Current Version: 2.08 - July 3, 2018
Thank you to those who have donated to me.
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Skyrim is the greatest open-world RPG ever created and includes fantastic 3D character and creature models. However, playing the game for even one hour made me notice Skyrim also contains many ugly 3D models. More precisely, there are quite a few low-polygon static meshes that comprise the architectural elements, clutter, furniture, and landscape objects.
It would appear that while the artists devoted a large amount of time to create the races, creatures, armors, weapons, and major buildings, the more "boring" 3D models that make up the game world were severely neglected.
Hence, this mod edits many 3D models to improve their appearance and to fix many of the ugly seams and other oddities. I started in February 2012 with the ultimate goal of improving about 500 of the worst offenders. In June 2014 750+ meshes have been completed; my goal has been exceeded! SMIM now includes over 15,000 placements of said meshes! In October 2016 900+ meshes are improved, with over 30,000+ placements! Cool.
Still, SMIM still has more to do! Improving meshes takes a long time, and I'll release incremental updates to include new 3D models as I finish them.
Want to know more? I wrote book about SMIM! Click the image below to read a larger version of "Initiates Guide to SMIM". It'll even boost your stats!
And thank you for voting SMIM as file of the month for March 2012. Very kind of you all!
The Nexus Mod Manager (NMM) is recommended for proper installation. If you use NMM, just click the "Download with Manager" button and install!
My mod comes with a fancy installation script that lets you pick and choose which parts of SMIM you want and pick various texture options. Before requesting options please try the different options through Nexus Mod Manager!
The Official High-Res DLC is OPTIONAL, but only a lunatic wouldn't use it. SMIM works PERFECTLY with this DLC. Just download the High-Res DLC from Steam and activate the .esps for it. Also download the Unofficial High Resolution Patch.
The Unofficial Skyrim Legendary Edition Patch is recommended (if you don't own all the DLC expansions, then use the Skyrim Unofficial Patch). Install order doesn't matter since USLEEP is a BSA package meaning SMIM's loose files will always take precedence.
If you use WATER (now part of The Ruffled Feather) or Realistic Water Two (either recommended!), install one or the other AFTER SMIM and let it overwrite all SMIM files. If you use the Riften 3D ropes added in SMIM 1.90, make sure any water .esp file loads AFTER (below) SMIM in your install order or you may get minor water seams by the Riften docks.
If you use SkyFalls and SkyMills (recommended), install it BEFORE SMIM and then let SMIM overwrite all files. Otherwise, one of the windmill fans will remain 2D.
If you use Better Dynamic Snow (was part of The Ruffled Feather, now part of S.T.E.P.) (recommended!), follow its directions and pick which parts you want. His 2D fence conflicts with my 3D version, so don't install his. Make sure to install the Better Dynamic Snow SMIM option in his installer.
If you use raiserfx's Ruins Clutter Improved (recommended!), install it first! Then let SMIM overwrite all Ruins Clutter Improved files! Otherwise, you won't get SMIM's fancy lantern or various Nordic ruins improvements.
If you use rheadude's Ultimate HD Fire Effects, install it first! Then let SMIM overwrite all files!
If you use kryptopyr's Complete Crafting Overhaul Remade or Tytanis' Jewelcraft, install it first! Then let SMIM overwrite all files!
If you use anamorfus' Enhanced Lights and FX, install SMIM first then pick the SMIM Meshes installer option for Enhanced Lights and FX.
If you use texture mods like Skyrim HD, install SMIM first, then the texture mods and let them overwrite the few files that might conflict with SMIM.
If you use Mindflux's ENB Particle Mesh Fixes, let SMIM overwrite everything because SMIM already includes all his fixes.
Manual Installations and Other Notes
Manual installations are extremely discouraged since SMIM's folder structure is very complex. If you insist against all better judgment, you can download the SMIM archive and then extract the contents of the "00 Core" folder to "SkyrimData". That installs the base part of the mod.
The other folders starting with numbers are optional features. If you want one of those options, extract the contents of the folder to "SkyrimData". Folders with the same number are either or, so only extract the contents of one of those folders. If you can't figure out all the numbering and folder descriptions, use NMM or Wrye Bash. Version 1.11 and above includes an .esp. Be sure to activate it.
SMIM uses many SMIM-specific new textures that are included in the "textures-smim" folder to separate them from vanilla textures. These SMIM-textures always override any other texture replacers you are using. What this means is most of the meshes I edit will use MY textures, not those of other texture replacers you have installed. This isn't a big deal since my SMIM textures are designed to match well with the base game and other high-res texture packs. Just be aware that when using SMIM, you will have to use my textures for most SMIM'd meshes.
Also, SMIM includes several edited vanilla textures (I fixed errors with them), which do conflict with texture replacers. You just have to decide if you want my fixed vanilla textures or your favorite texture replacer's versions. For example, if you install Skyrim HD first then SMIM, you'll get SMIM's fixed vanilla wood post texture. If you install SMIM first then Skyrim HD, you'll get Skyrim HD's wood post texture. None of this hurts your game. Just remember to generally install SMIM first and then texture replacers.
Other really great visual mods to complement SMIM:
- Ruins Clutter Improved - which mostly improves textures but also adds 3D chains to chandeliers. He's saved me lots of time! Perfect to use with SMIM! Install it first then SMIM after to ensure you get SMIM's fancy lantern and other Nordic ruins improvements.
- The Ruffled Feather - this mod package contains a bunch of great visual improvements, but most importantly to me is the Better Dynamic Snow component I helped create.
- Detailed Rugs - Greatly improved rug textures. Very lore-friendly.
- Real Roads - A fantastic mod that makes all the cobblestone roads actually 3D. A truly fantastic visual improvement!
- Jewels of the Nord - High-polygon rings along with high-resolution textures.
- High Quality Food and Ingredients - A nice collection of food and ingredient textures. Many of these SMIM already improves (won't conflict and SMIM will take priority), but this mod has great powder and moon sugar textures. Some textures are different than vanilla and a matter of preference.
- Skyrim Flora Overhaul - Greatly improved plant textures.
- SkyFalls and SkyMills - Adds distant animated waterfalls and windmills. Fantastic! Install before SMIM and let SMIM overwrite the windmill files.
- Enchanting Candles Improved - Greatly improves the candle wax on the enchanting tables.
See Changes tab for a full list of versions or see a per-file changelog by clicking the Files tab and viewing the changelog.
What is the performance hit?
For me, it is zero. In 2013 I was running a 3.3GHz i2500k Intel CPU with a nVidia GeForce 680 with no performance hit. Users with slower machines may take a hit. I have no interest in making low-polygon models. Every model I've included is more detailed than vanilla. A few of my meshes are a LOT more detailed, some even overkill perhaps. Maybe I'll go back and reduce polygons at some point. For now, try my mod, note where your FPS drops (if anywhere) and manually delete certain of my meshes if you desire.
What textures do your models use?
I use the default vanilla textures whenever possible so that texture replacers will work fine with my mod. However, some models require me to make custom textures to fit my new awesome 3D models. In this case I use my judgment to decide which texture source is best: vanilla, Skyrim HD, or a new custom-made texture by me. What this means is you can't simply use a texture replacer to replace textures for my objects. But all my non-vanilla textures are quite high-resolution. See the texture replacer section above for more information.
I don't like one of your 3D models or textures. How do I solve my issues?
Well, if you don't like a certain 3D model I've included, you can delete it manually either before or after installation. You'll have to find it yourself and remove it. If you don't like my textures I'm afraid you're stuck with them since other texture replacers won't work for most of my 3D models. If you ask nicely I could perhaps make an alternate texture more to your liking.
Will you improve/fix a certain 3D model?
Maybe, post in the comments and tell me what you want fixed and why. But don't post spoilers!
Why don't you just enjoy the game as it was made?
Because I'm OCD. I notice seams, low-polygon models, and other offenses to good artistic design. It's my burden really. I wish I was ignorant of all this, but alas, I know too much...
- See Credits page for full list of credits.
- Thanks to the whole NifSkope team over the years. Without their years of effort no-one would be able to edit .nif files! Thank you!
- Thanks to NifUtilsSuite by skyfox et al. Without this tool, I would have no way of editing Skyrim collision. Thank you!
- Bethesda for creating awesome games with irksome flaws that we modders obsess over.
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