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Mousetick

Happy Little Trees (by T4gtr34um3r)

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Happy Little Trees by T4gtr34um3r
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Happy Little Trees is a Vanilla Tree Replacer that aims for good visuals while having a very low performance cost. The next feature of this trees are the animations. Because the trees are skinned. No more repeating wobble of branches every 10 seconds. The branches are moving very naturally.


 

Not suggesting this for inclusion in the guide, as I have zero experience with it, but I'm curious to know what the STEP team thinks of this mod.

I see that it's been recently finalized and @z929669 has been providing LOD resources for DynDoLOD 3.

I'm tempted to give it a try, as I wouldn't mind sacrificing a little visual candy for a little performance boost. More natural animations sound nice too.

Question for Z, that I didn't find in the comments section: are the DynDoLOD 3 resources up to date and ok to use with the mod current version 1.01?

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While these trees are performance optimized, I think EVT is a bit more performance friendly. These trees look fantastic, and I may run them in my personal setup if I ever play (which I don't really since 2013 ... mostly just loading, testing mods, and website dev for the past 8 years).

The add-on DynDOLOD works fine with 1.0.1, because T4 did not alter any of the full models other than some logs/stumps, most of which have no LOD. I probably created LOD for stumps in the 'quality' file, because I wanted to provide the option, as I don't like to see stumps popping in while testing tree LOD. these won't be generated though in most cases, since they are below the size threshold. A custom rule file is required to generate them, as I have done in Aspens Ablaze add-on.

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Thanks for the quick response. I was thinking maybe foregoing Aspens Ablaze when using this. The aspen screenshots from Happy Little Trees don't compare favorably with Aspens Ablaze, in my view at first glance, but if the animations are better it could be worth it. I find the robotic wobbling of Aspens Ablaze very weird and quite distracting.

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9 minutes ago, Mousetick said:

Thanks for the quick response. I was thinking maybe foregoing Aspens Ablaze when using this. The aspen screenshots from Happy Little Trees don't compare favorably with Aspens Ablaze, in my view at first glance, but if the animations are better it could be worth it. I find the robotic wobbling of Aspens Ablaze very weird and quite distracting.

Yeah, AA uses the vanilla 'animations', which are more like branches shaking from ADHD squirrels or something. I just ignore it. The HLT aspens are more like vanilla but look good. I can't recall the anims, but they are almost certainly better.

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I tend to disable tree animations in my INI settings since they are typically terrible.

I've been wanting to test out this mod, especially since T4 understands the way the tree meshes work and how to optimize their performance in regards to the switch distance models. The performance models for DynDOLOD 3d trees sound very promising, although I tend to be very happy with Billboard4 models.

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I've never cared for his bark texture...just the style of it. The rest looks great, though there does seem to be an issue in at least one of his shots on the nexus page with dead trees.

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38 minutes ago, TechAngel85 said:

I've never cared for his bark texture...just the style of it. The rest looks great, though there does seem to be an issue in at least one of his shots on the nexus page with dead trees.

For LOD, the dead trees are just not working correctly, due to texture mips and possibly alpha. I have tried everything with no luck. Even with assistance from T4, sheson, and kojak747

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I've tried HLT (the full set) and my first impressions after a quick tour: it's quite nice.

  • Pine trees are gorgeous with the larger/higher tree option. A definite improvement over EVT for my taste.
  • Dead pine branches on trees and almost dead pine trees are a very nice detail to me. Makes the world more "realistic" and "alive", less cardboard-like.
  • Pine bark and logs are ok, nothing more.
  • Snowy pine trees have a very thick coat of snow on them and lack variety in coating. Slightly too much on the "artificial" side. I got the feeling the snow was about to collapse to the ground at any moment but sadly this doesn't happen.
  • Lovely "waving" animations of branches, separate trees waving out of sync.
  • Aspen trees are a downgrade from AA in my view. Bark, foliage, shape don't look as good IMHO.
  • Even though I tend to dislike it, I think the wobbling/fluttering of foliage in AA, absent from HLT, is closer to real aspens or trees with similar foliage.
  • Performance-wise I didn't notice any difference compared to EVT + AA, but I didn't really test for it.
  • No brightness or shininess in darkness or shade.
  • I haven't looked at the custom marsh trees yet.

I think I'm going to settle on a HLT + AA combo in the end.

@DoubleYou Have you tested out this mod like you were going to, and if so, what is your appraisal?

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I am testing it in my VR profile. I need to test more to give an honest appraisal. 

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My only issue with this is still the bark. I've never seen pine bark that looks like that before (including internet searches). The ones where I live certainly don't look like that. I've found a couple images on the net, but when I click through they're not from actual pine trees. Anyone ask where the inspiration for this bark came from? I would be interested in seeing a real-life tree (more curious than anything).

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39 minutes ago, TechAngel85 said:

My only issue with this is still the bark.

Do you mean it's not striped, grooved and/or scaly like you'd expect pine bark to look? I agree it's a bit uncharacteristic, but my understanding is that it depends on the variant and/or the age of the tree.

I don't understand why these trees are called pines in the game in the first place. They're more like firs, really, aren't they? 

Here is a picture of Abies procera which shows bark that's smooth like HLT - you'll need to zoom in:

Abies_procera_Rog%C3%B3w_1.jpg

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56 minutes ago, Mousetick said:

Do you mean it's not striped, grooved and/or scaly like you'd expect pine bark to look? I agree it's a bit uncharacteristic, but my understanding is that it depends on the variant and/or the age of the tree.

I don't understand why these trees are called pines in the game in the first place. They're more like firs, really, aren't they? 

Here is a picture of Abies procera which shows bark that's smooth like HLT - you'll need to zoom in:

Abies_procera_Rog%C3%B3w_1.jpg

That is, again, a fir and not a pine. I agree, though. Like the aspens, the pines really are more firs. The branches are firs/spruce branches, anyway, and it would seem that T4 used firs for his reference. The mod makes more sense now looking from that perspective.

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3 hours ago, Mousetick said:

Do you mean it's not striped, grooved and/or scaly like you'd expect pine bark to look? I agree it's a bit uncharacteristic, but my understanding is that it depends on the variant and/or the age of the tree.

I don't understand why these trees are called pines in the game in the first place. They're more like firs, really, aren't they? 

Here is a picture of Abies procera which shows bark that's smooth like HLT - you'll need to zoom in:

Abies_procera_Rog%C3%B3w_1.jpg

Firs are like spruce, but the needles point upwards from the stem. On spruce, they project out radially. Both have leaves that come out along the length of the stem. Like 'pinnate' form of angiosperm leaves.

Pines often have needles projecting from a point in bunches along the stem, and they are usually longer and finer. Like 'palmate' form of angiosperm leaves. Last I checked, nearly every 'pine' tree in mods for Skyrim are either fir or spruce (or even cedar/juniper-like). HLT actually look more like pine in their branch layout, but with more spruce/fir like leaves. It's very easy to tell the three apart usually.

As to the bark, it looks reasonably like pine tree bark from a Scott pine

image.png

White pine and other conifers can have similar looks to HLT.

Bark is highly variable and dependent upon the width of the stem, amount of water per season, disturbance, etc. I don't think it's unrealistic in HLT, but it is a bit low res to tell from the screens (and I don't have it installed now to check in game):

image.png

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35 minutes ago, z929669 said:

Firs are like spruce, but the needles point upwards from the stem. On spruce, they project out radially. Both have leaves that come out along the length of the stem. Like 'pinnate' form of angiosperm leaves.

Pines often have needles projecting from a point in bunches along the stem, and they are usually longer and finer. Like 'palmate' form of angiosperm leaves. Last I checked, nearly every 'pine' tree in mods for Skyrim are either fir or spruce (or even cedar/juniper-like). HLT actually look more like pine in their branch layout, but with more spruce/fir like leaves. It's very easy to tell the three apart usually.

As to the bark, it looks reasonably like pine tree bark from a Scott pine

image.png

White pine and other conifers can have similar looks to HLT.

Bark is highly variable and dependent upon the width of the stem, amount of water per season, disturbance, etc. I don't think it's unrealistic in HLT, but it is a bit low res to tell from the screens (and I don't have it installed now to check in game):

image.png

Easiest way to tell are the needles. Firs are flat and single. Spruces are "sided" and single. Pines are rounde/sided and are usually always in groups from the branch rather than single needles. I agree vanilla bark is more cedar/juniper-like.

I can tell there are two barks from the "pines" so I'm assuming there are two species mixed throughout. Hard to tell if the branches look different on these trees from the shots, though. 

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Bark bark bark bark bark bark. HLT and nothing else. No comparison shots, no time for that, sorry. As you can see there are 2 types of bark: smooth and scaly.

20220204080117_1.jpg20220204080146_1.jpg20220204080455_1.jpg20220204080543_1.jpg20220204080616_1.jpg20220204081044_1.jpg20220204081412_1.jpg20220204081512_1.jpg20220204081650_1.jpg

Unique HLT marsh tree (left), which seems to be simply a taller/thinner version of tundradriftwood (right):

20220204082422_1.jpg20220204082833_1.jpg

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