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Hair Issues Continued


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#1 thunderclam

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Posted 10 September 2013 - 05:07 AM

I've been reporting hair and beard issues on STEP forums for over a week now with very little help or attention. I've posted about this elsewhere as well. Either no one knows what causes this or no one else has ever had this issue. If the latter, I figure it's probably a good idea to further document my troubles. So far I've shown vanilla hair and beards. Here are some examples from apachiiskyhair, a hair mod we are probably all familiar with. Needless to say at this point, I am DESPERATE to fix this problem. Because the mod uses somewhat different, more exaggerated layering and texture style, it's easier to see (with some styles) what I've been trying to show. Something, either a mesh issue or a texture issue, is causing there to be a "missing" or transparent effect on hair styles which leads to a sort of hollow or see through effect. In the vanilla hairs, this is readily apparent with patches of hair that don't connect properly to the underlying hair texture, making it look as if they are floating slightly away from the rest of the hair. Apachiiskyhair affords me the opportunity to show some dramatic variations of the EXACT SAME PROBLEM. Please note, this is not a problem associated with this mod. The problem persists. Even without this mod. Even with, as far as I know, an entire vanilla reinstall of Skyrim. I am not sure how I initially caused this issue. I have heard from the author of Beards that it is a "shader problem" which seems to cause a layering issue with beards as well. I've been collecting examples in an imgur album: https://imgur.com/a/aJqaq The last few, the apachii hairs, are as follows: https://i.imgur.com/ucdB1Dh.png https://i.imgur.com/Q99BekJ.png https://i.imgur.com/3AtiMAb.png (my favorite of all modded male hairstyles, btw... now completely unusable) https://i.imgur.com/kaY1Iac.png And a good example of the issue from another vanilla hair example: https://i.imgur.com/XdCZ2CY.png Here are some with the SR recommended retextures from More Realistic Hairs and Superior Lore-Friendly Hair 2k (Rough): https://i.imgur.com/hRVhCdx.png https://i.imgur.com/Rg6ydHt.png https://i.imgur.com/8b7Efpg.png (this one shows a weird shadow effect where shadows from the background extend to the head of a character being created at the Helgen vanilla creation point) https://i.imgur.com/GNkNKpJ.png https://i.imgur.com/GTomN2i.png https://i.imgur.com/OV6rPzA.png https://i.imgur.com/Q1cUQIe.png As always, thanks for any help from the community. I've gotten very little response on this issue which leads me to believe that no one knows what's going on. I really hope someone will help me get to the bottom of it as weeks of searching have only revealed the same old hair problems due to improper installations, mod incompatibilities, etc. I haven't seen anything out there for problems like these. I do think that my issues with beards and hair are almost certainly related. I think it is also possible that my issues with transparency aliasing and texture shimmering (only textures with transparency) may ALSO be related but this seems unlikely due to Nearox corroborating the latter issues but not reporting issues with hair (he has the same GPU as I do).
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#2 Aiyen

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Posted 10 September 2013 - 06:43 AM

Try to also post the full technical detail. Like exact driver version used, with the exact settings etc. Might help people with a similar setup chime in. Sadly I cannot be of more help unless I can reproduce the issue exactly. And I still have not been able too. At least not as severe as it looks on your screens. Also just out of curiosity.... is it only in char generation it does it or is it also at every NPC around the world ? If its is isolated to just the char generation for some strange reason that might also be a hint.

#3 thunderclam

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Posted 10 September 2013 - 12:15 PM

I'm using 13.10 BETA but this also happened with 13.4 (CCC drivers). Which display driver I'm using seems to be irrelevant. I am wondering if it's some kind of issue with my Skyrim-Meshes.bsa or Skyrim-Shaders.bsa. Almost everybody who sees these pictures says it's a mesh problem. I can't figure that out because I am, so far as I can tell, using vanilla meshes. Could it be caused by a faulty optimization? It's difficult to notice on NPCs only because you're usually not that close up to them. If you get close enough by changing FOV settings or using the Face to Face mod, it seems to affect them as well. Not the apachii hairs though as I don't use them for NPCs.
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#4 thunderclam

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Posted 10 September 2013 - 02:45 PM

https://i.imgur.com/LYWM6dk.png Ah, now the khajiit are afflicted. This is with Coverkhajiits but the problem is also there but a little less extreme in vanilla. This is vanilla. It looks better only because the rest of the khajiit texture is less detailed. Something is going on with my head meshes or something. https://i.imgur.com/SuRF9dl.png
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#5 Aiyen

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Posted 10 September 2013 - 03:36 PM

If you "optimized" your meshes, then that would properly be the first place to look. This is the sort of thing that would happen if you ran all the meshes though that sort of tool, and it did not go well. Also about the drivers... if someone else with the same driver says they do not have the issue, then you can be more certain that the issue is on your end, and not a general issue. It is just too far fetched to go say that individual cards render the same thing differently using the same driver. Is the problem also there if you start the game though the steam launcher ? In that case then it should read the data directly from the .bsa archives and work truely vanilla.

#6 thunderclam

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Posted 10 September 2013 - 04:36 PM

I didn't optimize the meshes. I optimized textures only as per Skyrim Revisited. And yes, (I think I've said this multiple times) the problem persists in Vanilla if Skyrim is launched through the TESV.exe or launcher. At this point, I would think that deleting the meshes and shaders .bsa files and then getting Steam to redownload them would be a possible solution. Except for the fact that I did a complete reinstall of Skyrim and it didn't help.
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#7 thunderclam

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Posted 11 September 2013 - 05:38 AM

Latest update: I pretty much lost my patience totally and tried deleting every single Skyrim related folder, file, tool, utility, mod, etc on my computer. Everything. Then I reinstalled and launched vanilla. Still missing hair mesh or whatever is going on here. Still graphic errors like flickering transparency in textures, etc. Screw this game.
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#8 Garfink

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Posted 11 September 2013 - 07:37 AM

If you did re-install Skyrim and you still have issues, then you have either a driver problem or a hardware problem. Have you tried installing another driver version? Also have you then followed the S.T.E.P. Nvidia Inspector Tweaks to the LETTER? Have you overclocked your CPU or GPU? Have you check your computer's FANS? Have you messed with BIOS settings? (In this order). If all this doesn't help, then you've a faulty card/motherboard, then you are really screwed. Edit: I had a look at the pictures of faulty hair you posted.... I haven't checked if my game has the same problems BUT who cares, the hair problem doesn't look game breaking to me. Can't you ignore it for now and just simply move on? Don't pick those affected hairstyles and play in first person and forget it. I would. Edit Edit: These problems shouldn't exist in the Vanilla Game, so either you didn't really uninstall everything properly or something very weird is happening. I can only imagine the only cause for these odd issues is a mesh problem probably caused by incorrect optimizing. (I am no expert, since I don't know how to make mods, but logic seems to point me in that direction) It has nothing to do with transparency AA that's for sure. You may have mistakenly messed up the mesh somehow...
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#9 Aiyen

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Posted 11 September 2013 - 12:23 PM

Actually transparency AA has something to do with hairs :P since hairs also make use of transparency to look like they do! However transparency flickerings..... use higher resolution, and the highest AA settings without ENB. That will be the best you can do, other then going in and edit the textures themselves. Trust me I know just how silly difficult it can be to create a great looking opacity map for a texture! :S Long story short... flickering transparent textures are most of the time not graphical errors, rather a consequence of the current lighting and the textures themselves. As Garfink says then it is really in the minor issues department unless you like really CLOSE up shots... in which case you would properly be using the more detailed skyhairs anyways. Guess the last advice would be to ask a friend if you can borrow their card for an afternoon and check it out with that.

#10 thunderclam

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Posted 11 September 2013 - 02:09 PM

I've definitely messed with my card (settings) in an effort to fix these problems. But it should only be to the extent of a Skyrim profile in CCC (I use a Radeon, Garfink... and yes I followed the STEP guide which left me with the same problems anyhow). I deleted that profile but Skyrim acts exactly the same (bad AA, hair issues). My GPU is not overclocked. I installed BETA drivers to see if it made a difference but it didn't. To me, this hair issue SHOULD BE FIXABLE. It's that it isn't on top of all the other more serious issues (texture flickering/shimmering and AA issues) that are NOT mod-related which have me so frustrated and throwing in the towel. I guess it was more like a tipping over point than a serious game-breaking issue. If it was caused by some mod, I would have ignored it and kept looking for a solution. However, it's not caused by a mod so that's out. I did not optimize my meshes. I certainly haven't optimized since reinstalling. My first thought was that it was a bad mesh from a mod. I checked. No. Second thought was optimization or something. Checked and no. Then I ran vanilla as a test and the same problem is there. It's something else I changed and have not changed back (unintentionally obviously since I have no idea what it could be). I've checked my GPU's stress level with MSI Afterburner and the temperature is fine which indicates that it probably isn't a heat issue or some card malfunction. Please remember that I've said constantly that I never used to have these problems. It was only after coming back to Skyrim after a hiatus (during which the game updated and so did my GPU drivers) that I've discovered this. Issues like the Wood Elf hair missing goes right back to Skyrim 1.0. The original Bethesda pics of the Wood Elf head and hair styles had this problem. It was corrected sometime later. I do not understand why I've got it but I think it is connected to all the other issues.
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#11 Garfink

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Posted 11 September 2013 - 03:02 PM

Really, I didn't know the Wood Elf had this problem, I also had a long hiatus and missed out on all the official patches. If the problem is still there, maybe its caused by an official patch not being installed properly? I've a wild idea and I am grasping at straws I know: I assume you own a legit copy of the game, so maybe you can try a non-legit copy with the patches pre-installed? I don't know why this will make a difference, but at least you know the patches were installed properly(?) I would do this if I was getting desperate. (I have 2 legit copy of Skyrim, the original and now the Anthology for the record!)
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#12 thunderclam

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Posted 11 September 2013 - 03:10 PM

I don't really understand how I could download a game from Steam as if I'd just bought it and the patches aren't installing correctly. How much sense does that make? It's not like I download Skyrim v1.0 and then all the subsequent patches and DLC download procedurally. It all comes at once. That said, there is an odd issue where if I reinvalidate the Steam archive there is ALWAYS 1 file missing that needs to be reacquired. I've read that this is just a harmless bug but you never really know.
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#13 Aiyen

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Posted 11 September 2013 - 04:16 PM

The mesh is not missing, or you would know since it would be invisible entirely. I did get up one more idea you could try... Get Nifscope, and then open the mesh in question inside that, and apply the texture on top. (This requires that you have the .bsa┬┤s extracted) Then you can see if it looks odd in there as well in full detail. Also you should be able to see if its a mesh issue or a texture issue since you can switch between the two modes.

#14 Garfink

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Posted 11 September 2013 - 11:42 PM

What I am confused about is why would the problem still be present after uninstalling Skyrim and then reinstalling afresh with no mods? That just sounds wrong or somehow the uninstallation or how Skyrim is run has left some residue files that continue the problem. After reinstalling, have you tried running the game via the default Bethesda menu? I am of the mind that if running a 100% clean install of Skyrim and you still get these issues, then the problem must be your drivers or worst hardware. Have you tried download a Nvidia driver remover program to remove your current drivers completely (app should be found on guru3d.com) and try reinstall the driver afresh? As for hardware issues, you can have those without temperature problems, so that doesn't rule that out. Of course, if all this still fails and other games works fine, then maybe it is a message from a higher-power that you should move on to another game. Modding is only fun if you have the possibility of actually playing the game without gagging on graphical issues that annoy you badly. I came sooo close to quitting myself, but everytime I am faced with the decision, I've uninstalled all my mods and found my game stable again...
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#15 johnnyboy88

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Posted 12 September 2013 - 12:06 AM

That looks like some kind of mesh problem to me as well. Which shouldn't happen if you clean uninstalled/reinstalled properly. Did you follow these steps?
Then after those steps you still have a problem; It can't be the game, it has to be hardware/driver related. Possibly OS but unlikely. Maybe D3D related. You can try to uninstall/reinstall directX. You can also try to do a complete clean uninstall of your video drivers. Google proper steps for whatever kind of card you have; ATI/Nvidia/Intel whatever. Try another graphics card if you can get your hands on one. Borrow one from a friend or something.
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