10 posts / 0 new
Last post
Chris McCallum
Chris McCallum's picture
Member
Offline
Last seen: 4 years 9 months ago
Joined: 09/22/2014 - 14:17
Karma: 60
Skywind Halfsize Textures: Complete


SKYWIND HALFSIZE TEXTURES: COMPLETE - DOWNLOADS AND DISCUSSION

This is now the official forum for downloads, questions and anything else related to this project. The project is finished and is available for download.

What is this? Well it is help for those who want to play Skywind as it is and not have the game crash when you finish character creation. This happens because the computer is trying to process textures that are too much for it to handle. Only top of the line PCs can handle Skywind's textures at their original size.

What I have done is taken all of the available Skywind textures and reduced their size by half. Doing this takes a whole lot of strain off a PC's CPU and allows what wasn't playable to be playable and be playable at higher settings.

I will use my own computer as an example. I am on a 8 year old Dell Optiplex 320 with an Intel Pentium D Processor, 2GB of System RAM and a HD Radeon 5450 graphics card. Not much power under the hood if you know what I mean. Well I can get Skywind to run but only if and I stress if I turn my Skyrim INI settings all the way down to low as far as they will go. Anything higher and I get a CTD immediately after character creation.

I am the author of a fairly successful Skyrim mod call Skyrim Halfsized and it is available on the Skyrim Nexus. It has over 3000 downloads and over 100 endorsements. So I thought I would do the same thing with Skywind.

What you can expect? Well different computers will experience different levels of effects. For some it may help a lot. For others it may not help at all but in general when a texture is reduced in size the quality of it is going to go down which simply means it won't look as good but the trade off for most people on low end machines is a faster running game and if you raise your INI settings to HIGH or ULTRA it compensates a little for the texture quality loss.

The picture I have posted is of Seyda Neen in ULTRA settings and the Downloads all 6 of them are below the picture. You need all 6 of them. I had to split it this way because I couldn't get my computer to upload it all in one package. Downloading and installing is easy. Here is my suggestion. Download all 6 of them to your Downloads folder and then unzip all of them in the Downloads folder. In the end you will have one large Data folder which can then be moved into your Skyrim directory. This is loose files as a BSA file produced bad results.

Anyways that is pretty much what this is and it is a done project. I won't be working on it again until the next version of Skywind becomes available. Then I will do the whole game over again. The process is automated so it is really easy to do. It just takes a long time. So with all that being said have fun and bring on any questions, comments and concerns.

Edited by: Chris McCallum on 10/28/2014 - 12:03
Calibus
Calibus's picture
Offline
Last seen: 4 years 2 months ago
Joined: 03/10/2014 - 17:43
Karma: 6
Cool this is awesome...

Cool this is awesome...

Dragomir
Dragomir's picture
Contributor
Offline
Last seen: 7 months 4 weeks ago
Joined: 04/23/2013 - 16:22
Karma: 2009
That's a great idea, but with

That's a great idea, but with any further work on a low requirement version of Skywind I'd wait for the final release. Plenty of stuff is still WIP or placeholders, and we're nowhere yet to begin some real optimisation. But I guess it'd be handy for people with old computers who also have access to it and would like to play it ;)

Funny thing by the way, my computer is also 8 years old, built for Oblivion - 2 gigs of RAM, Intel Core 2 duo, only the graphics card I got upgraded to Radeon HD 6850 - and yet Skyrim always worked on Ultra for me. I'm yet to check out Skywind's performance though.

Chris McCallum
Chris McCallum's picture
Member
Offline
Last seen: 4 years 9 months ago
Joined: 09/22/2014 - 14:17
Karma: 60
@Dragomir - Your specs are

@Dragomir - Your specs are very similar to mine. I am on a Dell Optiplex 320 with 2GB System RAM, Intel Pentium D Processor and a Radeon HD 5450. Without these reduced textures I have to play Skyrim in Medium settings but Skywind won't work unless I play in Low.

My Skywind Halfsize Texture mod is over 2GB in size and over 700MB when 7Zipped. Doing this is easy though. The process is automated. I use a DDS Optimizer program to do the work. I simply turn it on, point it to the folder with the textures and let it run. I then go away for about an hour or so and when I come back it is all done.

I don't know why packing them in a BSA didn't work but a BSA file produced Purple Textures. The purple texture is the Normal Map and packing these in a BSA sort of like stripped away the Diffuse Texture revealing the Normal Map so I was like man this isn't going to work but then I thought why not try them as loose files and bingo no more purple textures.

Anyways when you have reduced textures like this it does lower the quality or look a bit but it significantly increases performance especially on old PCs. It will have different effects on every PC as all PCs are different. Some of my Skyrim Halfsized folks reported big differences and some reported no differences but I have over 3000 downloads and over 100 endorsements on that set of mods on the Nexus.

Anyways sounds like Calibus wants it so I am going to post it as it is. Remember folks this is Skywind as stands right now. It is not a finished product. I won't be updating this until it is finished but these textures cover a lot of ground.

EDIT: Ok I've tried to post the mod but I get some kind of error message every time. It may be due to the size of the mod. It is over 2GB but when zipped it is just over 700MB so I thought it would go through as that is less than the 1GB file limit. Anyways I am not going to spend anymore time fooling with it right now. It may have to be split into parts that are all less than 1GB unzipped.

Zetman
Zetman's picture
Member
Offline
Last seen: 1 month 4 weeks ago
Joined: 01/29/2013 - 09:59
Karma: 57
Donor
Very impressive. 

Very impressive. 

SoxFullOfRox
SoxFullOfRox's picture
Offline
Last seen: 4 years 12 months ago
Joined: 10/22/2014 - 13:39
Karma: 2
Still far better looking than

Still far better looking than original Morrowind. I was tempted myself but instead I just decided to upgrade my computer, but for those people still in highschool or even college students/straped-for-cash-types this is amazing. 
I could probably play it on my laptop now. hmm.... maybe i will.. ^^

grumpycat
grumpycat's picture
Moderator
Offline
Last seen: 4 months 3 weeks ago
Joined: 12/08/2012 - 06:41
Karma: 3383
Nearer the end of the project

Nearer the end of the project, we will be in for a major optimization overhaul. Keep popping in and you can become part of that side of the project if you so desire.

Texture redundancy, sizes, optimized collision and havok, lod, etc, etc. Lots and lots to do.

Chris McCallum
Chris McCallum's picture
Member
Offline
Last seen: 4 years 9 months ago
Joined: 09/22/2014 - 14:17
Karma: 60
I've been having internet

I've been having internet connection issues all afternoon. Something must be wrong at ATT. Anyways I figured out how to upload the whole mod at once and that is to use the Advanced Download option where you drag a mod in and upload it. Anyways because my internet problems the upload was blown. It got to about 80% then it crashed and I lost it all and it had been uploading for about 4 hours. Man that is frustrating.

Ok Ok we can deal with this. I think the problem can be solved if I connect to the internet through Ethernet wire instead of using my wireless connection but the problem is that it is late where I live and the computer where I can hook up is near my folks bedroom and they have gone to bed so tomorrow I am going to go for that. I would rather have this mod in one download instead of 50 parts but because I am wireless and my signal isn't good I am having problems. I am going to remove the uploads I have already done and hope what I do tomorrow will fix this. If it doesn't work through direct Ethernet connection then we are going to have parts.

Chris McCallum
Chris McCallum's picture
Member
Offline
Last seen: 4 years 9 months ago
Joined: 09/22/2014 - 14:17
Karma: 60
@GrumpyCat - Thanks, I might

@GrumpyCat - Thanks, I might be able to help a little bit. The only thing I know how to do is manipulate Textures like I am doing here with this project but what I am doing is going to have to be done because I noticed a whole lot of Textures were 2048 x 2048 or higher in size. That is Hi-Def and most people can't play with these sizes of Textures. Skyrim itself isn't Hi-Def. The highest it goes is 1024 x 1024 which is standard def. If you want a Hi-Def Skyrim you have to download the Hi-Def DLC packages on Steam and believe me they don't work well and I got burned by them because once you download them they become a permanent part of your game. Anyways I've completed this project of Halfsize Textures for Skywind as Skywind stands right now. I had to upload it in parts as I couldn't get the whole thing to upload. Tried half a dozen times and each time it crashed around 50% so I broke it into smaller parts. I am downloading each part right now to make sure everything is right with each part and will rewrite my initial description once I have made my final check.

perrob
perrob's picture
Offline
Last seen: 4 years 10 months ago
Joined: 12/11/2014 - 13:30
Karma: 1
Some mis-information here,

Some mis-information here, though not through any malicious intent I'm sure.

Texture size - 1k vs 2k. These do not equate to standard or high def per se. Skyrim's high res DLC pack actually uses multiple texture sizes, ranging up to 2048x2048. This has nothing at all to do with screen resolution, and even on less than 1080p screens you will notice a difference when you look at objects up close. Calling 2k textures 'hi def' is technically wrong and descriptively ambiguous. You might call 2048x2048 high-res with regards to Skyrim. Even at that though, look at something big up close and you'll start to see blockiness. 

More importantly though, its your graphics card's RAM that is being stressed here. If you don't have at least 1gb of graphics ram, don't use the skyrim HD textures. Between 1gb and 1.5gb graphics ram you may notice a small performance hit on lower end systems. If you have 2gb+, graphics ram you won't feel a performance hit at all in most cases. Same applies to the Skywind textures. System ram will make no difference to this part of things. 

None of this requires a top of the line machine. 

I'm not saying this texture pack is a bad idea, I'm sure there will be people it'll help. What I expect is happening (as in the crashes) is a combination of issues which include low gfx ram and low system ram. CPU speed doesn't really come into it, and is irrelevant as far as texture size goes. The system ram is being thrashed as it loads and passes through textures via the dx engine (dx9 mirrors to ram as standard). Then, you turn around... system loads more textures (now visible) and thrashes gfx ram & system ram as it tries to cope. On a system with low ram but say a 3gb gfx card you'd get a sloooww start, but once everything was loaded it'd be pretty consistent. 

If you haven't tried it yet, lookup ENB. It requires a fair bit of fiddling to setup, but can dramatically improve performance on low end systems if you limit it so it's fancy effects are disabled. ENBoost can eliminate ram shadowing and can compress textures on the fly to save ram space. Great guide available here: http://wiki.step-project.com/ENBoost#Recommendations

It may even let you use *some* higher-res textures if you're lucky, but either way it might help improve stability in low memory resource situations.