It’s no secret that Sonic Ether has blown our mind before with his amazing shaders for Minecraft, based on daxnitro’s GLSL shaders. They have always pushed the boundaries of Minecraft’s visual capabilities beyond anything we imagined before. His latest update includes a number of changes, including a new light system and water shaders, which once again top anything we’ve ever seen before. It makes Minecraft look so good you’ll want to just walk around a world for hours, not building anything, just admiring the beauty.
The GLSL shaders until this point have included lots of features, but never a water shader, which was available as a separate mod not compatible with the GLSL shaders. It’s been a dream of shader loving Minecrafters all over the world to combine the two into a sweet cake of beautiful awesomeness. Sonic Ether, makes this dream a reality, as this latest update for the shaders include a very good looking water shader. It looks as good, if not better, than the standalone water shader mod. It has tiny waves and reflections and can be configured via texture pack.
The second big addition is the new light system. It makes torches and lava have a unique, warm glow to them, which makes for breathtaking nighttime views, and amazing cave exploration. Unlike previous versions, this new system makes torches effective and overrides the other effects. Bloom, dynamic shadows, godrays and all the other awesome stuff that made Sonic Ether’s Unbelievable Shaders amazing in the first place, is still here and it’s only gotten better and more polished.
Now, it’s not all sunshine and rainbows (which, incidentally, are the one of the few things these shaders don’t have). These shaders are still in beta, and are not very optimized and still have lots of bugs. Even when they are fixed, they will work only on absolutely top PCs. There are no official recommendations, but if you want to be 100% sure you’ll run these properly, at 30fps or more and far view distance, I suggest you have:
- An Intel i5 processor, either Sandy Bridge or Ivy Bridge, any model should work, but the stronger ones will work better.
- A GeForce 560Ti or Radeon HD 6870.
- At least 4GB of RAM
If you’re a bit below these specifications, you may still be able to run it, but with the view distance and resolution turned down a bit. The new update is also coming out tomorrow, breaking all mods, so if you want to keep your game looking this pretty, you’ll have to stay on 1.2.5. These new shaders also don’t work with any texture pack. Any texture pack you want to use needs to be modified with a picture editor. The water textures need to be replaced with pure magenta color (this is how the mod recognizes water surfaces) and the tiles next to it are used to set the color of the water. The mod comes with the modified version of the default texture pack, so you only have to do this if you want to use your own (I took the pictures with Sphax’s Pure BD Craft 256x).
The installation of the new shaders themselves is also not as easy, since you have to mess with the minecraft.jar file while the official shaders have an installation program that does that for you. Like the regular shaders, these too require the latest version of Optifine, and the latest drivers for your graphics card. Nothing a veteran modder shouldn’t be able to handle, besides, the new shaders should be officially out soon along with the installation program. You can read more about the installation process and download the mod here:
Feel free to post your screenshots, along with your feedback, in the comment section below.