1.1 Monitor Calibration
Before we touch anything related to visuals, we should ensure your monitor's brightness and gamma settings are correct. Now assuming you have your monitor set to your preferred settings (in my case that is 1920x1080, the native resolution, and 60Hz), you might want to adjust brightness / gamma either through your graphics card (Control Panel > NVIDIA Control Panel > Adjust Desktop Color Settings) or Windows' in-built calibration tool (Control Panel > Colour Management > Advanced > Calibrate display). To help you find the sweet spot for your monitor, check out these resources below:
- CFL ENB - monitor calibration help
- Photo Friday Monitor Calibration Tool
- Lagom: LCD monitor test images
Keep in mind that your display should have been running for at least 30 minutes when you calibrate it.
DisplayPort / HDMI: Mangaclub, author of Vivid Weathers, recommends ensuring that your monitor's dynamic range is set to 'full'. Here are instructions for NVIDIA and AMD. (I actually had mine set to 'limited' and found that I was so used to it that setting it to 'full' only irritated me. Eventually I set it back to Limited.)
1.2 Creating a new profile in Mod Organizer 2
To preserve your current Core installation as it is, we are going to copy your Core profile into a new instance for the Visuals section of this guide.
- In Mod Organizer 2, bring up the Profiles window by clicking the ID-card-icon in the top left icon bar.
- Select your Core profile and hit Copy.
- Name your new profile The Phoenix Flavour - Visuals. Then hit OK.
- Select your new profile in the list and make sure both options at the bottom are ticked.
- Close the Profiles window.
- Switch to your new profile using the drop-down menu at the top. It should look identical to your Core profile.
1.3 (Optional) More divider for Mod Organizer 2
In addition to the dividers we used to keep our Core installation clean, here are our dividers for this part of the guide. Download them here - you can see the correct order below:
--- TWEAKS - FIXES ---
--- WEATHER ---
--- LIGHTING ---
--- RETEXTURES ---
--- APPEARANCE ---
--- FLORA - LANDSCAPE ---
--- CITIES - VILLAGES - INTERIORS ---
--- LATE LOADER---
1.4 More INI Tweaks
Let's close Mod Organizer 2 and run BethINI once more.
- Make sure BethINI points to the correct MO2 profile under INI path (The Phoenix Flavour - Visuals).
- Godrays --- high frame drop, especially on AMD cards - I recommend disabling or setting them to Medium/Low
- Particles: 6000
- Make sure Interior Godrays is unchecked.
- All four options under [Water] should be checked.
- Ambient Occlusion: None
- Shadow Resolution: 2048 --- 4096 has a considerable performance impact
- Grass Fade: 15000 --- or higher
Return to Basic and click Save and Exit.