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2018 MTS Calendar Contest - posted on 12th Nov 2017 at 8:48 PM
Replies: 73 (Who?), Viewed: 7517 times.
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Theorist
Original Poster
#1 Old 3rd Aug 2014 at 7:20 PM
Improving Shadow Distance in the Sims 3?
One of the things that has always bugged me in the Sims 3 is how the draw distance of shadows seems to dramatically decrease when you dropped your camera down to street level.

Looks good up here!


Dropped down...ughhh.

My question is- is there a way to improve/fix this?

I'm hoping that the fix will just be the alteration of some numbers related to draw distance, but it's probably more complicated than that.
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Instructor
#2 Old 3rd Aug 2014 at 8:25 PM
This is one thing I've noticed as well. I don't think it's listed as a "problem". I'm thinking it's just the way the game deals with shadows. What really stumps me is how it's apparently made so that when you zoom in, shadows actually fade out or lose detail, rather than the other way around. I'm using a lighting mod that really helps with the shadows though.
Field Researcher
#3 Old 3rd Aug 2014 at 8:36 PM
I haven't noticed this in the game but a while ago gelina released some lighting tweaks that seem to make shadows look really realistic (not my cup of tea though since it gives sims a weird ghostly appearance outdoor, but it works nicely for landscape)

http://gelinadownloads.tumblr.com/p...ing-tweaks-that

In her preview the shadows looks really good, maybe give it a try?
dodgy builder
#4 Old 4th Aug 2014 at 1:28 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by glastduke2131
I haven't noticed this in the game but a while ago gelina released some lighting tweaks that seem to make shadows look really realistic (not my cup of tea though since it gives sims a weird ghostly appearance outdoor, but it works nicely for landscape)

http://gelinadownloads.tumblr.com/p...ing-tweaks-that

In her preview the shadows looks really good, maybe give it a try?


Could have been great if it wasn't for the yellowish light in daylight. Basegame has a blueish color in daylight and it looks far more natural where I live. Further south the light is more yellowish. The shadows looks great though.
Instructor
#5 Old 4th Aug 2014 at 2:09 PM
I've resorted to using this: http://www.modthesims.info/download.php?t=367164
Although it should be mentioned that without proper tweaks (or something) this doesn't work in a lot of custom/store worlds and such. For me it's alright because I mainly play in Sunset Valley anyway.
Theorist
Original Poster
#6 Old 6th Aug 2014 at 4:51 AM


Looks like it could potentially work- look at the shadow difference between the two. Now off to dissect this and see how it works!

Thanks

Edit: Some food for thought- could shadow cut-off be related to the fog ramps (aka when the atmospheric fade begins?
Scholar
#7 Old 6th Aug 2014 at 7:58 AM
i must be the odd ball out....it doesnt really bother me...since it took me 4 different angles to find the one
that showed up like the op's second pic....




Mad Poster
#8 Old 11th Feb 2016 at 12:12 PM
Sorry for the huuuuge bump, but I really want to know what's the deal with these shadows. In that screenshot jje1000 posted there's a clear difference in the shadow fade distance between vanilla and using that lighting mod. I'm personally using the 5.0 version of Environment Lighting Tweaks but my shadows still fade away like usual when zooming in.

Is there any value or setting connected to this? I know of GraphicsRules.sgr, which might contain options for this, and maybe I could modify the XMLs in the lighting mod, but isn't it really weird that there's a difference to be made at all? I can't imagine the way these shadows work is 100% intentional.

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Mad Poster
#9 Old 11th Feb 2016 at 12:48 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by Grijze Pilion
Sorry for the huuuuge bump, but I really want to know what's the deal with these shadows. In that screenshot jje1000 posted there's a clear difference in the shadow fade distance between vanilla and using that lighting mod. I'm personally using the 5.0 version of Environment Lighting Tweaks but my shadows still fade away like usual when zooming in.


I'm using that mod as well, I think it is the dynamic shadow mod which is making the difference. It stretches out the shadows and also depending on the time of day, it gives more options on what angle the screenshot is taken. I don't believe it 100% eliminates the problem though b/c I remember still seeing fade shadows at times.



Screenshots

Nitromon is a type of Pokemon encountered in the Pokemon Nitrome Version series.

There. Mystery solved.
Forum Resident
#10 Old 11th Feb 2016 at 5:06 PM
To implement a shadow mapping algorithm you need to perform several expensive geometric transformations like camera translations, rotations, depth test, etc. Usually those things are compiled in the shader to improve performance, so I don't think a simple tuning will make any difference.
Theorist
Original Poster
#11 Old 12th Feb 2016 at 1:58 AM
I think they messed up- the engine can support lots of shadows (the ones in map view), but has a limit for the more detailed shadows in gameplay mode.

They should have blended the two together better, imo. Detailed shadows for close up objects, and low-red shadows for far away ones.
Mad Poster
#12 Old 12th Feb 2016 at 2:06 AM Last edited by nitromon : 12th Feb 2016 at 4:50 AM.
I tend to think the shadow cut off is related to something like object fading when they get close? It is probably put in place for performance reasons. There's a cheat that actually turns off the object fade - "fadeobjects on/off" ... so there might be some trigger in there that can simply disable the shadow cutoff when we lower the camera angle. Maybe.

---

Here's more to what I was talking about earlier. With the dynamic shadow mod, you can see that at certain time of the day, certain angles that matches the shadows will give a better screenshot. But more so, the shadows simply fade in and out as the camera turns, there must be a way to disable this function.



Screenshots

Nitromon is a type of Pokemon encountered in the Pokemon Nitrome Version series.

There. Mystery solved.
Field Researcher
#13 Old 23rd Aug 2016 at 8:49 AM
I'm sorry for bumping this thread, but I was hoping someone found a way to prevent the shadows from fading? I really don't like it. I've downloaded the lighting tweak mods but as mentioned it still fades.
MakeNeedsStaticOn
staff: super moderator
#14 Old 23rd Aug 2016 at 10:43 AM
That's so weird. To my knowledge, I haven't had this issue yet. Or I have but never saw it. I'm using some 4k shadow mod. I'm not sure if that would have fixed it? I can't really tell since I haven't experienced the issue myself.

Here is the 4k shadow mod: http://anime-boom-v.tumblr.com/post...s-in-the-sims-3
Field Researcher
#15 Old 24th Aug 2016 at 2:05 AM
Quote:
Originally Posted by Greenplumbbob
That's so weird. To my knowledge, I haven't had this issue yet. Or I have but never saw it. I'm using some 4k shadow mod. I'm not sure if that would have fixed it? I can't really tell since I haven't experienced the issue myself.

Here is the 4k shadow mod: http://anime-boom-v.tumblr.com/post...s-in-the-sims-3


Ooooo nice! Thank you @Greenplumbbob!
Mad Poster
#16 Old 24th Aug 2016 at 3:26 AM
Can someone verify this actually fixes it? I read through the site, it doesn't sound like it addresses the issue, all it does is replace the shadow with HD quality. Unless of course, the creator found the data which removes the shadow limitations too.

Checked the download, it doesn't look promising. All they did was changed the graphicsrules, which was the first thing many of us did when we tried to resolve this issue. Though it could be possible we simply didn't enter the correct number. I tend to go by 1024 each step. I'll load this in a clean game later, if someone else didn't test it first.

Quote:
prop $ConfigGroup ShadowMapSize 2048

Nitromon is a type of Pokemon encountered in the Pokemon Nitrome Version series.

There. Mystery solved.
Field Researcher
#17 Old 24th Aug 2016 at 4:54 AM
It didn't fix it at all for me. I used both lighting tweaks and it didn't fix it, but the shadows do look better. However, it still fades.
Mad Poster
#18 Old 24th Aug 2016 at 4:59 AM
Quote:
Originally Posted by Goodywood
It didn't fix it at all for me. I used both lighting tweaks and it didn't fix it, but the shadows do look better. However, it still fades.


The dynamic shadow mod stretches the shadows, so the stretched shadows will overcome the fading "on certain angles of certain days." It doesn't actually eliminate the fading itself.

This has been a long problem for quite some time. It should be as easily fixed as the "fade object" trigger, but I guess modders just can't find the code.

Nitromon is a type of Pokemon encountered in the Pokemon Nitrome Version series.

There. Mystery solved.
Field Researcher
#19 Old 24th Aug 2016 at 5:16 AM
Quote:
Originally Posted by nitromon
The dynamic shadow mod stretches the shadows, so the stretched shadows will overcome the fading "on certain angles of certain days." It doesn't actually eliminate the fading itself.

This has been a long problem for quite some time. It should be as easily fixed as the "fade object" trigger, but I guess modders just can't find the code.



Or maybe no is trying? This is the only thread I've seen about the shadows fading.
Field Researcher
#20 Old 24th Aug 2016 at 5:33 AM
I don't know why this bothers me sooo much now. I never really paid attention to it until now. I realized the graphics would look so much better if we had the full effect of the shadows. I wonder what else is played down in TS3.
Mad Poster
#21 Old 24th Aug 2016 at 6:00 AM
Then I guess I shouldn't mention the lack of multi-floor outdoor light?

Nitromon is a type of Pokemon encountered in the Pokemon Nitrome Version series.

There. Mystery solved.
Field Researcher
#22 Old 24th Aug 2016 at 7:32 AM
Quote:
Originally Posted by nitromon
Then I guess I shouldn't mention the lack of multi-floor outdoor light?


Yes I'm aware of that. I've made a thread on that in the Sims Forums. I hate that the light cuts off on each level as well as the lot it self.
MakeNeedsStaticOn
staff: super moderator
#23 Old 24th Aug 2016 at 12:11 PM
I'm wondering, looking at the files of what could show why. It seems for different graphics card the shadows will either be rendered by default, or won't be rendered at all (As you might know, a sims 3 game that runs on a really low-end computer, will not look great and won't have great textures and shadows at all.)

Now looking to what the game considers my graphics card to be, which is a 'lowmedium' by default. I've noticed that the highest level for the RenderShadowMode is 4 going to 0 for the lowest graphics card. Mine is apparently set as 2. so I guess 4 is for 'uber'. So maybe it's the difference between a lowmedium graphics card and a high-uber graphics card's shadowrender system?

I got the information from the graphicsrules.sgr
Site Helper
#24 Old 24th Aug 2016 at 8:47 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by Goodywood
Yes I'm aware of that. I've made a thread on that in the Sims Forums. I hate that the light cuts off on each level as well as the lot it self.


This actually bothers me more than the shadows. A large pool of light that is cut in half by a lot edge just looks stupid.

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Mad Poster
#25 Old 24th Aug 2016 at 11:10 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by Greenplumbbob
So maybe it's the difference between a lowmedium graphics card and a high-uber graphics card's shadowrender system?


Do you think you can actually post a screenshot of your game with it a low angles like the screenshots above? So we can see the shadow extend? No wide angle lense, just regular.

The reason I'm asking is because I think you simply haven't paid that much attention to the shadows. This isn't a "glitch." This is how the game is designed, like the fading objects when you get close.

Now in the event this really doesn't occur in your game, there's a likelihood you might have a mod or something that overwrites it. It isn't the one you posted above, but another one.

Nitromon is a type of Pokemon encountered in the Pokemon Nitrome Version series.

There. Mystery solved.
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