Skyrim Special Edition

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Mihail

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MihailMods

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About this mod

High quality replacement for vanilla Ants, with textures in 4k resolution and various fixes needed for this critter. ESP free.

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  • If you use, like and value my work, please consider giving an endorsement. I've worked hard for years to offer you the best of me for free, and the only thing I ask in return is this gesture, which increases my relevance and engagement on Nexus, and motivates me to continue;
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  • Do you have any doubt? Read my Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ).





High quality replacement for vanilla Ants, with textures in
4k resolution 
and various fixes needed for this critter. ESP free.



This mod offers a new highly detailed replacer, with 1024x4096 textures and normal maps, for Skyrim's vanilla Ants, originally released in low quality textures with a resolution of 64x256, and having several problems of specularity and glossiness, making them too shiny and plastic-looking, besides dated, non-detailed and blurry (as seen in the comparative images in this description). Due to the poor quality of the original textures, a detailed re-texture of the original texture was never possible, so I decided to bring a new texture and normal map, adapted to the current Skyrim modding standards. This mod not only stays true to the original concept, but makes the Ants' appearance even better embedded in the overall Skyrim setting. Nothing has changed in the mechanics of the Ants, or their location. 

The mod is completely .esp freeso just install the model and texture, and enjoy high quality Ants in your game.


How do Ants work in the game? - In fact, a lot of players don't even know they exist, because they were one of those initial ideas from the devs that were soon partially discarded possibly because they proved to be laborious and/or boring to apply. They are composed of long flat 2d models with animated textures, which simulate movement. They don't move, but just simulate such movement by making the textures go through a predetermined path on the models, and with a slight flickering that simulates the movement of the legs. Due to their small size, this works even better than one might think, and to be fair it is not possible to make individual 3d models for these small critters, which would be very demanding for the machine, due to the huge number of ants walking in line in the same place, so I chose to keep exactly the same system of implementation. 
In the vanilla game, they were programmed to travel both on flat surfaces and the ground, as well as around tree stumps, and the devs apparently quickly got discouraged by their implementation, because they are only present in areas of Falkreath relatively close to the start of the game, and in one of the houses in the Hearthfire DLC, however, if you have mods that place more ants elsewhere, they will be perfectly compatible with this mod as long as the mod doesn't modify their models/textures.
It is also worth mentioning that they were not applied perfectly in the game, so the 2d models with animated textures that simulate ant lines present some clipping, especially around the corners of tree stumps, and there is not much that can be done, and it is possible that not much attention was paid to this detail due to the simple lack of interest in this critter, clearly delegated to background of second or third category, even possibly being the complicated interaction of the lines with the objects, when placing the ant lines in the world, which caused this lack of interest on further implementation of more ants in the worldspace. 
However, as a minor decorative element of the environment they are interesting, and undoubtedly bring an extra life to the setting, specially now with decent textures;


Where to find them? - Riverwood has some on the stumps of trees, and some on the ground after crossing the bridge, going towards Whiterun. A tree stump outside Cracked Tusk Keep also has an anthill, as well as a tree cut down at Lakeview Manor and another at Half-Moon Mill. There are possibly other locations besides these.




- High quality new detailed Ants replacer, with 1024x4096 texture and normal maps, and fixed specularity and glossiness, 
a creature originally with textures with low resolution of 64x256; 


- The number of ants per texture was maintained, but I decided to add both males and females, while in the original texture all are female. Males can be distinguished by their larger heads.









The mod is not compatible with other mods that modify the textures or model of vanilla Ants. If you have one installed, or think you might have one, put this mod below it/them in your load order. If 
you are asked about files overwriting those of other mods, press "Yes to all".

(OBS- If by chance when installing several of Mihail's mods at the same time you are asked about files overwriting those of other Mihail mods or other authors mods, don't worry because they are just the same files shared between mods. I recommend that on these occasions always give preference to the files contained in my mods, and among mine always give preference to the mod you are installing last.)




The Mihail Monsters and Animals series aims to create and make available to the community the most complete set of creatures for TES 5: Skyrim, implemented in an immersive and unique way, with respect to the pillars of lore. Instead of pathetically just throwing models and textures in the game reusing 100% vanilla mechanics, the creatures made by Mihail have uniqueness and extreme zeal in their idealization and implementation, which will provide you with an experience that you have never had before in this area.





Author: 

Mihail- the textures are based on an image of a real ant available on the internet for free, with unknown author, and initially in 700x400, then re-textured by me to 4k, in addition to generating its normal maps, creating the male variant based on the female original one, and making the necessary tweaks in the problematic 2d vanilla meshes of the ant lines.



Some assets used on this mod belong to:

Author unknown- for the photograph of the real world ant used as the basis for this virtual ant;
PNGWing- for converting the initial photo to PNG format, and making it available free of charge for non-commercial use.








Update on Deadlands development: unfortunately I will be postponing the release of the Project Deadlands first open alpha test to late January 2023. It was initially planned for late September 2022, and later postponed to mid-October of the same year, but circumstances have been delaying me, so instead of delaying it again by another month when October ends, and then by one more at the end of November, I prefer to put a more realistic date already. Unfortunately I have been facing personal, financial and mainly family problems (which end up becoming financial too) that prevent me from being able to dedicate full time to the project at this moment, so I will focus on these remaining 3 months of the year on faster and smaller jobs, so I will continue to be active, and I will not stop producing content, and then on January 1st, with everything more stabilized in my life, I will be able to dedicate myself fully to the project. As I've shared it several times, mainly on my server, I'm not only investing time and effort, but the project also costs money, and right now I can't afford it, nor can I dedicate full time to it. I work practically alone, I do almost everything myself, and it's not feasible for me to continue developing the project this year. Thank you for understanding, and unfortunately unforeseen events arise, and a sequence of them occurred to me in the second half of the year, so I need this end of year to balance things out first. You can check more info about the mod bellow.

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New quest mod coming soon: The mod's first open alpha test release was initially planned for late September/2022 but was pushed back to end of January/2023 for better polish. The several hours long adventure takes place mostly in Oblivion, specially on the Deadlands, and is intended for the Champion of Mehrunes Dagon, however, several of the objectives include interaction with other realms and daedra, even in places outside of Oblivion itself: you will travel between dungeons, open areas, underground caves, towns, gigantic daedric towers, and much more.
In January/23 I will relese the first open alpha for community testing and bug finding, also as a show of respect to the users, since the project will take a full year yet to be completed, and i want people to know that the project is being developed, and also providing them a place to have fun while waiting, and at same time this will help me with bug finding, and with ideas for improvment. Quest has 30 acts, each new alpha will feature 3 new acts. Open Alpha Test 1 will feature only the first 3 acts, but already with several hours of content. I plan to release a total of 9 to 10 alphas before the finished release.


Oblivion Gate test


(First test made on testing cell with vanilla interior dungeon lightning, second test made on vanilla
dagon shrine with natural exterior world lightning. I was not happy with my first try (showcased on
the video of the first gate test I published time ago), so i came back and redone the oblivion gate
effects and sounds, and now i like them much more.)


Oblivion Gate test 2

(Final test just to see how daedra exiting the gate would look like. No daedra will come from this gate, but
later on the mod they will come from others, while already in oblivion, specially when travelling between
realms and/or pocket realms. Check the previous testing to see the full working mechanics of the
Oblivion Gates on the mod.)

Mythic Dawn Archvicar lines

(He is the second main NPC of the mod, with Agent Ragna being the first and the central npc of the introdutory
quest "The Sigils of Oblivion". After finishing it, you start the main one, "The Herald of the Second Coming",
and is the Archivar who introduces you to the adventure. (he is using right now my 4k re-texture of Mythic
Dawn Robes, but in the finished version he will receive unique "Mythic Dawn Priest Robes", although
they will not be featured yet on the first open alpha testing release))



Interaction with Dagon at Azrak'ath Ruins

(First communication with Dagon in the end of the introdutory quest "The Sigils of Oblivion". After you
collect the sigil stone you travel to his shrine to enter the gate to the Deadlands. (video is a bit outdated,
on current state the eyes of dagon glow in fire when you approach and he starts talking))



Azrak'ath Ruins boss fight (end of act 1 of 30)

(Final boss of the Azrak'ath Ruins. These ruins are underground Daedric ruins on Nirn, more specifically on the Reach. Here
you complete Act 1 of the mod, and most of the remaining 29 acts take place in Oblivion, about 80% of them in the Deadlands.
In act 1 the introductory quest The Sigils of Oblivion occurs, where you collect the Sigil Stone that will be used to open the Oblivion
Gate that I showed in previous videos. When you enter the gate the main quest The Herald of the Second Coming will then begin.)


Azrak'ath Ruins Mythic Dawn ghosts in the end of act 1

(At the end of Act 1, still on Nirn, in an underground daedric ruin, after you finish the dungeon and acquire the
ritualistic Sigil Stone, several Mythic Dawn ghosts who were killed in this ruin during the Oblivion Crisis,
during an attack by Vigilants of Stendarr, appear to motivate you to go ahead and carry out Dagon's plans,
which start with the Dragonborn opening a portal to Oblivion.)