Upcoming: Sonic Ether’s Unbelievable Shaders v10.1


The amazing Sonic Ether has been blowing our minds with his work on SEUS for a while now, but with update 10.1 comes a new level of awesome. We take a look at the prerelease version. While the version improves the existing effects and raises performance drastically, the flagship feature are probably the amazing new volumetric clouds. Take a look…

The clouds (which need to be activated by messing with some files, for now) look truly amazing. They don’t just move linearly across the sky. They change, shift and seem very dynamic and natural (I have no idea if they’re actually programmed to be dynamic). They look very, very realistic and improve Minecraft’s visual fidelity in a major way, kind of like the dynamic shadows and the water reflections did. The clouds will affect the sun and moon and their respective light rays, making for a frighteningly real image, and the cloud will even interact with objects, including you.


Another important change is an overhaul to how weather looks and feels. Now, rain and snow will produce a very nice looking mist and blur up your screen. It works wonders for immersion and is very hard to explain with words. Luckily, there are pictures:


The performance bump is significant with this update, though you might not notice it if you turn on clouds. I’ll describe the process better in the installation instructions later, but essentially v10.1 doesn’t have the volumetric clouds enabled by default. Without the clouds, I was able to run the shaders at a much better framerate than before, even with all the improvements to effects. Once I turned on the clouds and tinkered a value in the shader files to get them looking good, my framerate dropped to the levels it used to be before this update. It will probably not be like that once the update is officially out.


You can get the prerelease yourself from Sonic Ether’s facebook page, here:


Installation instructions:

  1. Install the Forge API.
  2. Run Minecraft at least once.
  3. Download the shaders mod here.
  4. Put the mods .jar file in the mods folder located in your .minecraft folder.
  5. For any additional info, head to our big Mod Installation Guide.
  6. Now take the SEUS .zip file and copy it over to the “shaderpacks” folder in your .minecraft folder (make on if it isn’t there).
  7. OPTIONAL: Open the .zip file and open the composite.vsh file within. Remove the // that comes before “CalculateClouds(finalComposite.rgb, surface); “.
  8. HIGHLY OPTIONAL: To make clouds less dotty, edit the “float rayIncrement = 0.025f; ” line in composite vsh down to like 0.015. Go too low and your frame rate will plummet.
  9. Ready to go! Just enable the shaderpack via the in-game menu. Enjoy.

Like always, feel free to leave any feedback you might have in the comment section below.

Version of mod reviewed: v10.1 on Minecraft 1.6.4