Export NPC Face Textures

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Export NPC Face Textures appears in the Character dropdown menu.

Purpose

Newly added NPCs in Fallout 3 and Fallout: New Vegas will normally have mismatches between their body textures and their facial textures. Although this can usually be corrected by setting

bLoadFaceGenHeadEGTFiles=1

in Fallout.ini under the [General] section on the end user's PC, it can still occur that NPC textures will fail to generate — especially with ESPs rather than ESMs. This results in severely uncanny mismatches between faces and bodies; the faces will take on the colour specified by the mod author, but the rest of the body will use a default colour (usually Caucasian), which can result in very odd mismatches between face and body, especially when the actor is of a race with a significantly different base skin tone.

The base game solves this by generating NPC face textures for all NPCs in the game using Export NPC Face Textures, and then saving this data into the BSA.

This feature, however, is nearly useless for mod authors, because it will quite literally generate all NPCs from all loaded master files — including FalloutNV.esm. This process can take upwards of several hours, and is very redundant as most of this data has already been generated.

Generating Mod-Specific Face Textures

To generate textures only for the NPCs added by a specific mod, you may employ an undocumented method to generate the textures for specific NPCs. This is very quick — usually taking no more than a few seconds.

  1. If the mod is not already an ESM, it must be converted to an ESM due to a limitation in the GECK. You will need to enable the mod's ESM flag by using FO3Edit or FNVEdit, or another similar utility.
    • In FO3Edit or FNVEdit, load the plugin, select the File Header, and right-click on the "Record Flags" near the top. Tick "ESM". Then save the plugin.
  2. Create the following folders if they do not already exist, you must do this or the textures will not be exported.
Data\textures\characters\BodyMods\yourespname.esp\ (or .esm)
Data\textures\characters\FaceMods\yourespname.esp\ (or .esm)
  1. Load the GECK and load your plugin.
  2. Select all NPCs added by the mod.
  3. Press Ctrl+F4 on the keyboard. A message box should pop up in short order saying "Done!"
  4. You may close the GECK without saving — you do not need to save the plugin in the GECK unless you made any other changes.
  5. If you had flagged the ESP as an ESM and want to distribute your mod as an ESP, you should reverse the ESM process.
    • In FO3Edit or FNVEdit, repeat the same steps as in 1, above.

After following these steps, the mod's body textures and facial textures will have been exported to the folders created.

If you had renamed the file to .esm but will distribute the plugin as an .esp, be sure to rename the folders to be .esp rather than .esm. Be sure to distribute these files along your mod so that your NPCs will always have perfect textures regardless of whether the end user has made any edits to their INI files.

Tips

  • GECK Extender now has an option to only export textures from the active plugin.
  • After exporting facegen textures from the GECK by pressing CTRL+F4 with the NPC records highlighted (note, you must be in the NPCs category in the Object Viewer, not in the All category, or else CTRL+F4 will not produce output), the output files from the GECK consist of both DDS and TGA files. As a finalization step, you need to run DDS Converter 1.4 on those directories, with the "mipmaps" checkbox enabled and the "repeat" radio button selected on the left side. The output of this DDS Converter run is DDS files only, which are what the game uses (the TGA can be discarded). It is suggested to target the output from DDS Converter to a different folder than the input folder.
  • Note that if you are using Mod Organizer, the output files from the GECK CTRL+F4 will be placed in your Overwrite folder, unless you previously had extracted the corresponding DDS files and put them in a different MO2 folder (in which case MO2 will overwrite the files wherever you put them).
  • Presumably the DDS files do not need to be stored in a BSA, but if you have multiple ESMs that contain the corresponding NPC record, the filename of the last loading of those ESMs is where the game will look for the associated DDS files.
  • When asked, "if stored in a bsa associated with an ESM that loads after TTW, do we also need a .override for the later bsa to make it override the TTW bsa contents?", Roy said yes.