Fallout 4

Installation of LOD Resources

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Of course, FOLIP is required. Follow the instructions in the installer. Please read the instructions while doing so. 

If using 50 Shades of Rust by Undernier, install the optional 50 Shades of Rust LOD Textures file. Credits to Undernier for the source mod textures used to generate these.

You should be using the FO4LODGen Resources made by sheson. However, the following plugins are no longer needed, as my mod completely replaces them:

  • FO4LODGen-FullModelLOD.esp
  • FO4LODGen-DLCCoast.esp
  • FO4LODGen-DLCNukaWorld.esp
  • FO4LODGen-DLCWorkshop03.esp

If using my Optimized Vanilla Tree LODs, also disable FO4LODGen-HighTrees.esp. I also recommend you use my Far Harbor 3D Tree LODs. Both of these are compatible with tree mods if you use TexGen.

I recommend using HD LOD Textures by phlunder for improvements to the vanilla LOD textures that are currently not covered by TexGen. Also grab his LOD Fixes and Additions optional file. Currently, the LOD Fixes and Additons.esp plugin can be disabled, but we want the material fix.

I highly recommend this retexture for the Sanctuary Hills house LODs: ModernHouseLOD by Trsdib.

I highly recommend you grab Weston Water LOD Fix by ossumpossum.

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Remove These Mods

Do not add LOD mods that turn objects that have been added here into Neverfades. This replaces those and will increase your performance. Remove these plugins:
  • lodfix_beantown_container.esl
  • lodfix_salem_museum.esl
  • NWTransCenLOD.esl
  • StarlightLOD.esl
  • SanctBridgeLOD.esl

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Load order for generation

For some of these, the order doesn't matter, but I recommend this order:

  • FO4LODGen.esp
  • FO4LODGen-DLCCoast-WindTurbines.esp
  • WestonWaterLOD.esp
  • Optimized Vanilla Tree LODs.esp
  • Far Harbor 3d Tree LODs.esp
  • FOLIP - New LODs.esp
  • ...
  • Synthesis.esp (if using Synthesis)
  • FOLIP - Before Generation.esp (only if NOT using Synthesis)

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(Optional, but highly recommended!) Use TexGen to automatically generate LOD textures that match your mods perfectly

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Sheson has made TexGen capable of generating stitched object LOD textures. This is important to use so that the textures for your mods match the LODs. Not all textures can be made this way, but a very large amount of them can, and 99% of the 1000 or so new models I have added uses textures generated via TexGen that will perfectly match your modded textures. If you do not wish to use TexGen, check the appropriate installation option in the FOMOD installer and it will provide TexGen generated textures based off vanilla textures.

Download from the DynDOLOD 3 Alpha SSE mod page here: https://www.nexusmods.com/skyrimspecialedition/mods/DynDOLOD-3/68518
Install to wherever you install tools and configure TexGenx64.exe with the argument -FO4 to launch in Fallout 4 mode as shown in the example below. Default options should generate to a TexGen_Output folder where you installed the tool. Click Start to generate the textures. Once complete, click "Zip & Exit" button and install the generated zip like any other mod. It should overwrite all textures provided from any other mod.

Warning! The following plugins MUST be in your load order for all LOD textures to be generated:
FOLIP - New LODs.esp
Optimized Vanilla Tree LODs.esp (if using it)
Far Harbor 3d Tree LODs.esp (if using it)



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(Optional) Use the Synthesis FOLIP patcher to generate LOD information

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Instructions on how to use Synthesis are found here: https://github.com/Mutagen-Modding/Synthesis/wiki/Installation

The Synthesis FOLIP patcher now does the majority of the heavy lifting in assigning LOD models and material swaps for installed LOD Resources.

Warning! Do NOT pack FOLIP resources into a ba2 archive or this will not work. There is no reason to pack them into a ba2 archive either, as the resources will never be used by the game.

Specific steps:
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  • Run Synthesis.
  • Choose Fallout4 if prompted to choose the game to target.
  • Click the Git Repository button, third from top left (Blocking Error messages may be present if no patchers have been added yet).
  • Find FOLIP in the list, and click the + button that says Add patcher.
  • Wait until it says Ready.
  • Go to Settings, wait a moment, and tick the Moveable Statics option.
  • Click the triangular Run button at bottom left.
  • Once the patcher says it has Completed, close Synthesis. The patch will have saved as Synthesis.esp.




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Generate your LODs with xLODGen

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Warning! Ensure that FOLIP - After Generation.esp is DISABLED before generating LODS!

Warning! Ensure that any Synthesis plugin containing the HasDistantLOD patcher output is DISABLED before generating LODS!


Warning! Failure to correctly set Arguments for xLODGen to output to a safe directory outside of Mod Organizer, Vortex, or UAC controlled directories will result in broken LODs. See image below for a correct example.


We will use xLODGen (download from here) to generate LOD. Install to wherever you install tools and configure with the arguments needed to direct the output to your specified location (should be outside of Mod Organizer, Vortex, or UAC controlled directories). 

Specific steps for Mod Organizer:
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  • Download and extract to C:\Modding\Tools\xLODGen (or some other location you prefer that is outside of UAC control).
  • Open the executables menu (gears icon) at the top of the main Mod Organizer window.
  • In the left pane of the executables config, click the [+] to add a new executable, and then [Add from file...].
  • Browse to and select the xLODGenx64.exe file.
  • Change the title to xLODGenx64.
  • Input the following in the Arguments field: -lodgen -FO4 -o:"C:\Modding\Tools\xLODGen\xLODGen_Output"
  • Please note there is no space between the -o: and the quotation marks. It is -o:"path" not -o:  "path"
  • Tick the Use applications icon for desktop shortcuts box.
  • Click [Apply].

To run xLODGen, select it from the executables dropdown and click Run.




Generate using the following options. 

Pro tip: Consider generating Object LOD and Terrain LOD separately. You can just tick/untick the Object LOD/Terrain LOD checkboxes on separate generations to do so. Terrain LOD rarely ever needs updating, which makes it easy to update Object LOD only if your setup changes.

First time users are often confused by the layout of the GUI, specifically as relates to the "Settings for" LOD dropdown. The dropdown changes the behavior the settings in the Terrain LOD box for the LOD level displayed in the dropdown. YOU DO NOT NEED TO REGENERATE FOR EACH DROPDOWN LEVEL. I'm not sure why people seem to invent steps in their brains here, but I've seen people run it multiple times far too often because "the dropdown was only for LOD4." That is not how this works. The dropdown sets the SETTINGS for LOD level. The generate button merely generates all LOD with the settings given.







After Generation Instructions

After generation, it is recommended to package the LOD into BA2 archives. This may improve load times and performance slightly. Be mindful, however, that any loose files will overwrite. If this is too hard, it isn't a big deal if you skip this.

Of course, install the generated LOD as a mod in your mod manager.

It is recommended to test your LOD before returning to your game:


Synthesis HasDistantLOD patcher

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Following successful LOD generation, it is recommended to use the Synthesis HasDistantLOD patcher to fix blinking object LOD when working in settlements. It may be possible that this fixes the stuck object LOD bug as well.

Specific steps:
Spoiler:  
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  • Run Synthesis.
  • Un-tick the FOLIP patcher.
  • Click the Git Repository button, third from top left.
  • Find HasDistantLOD in the list, and click the + button that says Add patcher.
  • Wait until it says Ready, then click the triangular Run button at bottom left.
  • Once the patcher says it has Completed, close Synthesis. The patch will have saved as Synthesis.esp.





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Plugins that should be disabled following LOD generation:

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The following plugins should be disabled after successful generation (I don't trust them to remain enabled... might be ok, but better safe than sorry):
  • FOLIP - Before Generation.esp
  • Any Synthesis plugin containing output from the Synthesis FOLIP patcher (this instruction may be reverted after I perform some upgrades)

The following plugins may be disabled after successful generation (but you don't have to):
  • FO4LODGen.esp
  • Optimized Vanilla Tree LODs.esp
  • Far Harbor 3d Tree LODs.esp

Plugins that should remain enabled following LOD generation:

A. If NOT using the Synthesis HasDistantLOD patcher, the following plugins must remain enabled:

  • FO4LODGen-DLCCoast-WindTurbines.esp
  • WestonWaterLOD.esp
  • FOLIP - After Generation.esp

B. If using the Synthesis HasDistantLOD patcher, the following plugins must remain enabled:


  • FO4LODGen-DLCCoast-WindTurbines.esp
  • WestonWaterLOD.esp
  • FOLIP - New LODs.esp
  • Synthesis.esp

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Some Technical Details for the Inquisitive

Q: Explain the texture formats you are using.
A: Object LOD diffuse compression should be BC7 Quick. DXT5 is an older format that doesn't compress as well, resulting in more compression artifacts. DXT1 does not support using the "Use source alpha threshold" setting, because DXT1 uses binary alpha (either it's transparent, or it isn't).

Object LOD normal and specular textures should be BC5, because it removes blue channel, and provides best compression, even superior to BC7, due to this fact. Fallout 4 doesn't use blue channel for normals/specular.

DXT1 is used for terrain LOD diffuse, because terrain LOD doesn't need alpha, and DXT1 is half the size of BC7 at the same resolution. Yes, the compression is more prone to artifacts, but you are unlikely to notice this, since the terrain has artificial noise added over top of it anyway.

BC7 Quick is used for the terrain LOD normal textures since normals are more sensitive to compression artifacts.

Q: Why are you using BC7 Quick instead of BC7 Max?
A: There is no advantage to using BC7 Max over BC7 Quick. You are viewing the texture from too far away to be able to see a difference, the only thing that will happen when using it is increased LOD generation time. 

Q: Why should we tick the "No vertex color" option for object LOD?
A: The "No vertex color" setting is necessary to fix the LODs not displaying correctly when viewed from either a worldspace that inherits lod from another worldspace (e.g., Diamond City or Goodneighbor) or when viewed from an interior cell that allows you to look at exterior LOD from out a window or similar. See the conversation about it here.

Q: What does the "Use source alpha threshold" setting do?
A: The "Use source alpha threshold" was bugged up until the latest update (it is fixed starting with xLODGen beta 96). What it does is utilize the alpha threshold from the LOD resource as defined either in the nif or the material to set the appropriate alpha threshold for the trishape in the generated BTO. We use this to correctly threshold textures that contain alpha so they do not appear too thick or too thin in LOD. Using the correct diffuse texture format (BC7) and default alpha threshold is key here.

Q: What does the "Use backlight power" do?
A: "Use backlight power" adds support for respecting the backlight power setting as defined in the installed LOD files. This allows me to alter the appearance of some LODs to appear brighter in a way that responds to the lighting provided. For example, it is used on the Diamond City stadium lights to make them appear to be lit. It is also typically beneficial for tree LODs so that the leaves don't get overshadowed.

Q: What is the purpose behind the "Optimize Unseen" values?
A: The Optimize Unseen values improve terrain LOD around water by shoving terrain LOD under ground where the water is supposed to be.

Article information

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DoubleYouC

281 comments

  1. solid67
    solid67
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    This guide is amazing and worked perfectly. I have probably generated LODs numerous times at this point testing different landscape/trees/grass setups. One question - do I have to use optimized vanilla trees and far harbor 3d tree lods if I'm using A Forest + Far Harbor Evergreens - A Pine Tree Retexture (your mod) which come with their own LOD files?
    1. DoubleYouC
      DoubleYouC
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      Skip Far Harbor 3d Tree LODs when using my Far Harbor Evergreens mod. It has custom lods for the Far Harbor trees. 
  2. DozenthTurmoil
    DozenthTurmoil
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    Texgen no longer works with downgraded Fallout 4
    unless there's a specific version one can use.
    also without texgen i am getting pink textures so i have no idea how to fix that.

    versions 169 and 168 both report that "editing is disabled"
    an issue that FO4edit and xLodgen no longer have with my downgraded Fallout 4
    1. MB1205
      MB1205
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      Texgen64 works for me even on downgraded fallout 4 and I downloaded from : https://www.nexusmods.com/skyrimspecialedition/mods/68518
    2. Jettsabo
      Jettsabo
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      I'm getting the same problem lmk if you find a fix
    3. solid67
      solid67
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      I'm downgraded and I'm getting the same message. No Issues with xLODGen. 
    4. DoubleYouC
      DoubleYouC
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    5. Kaishale
      Kaishale
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      Thank you for this!
  3. themodleyfool
    themodleyfool
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    I'm trying to generate the files for Fallout 4 VR using your instructions. It's not looking as good as regular FO4 but it still a vast improvement on the vanilla game. There are some strange effects that happen though and I'm trying to iron those out.

    When using xLodGen for FO4VR, "BC7 Quick" doesn't appear as a compression option in any of the dropdowns. What is the best option to choose instead? DXT5?

    Also, Synthesis doesn't seem to work very well with FO4VR unfortunately so I'm using the "FOLIP - Before Generation.esp" and "FOLIP - After Generation.esp" option, which may explain why it doesn't look as good in general.

    Many thanks for all the work that has gone into this guide.
  4. Wolfdragoon1128
    Wolfdragoon1128
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    Firstly, thank you DoubleYouC for all the effort you put into this guide and LOD videos. Also thank you to all the other folks that offer up such helpful answers to LOD related questions. I hope you can help me out with mine too!

    I recently noticed what appears to be an issue with my generated LOD around Sanctuary Hills. From the Red rocket side of the river bridge half of the sanctuary houses pop in/out in a fairly noticeable way going from the road onto the bridge. (precombines are fine as things approach, it definitely appears to be just LOD settings?). 

    I followed the LOD instructions above, using TexGen to generate stitched textures, but opted for the older method (using the before/after ESPs) rather than using synthesis. Is this working as intended and I just didn't notice before? Can someone suggest a setting I need to tweak in either generating LODs or in .ini settings? Thanks in advance for any help you can offer. 
  5. redbluegreenyellow13579
    redbluegreenyellow13579
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    nvm
    1. DoubleYouC
      DoubleYouC
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      That is exactly what is intended. You're all good.
  6. JaxonHellsing
    JaxonHellsing
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    I keep getting an error saying "An error occured while loading modules" and I don't know why

    Edit: Turns out this is happening for xLodGen too for me
  7. kTalon
    kTalon
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    Any idea why my LOD is doing this at a distance? I followed the guide to the letter. here 
    1. SlowCircuit
      SlowCircuit
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      I'm having the same issue.
  8. kTalon
    kTalon
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    Warning! Delete or uninstall any loose terrain LOD meshes prior to LOD generation, whether added by mods or yourself! There should be nothing in meshes/terrain for lods to generate properly. Also, these files must be deleted from your xLODGen output directory if present! Failure to do so will cause object LOD to not generate properly, and result in floating buildings and other issues from missing LODs.

    What does this mean exactly? That I need to pour through every one of my mods including all of my LOD resources and hide/delete every folder that includes meshes terrain?? This bit is conufsing.
    1. DoubleYouC
      DoubleYouC
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      Actually ignore that. I believe this issue is now fixed. 
    2. kTalon
      kTalon
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      Thank you :)
  9. ladguymandud
    ladguymandud
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    https://imgur.com/PURq6mv

    having an error where it says it cant find my base game textures, ive tried deleting everything and reinstalling, and ive double checked that synthesis knows where my fallout 4 install is but still no luck. Any ideas?
  10. themodleyfool
    themodleyfool
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    First of all, thank you ever so much for providing this guide and for the FOLIP mod itself. I'm using this for Fallout 4 and the difference it makes is incredible. I'd go so far to say that generating LOD's was the biggest game-changer I experienced.

    However, has anyone managed to get LOD generation working for Fallout 4 VR?

    Despite having used this guide successfully several times for regular Fallout 4, I just can't get it working at all for FO4VR.

    Synthesis doesn't work for FO4VR (there's a pre-release version of the tool for FO4VR but the FOLIP patcher doesn't seem to be compatible) so I'm having to use the Before Generation and After Generation files, which I haven't tried in the regular version.

    But unfortunately the results don't work at all. I get purple textures all over the place and actually nothing appears in the long-distance anyway.

    So if anyone knows whether LODGen works at all for FO4VR then I'd appreciate it. And if anyone knows of a guide then that would be great.

    Thank you.

    EDIT: Please ignore! I'm an idiot. Was still starting TexGenx64.exe and xLODGenx64.exe with an "-fo4" argument instead of "-fo4vr". Leaving this here anyway in case someone else makes the same mistake.