Static Mesh Improvement Mod - SMIM by Brumbek
Skyrim » Visuals and graphics
Added: 10/02/2012 - 06:24AM
Updated: 21/04/2014 - 08:44PM

28,255 Endorsements

1.63 Latest version

1,571,509 Unique D/Ls

2,599,657 Total D/Ls

5,208,826 Total Views

Uploaded by Brumbek


Last updated at 20:44, 21 Apr 2014 Uploaded at 6:24, 10 Feb 2012

Current Version: 1.63 - February 25, 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 October 2013 615+ meshes have been completed; my goal has been exceeded! SMIM now includes over 10,000 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 (recommended!), install it AFTER SMIM and let it overwrite all SMIM files. This ensures you get the animated blacksmith troughs and wetter rocks.

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 it first! Then let SMIM overwrite all BDS files! Otherwise, you won't get 3D ropes for the farmhouses.

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.

Version 1.63 February 25, 2014

  • SMIM'd the entire Gold and Silver ring set (goldring and silverring meshes) to make the rings actually round. Thanks to pfaffendrill for letting me modify his texture from his great Jewels of the Nord mod.
  • Ring meshes for Complete Crafting Overhaul Remade or Jewelcraft mods also included as an install option.
  • SMIM'd the most common dead tundra tree used in over 800 places (tundradriftwood01.nif). This fixes the horrible UV mapping on the roots and uses a new texture.
  • Edited both Hagraven load screen meshes to fix the feathers clipping through the legs and minor UV improvements to cloak (loadscreenhagraven01.nif, loadscreenhagraven02.nif).
  • Slightly enlarged the cave_lamp01.nif bowl to remove clipping from the fire mesh placed in many of them. This is a vanilla issue I fixed.
  • Updated some meshes with new USKP 2.0.1 fixes detailed below.
  • Cast shadows flags added for mountaincliff03.nif, mountaincliffsm01.nif, mountainridge01.nif, mountaintrim01wet.nif, and mountaintrim01.nif.
  • Fixed collision for commontablelow02.nif.
  • Thanks to Arthmoor and the USKP team for the fixes.

Version 1.62 January 30, 2014

  • SMIM'd the Windmill fans to be 3D instead of 2D. The SkyFalls and SkyMills mod is compatible and recommended. Just make sure you install SMIM last. A vanilla-sized windmills version is included in the full mod package.
  • Note the windmills do flicker a bit at a distance simply because there isn't enough pixel density on 1080p and lower resolutions. If it bothers you, you can choose to not install the windmills.
  • Also note I fixed some clipping issues with the larger windmills. There still isn't collision on the fans because I'm not sure if the Skyrim engine allows collision on animated non-convex shapes.
  • Thanks to SjoertJansen for SkyMills and pfaffendrill for the larger windmills idea.

Version 1.61 January 4, 2014

  • SMIM'd the Imperial Sconces used in over 700 places (impwallsconcecandle01.nif, impwallsconcecandle02.nif, impwallsconcecandleoff01.nif, and impwallsconcenocandle01.nif). Thanks to raiserfx for his great base texture I used.
  • Slightly improved the Imperial Sconces candle UV mapping (vanilla fixes).

Version 1.60 December 12, 2013

  • Restored proper dirt skirts to all green cave dirt cliff meshes (cavegcliffs series) used in over 650 places. This hides the horrible seams between dirt and rock that Bethesda inexplicably ignored. This is a massive improvement; amazing work Brumbek!
  • The restored dirt skirts also feature a custom SMIM texture featuring a modified skirt texture to fit the green cave theme. This should blend fine with any texture replacer.
  • Restored proper roots texture for cavegcliffs01.nif, cavegcliffs02.nif, cavegcliffs03.nif, cavegcliffs03ns.nif, cavegcliffscornerin01.nif, cavegcliffscornerin01ns.nif, cavegcliffsisland01.nif, and cavegcliffsisland01ns.nif. The original meshes applied the rock wall texture to the roots, which made the game pretty much unplayable in my opinion.
  • Replaced my blacksmithforgemarker.nif and blacksmithforgemarkerwr.nif meshes with the USKP versions since they had other improvements. I also further improved the hot coal pokers UV mapping. USKP may wish to include this.
  • Error fixes for caveirwalldoorl01.nif, caveilwalldoorl01.nif, caveifwalldoorl01.nif, and caveiswalldoorl01.nif. UV fix and edge turns on the rock wall. Ice rim fix to set vertex alpha color to 0 for 6 vertices to remove seams on ice trim polygons on both sides.
  • Error fixes for caveirwalldoorlb01.nif, caveirwalldoorlb03.nif & caveirwalldoorlr01.nif. Ice rim fix to set vertex alpha color to 0 for 6 vertices to remove seams on ice trim polygons on both sides.
  • UV fixes for rock wall and one vertex color fix for cavegebalconycurve01.nif, cavegebalconycurve02.nif, cavegebalconycurve03.nif, and cavegebalconycurve04.nif.
  • UV fixes for rock wall and one vertex color fix for cavegbalconycurve01.nif, cavegbalconycurve02.nif, cavegbalconycurve03.nif, and cavegbalconycurve04.nif.
  • UV fixes for cavegebalconyramp01.nif and cavegebalconyramp02.nif. Although both have horrible seams still.
  • UV fixes for cavegbalconyramp01.nif and cavegbalconyramp02.nif. Although both have horrible seams still.
  • UV fixes for cavegbalconystraight02.nif and cavegebalconystraight02.nif.

Version 1.59 November 23, 2013

  • SMIM'd the Imperial brown chandeliers used in 250 places. Thanks to raiserfx for his 3D chains I modified from Ruins Clutter Improved. The two grey chandeliers are yet to be SMIM'd.
  • Also included are the new USKP chandelier meshes modified to use the SMIM versions with 3D chains.
  • SMIM'd the Hearthfire craftable lock to use the full lock mesh from the main game instead of a very ugly lower fidelity version.
  • Changed the SMIM'd Weathered Chest texture to change the bright silver lock to a darker color.
  • Fixed very minor gaps in my new Candelabra meshes.

Version 1.58 October 19, 2013

  • Added SMIM'd Wagon Wheel (wagonwheel01.nif) that matches my new Carriage wheels.
  • SMIM'd the Imperial wall sconces used in about 400 places (impwallsconce02 series) to match my new Candelabras. High polygon and high resolution texture included.
  • SMIM'd the last two Nordic pots (ruinspot01.nif & ruinspot02.nif) used in over 800 places to make them not hideously flat and ugly. New texture based off raiserfx's Ruins Clutter Improved texture.
  • Improved candles meshes and UV mapping on all the relevant Candelabras to eliminate texture seams.
  • Modified raiserfx's candle textures to remove seams and invert normal map. These are vanilla replacer textures.
  • Changed new Sabrecat Tooth texture to make it appear less old.
  • Fixed wrong candle UV mapping on one of the candelabras (thanks raiserfx for spotting this).

Version 1.57 October 13, 2013

  • SMIM'd all four Candelabras used in over 500 places. They use custom high resolution textures now instead of awkwardly using the wall sconce textures. Models are four times higher polygon but totally worth it. Thanks to raiserfx for his great base texture I used.
  • Recreated the collision data for the Dwemer Pot (dwepot01.nif) to allow complex collision so you can put things in the pot. Thanks to Arthmoor for requesting I fix this, forcing me to figure out a solution.
  • SMIM'd Stew Bowl (stew.nif) used for all stew recipes. Uses custom improved ingredient bowl and better stew plane.
  • SMIM'd Sabrecat Tooth ingredient (sabrecattooth.nif) to improve the tooth model and use a higher resolution custom texture.
  • Updated many meshes to include the USKP 2.0.0 collision radius fixes (cabbage01.nif, dwepot01.nif, dweplate01.nif, bread01a.nif, dwecog01.nif, dwarvengear.nif, dwarvenscrap1.nif, dwarvenscraplarge2.nif, dwarvenplate.nif, dwarvenscrap2.nif, ingotdwarven.nif).
  • Fixed install script error for BAIN wizard. Thanks to chochodrillo for pointing this out.

Prior Versions

  • See changelog page.

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.
  • Bethesda for creating awesome games with irksome flaws that we modders obsess over.

Tools used:
  • 3DSMax
  • MudBox
  • Photoshop
  • Paint.NET
  • NifSkope