Skyrim Special Edition
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Skyrim VR - High Fidelity ENB By SGS

The main goals of this ENB are realism, high performance, and visual fidelity. The shader code was written from scratch and optimized for VR, all processing is done in a single pass to minimize fps loss. It applies proper tonemapping to Skyrim VR, as well as tweaking light levels for increased reali

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Skyrim VR - High Fidelity ENB by SGS

The main goals of this ENB are realism, high performance, and visual fidelity.   The shader code was written from scratch and optimized for VR, all processing is done in a single pass to minimize fps loss. It applies proper tonemapping to Skyrim VR, as well as tweaking light levels for increased realism.

What it does:
It fixes one of the most glaring issues in Skyrim's rendering pipeline, which is the tone mapper, it applies some sharpening, and makes nights realistically dark. Skyrim's tone mapper is pretty awful, highlights and black levels are completely blown out, saturation and coloring of highlights are also off. I replaced Skyrim's tone mapper with the one used in Uncharted 2 which was developed by John Hable from Naughty Dog. I've been using Uncharted 2's tone mapper on multiple projects for years and in my opinion it provides some of the best results and is performance friendly. You can get more info about it and tone mapping in general here: or watch the full GDC talk here: . I applied some simple sharpening using a sobel filter to make the image pop a bit more, this will increase the aliaising a bit so it's a bit of a trade off. I would recommend setting Skyrim's TAA hf setting to something like .6 and don't alter Skyrim's TAA sharp setting. You can do this by pulling up the console and typing in "TAA hf .6" or you can leave it alone and increase the sharpening value in the ENB settings. The last thing that this fixes is Skyrim's nights. Even with a weather mod they're unrealistically bright, this can be sort of fixed with other mods like darker nights, but most of these cause other issues since Skyrim's engine was not designed to handle dark areas very well. A lot of times darkening the lighting will result in certain things having incorrect light levels, like glowing water or grass. Darkening the image via post processing will also only take you so far since it will also darken things that are supposed to be bright like light sources. So this ENB does a bit of both, it reduces ambient and direct lighting a bit at night and it also adjusts the tone mapping curves to make things darker while still keeping lights bright. The day/night time separation is optional (enabled by default) so if you want to keep your nights super bright or are already using a mod that does so you can disable it.

What it doesn't do:
This ENB does not add extra effects like Ambient Occlusion or Bloom, in fact i completely removed bloom and eye adaption. Ambient occlusion does not work well in VR. Ambient occlusion requires multiple rendering passes and a ton of texture reads to be done properly which makes it performance hungry and will tank your frame rate. Normally in 2d games ambient occlusion is rendered at half or a quarter of resolution, the samples are jittered and then blurred. This might look fine on a monitor but in VR the aliasing is distracting and the jittered samples "swim" around as you turn your head. If you've got performance to spare and don't mind the extra artifacts feel free to enable ambient occlusion. I disabled bloom because it's really not needed, the fresnel lenses of most HMDs actually apply a bit of bloom. Adding bloom also muddies up the final image a bit, which is the opposite of what i want in VR. Not using bloom also saves a bit of performance. I removed eye adaptation because it's not needed in VR. Your eyes are completely shut off from surrounding light while wearing an HMD and will naturally adjust to the light levels that it gives off. Not using eye adaptation also saves a bit of performance. This ENB also does not radically alter colors. I tried to keep the light levels, colors and saturation as close to vanilla as possible.

I wrote the shader entirely from scratch to make it as performance friendly as possible. Everything is done in a single pass in the enbeffect shader. Using multiple passes is one of the reasons that most ENB tank performance in VR. I've moved whatever calculations i could to the vertex shader and removed all conditionals which also affect performance. On my 980ti enabling this enb adds about 1-2 ms to my frame timings which is well worth the cost considering the benefits

This should be compatible with any weather mod that looks good in VR (a lot of them don't due to some missing effects like volumetric lighting), as well as any lighting mods since it's mainly applying proper tone mapping and not tweaking any colors. That being said, I've tweaked it to look the best using Obsidian Weather, Enhanced Lights and FX and ELFX Enhancer. So i'd recommend using the same combo for best results.  People have also tested it with ELE and Relighting Skyrim, so those are also viable options.

OLED vs LCD Versions:
The original v1.0 of the ENB Profile was calibrated for use with the HTC Vive and other OLED based HMDs.  The newer v2.0 is calibrated for the Valve Index, Oculus Rift S, and other LCD HMDs. You can use the v2.0 version on a OLED HMD if you want but you'll probably want to adjust the settings to make it a bit darker to take advantage of the OLED black levels.  I no longer have a OLED based HMD so i won't be updating the v1.0 profile anymore.

For v2.0 for LCD panels, I made a few changes to my original shader code, optimized it some more, and made several tweaks to environmental lighting and the tonemapper. Overall, I adjusted the exposure and curves to provide greater contrast and saturation to make up for differences in the displays. The biggest changes were to interior lighting and nights since since the black levels on LCDs are pretty poor when compared to OLED.

I brightened up interiors by adjusting the exposure and tonemapping curves and offset this by reducing the amount of ambient lighting from 1 to .25. This makes light sources brighter, makes lighting behave more realistically and makes the black levels perceptually darker. I avoided pitch black areas since they look grey on a LCD, you'll still be able to make out very faint details in areas that are almost pitch black. One of the downsides to this is that grass is only affected by ambient lighting, so it'll look black if there's a nearby light sources, fortunately there aren't very many areas in the game with grass in the interiors apart from the initial VR room. This is a limitation in Skyrim's engine.

Unlike interiors, night's are generally pretty uniform in lighting, so you can't provide contrast between light and dark areas, you also can't tweak the ambient lighting to much without making grass and other objects looks off. So for the nights I boosted the overall exposure and adjust the toe strength to make dark areas more defined. I used a Look up Table to apply some color grading to simulate darkness better, it basically applies a faint bluish tint to darker areas and a orange hue to light sources. The color grading can be adjusted or disabled entirely in the enbeffect section of the enb panels.

Comparison Shots:
Left side is vanilla, right side is with the ENB on. There's a divider that you can drag back and forth to compare the results, depending on your connection the screenshots might take a sec to load. The difference in the screen shots will look subtle but i assure you that in VR it's far more noticeable. The difference in the night time shots will be pretty obvious. In the other shots compare the highlights and darker areas. Without the ENB highlights get crushed and have a weird coloration to them. Darker areas have crushed black levels in vanilla but with the ENB you can see details without it actually brightening the image. Overall everything looks a lot crisper and clearer which makes a huge difference in VR.  (All of these screenshots were made with the v1.0 Profile)


Some people like their Skyrim over saturated and full of bloom, others like it bleak and dark. You can't please everyone.  The ENB is easily customized, all the tonemapping settings are in the enbeffect section.  Don't like the sharpening? reduce it to zero to turn it off.  Too bright? Lower the exposure. Not enough contrast? Adjust the gamma, and/or white levels.  Don't like the blue tint at night? reduce the LUT amount.  If you want even more fine tuning you can tweak the toe values to tweak the darker values, linear settings to adjust the mid range, and shoulder settings to adjust the brighter values. In addition you can enable other built in effects like ambient occlusion and sky lighting. The default settings are simply a starting point, these values looked good on my setup, but might not be as pleasing to someone else.  

  1. Download ENB from Extract d3d11.dll and d3dcompiler_46e.dll from the WrapperVersion Folder into your skyrim's executable directory.  Make sure you use v0.375.  Later versions of ENB have not been tested yet. v0.391 is currently the latest version, it has support for subsurface scattering, but it is slower than older version. Subsurface scattering is barely noticeable in VR and has to much of a performance impact to be worth using.
  2. Download one of the two profiles from the Download Page. place the enbseries folder and enlocal.ini and enbseries.ini files into your skyrim's executable directory.
  3. Install Skyrim particle patch for ENB. The latest version include an esp. You can disable the .esp or delete it, It's not supported by the Skyrim VR ENB anyways and does nothing.
  4. (Optional) Install Obsidian weathers.
  5. (Optional) Enhanced Lights and FX and ELFX Enhancer.
  6. (Optional) I found the night sky to be to bright in VR, especially after darkening the nights. So i made galaxy, star and aurora textures. Install the NightSkyBySGS.rar from Optional files using a mod manager.
  7. *Important* Make sure that the ENB is receiving the proper time of day values from Skyrim or your nights won't be dark.  Some mods can sometimes break this functionality. Altering Skyrim's fvrscale will also break the ENB time of day calculations. Install enbhelper VR.  It will send ENB the proper game hour settings as well as weather information: