Skyrim » Visuals and graphics
Added: 06/07/2013 - 09:11PM
Updated: 22/07/2014 - 08:12AM

199 Endorsements

3.0.1 Latest version

1,576 Unique D/Ls

1,805 Total D/Ls

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Uploaded by Gamwich


Last updated at 8:12, 22 Jul 2014 Uploaded at 21:11, 6 Jul 2013

UPDATE VERSION 3.0 AVAILABLE: Improved diffuse, normal map detail and variation. Softened the contrast on the crevices, and improved the color blending between the two mountain textures. Added an enhanced Rockset normal map to give better definition to the large rock formations. All users should update to the new version.

Now updated to 3.0.1 - Made some adjustments to the mountain diffuse texture colors and the contrast level of the rock set spectral layer. Colors should blend better with the default color scheme, and the rock set shading is a little more subtle now.

MOUNTAIN OR MOLEHILL is a performance friendly retexture of the Skyrim mountain/rock textures. I know what you're thinking...... "Not another friggin' rock retexture! Don't we have enough of those already?"

Well, bare with me, and I'll explain why I undertook this mod. There are quite a few retextures of the horrible vanilla Bethesda grey putty that they try to pass off as a rock texture. Some are very detailed and quite decent, but none of them satisfied me. Am I just a crank?.... perhaps, but I think I have a valid reason.

Update: With version 1.1 the textures have been optimized to give even better performance. THe rock textures are now 1/2 the file size of the originals. Still 2K, but greater compression to help avoid the dreaded Skyrim 3.1GB RAM cap problem. There might be a slight loss of detail, but the performance gain more than makes up for any slight reduction in appearance.

New Update: Version 1.2 adds an improved normal map with greater detail. Same file size, just improved texture.

I don't think there's a single texture in Skyrim as important to the overall appearance of the game as the mountain/rock texture. There are actually two textures, but it's really one "photo" texture, since they have to blend together. They have to appear very similar, or the seams will be extremely obvious. Yep, we're talking about essentially one image to represent everything from a small stone on the ground, to the side of a mountain. That's asking an awful lot of one texture. That's why I call this mod MOUNTAIN OR MOLEHILL..... this rock texture is a small thing, and a very big thing at the same time. So, excuse me, if I make a mountain out of a molehill.

Despite the other authors' fine efforts, I still found the other retexture mods lacking. Regardless of the impressive detail of some, they all tended to look too similar overall. Little rocks looked just like big mountain slabs. My aim was to create a texture that had enough variation of color and detail, that rocks and mountains would not look too bland and repetitive. It needed to be a texture that looked good under different lighting conditions (at different times of the day).

I also wanted a texture that would blend well with the existing stonework of the cities and ruins of Skyrim. And, I wanted the rocks to blend well with the landscape itself, and not stick out like a sore thumb (looking at you, Bethesda). In a climate as cold as Skyrim, the rocks and mountainsides would be exposed to constant freezing and thawing, so the rocks should show cracks and crevices that would be caused by such extreme weather. I'm a big fan of the MOSS ROCKS mod by SparrowPrince, so I wanted a texture that would show off the moss texture, and not obscure it.

Lastly, I wanted to create a texture that anyone could use, and not just be for the "I don't run anything but 4K textures on my rig" crowd. So, I did my best to optimize the quality and sharpness of my 2K textures. The normal map is 1K, because I've found that the "shape" texture isn't nearly as important in the overall appearance as the "photo" texture. Why suck up extra resources for something that doesn't really add much? Again, my aim was to create a rock texture mod that anyone could run on their setup. I also retextured (and or) recolored all the mountain LOD files. So, the appearance of the mountains should blend well, whether in the distance, or up close.

Whether I was successful in achieving my goals is for the Nexus community to judge. I put a lot of work into this mod, so I hope people enjoy it as much as I did creating it.

Installation: Use NMM, or to do manually, merely unzip the files and install them into your Data folder in your Skyrim game folder.

The file path is [C]Windows > Programs Files or Program Files (x86) > Steam > SteamApps > Common > Skyrim > Data > Textures > Landscape > Mountains

Uninstall: Deactivate with NMM, or just manually delete (or overwrite) the,,, and files.

For the mountain LOD files, the file path is The file path is [C]Windows > Programs Files or Program Files (x86) > Steam > SteamApps > Common > Skyrim > Data > Textures > Lod

Uninstall: Deactivate with NMM, or just manually delete (or overwrite) the, and,,,,,,,,,,,,,, and files.