Hey, I’m Ai Elias. So I often get asked Ai Elias, what kind of body mods do you use? Do you know those sweet, sweet sexy bodies? What do you use? Well, while my body is sexy, I go to the gym. So what body mods do I use? And this is a question that comes up a lot. Consider this video like a primer, an overview, or just anything really, because recently, for BMS, I went through all of the body mods on Nexus. All the textures, all the meshes, everything there is, and I figured out what I’m going to use for BMS–The Best Modlist for Skyrim. We’re going to be using the best of the best. So I’m going to talk about body mods; I’m going to explain a little bit about what they are, what they do, and then I’m going to go over what I picked for BMS and why I chose it.
Before that, though, this video is brought to you by BMS–my mod list. If you want the best modded Skyrim game, go check it out. By the time you’re watching this, it’ll probably be on Wabajack, so it’s an automated installer. A few clicks, just some time downloading your mods, and then boom, you have a perfectly modded game, precisely the same as mine. In the future, BMS is looking to support a wide variety of systems from low end to high tier. So chances are, if you’re watching this, like say, in 2022 and COVID is already over, you might want to check it out and see if your hardware is compatible.
Alright, so first things first, when it comes to body mods, there’s two things that we need to think about. That’s the mesh, the 3d model, and the texture, the something that goes on the 3d model. So when it comes to the model, there are three main models that we have to worry about. The body model, the torso up to the forearm, kind of halfway in between, the legs, to just above the ankle, that is, the main body. That’s what you’re thinking of. There’s also the hands, which are from the forearm up. They connect to the body model. The feet model connects to the body model as well, just with the legs, pretty simple, not too much. Of course, there are two variations of this, there’s the female body and the male body, which are anatomically different, go figure. The textures are applied to all three of these models: the hands, the torso, and the legs. There’s also the head model. But those are different depending on the character. Each head is sculpted a little bit differently. And depending on the settings that have and whatnot, it looks different for each NPC and the player.
All those pieces have their textures applied individually, which is why if you look very closely in Skyrim (and previous Bethesda games had it way worse because I had lower resolution textures and stuff), you will see a seam on the arm, the neck, the legs, it’s always there. You’re never going to get rid of it unless you cover it up with armor, clothing, or something like that. There are ways to alleviate it. If you have models that connect better on the seams, to the arms and legs, like if the same 3d modeler or 3d artist modeled the body and the arms and they’re meant to fit together, the seam is going to be a bit less clear. Suppose you had the same artists making the texture that will also help.
It’s not that big of a deal. Otherwise, you’d hear a lot more people complaining about it. If you’ve ever played Oblivion, Fallout New Vegas, or Fallout three, you’ve probably heard many people complaining about next seams arm seems leg seams, whatever. Fortunately, on Skyrim, it’s a lot harder to spot if you’re doing things right. Another thing is that depending on the mod that you’re using to modify your bodies, each race can have its individual model for everything. That’s why many custom races out there have their own body models, and they’re separate from every other NPC in the game. So if the mod that you’re using modifies each individual race’s body, you might have some differences there. When it comes to me personally, I don’t think that having a different shape for the body is all that important between the races. So I like to keep things simple and keep them all the same. That’s how it is in the vanilla game.
Another thing is textures in the vanilla game. I believe all the human races and the orc have the same body textures for their hands, the body, and the legs. And obviously, the Khajiits and the Argonians have their textures, as well. So three different sets, I guess you could say. Most mod authors stick to that. But obviously, you can have different textures. If somebody wants to put a different texture on an orc rather than an imperial, they can do that. Again, the texture doesn’t necessarily mean what color it’s going to be in-game because you can change it in the character creator. And obviously, NPCs have their shades of skin, but the underlying skin color is the same. The tint mapping could be different from those. So yea, usually the human races and the orcs, they’re the same, and then you have the Khajiits and the Argonians. But again, if a mod author chooses to have different textures for individual races, they can do that. And you can do that if you want to. If you can modify it.
Genders have different meshes. A man’s body is shaped differently than a woman’s body. So the textures need to be separate for the gender. So if you have an Argonian texture, that’s different from an imperial texture, which, if you’re playing the game, right, it should be because that’d be weird. You would have a different Argonian female texture than you would an Argonian male texture. They have to be slightly different to account for the shape and how the polygons are positioned.
The other thing that needs to be discussed is how armor applies to the body. When an armor piece is used to the body usually hides the torso. In certain specific cases, like the hide armor, there’s a version where you can see the chest–you can see the actual chest body, and it’s not covered up, right. In that case, you need to have a separate model for the armor with the high poly body model you’re using underneath it. The same goes for stuff like gauntlets where you can see your hands or like those glove gauntlets where you have the fingers. If you have high poly fingers, you need to have a mesh for that gauntlet because it replaces that part of the body with the gauntlet’s mesh. So it would be best if you had a gauntlet that has high poly hands. Same with feet like the prisoners’ rags. I believe you might be able to see their feet, I can’t remember off the top of my head. But if you like, I don’t know, have a sandals mod or something, those custom sandals need to be patched. It would help if you went into Nifscope and put in your high poly feet to make that work. It’s not the biggest deal; if you don’t, the game will still work fine. It’s just for consistency’s sake. Same with actually the actual appearance of armor.
If you have armor in your game, any clothing needs to be fitted to the body that you’re wearing. To the body mod that you’re using. One, to avoid clipping if there’s like a part of the body that is still there, like the hands, so that the hands maybe don’t clip in the legs don’t clip but also for consistency. You don’t want if you have a body that seriously, like narrows down your female’s hips (not my thing, but I mean you do you) if you have something like that. Then you use the standard vanilla armors that aren’t shaped to the body. You’re going to have only an average body with huge hips or waist. I meant to say waist for that whole thing.
Yeah, if you have a really thin waist, you’re going to need armor and clothing meshes for that mod that fit the body, so you don’t have a thick waistline. So you have a narrow cut waistline if that’s what your body mod is doing.
Alright, that’s about it. When it comes to head stuff. It’s all personal preference. Some mods adjust facial features. I find them unnecessary. What I do like to do is replace eyebrows because those are their texture. I like to replace eye textures like the actual iris and stuff as well. If you replace those and beard and then hair textures, you can overhaul your characters to look well without modifying their facial structure in any way. You do want to alter their facial structure, you totally can. I don’t find that it’s too necessary. BMS might include those later. Probably not right now, though. Anyway, you’ll see. I’ll show you some screenshots in the game; you’ll see what I’m talking about with the faces. They look entirely overhauled with just hair changes, brows, and then eyes and the face. They look altogether modern. The skin textures are different. So let’s talk about the mods that I’m using. The number one no brainer mod that you’re going to want to use if you’re going to overhaul your body models is Caliente’s Beautiful Bodies Edition -CBBE.
It’s remesh of the body. It’s high poly. It does the body, the hands, the feet, obviously, and it does so for every race, females only, unfortunately. It doesn’t do males. That’s the no brainer mod, and the reason I say that and why you want to go with CBBE over UNP is because of the outfit studio, which you might have heard of. It allows you to import a body and modify it yourself to your tastes. You can change the sliders for everything like shoulder size, arm size, glute size, everything. I don’t care about that stuff. I like to keep the vanilla CBBE body, and it works just fine for me. But that option is there for you. The more important thing is the outfit studio, which allows you to take any outfit in the game like armor clothing, and shape it to the body so that there’s no clipping, so it looks right, and everything like that. That’s a crucial thing to have if you’re adding more armors to your game because not all armors support certain body types, although most do support CBBE.