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SubRosa
This has come up a few times in other threads, so I thought it might be good to have a topic devoted to our characters and their makeover mods. There is a dizzying array of mods out that to add new bodies, face textures, and so on. What makes it worse is that many of them overwrite others either completely or in parts. So you might think you are using a mod, when actually another of your mods may have copied its own files over it.

I spent many, many hours working on my current loadout of appearance mods for males and females. It took a lot of trial and error and comparing files from every one to get to where I am at now (and I am sure I will be adding more!). It occurred to me that some lists and explanations of what each mod does might save other folks a lot of time and effort and frustration. So I started this topic.

First of all some basic tools. Paint.Net is a free graphics app that will let you open the .dds files that all the game's textures come as. Very handy for comparing the textures between mods. For Windows Vista, 7 or 8. Should work on 32 bit systems.

Nifskope is a free modelling program, that will let you open the .nif mesh files used by the game if you are curious.



!!!Some of these links are not work safe or kid safe!!!

I have spent a lot of time tweaking my appearance mod loadout for women (and for men too) So far what I am using is this, installed in this order (because some things overwrite parts of others):

Dimonized UNP Base Body - I deleted the two female body .nif files. That is because they not only one make all the female characters naked, but they change the body slider into nothing but a boob slider. So I essentially have the same body shape as the vanilla body, but get the higher res hands and feet. There are some high res body textures that comes with it, but almost all of them are completely overwritten by my other mods. There are underwear options with UNP, but I found one of them gives me CTDs. Which made me have to try an option to the optional underwear files. For me it was easier just to delete the two body .nifs.
Files: Meshes - femalebody_0.nif, femalebody_0.nif, femalebody_1.nif (I delete these two), femalefeet_0.nif, femalefeet_1.nif, femalehands_0.nif, femalehands_1.nif.
Textures - femalebody_1.dds, femalebody_1_msn.dds, femalebody_1_s.dds, femalebody_1_sk.dds, femalehands_1.dds, femalehands_1_msn.dds, femalehands_1_s.dds, femalehands_1_sk.dds.

Seamless UNP and Coverwomen #4 - This is the Seamless option to Coverwomen look #4. There are four looks, each with differing amounts of glam. #4 is the no-glam, normal look. The seamless UNP version of it is meant to reduce the neckseams that you get when using texture mods. Unlike the title, it is not really seamless. But it does help.
Files: Female Folder = femalehead.dds, femalehead_msn.dds, femalehead_s.dds. Race Folders = femalehead_msn.dds.

Sub Surface Full Body Map for Coverwomen and UNP UNPB bodies - What this does is work on those texture seams, and it does a very good job. I can still see a bit, but not very much after it.
Files: femalebody_1_sk.dds, femalehands_1_sk.dds, femalehead_sk.dds. (So this is overwriting parts of the UNP texture files, but not all of them).

Fitness Body (using the UNP Fitness Main Body - with optional Lesser Abs) - This mod makes the female bodies look more fit. It has different downloads for UNP and CBBE, and different flavors for each. Inside each rar you download are even more options. It all depends on how muscular you want to look.
Files: femalebody_1_msn.dds, femalehands_1_msn.dds. (note that this overwrites parts of the UNP body, but different parts than Sub Surface Full Body Map does, so these two mods play nice)

Women of Skyrim (with optional smooth faces for elves). Women of Skyrim adds a huge amount of detail to your character faces, to the level where you can see individual pores on their faces. It is not really a glam mod so much as it is a high detail mod.
Files: Female and Race Folders = femalehead_msn.dds. (Incompatibility warning! If you install this before Coverwomen it will be completely overwritten and do nothing. So it must be installed after Coverwomen.)

Detailed Lips. Like the name says, it gives the lips much more definition. It does not overwrite any files in any other mods I have, so I am not going to list the filenames. I stopped using this one after a while, since the new lip textures did not quite line up with the other face textures.

Numenume Female Brows. This one adds a lot of new eyebrow types to choose from in character generation. I think they are more realistic looking than the vanilla brows, and almost always use over the ones that came with the game. As with Detailed Lips, it does not overwrite anything, so it plays nice with your other mods.


These affect both male and female characters. The install order does not matter:
Natural Eyes - This is a texture replacer for the vanilla eyes. It makes them look a lot more vibrant, so you can actually tell what someone's eye color is!

Mystic Eyes - This adds some new fantasy-looking eyes. Lots of bright, almost glowing colors. Good for characters that are supposed to have an otherworldly look. Also plays nice with other eye mods like Natural Eyes.

Cherry's Eyes - also adds more nice eyes, and plays nice with Natural Eyes and Mystic Eyes.

Superior Lore Friendly Hair. This mod gives the vanilla hair much more definition and uses a higher res texture for them. The end result is it does not have that greasy, plastered look anymore. There are different versions for how high resolution you want go, and how rough you want your hair to look. I use the first option for most characters - HD 2K Straight Hair, but did use the Less Saturated version for one character who had white hair, as it helped get the color out of her hair. Should play nice with other mods.

Instead of SLF Hair, I have been using AOF Believable Hair -Female and Male for the texture of hair instead.

Eyebrows Match Hair. A nice little mod that makes your eyebrow color match your hair color. How could Bethesda have missed this!

For new hairstyles, I recently started using Apachii Sky Hair with the option Sky Hairs Female in addition to the base mod, and ShowRaceMenu Precache Killer to keep Apachii from crashing the game whenever I open the Race Menu. I also use Apachii Sky Hair Wigs for my custom races. It has some of the hairstyles from Apachii available as wigs, so using ShowRaceMenu is not necessary to use them.

I also use Ponytail Hairstyles, which plays nice with Apachii.



Here is a sample of Sofie Persephonesdottir with the mods above

Lucia Persephonesdottir


Finally, for Sausages alone I use this:
Better Males - Younger Faces Merged With Men By Geonox. There are a lot of options available, including nekkid and erect penii. I use the Younger Faces Merged With Men By Geonox, which keeps their underwear on, but their skin looking good.

Ralof is much happier with it. (Though he still needs a bath!)
mALX
WOO HOO! Great idea for a thread, SubRosa! It is so much easier to have it all in one place rather than me having to make giant quote so I can find them again next time, lol. Awesome, and you are so appreciated!

The way you explained the over-writing on Grits's thread today was understandable to noobs/idiots like me, and suddenly I understood what you were saying. That may be what my issue is with my mod list on Oblivion now that you've spelled it out I'll have to check it now, lol. Thank you for this thread!


I'm adding it here for anyone who missed it:


QUOTE(SubRosa @ Sep 19 2013, 03:29 PM) *

It can be really tough to keep track of what comes from where. You have to crack open the .rar files of each individual mod and compare which ones have the same names, and be sure to install them in the right order so that the ones you want overwrite the files of the others. For example, Coverwomen installs femalehead.dds, femalehead_msn.dds, and femalehead_s.dds. Women of Skyrim installs femalehead_msn.dds. So you have to install it after Coverwomen, or it does nothing at all. I have a long, convoluted list in the Skyrim Pics thread of how I went about that. I suspect that No More Blocky Faces is being completely overwritten by Coverwomen. But since you are not using anything for men, it still works there. You might look at Better Males for them, its a newer mod and does a lot more.





King Coin
I use Unique Character so the Aravi specific mods only affect Aravi. This mod is not perfect, and there are some screw ups that happen based on the version you use. One of them does not path correctly for werewolves, and the other one didn't path something really important. I don't remember what it was, but it made me choose the one that didn't do the unique werewolves. I have .esm version.

For Aravi I use the Slim version of Dimonized UNP Body

Her body textures are Khajiit leopard textures that I modified in Paint.NET. I also combined the normal file (bump map) that comes with the leopard textures with one from the Fitness Body mod that SubRosa linked. Most of the muscle is lost in the Khajiit fuzz, but you can still see some.

Aravi's face textures come from Coverkhajiits.

I think I am using Natural Eyes that SubRosa linked.

I am using the Better Males mod as well.
Grits
OK, I’ve been fighting with Better Males and I finally reached a good mix for Jerric. The problem was that the Genox face was too smooth for Nords even in the “Detailed” version. So I used the Genox Detailed .dds and _s.dds with the No More Blocky faces _msn.dds. There’s a little neck seam, but it’s the same as with the Genox normal map so that makes me think it's an issue with the FavoredSoul "dirty" body texture (also from the Better Males mod) that I chose. It's not there with the other provided body textures.

I’ll do the same thing if the orc males look too smooth. I haven’t seen one in the game yet. Huge thanks for your in-depth description of what you did with your game, SubRosa. I keep a complete copy of the mods I use along with the backups of any files that get overwritten, so once I figured out what goes where I was able to just swap files around manually until I got the look I wanted.

Here’s an explanation I found of what the different files do, perhaps helpful for others like me who are just dipping a toe into the water. I found it in this thread on the Nexus forums.

.dds = diffuse map, the compressed texture itself
_msn.dds = should be the body's normal map
_s.dds = well since the specular map is in the _n.dds alpha i guess this is a gloss/shine map
_sk.dds = if i remember right these maps contain sub surface details


Next up: learning how to clean up neck seams. hehe.gif

Oh, also a mention about FavoredSoul’s “dirty” body texture. It’s not actually dirty with dirt, rather it has the freckles and such on the skin that are absent in the other versions. There may be a picture somewhere on the Nexus that illustrates that, but frankly there’s a limit to how much dong I’m willing to look at so I probably just missed it.

mALX

@ SubRosa - Hrafngoelir is gorgeous! I just saw that!

@ Grits - that link is some great information! Copying the full comment here:

QUOTE

.dds = diffuse map, the compressed texture itself
_msn.dds = should be the body's normal map
_s.dds = well since the specular map is in the _n.dds alpha i guess this is a gloss/shine map
_sk.dds = if i remember right these maps contain sub surface details

Biggest impact would have the change/edit of the .dds map since it contains the "real texture",

_msn.dds - the normal map defines 3D details - simulates more details on a low polygon surface. There should be the specular in its alpha channel (black=dark,white=bright ingame). A "faked" normal map itself can be generated with Nvidia DDS plugin for Gimp/PS from the texture itself.

_s.dds - just had a look on it in PS, seems similar to the other object's _m.dds, same color sheme as the specular map mentioned in the _msn.dds. Black = dark, less reflection/gloss, white = the opposite.

_sk.dds - well you see its details in Gimp/Photoshop


King Coin
QUOTE(Grits @ Sep 20 2013, 09:20 AM) *

_s.dds = well since the specular map is in the _n.dds alpha i guess this is a gloss/shine map
_sk.dds = if i remember right these maps contain sub surface details[/indent]

One of these two files is just black. It is used to add shadow type details to low areas in the normal or bump map. If you forget this file, your character will look like they are almost glowing.
SubRosa
QUOTE(mALX @ Sep 19 2013, 08:07 PM) *

WOO HOO! Great idea for a thread, SubRosa! It is so much easier to have it all in one place rather than me having to make giant quote so I can find them again next time, lol. Awesome, and you are so appreciated!

The way you explained the over-writing on Grits's thread today was understandable to noobs/idiots like me, and suddenly I understood what you were saying. That may be what my issue is with my mod list on Oblivion now that you've spelled it out I'll have to check it now, lol. Thank you for this thread!

Do not feel bad. Everyone goes through it at one time or another when using mods. For a while I was using No More Ugly Bronze Shine and SubSurface Full Body Map, but eventually I realized that they both use exactly the same files! So I was only really using the last one I had installed. The first one had been completely copied over. That is what made me start to really look at what files are in the mods I use, and start comparing them to others.


QUOTE(King Coin @ Sep 19 2013, 10:34 PM) *

I use Unique Character so the Aravi specific mods only affect Aravi. This mod is not perfect, and there are some screw ups that happen based on the version you use. One of them does not path correctly for werewolves, and the other one didn't path something really important. I don't remember what it was, but it made me choose the one that didn't do the unique werewolves. I have .esm version.

For Aravi I use the Slim version of Dimonized UNP Body

Her body textures are Khajiit leopard textures that I modified in Paint.NET. I also combined the normal file (bump map) that comes with the leopard textures with one from the Fitness Body mod that SubRosa linked. Most of the muscle is lost in the Khajiit fuzz, but you can still see some.

Aravi's face textures come from Coverkhajiits.

I think I am using Natural Eyes that SubRosa linked.

I am using the Better Males mod as well.

I am still using CoverKhajiit and the Leopard Textures, even though I have not played Aravi in a long time. They both look much better than vanilla. I still have Unique Character too, but I have never gotten around to trying to use it! embarrased.gif



QUOTE(Grits @ Sep 20 2013, 10:20 AM) *

OK, I’ve been fighting with Better Males and I finally reached a good mix for Jerric. The problem was that the Genox face was too smooth for Nords even in the “Detailed” version. So I used the Genox Detailed .dds and _s.dds with the No More Blocky faces _msn.dds. There’s a little neck seam, but it’s the same as with the Genox normal map so that makes me think it's an issue with the FavoredSoul "dirty" body texture (also from the Better Males mod) that I chose. It's not there with the other provided body textures.

I’ll do the same thing if the orc males look too smooth. I haven’t seen one in the game yet. Huge thanks for your in-depth description of what you did with your game, SubRosa. I keep a complete copy of the mods I use along with the backups of any files that get overwritten, so once I figured out what goes where I was able to just swap files around manually until I got the look I wanted.

Here’s an explanation I found of what the different files do, perhaps helpful for others like me who are just dipping a toe into the water. I found it in this thread on the Nexus forums.

.dds = diffuse map, the compressed texture itself
_msn.dds = should be the body's normal map
_s.dds = well since the specular map is in the _n.dds alpha i guess this is a gloss/shine map
_sk.dds = if i remember right these maps contain sub surface details


Next up: learning how to clean up neck seams. hehe.gif

Oh, also a mention about FavoredSoul’s “dirty” body texture. It’s not actually dirty with dirt, rather it has the freckles and such on the skin that are absent in the other versions. There may be a picture somewhere on the Nexus that illustrates that, but frankly there’s a limit to how much dong I’m willing to look at so I probably just missed it.

I suggest trying Sub Surface Full Body Map. I found it really helped me with the neckseams. Also make sure the Coverwomen version you are using is also the one for reduced neckseams with UNP as well. There is a regular #4 and a reduced seams with UNP #4. You might have the regular version.

Just to throw in some more info about the filetypes:

Diffuse Maps [*.dds] are your base texture, how it looks without applying any lighting or other things to it.

Normal Maps [*_msn.dds] are a form of bump mapping. It is a way that you can make a 2 dimensional picture appear to have 3 dimensional qualities, or "bumps". It's done by applying the effects that lighting would have on bumps or other 3-D artifacts, even though the mesh itself might be flat.

Specular Maps [*_s.dds] determine how shiny a texture is. Those are the _s files. The blacker they are, the less shiny those regions are.

Sub Surface Texture Mapping (or Subsurface Scattering) [*_sk.dds] is a way to determine how much light penetrates a translucent surface, scatters underneath, and reemerges somewhere else. It gives a much more realistic look to textures.


There is only so much dong you can look at? Obviously the reverse is not true of most men on the Nexus... wink.gif
mALX

What is the "Unique Character" mod? I couldn't find it on Nexus.


King Coin
There is a link above. It gives the player character unique mesh, texture, werewolf, and vampire paths. So you can use one body mod for your character and have the rest in the game use a different one. Or if your character is supposed to have a unique tattoo, you can use that and the tattoo won't appear on every other NPC.
mALX
QUOTE(King Coin @ Sep 24 2013, 09:32 AM) *

There is a link above. It gives the player character unique mesh, texture, werewolf, and vampire paths. So you can use one body mod for your character and have the rest in the game use a different one. Or if your character is supposed to have a unique tattoo, you can use that and the tattoo won't appear on every other NPC.



Doy! I missed that! Lol. Thanks, KC !!
SubRosa
I stopped using Superior Lore Friendly Hair, as it was altering the hair color too much, making everything too dark. It is too bad, because it made the hair's texture look excellent. But nothing is the right shade with it. I never really noticed it with Mielikki because her hair is white, but now that I am experimenting with other characters, it has become very noticeable.

Right now I am experimenting between Telthalions Finer Hair and AOF Believable Hair -Female and Male
Grits
I went a different route with hair and changed the meshes: Better Vanilla Hairs Mesh Replacements.

My focus was on the guys, since the girls get Apachii hairdos. So far anyway.

I tried a few methods:

Here's vanilla hair, here's Superior Lore Friendly's Rough texture option with vanilla mesh, and here's Better Hairs mesh with vanilla texture.

I stuck with the third one that has the shorter braid.

Now I want to try AOF's. Lol.
King Coin
I like the way AOF looks. May have to give that a try. A note, the mod author said they included a FOMOD installer, and those sometimes don't work well with NMM without some rearranging.
SubRosa
QUOTE(Grits @ Sep 27 2013, 03:40 PM) *

I went a different route with hair and changed the meshes: Better Vanilla Hairs Mesh Replacements.

My focus was on the guys, since the girls get Apachii hairdos. So far anyway.

I tried a few methods:

Here's vanilla hair, here's Superior Lore Friendly's Rough texture option with vanilla mesh, and here's Better Hairs mesh with vanilla texture.

I stuck with the third one that has the shorter braid.

Now I want to try AOF's. Lol.

I was looking at the Better Vanilla Hairs Mesh Replacements, but I found one of the female styles with braids looked kind of odd. So I didn't use it.

I like the third option on Jerric. It has the most texture to the texture, if that makes any sense.

QUOTE(King Coin @ Sep 27 2013, 04:05 PM) *

I like the way AOF looks. May have to give that a try. A note, the mod author said they included a FOMOD installer, and those sometimes don't work well with NMM without some rearranging.

I used the regular loose files download of AOF, and turned it into and .omod with Tes Mod Manager. It only has about two files though.
SubRosa
In other news, I tried to go back to play one of Revansch's saves. But I could not get it to work. The mod I had modded to add her race had gotten fubard between updates, and caused the game to CTD on startup. Interestingly enough, I can still load Revansch's saves without it, but she is not quite the same as she used to be... laugh.gif

So I had no choice but to create an entirely new race mod from scratch (instead of altering a race from another race mod, like I did with Revansch). It took a while, but now I have a brand new Deadwalker Race mod, incorporating all my regular body mods in the first post.
King Coin
Thought of Jerric when I saw this mod...
Pseron Wyrd
I've begun using CNHF v2_5 Female Body Replacer? by calyps n nuska. It's the only female body mod that doesn't make me want to vomit. I'm a simple guy. I have but one hard-and-fast rule about female body mods: it should not make me want to hurl. That's all I ask.

For a body texture I use UNP pubic hair #1. This is probably the most hairy texture I have ever seen. I love it.

I've given up trying to find a face texture mod that doesn't strip away all the life and vitiality from faces. It seems as though every time I test a face texture mod it transforms my poor characters into blank, drooling, featureless, robotic, botoxed, cheerleader wannabes who trip on their high heels as they try to get their Gucci purses and cell phones past the revolving doors of the neighborhood tanning salon. So in my current game I am using vanilla face textures, weirdly striated nose texture and all. I think the vanilla textures, for all their faults, have more personality than most of the modded face textures I have seen. But I'm still searching.

My current character, Aemyn Eawulf, is using Ponytail Hairstyles v2_5? by Azar. For other characters I have used Apachii.

For male bodies I just go with meshes and textures from Sundracon's mod. I don't use an .esp for armor or use any face or hair textures because I don't play male characters. If they don't like it, tough. They can go get their own video game if they dislike it so much.

This probably doesn't fit the topic but hey, it's a pet enthusiasm of mine (as you can probably tell from looking at my avatar). I'm speaking of course of a face piercing mod: Piercing by newermind43. I've turned the piercings into armor. For each character I make one piercing into a "helmet" so I can get the benefits of perks.

I stick a barrel of these things wherever my character is going to start her game. There must be about 15 of them scattered around Skyrim now. I see them everywhere I go. Faendal bumps into them when he's trying to carry wood. "Who put this barrel of nose rings in the middle of the street?" he says, glaring at everyone around him. Faendal can get kind of cranky until you resolve his "romantic problem." A lot cranky, actually. I find its best to just stay out of his way until I'm ready to help. You'd think that after two years he'd get up the nerve to do something about the situation himself. But no.
Grits
I really like Piercing. Thanks, Wyrd. Simple styles without a lot of chains and whatnot dangling all over.

To my fellow n00bs: In Piercing there is a slight hiccup with the folders. Inside the Textures folder you need to make a folder titled N_43. Then move the Rings folder that is inside the Textures folder into your new N_43 folder. The whole Rings folder, not just the files. Now your rings will be shiny and silver.

If you want black-colored rings, skip the above.

Getting the hoop earrings into a different slot that won’t conflict with my fur cloaks will be another learning experience for me. And of course Valdi wants a gold nose ring, which I guess is an entirely different series of disasters educational opportunity. For this mod it will be worth it!
King Coin
QUOTE(Grits @ Dec 22 2013, 10:52 AM) *

Getting the hoop earrings into a different slot that won’t conflict with my fur cloaks will be another learning experience for me.

Ok this might be difficult. In Oblivion you could use TES4Edit and just assign a new slot and that was it.

You might be able to do that with Skyrim, but for some reason, there is something in the back of my mind that's saying you are going to have to use NifSkope too and edit the mesh as well.
Grits
I don’t have TES5Edit or NifSkope yet, so this is another project I’ll set aside for now. (Along with recoloring the Solitude shield for Jerric. wacko.gif) I’ll surely report the entire drama when I get that far! laugh.gif Thanks, KC!
Thomas Kaira
Bodies: UNP female body. Vanilla male body.

Faces: Ethereal Elven Overhaul, Xenius's Character Enhancements.

I don't use hair or accessory mods.

I'm pretty simple when it comes to bodies. I don't need much, nor do I really want much. Skyrim's character art quality out of the box was actually pretty good, if in dire need of anger management and some smooth face lines. And less dirt.
Grits
…Concerning Vampires…

This week I’ve played around with some mods that change the appearance of vampire players. I thought I’d share my findings.

First here are the before shots. My character Serafíne is an Imperial woman.

Human.

Dawnguard vampire (no mods).

I tried DVA Dynamic Vampire Appearance, a mod that changes the character’s looks based on satiation and a few other things. The eyes look different in combat and when using Vampire’s Sight, the face gets scary as they advance through the stages, plus there’s a bloody mouth after feeding. All of this is customizable with a MCM. Unfortunately I couldn’t get it to work with another mod, so it had to go. But it was really neat. Here’s Serafíne with DVA (non-glowing eyes option) as a fully fed vampire.

Next I looked at BVFE Better Vampire Fangs and Eyes, non-bloodshot version. It worked great for fangs and eyes but I still wasn’t happy with the vanilla face texture. I think that if vampires can pass as human they can’t always have big red stripes down the middle of their faces. I actually like the bat-face appearance for the vamps who stay holed up at Castle Volkihar for centuries getting cozy with their Daedric lord, but for my character who will walk among mortals I wanted something different. That meant the pretty vampire face mods wouldn’t work.

So I followed the instructions in the comment section of one of the mods and renamed some of my character face files. In Data/Textures/actors/character/female/ I copied the four femalehead files and renamed them femaleheadvampire. Please note COPIED and then renamed, not just renamed. So now Serafíne has a slightly bony face without all of the red stains as befits someone who would take pains with her appearance. Here’s Serafíne with BVFE and human face textures.

I have not yet verified that she actually has fangs, but if I ever get a shot with her teeth showing I’ll come back and post it. tongue.gif
SubRosa
I had the same situation with vampire faces too when I played Helregin. I did not want to play a vampire whose face looked like a buttcrack either. I wound up doing much the same thing, replacing femaleheadvampire.dds and femaleheadvampire_msn.dds with the same files I used for ordinary people. I also used an older version of No Vampire Sunken Face to fix the sunken cheeks look they have.

I got a normal looking character, just with glowing eyes. However, I did notice one weird side effect. The scar on her face was partly covered up by the face texture. Helregin before, Helregin after. I am not sure what did that to the scar. My guess is the No Sunken Cheeks mod.

Isn't it interesting how their flagship vampire - Serana, does not have the gross look all the other vampires do? Technically she is not even a vampire. Her race is Nord Female, she just has a script attached to her to give her vampire abilities. So the character Bethesda wants people to like does not look like a bat-lady. But they do not care that our own characters look fugly. I guess that means they do not want us to like our characters?

In the end I really did not like playing a vampire. It was just too much work modding the game to make worth playing, and even then it was just not very enjoyable.
Acadian
I tried Epic Elves, as it is inspired by Buffy's race in Oblivion. A great mod, but it looked a bit too much like a Breton with pointed ears. It's hard to describe, but there is sort of an 'elven' look - and that race didn't have it.

So, I went with CBBE for body and just used the complexion pack option from that. I was so delighted with the result that I decided to just keep Buffy a Bosmer. Using the slim option on CBBE and setting her height to .9 worked great to recreate her diminutive size.

Happily, I found a mod for some dazzling blue eyes and another with a nice ponytail that reminds me some of her very first Oblivion 1.0 vanilla ponytail. I did remake her about 90 hours of game play ago to take advantage of those mods. I'm simply delighted with the results and that it was so simple to achieve them.

I do have some screens that I'm gradually gathering for a Potpourri update to reveal how she's progressed since our last screens. smile.gif
SubRosa
There has been a lot of discussion of hair mods in my picture and video topic, so I decided to copy some of it here to make it easier for folks to find.


First off, Apachii Sky Hair is one of the big hair mods. I am not an expert on it, but it seems that in addition to the 1.5 Full version, there are also extra hairstyles in a separate 1.4 Female version farther down the Downloads page, and a 1.2 Male version as well. I tried adding the extra female hairstyles, and it gives me a CTD whenever I open the race menu and change the character from male to female though. Turns out this is a known issue caused by the sheer number of new hairstyles causing the game to choke. ShowRaceMenu Precache Killer fixes it.

I will admit that I am not a huge fan of Apachii, as the hairs tend to look plastic and fake to me. But I have also never been a big fan of the vanilla hair in Skyrim either. In fact, hair has always been a bit of a disappointment for me in Skyrim all around. So I am getting used to the Apachii hairs, and just started using them with my character Persephone in her latest evolution.

A plus side I found to Apachii is that it does not edit the Race entries. It only alters the Headparts. So if you have any mods that change the vanilla races, they won't conflict. However, the downside is that if you have a custom race that was not created with Apachii built in, you will have to manually add every hairstyle into your race mod. Since I use a lot of custom races that I created myself, this is an issue for me. It is not difficult, but it is a long, tedious process that I do not look forward to doing.

So an alternative is wig mods, that treat hair as a helmet, or some other item, which you can equip and unequip just like any other piece of attire. These work just fine with custom races, as technically they are not hair, but clothing/armor. The downside is that typically you cannot wear a helmet and the wig. Equipping the helmet usually unequips the hair. Same as if you were changing two different helmets. Sometimes wigs won't play nice with some hooded articles of clothing as well. It all depends on what body slots the wig modder used. The plus side is that you can enchant your hair.

Grits uses ApachiiSkyHair Wigs plus Tutorial which turns some of the Apachii hairsytles into wigs. I don't think all of them however. Some of them will also work beneath helmets, but I think only the Iron and Nordic Carved Helms. I never tried it because it sounds limited and the modder says to use the next mod in this post:

I just started using Apachii Sky Hair Wigs by Evenstar. It adds some, but not all of the hairs from Apachii, in about 6 basic colors for each hairstyle. You do not need Apachii Sky Hair to use it. But it does not conflict with it if you do. It is huge though. It was over 2 gig in size. I had no idea that TES Mod Manager had a limit to the size of the .omods it could make until it tried to make one of Sky Wigs. I had to break it up into two separate .omods of about a gig each.

Grits also uses The Hairstyler, which requires the regular Apachii mod. The plus side to Hairstyler is that it allows you to change your hair - or that of NPCs - without having to open the console and use the showracemenu command. This also means it works with custom races. Instead it gives you spells which you can use to select a hair. Like Apachii Sky Wigs, there is a limited number of colors you can pick for each hairstyle. I also noted that after using it, your hair shows up in your inventory like a wig. However, you cannot unequip it like you can with Sky Wigs, or put on a helmet at all (you can put on a helmet with Sky Wigs, but it unequips your wig).

I tried it out, and in the end decided not to use it. I found Apachii Sky Hair Wigs to be more convenient, as you go to a custom cell where the hairs are in a few barrels. It was easier for me to just add a hair of every style in the color I wanted to my inventory, turn around so I could see my character, then go straight down through the list of them in my inventory to see what each looks like. The Hairstyler requires you to cast a spell to pick them, and I started forgetting which ones I had picked before. It also means that by casting the spell, your character automatically turns their back to you and hunches over. So after every hair I had to 'sheath' the spell, then turn around to see what it looked like. Just a few simple nits, but it was enough for me, given the number of hairstyles to go through.

zzjay and Grace Darklings Hoods with hairs is another Grits contribution. I have tried it in the past as well. It gives you a bunch of hood that your character can wear, that have built in hair spilling out of them. So it looks like a person with long hair wearing a hood. Hoods with Hairs - Crafting is a companion mod that allows you to craft the hoods at tanning racks and forges.
haute ecole rider
Thanks for a great explanation of the different mods out there. I like wigs because they don't clutter up the race menu so much (as the hair mods do - how many hairs do I have to scroll through to find the one or two I really like? Who has time for that?). I also like the wigs because as you said, I can take one or two out of the barrel and leave the rest. That's how I did it in Oblivion.

I agree that a lot of the hairstyles in Apachii are slick/plastic, not organic at all as I would want to see in Skyrim. After all, it's a harsh country, and who has time for Cosmo/GQ? Also a lot of the guys' hairs seem too anime for me. I don't mind long hair on guys (heck, Argis wub.gif comes with it!!), but it's got to look, well, manly. A lot of what I see for the men of Skyrim are just too girly-girl for these guys.

I'd prefer lore-friendly styles. I've looked at a few that said so, but somehow I haven't found them to be compelling for one reason or another. So so far I'm still playing with the default Skyrim hair.
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