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Nico coiN

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nico21000

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Dawnguard Terrain Object Normal Map Hi-Res Fixed and Improved v1.1
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by Nico coiN from wiwiland

Note (02/09/2013) : The USKP crew included this in the new Unofficial High Resolution Patch. You should rather use UHRP, as fixes are much more numerous than the only one provided here.

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Description :
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When playing Dawnguard with official HRTexturePacks enabled you are afflicted by missing (thus ugly) textures on the LOD Castle Volkihar. This comes from a conflict with the official HRTexturePacks that are missing the normal-map of the needed LOD textures. Though the one included in Dawnguard is 1024x1024 it is not Hi-Res, so I made this custom normal-map in 2048x2048 (same dimensions as the one in the HRTexturePacks) but including the missing parts for the castle. I also greatly improved some other parts of the LOD normal maps.

Castle Volkihar is now much better viewed from distance : snow deposits on the walls and better roofs, and so are a few other buildings and objects. See provided screenshots for more comparisons and informations.

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How did I make it ?
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Wow, it's been a long time from now... Well, if I look at the tools I own (Photoshop and xnormal) and If I had to redo the job I guess I would :

- extract the 2048x2048 "tamriel.objects.dds" texture from Dawnguard.bsa archive (path : textures\terrain\tamriel\objects),
- set it to greyscale then set it back to rvb, just in order to obtain a greyscale and contrasted "version".
- use the xnormal filter, Height to normal options :
source : color space
bias : ticked
smooth : untouched (0.60)
method : untouched (4samples)

And here's our normal map ! The result is nearly identical to what I've done. Then I just copied/pasted the square parts that I found better (and ONLY these ones) to the 2048x2048 normal map embedded in the HighResTexturePack02.bsa archive (path : textures\terrain\tamriel\objects).

PS : xnormal download link : http://www.xnormal.net/Downloads.aspx

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What's new in v1.1 ?
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The alpha layer (as blank and unused) has been deleted, saving 2.7 MBs of VRAM with absolutely no impact on visual quality.
Thanks to MadCat221 from the Bethsoft' forums for pointing out that and submitting optimization.



This fix comes from the french elder scrolls fan community.

Best regards and enjoy ! :)

Nico coiN from Wiwiland.

http://forum.wiwiland.net/


PS : No authorization required if you want to use it in your mods although it may be nice to mention me in your greetings.


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Changelog :
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v1.1 : 05 Nov 2012 - Alpha layer deleted. There will probably have no next release.

v1.0 : 28 Sep 2012 - Initial release
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