I was testing out shaders today at Forlond, and decided to make a somewhat comprehensive comparison of all the popular shaders. I know that some of them excel at interiors or nighttime, but I’m mainly concerned with what they are mostly used for, which is daytime outdoor settings. Since it took me quite a while to load up each of them and screenshot, I thought it might be helpful to share this information as a reference for others who want to make renders or cinematics.
I had all the video settings at maximum quality, everything was kept constant (except the time of the day, which had slight adjustments to get the best lighting for each one). Here’s a quick summary of my thoughts:
Conquest of the Sun is dark and atmospheric, and has one of the best shadow qualities. The only downside is that (as you can see from the screenshot) there is a bright horizontal line at the horizon that doesn’t seem to go away no matter what I did. That might just ruined it for large-scale cinematics.
I feel like Sildurs Vibrant is one of the best looking shaders in the bunch. It has really good color and contrast and gives a very sharp rendering of more distant buildings. It looks somewhat similar to TME v3 RC5, but I think at least for that screenshot it beats TME.
ZiipZaap’s (my personal favorite ) is definitely not an all-purpose shader, but I think it works really well with fantasy settings with a lot of wooden structures. It gives off that unique red/orange glow which really creates that fantasy atmosphere. Shadow quality is also one of the best. The biggest downside is that it tends to create a lot of noise in rendering distant objects, which doesn’t look that good when you’re moving. (You can notice it in my recent Beorgburh cinematic video. The noise doesn’t render that well on Youtube and tend to be pixelated in the background)
Continuum is also pretty nice, but a problem I noticed is that the shadows tend to flicker when you move, which makes it not very good for cinematics.
The very popular Kuda’s and SEUS surprisingly don’t look that good compared to the ones above, and I only included chocapic13’s as a reference since a lot of the other ones are edits of it.
Anyway, hope this is helpful