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Miles Brown
Miles Brown

Fallout New Vegas Texture Size

LOD Guide Before getting started, there are a few things you should know. First, generating LOD is not a requirement, but it will add detail in the distance by improving terrain geometry and the amount of things that have LOD, thanks to the resource mods listed below. It becomes a requirement if you installed texture mods that affect objects in LOD or terrain, or if you are using a mod that requires LOD to be generated because of terrain edits. Terrain LOD creates a much larger file size and will increase the amount of time it takes to run xLODGen. This guide does not need new terrain LOD, so only object LOD will be generated. If you need new terrain LOD the instructions will be the exact same except enabling Terrain LOD option in addition to the Object LOD option.

fallout new vegas texture size

There is a tendency to think the largest available texture image size is always preferable. This is not always true. It does produce more detailed images, but can those details make a material difference on your display screen or are you wasting video processing resources and possible creating "stutter" for yourself? Much depends upon the game in question and the display you are using as well as texture image resolution (often called "image size").

The "vanilla game" default texture image resolution size for Bethesda is 512x512 pixels (an array of individually addressable dots on the display screen). The largest "high resolution" textures used at the time of older games such as "Fallout New Vegas" (released in 2010) were 2048x2048 pixels. Each pixel ("picture element") includes a "color" component. The intensity of each pixel is variable. In color imaging systems, a color is typically represented by three or four component intensities such as red, green, and blue (RGB), or cyan, magenta, yellow, and black (CMYB). The number of distinct colors that can be represented by a pixel depends on the number of bits per pixel (bpp). A 1 bpp image uses 1-bit for each pixel, so each pixel can be either on or off. Each additional bit doubles the number of colors available, so a 2 bpp (2^2 bits) image can have 4 colors, and a 3 bpp (2^3) image can have 8 colors:

Consequently, a texture image of a given size gets rendered on screen in the screen resolution and aspect ratio demanded by the monitor. (Multiple individual images make up the total rendered screen image.) The video card takes care of this conversion and passes along the final rendered display of various images in that resolution as that many total "mega-pixels". When the image size of a model is smaller than the number of pixels needed to fill it's respective area of the screen, the graphics card fills in the gaps by "interpolation" of the surrounding pixels. The result can be a "grainy" appearance to that model image. Higher resolution images require less interpolation, and less grainy images but more video processing memory per image. (The screen display requirements remain the same.)

There are basically two types of graphic improvements: foreground and background. Everything you see up close (such as weapons, armor, and NPC bodies) are "foreground". Their image scope (the relative size of the object in question; not the texture size of the image itself) tends to be small as they are individual models. Everything in the middle to far distance is "background" (technically View While Distant/Level of Detail (VWD/LOD)). They encompass the entire horizon and objects seen at a great distance, so their image scope tends to be larger. They both count against the video memory; choose between them carefully.

Image size matters. A 4096 x 4096 image with 16 bit color resolution is 32 MB of data. If your screen is displaying 100 different models with textures that size, that's 3.2 GB of data just for processing the textures. Since a 32 bit program can only address up to 4 GB of data in total, you can see how trying to display a lot of high resolution models is going to run the game out of memory very quickly. (Thank you for the perspective madmongo.) Now, VRAM is not directly addressed by the program; it's controlled by the video card and can hide the actual addressing of more than 4GB from the program, but you get the idea. If you are running on a laptop (which usually doesn't have dedicated VRAM but uses system RAM for video instead) that is coming out of the memory available to Windows (the OS) and the game, and if you are running a 32-bit version of Windows, the 4GB overall limitation still applies.

Previewing scans in Marmoset is a great way to get a feel for how the geometry will look in-game. The scans shown here are reduced polygon versions of the deliverables with texture size compressed from 16k to 8k.


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