Last updated at 9:56, 10 Jan 2015 Uploaded at 21:22, 11 Jan 2013
Thanks to JohnnySQS for the Video. Skip ahead to the 50th second to watch this mods feature.
No More Ugly Bronze Shine
By: COTS (cult of the stupid)
[If you want to skip the BS scroll down until you see ======================.
I found it somewhat strange whenever I entered a shadow, readied a spell or used an alchemy station, (enchanting station, blacksmith table) that my character's skin would glow a sickly bronze or develop weird shiny lines. (Ed. Run on.) I finally got off my lazy a@# and did something about it. (Ed. He did not budge a smeging inch.)
Now, after years in R&D and countless hours of play testing, I can finally unveil my greatest work! A master piece of engineering and imagination! Ta dadada ta ta daaaa!!(Ed. Fanfare?) A work of art so marvelous, so stupendous, so mind numbingly...
Alright, it is just a fecking black square.
Yes, you read right. I spent hours trying so many different things I thought I would go mad. I only kept at it because I finished the "Main Plot" (Ed. Don't get him started, please.) and had nothing else to do.
And so, after many hours of frustration, (Ed. About three days.) I finally hit upon the idea of black; the coolest, funkiest, hippest color known to man. (Ed. Even drug addled rock stars and equally addled teenagers know this.) Why not try a great big fecking blob of black and see what happens? (Ed. Isn't science wonderful?) Trial and error, that's the ticket. All this error HAS been a trial after all.
So there you have it, a black square.
Do whatever you want with it. I don't care anymore. Download mine or make your own. It's easy. Open GIMP, make a new file, say 32x32, color it black, save it as ‘female*_1_sk.dds’ or ‘male*_1_sk.dds’ . (Ed. The asterisk stands for anus.) No, the asterisk stands for either body, head or hands. (Ed. Don't forget to enable mipmaps (or mip maps.) or Mr. Crashie my pay you a visit.) Use DTX1 compression. It’s not supposed to add an alpha (Ed. Invisible.) channel, but it just might.
I'm going to have a 'Guinness' or two, maybe some hot wings and have a nice lie down. (Ed. 'Guinness' is black.) So are some of my wings. Who the hell is Ed, anyways?
Oh yeah. There are some pictures; sort of a before and after thing. Make yourself some popcorn, sit on a comfy couch and go through them again and again. Or don't. I don't care. Anyone have a bottle opener? How about some napkins?
(Ed. So, where do I put this black square?)
What? Where do you put the black square?
FIRST BACKUP OR RENAME any *_sk.dds files, (Ed. In case you do not like the black square...) then ‘UNZIP’ the enclosed DATA folder into your SKYRIM folder using ‘7zip’. You can get a copy of ‘7zip’ free from their website. To backup, make a new folder inside the male folder and name it ‘backup’ (Ed. Spot is always good. Or Pochii. How about Pochii?) and move any _sk files into this ‘backup’ folder. Do the same for female.
(Ed. Should I use a download manager like NMM?)
Only if you don’t know how to find *_sk.dds files on your own. I don’t use NMM, but I have been told it will automagically backup duplicate files rather than overwrite them.
(Ed. What if I see no change?)
You are probably using a non-vanilla race that uses separate texture folders. You will have to find that folder and copy the black square there. Usually it is the name as the race… Some modded races use a *.bsa file so you will have to open the bsa to find the texture folder at the end of the texturesactorscharacter folder tree. You can copy the folder you find into the character folder inside Skyrim, then you may overwrite those files freely without worry. If you ever want to go back to the original, just erase the folder and the files will default to the bsa.
(Ed. What is a bsa and how do I open it?)
Well, bsa stands for Bethesda Softworks An… No. Big Stupid… uh… Okay, I don’t know what it stands for, but I do know it is a file compression utility like ‘winrar’ or ‘7zip’. Unfortunately, it cannot be opened with ‘winrar’ or ‘7zip’.
To open a bsa, I use the FO3 Archive Utility. I’m sure there are others but FO3 Archive Utility works for me so why should I use another? FO3 Archive Utility uses the 32bit ‘Java’ script so make sure your 32bit ‘Java’ is up to date whether you use a 64bit system or not.
(Ed. What if I see seams on my character?)
Then wear a trench coat, gloves and muffler.
(Ed. What? Then why go through all this ‘black square’ business?)
It’s cold up there. Why wouldn’t you bundle up?
(Ed. You’re a *&%&^%, you know that?)
Okay, okay. I made the ‘shine’ using a UNP texture and should not cause seams on UNP or vanilla bodies.
The ‘awesome black square’ should work with any and all custom and vanilla textures without a problem. It has nothing in it to cause seams or make it unusable by any vanilla or custom texture. Except, of course, _sk.dds files. It will not work if you do not replace those files with mine.
As I pointed out in one of my pictures, I was also having a problem with seams. My seams were caused by a mismatch in muscle maps, or _msn.dds files. Try using Calientes Texture Blender or UNP Texture Blender and those seams may just disappear. It worked for me.
(Ed. What if I don’t like it?)
Then uninstall it.
Is this for your class again?
Just erase my _sk files. This will have you using the vanilla files again in no time. If you are using custom skins, then it may be easier to just to reload those. If you do this, you may need to use one of the texture blenders again to remove seams. If you made backups, erase mine and rename your backups. Anything else?
(Ed. We should probably explain the differences in each version.)
There are now seven (7) files; I added one for vampires.
The 'Original' is the black square with a smidgen of red for the female body and a new set for male using the vanilla _sk files as a base. Will work with ALL bodies. [Though I have not tested all the male bodies yet] If you see seams when you use this look to the _msn file. A lot of modded muscle maps leave seams along the sides of the torso and inside the arms and legs.This is usually because of the settings used when making the muscle map.
The CBBE and UNP versions use the base _sk files from their respective body mod. Each one has a nearly black file and a file with a lot more red, thus the 'a' and 'b' versions. [See pics] They also contain the male version using the vanilla _sk files.
I do have plans to make files for other body mods but most seem to use the vanilla file. These should be able to use the UNP version without problems. If you are using a body with a UV map that is diffrent than that used by the UNP or CBBE bodies let me know and, if you can, give me a link so I can make a new _sk. If you want one...
This version contains six (6) _sk files; three (3) for male and three (3) for female. They are 64x64 in size and weigh in at a hefty 2.8k per file. They also have just a touch of red tinting just for laughs.
I tossed this one because I put the files in the wrong folder. Actually, I left out a folder in the folder tree.
Version 1.1 or 1001001
This version contains six (6) _sk files; three (3) for male and three (3) for female; six (6) shine maps along with all vanilla male textures. I did not mean to leave the male textures in, that was my mistake. I was using them during my experiments and forgot to erase them. The _sk files are 512x512 and I added just a smidgen of red tinting to remove the powdery look in certain light. Mostly bright daylight.
This version contains six (6) black _sk files; three (3) male and three (3) female; and six (6) shine maps also, three (3) each male and female. The files are big and, of course, out of date.
Dry Shine Maps
One again I left a folder out of folder tree. These are shine maps with very little shine made from the UNP textures.
Dry Shine Maps 1.1
Fixed the folder tree; no other changes.
I put my ‘dry’ shine maps in a separate file to give you the option to use them or not instead forcing them on you as it seemed to me I was doing. These maps, to me, make the skin look more realistic. The pictures are a bit inaccurate so try before you buy. I was able to reduce the body and head maps to just over 4gb and the hand map to about 1.3gb without losing quality.
Well then, I'm off. I have a nice buzz and total inebration is just around the corner, (Ed. We can tell by the spelling…) so it's good-bye from me, and it's good-bye from Ed. (Ed. By the way Ed. is short for Editor, my name is...) Just say good-bye already. (Ed. Gokigainyo.) No need to be so formal. And your accent is terrible. (Ed. I wonder if I spelled it right?)
No More Ugly Bronze Shine
Six black squares. (Ed. The _sk or skin files.) Three shine maps. Apparently I left some male texture files in the folders. I was using them for my experiments and forgot to take them out. Just ignore or erase them (Ed. Erasing them would be best.) as they are the vanilla files uncompressed.
For the removal of that strange bronze glow and oily line you get in certain lighting conditions.
FIRST, BACKUP ANY _SK.DDS AND _S.DDS FILES YOU MAY ALREADY HAVE. Then, using 7zip (or double click on the folder), extract the data folder into your Skyrim folder. Large violin! (Ed. You mean wah lah.) You are done.
Start up the game and you may or may not notice the difference.
* Known Issues:
If you have installed the files and you still get bronze glowing and oily lines then you may be using a custom race that uses different file locations. Some of these mods come in a bsa format thus making it harder to find out what files go where. In this case you will have to use a bsa browser. I use the FO3 Archive Utility. I know it was made for ‘Fallout 3’, but it does the job. Use this ONLY to find out where texture files are located then make new folders as required and name them as you found them in the bsa. Put the files in this mod into the folder where it belongs. This will only override the files in the bsa, not overwrite them so no need to be squeamish. (Ed. He wasn’t clear, but you should make the new folders in the Skyrim data directory.) Right. Just use the same pathing you find in the bsa.
By the way, FO3 Archive uses the java script. If it does not start up then you need to install the java update. Make sure you get the 32bit version even if you have a 64bit OS.
If you are getting seams that is not this mod; the _sk file is just a black square with a slight red tint and with no seams to be found. The _s file is just a ‘shine’ file that adds glossiness to the skin. If you think this may be the problem then feel free to remove or replace it. However, a high gloss may cause a bit of ‘bronzing’ as you pass through darkened areas.
During my experimentation, I found that all four files interact with one another in an attempt to make a more realistic skin. I think this only adds unnecessary complications as adjusting one file effects the other three. So getting mad at me because you are getting seams only means you had the seams to begin with, they were just not as apparent. (Ed. Not as noticeable.)
Try using Calientes Texture Blender or UNP Texture Blender and those seams may just disappear. It worked for me.
* Unknown Issues:
None that I know of… (Ed. Duh!)
If you find any unknown issues please be kind and polite and let me know by leaving a comment on my mod page. If I cannot help you there are others who are kind enough to help with issues that appear in my comments page. Be kind to them as well.
Thank you all very much. I still have not found a way to e-mail a pizza and a brew… (Ed. I’m getting hungry.) Maybe if I chant and burn incense while I consume them myself the spirits of pizza and brew will find it’s way to you. (Ed. Or maybe not…) The essence of pizza… I wonder what time the spirits of pizza and brew get up? (Ed. Is that relevant?) I do not know. A lot of people seem to think their gods are closer on certain days. (Ed. It’s good you’re a pagan then…)
Navigate your way through your Skyrim installation directory. For example; C:GamesSteam SteamAppscommon skyrimDatatexturesactorscharacter and you will find a folder named ‘female’ and a folder named ‘male’. Open these and look for any _s.dds and _sk.dds files and delete. You will now be using the vanilla files.
If you made backups rename them to their default and you should be back where you started.
If you did not backup and are using a body texture mod, you may find _sk.dds and _s.dds files in the original zip or rar. If so, then reinstall the files and overwrite mine if you have not deleted them already. Chances are (Ed. …though I wear this silly grin…) the body mod is using the vanilla file anyway.
* Legal Shi… uh… Stuff.
There is no legal stuff. (Ed. It leaves a bad smell on the carpets.) Period. Do with it what you will. However, if you are a kind soul and are using a custom race that uses different file locations, please help others by making a simple mod that installs these files in the correct locations. I believe someone has already done so with the Temptress Race. Thanks to you (Ed. You know who you are.) and congratulations on your initiative and kind heart.
Cult of the Stupid