Spore graphical improvements! [NEW: 4GB patch]

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Spore graphical improvements! [NEW: 4GB patch]

Unread post by paranoid_modder »

Spore graphical imporvements.

Hello everyone. I am here to show to all of you how you can upgrade and enhance spores graphics beyond the previous "shiny graphic fix" guide. This new tutorial will help you make spores graphics really pop, and truly makes the game look like the way its supposed to look. It is generally recommended that you have a somewhat good computer for all of these steps to work, but you are not required to follow ALL of them. You can stop at any place in this guide if you feel like your game looks good enough for your liking, so experiment and test out what works for you!

What you will need

The Spore ModAPI Launcher Kit.
The Sneky Graphics mod
The shiny graphics fix tweak
The 60fps game tweak
The NVIDIA Control Panel (For NVIDIA users only.)
ReShade
4K Support mod.
Groxxy's various HD texture mods
NTcore's 4GB patch tool

The guide

Firstly if youre following this guide, you are probably already familiar with how to install mods, so i wont get into that. The links above contain instructions on how to do what you need to do. Use the spore modAPI easy installer to install the mod listed here for your game.

Step 1:
Install the mod called Sneky Graphics. This mod Increases the games LOD field and keeps texture levels high by default, reducing or removing muddy textures. This makes your game automatically look 50% better due to the fact that you can stand further away without having to worry about the models looking like crap. This is great for taking better pictures or screenshots! Now this might impact performance for some, so install it and experiment with it before you go any further.
Image
Without sneky graphics.
Image
With sneky graphics.
Step 2:
Preform the shiny graphic fix. Now what this does is that it fixes lighting and general shading, enables bump-mapping on creatures, fixes the muddy textures by increasing the resolution, makes shiny coats and paints actually shiny and fixes cells opacity, making them render with proper transparency. I recommend you only go with the 2048 version due to the fact that the higher version is entirely too unstable, and will just piss you off with constant crashes.
Image Image
⠀⠀⠀⠀without shiny fix. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ ⠀⠀with shiny fix.

Step 3:
The 60fps tweak. This is mostly for you FPS snobs, but i find the game more enjoyable this way. You can of course put in whatever framerate you want, just remember that some UI animations might be a little more bouncy and flashy because of this.

Step 4:
This optional step is only for those who have access to the NVIDIA control panel. Your game already looks much better then default now, but with the nvidia control panel you can go the extra mile by tweaking some settings. This enables anti-aliasing, enhanced mode, supersampling and more. Now im sure that there are other programs you can use in order to get the same effect, but this tutorial will cover NVIDIA for now. What you need to do is to open the NVIDIA control panel by right-clicking on your desktop. Under 3D settings, you click on "Manage 3D settings" and then on "program settings."
Image
Now from here you need to manually add spore GA on the program list. Click on "add" and then find it. After this you need to enable all the settings showed here in bold text.
Image
Now of course you can change any setting you want if you know your way around these things, so experiment and check out what crashes and what doesnt. The settings provided in the image are at least going to remove those jagged "staircase" edges, which will affect not only assets, but text as well.

⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀Before ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀After
Image Image
Image Image
Image Image
(Please open the images in a separate tab to see them with their proper resolution, as they look a bit more blurry on this thread.)

Step 5:
You have upgraded spores graphics significally, but yet you yearn for more. Now its time to look into shaders. Reshade gives you even more graphical enhancements can be done using the reshade app. This guide assumes that you already know how to use it, so if you dont, then follow the instructions provided on the website. The settings listed under are for 2 parts of the game: The first settings list on the left is best suited for campaigns/GA shaders, while the one on the right is better for usage in the creature test drive.
[rimg(670,840)]https://cdn.discordapp.com/attachments/ ... nknown.png[/rimg]
Image
Image
These settings might be a bit overpowering, but if you know your way around ReShade, you can tweak and chance the settings until you find something that you like. These presets are just for going the extra mile. (And if you like glow-y things)
Step 6:
Still not enough? You want to further bloat your game until sparkles starts pouring out the seams? Then you might want to look into 4K support. This is recommended to try if you have 4K display only, so use at own risk. UI experience might not be perfect, so its still somewhat of an experimental step. Install this mod like the previous one, Rand make sure you include the UPR mod, since it requires it!! Here are some preview images to get a taste of what you will get. Stages such as cell stage will allow you to see much more of it, and sporepedia will give you TONS more cards per page.
Image
Image
Image
Step 7:
More you say? Well then why dont we take a look at this recent mod, made by Insanegrox. He has taken the time to make a HD texture mod pack for the game. It looks really great, and is especially good looking if your game is in 4K mode.
Image
Image
Image
As OP mentioned, this is best suited for powerful PC's, as lower end videocards are not supported.
Step 8:
Maybe you find spore crashing a little bit more then usual with all these graphical improvements. In order to remedy that a bit, try using NTcore's 4GB patch tool. This nifty tool will patch x86 executables in order to give them 4GB virtual memory on x64 platforms, instead of 2. This can help spore be much more stable, especially if you use sneky graphics or the shiny texture fix.

Now that you have done all of this, you will be able to see spore for what it was (imo) truly meant to look like. Of course by enabling anti/aliasing, the game might appear a tad more "blurry" for some, so make sure you tinker around and experiment with the different settings until you find a preset that you like. I hope this guide finds you well, and if there is any information that is wrong or needs to be changed, please feel free to let me know. I might add more information to this guide in the future if its needed.

Special thanks:
Thank you to discord user Snek for making the graphical mods, screenshots and for inspiring me to make this guide! :mrgreen:
Thank you to Rebecca "DarkEdge" for the ReShade information and presets!
Thank you to Insanegrox for his hard work on those HD textures!
Thank you to EMD for keeping spore modding alive by providing us with the tools to make this all happen!
Last edited by paranoid_modder on Sun Sep 06, 2020 9:02 am, edited 7 times in total.
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Re: Spore graphical improvements!

Unread post by Flames Kid »

Been wanting to do this for a long time, but I guess you beat me to it!
:di: I am just a simulation §§§§§§§
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Re: Spore graphical improvements!

Unread post by paranoid_modder »

Flames Kid wrote:Been wanting to do this for a long time, but I guess you beat me to it!
Too slow, lol.
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Re: Spore graphical improvements!

Unread post by Flames Kid »

paranoid_modder wrote:
Flames Kid wrote:Been wanting to do this for a long time, but I guess you beat me to it!
Too slow, lol.
Yea, i didn't know about the newer graphics mods anyway so yee
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Re: Spore graphical improvements! [NEW: shaders and 4K]

Unread post by paranoid_modder »

Added a guide for ReShade, as well as 4K support. As usual let me know if anything is incorrect.
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Re: Spore graphical improvements! [NEW: HD texture pack]

Unread post by paranoid_modder »

Added another step, for insanegrox' HD texture mod.
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Re: Spore graphical improvements! [NEW: HD texture pack]

Unread post by Dastin »

Great guide! You helped me make Spore more beautiful than ever.

It is also possible to improve the textures of vehicles in the game with this "highrestexturelevel high" command, I only improved some textures on buildings and vehicles, (I checked only on Mr. Puzzle’s truck and the building in the form of a wooden container, there were other cars and buildings, and but some objects for decoration, but the team did not affect them) but you have to enter this command every time after entering the game, but on one forum one person wrote this:

"(After the line

"setOption OptionDOF $Low"

Add this one (if it’s not there) -

"setOption OptionHighResTextures $High"

You don’t have to write that code every time.)"

But this does not work, at least for me. Maybe I don’t insert the command correctly or just didn’t understand what the author meant, maybe he was mistaken in something... Maybe someone here will understand what these commands are and how to enter them correctly and maybe there are similar commands that improve other textures


P.S. For some reason, after the publication of the message in the commands
setOption OptionDOF $ Low
and
setOption OptionHighResTextures $ High
Space appeared between $ and Low \ High, but it wasn’t in the original, so do not forget to remove this space if you enter commands
Last edited by Dastin on Fri Oct 11, 2019 2:42 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Spore graphical improvements! [NEW: HD texture pack]

Unread post by paranoid_modder »

Dastin wrote:Great guide! You helped me make Spore more beautiful than ever.

It is also possible to improve the textures of vehicles in the game with this "highrestexturelevel high" command, I only improved some textures on buildings and vehicles, (I checked only on Mr. Puzzle’s truck and the building in the form of a wooden container, there were other cars and buildings, and but some objects for decoration, but the team did not affect them) but you have to enter this command every time after entering the game, but on one forum one person wrote this:

"(After the line

"setOption OptionDOF $Low"

Add this one (if it’s not there) -

"setOption OptionHighResTextures $High"

You don’t have to write that code every time.)"

But this does not work, at least for me. Maybe I don’t insert the command correctly or just didn’t understand what the author meant, maybe he was mistaken in something... Maybe someone here will understand what these commands are and how to enter them correctly and maybe there are similar commands that improve other textures
I know of this command, but didnt add it in because you have to, indeed, enter it every time you start the game. However im going to try out the other option you posted here and see if that is permanent for me. If it is, i'll add it to the list! :mrgreen:
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Re: Spore graphical improvements! [NEW: HD texture pack]

Unread post by Dastin »

paranoid_modder wrote:I know of this command, but didnt add it in because you have to, indeed, enter it every time you start the game. However im going to try out the other option you posted here and see if that is permanent for me. If it is, i'll add it to the list! :mrgreen:
I will wait for innovations, and I also added my message because of one funny mistake, maybe it will be useful for you
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Re: Spore graphical improvements! [NEW: HD texture pack]

Unread post by Dastin »

Will you update Step 5? I followed your instructions and I managed to make beautiful graphics, but during the setup, I was faced with the fact that I did not find certain parameters that were in the picture, I do not know how much this affected the graphics, but it doesn’t differ much from yours in the pictures. So I think that it is not necessary to update this step, but it can confuse beginners
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Re: Spore graphical improvements! [NEW: HD texture pack]

Unread post by paranoid_modder »

Dastin wrote:Will you update Step 5? I followed your instructions and I managed to make beautiful graphics, but during the setup, I was faced with the fact that I did not find certain parameters that were in the picture, I do not know how much this affected the graphics, but it doesn’t differ much from yours in the pictures. So I think that it is not necessary to update this step, but it can confuse beginners
im not too familiar with reshade unfortunately. The images here were given to me by another user, so i cant help you there.
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Re: Spore graphical improvements! [NEW: HD texture pack]

Unread post by Dastin »

paranoid_modder wrote:im not too familiar with reshade unfortunately. The images here were given to me by another user, so i cant help you there.
Here's how it works. I found out about one interesting ReShade feature. This program has a preset function, thanks to which you can load ready-made settings for games, I looked for such ready-made presets for Spore, but no one did them, but it doesn’t matter. You can add instructions for installing presets and the presets themselves in your manual so that it would be easier for people, you can ask the person who made you the list of settings for ReShade, make a preset for you, or I can throw off what I got
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Re: Spore graphical improvements! [NEW: HD texture pack]

Unread post by Mr. Dice »

Here i am again. i already wrote about this before in another thread. Its about issue with config/properties fix, when game takes screenshots with UI/interface. Without fix ,screens and vids are normal, so i think the problem is in Config or properties

My Spore preferenses:
GA, asymmetry version
Resolution 1280 : 768 60 Hz
Graphic Cache Size 1024
Full Screen
High quality photos/vids
High Textures and e.t.c.
Mods:
DarkInjection v. 8
InfiniteComplexity
Camben color pack

My Laptop
4GB RAM
Graphic Card - Intel HD Graphics
Proccesor - Intel COREi3
240 GB free memory
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Re: Spore graphical improvements! [NEW: HD texture pack]

Unread post by PetrSolny1 »

Image
Hey, I know this stuff pretty well and I have something to say about this. I will simplify things.

Antialiasing - FXAA
This AA applies a blur to make things look smoother.

Antialiasing - Mode
Don't select "Enhance the application settings". Spore doesn't have any form of AA so there isn't anything to enhance. Instead, you should select "Override any application setting".

Antialiasing - Setting
This is AA called MSAA which doesn't apply blur and is much better than FXAA. But it doesn't work with transparent textures (unlike FXAA). However, it is also much more taxing. Also, for some reason, it doesn't work well with Spore.

Antialisiang - Transparency
This is AA called SGSSAA. It's like MSAA but works only with transparent textures. It's also not that taxing.

MFAA
This basically amplifies the effect of MSAA for little to no additional performance cost. Should only be used when the game itself supports MSAA. Spore does not.

Now when I explained what these things do. I will explain what you should do and why.

Don't enable FXAA, MSAA and MFAA. Instead, download SweetFX (https://www.guru3d.com/files_details/sw ... nload.html). This uses SMAA which is, in my opinion, the best for Spore. You can set some additional effects. I personally only use the default effects for this game. I also set SMAA_TRESHOLD to 0.08 in the SweetFX_settings.txt. I like it more than the default 0.10 and the maximum 0.05 looks too good for my liking.

I recommend you to use SGSSAA on 8x (supersample). This will take care of the transparent textures. SMAA will take care of non-transparent textures.

This game doesn't have Anisotropic filtering on its own. So enable it and set it to 16x. This will also automatically adjust some other settings.

Set Texture Filtering - Quality to High quality. This improves rendering quality. This also adjusts some other settings.

Please note that even when SMAA doesn't apply any blur. The text will appear a little bit blurry. This happens with every form of AA. But it isn't as drastic as FXAA.

This game is old and runs great on almost anything. These tweaks improve the visuals of this game for almost no additional performance cost.
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Re: Spore graphical improvements! [NEW: HD texture pack]

Unread post by paranoid_modder »

PetrSolny1 wrote:
Image
Hey, I know this stuff pretty well and I have something to say about this. I will simplify things.

Antialiasing - FXAA
This AA applies a blur to make things look smoother.

Antialiasing - Mode
Don't select "Enhance the application settings". Spore doesn't have any form of AA so there isn't anything to enhance. Instead, you should select "Override any application setting".

Antialiasing - Setting
This is AA called MSAA which doesn't apply blur and is much better than FXAA. But it doesn't work with transparent textures (unlike FXAA). However, it is also much more taxing. Also, for some reason, it doesn't work well with Spore.

Antialisiang - Transparency
This is AA called SGSSAA. It's like MSAA but works only with transparent textures. It's also not that taxing.

MFAA
This basically amplifies the effect of MSAA for little to no additional performance cost. Should only be used when the game itself supports MSAA. Spore does not.

Now when I explained what these things do. I will explain what you should do and why.

Don't enable FXAA, MSAA and MFAA. Instead, download SweetFX (https://www.guru3d.com/files_details/sw ... nload.html). This uses SMAA which is, in my opinion, the best for Spore. You can set some additional effects. I personally only use the default effects for this game. I also set SMAA_TRESHOLD to 0.08 in the SweetFX_settings.txt. I like it more than the default 0.10 and the maximum 0.05 looks too good for my liking.

I recommend you to use SGSSAA on 8x (supersample). This will take care of the transparent textures. SMAA will take care of non-transparent textures.

This game doesn't have Anisotropic filtering on its own. So enable it and set it to 16x. This will also automatically adjust some other settings.

Set Texture Filtering - Quality to High quality. This improves rendering quality. This also adjusts some other settings.

Please note that even when SMAA doesn't apply any blur. The text will appear a little bit blurry. This happens with every form of AA. But it isn't as drastic as FXAA.

This game is old and runs great on almost anything. These tweaks improve the visuals of this game for almost no additional performance cost.
Thank you so much for this info! I will tweak my own settings :) However i think i would recommend people use reshade instead of sweetFX.
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Re: Spore graphical improvements! [NEW: 4GB patch]

Unread post by paranoid_modder »

UPDATE: Added an 8th step, with the 4gb patch tool.
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Re: Spore graphical improvements! [NEW: HD texture pack]

Unread post by PetrSolny1 »

paranoid_modder wrote:
PetrSolny1 wrote:
Image
Hey, I know this stuff pretty well and I have something to say about this. I will simplify things.

Antialiasing - FXAA
This AA applies a blur to make things look smoother.

Antialiasing - Mode
Don't select "Enhance the application settings". Spore doesn't have any form of AA so there isn't anything to enhance. Instead, you should select "Override any application setting".

Antialiasing - Setting
This is AA called MSAA which doesn't apply blur and is much better than FXAA. But it doesn't work with transparent textures (unlike FXAA). However, it is also much more taxing. Also, for some reason, it doesn't work well with Spore.

Antialisiang - Transparency
This is AA called SGSSAA. It's like MSAA but works only with transparent textures. It's also not that taxing.

MFAA
This basically amplifies the effect of MSAA for little to no additional performance cost. Should only be used when the game itself supports MSAA. Spore does not.

Now when I explained what these things do. I will explain what you should do and why.

Don't enable FXAA, MSAA and MFAA. Instead, download SweetFX (https://www.guru3d.com/files_details/sw ... nload.html). This uses SMAA which is, in my opinion, the best for Spore. You can set some additional effects. I personally only use the default effects for this game. I also set SMAA_TRESHOLD to 0.08 in the SweetFX_settings.txt. I like it more than the default 0.10 and the maximum 0.05 looks too good for my liking.

I recommend you to use SGSSAA on 8x (supersample). This will take care of the transparent textures. SMAA will take care of non-transparent textures.

This game doesn't have Anisotropic filtering on its own. So enable it and set it to 16x. This will also automatically adjust some other settings.

Set Texture Filtering - Quality to High quality. This improves rendering quality. This also adjusts some other settings.

Please note that even when SMAA doesn't apply any blur. The text will appear a little bit blurry. This happens with every form of AA. But it isn't as drastic as FXAA.

This game is old and runs great on almost anything. These tweaks improve the visuals of this game for almost no additional performance cost.
Thank you so much for this info! I will tweak my own settings :) However i think i would recommend people use reshade instead of sweetFX.
I always used ReShade instead of SweetFX for every game but Spore. The reason is SweetFX's implementation of SMAA is quite different from ReShade. For Spore, it works better. That's why I recommended in my previous post.

However, I recently switched to ReShade even for this game. I'm using SMAA without corner rounding and light sharpening via Contrast Adaptive Sharpening/FastSharpen (can't decide which one I prefer for Spore). I'm also experimenting with MXAO, HBAO+ and Ray Tracing.
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Re: Spore graphical improvements! [NEW: 4GB patch]

Unread post by LodWise »

After I did this. Minus the 4k part it look and runs so good. Thank you.
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