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Vanilla Reduced Textures


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  • 1 month later...

Whoa !, do my eyes deceive me ?, mentioned on the S.T.E.P forum ?. Amazed.


Thanks guys, though its not the usual quality of material for S.T.E.P enthusiasts it has its own level of excellence for its purpose I guess :)


Anyway, for anyone who may not have noticed recently, now on its 12th version I have hit nirvana in the VRAM usage. On my laptop maximum I am seeing used is 214mb (after running around Whiterun for forty odd minutes to cycle through all possible combinations / concentrations of simultaneously loaded textures at different times of day, which is always my heaviest hitting area in the VRAM department).


And my other goal, keeping it looking as good as can reasonably be expected after such drastic reduction from the vanilla I think hasn't turned out as bad as I thought when I first started it.

The very first version description started with "If you want your game to look like crap, you are in the right place"

Its come quite a long way since.


I sometimes wished an actual graphic artist would have come along with the same objective, I am just a determined tinkerer really, someone like Starac for instance would be able to do an absolutely amazing job .. But I doubt very much that would ever happen so got stuck in.


Rather proud of it now :)

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Notes: Vanilla Reduced Textures DB 512 / 256 - Dragonborn

Vanilla Reduced Textures DB is needed in addition to Vanilla Reduced Textures, so :

If you use Vanilla Reduced Textures 512 BSA, Dragonborn users 'also' need Vanilla Reduced Textures DB 512 BSA.
If you use Vanilla Reduced Textures 256 BSA, Dragonborn users 'also' need Vanilla Reduced Textures DB 256 BSA.

Same deal as the Dawnguard expansion, I want to keep these sets of textures separate, for people who do not have Dragonborn, and also for my own sanity organising what has or has not been done on my hard drive. Which means you will have two esp's in your load order (or three if you also have Dawnguard ). This is not open for negotiation.

Amended the installation instructions.

Q. What has been done ?
A. Everything that needs to be, with a similar formula to Vanilla Reduced Textures, and Vanilla Reduced Textures DG.

I am not going to list everything, as usual I need the 256 version to stop my laptop melting so you can be assured if anything else needs doing it will be. I have not progressed very far in Dragonborn, but as expected in game the maximum VRAM I have seen being used by the game so far has only gone up to 214mb, and I am confident I have reduced everything that needs to be.

If not .. There will be updates. Enjoy.

Posted Image

I have already given the BOSS team a post asking for it to be added to the masterlist for load ordering, but they are swamped with thousands of mods to add .. so it may be a while before BOSS recognises the VRT Dragonborn plugin.

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Notes: Vanilla Reduced Textures DB 512 / 256 - Dragonborn - V2

A bit of tweaking here and there, and had to reconsider some textures because Bethesda occasionally have some texture sizing inconsistencies, which my G.I.M.P batch processing script does not account for. Sigh.
Quite a lot of the weapons are 1024 to start with in Dragonborn, reducing all those to 512 would be a simple process you would think .. if a few of them were not already 512. Which means in V1 you had 512 sized weapons mostly but the odd one like Ashmans weapons for example ended up being 256.

I am trying to reduce without losing quality not turn the game into marioland.

There were a few more ( Some Armour / Clothing inconsistencies ), and a few textures in V1 which really did not need doing, so removed those few.
Stahlrim Armour is another inconsistency, but rather than reducing them too low in V1, some parts of this armour need further reducing. Generally Cuirass / Robes ( whole body covering textures ) you would expect to be larger than Gloves / Helmets / Hoods / Boots. I have seen this inconsistency before, with Dragonborn the Stahlrim Body armours are 1024 .. and so are the rest. So smaller armour pieces could stand to be reduced a little further than the body pieces which was not the case in V1.
Skaal_outfit_girl ( body clothing ) is 512 vanilla, and I reduced it for V1 which was not necessary. Now removed.

Also I have now ventured a lot further in the DLC, and have been monitoring VRAM use with Skyrim Performance Monitor and can confidently say the highest VRAM use seen so far with the V2 256 set has been 243mb. A little over what I would like to achieve, but I think it only occurs in a couple of places, will continue to study it more see if there are one or two more textures which can get those instances down another 10mb, but for now its safe and will not be melting anyones computer. My laptop is still running cool.
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:) Yes there are probably a lot of people out there that could really benefit from using it too, the objective of the mod is not really about performance, but it can give a heavily modded game more of an edge / smooth feel about it even for machines which would ordinarily not need such help with just the vanilla game.


I am currently tempted to giving my laptop an upgrade, its one of those rare laptops which has an MXM II compatible daughter board setup for the graphics card .. Which means its replaceable.


I cant go daft with the upgrade, limited space design and heat dissipation efficiency in laptops .. the balance has to remain stable and not decrease the life expectancy of the machine, but at the very least I know I can up the model to have 512mb VRAM instead of 256 without any need for upgrading to a hotter running GPU.


But if I do, I will still be using my own mod for the more fluid gameplay.

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I haven't got one yet, but recently my laptop was in the repair shop to replace the inverter, and I had a long conversation with one of the engineers on the subject who pointed out they can still be ordered for my machine, he has a similar model laptop and had previously looked into doing the same upgrades safely for his own.

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Notes : VRT v17 / VRT DG v2 / VRT DB v3



With the expansions to the game ( Dawnguard and Dragonborn ), it became obvious that tweaking just their own texture sets was not quite enough in some DLC areas, and needed a few files reduced a little further in the VRT files aswell as DG and DB files.

All done, and VRAM saving is more consistent throughout. Found a couple of specific DLC textures ( normal maps ) which could stand a little more reduction too.

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  • 4 months later...

Notes : Vanilla Reduced Textures v18 - 512 and 256



DG and DB have not been touched with this update, just the VRT 512 and 256


Reason for the update .. Caves textures have been bugging me.


Back in version 11 of VRT I went on the hunt for better mountains and rocks better in the detail at lower res which were also close to vanilla, and Yurils Alternative Rock and Mountains were perfect for the job ..


For a couple of month I have been trying Hectrol's Caves Deluxe


They are very close to vanilla in the detail

They are high res ( to reduce from, unlike vanilla textures )

They have excellent normal maps

And look better detailled than vanilla textures when reduced to the sizes I need for this mod.


Go have a look at the originals for comparison screenshots, a couple of them are slightly different in colouration to vanilla, but work really well with the rest of VRT at lower res. Having played with them for a while now before doing this update the overall feel of caves is slightly darker. I have visited many different caves which use these textures, including Falmer themed caves, and I think this is a nice complimentary addition to VRT without deviating too much from vanilla textures.


What has been done with these additional textures - Using Hectrols 4096 textures :

For the 512 option ..

Reduced and remipped diffuse maps to vanilla size 1024 ( same as v17 VRT, I dont reduce everything )

Reduced and remipped the normal maps to 512

For the 256 option ..

Reduced and remipped diffuse maps to 512

Reduced and remipped the normal maps to 256


No difference in VRAM use between v17 - v18, just much better looking caves at low res. To get the best out of them though see my description reference ..

Recommended mods - No Stretching mod by Langley

The meshes in that mod correct a lot of texture scaling which cannot be done with textures alone.

( These may be included in the Unofficial Skyrim Patch at some point in the future, keep an eye on changes ).


Just in case anyone does not like this change for some reason, I will leave v17 up as old files on Nexus. But even if you dont like the idea initially, just humour me and give them a try, I dont know if Hectrol is a professional graphic artist but he has done a fine job of making higher res more detailled cave textures which do not deviate too much from the vanilla flavour.


Permissions are in accordance with Hectrol's wishes in his description, mention author and link back to original.


There have been a few other changes since last update I have tinkered about with over the last few months, I dont recall them all but maybe just a tiny bit more VRAM saving overall, and a couple of textures redone.


Some of you will know I have now upgraded my laptop to have 512mb VRAM ( same machine but the graphics daughterboard is upgradeable ) .. And maybe curious if the 256 version of VRT is still getting the same love - Yes it is, and is still my preferred option for a smoother / cooler running machine, I am using the 256 option.


Now its Final ;).

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Notes: Vanilla Reduced Textures DG 512 / 256 - DawnGuard - v3



Maybe not quite final :)


An update to the Dawnguard options to include more work from the UnOfficial patch fixes to textures


Reduced appropriately for this mod.


And thanks to Princeshroob on BGS forum, I have now placed the DG Prisoner clothing correctly in the folder structure ( these two dds files in the official BSA are in textures\dlc01\clothes\prisoner, but the 'mesh path' for these textures ( if you edit a mesh with nifskope you will see paths for the textures the mesh needs ) is actually textures\clothes\prisoner .. So the Dawnguard DLC without the UDGP will not show the correct clothing texture for the prisoners clothing mesh.

Now it will. And obviously if you are using UDGP ( highly recommended, as are all the UnOfficial patches ) my reduced textures will replace the UDGP ones now too.

They are actually duplicated ( in both folder locations within my BSA ) .. Reason for this is at some point after I put this up and UDGP team decide to solve this by making the mesh point at the texture as it is placed in the Dawnguard BSA folder structure instead, then one of my duplicates will cover each location as a replacer.

And additionally, if you as a user of this mod install somebody elses idea of where the mesh should be pointing, that will also use one of my duplicates. The one not in use as a replacer texture will just be redundant in the BSA, and after being compressed in the BSA is not really taking much room at all


A few more textures have been done besides those two aswell.

I did not include any of the dawnguard facetint textures, UDGP already fixes the ones that need to be fixed, and there is no need to reduce/include those for this mod ( vanilla size 256x256 ).


Fingers crossed - Now its Final.

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