OpenMW Spotlight: Turning the Pages

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lysol
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Joined: 26 Mar 2013, 01:48
Location: Sweden

OpenMW Spotlight: Turning the Pages

Post by lysol » 26 Jun 2020, 15:20

Hello again,

we hope you are all having a pleasant time with the new release! While you're busy killing vicious cliff racers, our team is busy with further improving the engine and the editor.

There is one particular feature that recently got merged that we want to bring to your attention: object paging. What's that, you ask? Well, object paging is a system developed by bzzt, the man behind the improved distant-land feature introduced in the latest release. This system takes several objects that are close to each other and merges them into a single object. This is done in real time during gameplay and shouldn't be noticeable to the end user. But we can hear you thinking: why should I care about this? - Because it reduces draw calls! - Okay, and ...? - Because draw calls are the main bottleneck if you want to display statics (buildings, rocks, trees, etc.) over a larger distance. - Wait! Are you saying ... distant land with distant statics? - Yes, we are.

One feature that was developed in the same merge request as object paging is the "active-grid object paging". It is basically the same feature, but applied to the player's active cell(s). This means that the system will not only merge objects in distant cells, but also those in the cells your character is located in. This increases performance, especially in draw-heavy areas like cities and towns. Yay!

https://streamable.com/t4kots

There is an issue with this feature as of now however, which is why we decided to set the "active-grid object paging" setting to "false" by default. The issue is that OpenMW still has a hard limit of 8 lights per object, a limitation inherent in the old fixed-function pipeline of Morrowind that OpenMW faithfully supports for legacy reasons. The limitation is sometimes an issue even without object paging, but you don't generally notice it with vanilla Morrowind's assets. If you start to merge several objects into a single one however, the limitation really starts to show: Lights will pop up and disappear frequently which simply looks bad. Once the light limit is removed (for which there exists a sizeable work in progress), active-grid object paging will become a lot more interesting.

https://streamable.com/3lfx2v

The feature can now be tested in all freshly baked nightly builds in your neighbourhood. There are still things that need to be addressed in future merge requests. For example, we still don't have a system to generate lower-detail meshes from high-detail ones to be used in the distance. This isn't really an issue if you're mostly using vanilla assets as they are very low in detail for modern standards anyway. For mods that use high-detail assets, however, this might be an issue. Work will continue on this. In any case, please help us out by installing the latest nightly build for your operating system and putting object paging to the acid test!
Normal mapped texture replacers, exclusive for OpenMW:
My Nexus page

TheMechanist
Posts: 57
Joined: 10 Jan 2014, 22:08

Re: OpenMW Spotlight: Turning the Pages

Post by TheMechanist » 26 Jun 2020, 17:42

Wow, I hadn't known that you guys are this far already. That's amazing! I can't wait for these features to be complete. 60+ FPS with distant land seems like a sick dream now. But one day we might hit MGEXE+ level :D

thrawn05
Posts: 6
Joined: 03 Aug 2017, 22:50

Re: OpenMW Spotlight: Turning the Pages

Post by thrawn05 » 26 Jun 2020, 18:52

I'd like to pop out of the dark corners of lurking and make a point that I still remember the day I saw on the official Bethesda forums the question "Can we see Red Mountain from Seyda Neen?" and the replies were all the same, "can't be done!" "it'll take a super computer!" "why would you need that detail" etc... Then someone named Timeslip offered his input about how it can be done and I still remember the early prototype screenshots of the ascadian isles. Fast forward to today and we've gone from pre-generation LOD and call interrupts to now real time on the fly distant views in an OSS.

Well done everyone. :D

reddragon72
Posts: 58
Joined: 06 Apr 2019, 20:11

Re: OpenMW Spotlight: Turning the Pages

Post by reddragon72 » 27 Jun 2020, 00:31

thrawn05 wrote:
26 Jun 2020, 18:52
I'd like to pop out of the dark corners of lurking and make a point that I still remember the day I saw on the official Bethesda forums the question "Can we see Red Mountain from Seyda Neen?" and the replies were all the same, "can't be done!" "it'll take a super computer!" "why would you need that detail" etc... Then someone named Timeslip offered his input about how it can be done and I still remember the early prototype screenshots of the ascadian isles. Fast forward to today and we've gone from pre-generation LOD and call interrupts to now real time on the fly distant views in an OSS.

Well done everyone. :D
Yes and this is how far they have come! CRAZY!
This is from the walkway in Almalexia that leads to the silt striders. You can see the blue from the ghost gate.
This was at 22 FPS at 100000 viewing distance.
Image

Even more, here is the post for the video I did with a nightly build a few days ago.
Reddit post https://www.reddit.com/r/OpenMW/comment ... build_but/
Direct video https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ve-dUcjQooo

I took screenshots on .46 just a day after release at .04 FPS just like the video above. And now I can see almost the exact same with .47 at 20FPS. Good stuff these fine folks are doing! They deserve a ton of praise!

BaronPampa
Posts: 24
Joined: 04 Aug 2017, 12:50

Re: OpenMW Spotlight: Turning the Pages

Post by BaronPampa » 27 Jun 2020, 09:51

Hi, I've downloaded the nightly on Debian and run around Balmora&Seyda Neen. The graphics is really getting amazing! Between the new performance, real-time shadows, distant statics, radial fog and 3rd-person diagonal movement it's getting difficult to ask for more:D. I think I'll wait until someone makes shaders similar to this one which improves fog and take some serious hike through Tamriel Rebuilt lands, which I still barely know: ).

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