Skyrim Special Edition

File information

Last updated

Original upload

Created by


Uploaded by


Virus scan

Safe to use

Tags for this mod

About this mod

An eye texture overhaul with a focus on subtlety and realism.

Permissions and credits
Authentic Eyes

An eye texture overhaul with a focus on subtlety and realism.

What is Authentic Eyes?
Depth - Authenticity - Subtlety

Authentic Eyes replaces the vanilla eye textures. My aim has always been to make eyes look striking and realistic in all lighting situations. The vanilla eyes are very saturated, I think Bethesda did this to make the eye colour visible and bright at all times - For me this made them too bright, they even appear to glow in some situations. I'm going for a more realistic approach where unless someone has exceptionally bright eyes (like my 'Light Blue' or 'Amber' eyes) it's quite hard to make out their colour until you get close or shine some light on them.

I have made my own normal map fix rather than using other mods that do the same and it took a huge amount of iteration to make, weeks of work - my obsessively iterative nature has payed off here I hope. It adjusts shading for realism and has an increased resolution versus vanilla for less blockiness. Alongside my new reflection and cubemaps eyes should look very deep and striking. Khajiit and Argonians get their own new normal map too!
I have also included a reduced glowmap for men and mer to reduce the odd shading on eyes that occurs in some lighting situations, like eyes that were too bright in full darkness.

Lastly, and hence the name of the mod - I want these eyes to fit into the world. The shading might be more 'realistic' than vanilla eyes because of my improved normal map, but I want this mod to not feel like a mod. I am a bit of a lore/immersion freak. My Skyrim simply must be authentic in relation to TES lore. Nothing I make should ever seem like it doesn't belong. That's my aim anyway and I hope anyone that uses this mod thinks I have succeeded in that.

What files does Authentic Eyes include?

- Eye replacer textures.
- My own custom Normal map, Glow, Environment, Reflection maps and Cubemap.
- New hand painted eyelashes.
- New normal maps for Khajiit and Argonians.

Diffuse textures are 512 resolution (double vanilla). Other maps range from 128 to 1024 resolution.

What does Authentic Eyes not include?
- Eye meshes (maybe coming soon).
- An esp. Just textures.

Install with Vortex/MO - load after any other mod that changes eyes.

All my screenshots on this page are with vanilla meshes. If you use a mod that changes eye meshes you may get very different results.

Not compatible with mods that change the vanilla eye textures. Mods that change the eye normal map texture specifically such as Eye Normal Map Fix SSE or Xrayys hd eye normal map SE are not compatible as Authentic Eyes includes its own. You can load those over authentic eyes if you wish, one caveat - my normal map is made to fit my iris textures - I can't guarantee things will look right if you do this (should be fine though).

If you want to you can use Authentic Eyes textures over the top of other eye mods that add new eye colours, my mod will show for the vanilla eye options and the other mods added colours will still work. For example, you could use Authentic Eyes alongside The Eyes of Beauty's standalone version.

P-FAQ (Probably FAQ)
Q. 2k/4k/80k super mega HD?
A. No, this mod was designed with performance in mind and I've tried to keep the textures as low resolution as possible, without losing quality. My eyes should be fine for screenarchery however, you have to get the camera incredibly close for the textures to star to blur.

Q. Eyes appear darker when I change eyes in showracemenu?
A. There's a weird bug that causes eyes to go darker when you change them (this happens in vanilla too I think). Moving the weight slider after switching eye colour fixes it as does changing cells or saving and reloading.

Q. Are you using an ENB in the screens/video?
A. No, the only added effect over vanilla lighting is Nvidia Freestyle's Depth of Field. So as far as the shading on eyes is concerned, what you see is what you get.

Q. What other mods are you using in your screenshots/videos?
A. Rustic Weathers and Lighting, Storm Lightning for SSE, (my god it's gorgeous, thank you), Total Character Overhaul, Tempered Skins for Males and Females, Masculine Khajiit TexturesFeminine Khajiit TexturesFAR - Forgotten Argonian Roots, Hallgarth's Additional (Vanilla) hair SE, Painterly, Northborn Scars, Beards, Realistic Hair Colors.

Thanks for the great mods, fellow modders!

Future plans
I am planning to repaint many of the eyes. I improved while making the mod and now that I have released v1.1 and have all the games eyes replaced I can start working on refining the textures.

Version 1.1

The mod now replaces all of the games eyes!
- Added Orc eyes.

- Added Vampire eyes. The intention with these vampire eyes is to make them subtle so that a vampire could theoretically wander around without giving away their true nature unless someone gets close. I hate that vanilla vampire eyes are like fog lights, my eyes still glow but it is much more subtle.
These vampire eyes conform to the vanilla style (black sclera) because vanilla vampire meshes and therefore the eyes that are baked/saved into each npcs facegen glow. Colouring sclera (whites) of the eyes in anything but black will lead to massive glow. This approach means that these textures will work without glitchy glows or problems for all the games vampires without the need for another mod.
This isn't how I want them to look, but to change it for both the player and all the games vampires would make the mod have a much larger scope (esp, facegen data, conflict galore). I will do this later as an optional file.
You can of course use any other vampire overhaul you want and overwrite my files for vampires.

- Improved normal map and other effect maps. Removed alpha channel experiment from normal map that caused blockiness. New map has no artifacts and is much smoother.


Finally, making this mod has taken me a long time, most textures are hand painted in Gimp. Countless late nights over about 2 years, so I really hope someone gets some enjoyment out of the mod!

Please post images if you like the mod!


Thank you so much to Bethesda for The Elder Scrolls, I think it's safe to say it means a lot to all of us. On that note and while I've got you're attention, Bethesda, please don't make make the protagonist in TES6 voiced, please for the love of god please god no (or make a robust option for no voice). Really though, PLEASE don't ruin TES for me in the same way Fallout or Dragon Age has been.