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Retexturing as many of Skyrim's textures as I can

high resolution texture replacements hd

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#1
KeeperFiM

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I am trying to replace as many textures as possible with with higher resolution than HD DLC
I STRONGLY prefer textures that do their best to match the color and style of vanilla, but with resolution and detail bump
These are what I have so far, what am I missing?
0EQZNDA.png



#2
ArtMurder

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Just search "HD" in the nexus? =3



#3
DemongelRex

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How about Texture Pack Combiner?



#4
Asterra

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Just a little warning about the Skyrim HD 2K Textures.  Well, two warnings.

 

1: Many of them betray the vanilla look just a bit too much.  It would be worth it to compare the new with the old and pick the ones you feel don't exceed that threshold.

 

2: By far the most important problem with this pack is the fact that the normal maps are absolute dealbreakers.  Somehow, when they were being authored, the method used in their authoring included elements from the vanilla normal maps (which usually differed quite dramatically).  What do I mean?  The normal maps have three vector channels and a reflective channel.  In the specimens I examined, only one of the three vector channels was properly related to its new texture.  A second vector channel was a hybrid between the vanilla normal map and the new texture.  The third vector channel and the reflective channel both came straight from the vanilla normal map.  It's hard to put into words just how messed up this is.  It ruined the entire package.  And needless to say the visual result does not bear scrutiny well.  Apparently, this has been a known problem for at least a year and a half.



#5
KeeperFiM

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Just search "HD" in the nexus? =3


Ahh, if only it were that simple... Texture authors like to use weird names and those without "HD" in the name will not show up...

Edited by KeeperFiM, 27 January 2014 - 12:49 AM.


#6
KeeperFiM

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How about Texture Pack Combiner?


I would but many texture packs it supports have been updated since it was last updated...

#7
KeeperFiM

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Just a little warning about the Skyrim HD 2K Textures.  Well, two warnings.
 
1: Many of them betray the vanilla look just a bit too much.  It would be worth it to compare the new with the old and pick the ones you feel don't exceed that threshold.
 
2: By far the most important problem with this pack is the fact that the normal maps are absolute dealbreakers.  Somehow, when they were being authored, the method used in their authoring included elements from the vanilla normal maps (which usually differed quite dramatically).  What do I mean?  The normal maps have three vector channels and a reflective channel.  In the specimens I examined, only one of the three vector channels was properly related to its new texture.  A second vector channel was a hybrid between the vanilla normal map and the new texture.  The third vector channel and the reflective channel both came straight from the vanilla normal map.  It's hard to put into words just how messed up this is.  It ruined the entire package.  And needless to say the visual result does not bear scrutiny well.  Apparently, this has been a known problem for at least a year and a half.


I know you said it was hard but could you try to explain how these poor normal maps impact the image?

#8
Asterra

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Just a little warning about the Skyrim HD 2K Textures.  Well, two warnings.
 
1: Many of them betray the vanilla look just a bit too much.  It would be worth it to compare the new with the old and pick the ones you feel don't exceed that threshold.
 
2: By far the most important problem with this pack is the fact that the normal maps are absolute dealbreakers.  Somehow, when they were being authored, the method used in their authoring included elements from the vanilla normal maps (which usually differed quite dramatically).  What do I mean?  The normal maps have three vector channels and a reflective channel.  In the specimens I examined, only one of the three vector channels was properly related to its new texture.  A second vector channel was a hybrid between the vanilla normal map and the new texture.  The third vector channel and the reflective channel both came straight from the vanilla normal map.  It's hard to put into words just how messed up this is.  It ruined the entire package.  And needless to say the visual result does not bear scrutiny well.  Apparently, this has been a known problem for at least a year and a half.


I know you said it was hard but could you try to explain how these poor normal maps impact the image?

 

I finally finished vetting the entire 2k package and discarding all but 136MB of it (which represents the textures that were legitimate upgrades without simultaneously being afflicted by the normal map problem) so I have a better grasp of the extent of the problem.  In a few cases, the merging of new and vanilla texture elements extends to the actual textures (not just the normals).  I can only surmise that the entire process of generating normals was left to some sort of automation, which screwed up almost unilaterally, and the problem was never noticed by the author and indeed hardly by anyone else.

 

Normal maps in Skyrim do two things: Provide a sense of 3d to a flat texture, and tell the game where and how much to use specular (brightly reflective) lighting - both of which are helped along by the game's lighting and by the object's motion over time (such as a wall passing by the player while they walk by it).  Now, imagine two completely different pictures of a brick wall.  The only similarity they possess is a vague sense that both pictures may have come from similar walls.  The bricks have completely different layouts.  Now, a normal map is generated to provide one of the pictures with its own personalized 3d-faking map and specular lighting map.  Bricks appear to stand out a bit from the flat wall, and light reflects brightly off the corners of individual bricks.

 

Now take that 3d-faking map and apply about half of it to the second, completely different brick wall picture.  While you're at it, tell the light that it needs to reflect off corners of bricks that aren't even there.  Starting to get the picture?

 

There is no rescuing the Skyrim HD 2K mod.  It is irretrievably fubared.  And it's a pretty big shame, as I have recently also vetted both the "Skyrim Ultra HD Texture Pack" and the "Skyrim Realistic Overhaul" and determined that, with a few exceptions, both of those mods present nothing more than upscaled versions of the vanilla textures, which were then either brutally embossed (Ultra HD) or sharpened badly enough to crush details into oblivion (SRO) - in either case, the results were almost never worth keeping.  At least Skyrim HD 2K made a mostly legit effort to provide a true visual overhaul without cheating.  So yes, it's a shame they ruined it all with their normal map snafu.



#9
KeeperFiM

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Just a little warning about the Skyrim HD 2K Textures.  Well, two warnings.
 
1: Many of them betray the vanilla look just a bit too much.  It would be worth it to compare the new with the old and pick the ones you feel don't exceed that threshold.
 
2: By far the most important problem with this pack is the fact that the normal maps are absolute dealbreakers.  Somehow, when they were being authored, the method used in their authoring included elements from the vanilla normal maps (which usually differed quite dramatically).  What do I mean?  The normal maps have three vector channels and a reflective channel.  In the specimens I examined, only one of the three vector channels was properly related to its new texture.  A second vector channel was a hybrid between the vanilla normal map and the new texture.  The third vector channel and the reflective channel both came straight from the vanilla normal map.  It's hard to put into words just how messed up this is.  It ruined the entire package.  And needless to say the visual result does not bear scrutiny well.  Apparently, this has been a known problem for at least a year and a half.


I know you said it was hard but could you try to explain how these poor normal maps impact the image?
 
I finally finished vetting the entire 2k package and discarding all but 136MB of it (which represents the textures that were legitimate upgrades without simultaneously being afflicted by the normal map problem) so I have a better grasp of the extent of the problem.  In a few cases, the merging of new and vanilla texture elements extends to the actual textures (not just the normals).  I can only surmise that the entire process of generating normals was left to some sort of automation, which screwed up almost unilaterally, and the problem was never noticed by the author and indeed hardly by anyone else.
 
Normal maps in Skyrim do two things: Provide a sense of 3d to a flat texture, and tell the game where and how much to use specular (brightly reflective) lighting - both of which are helped along by the game's lighting and by the object's motion over time (such as a wall passing by the player while they walk by it).  Now, imagine two completely different pictures of a brick wall.  The only similarity they possess is a vague sense that both pictures may have come from similar walls.  The bricks have completely different layouts.  Now, a normal map is generated to provide one of the pictures with its own personalized 3d-faking map and specular lighting map.  Bricks appear to stand out a bit from the flat wall, and light reflects brightly off the corners of individual bricks.
 
Now take that 3d-faking map and apply about half of it to the second, completely different brick wall picture.  While you're at it, tell the light that it needs to reflect off corners of bricks that aren't even there.  Starting to get the picture?
 
There is no rescuing the Skyrim HD 2K mod.  It is irretrievably fubared.  And it's a pretty big shame, as I have recently also vetted both the "Skyrim Ultra HD Texture Pack" aned the "Skyrim Realistic Overhaul" and determined that, with a few exceptions, both of those mods present nothing more than upscaled versions of the vanilla textures, which were then either brutally embossed (Ultra HD) or sharpened badly enough to crush details into oblivion (SRO) - in either case, the results were almost never worth keeping.  At least Skyrim HD 2K made a mostly legit effort to provide a true visual overhaul without cheating.  So yes, it's a shame they ruined it all with their normal map snafu.
Oh gosh... There's no way correct normals could ever be generated?

#10
Asterra

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Oh gosh... There's no way correct normals could ever be generated?

 

If the elements used to generate the normals are intact, there's nothing stopping them.  Convincing normals have to be essentially handcrafted, and by far the best examples of such handcrafting available in Skyrim are the vanilla specimens - which they then scuttled to some degree with overcompression.  But all of the texture mods I've mentioned have had at least some good, handcrafted specimens.  With HD 2K, it's not so easy to tell since each normal is a bizarre merging of the vanilla originals and their own efforts (one has to view individual channels from within PS or GIMP), but I did get the impression that some handcrafting was attempted.  That said, HD 2K has been around for something like two years, bugs and all.  There's absolutely no reason to expect a fix.  And the particularly crushing fact is that because HD 2K exists and is filling the "more or less complete texture overhaul" void in its dubious fashion, who knows how many similar projects never even got started (or will ever) because such a mod already exists. :/


Edited by Asterra, 27 January 2014 - 10:05 PM.






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