Static Mesh Improvement Mod - SMIM by Brumbek
Skyrim » Visuals and graphics
Added: 10/02/2012 - 06:24AM
Updated: 08/10/2014 - 08:56AM

90,203 Endorsements

1.74 Latest version

2,333,521 Unique D/Ls

3,990,298 Total D/Ls

8,009,824 Total Views

Uploaded by Brumbek


Last updated at 8:56, 8 Oct 2014 Uploaded at 6:24, 10 Feb 2012

Current Version: 1.74 - August 7, 2014

Thank you for all the endorsements, and thank you so much to those who have donated to me.

And thank you for voting SMIM as file of the month for March 2012. Very kind of you all!

Skyrim is the greatest open-world RPG ever created and includes fantastic 3D character and creature models. However, playing the game for even one hour made me notice Skyrim also contains many ugly 3D models. More precisely, there are quite a few low-polygon static meshes that comprise the architectural elements, clutter, furniture, and landscape objects.

It would appear that while the artists devoted a large amount of time to create the races, creatures, armors, weapons, and major buildings, the more "boring" 3D models that make up the game world were severely neglected.

Hence, this mod edits many 3D models to improve their appearance and to fix many of the ugly seams and other oddities. I started in February 2012 with the ultimate goal of improving about 500 of the worst offenders. In June 2014 750+ meshes have been completed; my goal has been exceeded! SMIM now includes over 15,000 placements of said meshes! Still, SMIM still has more to do! Improving meshes takes a long time, and I'll release incremental updates to include new 3D models as I finish them.

Want to know more? I wrote book about SMIM! Click the image below to read a larger version of "Initiates Guide to SMIM". It'll even boost your stats!

The Nexus Mod Manager (NMM) is recommended for proper installation. If you use NMM, just click the "Download with Manager" button and install!

My mod comes with a fancy installation script that lets you pick and choose which parts of SMIM you want and pick various texture options. Before requesting options please try the different options through Nexus Mod Manager!

The Official High-Res DLC is OPTIONAL, but only a lunatic wouldn't use it. Just download the High-Res DLC from Steam and activate the .esps for it.

Also download the Unofficial High Resolution Patch.

The Unofficial Skyrim Patch is recommended. Install order doesn't matter since the USKP is a BSA package meaning SMIM's loose files will always take precedence.

The Unofficial patches for Dawnguard, Dragonborn, and Hearthfire are also extremely recommended but in no way required. Do use them though since they fix some very serious bugs with the DLCs.

If you use WATER or Realistic Water Two (either recommended!), install one or the other AFTER SMIM and let it overwrite all SMIM files.

If you use SkyFalls and SkyMills (recommended), install it BEFORE SMIM and then let SMIM overwrite all files. Otherwise, one of the windmill fans will remain 2D.

If you use Better Dynamic Snow (recommended!), install order doesn't matter since BDS 2.20 is a BSA package meaning SMIM's loose files will always take precedence.

If you use raiserfx's Ruins Clutter Improved (recommended!), install it first! Then let SMIM overwrite all Ruins Clutter Improved files! Otherwise, you won't get SMIM's fancy lantern or various Nordic ruins improvements.

If you use rheadude's Ultimate HD Fire Effects, install it first! Then let SMIM overwrite all files!

If you use kryptopyr's Complete Crafting Overhaul Remade or Tytanis' Jewelcraft, install it first! Then let SMIM overwrite all files!

If you use anamorfus' Enhanced Lights and FX, install SMIM first then pick the SMIM Meshes installer option for Enhanced Lights and FX.

If you use texture mods like Skyrim HD, install SMIM first, then the texture mods and let them overwrite the few files that might conflict with SMIM.

If you use Mindflux's ENB Particle Mesh Fixes, let SMIM overwrite everything because SMIM already includes all his fixes.

Manual Installations and Other Notes

Manual installations are extremely discouraged since SMIM's folder structure is very complex. If you insist against all better judgment, you can download the SMIM archive and then extract the contents of the "00 Core" folder to "SkyrimData". That installs the base part of the mod.

The other folders starting with numbers are optional features. If you want one of those options, extract the contents of the folder to "SkyrimData". Folders with the same number are either or, so only extract the contents of one of those folders. If you can't figure out all the numbering and folder descriptions, use NMM or Wrye Bash. Version 1.11 and above includes an .esp. Be sure to activate it.

SMIM uses many SMIM-specific new textures that are included in the "textures-smim" folder to separate them from vanilla textures. These SMIM-textures always override any other texture replacers you are using. What this means is most of the meshes I edit will use MY textures, not those of other texture replacers you have installed. This isn't a big deal since my SMIM textures are designed to match well with the base game and other high-res texture packs. Just be aware that when using SMIM, you will have to use my textures for most SMIM'd meshes.

Also, SMIM includes several edited vanilla textures (I fixed errors with them), which do conflict with texture replacers. You just have to decide if you want my fixed vanilla textures or your favorite texture replacer's versions. For example, if you install Skyrim HD first then SMIM, you'll get SMIM's fixed vanilla wood post texture. If you install SMIM first then Skyrim HD, you'll get Skyrim HD's wood post texture. None of this hurts your game. Just remember to generally install SMIM first and then texture replacers.

  • Finish other furniture upperclass and noble. Edit: August 2013 - upperclass done.
  • Entire set of mines scaffolding has terrible UV mapping resulting in blurred wood appearance. Double UV size and do it right on whole set.
  • Entire green mines landscape meshes are missing blending skirts to hide seams. Why Bethesda, why? Edit: version 1.60 restores the skirts to the most used meshes.
  • Riften ropes, make them high-polygon like farmhouse ropes.
  • Torture tools. Only used a few times. Not a big deal.
  • Lockboxes, increase detail. Low priority.
  • Mountain flowers and snowberries and other 2D flowers.
  • Gildergreen 2D flowers.
  • Rocks! Fix UV errors on all rocks and smooth out very harsh edges. A difficulty job. On hold.
  • Mountains! Fix UV errors and increase poly-count. A difficulty job. On hold.
  • Possibly improve various city elements.
  • Windhelm 2D metal fences.
  • ...actually play game someday...FEB 2013 UPDATE: I played and am level 25 now! Great work me! SEP 2013 UPDATE: I'm now level 40 and an enchanting fiend!
raiserfx's Ruins Clutter Improved mod, which mostly improves textures but also adds 3D chains to chandeliers. He's saved me lots of time! Perfect to use with SMIM! Install it first then SMIM after to ensure you get SMIM's fancy lantern and other Nordic ruins improvements.OpticShooter's Better Dynamic Snow mod changes the ugly dynamic snow to use the snow texture, plus I helped with the mod. Get it now:Try out my fancy, super-great Main Menu Spinning Skyrim Emblem mod!Other really great visual mods to complement SMIM:
  • Detailed Rugs - Greatly improved rug textures. Very lore-friendly.
  • Jewels of the Nord - High-polygon rings along with high-resolution textures.
  • High Quality Food and Ingredients - A nice collection of food and ingredient textures. Many of these SMIM already improves (won't conflict and SMIM will take priority), but this mod has great powder and moon sugar textures. Some textures are different than vanilla and a matter of preference.
  • Skyrim Flora Overhaul - Greatly improved plant textures.
  • Animated Dwemer Lift Load Doors - Adds a nice and brief animation to actually show the lifts moving up and down. A great and simple mod!
  • SkyFalls and SkyMills - Adds distant animated waterfalls and windmills. Fantastic! Install before SMIM and let SMIM overwrite the windmill files.
  • Enchanting Candles Improved - Greatly improves the candle wax on the enchanting tables.
Version 1.74 August 7, 2014
  • SMIM'd the Imperial Brazier mesh (impbrazier01.nif) used in 250+ places. Been meaning to improve this for a while. Now it is so round and detailed. I just want to hug it!
  • Updated the two hanging chains meshes and two anchor chains meshes to remove the subtle glowing effect Bethesda used. When using lighting mods like ELFX the chains would glow quite brightly. Since glowing chains makes no sense anyway, I just removed the effect altogether.
  • Removed vertex colors from the two anchor chains meshes (shipkatariahanchorwheel01.nif and shipanchorwheel01.nif) since the chains are wrapped in a circle and therefore don't have consistent shadow angles.
  • Countless fixes for Studded Leather Armor ground model. UV fixes galore, edge divides, extra polygons on harsh edges, added vertex colors, removed alpha property. Thanks to silverdragon5's mod for bringing this to my attention.
Version 1.73 June 30, 2014
  • New stone texture for all bridge meshes using better uvmapping. Old version left in the archive as manual install option even though it is inferior.
  • New dirt trim for all bridge meshes using a high resolution texture. The new trim removes the ugly upper seam that has bugged me for years.
  • Updated alpha channel on dungeon dirt cliffs skirt diffuse texture SMIM added. New alpha blends better.
  • Minor improvement to candle UV on both loadscreenadventure01.nif versions. Full version only.
  • Fixes for loadscreendragonpriest.nif, using USKP base. The purple cape had a number of clipping and flickering issues. Moved vertices, improved uvmapping, deleted some extra polygons that caused flickering.
Version 1.72 June 12, 2014
  • Created new perfectly fitting collision for all the Shack Roof meshes for the sake of realism. Now you can shoot arrows through the roof slats instead of hitting invisible walls! Try shooting arrows randomly out the roof from the safety of your shack! Or try expertly shooting an arrow into a shack through the roof and killing a sleeping NPC! See my new video for LOLs and Learning (LOLAL):
  • Updated the non-DLC Shack Fix .esp to add boards to the exterior Abandoned Shack since the exterior version previously could be seen into, but the empty inside broke immersion.
  • Updated both Shack Fix .esp files to include a few more fixes and additional wood beams to eliminate vanilla gaps and issues that my SMIM meshes expose.
  • Updated smoothing on all wood pieces from the shackbrokewood series to change from faceted to smooth. How many times must I tell Bethesda that faceted uncut wood makes no sense!
  • Updated shack wood pieces to change UV mapping of beam ends to use beam ends instead of wrong wood chopping blocks.
  • Included shackroofmid02.nif in SMIM Shack Roof kit since Dragonborn uses it in one place.
  • Updated several of the Chandelier meshes to fix duplicate block names, which should have caused the game to crash but didn't...strangely.
  • Updated several of the Chandelier meshes to remove unnecessary shader controller blocks, which possibly caused major slowdowns for some users (or maybe slowdowns still exist).
  • Updated several of the Chandelier meshes to improve UV mapping on the chains, which I previously forgot to do. The chains will look more detailed now.
  • Added merged .esp files since the masses demanded it! Two version: All and No Dragonborn. If you don't have Dragonborn you want to use the one called No Dragonborn as it turns out!
  • Updated the NMM installer script to fix the missing FarmhouseFlickering .esp. Also changed the NMM installer to install only the single Merged ESP if you pick one of the two Install Everything install options.
  • Updated the BAIN script to remove Hawk from the Lite version to remove Dragonborn incompatibility. BAIN installer won't use the Merged plugins by the way. Copy them yourself from folders 95 if you want.
  • Minor UV improvements to vanilla rock block FarmInt2Hearth02:16 for farmint2hearth02.nif.
  • Slight changes to smelter materials to delete one unnecessary material and add vert colors to one.
  • Changed the default Smelter front blocks texture to double-size and removed the Ultra texture since this is now the default size. This makes the Smelter look good up close at 1080p.
Version 1.71 June 7, 2014
  • SMIM'd the Smelter finally. Real 3D stonework, smoother dome, better textures, new inside charcoal model, grate on top to match the collision, and other stuff. Six new textures require 36MB VRAM, but it's worth it.
  • Dwemer animated observatory meshes edited to fix bad UV mapping on the green chiseled circles (dweobservatorychamber01.nif, dweobservatoryarmillary01.nif, dweobservatorydome01.nif, dweobservatorydome02.nif, dweobservatorydome03.nif).
  • Dwemer focus mesh (focusingcrystal01.nif) improved to fix bad UV mapping on the green chiseled circles and to add a much better rock texture since the original reused the iron ore texture in a very sloppy way. Bad devs!
  • Dwemer armillary (dweobservatoryarmillary01.nif) updated to use new focus mesh as well.
Version 1.70 May 31, 2014
  • SMIM'd the Dwarven Oil ingredient (dwarvenoil.nif) because it was terrible! The mesh is more curved now with a proper lid. A new texture with some oil spots has been made.
  • Fixed overlapping faces on Dawnguard horizontal vampire coffins (vampirecoffinhoriz01.nif and vampirecoffinhoriz02.nif), which fixes the ugly black smoothing issue.
  • Updated ingotdwarven.nif to greatly improve the face smoothing and edges. Also updated the collision to make it slightly better.
  • Edited ingotgold.nif to smooth the back edges.
  • Updated the three brewery cask meshes (brewerycasklarge series) to fix my mistake regarding specular color, although it makes little difference in-game. Now the metal uses yellow specular instead of the wood.
  • Minor fix for overlapping vertices on dragonscalecuirassgo.nif. This error is quite visible on the loading screen display of the mesh. Part of the clothing fixes install option.
  • Further improved dwecenturionbust01.nif using the USKP mesh as a base. Deleted invisible polygons, moved faces to reduce clipping, improved UV mapping to eliminate very ugly seams, deleted alpha channel, other UV fixes.
Version 1.69 May 23, 2014
  • Edited SMIM-FarmhouseFlickeringFix.esp so it matches the USKP exactly to avoid confusion over conflicts. Reminder: you don't need this .esp if you use the USKP, but it won't hurt anything to load it with the USKP, too.
  • Removed Strings folder for SMIM-FarmhouseFlickeringFix.esp since I updated it. New translation files will be needed if you use it with another language.
  • Ever so slight fix on loadscreenreagent01.nif for Nirnroot UV mapping to remove ugly line on the petals.
  • Increased UV mapping size on all epic green dungeon pillars (cavegepillarXX.nif, over 150 placements) to greatly reduce the ugly. Thanks to Octopuss for pressuring me into fixing this!
  • Also a minor UV fix on cavegepillar03.nif for two misplaced triangles.
  • Also fixed the vertical UV stretching error on cavegepillar04.nif.
  • Vertex color fixes and UV seam fixes for cavegebalconycurve01.nif. Eliminated seams on both bottom and top surfaces.
  • Vertex color fixes for cavegebalconycurve02.nif.
  • Vertex color fixes and UV seam fixes for cavegebalconycurve03.nif. Eliminated seams on both bottom and top surfaces.
  • Vertex color fixes for cavegebalconycurve04.nif.
Version 1.68 May 20, 2014
  • Applied ChunkMerge Fix to dwepot01.nif to fix an esoteric collision error that didn't cause problems but perhaps was like the butterfly who flaps its wings and then the world died screaming.
  • Quick UV mapping fixes for Solitude small fire pit (slgdarchfire02.nif) to make it not nearly so horrible and to fix smoothing and vertex colors.
  • A few more UV fixes for mountaintrimslab.nif using the USKP mesh as a base.
  • Renamed all .esp files to just SMIM prefix to improve readability. Added descriptions to all .esp files.
  • Merged Better Dynamic Snow shader into main SMIM-ShackRoofFixes.esp to eliminate dependency. BDS is no longer required for real snow on shack roofs.
  • Added a new Barrel texture option with a more rustic look. Thanks to Shutt3r for giving me the texture.
  • Updated the crates meshes to change the nail heads from the ugly pure grey texture to an actual nail head texture using the East Empire sign texture.
  • Fixed both cratesmalllong01.nif and cratesmalllong01eeco.nif to restore two missing nail heads. Also fixed floating nail heads. Nailed that fix real good.
  • Fixed a very minor hole in ruinsfurniturerubble15.nif on the top of the black tabletop (vanilla issue).
  • Updated meshes listed below to include USKP 2.0.4 changes. [*] USKP fixes for cratesmall01.nif and cratesmall01eeco.nif. [*] USKP fix for rabbitmeatcooked01.nif collision radius. [*] USKP fix for farmhouse01.nif collision. [*] USKP fix for largeimperialtent01.nif collision. [*] USKP fix for ruinspot05.nif collision radius. [*] USKP fix for Hearthstone child load screens to add texture to eyes.
Prior Versions
  • See changelog.
What is the performance hit?
For me, it is zero, but I'm running a 3.3GHz i2500k Intel CPU with a nVidia GeForce 480. Users with slower machines may take a hit. I have no interest in making low-polygon models. Every model I've included is more detailed than vanilla. A few of my meshes are a LOT more detailed, some even overkill perhaps. Maybe I'll go back and reduce polygons at some point. For now, try my mod, note where your FPS drops (if anywhere) and manually delete certain of my meshes if you desire.
What textures do your models use?
I use the default vanilla textures whenever possible so that texture replacers will work fine with my mod. However, some models require me to make custom textures to fit my new awesome 3D models. In this case I use my judgment to decide which texture source is best: vanilla, Skyrim HD, or a new custom-made texture by me. What this means is you can't simply use a texture replacer to replace textures for my objects. But all my non-vanilla textures are quite high-resolution. See the texture replacer section above for more information.
I don't like one of your 3D models or textures. How do I solve my issues?
Well, if you don't like a certain 3D model I've included, you can delete it manually either before or after installation. You'll have to find it yourself and remove it. If you don't like my textures I'm afraid you're stuck with them since other texture replacers won't work for most of my 3D models. If you ask nicely I could perhaps make an alternate texture more to your liking.
Will you improve/fix a certain 3D model?
Maybe, post in the comments and tell me what you want fixed and why. But don't post spoilers!
Why don't you just enjoy the game as it was made?
Because I'm OCD. I notice seams, low-polygon models, and other offenses to good artistic design. It's my burden really. I wish I was ignorant of all this, but alas, I know too much...
  • See Credits page for full list of credits.
  • Thanks to the whole NifSkope team over the years. Without their years of effort no-one would be able to edit .nif files! Thank you!
  • Thanks to NifUtilsSuite by skyfox. Without this tool, I would have no way of editing Skyrim collision or viewing it to ensure accuracy. Thank you!
  • Bethesda for creating awesome games with irksome flaws that we modders obsess over.
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