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About this mod

A small pack of lore-friendly textures for Mass Effect 2 that includes Sol System planets, the aquarium, Femshep's dress, cabin photos, asari, and Liara.

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Giftfish's Textures for ME2 (GTFME2) is a small pack of lore-friendly textures that includes the following:

Better Asari and Liara

Better Asari and Liara is a ME3 backport. Asari face textures have been edited for compatibility with ME2's lighting and to incorporate some elements from the ME1/ME2-style asari. The goal was to create a bit of a hybrid look, with the improved skin texture and resolution seen in ME3, combined with the more distinctive face shading and makeup that appears in ME1/ME2. This TPF includes diff and normal maps, along with an asari makeup mask that's been edited to improve the position of the lip color.

Goals for Liara were similar as the asari. Blend her improved skin texture and heavier makeup in ME3 with her look from ME1/ME2 to create a hybrid. This resulted in what I think is a great middle ground between the two. Also, included are squadmate hench icons and codex textures for LOTSB compatibility.

This set is distributed in a regular version and one for ME2Recalibrated.

Note: Screenshots of Liara depict her gray eyes for LOTSB content, which requires installation of ME2Recalibrated. This cannot be fixed via texturing.

Better Sol System
BioWare's textures for Sol System planets aren't bad -- they're 2K -- but they use some outdated and suboptimal planetary maps. I searched for the best NASA planetary maps I could find, then edited them for use in ME2. All are *still* 2K, but they look significantly better, since they are sourced from higher quality images.

A few comments about this particular pack:

  • I had to take some significant liberties with Pluto, as only a small portion of the surface was mapped by New Horizons
  • Venus's in-game cloud shader isn't optimal, so I built clouds into the texture; this was a ridiculous improvement
  • Uranus has the fewest improvements of any texture, due to lack of surface detail

Note: Screenshots of Sol System planets include some visual tweaks contained in ME2Recalibrated.

Classy Dress
This texture was really the impetus for the entire pack: a full, 2K re-texture of FemShep's dress for Kasumi's DLC. My goal was to create a classy counterpart to BroShep's tux that felt like it FIT into the game. Many re-textures exist for this dress, but most are the original resolution, low quality or don't feel particularly lore-friendly. I'm very pleased with the result, so I hope other folks enjoy it. One thing I do want to be clear about is this is a *retex*, only. We can't edit meshes for ME2. At it's core, it's the same dress (ugh).

A couple other bits of info:

  • Cleaning up and correcting the area around the shoulders results in some shadowing artifacts due to the collar and arm hole mesh. If you see light or dark patches on the skin, that's the cause. It's not fixable and will appear and disappear with changes in lighting.
  • I've ported over new hand textures from FemShep's underwear outfit in ME3. They aren't perfect, but they are leaps and bounds better than vanilla.
  • There's some very minor misalignment to some of the white lining near the edges. I'll try to fix in a future release, but it's pretty difficult to combat without having 3D modeling software available (which I don't).
  • I'd like to do a bit more with the shoes and coat, so look for that in a future release, as well.

This dress retexture is dedicated to the awesome Ottemis, the reigning queen of ME texture modders. Someday I hope to be only *half* as skilled as she is. <3 Otte

Cabin Photos
Images of Kaidan, Ash, and Liara that are a significant improvement over vanilla.

Aquarium Overhaul (v1.1+)
I've been wanting a nicer looking aquarium in the cabin for a long, long time. The Aquarium Overhaul includes new fish, seaweeds, bubbles and sand, all made from high resolution, professional photographs.

Some quick comments about this pack (see the install guide for more details):

  • Unlike my other textures, this pack done as a significant departure from vanilla. I wanted larger, more realistic seaweeds, and fish that were all marine species -- not a mix of freshwater and saltwater. (No more Betta splendens, sorry, folks.)
  • The Prejek Paddlefish now looks entirely different.
  • Includes GUI textures for the shops
  • I'll eventually be carrying this overhaul into an ME3 texture pack, so you'll be able to have a consistent look across games.

Special Note: This pack cannot be installed with the toolset. The aquarium textures are some of the few textures in the trilogy that the toolset does not handle properly. I use them with Texmod.


All textures are properly formatted and bundled into TPFs for use with Texmod, ME3Explorer, or any other program capable of using them. Detailed instructions on how to use/install textures with ME2 will not be provided.

If you're late to the party and have just began modding textures for ME2, instructions on how to use Texmod can be found around the web. Instructions on how to use ME3Explorer can be found on its wiki.

A few important details before you install:

  1. Texmod cannot properly use normal maps with 3DC compression. Any normals that should be 3DC are formatted with DXT5 compression for this reason.
  2. Properly formatted normals are located in the "3DC for ME3Explorer" folder for toolset users. You can also just "autofix" the DXT5 normals.

When two texture packs replace the same texture, they are incompatible. It's up to you to research compatibility across the texture packs you decide to use.

If you install multiple copies of the same texture into your game files, the game will render whichever version you installed last (most recently). In Texmod's case, it's the reverse. When there are duplicate textures it will use whichever it encounters FIRST in your load list.

Remember that a texture's "hash" (address) changes when you install a new version into your game files, and this affects whether modding tools can locate it in the future. IF your tool of choice can't locate the texture, it might be that you've replaced it in the past and the hash has changed.

Giftfish's Textures for ME2 is brought to you by Giftfish.

Much thanks to:
  • NASA, for their incredible contributions to the scientific community and humanity (including their jaw-dropping planetary maps)
  • NOAA and Wikimedia Commons, for their stunning images of marine life
  • Ottemis, for her fantastic 4K Liara LOTSB armor texture depicted in the new codex texture
  • CDAMJC, for his amazing textures for ME1, depicted in the cabin photos
  • Barddoc1992, Kinkojiro, and the ThaneMOD Community, for feedback
  • ME3Explorer Toolset Team, creators of the best modding tool for Mass Effect