Black Dragon is MY Viewer, i decide which feature i want to add and which to remove, i share this Viewer to show the world that user base size is not important, i do rate quality by effort, thought and love put into the project, not some rough estimated numbers. I consider feature requests only if i you can name proper valid reasons i can agree on. It is my (unpaid) time i'm putting into this project, i'm not here to cater to every Joe's desires.

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

5. August Update

Time for calibrations.

I spend my day optimizing shadow calculation a bit for more optical fancyness, the results are pretty good, they fail on high draw distance and low sun position however, like any other shadow calculation i've seen so far.

Those changes include both smoothed sun shadows aswell as projected shadows from lights.

The original (left) obviously lacks some sharpness, additionally to its low resolution its also super blurry and this is a pretty small and tight (low FoV) light.

High resolution snapshots, low to mid draw distance and high shadow resolution snapshots will benefit the most from my changes, as you can see below.

First, this is the default shadow look with an already very low sun position but 64m draw distance and normal shadow and snapshot resolution.

Second, this is a snapshot with the shadow resolution set to 2.5x the changes are obvious, small detail shadows become more visible and ofcourse the shadow resolution increases by 2.5 times resulting in smoother shadows.

Third, this is a snapshot with the previous 2.5 shadow resolution and 4k snapshot resolution, the shadow quality speaks for itself i guess, super crisp shadows even on my mouth, this is what i consider high quality shadows. Most games have a way lower resolution for shadows than SL has, they just cant look at them from all angles, positions and zoom levels.

This is pretty much the finishing touch, i consider this overkill mode, shadows set to 4.0 times, and 4k resolution snapshot theoretically resulting in a ~16.000x10.000 resolution shadow map, thats just insane and it shows, even those small and thin hair prims clearly visible shadows and the shadow quality and smoothness is absolutely unmatched. Crysis & co would be proud of this level of detail.

One last note is that even tho my hat is positioned so close to my head and the sun is in a very low position, shadows of my hat don't cut off on my head like it is with LL shadows, sometimes even on default day preset.

If i ever get around to implement my promised "Overkill" mode, it will set everything to a similar if not higher level of the last snapshot. I swear to god this will make all GPU's burn in a hellfire, say goodbye to your 2 digit framerate.

Apart from that i removed SH-1912, again. I hate those extraordinary ugly environment reflections in dark places where no light can possibly fall logically creating such a reflection... it looks ugly and unnatural... much like fullbright does.

Depth of Field was also "enhanced" a bit, just a tiny bit. Probably not visible in these snapshots but DoF is generally less pixelated when using very very slight Depth of Field (when Depth of Field starts appearing as example).

Thats it!


  1. i cant wait to burn my gtx690 on that stuff as i mentioned this morning on Yasring in group rofl

  2. Niran, is there away that for example: when im wearing an alpha for shoes or something, the shadows still render the hidden part of the avatar and appear over the objects im wearing? is there a way to fix that in settings or i just have to deal with it?

    1. There is no known fix for that and probably no known cause. Shadows of 1bit alphas behave just normal, no idea why they don't on Avatars. You'll have to deal with it i guess.

  3. Sweet - I am starting to need this very much.

  4. Hi Niran,

    Where can we get bleeding edge binaries and/or source code? I looked at your bitbucket but last change in there is more than a month old.

    I totally wouldn't mind having to build the viewer myself -- I already do that to OS on most of my devices, why my favourite game has to be different? :-)

    I'd love to contribute as well, even if it's just "this does work as expected" reports.



    1. https://bitbucket.org/NiranV/black-dragon-materials/commits/all

      Don't expect it to be updated every day but it's pretty close.

  5. Hello, I just started using Niran's Viewer yesterday and so far I am loving the features and the constant blog updates from what I have read! There are a few things I would love to suggest for future development, though this isn't the thread for this I'm sure. Cannot wait to see future updates :3