Nico coiN

[RELz] [WIPz] Skyrim Vanilla LOD Source Files

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Here's a pre-built archive containing all ressources files required to build terrains, objects and trees LOD for Skyrim, Dawnguard and Dragonborn from within the CK and Oscape.

 

 

The included readme file already has all the useful informations about that, so nothing more here.

 

 

 

 

 

 
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                                         The Elder Scrolls V - Skyrim
 
 
 
  Source Files for VANILLA objects, terrains and trees distant LOD generation in the Creation Kit and Oscape.
 
 
 
                                              Archive version 2.5
 
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------------------------------------------------------------------------
 
0 : Summary
 
------------------------------------------------------------------------
 
 
 
0 : Summary - You are here !
 
1 : Introduction
 
2 : Content
 
3 : Adding your own objects assets to the game
 
4 : Known issues with the CK objects LOD generator
 
5 : Thanks, greetings and credits
 
6 : Terms of use
 
7 : Logs
 
8 : About the author of this package
 
 
 
 
 
------------------------------------------------------------------------
 
1 : Introduction
 
------------------------------------------------------------------------
 
 
 
This archive is specifically designed and packed for objects, terrains and trees distant LOD generation in the CK and Oscape. Its aim is to make your life easier, avoiding you from doing the annoying tasks that consist of :
 
 
 
-extracting only the required meshes.
 
 
 
-extracting only the required textures and converting them to the .tga format with nconvert.
 
 
 
-placing cautiously all these files in specific folders and paths.
 
 
 
It contains all required assets (and their proper paths) for Skyrim vanilla, Dawnguard and Dragonborn (Hearthfire doesn't have any LOD asset). It also contains fixes from the Unofficial Skyrim Patch (aka USKP), Unofficial Dawnguard Patch (aka UDGP), Unofficial Dragonborn Patch (aka UDBP), and some of mines (see section 4 : Known issues with the CK objects LOD generator).
 
 
 
 
 
------------------------------------------------------------------------
 
2 : Content
 
------------------------------------------------------------------------
 
 
 
This archive contains 2 main folders. Here are the places where they MUST be extracted :
 
 
 
-Source : this folder MUST be placed 'AS IT IS', 'side by side' with your game folder (I mean the folder containing both TESV.exe and CreationKit.exe).
 
This means that if your game is installed in C:\Program Files (x86)\Steam\SteamApps\common\skyrim, then the 'Source' folder I provide you MUST be placed 'as it is' in C:\Program Files (x86)\Steam\SteamApps\common
 
If your game is installed in AnyDrive:\AnyFolder\skyrim, then the 'Source' folder I provide you MUST be placed 'as it is' in AnyDrive:\AnyFolder
 
 
 
-Data : the CONTENT of this folder must be placed in your game 'Data' folder. Beware : as it contains several meshes, textures and lodsettings, they may override the ones you may eventually have. So, if necessary, be sure to make a backup before.
 
 
 
 
 
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3 : Adding your own objects assets to the game
 
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Keep in mind that if you want to add your own objects assets to the game and generate the objects LOD from within the CK :
 
 
 
-their new LOD meshes (generally low-poly versions of your original new objects) must be added in your game data folder with their proper paths, and they must be properly set in their related statics via an esp file that you will have to load in the CK. Please note that no translation/rotation value should sit in the Nitrishape nodes. (see section 4 : Known issues with the CK objects LOD generator).
 
 
 
-their new LOD textures (generally low-res versions of your original new textures) must be added in your game data folder with their proper paths. 
 
 
 
You must also convert them to the tga format using nconvert, then place them in the source\TGAtextures folder, mirroring the proper paths they have in your game data folder. Please note that the UV maps of your LOD meshes MUST fit their textures bounds (see section 4 : Known issues with the CK objects LOD generator).
 
 
 
An archive containing an example of how to setup this is provided. It adds a distant LOD for the Temple of Miraak from the Dragonborn DLC (which was added by the UDBP as it was originally lacking), and also for the big arches in front of it.
 
 
 
 
 
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4 : Known issues with the CK objects LOD generator
 
------------------------------------------------------------------------
 
 
 
Generating objects LOD while some stuff is displayed in the render window can cause an error message about missing/different format for textures and make the CK unable to generate the atlas and the .bto files. Just exit the CK, load it again with the active plugins from which you want to generate objects LOD, avoid displaying anything in the render window/don't display any cell or interior, and just generate your objects LOD the usual way...
 
 
 
More than 100 vanilla LOD meshes from this archive were fixed. They were affected by the translation bug or the wrapping bug (sometimes both).
 
 
 
Translation bug : The CK objects LOD generator ignored the translation and rotation values stored in the Nitrishape nodes. The visible consequences of this bug were misplaced objects ingame when viewed from distance. Some of the best examples were the Solitude exterior walls and some various ships wreckages.
 
 
 
Wrapping bug : The CK objects LOD generator nulls the UV set of each object on generation without any warning if even a single UV sits outside the image bounds (where the texture repeats). This is obviously because it's using a texture atlas instead of a repeating texture. Easy enough to circumvent during construction/alteration of each LOD mesh. The visible consequences of this bug were washed out or only one colour objects ingame when viewed from distance. Some examples are some of the giant Solstheim mushrooms.
 
 
 
 
 
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5 : Thanks, greetings and credits
 
------------------------------------------------------------------------
 
 
 
-GStaff from Bethesda Softworks, for his permission to release this repack of original game assets (that are nevertheless... unused by the game itself). Authorization obtained on 2014/09/15 - 05:08 PM
 
 
 
-AFK mods for hosting this archive.
 
 
 
-the USKP/USLEEP team for the work and the few fixed meshes that are included in this archive (even if I'm the author of the bigger part).
 
 
 
-Madcat221 for the Temple of Miraak distant LOD mesh creation.
 
 
 
-Worm, for finding the 2 possible causes of wrong objects in final LOD files and providing the list I investigated.
 
 
 
-Michaelrw, for providing some clever and useful tips to help fixing wrong meshes.
 
 
 
-Jonwd7 and Neomonkeus, two active Nifskope developers for kindly providing their latest updates.
 
 
 
-Ehamloptiran, for the TES5LODGen tool which was of some help, and also his nif 3DS import/export tools.
 
 
 
-Zilav, one of the TES5Edit creators, for his support when I started building this archive and tutorial (in mid 2014), and the invaluable help and conveniency provided by TES5Edit.
 
 
 
-Sheson, for reporting various issues about LOD errors in the vanilla game and submitting fixed Skaal village LOD buildings (which I optimized).
 
 
 
-all people that previously wrote about objects LOD generation for Skyrim. The archive you now have in your hands probably wouldn't have been possible without them and their previous tips and instructions.
 
 
 
 
 
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6 : Terms of use
 
------------------------------------------------------------------------
 
 
 
This archive is provided 'AS IT IS'. I don't own anything in it. You are absolutely free to redistribute or use it without asking me, at the express condition that you MUST redistribute this archive 'AS IT IS', with the present UNMODIFIED Readme file. (No, I won't deal with support for incomplete or modified materials...) Also, mentioning me in your credits is NOT mandatory but will be appreciated.
 
 
 
AND THE MOST IMPORTANT : This archive contains assets from the original Skyrim game and its DLCs : Dawnguard and Dragonborn. They are the exclusive property of their original legal owners (Bethesda Softworks). These assets have absolutely NO USE except building terrains/objects/trees distant LOD containing vanilla assets and if you don't own both the game and the CK. These assets are mainly 'low-poly' meshes that have absolutely NO USE if you don't own their 'full-poly' brothers (from the game and DLCs bsa archives themselves) and if you don't own the original esm files that includes the proper STATIC records, themselves using (and refering to) these low-poly meshes.
 
 
 
 
 
------------------------------------------------------------------------
 
7 : Logs
 
------------------------------------------------------------------------
 
 
 
2016/07/15 : v2.5 release - Fixed Skaal village LOD buildings not having snow on their roofs, created various missing Skaal architecture LOD models, optimized some Skaal LOD existing assets (you have to load 'Fix Vanilla Issues.esp' in the CK for this)
 
2015/08/17 : v2.4 release - Fixed missing parts on wrcastlestonetower01_lod.nif, wrcastlemainbuilding01lod.nif, wrcastlemainbuilding01lod_lod.nif, wrcastlemainbuilding01lod_lod2.nif. Fixed wrong UV map on gantry from wrclouddistrictterrainlod.nif and wrclouddistrictterrainlod_lod.nif.
 
2015/07/15 : v2.3 unreleased - Fixed wrong normals on impexticetowershellbase01_lod.nif and wrclouddistrictterrainlod_lod.nif.impexticetowershellbase01_lod_3.nif
 
2015/07/13 : v2.2 unreleased - Fixed some Whiterun walls LOD that weren't generated at level 2, also fixed most windmills not having low-poly models and elements from nightcaller temple not being processed for LOD level 2 (you have to load 'Fix Vanilla Issues.esp' in the CK for this)
 
2015/07/12 : v2.1 unreleased - Fixed a -384 x offset in wrwalltierdivide01_lod.nif and in wrwalltierdivide01_lod_2.nif
 
2015/07/11 : v2.0 unreleased - Fixed Proudspire Manor not using the proper mesh for LOD level 0 (you have to load 'Fix Vanilla Issues.esp' in the CK for this)
 
2015/07/03 : v1.9 release - Fixed solituderockarch02_lod_0, 1 and 2.nif which didn't fit their associated full-poly model
 
2015/05/25 : v1.8 unreleased - Fixed missing castle wall in Solitude (you have to load 'Fix Vanilla Issues.esp' in the CK for this)
 
2015/05/08 : v1.7 unreleased - Fixed missing rear tower in sninedivine_lod.nif and sninedivine_lod_2.nif
 
2015/04/13 : v1.6 release - Fixed a +1024 y offset in shipwrecklarge04_lod.nif and a -512 y offset in shipwrecklarge03_lod.nif
 
2015/01/07 : v1.5 release - Fixed a 90° offset issue in sc_boneyardentrance_lod.nif
 
2014/11/26 : v1.4 initial release
 
 
 
 
 
------------------------------------------------------------------------
 
8 : About the author of this package
 
------------------------------------------------------------------------
 
 
 
Nico coiN from Wiwiland, one of the most renowned sites about the french Elder Scrolls community.
 
 
 
http:\\forum.wiwiland.net\
 
 

 

 

 

-Terrains LOD : Tested for Skyrim and Solstheim - No issue

 

-Objects LOD : Tested for all worldspaces from Skyrim, Dawnguard and Dragonborn - No issue

 

-Trees LOD : Not tested

 

 

This archive is meant to make your life easier in these tasks. It contains about 100 fixed meshes, but it may be updated according to your reports if you find an issue or a missing file. Enjoy !   :)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I need your reports to fix the remaining bugs.

 

 

 

 

Actual version : 2.5

 

 

 

 

Basically, what you have to do to find bugs is :

 

-generating objects LOD for a given worldspace.

 

-having the generated files properly placed in your data folder (this includes your new generated atlas that you have to move from your source folder to your data folder).

 

-going physicaly in the worldspace in game.

 

-waiting for daylight/good weather view conditions (or setting this in the console : fw 81a).

 

-entering the 'tfc' command in console.

 

-taking height and wandering with the camera, looking for oddities.

 

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Yes. All the low-poly meshes required for objects distant LOD generation have absolutely no other use than in the CK (or TES5LODGen for those who use it). The game itself never requires them, as it instead uses a bunch of .bto files that are basically large meshes containing all objects low-poly meshes merged for given areas.

 

This .bto file (Markarth)  that the game uses, for example, is a merging of all low-poly models from rocks and buildings.

 

Markarth%20LOD%20revised.jpg

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DynDOLOD is still in beta, has several issues/strange behaviours in certain circumstances, has an installation process that is quite complex and requires SKSE. It also requires TES5LODGen.

TES5LODGen is very efficient but generates LOD datas that have an non-unimportant impact on game performance with actual configurations. It is also mainly aimed to be used on new custom worldspaces and has offsets issues with specific vanilla worldspaces.

 

On the other side, what I released is a ressources repack destined to be used from within the CK and/or Oscape. This allows a nearly 1-click process to generate the files you need. Any modder who wants to release a performance-friendly mod without any LOD side effect should seriously consider using Bethesda original tools (as much as possible). This archive is a ressource that is probably 'as close as possible' as what original devs produced for the game and its DLCs.

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v1.5 is out - fixed an issue with Dawnguard boneyard exterior building (sc_boneyardentrance_lod.nif)

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Would it be possible to have a version that includes the improved normal maps that are used in the Unofficial High Resolution Patch?

 

Also, there are a few models that would need their rotation removed to work better with TES5Edit LODGen. Some models in Solitude and some in Windhelm.

I believe CK just ignores the values. We could make LODGen.exe to ignore that too, but I think we rather want to update the models and keep the functionality.

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This archive is mainly designed to work with regular and official tools. However, I'm fine with doing modifications that would increase the multi-purpose aspect if I'm not the only one to work on this. I need a list of meshes that need overhaul, and what is the exact problem with them. Honestly, atm I just don't understand exactly what you mean : all meshes from this archive already have zeros in the translation/rotation fields from their Nitrishape blocks...  :huh:

 

About the improved normal maps from UHRP, I assume you're talking about the atlases ? I'm the author of this one, and it wasn't generated by the CK. As I stated in the description, it's a 'real' patchwork made of :

-most parts from the original Bethesda atlas' hires normal map.

-some parts obtained in Photoshop (via the xnormal filter) from the original Bethesda atlas' hires 'regular' texture.

 

24740-1-1348870932.jpg

 

I think it's possible to cut/splice the atlases (both the regular and the normal map textures)  and reimport them in object lod meshes. But here again, it's a nice amount of work/research, and I shall not refuse help and directions to know exactly what to do and for which mesh... :D

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TES5LODGen is not limited by tiny 256x256 textures for LODs unlike CK, we need 512x512 or even 1024x1024 for separate lod textures :devil:

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Oh, I have absolutely no doubt on the fact that it is technically possible ! I just ask myself questions on the relevance : yes, 256x256 textures sometimes give poor results ingame, but we are talking about distant objects with very few polys and that you don't have just in front of your nose... 1024x1024 seems way too much overproportionate imo...  :| This seems to be beyond the scope of this archive, but that doesn't mean I won't do anything. 'Screen archery' is sometimes a hobby for me. I already have a full-time job and my free-time is not unlimited... So, please, give me precise instructions, and we'll talk again later.

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Maybe 1024 is too much, but Bethesda used it for LOD anyway, calling it "HD LOD". We basically have ability to make HD LOD everything, though I agree not everything needs such resolution. 512 for majority of meshes, 256 for small, and maybe 1024 for a few big meshes like houses, walls, castles. Better wait for Sheson since he is the mastermind now. Also textures don't need to be square anymore, but that will require changes in the lod meshes though.

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I am hoping we can make your great resource work for both CK and LODGen at the same time with minium hassle  :)

 

 

So, these meshes below have rotation values in the root BSFadeNode

 

solitude\cwtower01_lod.nif
solitude\sfarmhousesilo_lod.nif
solitude\slumbermill01_lod.nif
solitude\spatiowall02_lod.nif
solitude\spatiowall03_lod.nif
solitude\spatiowall30_lod.nif
solitude\spatiowallsteps01_lod.nif
solitude\spatiowallsteps02_lod.nif
solitude\sstyrrshouse_lod.nif
solitude\sthe winking skeever_lod.nif
windhelm\wharena_lod.nif
windhelm\whbrunwulfsq_lod.nif
windhelm\whgrayquarter_lod.nif
windhelm\whinnerwall01_lod.nif
windhelm\whinnerwall02_lod.nif
windhelm\whinnland_lod.nif
windhelm\whmaingate_lod.nif
windhelm\whmarket01_lod.nif
windhelm\whouterwall3_lod.nif
windhelm\whpalace_lod.nif
windhelm\whtempletalos_lod.nif
windhelm\whvalunstrad_lod.nif

 

I am pretty sure CK ignores it - but you may want to verify. LODGen doesn't. So it would be great if they could be all set to zero and the updated files should work for both.

 

Regarding the normal maps, I am hoping the better ones could be added as single files as an override option to the data/textures/lod/ for LODGen and to source/TGATextures/lod for CK

I got really used to them :) If you need help cropping them out I am up for that, just give the word.

 

Regarding the dimensions, I am fine with most of the 256x256 and anything larger deserves its own texture artist and then to be its own recourse. For DynDOLOD I also use 256x256 landscape versions instead of the 128x128, Those are easily done.

Some time in the future I want to redo some of the mini town atlas, at least for Solitude. That one is really bad. But overall I rather spend time creating new LOD meshes for assets :)

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Archive has been updated to version 1.9. New stuff and bug fixes described in the 'Logs' section from the readme file.

 

To summarize, fixes for issues 195, 12809 and 19282 from the USKP bug tracker are now included. The archive is now up to date regarding USKP 2.1.3 (still unreleased at this time and no dead line, please don't ask).

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While fixing stuff in Solitude, have a look at 0008E2D3 which defines the wrong mesh for LOD #0, but has the correct mesh for Level #1 and #2

 

 

 

It is OK to use stuff from the DynDOLOD archive for fixes were applicable. You may save some time. You don't need to credit :)

 

I do split the vanilla LOD that merges several things back into pieces. They need to match the full models better, since mods tend to reuse buildings and then an attached walls and stuff just gets in the way.

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Thanks, Sheson. I'll open a ticket for this bug, submit a fix and include it in the next archive release.

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Archive has been updated to v2.4 and includes all fixes for known issues to this date (08/17/2015 - USKP Issue 19486).

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Hi Nico coIN,

 

I recently downloaded your archive and explored it. I noticed that the TGATextures directory in the Source folder generally contains lod files. This makes sense as these files are for generating lod in a world space. What makes less sense to me is that the "landscape" folder in that same directory contains all the landscape textures, and none of them are lod textures. Why did you add it and what is it used for when you generate lod?

 

Thanks for your answer! :)

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TGATextures directory in the Source folder contains a directories & files tree. They are exclusively textures for LOD objects and landscapes in TGA format.

 

Concerning landscapes, as pointed by AJV in his video tutorial, the landscapes LOD MUST be achieved in a 3rd party app : oscape. The CK built-in feature generally fails at generating landscapes LOD, it works only for rather small custom worldspaces.

 

What oscape achieves for landscapes is basically the same thing that the CK achieves for objects : oscape reads your worldspace geometry from your plugin (esp/esm), then builds a series of meshes (.btr files, that you can open and edit with nifskope) for each 'tile' from your worldspace. Please, look at this topic if you want more informations about the naming conventions.

 

However, there is no generic atlas for these 'tiles'. Each one has its own texture. To properly generate these 'detailed' textures, oscape needs all the 'source' textures used in your plugin (even if they don't have the _lod suffix in their names). This includes all types of grass, soil, sand, moss, vine, dust, ash, dirt, ice, mud, roads and so on... I agree that some of these source textures are probably unused in the vanilla game landscapes LOD, but it would be a pita to track and remove them just to save some HDD space. Anyway, this ressource pack is a generic and multi-purpose helper for landscapes/objects/trees LOD generation. Maybe your custom worldspace doesn't use all this bunch of landscape textures, but maybe other users need them. I cannot just remove them without making victims...

 

I hope this answers your question. :)

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For common users/players : no point at all, imo.

 

Devs require them for their custom worldspaces, though. Look at Falskaar, Wyrmstooth, Andoran, Skywind, Skyblivion...

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For common users/players : no point at all, imo.

 

Devs require them for their custom worldspaces, though. Look at Falskaar, Wyrmstooth, Andoran, Skywind, Skyblivion...

Okay, thank you. :)

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Archive has been updated to v2.5 and includes all fixes for known issues to this date (07/26/2016). Latest material is Skaal LOD architecture from USLEEP 3.0.1.

 

Please note that the Katariah distant model will never be included in this archive as it uses a sophisticated trick to be enabled/disabled ingame, and so is NOT designed for objects LOD generation that consists of fixed and unchangeable *.bto files.

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