This is a 10-part video series I created to demonstrate how the various effects of ENB series for Skyrim contribute to improved image quality.
1. REAL-TIME REFLECTIONS
This video demonstrates the real-time screen-space reflections effect of ENB series for Skyrim, calculating true reflections in real-time as opposed to the standard simulated cube-map techniques.
2. IMAGE-BASED LIGHTING
This video demonstrates the image-based lighting (IBL) effect of ENB series for Skyrim, an effect that is only now beginning to appear in commercial video games. IBL is an effect where the scene is illuminated from above by the light from the sky. To oversimplify: a image of the sky is reflected onto the scene. IBL also has potenial applications for interior scenes, but the Skyrim ENB only uses this effect in exterior scenes with the sky.
3. SUBSURFACE SCATTERING
This video demonstrates the underappreciated subsurface scattering (SSS) effect of ENB series for Skyrim, another effect that is only now starting to appear in commercial video games in 2015. Subsurface scattering is the diffusion of light within a translucent material. For more info, see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Subsurface_scattering
In ENB series for Skyrim, subsurface scattering is mostly used to help skin to look more like skin, rather than like leather or rubber.
4. INDIRECT LIGHTING
This video demonstrates the screen-space indirect lighting (SSIL) effect of ENB series for Skyrim, an effect rarely used in ANY commercial video games to date. SSIL is an effect where light cast onto one surface is reflected onto other nearby surfaces. It can be considered a ‘sister effect’ to screen-space ambient occlusion (SSAO), working with light rather than shadow.
5. AMBIENT OCCLUSION
This video demonstrates the screen-space ambient occlusion (SSAO) effect of ENB series for Skyrim. Ambient occlusion is an effect that calculates how exposed each point in a scene is to ambient lighting; areas with less light exposure, like corners & crevices,are darkened accordingly. ENB’s implementation of SSAO is more sophisticated than most found in commercial games today; it respects lighting and transparency, and applies realistic darkening to affected areas rather than overlaying ‘black blobs’ as bound in some games. (*cough* … Far Cry 4 … *cough*). SSAO can be considered a ‘sister effect’ to screen-space indirect lighting (SSIL).
This video demonstrates the volumetric mist effect of ENB series for Skyrim. ENB for Skyrim allows for volumetric mist to be added to areas of the game world. The appearance of mist depends on weather conditions and requires an ENB preset designed to use the effect, such as Enhanced Shaders NLA.
Volumetric mist helps foggy days feel more atmospheric, and also helps to mask lower quality distant textures and models with a realistic effect.
6. VOLUMETRIC MIST
This video demonstrates how the individual effects of ENB contribute to overall image quality. First a comparison is shown between vanilla Skyrim & full ENB, then individual effects are shown being added in sequence.
7. LAYERING ENB EFFECTS
8. CREPUSCULAR RAYS (SUN RAYS)
This video demonstrates the crepuscular rays, or sun rays, effect of ENB series for Skyrim. Sun rays are shafts of light perceived to issue from the position of the sun. These rays are tinted orange by the atmosphere they traverse, and are most easily visible at dawn and dusk hours. For details, see the Wikipedia article at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Crepuscular_rays
9. PIXELS & PAINT – POST-PROCESSING
This video demonstrates two of the many post-processing effects that may be added to any ENB series preset for Skyrim. The effects demonstrated in this video are an ‘MS-DOS’ style effect that gives the game a ‘retro’ feel, and a ‘painting’ effect that simulates brush-strokes to create a painterly aesthetic. These effects exclude the user interface (inventory, map, menus, HUD), so they are 100% playable
Painting Effect by KingEric1992 – Download: viewtopic.php?f=7&t=3244
MS-DOS and other effects by Boris Vorontsov – Download:http://enbdev.com/effect_en.htm
Pixels & Paint – Post-processing Effect Demo – 1080p @ 30FPS
This video demonstrates the optional ‘Depth of Field’ effect of ENB series for Skyrim. Depth of field is an effect that simulates the ability of an optical lens to only be able to focus precisely on one distance at a time. Subjects within the focus range are rendered crisply and clearly, while subjects out of range appear blurry and out of focus. This effect requires the installation of a depth-of-field-enabled enbeffectprepass.fx file, many of which come packaged along with ENB presets on the nexusmods.com website.
10. DEPTH OF FIELD
BONUS: Skyrim Time Lapse in Motion
This is a video montage of time lapse footage with the camera in motion from The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim. The footage features the ENB preset Skyrim Enhanced Shaders NLA, linked below. The time lapse footage highlights the volumetric rays and cloud shadows effects of ENB series for Skyrim.
Captured with Shadowplay at 1920×1080 @30FPS on a GTX 780m, ASUS G750JH
Music license info: http://www.bethblog.com/bethesda-video-policy/