Landscape LOD Textures by Xerus by Xerus
Oblivion » Models And Textures
Added: 24/05/2008 - 01:58AM
Updated: 24/05/2008 - 03:02AM

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Last updated at 3:02, 24 May 2008 Uploaded at 1:58, 24 May 2008

Landscape LOD Textures by Xerus
Version 1.0
Modification for The Elder Scrolls IV - Oblivion

What does this mod do?
This mod replaces the vanilla landscape LOD textures in Cyrodiil and Shivering Isles with improved textures. Thus, the visual quality of the distant landscape will increase, without a significant performance impact. All LOD textures will be replaced, including normal maps and terrain noise. The color maps of the Cyrodiil border regions will not be replaced, what would merely be a waste of performance.

What exactly will be replaced by what?
1 Terrain Noise: Vanilla 512 x 512 (170 KB) -> New 512 x 512 (170 KB)
13 Cyrodiil Color Maps: Vanilla 1024 x 1024 (682 KB) -> New 2048 x 2048 (2,66 MB)
36 Cyrodiil Normal Maps: Vanilla 1024 x 1024 (682 KB) -> New 512 x 512 uncompressed (1,00 MB)
4 Shivering Isles Color Maps: Vanilla 1024 x 1024 (682 KB) -> New 2048 x 2048 (2,66 MB)
4 Shivering Isles Normal Maps: Vanilla 1024 x 1024 (682 KB) -> New 512 x 512 uncompressed (1,00 MB)

Who needs it anyway?
It is, of course, your decision. Take what you like best. You can also combine parts of this mod with other mods. But if your computer is too weak and you are playing Oblivion with low settings, then I do not recommend to use this mod.

What is required?
TES IV Oblivion with the latest patch.

Are there any compatibility problems?
This mod is not compatible with other mods, that replace the same textures.

How to install?
Simply copy the folder "Textures" from the folder "Cyrodiil" to your "Oblivion\Data" directory and confirm the overwriting of existing files. If you have Shivering Isles, also copy the folder "Textures" from the folder "Shivering Isles" to your "Oblivion\Data" directory. Do not forget the archive invalidation.

How to get rid of?
Simply delete all installed files. Then copy the backup of the original file "TerrainNoise.dds" from the folder "Terrain Noise Backup" to your "Oblivion\Data\Textures\Effects" directory.

why I have done that?
There are already several mods, that improve the landscape LOD textures, but I was not really happy with them. The 4096x4096 textures provide a good quality, but also cause a significant loss of performance, especially when using Qarl's Texture Pack 3 (Redimized). I had already earlier (before patch 1.2) tried to improve these textures and have created the mod "4096x4096 Improved Zacharot's LOD Textures". Since the patch 1.2 the terrain noise effect was added, so that a very high texture resolution is no longer so important for a good quality. Though I do not like the vanilla noise effect. Apart from this, there is to my knowledge no corresponding mod for Shivering Isles, so I have created my own comprehensive replacer.

How I have done that?
I have experimented with different textures and resolutions and choosed a compromise solution between quality and performance.

Color Maps
The color maps are the main textures, that contain the color information. The Cyrodiil color maps are a combination of 50% original and 50% Blade9722's 4096x4096 (Better Tiling Qarl's) textures. The Shivering Isles color maps are composed of 100% original textures, because there is no high res replacer for them. All textures were scaled to the size of 2048x2048 pixels and sharpened slightly. In addition, the contrast was increased somewhat and a slight noise effect was added.

Normal Maps
The normal maps contain information about the angle of the pixels on a texture. By the compression into the DDS DXT1 format this information becomes partially falsified. This causes unsightly pixilated looking shades in the game. There are two ways to avoid this. Either you choose a higher resolution or you leave the normal maps uncompressed. Both methods have the disadvantage that the files are significantly larger, what again results in a loss of performance. BlueSteel has solved this problem by leaving the normal maps uncompressed, but reducing the resolution from 1024x1024 to 512x512 pixels. This makes the files still larger than the original ones, but the visual quality is significantly better. My normal maps are based on the same principle as the BlueSteel's ones.

Terrain Noise
The vanilla terrain noise effect reminds more on scattered pepper than a landscape. Therefore, I have completely reworked the texture. A higher resolution has no significant benefit, so I left it at 512x512 pixels.

Used Programs
GIMP 2 + DDS Plug-In
DXTBmp from MW Graphics

My Recommendations
For a much better visual quality, I recommend the Qarl's Texture Pack 3 Redimized, as well as the Bomret's Texture Pack for Shivering Isles. It is also useful to activate the anisotropic filtering inside the control panel of the graphics driver (at least 8x).

Who has contributed to this mod?
Mod Creator: Xerus (Eugen Prediger)

Thanks to
Bethesda for the Original Textures
Blade9722 for the 4096x4096 LOD Textures
BlueSteel for the Normal Map Fix