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Improved Environmental Shadows

by simsi45 Posted 30th Mar 2021 at 10:13 PM - Updated 2nd Apr 2021 at 3:28 PM by simsi45
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WATCH A SHORT IN-GAME SHOWCASE OF THE MOD HERE:




Hello all, I'm very excited for today's upload!
There's no denying The Sims 3 is a stunning game, however there are definitely a few things that I've always wanted to tweak to make the game suit my "visual preferences" more. One of those things were the shadows.

WHY CHOOSE THIS MOD AS OPPOSED TO OTHERS?
I'm aware there are many beautiful lighting mods out there that edit the shadows, however they also edit a lot more INI resources (than my mod) to tweak additional values (such as the water & sky colors, weather settings etc.) The issue that I find with this, is that they work globally (meaning they take effect in all worlds) and as a result they override ALL of the different worlds' unique environmental parameters. (for example Bridgeport's cloudy scenery and dirty water, Shang simla's misty sky etc.) making all the worlds' lighting look the same and sometimes out of place.

I personally like EA's settings so this is why I decided to make a mod that ONLY edits the shadows to my personal liking.
My goal was to mimic TS3 beta's visuals as (in my opinion) looked much better and more defined than what we currently have.


WHAT HAS BEEN CHANGED?

[ALL before/after images in the post are taken at the exact same in-game hour]

DARKER SHADOWS:
1) The first and most noticeable difference is that the shadow and light values have been adjusted so that the shadows are darker, while at the same time retaining a relatively high light value. Think of it like a "contrast" filter on a digital photo! The main reason for this is to give more definition to the environment and make the game look sharper (notice the sides of the houses & buildings, the leaves of the trees etc.)


DYNAMIC SHADOWS:
2) The second main difference is that the shadows respond more accurately to the sun's position, letting them stretch further towards the horizon. This is usually most noticeable during sunset/sunrise hours. At first I decided to max out these values so that the shadows would follow the sun's movement entirely. I quickly realized that during sunset/sunrise hours, the entire neighborhood would be covered in shadow making everything appear very cloudy and claustrophobic. So after a lot of playtesting I tuned it down where it's not as prominent but still more effective than the EA's default values.

[This image showcases the DYNAMIC difference between EA's and my modified shadows during the same sunrise hour. My DARKER shadow mod is also enabled]


NOTE:
This mod works GLOBALLY meaning that it will take effect in EVERY world. The only thing that's changing though are the SHADOWS so don't expect any fancy new water/sky colors or anything crazy like that. This is mostly intended for people like me that like EA's default settings for their worlds. (This means Twinbrook will still be cloudy and moody, Champs Les Sims will still have its pink skies etc.)



USAGE AND COMPATIBILITY:
So starting off the mod is split in 2 pieces. You can use either one of them or combine them together:

1) DARKER SHADOWS:
This package darkens the shadows. It edits the Lighting.INI resource (0x5E4F8E7B226066CA) so it will conflict with any other lighting mod that does the same. If you want to use it alongside another conflicting lighting mod, you need to DELETE the mentioned INI resource from the CONFLICTING mod itself (not mine!)

2) DYNAMIC SHADOWS:
This package makes the shadows more dynamic. It edits the Sky.INI resource (0x5E20253AF53E517F) so it will conflict with any other lighting mod that does the same. If you want to use it alongside another conflicting lighting mod, you need to DELETE the mentioned INI resource from the CONFLICTING mod itself (not mine!)

So in other words, in order to make my mod compatible with other lighting mods, you will have to DELETE the resources that my mod includes from the conflicting lighting mod you already have installed.



And that's pretty much it! I'm actually pretty happy with the end result, hope you also find it useful!
More to come soon stay safe!




Additional Credits: S3PE THIS amazing MTS discussion and everyone involved in it.



Download files

Filename Size Downloads Date
Simsi45_Improved_Outdoor_Shadows_DYNAMIC.rar | Contains the Sky INI resource that makes the shadows more dynamic. Will conflict with any other mod that edits the same resource!

Size: 2.4 KB · Downloads: 899 · 30th Mar 2021
2.4 KB 899 30th Mar 2021
Simsi45_Improved_Outdoor_Shadows_DARKER.rar | Contains the Lighting INI resource that makes the shadows darker. Will conflict with any other mod that edits the same resource!

Size: 540 Bytes · Downloads: 581 · 30th Mar 2021
540 Bytes 581 30th Mar 2021

Key: - File was updated after upload was posted
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