After trying some mods to improve visuals and get something more realistic looking, I transformed KSP into something really good looking, but I was really happy with the result, but I felt that something was still missing.
When in low orbit of a planet, the side of my ship which was facing the planet was completely dark, which was not realistic! It should have been illuminated a bit by the planet's own reflective light!
I decided to fix that with this mod, by making planets and moons to reflect their own (colored) light to your vessel.
This phenomenon is called in real life albedo or planetshine :
What does this mod actually do? (Summary)
- When you are close to a planet or moon, its bright side reflects (colored) light to your vessel.
- More realistic ambient light in vacuum, very dark by default, can be customized.
- More realistic ambient light on the ground and atmosphere of planets/moons, tinted by the surface color.
- Settings menu to customize many parameters, as well as several quality/performance settings.
- Support for the Toolbar mod.
- Planet and moons light configuration supports Module Manager and loading across GameData folder, and can be easily customized by players or other mods.
- Conflicts with the mod "Ambient Light Adjustment" because it has exactly the same feature: custom ambient light settings with a slider.
- When close to the sun, the sunlight becomes dramatically intense.
Support the author
If you like this plugin, please consider donating, it will be greatly appreciated:
On those screenshots you can see the subtle red light over Duna, green over Jool, and blue over Kerbin:
Before / After Screenshots by CaptRobau:
Recommended mods for the best visual experience
- Environmental Visual Enhancements for clouds and city lights.
- Oinker's Skybox (requires Texture Replacer) for a more realistic and much darker skybox.
- Scatterer (WIP - Experimental - Might have issues with E.V.E.) makes the sky and atmosphere looking great and much more realistic, sunsets become amazing.
- Engine lighting for adding realistic lighting to engines thrust.
- Surface Lights to illuminate the ship when it gets really dark (you may have to raise "pixel lights count" in KSP settings).
I would appreciate feedback on this mod a lot!
I spent a lot of time trying to make this reflected light to behave as consistent as possible, and I think it's pretty well tuned by now.
Planet and moons colors are all editable in "CelestialBodies.cfg", and you can change a few other settings in "Settings.cfg", such as the vacuum light level (quite low by default), and the reflection light intensity.
Compatible with all game versions from 0.25 to 1.0, and probably older versions as well.
This mod includes version checking using MiniAVC. If you opt-in, it will use the internet to check whether there is a new version available. Data is only read from the internet and no personal information is sent. For a more comprehensive version checking experience, please download the KSP-AVC Plugin.
- updated for KSP 1.2 pre-release
- does not work with KSP 1.1.* or older
- fixed vessel suddenly turning pitch black when deep underwater
- removed the obsolete Real Solar System colors and useless README.txt
- fixed a bug that prevented the stock toolbar icon settings to be saved correctly.
- fixed a bug that sometimes displayed unintended atmospheric lights on all other bodies when in map/orbit view.
- a bit of code cleaning and refactoring, might even improve performance and stability.
- the config node name for celestial bodies has been renamed from "CelestialBodyColor" to "PlanetshineCelestialBody", however retro-compatibility will be kept for some time
- the celestial bodies are now loaded through "GameDatabase", meaning that:
* any "PlanetshineCelestialBody" node within any cfg file in the GameData folder will be loaded automatically
* other plugins can programatically change "PlanetshineCelestialBody" nodes through "GameDatabase"
* "PlanetshineCelestialBody" nodes are now affected by Module Manager
- fixed the bug preventing to save settings
- added support for stock toolbar (blizzy's toolbar is no longer required, but still supported)
- added a "close" button to the settings window
- tweaked the default settings, now it's a tiny bit brighter in space
V0.2.2.3 - 2015-05-03
- updated the version file for KSP 1.0.2
V0.2.2.2 - 2015-04-30
- updated the version file for KSP 1.0
V0.2.2.1 - 2014-12-20
- Included a custom planets/moons color file to use with the mod Real Solar System
- Vacuum ambient light level can now be set MUCH brighter
- New option in "CelestialBodies.cfg" to change the level of ground ambient overriding (I made it mostly for compatibility with RSS)
- Fixed some small typos and tweaked some calculations a bit
- Fixed a bug that occurred when starting in single light mode
- Added a performance option to change the update frequency
- Added a "reset to default" button for each setting
- Fixed the ground albedo formula for when there is no atmosphere
- Settings have moved and are no more meant to be edited outside of the game
- Added quality preset options (low, medium, high)
- New ground ambient light enhancement system
- Fixed several light angle calculation bugs
- Added option to choose between vertex or pixel lights
- Added support for Add-on Version Checker and included "MiniAVC"
- Added minimal debug menu to toggle the effects (requires Toolbar)
- Performance improvement: forced vertex lights
V0.1.3 - 2014-10-14
- renamed the mod from "Reflective Ambient Light" to "Planetshine"
- fixed a bug that caused an error on loading
- improved performance
V0.1.2 - 2014-10-13
- improved performance
V0.1.1 - 2014-10-12
- much more options and explanations within the config files, I strongly suggest to look into them
- fixed a bug that made the light suddenly disappear when at sunset/sunrise, instead of doing it smoothly
- fixed a bug that made the light always come from the center of the planet instead of the actual illuminated part of the surface
- the sun now has its own light setting, orbiting close to it has a VERY STRONG effect
- added the option to change the ground atmosphere ambient intensity (the ambient light when you are on the ground) in the settings
- added the option to change the atmosphere ambient altitude fading
- added the option to change the light reflection effect atmosphere altitude and fading
- added the option to change the maximum orbital range of the light reflection
- added the option to set the ratio of atmosphere ambient on ground for each planet/moon
- added the option to disable the area light technique in order to get better performance (by default it uses 3 lights to simulate an area, but if you disable it it will only use one light)
- on planets/moons without atmosphere, the reflective light is more spread around the ship when landed
- tweaked many settings to improve the light effects
V0.1.0 - 2014-10-11
- first released version
- each planet/moon has a different color, picked from a config file
- effect range is 4x the radius of a planet/moon
- the effect strength can be changed in the settings file
- Conflicts with other mods that change ambient light, such as Ambient Light Adjustment and AmbientLightShifter
- Not tested much on x64, might cause issues
- Might have minor issues with Kopernicus, which optionally provides custom atmospheric and vacuum ambient lights.
- Automatic detection of planet colors and atmosphere, no more need for CelestialBodies.cfg (working on it right now)
- Actual planetshine (reflected lights between two planet/moon)
- Different reflected light color depending on the biome (land/sea/poles)
- Sunset/sunrise lights
- More performance tweaks, such as reducing the number of light depending on the situation, or using a diffuse wrapping shader
- Choice between presets for ambient light (realistic or stock) and other settings
- Better (future) compatibility with other mods
Credits to other mods
I copied the planets/moons color list from the Distant Object Enhancement mod
please "excuse my French", English is not my native language.