TS3 HD Textures Series - Terrain Pack [UPDATE: Fixed road tiling]

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Uploaded: 22nd Apr 2022 at 5:48 PM
Updated: 26th Apr 2022 at 1:31 PM
New Update!
Fixed an issue where the tiling of the road was very bothersome. (See images)

You read that right, HD Terrain textures!

Now, TS3 is still looking pretty good for it's release time! However, the more time goes on, the more I play it, the more I find myself finding the grass textures and such become a bit more pixelated than we're used in other games these days.

So, after going off on a quick Skyrim playthrough, as well as seeing some other Bethesda (and GTA) games having mods that enhance the textures, I figured "How hard would it be to do this?"

And that's what I did that weekend :p


How was this made?

Partially by hand, but 97% of the textures are all done by ESGRAN, an AI machine learning image enhancer.

It supposedly takes super tiny images and, depending on which model you use that was trained for that particular type of image (Think, anime, Abstract art but also regular photographs), Will "enhance it". A good case they use in their testing version of it, is this image that's about 120px in height and then finds itself being made bigger by 4x, looking crisp, sharp and just like you expect.

Sooo as the curious soul that I am, I figured, why not try this! I have a bit of Python knowledge, so why not run it through ESGRAN in batches and see how it goes...

Now, I do want to thank @Tashiketh massively for applying his much better Python knowledge, and basically creating the batch script for me. It's a pretty nifty thing! It first goes through all the DDS files, extracts them as PNG's and exports the alpha to a different folder. (ESGRAN doesn't like transparency), then asks ESGRAN to go over that PNG image (the diffuse map, not the alpha) and after that, combines the PNG, Alpha together as a DDS again. Rinse Repeat!

Different versions

What are the different versions?

To summarize it well:

1K - 1024 x 1024, or more likely, the size is exactly the same size as EA shipped the game with.
2K - 2048 x 2048
4k - 4098 x 4098

Which version do I download?!?!?
So you might look at all of them and either go:

"What's the difference between 1K, 2K and 4K?!"
With that, All I can say is, not that much! except for that 1K, when zoomed in super closely will look much more pixelated than the 4K version.

"What about performance?!"

This is a pretty important one to read! Lemme go in-depth on that one:

Should I download the 4K
Only download the 4K version IF:
  • Have a beefy GPU. Preferably 8GB and up in VRAM. If you do, also check out this to make the game recognize it See Step 8
  • Aren't doing any Building a lot of the time
  • Use the game only for taking pictures (Think, story, Legacies where a lot of poses are used, Landscape images, etc)
  • If you have 4GB to spare on your harddrive :p
  • Will eat up about 500-600MB of RAM/Memory, so really not great for general gameplay, just for taking images/storytelling (Thanks to kathop for the info!)

The reason you want to only really use it for picture taking is really that TS3 comes with a weird glitch, where if there are TOO many Terrain paint textures being rendered at once. This could either mean the game will crash upon taking pictures OR it somehow starts changing the textures into a whole different texture OR it becomes a black void. This is really seemingly only the case in a scenario like where you take pictures of 20 different terrains at once like my example images

Should I download the 2K version?
Only download the 2K version IF:
  • If you want a slightly more better version than 1K without massive Performance hits.
  • Play the game a bit more regularly (so, you play the game a lot for it's gameplay AND take pictures as well)
  • If you feel that your PC is not quite good enough for the 4K version. (6GB VRAM should be fine for this version)
  • If you have 2GB to spare on your harddrive
  • Will eat up about 100-150mb of RAM/Memory more than usual. So not too bad, but wouldn't recommend using this on incredibly big worlds! Think, bigger than Sunset Valley by twice the amount. (Thanks to kathop for the info!)

No bugs found and reported yet.

Should I download the 1K version?
Only download the 1K version IF:
  • You don't feel safe playing with a texture size that is much bigger than EA intended.
  • Already struggle with a game that's not as predictable (think, very occasional crashing)
  • If Your VRAM is within the 4GB mark.
  • If you have 200MB to spare on your harddrive
  • No RAM/Memory/performance hits with this one.

No bugs found and reported yet. But suspected to work perfectly fine!

Some of these textures are from certain EP packs, do i need those though?
The game will function just fine without certain EP packs, the textures will only get replaced if the game recognises that both textures have the same IDs


Future plans
I hope to get to the trees next, but I'll probably do that after I finish a not-so-announced script mod I'm working on, and very close to release


- Thanks again To Tashiketh for helping with the batch script
- The ESGRAN Team for making a pretty cool AI learning model
- EA for the original textures
- The TS3 Creator Cave (primarily SimBoutique, Akubiz, IDOLTRASH) For testing the mod!
- Photoshop 2022
- Nvidia's newest DDS tool
- Visual Studio code