SKYRIM
Gemling Queen Jewelry by Saerileth
Skyrim » Models and textures
Added: 20/03/2014 - 07:41PM
Updated: 21/05/2014 - 05:14PM

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Uploaded by Saerileth

Description

Last updated at 17:14, 21 May 2014 Uploaded at 19:41, 20 Mar 2014



Ever get tired of the yucky opaque gemstone textures Bethesda chose to inflict on the stylish Dragonborn? Then this mod is for you! It replaces all jewelry gemstones with prettier, more realistic artwork. No more plastic wrap mostrosities on your forehead! Ah, if only Malachai could see the SPARKLES...

Description
This little project was initiated with a request by Rusey on my Dragon Claw replacer page. The idea is to subsequently replace all jewelry gemstones with actual transparency and depth, as opposed to flat, vertex coloured plastic. Currently covers all craftable vanilla circlets, rings and necklaces.

The circlet meshes included in this replacer are curtesy of MadCat221 from True Circlet Gems. This means that the circlet gems now have a transparent outer layer and an opaque inner backside layer that will reflect light, similar to how the clutter gems are set up. In simpler terms, the gems will sparkle! I'm talking about real reflections that change as you move, not just highlights pasted on by texture/normal map.

What I added to the mix are proper, individual textures and normal maps for all gems. Colour is now controlled solely by texture (TCG uses vertex colours) to achieve more variation and more subtle hues. The textures are hand painted to match the geometry (not just google image of a gemstone), and are 256x256 uncompressed. Each gemstone has a unique look and feel: the rubies are very clear and highly reflective, the sapphire texture contains many little details like inclusions and impurities, the emeralds are more cloudy than the others and have tiny cracks along the surface.

The ring meshes are variations of Brumbek's work in his Static Mesh Improvement Mod. I recreated Madcat's two-layer approach and added individual textures for each gem. I also performance-optimised all rings by significantly reducing the polycount where possible without changing the shape (you will hardly see the difference, but your graphics card will thank me).

The amulet meshes are entirely my work. In addition the gems I have also vastly improved the geometry. I have smoothed out the chain to be less blocky, and the pendant is now actually round and flattened down a bit. The two beads to either side of the pendant have almost doubled polygon count and are now properly aligned with the necklace (in vanilla the chain would pass through the metal and not where the holes are drilled). All in all I've tried to keep complexity at a reasonable level, so there is no exessive detail or wasted performance.

I hope you like the results, but if there is aught amiss feel free to drop by the comment section. I'm always happy about feedback and requests!

Screenshots are taken with Serenity ENB. They don't quite do the gems justice, you really need to see them in motion. Please be aware that inventory screen lighting is a total whackjob and the gems will look different when equipped... I suggest you use "showracemenu" in the console to view the circlets and amulets.

Installation
Install with NMM and follow the instructions. If you're installing manually, take care that you put all files in their correct folders - this is non-trivial, especially if you want Gamwich's combined ring retexture. I really suggest you let the fomod-installer do it's work.

There is no .esp included, so no danger to your savegames - just plug & play. The three modules are entirely standalone, so you can choose to install only the circlet replacer, just the rings or amulets, or any combination of the above.

Please see compatibility notes below when asked to overwrite files from other mods. The general rule is that my mod will not take effect if you let another mod overwrite its meshes.

Compatibility
Ring Module
Gemling Queen Jewelry is a bit different from other replacers, because it replaces the meshes, not just the textures. As such it will conflict with any other mod that modifies the vanilla ring meshes, such as Jewels of the Nord.

My meshes are based on the new high-poly model from SMIM, so you can safely overwrite those files if prompted.

Other ring texture replacers will not take effect as I pointed my meshes at a custom texture path, so if you have AEterna Rings installed those textures will NOT be used. I have included the SMIM textures in my archive, and there is also an optional retexture made by Gamwich specifically for this mod, it comes in several variations and resolutions.

There is a mesh pack for Left Hand Rings available if you install the ring module, thanks to juf0816 for converting them.

Circlet Module
Gemling Queen Jewelry circlet module only affects the circlet gemstones, so it's fully compatible with mods that replace the metal textures, such as Better Circlets HQ and AEterna Circlets.

My mod does not overwrite the vanilla gemstone texture (circletstones.dds), instead I have the meshes point to my custom texture path. So you can still use texture replacers for the onyx and moonstone gems, but sapphire, emerald and ruby will not be affected. You can mix and match to your heart's content!


In this shot I'm using the metal textures from Better Circlets HQ, but then overwrote the circletstones.dds texture with the one from New Jewels for Circlets to get the nice Moonstone and black Onyx (HQ Circlets onyx is pretty, but not very lore friendly... onyx is black, not green). My replacer takes priority for the other gems, so the sapphire is from my mod.

Any mod that replaces the circlet meshes themselves will be incompatible. This obviously includes True Circlet Gems. If you are using Circlet Replacers for Women the female meshes will conflict, but you can still use my replacer for the males. Just install the other mod first, then click "No" when my mod asks to overwrite any files from CRfW (you still need to let my mod overwrite files from any other mod besides CRfW).

If you use Complete Crafting Overhaul Remade my mod will try to overwrite some circlet meshes from CCOR. You must let it do that, or your elven ladies will wear ugly vanilla circlets. CCOR uses meshes made by MadCat, so it shouldn't be a problem, my meshes are based on his work as well.

Amulet Module
The amulet module is compatible with other texture replacers, such as Jewels of the Nord or AEterna Necklaces. See the image section for a comparison screen of how my meshes look with vanilla textures vs. Jewels of the Nord. There is also an amulet retexture made by Gamwich specifically for my gems in the optional files, I can very much recommend it. See screens for a preview of how they look.

Future Plans
My mod currently covers all vanilla craftable jewelry, so I consider it almost complete. A few unique and/or DLC items are still in the making. I may also include a proper moonstone replacer at some point (including a subsurface layer to capture their unique shine). Aetherial Crown is definitely on the menu as well, and currently I am involved in a collaboration with kryptopyr (the author ofComplete Crafting Overhaul Redone) to add a lot more diversity to Skyrim's jewelry crafting system.

F.A.Q.
Q: Will you cover the Aetherial Crown?
A: Yes, because it looks horrible in vanilla. I can't promise an ETA though, as I'm busy with a few other projects right now.

Q: Will you cover the normal / flawless gemstone items?
A: There's nothing wrong with the gemstone meshes (in fact, Madcat's two-layer approach is based on them. I may at some point give them a texture makeover, but it's not a priority right now.

Q: I don't like what you did with this or that, could you please...?
A: Drop by the comments section, I'm always happy about feedback! Please be respectful though, I put a lot of work into these gems and I may not want to accomodate a request if I feel it changes the original look too much.

Q: The textures are blurry! Can you include a 1024x1024 super HD version?
A: No. Are you insane? You can't even get close enough to the gems ingame to notice the difference! Even using "tfc" in the console, the gems will clip with the camera (trust me, I know, taking screens was a real pain). Besides, the textures are hand-painted for 256x256 resolution, I don't have a larger source file.

Q: Is this compatible with...?
A: Try to install with NMM. If it askes you to overwrite something, there's a conflict.

Q: Your mod broke my computer!
A: That's not a question.

Q: Your mod broke my computer?
A: Sigh. Unlikely, but let's repeat the usual displaimer: I take no responsibility for any damage caused by using my files. This might be a good place to mention that it could kill your dog... cats are safe though. I like cats.

Q: How do I kill Atziri?
A: Lots of patience. And watch out for reflected damage! Nasty bugger she is.

Q: Why did you handpaint all textures? Why not use stock photographs like a normal person?
A: Ok, nobody asked this, but in case you're interested... a quick bit of research proved to me beyond a doubt that Bethesda knows nothing of gemstones. The stones used in the circlets are six-sided, but it turns out real gemstones are very rarely cut that way. More commonly they are eight-sided and more. Using an eightsided texture on six-sided geometry results in very weird, mismatched edges, so I decided to bite the bullet and do it the hard way.

Tools Used
Gimp 2.8
CrazyBump
NifSkope
Blender

Many thanks to Madcat221 for letting me use his meshes, and for his invaluable advice in coping with NifSkope. Thanks to Brumbek for his meshes and textures. Many thanks to Gamwich for his beautiful amulet retexture (see optional files).

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