File information

Last updated

Original upload

Created by

wrig675 - XilaMonstrr - I2edShift

Uploaded by


Virus scan

Some files not scanned

Tags for this mod

About this mod

Cleaned and Upscaled Bellyache retextures of dragons from Skyrim and DLCs to 16K resolution, plus performance options for Potato PCs

Permissions and credits
Retextures of all dragons in vanilla Skyrim, now cleaned of compression artifacts and upscaled to a maximum of 8K resolution. Original textures were BC3 compression and a ix of 1K, 2K and 4K resolution. Now they're in 4K, 8K and 16K resolution, with BC3 compression and full mipmaps.

Why 16K Dragons??
All resolutions specified are the maximum resolution, and most of the texture files are twice as long as they are wide. So the 16K version has files that are 8192x16384. Dragons are VERY large, and I would recommend that you think of this as two 8K files next to each other rather than full 8K.
With 16K, a dragon wing is 7380x4020px, a head is 3320x2480px, and the entire rear body and legs is only 6080x4580px. If you are fighting a dragon up close and want to see it in 4K resolution, then you need the dragon to be in 16K.

Featured in This Article on PCGamerN

Thank you to wrig765/Bellyache and to I2EDShift for their work on the original mod and their permission for me to publish this mod.

Performance Options for Potato PCs
Mipmaps and BC5 compression reduce VRAM usage, especially when the files are cleaned of compression artifacts.
For Potato PCs, I've uploaded downscaled versions where the diffuse texture files are larger than normal and environment map files, which are less visible in game. This reduces VRAM usage considerably while maintaining higher visual quality, using the Octagon config files posted on this mod, which I recommend using if you have a Potato PC.
Both are full versions with FOMOD installer, not requiring the main file.
Choose either:
2k/1k for Baked Potatoes
1k/512 for Mashed Potatoes

If you want full 2k or full 1k, etc, then use Cathedral Assets Optimizer

Original Description
     Dragons look pretty ugly in vanilla Skyrim. The models/sculpts are great, but the textures are far too low resolution for such a huge creature (same size texture as a suit of armor in fact) and the meshes had all sorts of corners cut in the name of optimization. I learned from Jonah Lobe (the artist who actually made these things) that the original assets were originally much higher quality (4k textures and better meshes), but things were downgraded a few times due to all the performance issues Bethesda was experiencing on X360 & PS3.

Moving on, Skyrim came out & we all cried at the terrible textures on PC. The HD DLC came out and we cried a little less. Fast forward a few years and Special Edition is here. As far as textures are concerned (AFAIK anyways), Skyrim SE just merges the old HD DLC assets into the base game with no changes. The higher resolution textures in the old HD DLC/Special Edition made most dragons look better than there original incarnations, but by no means great. Skyrim uses the same size textures for its massive dragon models as it does for suits of armor. In all my time playing around with dragons I noticed a lot of minor nit-pick issues with the models & textures. Horns had mismatched colors, the eye textures were atrocious, everything looked too washed out, the details were blurry, there were seam issues all over the place, the translucent files were terribly small, and there is some strange "grease-like" effect applied to several of the meshes.

Ok cool, what does this all mean? Dragons look fine from a distance but fairly awful up close. Bellyache & I wanted to fix that. What started as a re-work of Odahviing turned into a full pass on each of the ten dragon species. The amount of changes on each dragon type varies, with some needing more work than others. Regardless Bellyache & I visually inspected each texture/mesh and corrected as much as we could within a timely manner. At least without completely re-working the entire thing from scratch.

Improvements over Special Edition textures:

*Coloring looks more natural and less desaturated than before. Many horns/spines were poorly colored or completely the wrong color.
*Fixed/Reduced as many bad texture & mesh seams as possible.
*Removed or significantly reduced the 'Grease-like' look on some dragon models, which exacerbated seam issues.
*Odahviing's gotten a facelift. He was completely missing an eye texture, coloring was terrible (he was pink), and corrected several seams.
*Blood Dragon was just plain ugly. Fixed the Alpha-channel, gave it eyes that don't look like a frog, and introduced some yellow coloring in the wings and membranes for added contrast & detail.
*Alduin is slightly darker and completely grey-scale, enhancing his stylized theme that is inspired from volcanic rock & glass.
*Completely new eye texture for most dragon types.
*The Ancient Dragon never had a high-resolution texture, it does now.
*Increased resolution of the translucent file for the various dragon wings, creating exponentially higher detail within the wing membranes.
*Changed the color of the mouth/gums from purple to a more traditional pink, filled in some ugly holes where teeth apparently used to be.
*We tried to fix up the Revered, Serpentine, and Legendary Dragons from DLC's... But they're bad, even after the final HD DLC update, it didn't help very much.

My Cleaned & Upscaled Texture Mods for LE:

Detailed Rugs 4K-2K
Ruins Clutter Improved 4K
Forgotten Retex Project 4K-2K
Sigils of Skyrim 4K-2K - Banners & Shields

Animals and Creatures
Bellyaches 4K Animal and Creature Pack
Bellyaches 16K-8K Dragon Replacer Pack
Bellyaches New Dragon Species 16K-8K

Weapons, Armor and Gear
DX Faction Crossbows 4K
Cloaks and Capes 4K
Tribunal Robes and Masks 4K
Chitin and Dwemer Goggles and Scouter 4K-2K
Cloaks of the Nords 4K-2K

Magic, Weather and FX
Wonders of Weather 4K
Deadly Spell Impacts 4K
Rainbows 4K
Shooting Stars 2K
Mysticism - Cleaned and Upscaled Textures

DLCs & More
Beyond Skyrim Bruma - Upscaled Mountain Textures
Pilgrim - Cleaned and Upscaled Textures
Monuments of Men 4K

If you are interested in collaborating on Overhaul projects, or levelling up your experience of modding Skyrim, please join my discord server, Skypocalypse.

Skypocalypse is above all a place for COLLABORATION, a community hub for mutual aid to level up our skills and Skyrim itself.
This server is the host to Skypocalypse Academy, where modders and porters of all skill and experience levels assist each other as we dive ever deeper into transforming the bones of this magical game. Featuring an extensive library of tools and resources, The Academy is meant to be as educational as it is welcoming.
We know from experience that modding is an extremely addictive past-time and can be a slippery slope from creating a simple load order to porting mods to going full boat and attempting to rebuild Skyrim from the ground up. That's why we believe in a community that integrates Xbox and PC gamers along with porting noobs and experienced mod authors. We all have more to learn, and modding Skyrim to its extreme is a community effort to say the least.
Skypocalypse is meant to be a gaming community that supports collaborative efforts. The gaming and social channels here are intended to foster the social connections that help act as glue for our collaborative work.