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A little mumble about visual overhaul mods. Vanilla looks just fine to me.


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Honestly, this is a non-serious post for me to unload some brainworms, more a discussion really. I see a lot of visual overhaul mods that have the main goal of editing and sculpting the heads and faces of various npcs in Skyrim. I'm not speaking of texture mods directly, those just take the base model and giving it a sort of beauty filter. All in all, skin texture mods preserve the initial design. It is a common occurrence that both skin and face mods tend to turn Skyrim's characters into ken dolls or barbie dolls. Sometimes, you can't even recognize npcs anymore unless you check their name and retrain your brain to remember. Why do people change the original design so much? I don't mind that some prefer the look, but why? I think the original base faces are quite good anyhow. Yes, I use skin mods; however, usually the mods I use simply bring the texture quality up to more modern standards. Hadvar is still Hadvar, just in 2k and/or 4k quality. Lydia is still Lydia, just given a texture upgrade. Again, people are free to like what they like, but when the skin of an npc is so glossy that they can blind you, kind of breaks the aesthetic of the game for me.

Edited by Nexus72
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  • Nexus72 changed the title to A little mumble about visual overhaul mods. Vanilla looks just fine to me.

If you gave a random sampling of people a choice between realistically grimy faux-medieval fantasy peasants and anime e-girls, a large chunk would choose the latter even if the former were a better fit for the game's tone and art direction. Don't underestimate the appeal of, well... sex appeal.

 

This entire website was spawned from Elder Scrolls sex mods, after all 😉

Edited by donnerwetter
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3 hours ago, Nexus72 said:

dolls or barbie dolls.

🤤

@Heroine HoneyCrotch 🙇‍♂️ 🛐🙏 all hail the HonyCrotch! You changed my game forever!

 

3 hours ago, Nexus72 said:

I think the original base faces are quite good anyhow.

🧟‍♀️🧟‍♂️

 

4 years ago I started Skyrim and after the intro was played I found myself on Loverslab right after closing Skyrim, or was it the other way around? 🤔

 

 

3 hours ago, Nexus72 said:

Why do people change the original design so much? I don't mind that some prefer the look, but why?

Actually there are so many NPC replacers out there by now that you could change what ever you like. Gets even better if you know how to do your own patches. 🚧

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I definitely go for the knock your socks off cutie-pie look such as https://staticdelivery.nexusmods.com/mods/1704/images/47436/47436-1616842591-430953377.png (not my pic but this is what Sofia looks like in my game)

 

But visual overhauls can be more realistic and at the the same time improve exponentially on the bland, actually not that realistic vanilla look. Examples:

 

https://www.nexusmods.com/skyrimspecialedition/mods/44563?tab=images

 

https://www.nexusmods.com/skyrimspecialedition/mods/40046?tab=images

Edited by imai8312
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10 hours ago, Nexus72 said:

I think the original base faces are quite good anyhow

I used to think that as well, but that was in 2011, I was a console peasant at the time and didn't know better.

 

  

7 hours ago, imai8312 said:

I definitely go for the knock your socks off cutie-pie look such as https://staticdelivery.nexusmods.com/mods/1704/images/47436/47436-1616842591-430953377.png (not my pic but this is what Sofia looks like in my game)

 

Dear Sir/Madam,

I request that you disclose than name and the location of that overhaul as soon as it is convenient, but with haste. It is of utmost importance for the progress of science.

 

Thank you for you cooperation.

Edited by belegost
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11 hours ago, Nexus72 said:

kind of breaks the aesthetic of the game for me.

Personally i'm just grateful to the many talented mod creators who for free gives us options. Kind of the point of modding that you can choose whatever pleases you personally and not being forced to use some mainstream template.

 

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30 minutes ago, belegost said:

Dear Sir/Madam,

I request that you disclose than name and the location of that overhaul as soon as it is convenient, but with haste. It is of utmost importance for the progress of science.

It is the Taki follower mod by r1goodwin with the optional Sandra hairstyle. https://www.nexusmods.com/skyrimspecialedition/mods/47436

 

I use NPC Visual Transfer Tool to create a plug-in that replaced Sofia's appearance with Taki's. https://www.nexusmods.com/skyrimspecialedition/mods/8764

 

If you have never used the tool it easy but there are some quirks that must be sorted out in some cases. If you find it troublesome dm me and I'll share the replacer plugin, original Taki from Nexus still required.

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22 minutes ago, imai8312 said:

NPC Visual Transfer Tool

 

I had no idea such tool existed. This is amazing. Well, scratch what I said earlier, I'm going to make my own replacer now.

With black jack and hookers.

Edited by belegost
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1 minute ago, belegost said:

 

I had no idea such tool existed. This is amazing. Well, scratch what I said earlier, I'm going to make my own replacer now.

 

Thank you kindly.

 

Few things that helped me:

 

This video

 

This info from the comments section of the tool:

- For users of MO2 with the latest version, you have to open up Modorganizer.ini  -- which is wherever you have your MO2 folder -- and under the General heading, you need to change selected_profile=@ByteArray(Default) to selected_profile=Default. Otherwise you'll only be able to do the first transfer and the script won't run the second time.

 

And lastly I use Wrye Bash to remove or add ESL flag. I know SSE Edit can do it but Wrye Bash works for me.

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I like the vanilla look too, but only to a point. The overly lined and contrasted vanilla skin texture and tintmask makes everyone look like haggard ghouls who've risen from the grave, so like the OP I will tweak those. For most NPCs the limited time I spend with them isn't worth adding a replacer for, but for a few here or that it can add some variety if the replacer blends in well with updated vanilla facegens.

 

The armours are absurd though. Even if you're chasing skimpy stuff, they still look ridiculous. It's like Beth wanted to try and get realism and fantasy as well as skimpy yet "nordic" (i.e. lots of furs to make things look warm) all in the same armours and you end up with these hideous comedy disasters. And don't even get me started on the totally whackjob proportions of most vanilla armours and weapons... One of those ren faire guys in undecorated blue foam armour looks less stupid than some of the vanilla weapon and armour sets.

 

The lighting and colours of the overall base game are usually seen as terrible and washed out for a reason - they are. So any improvements there are very welcome too.

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