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i25Island

Poor Luck the Second Time Around - A Tale of a Novice Modder

Question

OK, so I'm sure you'll just throw the book at me and tell me to read it, but i've done my fair share of reading up on these mods. It's come to a point now where I just need clarification by the mod author themselves. I had an older load order that included all of noble skyrims architecture and landscape while using majestic mountains. I used XLodGen and used the recommended values according to a youtuber who fallowed an old guide that no longer exists. I also used Dynolod. I set the textures to 1024 and generated everything at high settings. Everything looked wonderful. Even had 3d Trees and Plants billboards working perfectly with pop ins only occurring ridiculously far away in the distance, so i had no issues personally. I've recently had to delete everything and do a clean install on a new drive. I'm using alot of the same textures this time around, but went with majestic landscapes this time for fuller coverage of the landscape textures as noble skyrim doesnt do it all. Now, I find xLodGen to generate very poor quality textures and models for the landscape and Dyndolod just isnt quite doing its job either. I'm using the same exact settings as last time for both mods. Dyndolod gives me pop in for all objects (mainly trees and shrubs) and the textures just arent right for just about anything. Buildings (whiterun mainly) all show vanilla textures in the distance and I have to get pretty close before they change to the textures I'm using. I know it's best to generate terrain with xlodgen first, then generate everythig else with dyndolod second. I've done that, and the last three times I did, i was getting the "DyndoLod needs PapyrusUtill" message. I resolved that and everything says it's working fine. While it is working, it's just working very half assed. I can see VERY far into the distance. But as soon as i start walking, alot of stuff starts popping in, and i did not have that issue with my old load order. Lastly, when I went through the XLodGen process, the file at the end was only 200 and something mbs when it usually comes out to around 700 or 800. So, i'm sure i just missed a step or something there, but as far as Dyndolod, I just don't know what I'm doing wrong this time. There's alot to this situation, so I'm sure there's more I need to tell you/ ask you but, this is all that comes to mind at the moment. I'd very much appreciate your input for I love this game, and I've had it modded to perfection just a month ago. 

Rtx 2080 OC 8gb

Ryzen 9 3950x 

32gb RAM 3600mhz 

 

 

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What version of DynDOLOD? I assume 2.xx.

Try following our guide for all LODGen steps. It has all been tweaked a bit in our current DEV guide for LODGen using DynDOLOD 3.00, but it is solid for a top-quality result using 2.xx (just maybe don't need as high-res textures as we have on that one right now). Ignore instructions that obviously do not pertain to your load order. Also see further up in the guide for installing DynDOLOD and setting up its resources properly.

Always take sheson's advice where conflicting with ours though, as none of our instructions have been officially vetted by sheson ... yet. We are working on it in the upcoming guide for DynDOLOD 3.00 alpha. We have a lot of XP running it successfully though, and I am confident our instructions and process is more robust than almost every other guide resource. You probably will have some issues with noble Skyrim stuff not having proper LOD resources. There was another thread around here on that very recently necroed by Soulmancer.

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If the terrain LOD texture quality is low, increase the texture resolution by one step. Make sure to enable protect cell borders and to use the optimize unseen as explained on the first post of the xLODGen thread for better terrain LOD meshes.

DynDOLOD generates LOD with the LOD assets that are installed in the load order, so if something is not having object or tree LOD, it means there is no object LOD model or tree LOD billboard installed for it. Or there is no rule that tells it to use the full model for LOD as a fallback.

If you had HD LODs it covered rendered object LOD textures like for the walled cities that TexGen 2.x can not update automatically.
TexGen from DynDOLOD 3 alpha can update all the rendered object LOD textures for the walled cities now. So if you uses textures from mods that do not include updated LOD texture, give that a try.

If trees pop in from nothing make sure to installed billboards. TexGen from TexGen from DynDOLOD 3 alpha also now generates billboard for the load order.
Sounds like you probably had ultra tree LOD before, so make sure to enable that again for 3D tree LOD. 

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Thank you very much for responding. This is all very useful information. I did not use HD LoD's this time around but I have used it in the past, so I'll give it a shot. As for the billboard's though, I used the billboard's file but I didn't use the 3dLoD resource file and I don't remember if I did before so I'm going to try that as well. I really don't understand this stuff well at all though, so a lot of this is hard to grasp right now. Only surface level knowledge. I'm also not sure about load order. I know loot sorts the plugin's correctly most of the time but for the actual mod's I really just have no clue. I'm using MO2 by the way. All the mods I'm using regarding this are

Majestic mountains

Majestic Landscapes 

Noble Skyrim Riften, Whiterun, Markarth, and Windhelm

Stockade Wood Revamped 

T4G Forts

Rudy Nordic Ruins ( wasn't an issue until today)

3D Windmills 

3D Walls

Realistic Water Two ( dreaded lines in the water but not nearly as much of an issue )

going to try HD LoD's 

going to try Basic Lod ( LoD textures for Majestic landscapes. T4G recommended to generate the meshes only

3d Trees and Plants 

3D Trees and Plants Billboards 

3d Trees and Plants 3dLOD Resources ( didn't use this last time )

Indistinguishable Billboard's

and of course all the necessary mods for this to work and all other textures seem to be ok. 

 

  

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Right, so I fallowed the guide. Huge help by the way,  and I now have a larger understanding of how to use the mods, but I don't know what any of these settings actually mean. The only thing I really understand/recognize is texture quality. I have no idea what the difference between lod4, lod8, lod16, and lod32 are either and I haven't really been able to find any good information on what each setting really does. Any help there would be extremely useful, for I'm learning pretty quick and very much want to master this. 

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Read "How LOD works in Skyrim" in DynDOLOD/Docs/DynDOLOD_Manual.html
Check the manual included in the DynDOLOD archive, the first post of xLODGen terrain LOD beta and the readmes included in xLODGen  terrain LOD beta and hovering above settings typically explain settings.

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Posted (edited)

Still didn't work. I also tried the Alpha version too and I know it is very experimental, but people still get it to work. I followed the guides exactly both times and nothing is working. Grasscache didn't work either, at least not all the way. Lot of flickering, not nearly as far as people get it to go, and some places are totally devoid of any grass until I get close enough to it. It's all just very bizarre, but I will not stop until it works. I did read somewhere, and it might have been you who mentioned it, but Alpha doesn't need third party BILLBOARDS anymore? Do you think it's the fact that I'm still using 3d Trees and Plants BILLBOARDS and the resource mod? I used the BILLBOARDS the first time around when It was a success. Did that a second time and failed. Added the recourse mod that is suppose to work with XLODGen and I tried generating everything with that, not just terrain, and still failure. Again, all the tools and plugin's for this process are installed. What is the best way to shoot you my load order? I can of course copy and paste the files from the MO2 mod directory, but obviously not in the order I have them all in. 

Edit: ini files were properly changed and saved 

Edited by i25Island
forgot something

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6 minutes ago, i25Island said:

Still didn't work. I also tried the Alpha version too and I know it is very experimental, but people still get it to work. I followed the guides exactly both times and nothing is working. Grasscache didn't work either, at least not all the way. Lot of flickering, not nearly as far as people get it to go, and some places are totally devoid of any grass until I get close enough to it. It's all just very bizarre, but I will not stop until it works. I did read somewhere, and it might have been you who mentioned it, but Alpha doesn't need third party BILLBOARDS anymore? Do you think it's the fact that I'm still using 3d Trees and Plants BILLBOARDS and the resource mod? I used the BILLBOARDS the first time around when It was a success. Did that a second time and failed. Added the recourse mod that is suppose to work with XLODGen and I tried generating everything with that, not just terrain, and still failure. Again, all the tools and plugin's for this process are installed. What is the best way to shoot you my load order? I can of course copy and paste the files from the MO2 mod directory, but obviously not in the order I have them all in. 

Edit: ini files were properly changed and saved 

If you are trying to follow our DynDOLOD 2.xx instructions for DynDOLOD 3.00, then they are different. Use the WIP instructions instead.

DynDOLOD 3 is better in so many ways. If you are using MO, then I suggest that you create a vanilla (default) profile and disable all mods. Run through the LODGen process on the base game. It's faster and does not suffer from all of the mod-specific issues. Once you get everything working and looking right in vanilla, you can rule out any process issues and focus on the problematic mod issues. If the tools, configs, and directory locations are not set up properly, things don't work. You will benefit by validating your environment and tools setup

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I found a new guide for 3.0 that I followed. I did this like 4 different times and ways yesterday. But yeah, that's where I'm at now. I just don't see why 3D Plants and Trees isn't at least working. That's been a constant in my load order for a while now and I've had success generating it's loD's twice in the past. As far as grasscache, I'm going to set the required ini value to 2 instead of 1 this time. 

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54 minutes ago, i25Island said:

I found a new guide for 3.0 that I followed. I did this like 4 different times and ways yesterday. But yeah, that's where I'm at now. I just don't see why 3D Plants and Trees isn't at least working. That's been a constant in my load order for a while now and I've had success generating it's loD's twice in the past. As far as grasscache, I'm going to set the required ini value to 2 instead of 1 this time. 

Try following the guides I linked and advice posted previously. If you do, you will succeed and likely figure some stuff out.

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1 hour ago, i25Island said:

I found a new guide for 3.0 that I followed. I did this like 4 different times and ways yesterday. But yeah, that's where I'm at now. I just don't see why 3D Plants and Trees isn't at least working. That's been a constant in my load order for a while now and I've had success generating it's loD's twice in the past. As far as grasscache, I'm going to set the required ini value to 2 instead of 1 this time. 

Read the alpha thread and included documentation.

What does "3D Plants and Trees isn't at least working" mean? You are not very specific.
For 3D tree LOD of 3D Plants and Trees follow the instructions found in DynDOLOD\Docs\trees.ultra\DynDOLOD-Trees.html

However, no need to install any billboards DynDOLOD 3 alpha. In fact it is best to not have any billboards installed from mods and let TexGen take care of them.

The INI settings of No Grass In Object have no effect on grass LOD generation. If not all grasses have LOD it typically means not all grasses have billboards generated by TexGen.
There is a known issue with grasses added by ESL flagged plugins which will be fixed with the next alpha version.

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Posted (edited)

I'm simply reading and listening to the guides and these are the things they are saying. I'm being and clear as I possibly can with  what I know on the subject, but I just meant that the mod always worked and I never changed any of the steps while using these mods in the past. But I'm at the TexGen step right now, and it just finished. I ran it twice and the same thing happened. The files don't appear in the TexGen Output folder. I've never run into that one before 

 

Edit: I'm stupid. Forgot to change the path when I moved files earlier. I'll continue and Let you know how everything goes. Again, thank you for your help/advice. 

Edited by i25Island

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It seemed to work pretty well. Thank you very much. This is far better than the other version. 

 

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So, the only issue I'm seing right now is snow in the distance is far too dark. I'd give you screenshots but the file size is larger than 1mb. Is that just a matter of messing with brightness in xlodgen?

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Read the first post of the xLODGen thread.

Pay attention to what it says about too dark terrain LOD textures caused by the noise.dds overlay texture.

Images can be shrunk or more compressed for smaller file size. Or upload to an external image/file service.

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