2560x1440 it didn't really need any sharpening. I'd rather have smooth overhead power lines etc. I hate aliasing in the OHLE.
     
    Last edited: Oct 25, 2022
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  25. 878606

    878606 Member

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    Do you use Nvidia Control panel to twick the resolution of the game too?
     
  26. Pookeyhead

    Pookeyhead Well-Known Member

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    Nope. I found that no matter what I did in there it didn't really make much of a difference.
     
  27. 878606

    878606 Member

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    Thanks for the replay yes im the same opinion i try so many things there and doesn't look like to make a difference, what graphics card are you using if you wouldn't mind me asking
     
    Last edited: Oct 25, 2022
  28. Pookeyhead

    Pookeyhead Well-Known Member

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    There's absolutely nothing amazing about my system. Quite the opposite in fact. The CPU is an old Intel i7-3960X and the GPU is a GTX980. I built the rig around 11 years ago, and upgraded the GPU around 2014. I keep promising to build a new PC, but never seem to get around to it.
     
  29. 878606

    878606 Member

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    Thanks, my rig is from around 2016 with a few bits and bobs added in between got a new graphics card last year and new SSD m2 last week, so just wanted to compared if i could archive the same settings as you have showed
     
    Last edited: Oct 26, 2022
  30. Pookeyhead

    Pookeyhead Well-Known Member

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    It should be fine. It depends on actual parts though, not just age. I do also have a SSD for the TSC install. Although my GPU is old, it still outperforms many lower end modern cards, as it was a range topping card when new. Same with the CPU... it's old, but it was a very high end CPU when new, so I think that has given my set up longevity. If I had built it from lower end parts, I think it would be totally obsolete by now. Unless your parts were low end in 2016, you should be OK.
     
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  31. KodiakJac

    KodiakJac Member

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    Is RW Central still in business? This is how their website looks in both MS Edge and Google Chrome. And all of the links are broken, and their store page looks the same...

    RW Central - Home Page.jpg
     
    Last edited: Oct 27, 2022
  32. KTL_Rob Powell

    KTL_Rob Powell Member

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    I'm on RWCentral no problem..
     
  33. Reef

    Reef Well-Known Member

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    Not really the place to continue this thread but I will say mine looks the same as yours but all the links work fine, no reason to believe it's anything other than a server glitch at this moment in time.
     
  34. decrepitts#7027

    decrepitts#7027 Well-Known Member

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    I've visited RWCentral twice today with my primary browser, Firefox. No issues. Looks the same as usual. I just visited it with my secondary browser, Brave Browser, and got results like that seen in the embedded image several posts above. The difference, I think, is that Firefox is not Chromium based. Brave Browser is.
     
  35. KodiakJac

    KodiakJac Member

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    The reason I asked in this thread, is I headed over to RW Central to buy RW Enhancer 2 that we talked about in this thread. And based on my search, it listed RW Central as the place to buy RW Enhancer 2. Am I wrong?
     
  36. KodiakJac

    KodiakJac Member

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    Ok, will download and try Firefox later tonight. Thanks! :)
     
  37. Reef

    Reef Well-Known Member

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    I never said you or anyone else was wrong.
     
  38. KodiakJac

    KodiakJac Member

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    No, I didn't mean that...lol

    I meant, am I looking for RW Enhancer 2 in the right place (RW Central) :)
     
  39. KodiakJac

    KodiakJac Member

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    I just downloaded and installed Firefox, then headed over to RW Central and it still looks like the screenshot I posted above. What could it be? Everywhere I browse looks just fine, except RW Central.
     
  40. Pookeyhead

    Pookeyhead Well-Known Member

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    I am using Firefox and all is well here.
    tgherthert.JPG
     
  41. KodiakJac

    KodiakJac Member

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    Thanks, Pookeyhead. I believe you guys who are having no trouble. But since there are others seeing what I see, at least part of the time if not all of the time, I wonder what it could be? It isn't just my computer. I wonder what the common denominator is?

    I forgot to check the links with Firefox, so I'll go back and see if I can make the purchase for RW Enhancer 2 even if things look funky...lol

    Appreciate all the feedback, guys! :)
     
  42. Reef

    Reef Well-Known Member

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    Ahh righto, sorry.
    And yes, it's the right place to get RWE2 ;)

    Still not right with me regarding the website btw, yes I'm on Chrome, no I cba'd to dl Firefox.
     
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  43. 5cip

    5cip Active Member

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    website works for edge which is chromium quite well
     
  44. Reef

    Reef Well-Known Member

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    Whatever the issue with RWCentral was it appears to have been sorted, it's now working again for me on Chrome at any rate.
     
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  45. PhÜnKî_Rø0sTā

    PhÜnKî_Rø0sTā Active Member

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    Is there a real difference between RWE 1 and 2? I only use reshade at the moment.

    I let NVIDIA control panel deal with my AA settings.
     
  46. Pookeyhead

    Pookeyhead Well-Known Member

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    I use RWEnhancer Pro to handle fog distance, fog colour, fog density, specular highlights, lighting and shadow effects, and glass reflections, and vegetation variation, all of which cannot be done in either ReShade, or via the Nvidia control panel.
     
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  47. KodiakJac

    KodiakJac Member

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    Yep, also working for me in MS Edge! :)
     
  48. trevkiwi

    trevkiwi Member

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  49. trevkiwi

    trevkiwi Member

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    Tehachapi Pass with RW Enhancer 2. (1) Railworks Tehachapi Pass - YouTube I have most of the AP sound and enhancement packs purchased over 10 years or more and also most of the Steam Sounds Supreme packs as I also love steam locos.
     
  50. KodiakJac

    KodiakJac Member

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    Thanks for all this information, guys!

    I bought RW Enhancer 2 last night, and now I'm just waiting for my RW Central account to be approved so I can download it. I'm also going to buy AP Sky & Weather and their track enhancement mod at some point, but I decided to start with RW Enhancer 2.

    Cheers!
     
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