Settings

The settings panel is raised from the top toolbar of the application:

One raised, it shows a number of different tabs, each being focused on a part of the available settings:

Temporal anti-aliasing

If you're not familiar with temporal anti-aliasing, don't bother modifying any of these settings. If you wish to get into the details of it:

Plants settings

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Exact spawn enabled in the right image

Cascaded Shadow Maps settings

Cascaded shadow maps (CSM) are defined for the star - the sun - and only for it. This allow NDunes to show shadows up to a very large distance. If you're not familiar with the concept, the term "Cascade" just means several shadow maps. For instance the first shadow map will capture shadows between 10 cm and 5 meters, the second one between 4 meters and 15 meters, and so on. NDunes uses 8 passes of CSMs in order to be able to capture shadows very far away, which is a must have here as we have very long viewing distances.

Note that star CSM settings are overrided for Geometries that are using private shadows. See Defining a geometry for details.

Atmospheric settings

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No atmospheric landscape shadows to the left; shadows enabled to the right

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No atmospheric clouds shadows to the left; shadows enabled to the right

Note that atmospheric effects in NDunes are plain volumetric effects so while they have a significant cost they are working regardless of the position of the sun in the scene, unlike typical post-processing effects that are based on a visible sun.

Miscellaneous settings

Screen Space Ambient Occlusion

The following parameters control the screen space ambient occlusion allowing to modulate the ambient lighting produced by the sky.

A view of the SSAO applied inside a geometry (note that the transparent surfaces have a white AO)

Screen Space Reflections

The next parameters control the screen space reflections. They are real-time reflections computed as a post process. A ray marching is done on the screen pixels in the direction of the reflection ray to find which pixels are reflected. The SSR are blended with reflection probes (if any) where the ray can't find valid reflection data (back face, out of screen, etc.).

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Adding SSR in addition to reflection probes