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Better Males (by Chris57 and FavoredSoul)

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#91 TechAngel85

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Posted 02 December 2014 - 09:45 PM

The only problem I have here, is that if you don't want to go to the Nexus (because NSFW), you have no idea that the textures are 4k. No where in the guide does it mention this. I chose performance settings for most mods, and avoid anything 4K (and generally try to remain at the 1k level). So to say it is up to me to decide if I need to DDSopt them for the extra VRAM is unfair as I wouldn't know I need this one specifically DDSopted. Not an issue if I decide to just DDSopt everything I suppose, as blanket DDSopting things means I don't need to know the original sizes. Regardless, please list in the guide that the textures are 4k so users will be aware.

Unfair?  :huh:  There are several ways to find out the size of the texture besides going to the nexus page (which doesn't even say the size of the textures anyway so your concern is a bit misplaced in that regard). We're not going to list the size of all the texture in all the mods on the Guide. Users have to be somewhat self sufficient in some areas. Try using one of the following tools...both of which will do as you need:

 

Windows Texture Viewer by Nvidia: https://www.nvidia.c...ure_viewer.html

Skyrim DDS Image Viewer by Sir Garnon: https://www.nexusmod...im/mods/30745/?

 

It should be noted that 4K is the norm for bodies. Even vanilla body textures are 4K and users have to be careful when reducing them as they will get missed up easily if the right settings aren't used in DDSopt.



#92 Spiffyman

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Posted 02 December 2014 - 09:51 PM

4k is the norm for vanilla bodies too? Well.... shows how much I've ever considered body mods before. Hadn't a clue about that. In that case, my comment is moot. I was thinking unfair in that you add a mod that significantly increases the file size but don't have a performance warning (like most mods on STEP have). But being the same size as vanilla, I guess that's why... My apologies.


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#93 Nearox

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Posted 04 December 2014 - 10:00 AM

Spiffyman, I wrote a DDSopt guide to Better Males in my Guide to Run SRLE on Medium Systems if you follow that then the quality difference should be mostly unobservable. 

 

Also regarding vanilla 4k... Tech, if memory serves me right the vanilla body MSN is 2k uncompressed (R8)? And the other textures (hands, face etc.) are not originally 4k either, certainly not fully uncompressed (I believe they are R5).

 

Most definitely, Better Males in its Nexus form will increase your VRAM use by a significant amount vs vanilla, as has been discussed earlier in this thread...


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#94 z929669

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Posted 04 December 2014 - 11:28 AM

The vanilla HRDLC female and male body are 2k. They look like 4k in terms of file size, because we are used to looking at compressed textures (2k ~= 2.73 MB), but these are uncompressed and about 4x bigger file size (2k ~= 16.39 MB). Non-human-skin body MSN are compressed, because they are not so smooth.

 

... these and all body MSN should be converted to R5G6B5 format in DDSopt (without reducing resolution or reducing to 1k in cases where the computer is on the low end). The in-game difference is imperceptible, but the size on disk (and in memory) will reduce from 16,385 KB to 10,983 KB. Reducing res to 1k is another 75% reduction (1k is 1/4 the size of 2k).

 

... now, many texture artists and/or connoisseurs will disagree that the quality of these relatively 'smooth' textures is not perceptibly reduced and that they can actually tell the difference in game. I would say that these individuals are either looking too closely for these specific diffs (as compared to what they would do if they were actually playing the game) AND have extremely good eyesight or monitor, or they have inhuman eyesight and/or a space-aged monitor.



#95 TechAngel85

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Posted 04 December 2014 - 12:11 PM

2K is the vanilla. I was mistaken and was looking at the wrong file. I extracted them and I'm looking at them right now in an editor (not file size on the explorer). The normals are from the HRLDC and the textures are from the vanilla game (Skyrim -Textures.bsa):

 

Vanilla Male Body: 2048x2048    Normal (MSN): 2048x20248

Vanilla Male Hands: 1024x512    Normal: 1024x512

Vanilla Male Head: 512x512        Normal: 512x512

 

Better Males Body: 4096x4096     Normal: 2048x2048

Better Males Hands: 1024x512     Normal: 2048x1024

Better Males Head: 2048x2048     Normal: 2048x2048

 

There are the actual resolutions for the main textures and their normals. There is an increase but what I said earlier still stands. There are other ways to figure this out besides looking at the Nexus page and there is no performance version for this mod which is the reason the performance icon is not listed on the Guide.

 

EDIT:

If someone wants to provide the optimized textures for those less fortunate, they can and we'll provide them via the mod page. The author has opened up permissions. This would be be coming from a staff member that really knows DDSopt.



#96 Nearox

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Posted 05 December 2014 - 05:43 AM

 

 

EDIT:

If someone wants to provide the optimized textures for those less fortunate, they can and we'll provide them via the mod page. The author has opened up permissions. This would be be coming from a staff member that really knows DDSopt.

As I said, I already sorted them out individually... back when we were discussing them in this thread.

 

You can only optimize some of the textures, a few will turn black and/or low quality if you optimize them. Others can only be reduced in dimensions, changing the format will have a bad result. I tested all the textures individually ingame. If you use the settings I describe here then they should all look good and should bring down the total file size of BM from 300+ to 100 something. Can't remember exactly as it's been a while since I wrote the DDSopt guide for SRLE and I'm still not at home so I don't have Skyrim installed at the moment. 

 

Feel free to check those settings on the textures yourself and to provide the results as a package on the mod page. There is very, very little quality difference between those settings and the original. 


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#97 z929669

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Posted 05 December 2014 - 01:55 PM

I would again suggest going with R5G6B5 for any of the model space normals (*_msn.dds). This will result in 2/3 size of the originals without any detectable diffs in game and no loss in resolution (but the texture itself will look borked in any texture file preview other than DDSopt, because the converted result is not re-normalized in most texture viewers by default --normalizing the texture itself is not a requirement though, because the shader engine takes care of that in game when the texture is rendered on the model).

 

For Better males, i would reduce all to 2k res and 565 uncompressed format (this is an approx. 83% reduction from the original) . We will eventually provide these conversions via the STEP 'mod' on the Nexus. WIP, no ETA, all TBD ;)



#98 Nearox

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Posted 05 December 2014 - 03:09 PM

I don't remember exactly, but I believe I left some of the *_msn.dds (as you can see in the guide) deliberately at R8 because converting them to R5 created borked textures. Hence why I left them at R8 but instead reduced the size to 1k. 

 

It was strange because a certain *_msn texture would react very different to the same settings that worked on a similar *_msn texture (e.g. body of khajit male & body of breton male), was weird cause it wasn't like that on any other mod I can think of.


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#99 z929669

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Posted 05 December 2014 - 05:01 PM

I don't remember exactly, but I believe I left some of the *_msn.dds (as you can see in the guide) deliberately at R8 because converting them to R5 created borked textures. Hence why I left them at R8 but instead reduced the size to 1k. 

 

It was strange because a certain *_msn texture would react very different to the same settings that worked on a similar *_msn texture (e.g. body of khajit male & body of breton male), was weird cause it wasn't like that on any other mod I can think of.

Not so.

 

Indeed, converting the *_msn.dds body textures from 888 uncompressed to 565 uncompressed makes the textures look borked, but that is only because most texture file viewers do not normalize un-normalized normals by default. DDSopt is an exception in that the Prieviewer automatically re-normalizes any normal maps that are not normalized. You will notice only a very minute difference if you look at the DDSopt Preview of the texture post conversion (use diffx2). The DDSopt Previewer has a built in diff and normalizer to compare source/processed. Looking at each version independently (also available in the Previewer), you will not see any diff.

 

These 565-converted textures will appear correctly in-game, because they are normalized by the game engine when loaded. (you can normalize and re -save using Gimp or Photoshop, but it is only semantics to do so.)

 

It is conceivable that neck/wrist seams could pop out, but not that I have seen (this will definitely happen if you compress, but we are only reducing the info in the uncompressed format from 888 to 565 using Ethatron's own custom algorithm, which is the most economical, near lossless normal-map conversion that I am aware of.)

 

Also, seams may be moot anyway with Better Males, since it combines the body meshes (IIRC). Anyways, I don't see any issues at all in game with the vanilla body msn when converted to 565 uncompressed from 888 uncompressed.



#100 TechAngel85

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Posted 05 December 2014 - 10:44 PM

Also, seams may be moot anyway with Better Males, since it combines the body meshes (IIRC).

It doesn't combine any meshes. The only meshes it provides are feet and footwear meshes.



#101 Nearox

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Posted 06 December 2014 - 10:33 AM

Not so.

 

Indeed, converting the *_msn.dds body textures from 888 uncompressed to 565 uncompressed makes the textures look borked, but that is only because most texture file viewers do not normalize un-normalized normals by default. DDSopt is an exception in that the Prieviewer automatically re-normalizes any normal maps that are not normalized. You will notice only a very minute difference if you look at the DDSopt Preview of the texture post conversion (use diffx2). The DDSopt Previewer has a built in diff and normalizer to compare source/processed. Looking at each version independently (also available in the Previewer), you will not see any diff.

 

These 565-converted textures will appear correctly in-game, because they are normalized by the game engine when loaded. (you can normalize and re -save using Gimp or Photoshop, but it is only semantics to do so.)

Hmm I didn't know that the DDSopt previewer has a built in diff/normalizer. You are right, however I do recall some textures looking bad ingame nonetheless but perhaps my testing wasn't as thorough as I thought it was. It would be a nice improvement indeed if we could use R5. 

 

Either way there is a significant reduction as you said, and considering that it is such a large mod - especially when compared to the recommended quality of other STEP texture mods - it would imho be good to provide this as a download sooner rather than later. 


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#102 Spiffyman

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Posted 06 December 2014 - 01:07 PM

I would appreciate that.

 

I have to thank TechAngel though for his mistake, as it got me to read the DDSOpt guide through fully this time (I've used it for other ES games so I figured I was fine here too). It seems you have a some scripts to automate the optimizing a bit. That is fantastic. So now I can just run all my mods through it instead of being as selective as I was. So thanks Tech for getting me to read that :D

 

And Nearox, your guide is fantastic! I am thankful you made it.


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#103 z929669

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Posted 08 December 2014 - 11:59 AM

Hmm I didn't know that the DDSopt previewer has a built in diff/normalizer. You are right, however I do recall some textures looking bad ingame nonetheless but perhaps my testing wasn't as thorough as I thought it was. It would be a nice improvement indeed if we could use R5. 

 

Either way there is a significant reduction as you said, and considering that it is such a large mod - especially when compared to the recommended quality of other STEP texture mods - it would imho be good to provide this as a download sooner rather than later. 

I use the R5G6B5 conversion for all of my MSN, and it looks and works great. No issues at all in-game that I can see. Since BM does not include the body normals but only head and hands (Nevermind, it does include MSN for hands, body and head ... was thinking about the meshes I guess), I will need to check how 565 optimization of BM against vanilla pans out with attention to neck and wrist seams. Changing the vanilla and or BM normals can both potentially exacerbate seams, so this would entail looking at the following under different lighting conditions in a STEP:Core setup:

  • Better Males unoptimized, vanilla unoptimized
  • Better Males optimized*, vanilla unoptimized
  • Better Males unoptimized, vanilla optimized*
  • Better Males optimized*, vanilla optimized*

* optimized = 565 conversion for MSN and DXT optimization for the other textures.



#104 lexo1000

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Posted 11 December 2014 - 01:38 PM

Few commentary & questions about this mod :)

 

1 - What means NSFW and does the direct download on STEP 2.2.9 page is different than one in Better Males page on Nexus ?

 

2 - In "underwear default" archive, the folder called 'forsworn' which contain 'forswornboots_x.nif' is wrongly spelled.
It must be spelled forswornarmor !

 

3 - I see in the mod page on Nexus this instructions. It's the first time that a mod tell me to do this kind of modification. What is the goal for this? I thought that loose file takes priority to BSA archived files... And why HighResTexturePack03.bsa is not concerned by this modification?

 

 

=> Modify two files :

skyrim_default.ini (in skyrim folder)
skyrim.ini (Documents/My Games/Skyrim folder)
------------------------------------------------------
Before
[Archive]
sResourceArchiveList=Skyrim - Misc.bsa, Skyrim - Shaders.bsa, Skyrim - Textures.bsa, Skyrim - Interface.bsa, Skyrim - Animations.bsa, Skyrim - Meshes.bsa, Skyrim - Sounds.bsa
sResourceArchiveList2=Skyrim - Voices.bsa, Skyrim - VoicesExtra.bsa

After
[Archive]
sResourceArchiveList=Skyrim - Misc.bsa, Skyrim - Shaders.bsa, Skyrim - Textures.bsa, Skyrim - Interface.bsa, Skyrim - Animations.bsa, Skyrim - Meshes.bsa, Skyrim - Sounds.bsa, HighResTexturePack01.bsa, HighResTexturePack02.bsa
sResourceArchiveList2=Skyrim - Voices.bsa, Skyrim - VoicesExtra.bsa
-----------------------------------------------------
Just add the sentence -> HighResTexturePack01.bsa, HighResTexturePack02.bsa
Make extra sure you have commas after all the file names, or Skyrim will crash.

=> Mods to uncheck (Don't worry, they'll still work in game)
- Start skyrim
- Go to main menu - data files - uncheck two HighResTexturePack mod

 


Edited by lexo1000, 11 December 2014 - 02:57 PM.

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#105 Nozzer66

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Posted 11 December 2014 - 06:35 PM

NSFW: Not Safe For Work. The Nexus mod page has pictures of naked males in um... various states of arousal, it may be fair to say. Just means you dont want to get caught looking at that at work, where most work places have anti-porn rules.

 

Hence the STEP download site, meaning you can download the file at work etc and not get issues over it.


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