Jump to content
Arthmoor

[Skyrim SE] Porting a mod from LE to SSE

Recommended Posts

I apologize if this is not the place to post this, but in working on True Storms for SE, I realized that making any changes to the particle shader geometry in the SE CK causes it to become invisible.  Loading the saved plug-in in xEdit shows completely crazy values in the plugin after saving in the CK and loading it up, specifically box size and density of 0, which explains the invisible rain/snow.

 

I would be grateful if someone could test this to vet the issue.

  1. Load Skyrim SSE CK and load Skyrim.esm
  2. Edit RainStormParticles, change any value (say make particle density 3)
  3. Save a new plugin
  4. Load the game, enable the plugin
  5. Force rain storm weather using console command fw C8220
  6. Rain will be invisible

This is with everything else being vanilla.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

So I poked around at all the textures in the SE version to see if they had changed. I PM'd Arthmoor about this, but I figure I'll post it here for others to see.

 

Bethesda decided to upscale a large amount of textures, doubling their size. Upscaling a texture from 512x512 to 1024x1024 or whatever is generally considered a bad plan because all it does is blur things or add noise and not actually improve image quality. Bethesda has used a sort of automated upscale-noise-filtering system to make the textures a bit more...noisy. It does make them ever so slightly less blurry, but it also adds dithering, which isn't good. I suppose it is a toss up on which is better. Here's some comparisons: rug, bear pelt.

 

For reference, the original release (with HighRes DLC) had 898 architecture files for 825mb. SE has 898 architecture files for 1.91gb. So yeah...technically I should update all my vanilla texture edits to use these new "high res" textures...but like I said, I don't believe any of these larger textures are actually from high res art sources.

 

Overall, the textures take up about 4gb more space in the SE version. I assume Bethesda increased the texture size mostly because the PS4/XB1 have plenty of texture RAM available.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Got a hold of the public key that Bethesda tweeted 7 hours after the first tweet delaying the release of the kit. Installing.  But something weird.  It is copying 15,130 items from Scripts.zip to data .  A process taking over 5 hours.  Is this expected behavior?  I rememebr being asked some random qauestion before the process began, but in my excitement hit enter on it before fully reading it.  Anyone encounter this?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

As a complete noob to this stuff I'm just confused- do I need to wait for my mod's authors to complete this process or is this something I can do myself?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

You should wait for the mod authors to do it once they have access to the CK. I think it's a bit much to ask end users to go through, but yes, it's possible if you know how.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Here's a point about meshes. The Special Edition seems to not allow NiSkinPartition blocks to use Strips. The game will show a red exclamation. So I had to re-export a few meshes and ensure "Generate Partition Strips" was not checked in the 3DSMax exporter. The original Skyrim works just fine with Strips for Skinned meshes, from my experience.

 

Another point on meshes, the Special Edition does not need Blocks to be in proper order. I tested a few meshes and it was just fine to have the blocks out of order in the .nif. However, using NifSkope's Spells->Reorder blocks is still a good plan on most meshes. Thanks Brumbek for this esoteric knowledge!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Arthmoor: thank you.  was not sure if I should end it. 

 

Joesmoii: the other aspect to it is that you cannot upload or distribuit the conversion if you do it yourself.  This can of worms has been opened before with much grief and drama.  If it is for your own personal use then obviously it is ok.  And if the mod uses an mcm menu there is no support for thar in the remastered edition.  You would to add a diffeent way to allow changing settings.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

@Brumbek: How would one know if a mesh is affected by this problem with the skin partitions?

 

An excellent question. I don't know of any tool that can actually search in the .nif itself for NiSkinPartition or whether that Block has Strips or Triangles. I suppose a really smart person could write a program, like zilav. He wrote the NifScan utility, so theoretically a program like that could search for the above issue.

 

What I did was go through SMIM and look at all my skinned meshes, since skinned meshes are mostly limited to characters, creatures, monsters, armors, clothes, and so on...but manual checking is prone to missing something of course. But like your Horker, the way I knew it was an issue was the obvious in-game red exclamation.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Heh. I posted a question on his Nifscan entry asking if it would be possible. :P

 

Meanwhile I did figure it out and manually fixed one mod I knew had the problem so I could keep using it for SSE until the author is available to port it. Maybe I should contact them and see if they're interested.

 

Manually checking every edited skinned mesh in USSEP is not practical, but so far I haven't seen any missing mesh icons being worn by people.

 

Added the process ousnius outlined for getting a skinned mesh updated in the OP.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Any bets on when SKSE is converted?

Separate build to the current might be more straightforward, but anyone wanting a challenge would compile 32 & 64 bit support in the same dll. :P

 Guessing within a couple of weeks on past record, but who knows?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Since the CK is delayed, can SSEEdit open and save an esp for use in Special Ed.? There are no external assets.

Theoretically, majority of plugins don't need any conversion at all. The game reads data in records depending on Form Version field that you see at the top of records in xEdit. SSE introduced new version 44 which has changes in format of some records, however previous form versions are also still valid in SEE similar to how SSE still reads majority of older Skyrim Nifs.

The only thing to look at is if a mod overrides a record what has changed in SSE like river flow data in cells for example.

 

However I don't recommend to load Skyrim plugins into SSEEdit without prior resaving in new CK. It reads almost all records without checking Form Version and assumes new SSE form version format 44 for everything.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Meanwhile I did figure it out and manually fixed one mod I knew had the problem so I could keep using it for SSE until the author is available to port it. Maybe I should contact them and see if they're interested.

 

Added the process ousnius outlined for getting a skinned mesh updated in the OP.

Cool, thanks for adding the info. I suppose I should have told you about the NifSkope spell, too. ;)

 

 

However I don't recommend to load Skyrim plugins into SSEEdit without prior resaving in new CK. It reads almost all records without checking Form Version and assumes new SSE form version format 44 for everything.

zilav! First, thanks for being a genius! NifScan let me fix a bunch of SMIM meshes. Second, well...since I don't have the CK yet I did run my SMIM-Merged-All.esp through SSEEdit and copied over all the important stuff like the water flow data. My SMIM-Merged-All.esp is still format 43 of course, but all edited cells and data seems to work. I'm tempted to be a dirty modder and release SMIM without the CK just for now...

 

PS: Another thing I've realized. Meshes, specifically NiTriShape Blocks that do NOT have proper Tangent and Bitangent data will render as psychodelic glitchy messes that turn black at certain angles in the Special Edition. Once again, in the original game, those meshes would render "smooth" and only upon close inspection could you tell their depth/tangent info was missing. So...once again...in my dream world I'd love some utility that could check a bunch of meshes for missing Tangent/Bitangent and even Normals on all NiTriShape Blocks. FYI, the reason one of my SMIM meshes had missing Tangent/Bitangent was because of an esoteric export error in 3DSMax, and when I'm editing hundreds of meshes it is VERY easy to have a few export with errors without knowning.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It handles old meshes, but seems to be a bit more picky about them being well-formed.  Also certain texture formats are no longer supported like uncompressed grayscale, which the game reads as if it were RGB with only the red filled out.

 

With that said every single NIF file has been run through their internal converter program to have a better vertex data layout, which enables the engine to more optimally read all the data into DX11. Not to mention it's significantly compressed, where a typical vertex (position, UVs, normals, tangents, bitangents, and vertex colors) goes from 60 bytes to 32 bytes.**

 

The vertex format is the exact same as FO4's except SSE meshes are never half-precision (using 16-bit half floats for all of the vertices). Most all blocks are completely identical,  but no existing tools will even be able to open the NIFs without an update even if they can read FO4 NIFs, since SSE NIFs are a bit of a mixture.  The NIF file versions go 83 -> 100 -> 130 for Skyrim -> SSE -> FO4, showing that SSE came between the two developmentally (which we already knew).

 

 

** Which, if they're doing it correctly, the engine is having to take a bit of extra time to load the old 60 byte vertex, but it's getting converted to the new format before being sent to DX11.  So if there is any kind of overhead with old meshes it should only affect loading time.

you're too smart  :X

 

If nothing else pops-up in the meantime I will write and share instructions for how to use LODGen.exe to convert simple! static meshes from one format to another.

Once I updated it for SSE I will use its "secret" options to convert DynDOLOD Resources to the new format anyhow.

can't wait

 

Here's a point about meshes. The Special Edition seems to not allow NiSkinPartition blocks to use Strips. The game will show a red exclamation. So I had to re-export a few meshes and ensure "Generate Partition Strips" was not checked in the 3DSMax exporter. The original Skyrim works just fine with Strips for Skinned meshes, from my experience.

 

Another point on meshes, the Special Edition does not need Blocks to be in proper order. I tested a few meshes and it was just fine to have the blocks out of order in the .nif. However, using NifSkope's Spells->Reorder blocks is still a good plan on most meshes. Thanks Brumbek for this esoteric knowledge!

Thanks Brumbek for this esoteric knowledge! (or were you thanking yourself in the third person)

 

 

However I don't recommend to load Skyrim plugins into SSEEdit without prior resaving in new CK. It reads almost all records without checking Form Version and assumes new SSE form version format 44 for everything.

So.. Youre saying opening the plugin in CK and saving will change all of the headers to latest version?

what about very simple plugins that dont really require the CK to be made? such as a weather plugin i made for myself, which only has region and weather record overrides ... Would it just be better to rebuild it from scratch in xedit?

I dont have CK yet so thats not an option for the time being, but I'd like to make any changes I can now to my plugins. I just thought that if I compared them to SSE masters and there werent any new conflicts, then they'd be good to go.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------

 

On a different note ... what would be the best way to swap masters from USLEEP to USSEP? can we tweak and utilize Mator's swap master script?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 I'm tempted to be a dirty modder and release SMIM without the CK just for now...

 

Erk, note to self avoid SMIM for now, I use the old merged plugin for Skyrim Original .. I guess you would need to wait for Mator and his merging scripts being checked out thoroughly, and then after putting your individual plugins through the CK then do a remerge .. I guess I see why the temptation

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

So...we are stuck with the old papyrus? :( 

I really liked Fallouts 4 remote event functions, I had tons of fun scripting Fallout 4. I used scripts in Fallout 4 to dynamically add a lot of stuff, which saved me a lot of time in the editor. 

 

Also, have they gotten rid of that pesky "only 4 light sources can hit a object"? This one really bugged the heck out of me, because I had to drag all meshes that I hit with Lighting into 3ds max and split it into many more pieces, this solved it, but had a performance cost, not to much though, but rather time consuming and unecessary.

 

As I read that this is not the fallout 4 engine, but something in between, maybe, just maybe they could fix the "4 lights, one object" rule and the grass that just does not want to reflect light no matter what.

 

I have not gotten the beta invite for the CK yet, so I probably have to wait for it's release.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Erk, note to self avoid SMIM for now

 

How dare you!! I'll be putting out SMIM 1.97 for SE later today I believe. To heck with the stupid SE Creation Kit.

 

Anyway, a kind user took this comparison between SMIM and SE. I'm posting it here because it gives you a really good idea of why Bethesda's upscaling of the textures is highly foolish. Notice how theirs is so digitized and fake looking because of their aggressive algorithm generated noise. I am *seriously* considering using the original game textures...or if someone wants to spend a lot of time, it would be acceptable to do a 50/50 merge of the two textures in order to get the sharpened textures but at 50% strength.

 

PS: if you want a lot more info on the SE textures, see this Reddit post and my response with more technical details. Bottom line: about 1% of the changes are good. The other changes bloat VRAM usage, look ugly, and are ... dumb.

 

On a nicer note, I want to once again thank everyone who is involved in helping us make Skyrim so much better. Thanks Arthmoor, Jon, zilav, all the NifSkope peeps, the xEdit souls, and everyone else I'm forgetting.

 

PS: the audio changes are so depressing...as someone who has done professional audio engineering...the level of incompetence blows my mind. If they don't patch this, I'll also have to copy all the original sound files and hope they work ok on SE.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

How dare you!! I'll be putting out SMIM 1.97 for SE later today I believe. To heck with the stupid SE Creation Kit.

 

 

Catherine Tate show "How very dare you" LOL .. Calm your knickers

 

 

I dont think what you plan to do will cause any major problems for users of SMIM, and they can always start a new game if needs be later.

 

Zilav has recommended though not to put any plugins through the new SSEEdit, without first passing them through the CK .. Are you going to warn all your users ( and other mod authors who may use your plugins as a basis for something else ) also not to do the same because you have not put your plugins through the new CK ?.

 

I'm not being an arse here, much respect and love your work for the community, just trying to think of potential bad scenarios you maybe could avoid

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

So my main question is, will the new CK when it finally comes out have a means of converting old mods to the new system? The mods I make don't change anything in terms of the data and artwork that is already in the game. My mods mostly jus work with things like armor stats and adding extra stuff to places already in game. I've already gotten like 20 messages from people begging me to send my Nightingale and Companion mods over and I want to know if I have to start those from scratch or if the CK will just convert them for me because they don't add anything new, merely modify.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Well that's certainly a relief, for myself and my subscribers. I'm trying to do schoolwork and getting messages from people every 5 mins asking me "please bring this mod!" Especially my nightingale one.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

Support us on Patreon!

×
×
  • Create New...