Custom Shader Effects

OpenMW leverages the NiStringExtraData node to inject special shader flags and effects. This node must have the prefix omw:data and have a valid JSON object that follows.


This is a new feature to inject OpenMW-specific shader effects. Only a single effect is currently supported. By default, the shader effects will propogate to all a node’s children. Other propogation modes and effects will come with future releases.

Soft Effect

This effect softens the intersection of alpha-blended planes with other opaque geometry. This effect is automatically applied to all particle systems, but can be applied to any mesh or node. This is useful when layering many alpha-blended planes for various effects like steam over a hotspring or low hanging fog for dungeons.

To use this feature the soft particles setting must be enabled. This setting can either be activated in the OpenMW launcher or changed in settings.cfg:

soft particles = true


Name Description Type Default
size Scaling ratio. Larger values will make a softer fade effect. Larger geometry requires higher values. integer 45
falloff Fades away geometry as camera gets closer. Geometry full fades when parallel to camera. boolean false

Example usage.

omw:data {
    "shader" : {
        "soft_effect" : {
            "size": 250,
            "falloff" : false,