Shaders Settings

force shaders

Type:boolean
Range:True/False
Default:False

Force rendering with shaders. By default, only bump-mapped objects will use shaders. Enabling this option may cause slightly different visuals if the “clamp lighting” option is set to false. Otherwise, there should not be a visual difference.

Please note enabling shaders has a significant performance impact on most systems.

force per pixel lighting

Type:boolean
Range:True/False
Default:False

Force the use of per pixel lighting. By default, only bump mapped objects use per-pixel lighting. Has no effect if the ‘force shaders’ option is false. Enabling per-pixel lighting results in visual differences to the original MW engine. It is not recommended to enable this option when using vanilla Morrowind files, because certain lights in Morrowind rely on vertex lighting to look as intended. Note that groundcover shaders ignore this setting.

clamp lighting

Type:boolean
Range:True/False
Default:True

Restrict the amount of lighting that an object can receive to a maximum of (1,1,1). Only affects objects that render with shaders (see ‘force shaders’ option). Always affects terrain.

Leaving this option at its default makes the lighting compatible with Morrowind’s fixed-function method, but the lighting may appear dull and there might be colour shifts. Setting this option to ‘false’ results in more dynamic lighting.

auto use object normal maps

Type:boolean
Range:True/False
Default:False

If this option is enabled, normal maps are automatically recognized and used if they are named appropriately (see ‘normal map pattern’, e.g. for a base texture foo.dds, the normal map texture would have to be named foo_n.dds). If this option is disabled, normal maps are only used if they are explicitly listed within the mesh file (.nif or .osg file). Affects objects.

auto use object specular maps

Type:boolean
Range:True/False
Default:False

If this option is enabled, specular maps are automatically recognized and used if they are named appropriately (see ‘specular map pattern’, e.g. for a base texture foo.dds, the specular map texture would have to be named foo_spec.dds). If this option is disabled, normal maps are only used if they are explicitly listed within the mesh file (.osg file, not supported in .nif files). Affects objects.

auto use terrain normal maps

Type:boolean
Range:True/False
Default:False

See ‘auto use object normal maps’. Affects terrain.

auto use terrain specular maps

Type:boolean
Range:True/False
Default:False

If a file with pattern ‘terrain specular map pattern’ exists, use that file as a ‘diffuse specular’ map. The texture must contain the layer colour in the RGB channel (as usual), and a specular multiplier in the alpha channel.

normal map pattern

Type:string
Range:
Default:_n

The filename pattern to probe for when detecting normal maps (see ‘auto use object normal maps’, ‘auto use terrain normal maps’)

normal height map pattern

Type:string
Range:
Default:_nh

Alternative filename pattern to probe for when detecting normal maps. Files with this pattern are expected to include ‘height’ in the alpha channel. This height is used for parallax effects. Works for both terrain and objects.

specular map pattern

Type:string
Range:
Default:_spec

The filename pattern to probe for when detecting object specular maps (see ‘auto use object specular maps’)

terrain specular map pattern

Type:string
Range:
Default:_diffusespec

The filename pattern to probe for when detecting terrain specular maps (see ‘auto use terrain specular maps’)

apply lighting to environment maps

Type:boolean
Range:True/False
Default:False

Normally environment map reflections aren’t affected by lighting, which makes environment-mapped (and thus bump-mapped objects) glow in the dark. Morrowind Code Patch includes an option to remedy that by doing environment-mapping before applying lighting, this is the equivalent of that option. Affected objects will use shaders.

radial fog

Type:boolean
Range:True/False
Default:False

By default, the fog becomes thicker proportionally to your distance from the clipping plane set at the clipping distance, which causes distortion at the edges of the screen. This setting makes the fog use the actual eye point distance (or so called Euclidean distance) to calculate the fog, which makes the fog look less artificial, especially if you have a wide FOV. Note that the rendering will act as if you have ‘force shaders’ option enabled with this on, which means that shaders will be used to render all objects and the terrain.

lighting method

Type:string
Range:legacy|shaders compatibility|shaders
Default:default

Sets the internal handling of light sources.

‘legacy’ is restricted to 8 lights per object and emulates fixed function pipeline compatible lighting.

‘shaders compatibility’ removes the light limit controllable through max lights and follows a modifed attenuation formula which can drastically reduce light popping and seams. This mode also enables lighting on groundcover and a configurable light fade. It is recommended to use this with older hardware and a light limit closer to 8. Because of its wide range of compatibility it is set as the default.

‘shaders’ carries all of the benefits that ‘shaders compatibility’ does, but uses a modern approach that allows for a higher max lights count with little to no performance penalties on modern hardware. It is recommended to use this mode when supported and where the GPU is not a bottleneck. On some weaker devices, using this mode along with force per pixel lighting can carry performance penalties.

When enabled, groundcover lighting is forced to be vertex lighting, unless normal maps are provided. This is due to some groundcover mods using the Z-Up normals technique to avoid some common issues with shading. As a consequence, per pixel lighting would give undesirable results.

Note that the rendering will act as if you have ‘force shaders’ option enabled when not set to ‘legacy’. This means that shaders will be used to render all objects and the terrain.

light bounds multiplier

Type:float
Range:0.0-5.0
Default:1.65

Controls the bounding sphere radius of point lights, which is used to determine if an object should receive lighting from a particular light source. Note, this has no direct effect on the overall illumination of lights. Larger multipliers will allow for smoother transitions of light sources, but may require an increase in max lights and thus carries a performance penalty. This especially helps with abrupt light popping with handheld light sources such as torches and lanterns.

This setting has no effect if lighting method is ‘legacy’.

maximum light distance

Type:float
Range:The whole range of 32-bit floating point
Default:8192

The maximum distance from the camera that lights will be illuminated, applies to both interiors and exteriors. A lower distance will improve performance. Set this to a non-positive value to disable fading.

This setting has no effect if lighting method is ‘legacy’.

light fade start

Type:float
Range:0.0-1.0
Default:0.85

The fraction of the maximum distance at which lights will begin to fade away. Tweaking it will make the transition proportionally more or less smooth.

This setting has no effect if the maximum light distance is non-positive or lighting method is ‘legacy’.

max lights

Type:integer
Range:2-64
Default:8

Sets the maximum number of lights that each object can receive lighting from. Increasing this too much can cause significant performance loss, especially if lighting method is not set to ‘shaders’ or force per pixel lighting is on.

This setting has no effect if lighting method is ‘legacy’.

minimum interior brightness

Type:float
Range:0.0-1.0
Default:0.08

Sets the minimum interior ambient brightness for interior cells when lighting method is not ‘legacy’. A consequence of the new lighting system is that interiors will sometimes be darker since light sources now have sensible fall-offs. A couple solutions are to either add more lights or increase their radii to compensate, but these require content changes. For best results it is recommended to set this to 0.0 to retain the colors that level designers intended. If brighter interiors are wanted, however, this setting should be increased. Note, it is advised to keep this number small (< 0.1) to avoid the aforementioned changes in visuals.

This setting has no effect if lighting method is ‘legacy’.

antialias alpha test

Type:boolean
Range:True/False
Default:False

Convert the alpha test (cutout/punchthrough alpha) to alpha-to-coverage when antialiasing is on. This allows MSAA to work with alpha-tested meshes, producing better-looking edges without pixelation. When MSAA is off, this setting will have no visible effect, but might have a performance cost.

soft particles

Type:boolean
Range:True/False
Default:False

Enables soft particles for particle effects. This technique softens the intersection between individual particles and other opaque geometry by blending between them. Note, this relies on overriding specific properties of particle systems that potentially differ from the source content, this setting may change the look of some particle systems.