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About this mod

Tired of picking only one creature texture from the entire Nexus? AV Provides an easy place to drag-and-drop alternate monster textures and have them automatically integrated into the game.

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Featured on:

This is the mod that will literally change the way we see this game. -Trivium7357

This will replace normal modding and its hassles... just freaking brilliant... -Mongoson

[AV] does what people have wanted to do for years in Bethesda games,
and does in a way that not only works, but works with little to no additional impact on playability. -MaidenUSA

AV Forum

A very nice excel sheet of all the Known AV Packages. Check it out!
List of Known AV Packages:

Bellyaches (included)
InsanitySorrow (included)
Sounaipr (included)
Grace Darkling
Legend Aeternus
Cuter Animal Retextures
Automatic Variants for Critters
SkyMoMod AV Package
BlitzkreigBOB Werewolves
Foxcraft7 Werewolves
Dwemer Automaton Automatic Variants
Storm Atronach Automatic Variants
EggOver's Automatic Variants Pack
EggOver's Automatic Variants Ports
Husky Automatic Variants

Don't forget to endorse the package authors too and support their hard work!
We need more packages! AV was made to support a huge amount of textures, more than seen here on this list.
If you know a good texture pack out there, or are a texturer yourself, the AV community would love to see it packaged!

(1/13/13) AV is now SUM compatible!

Thanks to everyone that supported AV and got it a place on August's FOTM list!
It's an honor to have all your support.

If you're sad AV doesn't provide humanoid NPC variants,
head on over and check out the new and developing mod Realistic Body System!

What Does AV do?

AV Provides an easy place to drag-and-drop alternate monster textures and have them automatically integrated into the game.


Never again will you have to choose only one texture or model from an entire selection.

Modders will offer AV Packages that you can drag and drop into your AV setup, and have them automatically integrated into your game. Think of it as a new way to install textures, where you don't have to pick just one.

If a texture pack you love doesn't offer AV Packages yet, don't fear! Just ask the modder to make an AV Package for their setup.


What AV means for you the texturer is that you can make 20 skins for Trolls, drop them into AV, and have every troll in the game suddenly pick a random skin from the 20 you made. The same (will go) for models as well.

You could make 20 iron dagger variants with differing textures/models, some hooked slightly, some curved up a bit, some chipped, some gemmed; Drag them all into AV, and suddenly every time an iron dagger spawns, theres one of your dagger variants chosen randomly from the bunch.

No hassle, no work in the CK, just drag and drop into an AV package, and run the patcher. All the hard work of shuffling records around is done for you.

You can even make packages for other mods. Take Skyrim Monster Mod, for example. You can make variant textures for one of his custom creatures, make a package for it just like any standard Skyrim creature. It will show up for any users that have Skyrim Monster Mod installed, just as you would expect.

Note: Models for NPCs and variants for weapons are not yet implemented, but will be soon. Just creature textures for now.

What should you expect from AV?

AV aims to make Skyrim a place full of diversity and variance; To never see the same thing twice.

It also strives to be extremely easy to use, while still offering an immense amount of power to users.

You should expect AV to make your world much more colorful, varied, and interesting... especially with the help of texturers/modelers to feed the algorithms with multitudes of choices to pick from.


Since it's a commonly asked question I'll answer it here: Yes, AV is compatible with any mod out on the Nexus.
If you think you found a mod which isn't compatible, please contact me immediately.

What's in store for the future?

  • Texture variants for male, non-playable NPCs.
  • Regional variants Want your Green Troll variant to only spawn in specific areas of Skyrim? Punch in the regions and AV will only spawn yours when the player is in the desired area.
Next Up:
  • Support for Meshes/Model variants for non-clothes-wearing NPCs.
  • Stat variants. General random bell curve stat differences, as well as Variant specific stat variance. Eg. The Green Troll has 75% health of a normal troll. Once weapons are implemented, perhaps a gemmed dagger that sells for thousands of gold but is worthless in combat. Remember that variants allow for probability adjustments, so this dagger could be set to be extremely rare, too.
  • Name variants. Made a Diseased Troll texture? Add a "Diseased" prefix and it will spawn in-game as "Diseased Troll". (Waiting on SKSE change name support for this)
  • Static object variants; Grass, kelp, fish, dragonflies.
  • Item variants; Weapons + Armor. Make a curved iron dagger, or a legendary battleaxe as variants and have them automatically integrated wherever the original item spawned. Remember regional, stat, name, and probability options come into play as well to give an extreme amount of customization with little to no effort on your part.
This next up list is just the plan as I see it right now. It might sound a bit farfetched and daydreamy, but I'll come bit by bit, feature by feature. It might be changed depending on how easy/hard a certain type of variant is to accomplish. Some may be impossible because of Bethesda's limitations, while others might just be a few tweaks in the code. Only time and testing will tell.

A Small Bit On Why I Made AV
Aside from the obvious nice feature of having variants in-game as a player, I think AV is a tool that inspires new and existing modders.

What new and upcoming texturer wants to create a new wolf or a new giant texture? Unless they outshine the best of the best, they'll just get buried underneath and rot in the depths of the Nexus. I imagine a good deal of texturers don't even TRY to make textures, because they know players can only pick one, and it's no use to try to convince them that it should be theirs.

AV offers a way for textures to feel like their work matters and will be seen by users, even if it's not the best texture... it'll at least get to show up every so often in someone's variant pool... and that I feel that little bit of recognition is inspiration enough for them to make that texture and put it up. In the end, it's us that benefit as the community creates more content and we get to use it.

I hope AV is the tool that gives those new guys a chance, and makes them smile because their mod is actually getting users and endorsements. I think that's something that will really empower the community and help it bloom. Everyone had to start somewhere. 8)

How Does AV Work?
The backbone of AV is the processing library SkyProc.
SkyProc allows AV to read in your mods and see what you have. It creates a list of every possible combination of Race + Armor + Armor Pieces (skins) that your mod setup has. AV calls these "profiles".

AV then loads in your AV Packages and sees what you want to add into the mix.
It takes each variant and puts it into one of the profile "boxes".

Once each variant has found the profile it fits in, AV uses SkyProc to create new Texture (TXST), Armor Piece (ARMA), and Armor (ARMO) records that point to the variant textures.

AV then uses SkyProc to add a racial spell with a script to all the races that have variants.
The script has Form Lists loaded with variant skin (Armor) records to pick from.

It exports all the records and modifications to a patch.

You start Skyrim, an NPC spawns with the AV script, and the script picks randomly from the variant options and "equips" the skin using the equipArmor() function.

Voila! Different looking NPCs. The result is an extremely clean setup (only a few previously existing Races and select NPCs are altered slightly), and an extremely safe setup. Uninstall AV? The NPC automatically unequips the missing armor reverting to its normal look.

Big thanks to Bellyache for allowing her mod to be used as the "flagship" example for AV,
And to StarX for picking up the torch and creating his fantastic package!

And thank you users so much for all the support! It means a ton to me and inspires me to keep chuggin' away. 8)

Libraries Used:

Please refer to the Updated Online ReadMe for more AV information
Broken ReadMe link removed by moderator (KunoMochi).
Broken ReadMe link removed again. (TerrorFox1234)