Better Vanilla Hairs - Mesh Replacements by kebrus
Skyrim » Hair and face models
Added: 17/12/2012 - 09:21PM
Updated: 30/01/2013 - 12:19AM

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Uploaded by kebrus


Last updated at 0:19, 30 Jan 2013 Uploaded at 21:21, 17 Dec 2012


This is a VERY EARLY work in progress. And the intention is to receive some early feedback on the work.

I have a ton of graphic mods turned on in my game, yet not a single one of them are related to hair, because usually they aren't lore friendly and they only work for your character unless you decide to mess up with your NPC. I got tired of that and decided to start working on model replacements that would work with the default textures and thus work with any mod that only changes these said textures. I have intentions to eventually create the texture too, but for now I will concentrate my effort in the meshes.

My goal is to replace most of the hair meshes (not all need to be replaced) for some clean ones that look like the vanilla ones. It wont ever be 100% lookalike (or else i wouldn't be doing this) and i will spice things up a little, i give lots of attention to polycount, UVs and vertex weights so it shouldn't hit the performance in any way.


Just extract the content to your Skyrim/data folder.

Q&A (Questions and Answers):
I can't see the hairs on NPCs, why?
Bethesda made so every time you create a NPC you pick all of your face choices and create a unique 3D model with a unique 2D texture, so if you have two NPCs based on the same face choices, their are, in fact, technically different. This is the tool found in Creation Kit that people usually refer to "export facegen data". So in order to change something in an existing NPC you have to use that tool again so the changes actually show up in-game, otherwise, they don't because the NPC is still using the old exported data.

Ok, so that means i have to use that "export facegen data" tool?
If you want, yes. And this is, in fact, the best method. But there is an alternative. When you use that tool it creates files containing the 3D model and the 2D textures. So, I could generate them for you and have you download it. The problem of doing this though is that i don't know if my NPCs are indeed the same as yours. Some mods alter some NPCs faces and some mods actually ADD new NPCs. It's impossible for me to know which everyone is using simply because everyone is using something different. Not just that, but the package alone would easily go into 600MB and this is only counting with the vanilla NPCs. Thats a lot for replacing hairs.

Oh... that's not cool... so how do i use "export facegen data"?
Glad you asked :) ... or didn't... It's actually simple, but be aware that every time I update the hairs you must do this again for the updated hairs. Since i'm still developing this you might want to just do this process for a selected few NPCs. It's up to you.

you need:
1. patience
2. skyrim with any mod or dlc
3. creation kit

1. Turn on Creation Kit :)
2. Go into File>Data and select skyrim.esm and EVERY other .esm or .esp that has NPCs you want to update, so every mod that adds NPCs or changes theirs faces
3. Let it load and click "yes to all" for the following warnings
4. On the object window left pane select the "Actor" category under "Actors" and it should show every NPC for the given .esm you loaded
5. Select all the NPCs you want to update, if you want to update all NPCs select the first in list then shift+select the last
6. Hit CTRL+F4 a windows should open asking you if you want to export, click ok, and click "yes to all" if any warning shows up (Warning!!! if you are doing this to ALL NPCs in your game it'll take some time, on my machine around 30mins)
7. You can now close Creation Kit a load your game, the NPCs should now be using the replacements

ERMAHGERD!! I have the hairs but now their faces are grey, YOU SUCK!!
Woah! That's a common bug and easy to fix. That happens because when using the export tool (CTRL+F4 thingy) you generate the 3D models AND the 2D textures, and somehow Bethesda screw up with it and it usually creates a weird grey texture, and that's what you are seeing on their faces. In order to fix it you simply delete those generated textures and all should be well. Careful though, if you are using a mod that uses those kind of files you might end up deleting more than you want. I never found a mod that uses it, i just don't want you to be taken by surprise.

So where are those evil textures i shall destroy!!
Here: yourinstallationfolder\Data\textures\actors\character\FaceGenData\FaceTint\Skyrim.esm\

The "FaceTint" folder may have more than one folder and you should delete the texture in each folder of the respective NPC you generated the textures for.

Do i have to use this method for Dawnguard / Hearthfire / *insert-mod-here*?
You don't HAVE to, but you'll only see the changes in their respective NPC if you do. And that only means selecting their .esm or .esp file in step #2 and select the NPCs in step #5.

My question isn't here!
Just ask in the comments and i'll reply there and update this Q&A accordingly.

File Replacements:


- updated hair03 for female, less flat, more smooth mesh, closer to the vanilla look (screenshot outdated)

- redid both female hair 01 and 02, now has a smoother and better mesh and overall features

- added 1 more female hair
- fixed male white pads and first attempt at fixing inverted male braid (now it's too thick)

- added 3 more hairs
- all hairs have .tri files to allow use in NPCs

- first release