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Important info for mod authors regarding official HD texture pack


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#1
QuickFox

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If your mod replaces textures, normal maps, environmental maps, etc. without altering the vanilla meshes, your custom textures will be overridden by any textures added in the new HD texture pack.

This is because the new official HD texture packs act like a mod, in that they are telling Skyrim to use the textures in the new BSA files in preference over assets in the texture BSAs, AND in preference over assets placed in folders under "data\textures\" in your Skyrim install directory.

-update2-

One way to get around this requires you to first disable the HighResTexturePack01.esp & HighResTexturePack02.esp from loading in the skyrim launcher or Nexus Mod Manager (or just delete them), then edit your Skyrim.ini file found under "Skyrim\Data\"; just find the "sResourceArchiveList=" entry under [Archive] and edit it to look like this:

sResourceArchiveList=Skyrim - Misc.bsa, Skyrim - Shaders.bsa, Skyrim - Textures.bsa, HighResTexturePack01.bsa, HighResTexturePack02.bsa, Skyrim - Interface.bsa, Skyrim - Animations.bsa, Skyrim - Meshes.bsa, Skyrim - Sounds.bsa

If you dont have a Skyrim.ini in your data directory, copy and rename the skyrim_default.ini into the data directory.

-update3-

After a little further investigation, Ive found that the choice to implement the official HD texture pack as mods actually works just fine with their new creation kit + steam workshop integration.

Basically, you can upload a mod to the steam workshop via the CK, and in doing so it packs all the assets referenced by a custom .esp file that you create or load into a BSA, and associates it with the .esp.

So, essentially this is not a problem for any mods intended to be used with the steam system, only for old-style texture replacers that worked without an .esp file.

-update4-

Ive been having a little trouble with the CK's BSA packer; it tends to leave out important files, so there is a need to pack them manually for the time being.

All you need to do to manually prepare a texture-replacer mod for Steam Workshop is this:

First, you need to make an .esp file; the CK can generate one of these for you, it is a database of the values & mesh references in skyrim, however if all you are doing is replacing existing textures, then the .esp file doesnt need to have any data in it, it just needs to be an empty new file.

The next thing you need is to pack the textures into a .bsa file. You want to use BSAopt for this. I got it to work by running the 32 bit exe in administrator mode, with game set to 'skyrim' and settings all unticked. you should be able to figure it out; you just need to preserve the proper file structure for the textures going in, so you would select 'data' with 'use folder' for the input.

The only other important thing is that the .esp and the .bsa file have to have the same name; although, if the .esp file was HAR.esp the .bsa (or several of them) could be HAR - iron.bsa or HAR - leather.bsa; the same way skyrim loads all its assets out of multiple .bsa files referenced from skyrim.esm.

-update5-

Okay, apparently you can add files to the CK BSA archiver by dragging them from an explorer window into the list; it has the restriction that any files you add must originate from inside your data directory. Seems like a bit of an inelegant way to do things; havent the CK programmers ever heard of adding an 'add file' button? Lets hope they add this feature soon.

That said, I still prefer using BSAopt for now; the reason being is that it allows for compression. I can cut the size of the BSA down by half or sometimes even a third, meaning:

* quicker for me to upload
* quicker for others to download
* steam workshop gives you ~1gb of space to upload mods; if you are a prolific mod author, or creating a very big texture replacer pack, you will need every mb of space you can get.

Edited by QuickFox, 09 February 2012 - 01:35 AM.


#2
Garagorn888

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Until modders pack their textures into esp files, I'm not going to use the new official HD Texture Pack, as the mods I use are better than what Bethesda's dished out.

I hope modders do pack their textures into .esp files eventually though as Bethesda's covered a lot of files that modders have just missed.

#3
MightionNY

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I'm still waiting on the download. Is there an option in the Data files box to turn off the HD texture pack until the mods I use are updated?

#4
QuickFox

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You can, yes.

#5
lthot

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That's pretty lame for us retexture authors...
I had expected that they'd release it as an .bsa archive like the original Skyrim - Textures.bsa and then there'd be no problems for us modders.
This must be something Bethesda have chosen to do on purpose, to make life hard for us, I'm not sure why since their games are supposed to be easy to mod.
Anyway, I'm not an "experienced" modder, but I have an idea I hope could work in some way. Wouldn't it be possible, to create a mod that makes the textures in the official high-resolution texture pack less important so any other texture mods will be used in preference?
Anyone think that could work?

#6
Karth Galin

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That's pretty lame for us retexture authors...
I had expected that they'd release it as an .bsa archive like the original Skyrim - Textures.bsa and then there'd be no problems for us modders.
This must be something Bethesda have chosen to do on purpose, to make life hard for us, I'm not sure why since their games are supposed to be easy to mod.
Anyway, I'm not an "experienced" modder, but I have an idea I hope could work in some way. Wouldn't it be possible, to create a mod that makes the textures in the official high-resolution texture pack less important so any other texture mods will be used in preference?
Anyone think that could work?


All you have to do is extract the .bsa into your texture files (or zip them & use an installer like NMM or Wrye Bash), then install whatever texture mods you want to use on top of them. Might take a minute, though. :psyduck:

#7
lthot

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All you have to do is extract the .bsa into your texture files (or zip them & use an installer like NMM or Wrye Bash), then install whatever texture mods you want to use on top of them. Might take a minute, though. :psyduck:


That is one way to do it...
But that requires some kind of effort from everybody who wants the official high-res texture pack and use modding community texture packs.
It'd be simple if one could make a mod like I suggested that could be universal and used in all texture packs (or widely known through the modding community).

#8
QuickFox

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Yeah, extracting then deleting the new HD BSAs seems to be the best solution for the time being...

Besides that, a mod author would have to:

* pack their assets in a BSA file, then create an ESP file that references it (I still havent figured out how to do this btw)

or

* create copies of the meshes their textures use, then edit the texture entries in NifSkope to refer to their custom textures, which would have to be placed in a unique named directory in order not to be overridden by the HD texture BSAs. Problem with this method is, it bloats up the size of the mod to bigger than it has to be.

#9
lthot

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And either way it's extremely ridiculous added amount of extra work to do, just for texture replacers...
I'll suggest people use the extract method on my mod pages until a better solution comes along.

#10
IVIason

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Is it allowed to upload the extracted textures to make it easy for everybody?

Edited by IVIason, 07 February 2012 - 10:51 PM.





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