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Jeff-Groves 11-25-2018 03:28 PM

Shall we talk about file sizes in mods?
One thing We do know is the larger the file sizes get?
The longer the load times and other issues that show up.
There are a lot of ways around this that I have posted about in the past but I'll go over the basics again.

Even GWX 3 did not know about the easiest way to clone ships until SH4 came out. So nearly all mods have an over head of needless 3d objects.

Needless objects cramp the whole loading process and stress system resources.
That is a fact! You have all seen this with long load times and CTDs.

We do know that it is only necessary to load one 3d model to complete a full render of a more complex in Game unit.
I use the Maunsell Forts in GWX as an example. Open those with S3D and see how it was done. There are examples in the original release of SH3 so I did not invent the idea. The prospect was there from the start!

It is never necessary to add massive 3D objects to a file when placement nodes will do the work. Don't add ungodly verts to a file when one model can be placed with the placement node as many times as you wish with less overhead.

As mods become more complicated? Look for the best way to complete the work without adding unneeded stuff.

I could spend months culling and fixing files in most every Major mod.
Even GWX3 could be cut back with what I know now.

Jeff-Groves 11-25-2018 03:42 PM

Talking about placement nodes?
IF I wanted to create something I wanted no one to duplicate easily?
I could build a .dat file of nothing but placement nodes,
scatter the parts around in different .dat files,
and you'd spend a lot of time to build the 3d model out side of the Game.
You'd have to chase every link and export the 3d model THEN hope to adjust it properly!

Jeff-Groves 11-25-2018 03:55 PM

How to duplicate Units in SH3 the SH4 way:

Look at the BBNevada in SH4

This type setting works in SH3 also!
Follow the files.

HanSolo78 11-25-2018 03:55 PM

There could be saved a lot by sharing 3d models and textures!! :Kaleun_Thumbs_Up::Kaleun_Applaud:

But... all this work and time that is needed is tremendous.
Especially WAC5.x could need this optimisation, because it is running on the edge with SH3.

Jeff-Groves 11-25-2018 03:58 PM

I have some time to assist you if you'd like.
It's for the good of the Community.

One great thing about duplicate ships done the SH4 way?
No ID conflicts!

Jeff-Groves 11-25-2018 04:12 PM

One thing I did with GWX was look at optimizing things.
The project came to the end before We could take it to the extreme.
Had We had 1 more year to optimize?
There would have been a bar set that would be hard to match!

Jeff-Groves 11-25-2018 06:12 PM

Dynamic Shadows.
The very first patch for SH3 removed this failed controller.
What was NOT removed is all the SHD_whatever 3D meshes from the dats nor the controller embedded in the dats.
Waste of space and processor time to read and ignore.

Water Reflections in most cases is the same.
No need for a separate 3D mesh.
Just assign the controller to the main mesh.
Very rare cases you may need the original way.

Some may say "If it's not being used what's the harm?"
How much processor time is wasted to read and refuse the ID's in those controllers and does it reject those ID's if assigned elsewhere?
Remember, Names in dat's don't really mean a thing. (Open most clones and see for yourself) It's that ID number that is the most important thing.

Jeff-Groves 11-25-2018 06:39 PM

Quick example of the wasted SHD_ objects.
The NAFT in stock SH3, Node 74, SHD_NATF_B
The 3D model is 848 verts never used in game and uses 2 ID's
There are 13 not use dynamicshadowcast controllers, 13 3D meshes not used.

That is one small Unit! add 100 more ships and do the math.
I can hit 4 MILLION verts very easily that are not used but are read on load.

Jeff-Groves 11-25-2018 06:53 PM

So removing such things is an advantage to any mod.
Hans pointed out it is a large amount of work IF done the old way by hand and editing every file one by one.

What if we run a program to scan the complete Sea folder and do all the work for us?
Would that be of interest?

propbeanie 11-25-2018 09:14 PM

Yes. :salute:

Jeff-Groves 11-25-2018 10:06 PM

A few minutes scripting for 010 I was able to scan the sea folder of major mods for dynamicshadows.
All Mods were extracted but not installed to a game folder so it's the actual count of that Mod's Sea units.

I'll list from low to high.
Note that the mods might be over writing stock units along with adding units or some units from MFM may already be included in Major mods.
This count ONLY looks at dats.

Stock SH3 - 48 units
NYGM - 32 units
MFM - 125 units
WAC - 162 units
GWX - 181 units (Knocked on the back door to extract)
LSH - 320 units (Provided a base SH3 folder with SH3 files and no other folders to extract)

I could scan for reflection stuff but the count would be the same I suspect.
Reflections are needed but many times the added 3D mesh may not be needed. I've 2 thoughts on that not proven.

So it's a massive amount of work to edit by hand!
Not to mention Units converted to SH4 and possibly slipped into SH5!

Jeff-Groves 11-25-2018 10:40 PM

Re-using 3D meshes in a file.
I'll provide the example.

Look at this dat with S3D. Then look at how the actual 3D meshes were done. Notice there are very few actual meshes used to complete the Sea Forts. The Game engine renders the needed parts as we placed them. No need for extra meshes!
At 2+ MB as is? Doing everything as separate meshes would place it at over 9 or 10 MB!
(Yes. They suffer the dreaded Dynamic shadow stuff! I know better now.)

Jeff-Groves 11-25-2018 11:07 PM

One point I failed to mention about the dynamicshadows stuff.
In the early days one could clone a Unit but We did not have S3D to easily remove or add things.
It was mostly done with a hex editor and other very basic tools.

There's very few left here that can work the files with a hex editor.
In most cases you don't need one now. But one can still do things S3D and other Tools can not do!

Fifi 11-26-2018 02:15 AM

It seems a pandora box you just opened :up:

Of course community would be very grateful if you could manage to reduce mega mods loading time and probably avoid some CTD linked to them.

I’ve tried almost all the super mods present here on subsim, and the longer/heavier to load on my « old » gaming machine are in this order:

- GWX Rework Rus (always CTD on launching career - at least 8mn load)
- WAC5 (often CTD on loading save - almost 8mn load)
- TWOS (never CTD - around 3mn load)
- LSH (very few CTD - around 2mn load)
- GWX3 (never CTD - around 2mn load)
- NYGM (never CTD - around 1mn load)

Also get some occasional stuttering on TC with WAC5 and TWOS, very few with LSH and GWX, almost never with NYGM, but that’s an other story...

Sounds have a huge impact on loading times too. Probably N°1 hit :yep:
And WAC5 has a nice sound folder...

Anvar1061 11-26-2018 02:26 AM


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