Fallout 4

Why regenerate object LOD?

LOD follows the rule of one: The last overriding file wins a conflict. In case you have two mods that both deliver LOD, they will conflict and you will either only see the LOD of mod A or of mod B, depending on their load order. In some cases you will see really weird artifacts (you might have come to this article because of that). You likely know this behavior from ESP plugins. Regenerating LOD for your mod setup is akin to creating a compatibility patch - some may also call this merged or bashed patch - for your load order. It is good practice if your load order is longer and contains more than just one or two mods that deliver LOD.

Now, "object LOD" is to be seen separately from "terrain LOD" ("terrain" is how landscape, the very shape of the ground, is internally called) - FO4LODGen currently only has experimental support for terrain LOD and I'm going to write this guide for a stable version. Generating object LOD works very fine so we're good. Object LOD is the LOD for architecture, flora and other static objects. Side note: Before Fallout 4, Creation Engine also had Tree LOD but in Fallout 4 trees are treated as static objects. Their animations are baked into their meshes as vertex weights.

If you are not certain if you actually want to regenerate - but you want to be certain, because this isn't fucking voodoo or black magic - check your Data folder and all "ModName - Main.ba2" archives for this path (I suggest using B.A.E. to search inside the BA2 archive):

  • \Meshes\terrain\Commonwealth\Objects

OR, obviously, if you have funky LOD in Far Harbor or Nuka World (or a custom worldspace), you want to search for their respective names, which would be:

  • \Meshes\terrain\NukaWorld\Objects
  • \Meshes\terrain\DLC03FarHarbor\Objects

... you get the picture.

A lot of environmental mods are suspect of this but also consider that any mod that places larger objects (which often have proper LOD assigned to them) in a worldspace and does not deliver updated object LOD will cause ugly object pop-in for the objects it places. That is, unless you generate object LOD for it on your end.

Alright, how do I do this?

First of all, I am assuming you have the Creation Kit for Fallout 4 installed, which we're going to need for the archive creation tool. It is not necessary to start CreationKit.exe for this guide. We just need one part of it that sits in a separate tool. There are plenty of great tutorials out there on how to set up the Creation Kit, I suggest asking your favorite search engine for "fallout 4 creation kit installation".

Second, download the latest stable version of xLODGen (FO4LODGen is a "operation mode" of xLODGen, part of the mighty toolbox ElminsterAU created) from here. Follow the instructions in the forum to make it start in Fallout4 mode. Start it, to check out if it actually starts and can "see" your load order - if it does, do not push any buttons and simply hit the "X" in the startup dialog. Otherwise, troubleshoot accordingly. Also download the LODGen Resources and install them. Use whichever plugins suit your setup (read the ReadMe file contained to find out what each plugin does).

Third, and this is important, I am assuming you have a workable, ready-to-play setup with a sane load order that is conflict-free or mostly conflict-free. If you do not know where your conflicts are, you should check this out before continuing as results may vary wildly on broken setups. Fix your stuff. Seriously. Get a copy of xEdit and check it out - teaching how to build a load order is outside of the scope of this guide.

Fourth, for NeuraLOD users, go and install the Resource file and take a look inside the archive file - you can see it contains no "terrain" folder because it holds the "source" textures that FO4LODGen compiles a large "atlas" texture from. Make sure the plugin is active or FO4LODGen will not read the textures it replaces in the vanilla game. Its load order does not really matter as it will never be active in a gameplay scenario and it does not contain any records. Also, no other mod touches these textures, at least not that I'm currently aware of.


Let's get started, shall we?

Start FO4LODGen again. You will see a dialog box:


The settings you see are what I used to generate LOD for the 1.0 release version of NeuraLOD (using xLODGen 4.0.2 64bit). Mods that add static objects from DLCs to the Commonwealth might require setting the atlas size to 8192x8192 as the atlas for the worldspace will have to hold more textures. This includes Boston Natural Surroundings, for example. Friendly warning because the 8192x4096 atlas NeuraLOD ships for the Main file is almost completely filled. Some objects LOD textures will end up missing if you have more LOD source material than you can fit on 8192x4096 (or even smaller atlas sizes).

Select any worldspace that you want updated LOD for, usually that is the Commonwealth and if you have the DLCs, Far Harbor and Nuka World. Hit "Generate" - and wait for it to finish. It will take some time, lots of data to process. Grab a coffee or something.

After FO4LODGen has finished its thing (it will tell you so) you will find the output at

  • Fallout4\Data\Meshes\terrain\WorldspaceName\Objects
  • Fallout4\Data\Textures\terrain\WorldspaceName\Objects

(You can go for a quick test at this point and see if the output is valid and if not, troubleshoot accordingly. We are not done yet though.)

Now go and create a scratch folder somewhere else. I use my Desktop for that but literally any place will do, you just do not want it to clutter up your data folder later.

Move (yes, do not copy, move it) the FO4LODGen output into that scratch folder. You want to recreate the entire folder structure of the output here, so you have
  • yourScratchFolder\Meshes\terrain\WorldspaceName
  • yourScratchFolder\Textures\terrain\WorldspaceName

again. You move it so the game will load the LOD output from a BA2 archive (which you are going to create now) to conserve performance. Loose files always take priority, remember?

Start Archive2.exe located in Fallout4\Tools (if the folder is missing, you have no Creation Kit installation). Click File > New. Select General Format with Default Compression, hit OK. Then, drag the "Meshes" folder from your scratch folder into Archive2 (or add the folder through the menu) and select File > Save As. Save the file as "myLOD - Main.ba2". Click File > New again, select DDS Format with Default Compression, hit OK. Drag or otherwise add the Textures folder from your scratch folder, save as "myLOD - Textures.ba2".

Create a copy of NeuraLOD_Resources.esp (it's an empty dummy ESP and perfect to just load some BA2 files containing overrides) and rename the copy to "myLOD.esp". Put all 3 files (myLOD.esp plus its "Main" and "Textures" archives) into your Data folder and use your mod manager to sort the ESP plugin near the end of your load order to override mods that include object LOD.
Remove NeuraLOD_Resources.esp and NeuraLOD_Resources - Textures.ba2 after having verified everything is in working order. If you used them, also remove FO4LODGens Resource plugins. They should not be present for gameplay usage simply because they take up an ESP slot and do not have any gameplay function.

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payl0ad

9 comments

  1. PHmami
    PHmami
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    Is there anyway to regenerate the commonwealth world space using ck? Im using Borealis and Regrowth overhaul the one edited by the creator of Boston FPS fix and I seem to have a problem regenerating the LODs. Ive compared the commonwealthobject.dds, the one that I generated and from the Regrowth mod, the result that I found out is that there are tree textures that are not included in commonwealthobject.dds from the I generated. ie(branches leaves pine tree). Is there anyway to fix wonky lods without using xLODgen?
  2. JohnnyTest91
    JohnnyTest91
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    Hi, I followed your LOD to fix this problem from happening - look at the screenshots center: please click, two images

    Shouldn't a new LOD fix such mesh pop-in? Or any other idea how I could fix that? I don't want floating stuff to load, the meshes should load all at once.
    1. payl0ad
      payl0ad
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      Not necessarily. Some static objects simply do not have any associated LOD meshes; those will never appear in LOD unless another modder actually creates those meshes.

      I'm not sure if this applies to that crane object but if you find the corresponding STAT (static object) record you'd see if it's supposed to have an LOD mesh.

      Regenerating LOD depends on source material being present. It does not actually generate new source assets. The FO4LODGen Resources include more LOD assets for static objects that otherwise wouldn't have any LOD at all so check those out if you want to learn more.
  3. idunnonothin
    idunnonothin
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    hello
    when you say:

    Move (yes, do not copy, move it) the FO4LODGen output into that scratch folder. You want to recreate the entire folder structure of the output here, so you have

    yourScratchFolder\Meshes\terrain\WorldspaceName
    yourScratchFolder\Textures\terrain\WorldspaceName


    do I have to have an "Objects" folder in the "WorldspaceName" folders?
  4. Craterfist
    Craterfist
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    Is there a safe way to remove trees from the LOD? I want to remove most/all trees from my game, and I regenerated the LOD with tree removal mods, but full trees were still in the distance.
    1. zlostnypopolnik
      zlostnypopolnik
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      From the description:
      After FO4LODGen has finished its thing (it will tell you so) you will find the output at

      Fallout4\Data\Meshes\terrain\WorldspaceName\Objects
      Fallout4\Data\Textures\terrain\WorldspaceName\Objects
  5. SKK50
    SKK50
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    Doing this somehow added 10 frames per second during movement in my game with Boston Natural Surroundings as the only graphical mod. LOD shouldn't affect rendering within the active uGridsToLoad, but there you go.
  6. xThehavok
    xThehavok
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    How do you use the CK to generate a LOD settings file so that xLODgen can give me the option to generate LOD for my mod. 
    1. payl0ad
      payl0ad
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      All tutorials say you can simply reuse the .lodsettings file from a vanilla worldspace. I have no answer to your specific question.