ELEX Clear Shadow + LOD And Fog

How to clear the fog slightly, enhance the detail in the distance and sharpen the shadows – without performance loss.

Introduction

There is a global volumetric fog system in Elex. If it occasionally creates a beautiful lighting atmosphere in interiors, narrow areas and forests, it greatly disturbs the distant view in more open areas.

Since many mods or tweaks are only concerned with how to switch off the fog completely, I want to show you a way of reducing it in an appealing way without disabling it completely.

For the newly acquired distance view, there is then the possibility of increasing the LOD, i.e. the level of detail in the distance and the shadow range, which was not necessary with the extreme standard fog.

ini tweaks

The changes take place in the “ConfigDefault.xml” file. It is located in the game folder

“…\Steam\steamapps\common\ELEX\data\ini”. First you should take a security copy of the file. Now open the original file with a text editor like “Notepad++”.

First of all: change the fog

Look for the segment “Fog”. (line 41)
Now change the option you are using in the game. I use ultra. (line 45)
Change the values “Depth” and “MaxViewRange”.

What !! NOT !! to do: 1 – 128000.0f
Most mods do this – remove the fog completely. Looks artificial and any atmosphere is lost.

  • The changes between areas are very obvious now. The feeling of being in a dessert is lost.
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    My recommendation: 3 – 89600.0f
    The fog is farther afar but the transition is more smooth.
  • The vibes of being in a dessert are not completely lost and the transitions between areas are not that ever-present.
  • _____________________________________________________________

So the values are:

 DepthMaxViewRange
my recommendation389600.0f
standard values2566400.0f
no fog mods1128000.0f

After changing the values the row should look like this:

<Ultra Depth=”3″ SizeFactor=”8″ MaxViewRange=”89600.0f” ExpDistributionBias=”256″ />

Because the fog is used for indoor areas also, the atmosphere of this areas suffer a bit.

It is a Matter of taste if you are willing to sacrifice the look of indoor areas for a

better distance view.

More comparisons:

  • s:

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I can’t recommend using a higher value for “Depth” than 3 (e.g. 6).

Yes – the fog is a little bit closer again, the distance is clear as well and the indoor areas look a little bit better. But it introduces artefacts because of the low fog resolution.

More detail in the distance

Now you can see further pop-ups and missing details are more obvious.
Remedy can be achieved with this:

In the same file the “Shadows” entry can be found. (line 34)
Since someone who wants even better shadows should already have selected the ultra settings in the game, we change the entry “Ultra” (line 39) and there the values
“TerrainShadowMapSize”, “DetailShadowMapViewRange”, “DetailShadowMapSplitFactor” and “DetailShadowMapSize”.

 TerrainShadowMapSizeDetailShadowMapViewRange
more detail409640000.0
standard values102420000.0
 DetailShadowMapSplitFactorDetailShadowMapSize
more detail0.034096
standard values0.082048

So it should look like this (of course in one line):

<Ultra TerrainShadowMapSize=”4096″ TerrainShadowMapCount=”4″ TerrainShadowMapMaxDistance=”800000.0″ SoftShadows=”true” SSAOQuality=”3″ StaticTerrainShadows=”true” EnableShadows=”true” DetailShadowMapViewRange=”40000.0″ DetailShadowMapSplitFactor=”0.03″ DetailShadowMapNearSplitFactorOverwrite=”0.0f” DetailShadowMapSize=”4096″ DetailShadowMapCount=”4″ PerspectiveShadows=”false” SmallObjectThreshold=”0.05″ SmallObjectFadeRange=”0.05″ ShadowDepthBias=”8.0″ DetailShadowMapFilterQuality=”2″ CachedShadowMapWidth=”8192″ CachedShadowMapHeight=”8192″ CachedShadowMapNodeWidth=”8″ CachedShadowMapNodeHeight=”8″ CachedShadowMapLevelDistanceRatio=”1.0f” CachedShadowMapLevelSizeRatio=”1000.0f” CachedShadowMapLevelCount=”5″ CachedShadowMapQuality=”2″ />

In order to increase the LOD, now we go to the entry “SceneQuality” (line 211) and change “LoDFactor” from 1.0 to 10.0 in this line.

 SceneQuality
more detail10.0
standard value1.0

Here, under “Scene” or “Vegetation”, there are some very promising entries.

However, most of them simply don’t work, have a hard limit, or even do the opposite of what you’d expect. Increasing the value for “SpeedTree” can even cause some trees to disappear completely instead of showing more of them in the distance.

On the other hand in terms of visibility from grass there is no point in increasing the value, etc. …


  • Comparison image normal details <-> increased details:

Here the electricity pylons can now be fully seen, the shadows in the proximity are sharper (behind the character), those under the tree on the left and the ballista in front as well. In addition, the mountain station and the large building on the right in the background also have shadows, the mountain range and generally rocks in the distance are shown in more detail and the vegetable stalks at the ballista are complete again. Overall, this also results in much fewer pop-ups when traverse through the world.

Performance



With the reduced fog, higher resolution shadows and better details in the distance, the performance has even increased. At the same fps (~ 120fps capped) the GPU load has fallen, the RAM and VRAM are filled by a few hundred MB more.

 GPU utilizationRAMVRAM
original86 %6715 MB4353 MB
enhanced79 %6840 MB4718 MB

Closing words

The gameplay of Elex II, which can already be found on Youtube today, promises that the extreme fog will not be found in the second part and that the interiors will still be well represented.

I find games with an open world most interesting when I can climb a hill, a mountain or a building and then look at my next destination from there and search the surroundings.

That’s why the extreme fog really bothered me when I started the game for the first time after leaving the mountain station in the first Elex. I didn’t even know which direction to turn first (apart from the fact that a character immediately offered his guidance) because I could hardly see anything interesting.

That’s why I looked for and found a way to change that four years ago. At that time, I later posted it in a forum, in which only members can see the pictures.

But I think that it is better here on Steamguides.

More players see it here and especially now that Elex II is at the door, one or the other wants to catch up on the first part and maybe benefit from my guide.

Otherwise, I archive it for myself so that I don’t have to search for or work out this information myself every time I dig out a game.

Just like I do with my other guides.

This is it guys!! I am sure that you will love ELEX Clear Shadow + LOD And Fog that we have shared with you. We are always open to discussion and suggestions from you. Just let us what you thought about the guide in the comment section.

Also, we would like to thank ◊ jaco ◊ de. He is the one behind this wonderful guide.