Possible Performance Friendly Solution To Improve Distant Scenery Visuals?

Discussion in 'PC Discussion' started by londonmidland, Mar 10, 2021.

  1. londonmidland

    londonmidland Well-Known Member

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    One thing TSW suffers from massively is the way distant scenery look. Even when the distant areas are populated with lots of 2D trees, it still looks off.

    Why?
    Because all hills and mountains are evenly lit in TSW, that’s what makes them look so off and it really doesn’t help to emphasize their size or distance. Instead it literally looks like a few meters away.

    The issues with using distant shadows:
    Whilst this may seem like an obvious solution, shadows are very performance heavy and will dramatically lower FPS, especially on lower powered hardware.

    So, what's the solution?
    I thought of this relatively simple idea which may be easy to implement, whilst being performance friendly...

    Why not paint the distant 2D trees and terrain a darker shade of green/brown compared to the more detailed and closer scenery, which will then help make them 'feel' far away.

    Below I have done an extremely quick and rough edit, of default vs edited, and I think the edited version still looks miles better. I'll let you analyse and compare:

    Default:
    NDD-R5-01_Watermarked_Screenshots_7.jpg

    Edited:
    shadow.jpg
     
    Last edited: Mar 10, 2021
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  2. SprattyHeath

    SprattyHeath Well-Known Member

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    Im hoping that "Optimization" fixes some of these rather ongoing issues. I find that the rendering distance of the shadows has gotten worse overtime.

    The idea of generating 2D textures is probably the most logical step to make as it realistically as it will fill in the gaps in the background and will not put any other excess strain on lower spec PCs etc (as well as consoles of older gens too)

    As for your edit it definitely looks much better, although I do find that it's a tad too dark for my liking.
     
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  3. Callum B.

    Callum B. Well-Known Member

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    Perhaps I am not seeing what you are seeing, as I think the original image looks far more natural. In my opinion, what TSW needs is stronger atmospheric lighting effects, such as distant blue haze and light depth of field. It already has one of these things, as blue haze was finally implemented in routes starting with TSW2's launch, but in my opinion it is not strong or dark enough. I made a ReShade thread last year that explored some of these ideas in TSW2020, where the barrenness of distant mountains is even more apparent.

    Example:
    Original
    [​IMG]

    ReShade
    [​IMG]

    Cheers
     
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  4. ItsYa165

    ItsYa165 Well-Known Member

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    Distant scenery - shadow fog.jpg
     
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  5. londonmidland

    londonmidland Well-Known Member

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    It was a very quick edit, but to cut long story short, TSW really needs to differ its lighting over distance.
     
  6. Callum B.

    Callum B. Well-Known Member

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    You may be on to something, for sure. I think RSN still has the best looking distant mountains to date because they used densely-populated, darker 2D sprites behind the closer (but lighter) 3D vegetation. It makes for a nice mixture of shading. It seems like this approach was taken with Clinchfield as well, but it is hard to see as easily in the autumn vegetation because of the horrid colours.

    See the trees way off in the distance:
    [​IMG]

    Unfortunately it is not as consistent as RSN and you can still see some bald spots on the mountain where the ground texture blends poorly with the vegetation.

    Cheers
     
  7. londonmidland

    londonmidland Well-Known Member

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    Additionally, along with darkening the distant terrain and scenery, some natural blur and/or depth of field couldn't go amiss. Another quick edit shows how this can work well with the distant 2D trees. It makes them look better, as ironically they aren't so clear anymore, so you can't see the lack of detail in them.

    NDD-R5-01_Watermarked_Screenshots_7.jpg
     
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  8. ItsYa165

    ItsYa165 Well-Known Member

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    My personal opinion is that DOF is really annoying in every game I have that features it. It would be alright for a screenshot mode, but it will disadvantage your driving ability if the railway ahead of you gets blurred just because you're pointing at the speedometer.
     
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  9. geloxo

    geloxo Well-Known Member

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    I hate that shadow effect as well and the shadow distance limitation in general. I think they will sooner or later migrate to the newer engine versions and then shadow distance will be history, so I doubt any intermediate fix is released till then. To me the only working solution so far is to avoid clear sky weather as it´s where the effect is really ugly. I always play with some cloudy weather.

    Cheers
     
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  10. Monder

    Monder Well-Known Member

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    I know it was a quick edit, but maybe something in between would be better, the original is bland, yours is a bit of an overkill, but seems to be on a right track. Maybe just tune the effect down to 40-50 %.
     
  11. solicitr

    solicitr Well-Known Member

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    Agreed. I've switched it off. Next I have to play with FOV and try to reduce that weird fisheye effect.
     
  12. BR125

    BR125 Well-Known Member

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    Im pretty sure they dont care enough to fix this, I doubt they ever will no matter what the future holds. It means hard work - doesnt lend itself to asset flips.

    why make proper scenery if we can use this 2010 era digger we have from GWE?
     
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