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[All addons] Texture resolution. Important!


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I'm playing KSP 2 years already and I always thought that only stock KSP can load faster then 5 minutes. My modpack was loading 15 minutes until yesterday. Now it loads in 5 minutes. The same modpack. What changed? I shrinked almost all addon textures in half!

I had some issues and need to take a look at addon resourses and I was shocked. People, are you serious? 2k textures??? I mean, it's not Star Sitizen! 2k textures even for a tiny parts!!! That's beyond good and evil.

I'm in 3D modelling for games since 2001 and I'm always asking myself "how large will be an object on the screen in the game?" And playing KSP, 90% of time my screen looks like this:?imw=1024&imh=576&ima=fit&impolicy=Lette

Now think about this: every part has a texture of 2048x2048 pixels. Every ~40 pixels wide part has 4000000 pixels texure!!! What a RAM waste.

Thus I spent 2 hours shrinking textures and I don't regret this. I got tripple performance gain with no visual difference.

So thi is my public appeal to all mod developers. I beg you, review all your textures or release optional low-res packs. 2048 only for huge >5m parts,1024 is more then enough for 2,5-5m parts, 512 for smaller parts and 256 for various bells and whistles. Remember: it's Kerbal Space Program, it's vulnerable to RAM wasting, so pay attention to it.

P.S. Near Future Tech mods don't need any optimization. Respect, guys!

Edited by [email protected]
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3 minutes ago, [email protected] said:

Thus I spent 2 hours shrinking textures and I don't regret this. I got tripple performance gain with no visual difference.

How did you do this? I'm not a modder but curious whether I can do it to improve my gane performance.

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Texture resolution isn't as important as Texel Density, as this drives texture resolution size.

https://github.com/PorktoberRevolution/ReStocked/wiki/Technical-Standards

In ReStock, and the Near Future Mods that you pointed out, the art team has targeted a standard of 200 pixels per meter (part size) and 300px/m for areas that need high fidelity i.e. places with text or instrumentation.

Compare this to a lot of mods and especially the stock game where densities of 600px/m are common and compare the aesthetical quality between the two. You don't need crazy high resolution textures to achieve a nice looking game/parts but you do need the technical and artistic talent to achieve such with lower texel densities. It would also help if KSP adjusted it's mip map LOD bias as currently it appears to require the camera extremely close to the parts to display the full res texture; as a result, artists (most likely unconsciously) tend to oversize their textures in KSP to keep their parts from looking smudgy and blurry at typical camera distances.

Edited by Poodmund
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Just now, Poodmund said:

artists (most likely unconsciously) tend to oversize their textures in KSP to keep their parts from looking smudgy and blurry at typical camera distances.

Just to clarify, you need to zoom in until single part fit the whole screen and then zoom in a little further to make 2k texture start looking smudgy and blurry. I can't call this a "typical camera distance". On the other hand, we have thousands of players who never zoom in that close. And even if they do - they understand that it is not a typical camera position and game may looks not ideal in extreme zoom conditions, especially ,if they pay a huge performance drop for that image quality.

Players are balancing between quality and performance since 1997. They have the rights to choose.

Just now, Poodmund said:

It would also help if KSP adjusted it's mip map LOD bias as currently it appears to require the camera extremely close to the parts to display the full res texture

It will not speed up game loading

Edited by [email protected]
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7 minutes ago, [email protected] said:

Just to clarify, you need to zoom in until single part fit the whole screen and then zoom in a little further to make 2k texture start looking smudgy and blurry. I can't call this a "typical camera distance". On the other hand, we have thousands of players who never zoom in that close. And even if they do - they understand that it is not a typical camera position and game may looks not ideal in extreme zoom conditions.

Players are balancing between quality and performance since 1997. They have the rights to choose.

That depends entirely on the size of the part, the complexity of the model, the resolution you play at, the field of view etc. On a tiny part 2K textures would be excessive, but on a large asymmetric 5m stack you’d be hard pressed to maintain a sensible texel density without going to 4K. 

There’s also the case of texture atlasing, where you may have multiple parts sharing a single 2K/4K texture. Point is, although the sentiment of reducing memory usage is a good one, saying that 2K=bad is an oversimplification, and I don’t want to see people thinking that x mod contains 2K/4K textures = bad/not user friendly. Texture sizes are not chosen arbitrarily.

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Just now, benjee10 said:

Texture sizes are not chosen arbitrarily.

Let's take for example OPT mod. 2k textures was not enough, some of parts has 4k. 

Ultra High Frequency Blade Antenna has 1024x1024 exture. Those plain tiny thing a half of kerbal in size has 1k texture. Can you count a texel density or say, that those texture size wasn't chosen arbitrarily?

Just now, benjee10 said:

There’s also the case of texture atlasing, where you may have multiple parts sharing a single 2K/4K texture

Good point, that's a great RAM spare, using that trick when modelling common-looking objects. But it require some skill from artist, and I didn't  notice it during those 2 hours.

And there is a great mod SXT, using stock textures. The exceptional one.

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8 hours ago, [email protected] said:

P.S. Near Future Tech mods don't need any optimization. Respect, guys!

Yay.

I think what you have to remember is that the size of the 'modder base' is pretty large, and the variation in skill level and goals is therefore large.

Some people want specific things out of the mod they're building and create really high levels of detail in parts to represent what they'd like to see. Some people, like @Daishi, really enjoy building the mechanical complexity and detail in their parts, which I think is a crazy amount of effort, but I'm not stopping him from doing that (though I'd also mention he does ridiculously high quality atlasing and UV re-use). Some other modders prefer basically white featureless textures and let model work speak for their art. Again, not my cup of tea but they're free to do that as I'm not forced to install their stuff. Stuff like B9 takes another approach with use of tiling and complex UVs over unique texture elements, which is another stylistic choice. I happen to like consistent design and detail so that's what I shoot for. 

Skill level variation is probably even bigger - a lot of people use modding as a way to dip their toes into graphics and programming. Some of us have the advantage of actual schooling (say @CobaltWolf) and others (like me) have some self-taught experience from modding other games. We know about things like texel density, effective UV techniques, atlasing and the appropriate Unity engine quirks to technically design our art to hit our goals. I don't think most people starting out know this, and after they gain experience they might not want to go back and "fix" all their old parts (say cut down the resolution of a part, which might require a full redraw). 

Effectively the point I'm trying to communicate is that the heterogenous nature of the community will by definition produce a large variation in texture sizes because of different skills, goals and sizes. This isn't a professional design studio where there's any reason to force uniformity (though a certain game design studio does an even worse job than the average community member in enforcing artistic standards IMO). I think the fact that we've managed to get most of the larger art-focused mods on a 200-300px/m standard with a more-or-less consistent colour palette is pretty amazing to be honest. 

5 hours ago, [email protected] said:

Just to clarify, you need to zoom in until single part fit the whole screen and then zoom in a little further to make 2k texture start looking smudgy and blurry. I can't call this a "typical camera distance". On the other hand, we have thousands of players who never zoom in that close. And even if they do - they understand that it is not a typical camera position and game may looks not ideal in extreme zoom conditions, especially ,if they pay a huge performance drop for that image quality.

I think you vastly overestimate the average player :P. 

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wouldn't it be nice if there was a nice little script for gimp or similar to just parse the entire gamedata directory (or any other inputted as a param) to auto convert everything into the right filetype and size/density....

just run it and walk away... for all those out of date mods we all guiltily have installed....

one can wish....

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