Oblivion
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REALLY Almost Everything Visible When Distant
=============================================

A modest approach to distant viewable objects, aka VWD.

You're all familiar with the various VWD packages, right? Some provide more than others. Some are geared specifically toward super-high end machines. One isn't even designed to be played and will cripple anything currently on the market today. For the rest of us, myself included, we'd just like to enhance the visual experience without crippling the game. None of the available packages has been fully optimized, usually with large amounts of unnecessary data still attached.

In order to address these issues, I've decided to compile into one source as many useful VWD objects as can be reasonably applied to the game from the following sources:

AEVWD Large: Enhanced lowres textures.
UODP: Battlehorn Castle (requires the official DLC to be activated).
Oblivion: City wall meshes only.
Brumbek: VWD illuminated windows, optimized lowres texture pack, optional QTP3 lowres texture pack, as well as several mesh and texture fixes.
Me: Machine regenerated all architecture, Ayleid ruin, and Imperial fort meshes for better quality and lower polygon counts. UOP corrected versions were used for the reductions wherever possible.

The overall goal is to provide enhanced VWD visuals while also trying to preserve performance as much as possible. This all stems from my realization that even with a high end graphics card, full detail VWD meshes and textures are simply out of the question. The VRAM usage is causing large amounts of stuttering when trying to swap out the memory and not even Streamline 3.1 can keep up. This package has brought the VRAM usage under control and has had a huge impact on overall lag and stuttering.

All of the meshes have been checked and had the following done:

* Collision data removed. If actual collision grids were still present, the branches have been deleted entirely. It's impossible to collide with a VWD object.
* Animation controllers removed. It is impossible to animate a VWD object, so this data is bloat.
* Geometry morphers removed. If a mesh had these, they've been removed, as they are only useful in animation.
* All NiStringsExtraData blocks removed. These are nearly always associated with collision.
* All BSX Flags removed. These are nearly always used for collision and animation.
* All NiSpecularProperty blocks removed. Leaving these in place causes visual anomalies, most notably the "every VWD turned yellow" issue.
* All NiBinaryExtraData blocks (tangent/normal spaces) removed. This data is not required for VWD meshes and helps tremendously in reducing memory usage.
* All parallax flags turned off. The distances involved make this useless anyway.
* All meshes have been assigned lowres textures instead of hires ones.
* Nearly all NiAlphaProperty blocks removed. If the mesh required it for transparency, it was kept. If this is left on a mesh that does not require it, visual anomalies can result.
* All NiVertexColorProperty blocks removed. These lead to some cases of black VWD objects.
* Optimization using PyFFI after the above has been done.

In addition to mesh work, all VWD normal maps have had their alpha channels removed since it serves no purpose. This will help some with VRAM, and eliminate issues with sparkly objects.

The typical VWD mesh comes out the other end of this process losing up to 75% of the data it was carrying with no loss of function. A fully optimized and functional VWD mesh will have only the NiMaterialProperty, NiTexturingProperty, and NiTriShapeData/NiTriStripsData branches left in its NiTriShape/NiTriStrips branches, and will have only NiTriStrips or NiTriShape branches attached to the scene root.

Compared with all of the other VWD options available, this is the most optimized, game friendly set of VWD objects there is.

My Patreon Page: https://www.patreon.com/arthmoor

Download Locations
==================

AFK Mods: https://www.afkmods.com/index.php?/files/file/267-really-aevwd/
Oblivion Nexus: https://www.nexusmods.com/oblivion/mods/20053/
TES Alliance: https://tesalliance.org/forums/index.php?/files/file/301-really-aevwd/

Performance
===========

So what's the cost in terms of performance? RAEVWD when installed with all of its options can suck the life out of even the best computer.

You may find that your PC cannot handle the strain. That is to be expected, even if you're wielding an ATI 5900 series card with 2GB of memory and a 4GHz CPU.

I can only list what I'm currently using and let you be the judge:

AMD Phenom II X4 955 3.2Ghz
8GB System RAM
AMD/ATI Radeon HD4870 w/ 2GB VRAM, Catalyst 10.6 drivers. Set to force 4xAA+16xAF.
Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit.
QTP3 Redimized
Brumbek's optional QTP3 lowres textures for VWD objects.
Zacharot's 2048x2048 distant land textures.
All Natural (weather mod with hires graphics)
All meshes optimized with PyFFI.
Enhanced Vegetation hi-res distant trees.
Other graphics enhancers, such as trees, plants, clothing, etc.
Large Address Aware patch applied to Oblivion.exe

For the purposes of the test, Oblivion Stutter Remover was disabled to get an unblocked reading of the FPS.

Test #1 was done with the uGridsDistantCount and uGridDistantTreeRange set to 25. As you can see, despite having a rig that should slaughter this, it only manages 14fps in a stationary position overlooking the area.

Test #2 was done with uGridsDistantCount lowered to 18, and you can see the difference visually - there's not as much on the far edge of the screen to show. Of note, it does no good to set uGridDistantTreeRange higher than uGridsDistantCount since it won't display anyway. With this change, the game pulls a nice steady 30fps while overlooking exactly the same view.

Playing under normal conditions, you won't usually be able to see far enough to notice the bald mountains, and with Streamline or another fog manipulation mod, you can have the view distance matched and never even notice.

The location of the screenshot is on top of White Gold Tower, directly over the center of the Imperial City. This is an ideal location for VWD testing because there is next to nothing in the near view other than the tower mesh itself. Clear weather was chosen through the console to eliminate skew from All Natural's excellent weather graphics. So what you see is 98% VWD and 2% whatever else.

VRAM use may look high, but keep in mind that's including the hi-res tree pack. Typical VRAM usage is much lower.

There are also extra VWD objects present due to the addition of several other mods with buildings and such, Verona Bay is visible in the shot in the middle right for instance, as ar farmhouses for UL Imperial Isle, Weye's additions from AFK_Weye, and a large fort off to the left. What I can't account for is why the 18 shot is using more VRAM than the 25 shot, that result was consistent through several tests.

Typical game setups will not see as much of a performance hit as mine is taking, unless of course they're as heavily modded as mine.

I think on more normalized systems that aren't as completely bogged down by massive amounts of enhancers will do quite a bit better with this VWD package.

Requirements
============

TES4LODGen (https://www.nexusmods.com/oblivion/mods/15781) - needed to generate the distant view information.

Installation
============

The archive is provied as a BAIN package, which makes for relatively easy installation without the hassles associated with supporting OMODs.
Manual installation should be fairly straightforward as each folder is named according to what it contains, but read on for the details anyway, ok? :)

00 Core - This folder contains meshes that the game normally ships with but have been optimized. The Imperial City and castle walls surrounding other cities.
It also contains additional meshes for Cloud Ruler Temple, Frostcrag Spire, Battlehorn Castle, and IC sewer exit tunnels.
Also included in this folder are all of the reduced size vanilla textures, which are shared among the other categories and are thus required.
If only the core files are used, VWD performance should improve slightly over vanilla.

01 City Plugins - The ESPs used to provide VWD for buildings in the Imperial City and the outlying cities. Both of these are entirely optional.

02 City Architecture - Just what it sounds like. The buildings used primarily within the cities.
These are also used in the wilderness by some village and town mods, but in vanilla this doesn't happen much.
This folder can impose a significant frame rate hit, so if you're on a lower end PC, you may wish to leave these out.

03 Imperial City Architecture - Additional meshes for the Imperial City. Most of this material is not used outside of the IC.
The contents of this folder can impose a stiff performance penalty when looking toward the IC.

04 Wilderness Architecture - Contains buildings normally found outside the major cities.
Farmhouses, the lower class buildings, priories, docks, and wayshrines.
Lower class buildings are also used in Chorrol, but for the most part only show up out in the countryside and on the IC Waterfront.

05 Ayleid Ruins - Contains just what it says, the meshes used for Ayleid ruins.

06 Imperial Forts - Contains just what it says, meshes used for ruins of Imperial forts.

07 Large Rocks - Contains meshes used for the 2080 sized rocks, and all of the large rocks on the Gold Coast around Anvil.

08 Ships - Contains meshes used for ships as well as shipwrecks.

09 Statues - Contains meshes used for various statues of the Nine Divines and Daedric deities.

10 Higher Detail Castles - Meshes for city walls and castle keeps which have higher poly counts than the default Bethesda models.
These are visually more accurate and fit the pieces they're meant to support, rather than just being overly generic ultra-low poly blobs.
This will have a slight impact on overall performance due to more polygons and more textures being loaded, but they are visually superior.

11 Higher Detail IC Bridges - Meshes for the Imperial City bridges that are seen around the Imperial island.
These have a higher polygon count than the models Bethesda used but are visually more accurate.
This will have a very slight additional impact on performance but is well worth it for the visual improvement.

If you want it all, just enable all of the package options and you're off and running.

No DistandLOD folder is provided. In order to actually see the results of what you just did, you need to download TES4LODGen and run it. It's a wicked simple utility that processes VWD information based on _far.nif files provided and will tailor itself to whatever mods you have installed.

Uninstallation
==============

Manually remove the files you installed, or uninstall it through BAIN.

Options
=======

The 2 ESPs included with the package provide additional placement of VWD information. Each one is entirely optional and can be left out to help improve performance.

RAEVWD Cities.esp covers all cities except Kvatch and the Imperial City. It places buildings and trees in their proper locations behind the city walls. Do not use it with either Better Cities or Open Cities as those mods will generate their own LOD based on building placements.

RAEVWD Imperial City.esp places buildings and trees behind the walls of the Imperial City. It is fully compatible with Open Cities (Classic or Reborn). It is not compatible with Better Cities. Using it with Better Cities installed will result in a severe drop in game performance when the IC is in view.

Cathedrals have not been placed where missing since the Unofficial Oblivion Patch and some other mods address this. If you're not using the UOP, uh.... why not?

The cloister in Anvil as well as Benirus Manor have also been left out since the UOP deals with these as well. The UOP places the full detail mesh, so don't worry :)

Dealing With FPS Drain
======================

If after installing this you find that FPS is suffering, you can try the following:

1. uGridDistantCount in the Oblivion.ini file is set to 25 by default. Lowering this to 20 or even 15 will provide a dramatic improvement.
2. Use Oblivion Stutter Remover. It will help reduce the impact of loading the extra resources as you change cells.
3. Install and configure Streamline to manage fog distance, and if ncecessary, set up the FPS manager too.
4. If you run Better Cities, try dropping the Imperial City VWD optional package they provide and re-run TES4LODGen.
5. If you're using any of the optional ESPs from RAEVWD, deactivate them and re-run TES4LODGen. The extra city architecture, especially at the Imperial City, can be harsh.
6. If you used the higher detail city walls and/or IC bridges, drop those.
7. If you used the ships and shipwrecks, drop those.
8. If none of that is enough, you may need to leave out all or part of the architecture folder entirely.

Unfortunately if none of that works, this mod may simply be too much for your PC to handle at all. It may be time to consider some hardware upgrades. For RAEVWD, the most effective hardware upgrade will be a new CPU.

Compatibility
=============

The only thing this will conflict with is another VWD mod that affects the same files this one includes. Otherwise there's no issue.

Known Issues
============

Sometimes when viewing the world at odd or extreme angles, the VWD objects will turn bright yellow or completely black and then revert to normal when you move. One known reason for this is another VWD mesh that has specular properties enabled on it. Another known cause are VWD meshes with vertex color properties. Since all of the meshes supplied by RAEVWD have been cleaned of these problems, look to VWD meshes provided by other mods and contact their authors for assistance in getting those fixed as they know their meshes best. Not all causes of this problem have been identified yet, so there may not be anything to fix.

Sometimes you will see red, blue, or green reflections in the water where VWD should reflect instead. Possible causes for this are VWD meshes with collision data still attached, BSX flags still attached, or parallax flags which are still set. Since all of the RAEVWD meshes have had these properties removed, another mod which supplies VWD objects is likely to blame. It is also possible that some textures with RAEVWD could be causing this, so if you can identify which reflections are causing this, we can attempt to track down a way to fix it.

Occasionaly only part of a mesh will go black. If this happens, that part of the mesh is missing a texture assignment. If this happens with an RAEVWD mesh, please report it in the official thread. If it happens with a VWD mesh provided by another mod, you'll need to take that up with its author.

When used with bloom lighting, the VWD objects may always show up as black. Provided you are *SURE* the lowres directory is in the right place in your textures directory, the only fix for this is to switch to a different lighting method. I'm not sure if normal lighting works, but switching to HDR will resolve this issue. There is no known way to fix this otherwise.

Credits
=======

Igge for all his work on AEVWD Large.
Kivan for all his hard work on the UOP and UOMP mesh corrections.
Brumbek for providing several new lowres textures, numerous mesh/texture fixes, new illuminated windows, and his optional QTP3 matched set.
The makers of Milkshape 3D, without that trial period none of the rebuilt mesh work could have been done.
side777 for help with getting the alpha channels stripped from all the normal maps.
Malonn for providing the basis for the BAIN Wizard script.

Licensing and Legal
===================

Redistribution is strictly forbidden without prior consent. This means do not upload it anywhere unless you have obtained permission from me.

Non-English translation versions may be uploaded without permission on the following conditions:

1. All mod files contained in this archive are retained with their current names.
2. No alterations are made to the contents of the plugins or master file other than those necessary to translate the English text.
3. No alterations or additions are made to the meshes and textures other than those necessary to translate English text.
4. This readme is included, in ENGLISH, exactly as it is written in the version it was downloaded with.

Compatibility Patches may be distributed ONLY under the following conditions:

1. Permission must be obtained from me in advance. There will be no exceptions to this.
2. The documentation for the patch must mention that I am the creator of this mod.
3. The documentation for the patch must contain a link back to one of the download sites listed at the top of this readme.
4. You are solely responsible for any support issues arising from the use of the compatibility patch.

All inquiries regarding this mod must be directed to me. If after 1 year contact cannot be established or you have not received a response, stewardship of this mod will fall to the community at AFK Mods (www.afkmods.com). I can be contacted via PM at Bethesda Game Studios Forums, TES Alliance, NexusMods, AFK Mods, and The Assimilation Lab under the username Arthmoor. A good faith effort must be made before assuming that contact cannot be established before concluding that I am no longer maintaining this mod.

Mod history archives such as Morrowind Mod History are permitted to keep a copy of this mod within their archives for historical purposes provided all authorship and credit information is retained and the contents of the mod are not altered in any way.

This mod is not made, guaranteed, or supported by Zenimax, Bethesda Game Studios, or any of their affiliates.

Revision History
================

Version 1.9.3 [2017-09-16]
--------------------------

* Corrected Imperial City plugin. The streets were extending outside the main gate when they should not have been.

Version 1.9.2 [2011-06-19]
--------------------------

* Fixed the installation wizard for use with Wrye Bash 292.
* Added a _far.nif for castletowercheydinhal01.nif. This is a vanilla provided mesh which was missed previously.

Version 1.9.1 [2011-01-22]
--------------------------

* Brumbek has updated many of the meshes for various errors, such as UV mapping issues, non-glowing windows, vertex colors, and other things.
* All meshes have been run through PyFFI 2.1.7 to take advantage of better optimizations.

Version 1.9 [2010-11-19]
------------------------

* All meshes have been run through a full PyFFI reoptimization with the new vertex caching algorithm, plus checked with the cleanfarnif spell to make sure all stray nodes are now removed.
* Some meshes have been moved around after realizing the Core package installed more than it should have, and missed other things it wasn't taking care of.
* The Night Mother statue in Bravil has been added to the Statues subpackage.
* The statues of the 9 divines have been added to the Statues subpackage, as they were originally intended to be.

Version 1.8 [2010-08-08]
------------------------

* Thanks to slide777, all normal maps included in the mod have been stripped of the unnecessary alpha channels which should eliminate any issues with sparkly VWD objects.
* All normal maps were additionally checked to be sure they had no black spots in them, which could contribute to black VWD.
* Some Skingrad castle architecture pieces had incorrect ambient color settings on their material data blocks, resulting in some parts being black.

Version 1.7 [2010-01-29]
------------------------

* Added a mesh for the large sentinel statue for the Pale Pass quest.
* Some missing fort ruin meshes have been added which should plug rogue holes in the sides of distant forts.
* Split the Imperial City architecture into a separate install option due to the performance issues it can cause.
Now you don't need to sacrifice all of the city architecture to avoid the issue.
* Added optional higher detail Imperial City bridge pieces.
* Added Malacath statue to the Daedric statue pieces.

Version 1.6 [2009-10-09]
------------------------

* Added Pale Pass ice sheet mesh. The texture already existed.
* Removed a layer from anvilupperclass01_far.nif which is not visible unless you're standing under or directly on the VWD mesh. Which is impossible.
* Removed a layer from cheydinhalbridge01_far.nif and cheydinhalbridge02_far.nif that is also impossible to view.
* All textures have been checked for size and resized when needed to bring the VRAM usage down further. No texture should exceed 256x256 in size now, with the exception of Imperial City textures.
* All meshes dealing with vanilla provided VWD textures have been checked and redirected to RAEVWD copies to prevent other mods from overwriting those textures.
* Unneeded textures have been removed from the package.
* Added the optional higher detail city walls subpackage.

Highly recommended to rebuild VWD with this version to make sure all the updates get handled properly.

Version 1.5 [2009-05-27]
------------------------

* Fixed the Imperial City meshes to specifically call on textures from within RAEVWD's own file structure to prevent other mods from interfering with the lowres VWD. Thanks to Corepc for doing the grunt work on this :)
* Repackaged for BAIN installations.

New for this update - requires regenerating your VWD information to view:

* Added the remainder of the missing Kvatch pieces which are often used for burnt ruins elsewhere in mods.
* By request, added a statue VWD for the Akatosh statue found at the Temple of the One after the MQ.
* Added a VWD mesh for shipwrecks.

Version 1.4 [2009-02-17]
------------------------

* Several of the Anvil dock pieces still had some stray vertex color properties on them.
* Removed the leaves from arstatuesmall01_far.nif as the alpha channel information is contributing to yellow and green blobs.
* bravil brdige endpoint01_far.nif had a stray vertex color property still attached.
* Several ship pieces needed to have transparency removed.
* piratecabin01_far.nif accidentally inherited yellow emissive color on *ALL* of its segments.

New for this update - requires regenerating your VWD information to view:

* Several new Imperial City pieces have been added, some of which were provided by Sjors Boomscors.
* New optional ESP for the Imperial City placing large structures, trees, and select smaller items for VWD viewing.
* Added the remaining daedric statues that had not been converted before.

Version 1.3.1 [2008-10-27]
--------------------------

* The optional ESP file has been made module aware and is now 100% compatible with Open Cities and Open Better Cities.
* Some of the Bravil castle pieces did not have reduction models and have been updated.
* brumahousemiddle04_far.nif was reconverted due to severe decimation of the previous mesh.

New for this update - you will need to rebuild your VWD to enable these:

* braviltowertop02_far.nif - Missed initially and should have been there.

Version 1.3 [2008-10-18]
------------------------

* Some renaming Imperial City Waterfront meshes needed to be reconverted due to seriously bad quality meshes.
* All of the other IC pieces have had remaining vertex color flags removed to reduce visual anomalies.
* The Stendarr cathedral piece was incorrect and has been rebuilt.
* farmhouse03_far.nif has been rebuilt for the 3rd time, once more due to bad quality mesh. Also removed oodles of useless thatch roof branches that were nothing but pure bloat.
* Brumbek has optimized all of the textures and removed unnecessary files.

New for this update - you will need to rebuild your VWD to enable these:

icstatuebase01_far.nif - New
icstatuebase02_far.nif - New
icwaterfrontwallhouse01_far.nif - Missed initially and should have been there.
leyawiingarden01_far.nif - New
cheydinhalgarden01_far.nif - New
statueanvil01_far.nif - New
statuechorrol01_far.nif - New
statueleyawiin01_far.nif - New
statuetownbruma01_far.nif - New
statuetowncheydinhal01_far.nif - New
statuetownskindgrad01_far.nif - New
treecircle01_far.nif - New
bravilbridgecastlegate01_far.nif - Missed initially and should have been there.
BravilCastleKeepWall01_far.NIF - Missed initially and should have been there.
BravilCastleKeepGate01_far.NIF - Missed initially and should have been there.

An optional ESP is also included which will enable city architecture and also make trees visible that should be there.

Version 1.2 [2008-10-13]
------------------------

* All Ayleid ruin pieces have been rebuilt as reductions from stock and/or UOP meshes.
* ARStatueSmall01_far.NIF was missing an alpha channel for the leaves on the vines, and may have been contributing to black VWD.
* All Imperial fort ruin pieces have been rebuilt as reductions from stock and/or UOP meshes.
* Rebuilt the sewer tunnel entrance mesh for better shape quality.
* arcanesymbol02_n.dds has been removed from the package. It belonged to an interior texture which is not included.
* Fixed the windows on the Anvil lighthouse.
* Fixed brumahouselower01_far.nif due to poor quality mesh, but was unable to substantially reduce the replacement.
* Fixed the windows on the Cheydinhal mages guild.
* Brumbek's illuminated windows now fully replace Texian's old illuminated windows.

Version 1.1.1 [2008-10-11]
--------------------------

* Wayshrine altar segments and broken stone segments now point to new lowres textures.
* Bloated float mesh now has all proper lowres textrues assigned.
* Main mast #2 mesh now points to all proper lowres textures.
* Frostcrag mesh now has all proper lowres textures assigned.
* chorrolhousemiddle01_far.nif apparently had bad UV mapping and has been fixed.
* Rocks now have lowres textures.

All of the above courtesy of Brumbek. Thanks!

* castlegate01_far.nif and castlegate03_far.nif have been rebuilt from proper reductions of the real meshes.
* Added castleportcullis01_far.nif and castlewalkway01_far.nif
* Cloud Ruler Temple had a broken texture path.
* Redid 3 commonly used Ayleid arches with substantial polygon reductions.

Version 1.1 [2008-10-05]
------------------------

* AnvilLCHouse01_far.nif was the wrong house mesh and has been rebuilt.
* Fixed the butt ugly farmhouse03_far.nif file. Whatever was wrong with it it even looked awful in nifskope.
* Substantial polygon reductions on the remaining farmhouse meshes as well.
* Fixed the Anvil dock pieces, many of them were not low poly meshes but have been scaled down to 40-50% of their original poly counts.
* Fixed the Leyawiin upperclass housing meshes which were also not low poly. They are now 40-50% of their original counts.
* Fixed the nasty looking Blackwood Company, Fighters' Guild, and Mages' Guild buildings with better reduction models.
* Fixed the lowerclass housing in Leyawiin.
* Fixed the broken cathedrals by re-reducing the stock meshes.
* Redid the Bravil buildings due to the excessive amount of holes the meshes had in them.
* Some of the buildings in Bruma were missing roof textures, which manifests as black segments in-game.
* Bruma castle's VWD mesh had no doorway showing, which bugged me.
* The entire Cheydinhal set has been redone due to seriously bad quality meshes.
* Cloud Ruler Temple had a couple of incorrect textures assigned.
* The entire Chorrol set has been redone due to bad quality meshes.
* The Anvil lighthouse and basement entry have been redone due to bad quality meshes.
* Redid the Skingrad buildings - the supplied meshes were not reduced enough.
* Redid the wayshrines with substantial reductions.
* The butcher job on the Ayleid bird statue has been repaired, which oddly resulted in a mesh with less than half the polygons of the butchered one.
* Lowres textures for the ships have been provided by Brumbek.

All of the above rebuilds on these meshes were done from UOP corrected versions when possible, which should further reduce the number of polygons started with since Kivan spent a lot of time removing parts of meshes that didn't need to exist.

New stuff, you must regenerate your VWD to see them:

* ictalosblock01house01_far.nif has been added since it's the only complete exterior IC building mesh.
* SkHouseMiddle04_far.nif was missing and has been added to the Skingrad collection.
* lowerclassroofoverhang01_far.nif has been added to the lowerclass collection.
* Discovered more missing Leyawiin houses and made reduced copies of them as well.

Version 1.0.1 [2008-09-29]
--------------------------

* Corrected Battlehorn Castle to use the correct low poly and lowres file.
* Removed a corrupted node from leyawiinhouselower01_far.nif
* Added the missing Leyawiin upperclass meshes. Had to use high-poly meshes but still applied with lowres textures.

Version 1.0 [2008-09-28]
------------------------

Initial Release