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HD texture advice?


Windsilk

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Earlier tonight I got my comp set up with a very nice new graphics card and went from playing the game on the lowest possible settings with a low frame rate to the highest possible settings with a great framerate. It's like a breath of fresh air but this is the first time in my life I've been able to play a game like this and as I started to look into taking it a step further with some HD textures, I quickly realized I had no idea whatsoever what I was really looking for or at.

 

A lot of these HD texture mods that I'm seeing on the nexus don't really look better to me in the screenshots, and on top of that I'm worried that by adding just certain things that do seem to look better in the screenshots that it'll make a harsh contrast against the things that aren't HD textured. Is this just a result of the lack of the creation kit being available, or is it more of a fundamental problem with trying to set up the game with textures that the art design of the world wasn't really set up for?

 

I was also hoping that someone could explain what this FXAA stuff is, the descriptions on the nexus along with the checkbox option in the game options don't really tell me too much about it, so I was hoping some of you more experienced people could give me some context. I have it turned off at the moment as that was the default even after telling it to set my graphics to ultra since I didn't know what it was. Is it something I should be looking into during this process?

 

Any help would be appreciated, I'd like to hear some people's experience with this before I start blindly throwing random textures into my game files.

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Also I was noticing a rather weird shadow effect before I got my graphics upgrade and was hoping that it would be fixed with my new settings, but it is still there, I mostly notice it in the player homes. Here is an example:

 

 

screenshot21pf.png

 

 

Is this just how the game looks at times, or is something wrong here?

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while I can not really help with the shadow effect your seeing, I can verify what DocClox is saying that you should typically see that when shanding near a torch or bright light and typically only inside. It was suggested before by someone that it has something to do with the actual mesh of the body and its uv mapping. Seeing I really don't know about that stuff I can not confirm or deny that theory.

 

As for HD textures... I wouldn't just start downloading anything that says "HD" in the title. I would recommend you first take some time and get what "tweaks" guides are out there to improve the over all look and performance of the basic game. Get that stuff sorted and take a look around your Skyrim to see what you think needs to be a bit better looking. At that point you atleast have some direction in what your looking for. After setting up tweaks for my gpu I found that really I only needed the characters, armors and weapons to have a bit more detail. Also, things having more details and looking better do not necessarily need to be HD quality, a better or cleaner retexture of the items in question normally fixes its look and improves your game vastly with 0 to minimal hit to performance.

 

At least thats what I have found out so far.

BTW, what card did you end up getting? :)

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most of the "HD textures" released on the nexus are just people who scale up the crappy default textures twice and repackage it thinking they are doing a service, when really all they are doing is making the textures larger without any actual increase in detail. if you want true hd textures you are going to need to make them from scratch :D

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Yeah I need to look around and read some guides probably I'll spend some time on that here in a bit. One thing I'm pretty sure I'm going to want to get is retextures of the way various wood looks in the game, some of the ones I've seen of that nature look much much better and I don't really like the way the default furniture looks so far. I've also been looking at this a bit http://www.skyrimnexus.com/downloads/file.php?id=2146 but while it looks great in the texture shots the actual screen shots don't look too different to me, I'll probably test it out though.

 

My new graphics card is a XFX Radeon HD 6950 2GB ^^

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The single biggest improvement I have seen from a texture mod is the improved NPC clothing, due to the craptactular stock textures on non-armor. Bella's females mod is great for face improvement (to my tastes). After that, the armor improvement mods make a difference. Some item mods are helpful too, especially for things you look at closely in the menu.

 

Past that, you're right, many mods just add resolution and not detail. I use the Skyrim HD mod, but am not sure if I would even notice the difference if gone.

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most of the "HD textures" released on the nexus are just people who scale up the crappy default textures twice and repackage it thinking they are doing a service' date=' when really all they are doing is making the textures larger without any actual increase in detail. if you want true hd textures you are going to need to make them from scratch :D

[/quote']

 

This, sadly. The HD remake of Ysolda's dress is a good example of proper work.

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Yeah I've seen a lot of larger textures with no differences so far. Though sometimes they can be nice, I found this one which is pretty much the same thing. They increased the resolution and applied some filter effects, but I like the way it ended up looking a lot. One of the more distinct appearance changes that I've noticed so far.

 

http://www.skyrimnexus.com/downloads/file.php?id=2757

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I don't use a lot of HD mods since they are mostly upscaled textures with no change, but the character textures are starting to get pretty good. I can't be certain, but the splotchy shadow effect could be a result of low resolution normals. I was using the muscular female normal map which is 4096x4096 and didn't notice any issues with character shadows, but now that I'm using the CBBE slim body which uses different UV coordinates the normal map I have is 1024x1024 and I've got the exact same character shadows as that screenshot.

 

FXAA stands for "Fast Approximate Anti-Aliasing" and it's just a different (but very fancy) method for doing anti-aliasing. http://kotaku.com/5866780/what-is-fxaa

 

The only mention of FXAA on nexus that I've seen is the injector mod which just hacks the directx dll to add post-process effects to the game, but I'm assuming they use the FXAA effect as a hook for the injected effects.

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あら・・・ I suppose I'll be the hero and save the day! Listen and obey Honesty's advice, and your game will look fucking insanely different.

 

Landscape - http://skyrimnexus.com/downloads/file.php?id=329

 

**Windhelm Town + Misc landscape replacement - http://skyrimnexus.com/downloads/file.php?id=607

 

FEMALE Body - http://www.loverslab.com/showthread.php?tid=3476&page=8

 

(Then replace with this) Bella's Faces - http://skyrimnexus.com/downloads/file.php?id=2812

 

Mountains - http://skyrimnexus.com/downloads/file.php?id=849&navtag=file/images.php?id=849&tab=3

 

Water - http://skyrimnexus.com/downloads/file.php?id=711

 

Spell impacts - http://skyrimnexus.com/downloads/file.php?id=2947

 

 

**This mod comes with it's own Whiterun, mountain and other textures that are, in my opinion, not as good as the ones in the Landscape pack and mountain mod pack I linked to you. Search for "whiterun" on Nexus and download Chris' whiterun instead (IMHO).. so actually, I would recommend downloading the second link, first... then download the first link, THEN download Chris' Whiterun mod. Yeah .. that would be the perfect order : )

 

-----

 

Hopefully I answered your question ... yes... there are BEAUTIFUL retextures out already. My game looks INSANE on ULTRA+4GB Patch+2560x1600+Hi-Res retextures.

 

And those are just a few I personally have installed. Look around the Nexus/here/net .. there is SO SO SO much more. Just about everything thing in my game is re-done : )

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