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[SOLVED] CustTextures file limit?

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Re: CustTextures file limit ?

Postby giftfish » 29 Jun 2016, 21:27

CreeperLava wrote:The big problem with that is people basically have to redo the whole installation process each time I release an update (which is quite often). Would it work to simply remove all CustTextures files and install ALOT as if nothing ever happened ? Or are there other links that would break if we were to do that ? Any other solutions ?
I'm letting the installation of ALOT run overnight, I'll add some more tomorrow too to get to CustTextures 10.

With how big ALOT is, I don't think you have many options. I guess...

1. Users could get choosier and not use *every update*. This isn't a huge issue since there's nothing actually broken in most cases.

2. Users should make sure that they *only* install the new textures in the update and not the whole mod. Unless you are releasing extremely large updates, my guess is it would take several months before users would reach the limit. Re-installing once every several months isn't too terrible.

3. Once they hit CustTextures9, then they need to vanilla and re-install. Users will need to get used to checking this.

--------

I'm not sure what would happen if you deleted existing CustTextures files prior to running a TPF through TPF Tools. The data will still be in the tree, but all the references for every existing ALOT texture in every modded PCC will point to a file that no longer exists. That in itself seems problematic.

I guess you'd have to experiment. Once you get up to 9 after letting the install go all night, delete all the CustTex files and then see if TPF Tools can run an ALOT TPF successfully. If it can, then your idea works. If not, then there are the options above. You could also consider paring down ALOT somewhat and creating an alternative "ALOT Lite", and users can also start prioritizing which ALOT textures they choose to install in the first place, so they aren't using so many textures.
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Re: CustTextures file limit ?

Postby CreeperLava » 30 Jun 2016, 06:41

Good ideas, will try them out. The whole point of ALOT is to make an exhaustive compilation, given how powerful computers are today compared to when ME3 was released, it would be a waste to make an "ALOT Lite". What I'll most likely do is less full rebuild updates, and more incremental ones, where I only release the updated textures. It's less clean, but it works.

Still, I'll try removing the CustTextures too, maybe that would be a solution.
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Re: CustTextures file limit ?

Postby giftfish » 30 Jun 2016, 15:02

CreeperLava wrote:Good ideas, will try them out. The whole point of ALOT is to make an exhaustive compilation, given how powerful computers are today compared to when ME3 was released, it would be a waste to make an "ALOT Lite".

Be careful not to overestimate the power of people's PCs and the frequency in which they upgrade.

There is still *plenty* of support on Skyrim Nexus for "lite" texture packs that are typically 1024px textures, perhaps with a new 2048 peppered in here and there. The second someone puts something up that's 4K, there's a line of people asking for release of something lower rez. Plus, if you released an ALOT Lite, folks may still be able to use all textures, just a mixture of resolutions from each pack so they can customize it to their PC more. That reason is a bit outside of scope for the particular problem you presented -- running out of CusTex files to generate -- but it would also help alleviate that situation somewhat. I get that it's supposed to be "easy", but you're not making anyone do it; you're just providing the option. Obviously it would be more work for you, which is the biggest drawback.

All of my ThaneMOD testers had PCs that were a minimum of 3 years old. Most were older and none of them were high end -- certainly none were built by the users themselves. All of these folks modded their game with hair meshes and textures. A 3 year old PC came out in 2013, which is only a year after ME3. And, if it is a lower end or midline PC, then there's a good chance it can't handle 4K or even everything at 2K.

Might be worth putting up a poll article on Nexus for ALOT to get a snapshot of your userbase. It's really the only way to know. You could also float the idea for an ALOT Lite; see what kind of response you get.
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Re: CustTextures file limit ?

Postby CreeperLava » 30 Jun 2016, 15:15

I really don't have the motivation to make and support 2 more of these massive mods^^. What I have learned with providing support for users is to always underestimate their skills with computers. It's frustrating enough to support ALOT for ME2 and ME3, and I don't want to use more of my limited free-time for that :/.

If people want to pick textures, they can do it easily with the current version of ALOT. Textures are sorted into folders and subfolders with explicit names. The METPF version is now abandoned, since I made a picture guide of the installation that should allow everyone to use the 7z version without issues.

Edit : I made a mistake with the installation, I used the wrong ME3Explorer for the last part of it, restarting...
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Re: CustTextures file limit ?

Postby Deager » 01 Jul 2016, 00:42

CreeperLava wrote:I really don't have the motivation to make and support 2 more of these massive mods^^. What I have learned with providing support for users is to always underestimate their skills with computers. It's frustrating enough to support ALOT for ME2 and ME3, and I don't want to use more of my limited free-time for that :/.


I can understand you here since your mod is actually kind of complicated for a novice. I've noticed most of the posts for my mods now revolve around tech issues whereas when they first come out it's more, "Awesome, thanks!" kind of stuff. ;)
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Re: CustTextures file limit ?

Postby CreeperLava » 01 Jul 2016, 06:34

Yeah, same here. It's always the same "Love your mod, but...". All users aren't like that, thankfully, and some do try to help.

Now, on the CustTextures issue^^.
I learned at least something from my previous error :
Without Sir's DLL, ME3Explorer continues to grow the other CustTextures (not only the 9th !). How it chooses the CustTextures seems pretty random, it changes with each texture installed.
Spoiler:
Image


With Sir's DLL, we get to a beautiful CustTextures13.tfc :
Spoiler:
Image

The game runs fine, too. There may be underlying issues that can't be seen at first glance, but for now I would say the patch works and can be implemented in a future release. Having a warning when CustTextures become too numerous could be handy though, it grows very fast, and the normal user won't see it. A full install of ALOT is about 5 CustTextures. That's 10 GB of data.

I tried removing the oldest CustTextures (the 0th, most likely completely obsolete since I installed about 400 4K textures over and over again), the game seemed to work fine. This means that if we can track if a CustTexture is still used by the game, we could remove the unused ones, automating at least part of the cleaning process. If we can't check on the game, maybe we can see it from ME3Explorer directly ? When you install a texture, can you know which CustTexture it is allocated too ? If so, can you keep an index and remove the said CustTexture once all said textures have been overwritten in other CustTextures ?

I then removed all CustTextures, the game still launched fine. But, textures did disappear in-game. That is, where textures were installed, remained only a black placeholder.
Spoiler:
Image

So, while it would in theory be possible to remove CustTextures without running into issues, it's probably best to do a full vanilla / revert to a vanilla backup.

Out of curiosity, I did try to install other textures (namely, Garrus') after having removed all the CustTextures. And to my surprise, it worked, starting from CustTextures0 again. And the game didn't seem to have any issues with the change, since Garrus recovered his HR glory. Still, no way to know if that broke something that I can't see directly in-game. Looks like that would be a valid method too, though.
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Re: CustTextures file limit ?

Postby KFreon » 11 Jul 2016, 23:36

I would love to have the old texture data deleted when it's no longer used, but to do so, you'd essentially have to treegen again, grab all relevant texture data using that from the custtexes and make new ones, delete the old ones, and so on.
It's a messy procedure, and the only other way I can think of is to "reuse" unused texture space which would make keeping track of used and unused space basically like degfragging a mechanical HDD.

Toooooonnes of work for an edge case.


So to summarise:
- Yes, textures are piled up on top of custtextures and never deleted, so you could have 1 texture change in your current installation, but that custtextures has been around for years and is now 1.7gb with 1 active texture.
- There's no reason for the limit. That's Salt's old code. From memory, I thought it should have kept counting past 10, but I haven't looked at it in ages.

By all means, up that limit.

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Re: CustTextures file limit ?

Postby CreeperLava » 12 Jul 2016, 06:32

Thanks for the answer K. So you can't track, either at ME3Explorer's level, or even at ME3's (with eg ME3 Logger), if a custtexture is still used by the program ? Like, see if any read request is made when you boot the game. Just a theory, I don't know how it actually works^^.

Will we see your hotfix in a future release, sir ?
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Re: CustTextures file limit ?

Postby SirCxyrtyx » 12 Jul 2016, 16:02

CreeperLava wrote:Will we see your hotfix in a future release, sir ?

Since K says it's fine, sure. If people are re-installing textures so many times that they reach CustTextures10 though, they really ought to vanilla and start over. They're wasting a ton of hard drive space.
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Re: CustTextures file limit ?

Postby CreeperLava » 12 Jul 2016, 16:59

Yeah, that's what I was considering in a previous message. To quote myself,
Having a warning when CustTextures become too numerous could be handy though, it grows very fast, and the normal user won't see it. A full install of ALOT is about 5 CustTextures. That's 10 GB of data.

I tried removing the oldest CustTextures (the 0th, most likely completely obsolete since I installed about 400 4K textures over and over again), the game seemed to work fine. This means that if we can track if a CustTexture is still used by the game, we could remove the unused ones, automating at least part of the cleaning process. If we can't check on the game, maybe we can see it from ME3Explorer directly ? When you install a texture, can you know which CustTexture it is allocated too ? If so, can you keep an index and remove the said CustTexture once all said textures have been overwritten in other CustTextures ?


If we can't track which Custs are still used, having a warning once you have more than eg 10 Custs could be an alternative, imperfect, solution.
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