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Mass Effect 1 Updated/Improved Textures Mod


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#1
Catechrism

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Welcome to:

Mass Effect 1 Updated/Improved Textures Mod

Hello Mass Effect modders and mod users,

I'm trying to fix some of the "uglies" in ME1 and give it the polished look the epic story line deserves. So far I have updated/re-textured: Light and Shadow Maps on walls and floors, Kaidan, Tali, Garrus, Wrex, Liara, Saren, Benezia, Udina, Council, Anderson, Joker, Chakwas, Geth, Colonists, Scientists, Keepers, Normandy, Mako, many NPC clothings, Geth ship, volus, hanar, elcor, some armors and default character armors including N7 armor (of characters re-textured). This was Acheived by texture editing (up-scaling, re-painting, adding details, adding textures, adding bump maps, and rebuilding normal maps). Finally, but probably my favorite, I made a new Film Grain Texture to replace the muddy Film Grain with a much less obnoxious ME2 "looking" effect. Now you can keep film grain on and still have a crisp picture.

Requests are always welcome :)

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Let's get Started:

Pre-Install:

Apply LAA patch to MassEffect.exe

LAA Link

Download, exctract, and run.  Now browse for MassEffect.exe and apply Large Adress Awareness Patch

Important: bioengine.ini tweak to fix many normal maps in the game without requiring TexMod. This file is located:

x:\\Users\\xxx\\Documents\\BioWare\\Mass Effect\\Config

**Note any typos will break the game and cause crashes so be careful here**  
All mistakes can be fixed but if you avoid typos it will save a headache in the long run.

Find the following 3 entries:

TEXTUREGROUP_Character_Diff=(MinLODSize=32,MaxLODSize=512,LODBias=0)
TEXTUREGROUP_Character_Norm=(MinLODSize=32,MaxLODSize=512,LODBias=0)
TEXTUREGROUP_Character_Spec=(MinLODSize=32,MaxLODSize=256,LODBias=0)

And change them to:

TEXTUREGROUP_Character_Diff=(MinLODSize=512,MaxLODSize=4096,LODBias=0)
TEXTUREGROUP_Character_Norm=(MinLODSize=512,MaxLODSize=4096,LODBias=0)
TEXTUREGROUP_Character_Spec=(MinLODSize=256,MaxLODSize=4096,LODBias=0)

This will allow you the highest detailed normal maps the game can render without needing TexMod which allows me not to have to modify many many normal maps.

Dynamic Shadow Fix
Use the following Bioengine.ini tweaks:

Find the following 4 entries:

ShadowFilterRadius=2.000000
DepthBias=0.030000 or(0.012 if you restored to pre-official 1.2 patch values)
MinShadowResolution=32
MaxShadowResolution=512

And change them to:

ShadowFilterRadius=5.000000
DepthBias=0.006000
MinShadowResolution=32
MaxShadowResolution=4096

These tweaks combined with the texture will give you much better dynamic shadows in game.

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Now we are ready to download the mod:

Download Page

Download ALL 9 parts of the mod.  Now simply extract ALL of the 9 parts into the same place of your choice and run the ME1UITM.exe. Follow the instructions of the installer.  Be sure when it asks for the directory that it is your exact path to the "Mass Effect" folder.  Back up your files before the install incase you don't like the mod and/or simply want to play the game unmodded, the installer will permanently mod your files.  Continue with the install after you have backed everything up and in 5-10minutes, once the installer has completed run MassEffect like you always have and enjoy the mod :)

The new version is much larger, its because of the game engine and the fact that we are now replacing the files directly, this avoids all TexMod glitches but since we are using the game engine to render textures rather than TexMod it takes up more space because the engine uses multiple copies of textures over and over depending on the scene.

Expect near vanilla performance with minor hitching as the game engine loads the high-res textures. Overall much better performance than TexMod and zero graphical glitches. 

You may have to re-setup your graphics settings and .ini tweaks after install, this only needs to be done once. 

To further improve shadows download the shadow fix from the above link and exctract it into your Mass Effect folder.  Next clear your shader cache using MassEffectConfig.exe and the game will now render shadows more similarly to ME2.
 
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Mass Effect Troubleshooting:

Mass Effect with or without the mod can crash and have issues!!!!!!! The most prominent issues and crashes are: 

1 Hardware sound issues.   These will cause random invalid page faults and crashes. There are pages and pages online of people with this issue back to 2008. Google is your friend here. Usually a fairly simple bioengine.ini fix which will vary depending on your audio hardware.

2 AMD processors (bulldozer or later chipsets) this is because Mass Effect is seeing AMD and looking for 3D now instruction sets that existed when it was made.  AMD has ditched these instructions in their latest processors causing miss timings and faults in communication between Mass effect and the CPU.  Due to this you will see black textures for characters and have potential crashes/general instability.

link to the bug way before this mod existed:
 Social.bioware.com

video of the issue on un-modded game with workaround fix:
 Youtube.com

Mod Troubleshooting:

Random crashing:
See Mass Effect troubleshooting first!

If all is well, check your bioengine.ini for typos as they will cause invalid page faults, missing mip level/lod/texture loads and many other random crashes.  Better yet delete your Bioengine.ini and run the game, this will create a new one and will garuantee its free of errors. 

If you still have errors, make sure you have applied LAA to Mass Effect.exe

If you have a 32-bit OS LAA can still help, but you need to do the following to allow 3gb usage "the 3.1 GB switch" in 32-bit Windows:

"Run Command Prompt in the Accessories program group of the Start menu. Make sure to run as Administrator manually even if you are an admin on the computer, it requires extra admin rights granted by right clicking and running as an admin).
At the command prompt, enter:

"bcdedit /set IncreaseUserVa 3072" (without quotes)

Restart the computer"

Now LAA will work properly on 32-bit systems :).

My shadows on faces are blocky I don't like it: 
Set shadowdepthbias to 0.03 to turn down the facial shadows. Many people prefer this look, where as I like the extra shadows cast by 0.006 even if they are a bit funny looking, AO usually blend them well enough to mask the majority of the issues.

Textures aren't showing up and/or are black (not the black character bug on Noveria this is and AMD processor issue):
This is a result of an incomplete install:

Some textures (N7 armors Garrus face etc...) are shimmering it's annoying:

To get the mod to work I had to force these textures to load at full lod meaning 4096x4096, since no one has released affordable 4k monitors I'm guessing your running resolution will be lower thanthe source texture, and due to the fact that is full lod you will see shimmering unless very close to the texture.  A pretty decent fix is to force SSAA (ATI/AMD cards) and SGSSAA (Nvidia) these options with high enough setting should stop the shimmering or atleast minimize it so it's less annoying.


Check your "CookedPC" folder after installing the mod it should be 20.0 GB anything less means you will have missing textures, usually this happens as a result of not running the installer as administrator or using a previously modded Mass Effet as a base install.  If you can not get the install to the full 20.0 GB there is a work around.  Point the installer to a new folder, run it, and then copy/cut and paste both folders, should be ~13.25GB, into your Mass Effect folder.

If you still have problems post them here and we will work them out, this is a brand new version of the mod in both textures and form so we are all learning, with the infinite number of hardware configurations out there we are bound to need to fix a few things to get it running on those configurations.

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Mod spotlight by CaptainShack from TheXpGamers

Thank you for the spotloght :) 

Video Showcase By Darzkai

The video shows the mod running with SweetFX to amp up color and contrast, Nvidia forced AO, and a custom  Garrus reticle by Darzkai.  Thanks for making the video Darzkai :)



My other Mods:

Mass Effect 1 Scars for Mass Effect 2

Liara HD version of Mass Effect 1 Face in ME2

Mass Effect 2 New Texture Updates/Improvements
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Awesome Mods that are not mine (but I couldn't live with out):

Jean-Luc's High Res Textures: Trilogy Edition

Mass Effect 2 Textures Improvements

http://social.biowar...othing Textures

High Def Normandy SR2

/// ME3 MOD: High Resolution textures + v.1.5 illumination MOD + 3D Fix


For curious mod seekers out there (a great resource for many, many Mass Effect mods) go here:

Mass Effect 2 Texture Modders Group

Mass Effect 3 Texture Modders Group

Edited by CDAMJC, 23 August 2013 - 10:40 PM.

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#2
Catechrism

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**

Edited by CDAMJC, 27 May 2012 - 10:40 PM.


#3
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Edited by CDAMJC, 26 January 2012 - 10:44 PM.


#4
DCopeland

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Do those Armor maps work only on the ones specified, in this case colossus or can it be used with other turian medium armor?

Fantastic job by the way.

#5
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In short, I'm not sure. I will try to update more armors in the future and when I do I will find this out.  So far in game that's the only medium armor I have for Garrus with my current saves 

Edited by CDAMJC, 27 January 2012 - 12:20 AM.


#6
DCopeland

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Hmm, so far i seen no changes in any of garrus's armor aside from the colossus but i'll double check, as far as the lighting, Wrex and Liara go, they work perfectly fine.

But with Tali, there is no change.
Could I recommend putting them each change in seperate .tpf

#7
Catechrism

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Yes, I am working on a few updates and when I am finished I will upload individual tpfs.

As far as Tali goes, the only thing I changed was her Normal map (light map or the texture that gives her 3d bump mapping), and it was only on Tali as seen from engineering on the Normandy, however I noticed as shown in my screen shots, that the colossus armor was more detailed after I updated her on the Normandy so I think they use the same normal maps for tali with all of her armor.

#8
Catechrism

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I have Updated the Pack and provided individual tpfs as well. For more details click the project link in the first post new screens and files etc...

Edited by CDAMJC, 04 November 2011 - 12:26 AM.


#9
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Edited by CDAMJC, 26 January 2012 - 10:47 PM.


#10
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Edited by CDAMJC, 26 January 2012 - 10:53 PM.


#11
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Edited by CDAMJC, 26 January 2012 - 10:53 PM.


#12
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Posted Image
Posted Image

Update 11/03/2011 Volus now completely re-textured :

Edited by CDAMJC, 07 November 2011 - 02:55 AM.


#13
Catechrism

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The volus is my first time actually creating the retexture, as opposed to filtering, blurring and/or sharpening and resizing.  I had to draw on this one by hand and mess with the layers to get what I was going for.  Constructive critisicsm is welcome. Enjoy!

Edited by CDAMJC, 05 November 2011 - 05:16 PM.


#14
DCopeland

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Is there a download link to the Volus?

Edited by DCopeland, 04 November 2011 - 05:38 AM.


#15
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Edited by CDAMJC, 26 January 2012 - 10:54 PM.


#16
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About the Volus texture: I left it on private Posted Image. It's fixed now, sorry about that. I wish the default wasn't always private it makes it easy to forget these things. The link should be visible to everyone now.

Edited by CDAMJC, 27 January 2012 - 12:21 AM.


#17
DragonIroh001

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CDAMJC wrote...


The volus is my first time actually creating the retexture, as opposed to filtering, blurring and/or sharpening and resizing.  I had draw on this one by hand and mess with the layers to get what I was going for.  Constructive critisicsm is welcome. Enjoy!


For your first time, It looks magnificent. Also I like the new film grain, miles better than the original.
Is this just going to be for characters or will you expand into improving the landspace?

#18
Catechrism

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Well as far as landscape is concerned, I found the game's environmental textures were ok, but static cast shadows and lights were awful. So, I replaced as many of  those as I have come across but there's still more to go(you can see the results in the screen shots posted in the comments section of the project page), you can PM me, post here, or the project page any requests you may have and I'll take a shot at it. Thanks for the compliment!

Edited by CDAMJC, 27 January 2012 - 12:24 AM.


#19
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Example of the light map improvement:

Posted Image
Posted Image

Edited by CDAMJC, 07 November 2011 - 02:55 AM.


#20
Catechrism

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I finished the Elcor re-texture.  I also have rebuilt the pack to include updated woman shadow, volus and elcor files, plus all other files.  So the pack is up to date, and I also am leaving the single files for each for people who like that.

Edited by CDAMJC, 23 April 2013 - 11:21 PM.


#21
Burdokva

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Absolutely fantastic project! I've long waited for some Mass Effect (1) quality re-textures. By far what impresses me most is your new grain filter and lightmaps, those alone are worth the pack and a massive improvement (note: I love film grain, and was sad how bad it was originally implemented in ME, but no more)!

Would it be possible to record a YouTube video with the changes in motion? I'm especially interested how the regular textures with new normal maps look. I'm a bit concerned they may be a bit too sharp in the screenshots.

The volus and (especially) the elcor, though, are fantastic! My advice - go with repaints (for the more important textures), even if it's slower. The results are simply better.

What's next on your list? If I may suggest, the scientist uniforms are horrible up-close, Saren being close next. He's the most poorly textured main character in the series so far... I'd also say foes that we meet regularly (Geth) could use an improvement.

Thanks, keep up the great work!

PS. And a huge thanks for the original Liara face for ME2 - can't stand the "new, improved lipstick" one! :D

Edited by Burdokva, 06 November 2011 - 06:53 PM.


#22
Catechrism

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I will make a video soon and post the link here, thank you for your interest! Also, in the latest pack (11/05) I did slightly tone down Tali's and Wrex's normal maps so they are not so sharp, but I have avoided re-texturing completely them because Jeanluc761 says he is working on ME1, and so far he has done main characters in ME2 and some ME1, so I don't want my work to go to waste once he releases his. He is simple far better than I am. But in the mean time I may take a shot at it.

I'm glad you like the Liara ME2 mod, I thought I might be the only one who missed her ME1 look, Posted Image





Well here it is in motion but Youtube really lowered the quality, so it's hard to see.  I'll post some screen of the normals from the new pack to help better see the detail 

Edited by CDAMJC, 27 January 2012 - 12:27 AM.


#23
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here are some screens showing the detail you cant see in the videos:

Edited by CDAMJC, 23 April 2013 - 11:21 PM.


#24
Catechrism

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DCopeland wrote...

Hmm, so far i seen no changes in any of garrus's armor aside from the colossus but i'll double check, as far as the lighting, Wrex and Liara go, they work perfectly fine.

But with Tali, there is no change.
Could I recommend putting them each change in seperate .tpf


Upon further testing and updating I found that I named Tali's normal map and Garrus' Turian medium colossus armor incorrectly, it should now be fixed in the individual files and the pack, uploading now.  Sorry I missed that.

Edited by CDAMJC, 07 November 2011 - 01:55 AM.


#25
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Ok I have fixed the pack you should now be able to see this detail in the normal maps:

Edited by CDAMJC, 23 April 2013 - 11:21 PM.