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The Skyrim Distance Overhaul (by Grieche)

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The Skyrim Distance Overhaul by Grieche
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Skyrim Distance Overhaul (SDO) adds a lot of LOD objects to the province of Skyrim. This is purely a environment immersion and graphics mod. At the moment the author has in effect three parts to the mod. The first is a Mesh and Texture addition and partial replacer for LOD files. These simply add many objects such as rocks to the LOD landscape. I have checked out these files with WB to see what they overwrite, and they only overwrite two .dds files from the vanilla textures. So in general its a mod the adds additional LOD effects, and does not replace those already there. There is very little that overwrites and conflicts. See spoiler for overwrites.


texturesterraintamrielobjectstamriel.objects.dds
texturesterraintamrielobjectstamriel.objects_n.dds



19446-1-1340797581.gif 19446-2-1340797582.gif

The second part is optional .esp plugins which add LOD effects for certain objects. At the moment these include waterfalls, giant's campfires, streams around whiterun tundra, and LOD objects in Morthal swamp.


SDO Full-LOD - Giant Campfires.esp
SDO Full-LOD - The Morthal Swamp Complete.esp
SDO Full-LOD - The Morthal Swamp Light.esp
SDO Full-LOD - Waterfall Effects.esp
SDO Full-LOD - Whiterun Trundra Creeks.esp



19446-2-1340798818.jpg

The third is optional ini tweaks that also increase LOD object display, with three options for different tiers of computer performance.

19446-1-1340799916.gif

The author provides some very nice before and after comparison .gif images; they give a really nice idea as to how the three parts of the mod increase the detail of distant terrain. You can find more images on the Nexus page.

So why would you want this mod?
1. Eye candy. It looks good. It can be quite ugly to view a bare plain with no content.
2. Immersion. The added detail adds immersion, since, well, you should be able to see more distant detail that vanilla Skyrim settings allow you to.
3. It emulates the effect of a higher ugrids setting without the additional instability. Increasing ugrids, apart from increasing distant detail, also increases the scripting load due to increase in spawn, pathing and ai action. This is a major source of instability with ugrids, especially on a heavily modded setup.
4. It can be synergistic with other mods such as High Quality LODs, Enhanced Distant Trees, Enhanced Distant Terrain, etc.
5. Has been very recently updated and is compatible with the latest (1.6) patch.

There are some caveats though.
1. Performance hit of 10% to 20% depending on the settings you choose.
2. The mod will be partially broken when Dawnguard comes out, which is soon. However the author is well aware of this and has promised a fix.
3. Not all waterfalls are done, so it is still recommended to use Better Distant LOD Waterfalls and let this mod overwrite SDO.
4. Incompatible with Skyrim Distant Detail mod. However, SDO is just a much more developed version of this, so Skyrim Distant Detail can be removed.

Edit: Does anyone know why some of the .gif images have stopped cycling? All the .gifs have stopped working after the first one. They have also stopped working on the nexus page after i linked them. Thats very odd, isnt it? In addition, regarding the first two pictures, how can i ensure that they are both within the same image display space? So one could cycle through both of the pics using the next buttons.



Mod Testing:

Skyrim Distant Detail vs Skyrim Distance Overhaul ( Nexus link )
  •  
  • This mod wins
    Whiterun Compare (all plugins loaded) - No performance difference (except for minor RAM total overhead)

    Before   After
    EDT%20Earth%20(grass-dist%207000).jpgDistance%20Overhaul%20%2B%20EDT%20Earth%


     
    Tech's (Using all options and Fullest (heaviest) options @ 1920x1080)
    jko1lns.jpgUH77645.jpg
    dmOfj1V.jpglBXWFUw.jpg
    No performance difference at the swap either (60FPS for both) for still screens, but a world of difference in the screens! Keep in mind I'm running the latest generation hardware. I'll do a quick run to check the performance during movement.
    Here are the results of a run through the swamp:
     
    Without SDO - Frames: 3484 - Time: 68906ms - Avg: 50.562 - Min: 40 - Max: 61
    With SDO - Frames: 3176 - Time: 65583ms - Avg: 48.427 - Min: 39 - Max: 61

     
    As you can see, the FPS barely moved. 2FPS loss is within a margin of error in the bench since I was actually playing and running manually.
     
    UPDATE:
    This mod costs 2-4 FPS on STEP-recommended systems and mainly benefits those that are using ultra detail distance settings in the launcher settings. Not necessarily max distances, but probably max detail. Lower systems will suffer more FPS impact.
     
    Accepted into STEP:CoreExtended for 2.2.9 release (performance impact may be too high for Core).


Dropped in 2.2.9.1. Replaced by DynDoLOD.

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Edit: Does anyone know why some of the .gif images have stopped cycling? All the .gifs have stopped working after the first one. They have also stopped working on the nexus page after i linked them. Thats very odd, isnt it? In addition, regarding the first two pictures, how can i ensure that they are both within the same image display space? So one could cycle through both of the pics using the next buttons.

 

You have one jpg in the lot, but all the remaining 3 gif's all cycle for me.

 

In the last image, that's a pretty big FPS hit, but the view distance is also very high, so to be expected. I wish the other images had included FPS hits, as that is where it really matters.

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Hmm, odd, now the .gifs cycle properly for me, oh well. Issue resolved.

 

Yeah, the author does mention that with the ini tweaks there will be a large fps hit if you choose the highest version. From the image, the tweak recommended for lower end computers is so much better than vanilla, with hardly any fps hit, that that tweak alone 'should' be fine.

 

The mod is also BAIN friendly, so when i have the time i will be testing the texture and mesh additions, as well as the low end ini tweak. Will not be trying out any of the .esp plugins yet. I will post here on the fps impact. I expect a 10% drop since this is selection is essentially the 'lite' version of the mod, so about 4-7 fps depending on the area. That would be bearable on my setup.

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those tweaks are pretty much already included in my z-fighting tweaks. I guess some performance issues could be caused by mods like this in combination with those tweaks... i'll probably have to include this in my z-fighting-guide...

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Well I tried this mod out expecting major lag/stutter, but the performance hit wasn't as major as I thought it was going to be.

Was using Skyrim Distant Detail, and switching to SDO the performance hit was minimal with improved LOD. One thing I did notice when installing, it asks to overwrite a file from WATER (tamriel objects.dds).....In my opinion don't overwrite the WATER file with the basic SDO file (not sure how the optional waterfall LOD is in comparison havent tried it.

 

@Mad  (or anyone who knows)

I noticed you said SDO can be synergistic with other mods such as High Quality LODs, Enhanced Distant Trees, Enhanced Distant Terrain...

 

How come Enhanced Distant Trees isn't in STEP?

Is it not recommended to overwrite Vurts files with EDT?

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those tweaks are pretty much already included in my z-fighting tweaks. I guess some performance issues could be caused by mods like this in combination with those tweaks... i'll probably have to include this in my z-fighting-guide...

 

Hehe, yep. I noticed that yesterday evening; your tweaks actually go beyond his recommendations. I tried at your values and his, and performance was pretty much equal, although z-fighting did increase a little with his lower values, as expected. In any case, fully compatible with your z-fighting fix :)

 

Thanks for properly showing how graphic comparisons are best made using animation Mad, time to put that in the guide :D

 

Not entirely sure what your on about here. I borrowed those comparison shots from the nexus page. I have no idea how to make them, not thats at all a problem, i can learn how to do it. In any case, its def one for the guide.

 

Well I tried this mod out expecting major lag/stutter, but the performance hit wasn't as major as I thought it was going to be.

Was using Skyrim Distant Detail, and switching to SDO the performance hit was minimal with improved LOD. One thing I did notice when installing, it asks to overwrite a file from WATER (tamriel objects.dds).....In my opinion don't overwrite the WATER file with the basic SDO file (not sure how the optional waterfall LOD is in comparison havent tried it.

 

@Mad  (or anyone who knows)

I noticed you said SDO can be synergistic with other mods such as High Quality LODs, Enhanced Distant Trees, Enhanced Distant Terrain...

 

How come Enhanced Distant Trees isn't in STEP?

Is it not recommended to overwrite Vurts files with EDT?

 

Yeah performance with this mod is surprisingly good. Although i was only able to test for 5 minutes around whiterun. I was expecting around 6 fps loss, but i think i only had 1. Probably because torminaters z-fighting fix was already in place.

 

I dont know about WATER, in dont actually use it anymore (shock, horror!), but your probably right. I let EDT overwrite vurts because EDT looks better at distances where low poly trees are generated, but its a matter of taste. EDT is not in STEP, because... no idea! I cant remember if it has ever been considered by TC, or if has never been brought to his attention.

 

@ All

Ok so i noticed in the 5 minutes of testing, that this mod adds low poly houses and fences as well, i think. Referring to the farms and mills around where the giant fight is, when looking from the entrance to whiterun. However, they look ugly. Just grey and mottled textures for the building, and light brown bumps for the fences. I dont know if this is an issue with the mod, or some incompatibility. I will provide a screenie once i get home. Wondering if anyone else has had this issue?

 

Edit: Stating the obvious but if already using torm's z-fighting fix then performance impact will be minimal, which is of course, pretty awesome.

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EDT is not in STEP, because... no idea! I cant remember if it has ever been considered by TC, or if has never been brought to his attention.

 

Enhanced Distant Terrain IS part of STEP. Look at Section B3, Page 11 :yes:.

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@ All

Ok so i noticed in the 5 minutes of testing, that this mod adds low poly houses and fences as well, i think. Referring to the farms and mills around where the giant fight is, when looking from the entrance to whiterun. However, they look ugly. Just grey and mottled textures for the building, and light brown bumps for the fences. I dont know if this is an issue with the mod, or some incompatibility. I will provide a screenie once i get home. Wondering if anyone else has had this issue?

I had this issue until I copied over and overwrote the 2 files in the Data\Textures\terrain\tamriel\objects folder. I didn't want to overwrite the files because of what people were saying about WATER/waterfall lod, but the mod is broken without that file, soooo not sure what to do.

 

As for the mod, it does look great, but the rocks seem a bit brighter than nearby rocks, but that's probably because I'm using AOF Detailed Mountains.

 

Also, this mod seems to make z-fighting considerably worse for me. I double checked my .ini settings and they did not change so I'm not sure what's up.

Z-fighting increase was my imagination.

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Also, this mod seems to make z-fighting considerably worse for me. I double checked my .ini settings and they did not change so I'm not sure what's up.

Z-fighting increase was my imagination.

Yep, can definitely confirm that z-fighting gets worse and better every time you look at it xD

It's really hard to stay concentrated enough to notice a difference!

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EDT is not in STEP' date=' because... no idea! I cant remember if it has ever been considered by TC' date=' or if has never been brought to his attention.[/quote'']

Enhanced Distant Terrain IS part of STEP. Look at Section B3, Page 11 :yes:.

Lol sorry, bad use of acronym, in this case we are talking about Enhanced Distant Trees (EDT) :P

 

Screenshot of texture issue around whiterun;

 

Posted Image

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Also, this mod seems to make z-fighting considerably worse for me. I double checked my .ini settings and they did not change so I'm not sure what's up.

Z-fighting increase was my imagination.

Yep, can definitely confirm that z-fighting gets worse and better every time you look at it xD

It's really hard to stay concentrated enough to notice a difference!

from the master z-fighter!! keep fighting those zzzzzz's!!!!

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as if I never had anything else to do xD

i wrote an essay to bethsoft, maybe they'll actually read it and do something from their side about their game bugs.

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All issues fixed, was not a mod issue, WB overwrite went fubar. To those who still are not using it, i would definitely recommend it. Minimal fps hit with just texture and mesh addition and ini tweaks.

 

Works great and looks beautiful with z-fighting fix + SDO + High Quality LOD + ED Terrain + ED Trees.

 

Perfect replacement for ugrids 7 tweak without related glitchiness, freezing, and general messiness.

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As for the mod, it does look great, but the rocks seem a bit brighter than nearby rocks, but that's probably because I'm using AOF Detailed Mountains.

 

Anyone else notice this or am I just OCD? Doing a re-install of STEP with smaller base textures in hopes of freeing up some vram so I can use this mod without massive stuttering.

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