Welcome to another monthly progress update, lets get into it.

An update on dotModded's health

As some of you may know, our lead shader dev, Joey, whom many of you know as dotModded, had a fairly serious health scare last month. Very nearly died.

While he has been feeling better this past month, and hasn’t had any more incidents, we have yet to find out anything concrete, despite numerous tests and visits with multiple specialists. All have given him a clean bill of health so far. He still has some more tests to take though, so hopefully one of those gives us some answers. We will try to update you all when we know more.

In the meantime he has been trying to get back in the swing of things and deliver you all the updates for 2.1, RT, and Focal you have been waiting for, so let’s get into what we have been up to this month!

Focal Engine

Despite 2.1 still being the focus, dot has put a fair bit of time into moving Focal to Vulkan while working through some brain blocks with the remaining 2.1 issues. He has made good progress and we may have some exciting news to share with you in the next progress update.

Continuum RT

As we have mentioned before, any major updates to RT are going to require Vulkan in Focal to achieve, at least the way we want to do them. That said, there were a few quality of life changes and bugfixes that we could get done, and did with Build 15 of RT this month.

Changelog of fixes/tweaks with this update:

  • Added many more default emissive blocks, including lanterns, campfires, redstone ore, crying obsidian, beacon blocks, and more! (anything not emissive in vanilla at this point is likely not doable without undue visual artifacts until Vulkan)
  • Enhanced the vanilla emissive mask for full block emissives to improve washed out look on some, and as a side effect, slightly improve exposure in dark environments.
  • Added Emerald to the material overrides menu, alongside redstone and lapis, to fully mirror PTGI’s option for better compatibility with RT showcase maps, and renamed the option as well.
  • Fixed a precision issue that was causing black/near black blocks, such as black concrete, to appear purple or blue in some situations.
  • Improved emission handling for LabPBR packs with emissive support (still a work in progress).
  • Slightly improved stained glass pane rendering. They now have most of the visual features of stained glass blocks. Should look a bit less jarring. They will both be further improved with Vulkan however.

We have included some screenshots of the changes below.

Click to enlarge.

Continuum 2.1

As we mentioned in the last update, Build 13 of Continuum 2.1 went from a port with small rewrites here and there, to almost a full rewrite…this comes with a few pro’s and cons. On one hand, we can rewrite large parts of the shader to better take advantage of Focal, as well as fix and improve parts that have been in need of a rewrite for a while…but, it obviously takes more time, especially when one of the main devs gets taken out of commission for a bit.

Regardless, we still got back in the swing of things a bit this month, and made some decent progress. The shader is getting very close to a potential new build. We have two major features left to finish work on before we start to consider a release:

  • We want to get the volumetric clouds rendering properly at least at half resolution for some nice performance gains with them enabled, though additional configuration of their resolution and whatnot will likely have to wait for future builds.
  • We also want to improve the shadowmap distortion so that shadows closer to the player are a bit less blocky, especially at lower shadowmap resolutions.

There are a few smaller features we would like to get in before a new build is pushed, but might not make it since they’re smaller and we don’t want to hold the build up too much longer;

  • A feature similar to that of the planet surface setting we teased for Build 13 of Optifine 2.1, that hides the planets surface/horizon line in the sky, making it look less jarring. This has been much, much more complicated than before though, with the entirely new sky model, so it may not make it into this Build.
  • Weather. The focus so far as been almost entirely on getting all existing features from Build 12 back into the rewrite, optimized a bit, and polished, so newer features like this in has taken a backseat. We may still have time to toss it in, but this one may also have to wait for a future build.

We will be continuing to whittle away at what is left, and will hopefully have Build 13 of 2.1 in your hands soon! In the meantime, here’s a bunch of screenshots of the current in-dev version of 2.1 for you to check out.

Click an image to enlarge and enable gallery view


Now that Stratum has gotten back on it’s monthly release schedule, updates are ticking along fairly consistently again. The changelog and some screenshots for this update is available below.

There are a few specific things about this update we would like to go over however. First, we have finally added the torch to Stratum. This has been a long awaited block (probably too long to be honest). This first iteration of the torch is very basic however. We will be revisiting it with particle effects, and maybe a custom model.

Second, with this update Stratum 2048x has now exceeded the maximum texture atlas size of even the newest GPU’s available. This is only an issue because of the weird way that Minecraft loads textures, and no longer has anything to do with the amount of VRAM/RAM in a users PC. This is a hardware limitation caused by a poor software decision on Minecrafts side (though one that only becomes a problem with textures of this resolution).

We have already updated the Stratum System Requirements page to reflect this development, and we recommend Stratum 2048x users either remove some textures from the pack (the concrete/concrete powder should be enough to get it loading again if it worked with Build 14), or drop down to 1024x until Focal Engine is ready to overhaul Minecrafts texture system, which is planned, and more details will be available about in future blogs.

Build 15 Changelog


  • Basic Torch (first pass)
  • Oak, Dark Oak, Acacia, Jungle, Spruce, Warped Nylium and Crimson Nylium trapdoors (custom model for variants will be added eventually)
  • POM on existing Doors
  • Red Sand
  • Red Sandstone
  • Smooth Red Sandstone
  • Red Sandstone Slab
  • Cut Red Sandstone Slab
  • Smooth Red Sandstone Slab
  • Red Sandstone Wall
  • Red Sandstone Stairs
  • Smooth Red Sandstone Stairs

Tweaked or Fixed

  • Shape of current door to prevent leaking into the edges by the UV

Some screenshots have been attached below, per usual.

Click an image to enlarge and enable gallery view

That’s all we have for you all this month. Thank you for the continued support.