Vanilla Reduced Textures
Download at ..
VRT v21 / DG v21 / DB v21
What does Vanilla Reduced Textures do ?
If your graphics card is struggling with the amount of VRAM Skyrim is using, or you just want to free up some VRAM to enable you to use 'some' Higher Res' textures from mods without overloading your graphics card - Then this is for you.
To test your machine ( before and after ) I recommend Skyrim Performance Monitor v3
I would not use this all the time if you just want to play the game, but its a very useful tool to show you how much VRAM your game setup is using. It starts and stops recording when the game is loaded / quit so you get to see how much VRAM you were using during playing Skyrim.
I originally started making this for my laptop, NVidia graphics card with only 256mb VRAM. It got a bit "warm" trying to run with vanilla texture sizes filling my graphics card, and needing more VRAM - Now it doesn't.
Since creating the 256 option, I could run the game on my laptop at High texture detail game setting quite comfortably (albeit in window mode at 800x500 - but that was not possible before (not if I want my laptop to last a few years anyway), full screen 1280x800 I need to run the game on Medium texture detail).
I have upgraded my Graphics daughterboard to have 512mb along the way, but still use Vanilla Reduced Textures
Even with a graphics card which equals the games recommended minimum specification ( 512mb VRAM ), or border line in your graphics cards capabilities ( old graphics card technology ), it will still help (especially if you want to add mods with textures higher than vanilla res body/armour/clothing for example) - I have seen a vanilla skyrim setup (no mods installed) on my family desktop using up to 600mb of its 1024mb VRAM, so even a minimum specification graphics card with 512mb VRAM is not quite adequate for Skyrim IMHO, depends on how much VRAM your Operating System is using aswell ( Windows graphical / animation settings and aero glass etc ).
Textures ( colour maps, normal maps, model space normal maps, glow maps etc ) for all objects in game - They all add up ( depending upon where you are in the game ).
Vanilla Reduced Textures 512 BSA - Replaces 'most' of the Skyrim original textures ( vanilla textures in the Skyrim - Textures.bsa ), which were higher than 512x512, downscaled to 512x512 ...
Not all of them, ( more details in the Changes Tab ). There were some textures above 512 which have only been reduced a little, so not everything has gone down to 512 in these files.
I have tried not to include any texture which is already 512x512, or less, in the games original textures .. Your game will use the originals for those textures (though there are some textures in the 512 option which break this rule for more VRAM saving with no visual loss of quality).
Vanilla Reduced Textures 256 BSA - Includes all the reductions as per the 512 option above, and has included a lot of vanilla 512x512 files reduced to 256x256 for further VRAM savings. Generally anything which is already 256 or less in the games original textures .. Your game will still use those game original textures ( though again as with the 512 option there are some textures reduced below 256 which break this rule .. but most of these are normal maps - See Changes Tab ).
In both 512 and 256 options, work was done on reducing normal maps, a considerable amount to gain more VRAM, and even more reduction in the normals department in the 256 option than has been done in the 512 option ..
This mod is NOT about performance, its purpose is to save VRAM. Although it does make them more optimal in that they have been reduced in size with GIMP and then re-mipmapped with DDSOpt as part of the final process, by virtue of the fact that you are running the textures at half vanilla size for any given game Texture Detail setting .. your machine will perform better.
Have a look at the images, and also check out the user uploaded images too : gdsmth did a good set of comparison images - Thank you ( Tip : Right click on the comparison images and open each in a new browser tab so you get a big image, then you can flick between the two tabs to compare )
Other mods which compliment VRT nicely
Nude Females - If you need a female body mod to compliment Vanilla Reduced Textures ..
Alt Navetsea UNP Seamless. The Reduced version would work well with VRT 512, and the Severe with VRT 256 ( the one I am currently using )
No stretching by langley - Some vanilla problems with textures cannot be solved by textures alone, Langleys No Stretching files fixes the majority of such problems. No matter what size of textures used for any particular object in game, the game will still scale them to whatever scale is specified by the mesh ( there are a lot of properties a mesh can change about how textures look when wrapped upon them, besides its physical size, the mesh can say "wrap this texture on me but at a larger scale than my size" = stretching ). This mod changes the property on each individual mesh which needed correcting. We can only assume at some point in development BethSoft had a bunch of meshes at a certain size, with texture scaling to fit, but then later resized the meshes to fit better in the game world without changing the texture scaling property to suit the new mesh size.
You only need ONE of the two options (BSA 256 or BSA 512) - Which one do you choose ? Well if you have a graphics card with only 256mb VRAM I would recommend the 256 option, everybody else use the 512 option (unless you are using quite a few higher res body/armour/clothing mod textures for example, then users with a 512mb card may also benefit from using the 256 option). Skyrim Performance Monitor linked above will be useful to help decide which to use. And its easy to switch between using either version (you will not have any of those famous 'baked in your save' problems with this mod), just overwrite the bsa with the other version and play/test onwards.
If you have DawnGuard - Then you will also need one of the DG BSAs, either 256 or 512, ideally to match the version of VRT you have installed ..
If you have Dragonborn - Then you will also need one of the DB BSAs, either 256 or 512, ideally to match the version of VRT you have installed ..
VanillaReducedTextures.esp and bsa ( 256 version )
VanillaReducedTexturesDG.esp and bsa ( 256 version )
VanillaReducedTexturesDB.esp and bsa ( 256 version )
Unpack the 7zip with your preferred archive utility.
Place the esp and bsa in your game Installation Data folder ...
( ~path to steam \ steamapps \ common \ skyrim \ Data \ <-- In here )
Tick it in the Skyrim Launchers Data Files (You can then also left click it here to highlight it, and use the up and down arrows to adjust the Load Order)
Delete the esp and bsa you previously installed
Nexus Mod Manager, Wrye Bash or Mod Organizer ( or anything else out there now or in the future ) - See the relevant documentation / help files / read me's for your mod manager of choice on how to install / un-install mods.
Both options are Wrye Bash ready (zipped as simple BAIN's), and it should be okay installing with Nexus Mod Manager (though nexus can get flooded sometimes so the download can stall/fail).
Load Order is important. See the following topics if you have not seen them before ...
BSAs and You
and the linked topic
Load Order and You
The mod has a BSA (Bethesda Softworks Archive) and an ESP (Elder Scrolls Plugin), the ESP is needed to get the game to load the BSA. The ESP needs to load very EARLY in your load order list, and .. be ticked in the Skyrim Launchers Data Files ...
followed by - UnOfficial Skyrim Patch (USKP)
followed by Dawnguard.esm
followed by - UnOfficial Dawnguard Patch (UDGP) ( If you have Dawnguard )
followed by Dragonborn.esm
followed by - UnOfficial Dragonborn Patch (UDBP) ( If you have Dragonborn )
followed by VanillaReducedTextures.esp
followed by VanillaReducedTexturesDG.esp ( If you have Dawnguard )
followed by VanillaReducedTexturesDB.esp ( If you have Dragonborn )
followed by .. any other mods/loose textures you use.
Arrange your load order correctly either with your mod manager, or the games launcher, or .. BOSS - This mod is already recognised by BOSS for load ordering, and will be sorted correctly.
I think that covers it.
If you are using a pirate version of the game; Don't even bother asking questions about your problems. I cannot solve them.
Q. Will this be compatible with future game patches ..
A. Textures will not need re-doing so its a none issue, as for the ESP - The esp is just an empty (dummy) esp which does not change any game records, its only purpose is to get the game to realise there is a BSA with the same name and the textures from that should be loaded = Thats a none issue too.
In short - Yes it will be fine.
Q. Why not just replace the Skyrim - Textures.bsa with one made by you -
A. In a word .. Steam .. Verifying your cache would replace my replacement BSA - So I needed a custom bsa which would contain textures to replace the originals bsa textures, without steam overwriting them and forcing the user to re-install my mod again afterwards. Having an esp / bsa combination also gives you more flexibility in positioning my mod in your Load Order, so you can make my mod textures load later than another mods textures ( if they are also in a BSA, any loose texture files win over everything ) .. And you still need textures in the original game bsa which I have not replaced.
Q. Will you be uploading this on steam workshop, or any other sites besides Skyrim Nexus or Dark Creations -
A. No. I do not agree with Bethsoft/Valve Terms and Conditions on Steam Workshop. Currently Steam Workshop would not allow my files sizes anyway, but that may change in future. If you find it there, it has been stolen without consent from me.
And I would need to use Bethsofts method of packing the BSA, which would be less optimal than using BSAOpt's higher compression technology.
NOTES ON CHANGES
There are many files the game will still use from the Skyrim - Textures.bsa, some of which are still larger than 512x512, because I chose not to replace them ...
Distant object graphics, there are a few of these textures compiled onto one texture - Imagine a Chess board viewed from above and on each square there is an individual picture, even though the whole picture is 2048x2048, the individual squares are small .. reducing those would look crap.
Some plants files, same problem as above, they are larger than 512x512 but are compillations of smaller textures.
Anything vanilla which is already 512x512, or below, not included in this mod. The game originals will be used.
Statues; I nearly did these, but again they are many part compositions like plants and distant objects, and occur so infrequently in the game I dont think they are worth reducing. If there were many statues in one area .. maybe worth doing.
I have looked at "every" texture in the game, and decided on a case by case basis. Disclaimer = IMHO
Notes : V2
Interface textures (for menus) look really crap when you try to reduce them. For instance the wrap around constellation textures in the skill menu. Not touched by this mod. <<- Now reduced in V2
Remans wall; Is a huge 4096x512 image. But again, it only occurs in one place, so worth it / not worth it .. Flipped a coin and I left it as is. <<- Now reduced in V2
V1 - V2 : Besides the ones struck through above from previous V1 notes, there have been quite a lot of re-done textures .. Dragons for example are a little bit better visually, but they are a little bit bigger than the previous version of those textures, half size of the vanilla but a bit bigger than v1. I believe just like the statues that because dragons appear not so frequently, at this size they do not add much to the texture load.
I started with the idea of also reducing any vanilla 512 textures down to 256 so that there would have been another option for those who may have wanted an even more severe option - After a lot of travelling around in game, I found the result of those reduced textures was really crap. And knowing people would be trying them with less graphic detail than my medium Texture Detail setting .. they would have been a bit of a shock to the eyeballs.
Anyone using these textures at High Texture Detail setting, will have better looking textures than the ones I show in my images - I used Medium ...
For anyone who has not messed around with textures, a texture has lots of layers called mip-maps, each mip-map reduces the scale of the main texture by half. So the game engine has a reduced version of that texture the further it is away from the player .. On High Texture Detail setting, at close range you see the main largest texture ( for these textures they will be no bigger than 512x512 ).
Because I have my graphics set at Medium when I took the screenshots, you are seeing 256x256 textures in my images. So they will look better at High if your machine can handle upping the detail.
Imagine now all the 512 textures reduced to 256 as the main texture .. Further reduced by your detail setting to 128 if using Medium Detail - They were quite bad, which is why I scrapped taking them that far. Apologies if anyone was expecting a major overhaul for v2, but there were quite a lot of re-do's from v1, so it was not wasted effort.
Notes : V3
Effects; I did not touch those because .. Basicly they scared me off. Some are like flipbook animations, layers of images designed to be played in sequence - I didn't want to mess up the effects themselves in anyones game.
V2 - V3 : Effects have now had a bit of attention, not all of them, just the ones I felt comfortable having a go at without breaking anything.
And there are quite a few new / re-done textures - Nothing additional which would improve performance to any great degree, but its progressed a little.
Notes : V3 256 versus 512
New to V3 is an added option labelled with 256
In this version, you get the same as V3 512 (Anything vanilla above 512x512 reduced to 512x512), and additionally a lot of vanilla files which were originally 512x512 reduced to 256x256.
This includes heads, hair and hands, weapons, and a few of the clutter category files like books ... And I cant remember what else
Notes : V4
512 option - This has had just two files added, lnki gave me permission to include two fixed textures for Manhole covers in Solitude, and the dirt edging you see on bridges. Both of these textures had a problematic black edge, which became more noticeable the further away you were from them (mip-maps exagerrated the black edge).
See this post for details and screenshots.
256 option - Includes the same two fixed textures by lnki noted above, plus ...
A lot more 512x512 files reduced to 256x256. The majority of these are in the armour and clothing categories.
Previously I had abandoned reducing these - This time around, I skipped trying to reduce any armour and clothing which covers the torso (capes, cuirass, armour etc, these remain at 512), and also left shields at 512, but made a lot of VRAM savings by reducing to 256 the following ..
Shoes, Boots, Gloves, Gauntlets, Bracers, ArmWraps, Helmets, Masks, Hoods, Hats, Caps, HeadWraps - For both male and female (some are shared by both sexes, most have specific gender versions, and there are special variations)
May not sound like much, but collectively for all the different races, guards and types (beggar, barkeep, children etc etc) thats quite a lot of additionally reduced 256x256 res' files compared to V3.
The 256 options will reduce VRAM useage quite a bit more than the 512 option. And will probably look okay on High texture setting. If you have your game on Medium texture detail setting then as mentioned previously the game scales all your textures down to the next mip-map - For example the head normal maps which are now 256x256, on medium will be 128x128, on low will be 64x64 - So quite a lot of texture quality detail loss in those setting cases.
Notes : V5
Managed to squeeze a bit more out of this, it may not seem like much but I believe where there are concentrations of the files I have done, the following changes will help save a bit more VRAM in those areas ...
512 Option - A few vanilla plant files normal maps included in this one. Also rockset_n.dds, mountainslab01_n.dds, mountainslab02_n.dds (I did not touch the colour map textures for mountain slabs) ... reduced from 1024 down to 512
256 Option - All files above for the 512 options plus - reachtreebranch01_n.dds, icefloes_n.dds, and grass/plants normal maps ... reduced from 512 down to 256.
Grass/Plants; I was sure I could do something with plants but mostly in the previous attempts could not get satisfactory results - The problem is a lot of them are too thin and twiggy in the detail, not very good quality to start with, and the reduction of colour maps made a very pixellated mess.
So the biggest reductions with v5 were achieved with reducing just the normal map for the same plant. This way we still keep the colour map texture detail of the vanilla textures, and reduce VRAM use by down-scaling the normal maps which still give the plants affected bumpiness. Its a bit of a compromise but does achieve more savings on the VRAM use.
For all options (512 and 256), there were quite a few Architecture, Dungeon and Caves files (Colour maps and Normal maps) done, and in a some cases re-done from earlier versions. I did not keep track of what has been updated among these, forgot to take notes, but suffice to say they add a bit more VRAM saving.
Notes : V5.1
Just a small update to the files - A problem was found with books being a bit fuzzy to read.
When I set upon reducing normal maps in more recent versions to further reduce VRAM usage somehow I also managed to reduce books colour maps, which resulted in fuzzy looking books ..
Notes : V6
A bit more work done on effects:
I used to link Skyrim Performance Plus as other mods you may be interested in .. You will no longer need that mod because I have done the same reduction on those textures and included them. I knew I could do the same work with those files as the original author did. Rain, Snow and Leaf particle anims have been reduced, though the aspen leaf anim file (fxaspenleafanim.dds) I have only reduced from 512x512 to 128x128 .. in the original mod there is a further reduced 64x64 version of the same file.
More work done on:
Smoke anims, fire anims and wispy anims have also been reduced, but not greatly .. I didn't want to lose much in the way of quality on these.
And I have been pottering about with a few other textures along the way, just re-doing a few I wasn't too happy with the last time.
Not a great deal of change, but every little bit counts.
Notes : V7
From v7 onwards I am only providing BSA options ... Its less bother uploading for me
512 and 256 options - Many thanks to SparrowPrince for allowing me to re-work the normal maps from Terrain Bump into this mod. I have been using his normal maps for personal use for a while on our desktop, and found they are true to vanilla textures but with more detailled bump mapping (similar to Bomrets Detailled Normal Maps for Oblivion .. For those that remember them).
I have given those textures the same treatment as the rest of my mod. Because they are a better detailled bump map to start with than vanilla textures, after my reduction they afford us a better end result for the few of those that replaced mine, and additionally they add quite a few more normal maps to this set that I had not done before .. Which are also now reduced smaller than vanilla size ..
In short, this means even more VRAM saving with a better looking end result.
The above applies to both the 512 and 256 options, I also re-did a few more normal maps which apply to both options.
I also wished to use SparrowPrince's Architecture normals ... However for now he is working on those separately which will become new mods
But I did realise that for the 256 options I have not really looked at architecture normals much, so decided to see what could be gained. Which has resulted in quite a lot of new additions to the 256 option. All architecture normal maps which are 512x512 in vanilla textures, have now been reduced to 256x256 in my 256 option. Hopefully to be replaced by SparrowPrince's sometime in the future.
All work on all normal maps noted above - They have been saved as un-compressed normal maps. This may sound alarming (considering the object of this mod is to reduce VRAM use), but does not use any more VRAM. They are at the same size as I would usually apply, but being un-compressed normals they are better visually after reduction.
And whether they are saved as compressed or de-compressed makes no difference for VRAM usage .. The game has to decompress them to use them so they may aswell be un-compressed to begin with. And as far as making them optimal for loading purposes .. Having them stored inside a highly compressed BSA gives us that benefit.
256 option - Lastly aswell as the above, I finally got around to including all normal map reductions which I have not done before in the 256 option. Quite a lot of them.
For those of you using Skyrim Performance Monitor to check VRAM use - I think you will be pleasantly surprised with version 7.
Notes : V8
Changes to both 512 and 256 :
These have been bugging me for a while even in the vanilla game they just look .. wrong. I think they look better now, and reduced ofc ..
Dungeons\Caves\cavebaseroots01.dds (512x512) and Dungeons\Mines\mineroots01.dds (1024x1024) - These two are exactly the same texture, the roots sticking down from cave and mine roofs. But the mineroots01 texture is a slightly lighter shade of colour and better defined than cavebaseroots. Cavebaseroots because of its darker colour looks like a bad job of a hair implant, they stick out of roofs in caves like a sore thumb. So reduced mineroots01 to 512x512, and used the same file to replace cavebaseroots which do not look so ugly on cave roofs now. Interesting side note: mineroots01.dds does not have a normal map in vanilla textures, but because it is the same texture as the cave one it uses the cavebaseroots01_n.dds normal map (which is reduced in this mod).
There is a before and after screenshot in the images showing the difference.
Also in textures\terrain\ some of those distant terrain colour maps (referred to earlier as checkerboard textures which I have not done previously), now reduced to half their original resolution. For the 256 option also further reduced by half the normal maps of the same textures.
Notes : V9
Found a few normal maps I had not previously done, for both 512 and 256 options.
Also decided to have a go at all those files in the vanilla Textures\Terrain\ folder (the same sets of files Ethatron includes in his High quality Lods and High quality 3D Map mods .. and some).
After trying to reduce a few they are noticeably slightly better in the detail than Ethatrons, so I am now confident my version of the same files can be distinguished from Ethatrons files, and went ahead including my own attempt ..
I have done my own versions of all those files .. and a fair few more which Ethatron did not touch.
Vanilla files (both colour map and normal map textures) are originally 256x256, I reduced all of them to 128x128 (colour and normal maps) in both of my mods (512 and 256 options) ..
I wondered whether I ought to break the general rule for the 512 option and include these, personally I think the benefit of VRAM saving versus the barely detectable (if at all) detail loss at distance was worth it ..
Additionally for Vanilla Reduced Textures 256 option, I further reduced just the normal maps out of all those to 64x64 (separating these normals from colour maps was .. tedious to say the least), and a lot more files to reduce than I expected. But collectively this lot aids reduction of VRAM use again (particularly for anyone who has not used ethatrons sets of files before).
.. So if you are using either version of my mod, you no longer need Ethatrons files. However if you still wish to use Ethatrons meshes, and for instance maybe use Ethatrons higher res versions of the same texture files with my 512 option .. Ethatrons are loose texture files so will win over the ones in my BSA if you choose to install them aswell ( which also helped me decide to include the bigger version of these terrain files in the 512 option )
Comparison of LODs; Ethatron HQ 64 and 128 options versus Vanilla Reduced Textures 64 (in the 256 option) and 128 (in the 512 option) ...
Notes : V10
This is not much of an update, running out of things to make better :
Additional texture replacer for the vanilla Archery Target included. This texture is not a reduction of the original, but for the 512 option of my mod actually increases the colour map in size from the original 256x256 colour map to 512x512 (the new normal map remains vanilla sized though in the 512 option). Probably controversial, but I haven't gone mad, for what this texture adds (in the few places archery targets are used) versus everything else this mod reduces .. This one colour map texture is hardly worth considering for VRAM saving. And I hope everyone will agree the vanilla target needed replacing.
The colour map and normal map have also been included in the 256 option, but for the 256 option I reduced the normal map from 512 down to 256, only keeping the colour map at 512. so for the 256 option users, you lose a little VRAM with the colour map, but gain it again from the normal map reduction.
And, well, you also get a better archery target imho
See the conversation starting .. hmm .. from here, over the next page or so while I made it for the Unofficial SKyrim Patch (should appear in USKP v1.2.2 onwards).
Thanks to "Lifestorock" over on bethsoft forum for putting the finishing touches on the normal map (increased the bumpiness a bit more from my attempt) during the process of creating these textures
Notes : V11
Architecture normal maps is the theme of the day for this version, not colour maps.
For Markarth, Riften, Solitude, Whiterun, Windhelm and Winterhold. Included them in both 256 and 512 options at half vanilla size. Did a similar job on these as per the archery target, increased original to work on, made them more bumpy, reduced and re-mipmapped all to half vanilla size.
Quite a lot of them. I may replace these with reduced versions of Opticshooters one day when his are done, but for now we have more reduced vanilla normals with more bump which have not been included in Vanilla Reduced Textures before .. So will reduce the amount of VRAM in game compaired with previous versions in those areas. They look quite good too. Had a few days testing them before package and releasing.
Oh yeah, reduced the normal maps a bit for some of the larger creatures too .. Which is why this version is smaller than v10 even though it contains more files.
That lot should more than make up for the slightly bigger archery target colour map in the previous version
Also I wanted to make mountains and rocks better in the detail at lower res and bumpier than the originals, but decided to have a look around first and see whats out there .. Big thanks for not only sharing but also allowing these to be used with credits, I grabbed Yurils Alternative Rock and Mountains (4096 version) which have more detail than vanilla, have a slight re-colouring to match the ground (dirt stains on nearby rock to the ground looks like it matches better than vanilla textures, vanilla textures contrast the ground at lower res, so stand out more which looks slightly odd), and they have better matching normal maps with more bump than vanilla - Now reduced and included in this mod (though the main reduction with these textures is in the normal map, the mountainslab colour map textures cannot be reduced very much without becoming very shabby looking at close range).
Without losing any more detail, I think thats about all that can be done with this mod to reduce VRAM usage.
Tinkered with a few other files besides the above in this version (cant remember which).
And the list of files affected in the zip has been updated.
256 Option BSA = Now contains 9090 texture files
512 Option BSA = Now contains 4583 texture files
Notes : V12
In this version I have redone quite a few files in both 256 and 512 options (mostly normal maps again). The cities have been bugging me for a while too, I was sure I should be seeing better VRAM saving, Whiterun was consistently slightly higher in VRAM use than anywhere else in Skyrim, and I could not work out what else needed reducing...
Faces was the answer; Since starting this mod I have always shied away from reducing too much on bodies and faces (wanting to keep as much detail as possible), and it dawned on me that I havent had a close look at Faces for quite a long time. Both 256 and 512 options were using the same files, so the 256 option has benefitted quite a bit in version 12, just reducing the normal maps for faces a little further has given me a maximum VRAM use in Whiterun of 214mb (compaired with 230mb with v11 of Vanilla Reduced Textures).
Notes : V14
Male noses in some lighting conditions with that slight glow, it was in my face, and tormenting my mod authors soul like the Maynards Moose (ehm, google it, but for heavens sake DONT CLICK PLAY )
Restored my v11 files and checked everything out, still not happy decided to grab the whole bunch of vanilla face files again and ensure everything was in order ...
.. and found a 'few' more files which could stand a little reduction treatment, there's a lot more been added to this update than just fixing the problem files, facegen and facemod files have had some attention (most of which have never been included in this mod before) .. Suffice to say its more of the same reducing vanilla textures for VRAM saving. Different sets for 512 and 256 options. And I have given them all a good checking out in game before re-uploading. IMHO they look good.
With the 256 option of this version I am now experiencing only a maximum VRAM use of 205mb in Whiterun (compaired with 214mb in v12). What happened to the missing version ?, it was eaten by the unlucky numbers police
Enjoy, this is quite a nice update.
Notes : V15
Thanks to Hanaisse for permission to reduce the pie textures in USKP and include in VRT.
Anyone not using USKP (though I cannot imagine why) will just not see this texture in game, its uniquely named so the game engine will not even look at it in the BSA. For those of us that do though, it has been reduced and included, and obviously with USKP installed the game engine will be looking for this texture called for by USKP, and my BSA loading later than USKP will have its pie texture used in game.
There was one more texture in USKP too which (embarrasingly) I needed to look at and also reduce. Prior to this release, I also asked the BOSS team to reposition this mod after USKP, reason being USKP has some vanilla texture fixes which are larger than the ones I include, and it follows that if USKP is loading later than my mod they would be undoing the VRAM saving .. hence the change in the load order recommendation in my install instructions, and I went through checking that I have actually reduced the same texture fixes which the USKP does where necessary.
There was one more texture redone, which was a daft mistake on my part. Apparently nobody noticed except me so it shall remain a mystery.
Ref; DawnGuard - One of these days I will get DawnGuard and set about doing the same texture reduction for the dlc.
Notes : Optional Vilja files v1
(See also included readme in the zips)
These textures will be installed as loose texture replacers for the original textures in Vilja's BSA (the game loads loose textures last overriding the ones in the BSA)
There are two options, choose one of them;
1024 textures are only reduced by half from the originals (at 2048), so will go well with my Vanilla Reduced Textures 512 option.
512 textures are further reduced to match the same sizing of textures in Vanilla Reduced Textures 256.
A couple of the smaller Vilja textures are one size larger than Vanilla Reduced Textures equivalent vanilla files, but because they only affect one NPC (ie Vilja), and do not apply to anything else in the game I could afford a file or two not being as reduced as I do everything else keeping some quality for Vilja. It works nicely on my old laptop anyway in the VRAM useage department.
If you use any other body mods or face mods, refer to Vilja's Optional face files here ..
Requires : Vilja in Skyrim
I use UNP meshes with Navetseas UNP / Vanilla Textures, so I also use the "No Unique Face" mesh for my personal setup ( none of which are required to use these files with just vanilla game, Vilja and my texture reductions )
Notes : V16
This is just a bugfix version; Since the last version 15 I have been extensively play testing with the objective of finding anything wrong so as to finish all I need to. Some textures saved in the wrong format, a couple of mistakes found, and quite a few textures in the 512 version which were meant to be just for the 256 version have been redone to the resolution they should have been.
No more reductions here, but the BSA for both version have been packed with the latest BSAOpt.
Merry Christmas to all who celebrate it, and a prosperous New Year.
Notes: Vanilla Reduced Textures DG 512 / 256 - DawnGuard
At long last I am able to support DawnGuard users.
Vanilla Reduced Textures DG is needed in addition to Vanilla Reduced Textures, so :
If you use Vanilla Reduced Textures 512 BSA, Dawnguard users 'also' need Vanilla Reduced Textures DG 512 BSA.
If you use Vanilla Reduced Textures 256 BSA, Dawnguard users 'also' need Vanilla Reduced Textures DG 256 BSA.
I want to keep these sets of textures separate, for people who do not have DawnGuard, and also for my own sanity organising what has or has not been done on my hard drive. Which means you will have two esp's in your load order. This is not open for negotiation. Yeah I know, one esp would be better for load order but I can think of a few circumstances where modularity is going to have its benefits too.
Amended the installation instructions.
Q. What has been done ?
A. Everything that needs to be, in a similar format to Vanilla Reduced Textures :
Vampirelord ( male / female / armour ) - Because they are not so frequent in game, I have approached these same as Dragons in VRT, reduced all textures from 2048 down to 1024 in both 512 and 256 options, but further reduced normal maps from 2048 to 512 in the 256 option.
Same for the new Dragons textures in DG.
Body textures 2048 down to 1024, hand textures 1024x512 reduced to 512x256
Face textures reduced from 1024 to 512, normal map further reduced to 256 just for the 256 option. Normal maps in both cases were converted to ABGR8 after rescaling in G.I.M.P ( to prevent artifacting blocky noses etc which DXT compression usually gives ), and then remipped as usual afterwards with DDSOpt. So vamp face normals look as smooth .. as vamps go .. as should be expected after reduction.
Terrain, for the 512 option just reduced distant objects, normals for LOD and maps; For the 256 option reduced distant objects, and both diffuse and normals for LOD and maps ..
.. I'll stop there, lots more textures done, suffice to say its had the same treatment throughout as per Vanilla Reduced Textures. Having batch files for G.I.M.P and a folder separation method for sets of textures already established from months of work on VRT has helped me a lot speed up the process of producing the DG version ( in case anyone was wondering if this is a half assed rushed version .. no, I am needing to use it myself too, if anything offends my eye you can guarantee there will be an update ).
Notes: Vanilla Reduced Textures DB 512 / 256 - Dragonborn
Vanilla Reduced Textures DB is needed in addition to Vanilla Reduced Textures, so :
If you use Vanilla Reduced Textures 512 BSA, Dragonborn users 'also' need Vanilla Reduced Textures DB 512 BSA.
If you use Vanilla Reduced Textures 256 BSA, Dragonborn users 'also' need Vanilla Reduced Textures DB 256 BSA.
Same deal as the Dawnguard expansion, I want to keep these sets of textures separate, for people who do not have Dragonborn, and also for my own sanity organising what has or has not been done on my hard drive. Which means you will have two esp's in your load order (or three if you also have Dawnguard ). This is not open for negotiation.
Amended the installation instructions.
Q. What has been done ?
A. Everything that needs to be, with a similar formula to Vanilla Reduced Textures, and Vanilla Reduced Textures DG.
I am not going to list everything, as usual I need the 256 version to stop my laptop melting so you can be assured if anything else needs doing it will be. I have not progressed very far in Dragonborn, but as expected in game the maximum VRAM I have seen being used by the game so far has only gone up to 214mb, and I am confident I have reduced everything that needs to be.
If not .. There will be updates. Enjoy.
Notes: Vanilla Reduced Textures DB 512 / 256 - Dragonborn - V2
A bit of tweaking here and there, and had to reconsider some textures because Bethesda occasionally have some texture sizing inconsistencies, which my G.I.M.P batch processing script does not account for. Sigh.
Quite a lot of the weapons are 1024 to start with in Dragonborn, reducing all those to 512 would be a simple process you would think .. if a few of them were not already 512. Which means in V1 you had 512 sized weapons mostly but the odd one like Ashmans weapons for example ended up being 256.
I am trying to reduce without losing quality not turn the game into marioland.
There were a few more ( Some Armour / Clothing inconsistencies ), and a few textures in V1 which really did not need doing, so removed those few.
Stahlrim Armour is another inconsistency, but rather than reducing them too low in V1, some parts of this armour need further reducing. Generally Cuirass / Robes ( whole body covering textures ) you would expect to be larger than Gloves / Helmets / Hoods / Boots. I have seen this inconsistency before, with Dragonborn the Stahlrim Body armours are 1024 .. and so are the rest. So smaller armour pieces could stand to be reduced a little further than the body pieces which was not the case in V1.
Skaal_outfit_girl ( body clothing ) is 512 vanilla, and I reduced it for V1 which was not necessary. Now removed.
Also I have now ventured a lot further in the DLC, and have been monitoring VRAM use with Skyrim Performance Monitor and can confidently say the highest VRAM use seen so far with the V2 256 set has been 243mb. A little over what I would like to achieve, but I think it only occurs in a couple of places, will continue to study it more see if there are one or two more textures which can get those instances down another 10mb, but for now its safe and will not be melting anyones computer. My laptop is still running cool.
Notes : VRT v17 / VRT DG v2 / VRT DB v3
With the expansions to the game ( Dawnguard and Dragonborn ), it became obvious that tweaking just their own texture sets was not quite enough in some DLC areas, and needed a few files reduced a little further in the VRT files aswell as DG and DB files.
All done, and VRAM saving is more consistent throughout. Found a couple of specific DLC textures ( normal maps ) which could stand a little more reduction too.
Notes : Vanilla Reduced Textures v18 - 512 and 256
DG and DB have not been touched with this update, just the VRT 512 and 256
Reason for the update .. Caves textures have been bugging me.
Back in version 11 of VRT I went on the hunt for better mountains and rocks better in the detail at lower res which were also close to vanilla, and Yurils Alternative Rock and Mountains were perfect for the job ..
For a couple of month I have been trying Hectrol's Caves Deluxe
They are very close to vanilla in the detail
They are high res ( to reduce from, unlike vanilla textures )
They have excellent normal maps
And look better detailled than vanilla textures when reduced to the sizes I need for this mod.
Go have a look at the originals for comparison screenshots, a couple of them are slightly different in colouration to vanilla, but work really well with the rest of VRT at lower res. Having played with them for a while now before doing this update the overall feel of caves is slightly darker. I have visited many different caves which use these textures, including Falmer themed caves, and I think this is a nice complimentary addition to VRT without deviating too much from vanilla textures.
What has been done with these additional textures - Using Hectrols 4096 textures :
For the 512 option ..
Reduced and remipped diffuse maps to vanilla size 1024 ( same as v17 VRT, I dont reduce everything )
Reduced and remipped the normal maps to 512
For the 256 option ..
Reduced and remipped diffuse maps to 512
Reduced and remipped the normal maps to 256
No difference in VRAM use between v17 - v18, just much better looking caves at low res.
Just in case anyone does not like this change for some reason, I will leave v17 up as old files on Nexus.
There have been a few other changes since last update I have tinkered about with over the last few months, I dont recall them all but maybe just a tiny bit more VRAM saving overall, and a couple of textures redone.
Notes: Vanilla Reduced Textures DG 512 / 256 - DawnGuard - v3
An update to the Dawnguard options to include more work from the UnOfficial patch fixes to textures
Reduced appropriately for this mod.
And thanks to Princeshroob on BGS forum, I have now placed the DG Prisoner clothing correctly in the folder structure ( these two dds files in the official BSA are in textures\dlc01\clothes\prisoner, but the 'mesh path' for these textures ( if you edit a mesh with nifskope you will see paths for the textures the mesh needs ) is actually textures\clothes\prisoner .. So the Dawnguard DLC without the UDGP will not show the correct clothing texture for the prisoners clothing mesh.
Now it will. And obviously if you are using UDGP ( highly recommended, as are all the UnOfficial patches ) my reduced textures will replace the UDGP ones now too.
They are actually duplicated ( in both folder locations within my BSA ) .. Reason for this is at some point after I put this up and UDGP team decide to solve this by making the mesh point at the texture as it is placed in the Dawnguard BSA folder structure instead, then one of my duplicates will cover each location as a replacer.
And additionally, if you as a user of this mod install somebody elses idea of where the mesh should be pointing, that will also use one of my duplicates. The one not in use as a replacer texture will just be redundant in the BSA, and after being compressed in the BSA is not really taking much room at all
A few more textures have been done besides those two aswell.
I did not include any of the dawnguard facetint textures, UDGP already fixes the ones that need to be fixed, and there is no need to reduce/include those for this mod ( vanilla size 256x256 ).
Notes: VRT / DG / DB - v19
I think this will be the last update.
A bit more work done on Terrain textures for Dawnguard and Dragonborn, and a few other bits n pieces in Vanilla files ..
But the main reason for this update is the snow textures, my fault somewhere along the line I introduced a bit of repetitive detail into the snow normal maps - Have a look at the 2 new screenshots for the difference this update makes.
Also bumping all options to v19, for the benefit of Nexus Mod Manager users notification ( not sure if it works the same way these days and just looks for the Mod version, as opposed to individual file versions, but seeing as this will probably be the last update to all files .. might aswell bump the lot to the same version number )
Fingers crossed - Now its Final.
Notes: VRT / DG / DB - v20
Final version ( I know, said it before, but I reckon this is it )
A few more normal maps worked on / redone. I cant find anything else to make this better at what it does. This update might save you a few bytes of VRAM in a few places, but not much.
This version also includes new textures ( reduced as needed ) from the UnOfficial Patches v2.0 ( currently in beta, but you can start using my files now because until you install the new UnOfficial patches any new unique textures will not be seen by the game, when you do install them .. You already have the textures the game will look for. So its okay to use this version of VRT with or without the new UnOfficial patches )
Also modified my description for load ordering, as the new UnOfficial patches will be fake esm.
I'll leave you all to play 'spot the difference' with the trees
Vanilla distant trees were horrid previously, I made an attempt at doing an Alt exclusive retexture, but was not happy and I haven't the time to dedicate to doing them from scratch, so did a scout around for something better out there which does not deviate from vanilla too much but addresses the glaringly clashing tree LODs ( especially the ones around Riften which just stand out like a sore thumb in the distance ).
I settled on reworking Rennn's Detailled Terrain and Tree LOD http://skyrim.nexusm...m/mods/17984//? files, which include Dawnguard and Dragonborn aswell as vanilla trees ( placed them in VRT / DG / DB appropriately ). And are free to rework so long as credit is given.
I like these ones ( much better than my attempt ). There are others to choose from out there you could use as replacers.
I did change them a bit though : Rennns originals add a little detail to the base of the trees, so it looks like there is a bit of foliage and / or rocks on the ground close by to the base of the tree trunk. Good idea by Rennn and they were really well done, but there was a problem .. If you see a tree on the side of a steep hill, that bit of extra LOD sticking out at the base of the tree is floating out in fresh air. So, regrettably I removed those bits.
Rennn also did an accompanying noise.dds, which is a little too heavy - Looks great when you are not moving, it makes the middle distance landscape look like it has further away detailed Grass LOD .. but sort of makes the distant ground shimmer when you are moving, so I reworked this a little also to still look like distant grass noise better than vanilla does, but without the shimmer effect.
Couple of screenshots uploaded to show the difference why I did this.
Have a look at Rennn's mod page also for more comparisons.
Maximum VRAM being used with V20 I have seen :
With all 256 options installed = 228mb VRAM.
With all 512 options installed = 325mb VRAM.
I believe I have achieved the aim, enabling lesser machines to run the game, without deteriorating the graphics too much, and leaving a little overhead room for a few mods textures to replace these.
Tools used to make this:
Creation Kit (well, just for the dummy esp required to get the game to load the bsa version without resorting to telling users to edit ini's)
DDSOpt and BSAOpt by Ethatron
Paint DOT Net
Skyrim Performance Monitor
GStaff = BGS Forums, DarkOne = TESNexus, DarkRider = TESAlliance, Andalaybay = Dark Creations
And all the Moderators supporting the community sites we love.
Bethsoft - Wonderful alternate reality you create.
Martigen, and many contributers to an old topic worth a look if you are just starting with textures
lnki - For permission granted to use two fixed vanilla files which were driving me nuts for a while trying to figure out what the problem with them was.
SparrowPrince - Many thanks for permission granted allowing me to re-work Terrain Bump textures and include them with this mod.
Lifestorock for permission granted to use his rework of my normal map for the archery target.
Alternative Rock and Mountains
Hectrol Caves Deluxe
Rennn for Detailled Terrain and Tree LOD
Hanaisse for permission to reduce the pie textures in USKP and include in VRT.
Also - Thanks to Emma ... permission granted
and Lycanthrops permission granted
.. for permission to do the optional Vilja files.
And last, but not least, all the community members working on the UnOfficial Patches, all the hard work and voluntary contributions to those projects are marvellous - Some of which are included in this mod and reduced appropriately.
If you download my files, they are for personal use on your own machine.
Do not upload them anywhere else, or as part of another mod.
Redistribution of the files, images or descriptive content is strictly forbidden without prior consent. This means do not upload any part of it anywhere unless you have obtained permission from me.
All inquiries regarding this must be directed to me, username "alt3rn1ty".
You must make a good faith effort, both publicly and privately, to establish contact before assuming this mod is no longer being maintained by me. PM me for asset usage. If I do not respond within a few weeks, AND I have been in-active for more than 6 months then you can assume this mod is abandoned.
Additionally; In the case of all permissions noted in the Special Thanks/Credits above, permission for use of those files should be sought/credited from the original authors.
olympusgames or GMOD sites do not have permission, to upload or redistribute any of my files, images or descriptive content, past, present or future.
Edited by alt3rn1ty, 05 July 2014 - 03:51 PM.