Taking Comparison Images

[Jump to End]


One of our goals is to provide 'apples-to-apples' images for comparing the effects of one set of textures against another set, to enable an intelligent choice before installation. To ensure a reasonable comparison, the images need to be taken at the same approximate location and heading (within reason), under similar conditions. To that end, we are establishing reference locations for each sub-category of textures, and providing standards for all images.

You are encouraged to submit reference locations you feel well illustrate the particular features of a texture set. However, we need the location information for these locations in sufficient detail to enable others to find the same location. Fortunately all that is required is to enable a standard console 'debug text message', number 31. Our scripts do this automatically, but in case you wish to do record a location while in the game, here is what we need. We call it the 'sdt 31' data, after the console command.

  1. Activate the console (default is to tap the '~' key).
  2. Enter tdt.
  3. Enter sdt 31.
  4. Toggle the console closed.
  5. Record the 'Actor' information.

The 'sdt 31' information looks like this:

FPS  <some number> (Type 0)
<Character Name>
Actor Loc: World 'Tamriel' (-1,20)
Actor Heading: 327.75
Actor Pos: (-41, 83403, -5)
WorldRoot CameraNode: -39 83400 113

We need all the Actor Loc, Heading, and Pos lines' data.
Please note that the default data display when you toggle on 'tdt' is 'sdt 0', which displays the world location in 'units', of which there are 4096x4096 to an exterior cell (or 192x192 feet). The 'sdt 31' data displays the 'cell' location as X, Y coordinates. These can be considered multiples of 4096 units in each axis. The default water level is at 4096 units, which is translated as 0 in the Z-axis. Source:CESWiki

We thank you for your assistance. This is a community effort and your efforts help us all.

[Back to top]
[Jump to End]


It's not enough to have images taken from the same locations. They also need to be under as similar game conditions as possible. With the wide variety of hardware platforms on which the game runs, it's too much to expect hardware parity. However, comparable game settings are not unreasonable. Recognizing that continually changing game settings gets tedious quickly, we suggest you investigate a 'multiple oblivion manager', like Multiple Oblivion Manager (MOM) or mTES4 Manager, and create a 'screenshot' game configuration you can easily switch to after you find a suitable location.

That 'screenshot' configuration should consist of, not your game play environment, but a basic game installation, and only the textures you are desiring to compare to those in someone else's image of a single texture set. These are not supposed to be 'the very best I can put together' sets, but rather simple examples of just what a single texture set produces. Performance is also not an issue so the impact on your FPS should be ignored. If you use our scripts or simply the 'tai' console command, you will not be interacting with other actors in the game anyway.

The game configuration settings should be:
On the Start Menu | Options | Video screen presets, all to High quality or maximum detail.
On the Main or In-Game | Options | Video screen:

  1. Screen Resolution: the highest with which your system is capable of displaying the game.
  2. Mode: Full screen.
  3. Screen Effects: HDR if supported. Make a note if not when you submit the image.
  4. Antialiasing: None, even if your video card can support it.
  5. Distant Rendering: All (shadows, water, ripples, every FPS killer you normally avoid). We want detail.
  6. Textures: Large. Note which you used if you can not use Large.

Consider minimizing or disabling other non-video effects, such Sound, first if you have problems with these maximized video settings.

Please only post JPG images, as we only have 300MB of file space for uploads. You will need to either save your screen shots in JPG/JPEG format, or convert them. The freeware product IrfanView can resize, resample, flip and generally manipulate an image sufficiently for our purposes, as well as convert most file formats.

While these standards may seem picky, remember we are trying to make comparisons with each texture set given the best possible showcase. Skimping in the configuration does your favorite textures a disservice.

[Back to top]
[Jump to End]


Screenshot Related Console Commands:

Here is a select list of Console Commands that you will find of use for making screenshots in general:

  • TM: Toggle Menus and the 'Heads-Up Display' on and off.
  • TDT: Toggle the 'Debug Text' display on and off.
  • TAI: Toggle AI scripts of all actors (if none is targeted) so they won't move, enabling you to avoid combat.
  • TGM: Toggle God Mode so no damage taken, no magicka consumed, no fatigue used, no encumbrance limit, (carried items still slow character)
  • TCL: Toggle Collision, enabling your character to fly around and through objects.
  • TFC: Toggle Freeflying Camera, enabling movement of the camera instead of your character.
  • TFOW: Toggle Fog Of War, displaying the complete map for your local area, including areas you have not yet explored.
  • FW <id>: Force Weather, where <id> is usually something like '370CE' (Paradise) or '41775' (SI Test Bliss Clear).

[Back to top]
[Jump to End]


The easiest way to ensure everyone used the same locations would be with a 'Screenshot locations' mod, with Map Markers to enable 'fast travel' to each reference location. But until such a mod is developed (any volunteers?), we can only provide 'console bat' scripts which will place you in the correct cell with clear weather and a standard light setting, without any hostile actors. There are three basic scripts:

  • TESTG_Init.txt: Run only at the beginning of a photo session, it sets general conditions for the session.
  • TEST_Restore.txt: Reverses the settings from the 'TESTG_Init.txt' script. If not done, some of those setting (notably the weather) might persist to later sessions.
  • TESTG_Loc##.txt: Each '##' is a two digit location number corresponding to the reference location for a particular sub-category of texture files. Obtain these numbers from the appropriate page on this site. Each numbered script teleports you to the appropriate reference locatoin cell. You may run as many of these location scripts as you wish per session.

To use these scripts in game is really quite simple.

  1. Copy these scripts to the game install folder, i.e. 'C:\Games\Oblivion'.
  2. Activate the console (default is to tap the '~' key). The console prompt will appear in the lower left-hand corner of your screen. You can scroll the console output using the "Page Up" and "Page Down" keys. The console is not case sensitive: entering any of "tdt" or "TDT" or "TdT" will toggle the debugging text. Note that comment lines (beginning with '; ') are displayed but not executed.
  3. In the console prompt window,
    1. enter bat testg_init.txt to run the initialization script. When each script is done you can see the commands it ran in the console prompt window, followed by an empty line. Some lines with commands are deliberately disabled with comments ('; '). They are there for your reference if needed. Just enter any command without the leading '; ' comment marker.
    2. enter bat testg_loc01.txt to run the first location script. Use the 'up-arrow' cursor key to bring up the previous line, and the cursor left to where you can replace the location reference number with the next you wish to visit. Then just hit the 'Enter' key to execute the command.
    3. enter bat testg_restore.txt to run the cleanup script. Whether or not you remember to run this script, do not save the game during a screenshot photo session. You generally do not want the conditions set up for this purpose to persist in game play.
  4. Toggle the console window closed (tap the '~' key again).
  5. Exit the game without saving. Some of the changes might persist if you forget to run the 'restore' script or have gotten into an unexpected situation. (Better safe than sorry.)

Normally the cursor arrow is not visible while you are moving around while using these scripts. Occasionally you may find you do not move any longer, and the cursor arrow has become visible. This happens when a messagebox has invisibly appeared, requiring you to acknowledge it by clicking on the 'OK' button. Under this circumstance:

  1. Enter tm to toggle ON the display of the User Interface and menus/messages,
  2. Toggle the console closed,
  3. Clear the message,
  4. Toggle the console back on,
  5. Enter tm to toggle OFF the display of the User Interface and menus/messages again,
  6. And resume moving.

[Back to top]
[Jump to End]

Script 1: TESTG_Init.txt

; Copy this file to the game '\Oblivion' folder.
; Run with console command: '~', then 'bat TESTG_Init.txt'(case sensitive), but only once per session.
; This script initializes the console for taking screenshots.
; Once these commands are given, no need to repeat until end of session.
; Set default Field-of-View for consistency and compatibility
fov 0
; Toggle Collision Off (Enable Flying)
; Toggle Fog Of War (reveals unexplored area) Off
; Toggle land Level Of Detail On (if necessary)
; tll
; Disable all actors to avoid issues while making screenshot
; Set weather to 'Paradise' = 370CE.  'Clear' = 38EEE.  'SI Test Bliss Clear' = 41775.
fw 370CE
; Toggle Menu/HUD mode Off. Toggle on to display/update message boxes if apparantly locked up.
; Toggle Debug mode on to display messages
; See [http://www.uesp.net/wiki/Oblivion:SetDebugText] for more options.
; Set debug text to display world location.
sdt 31
; Show graphics info
; sdt 13
; Show MemInfo
; sdt 32
; Run a TESTG Location script now, such as 'bat TESTG_Loc01.txt'.
; Run the companion script 'TESTG_Restore.txt' to restore the console before exiting the game.

[Back to top]
[Jump to End]

Script 2: TESTG_Restore.txt

; Copy this file to the game '\Oblivion' folder.
; Run with console command: '~', then 'bat TESTG_Restore.txt'(case sensitive).
; This script restores the console settings made in the 'init' version, after taking screenshots.
; It should only be run once per session, just before exiting the game.
; Run the companion script 'TESTG_Init.txt' only once per session to initialize the console.
; Restore the weather to normal operation.
; Toggle Collision On (Disable Flying)
; Toggle Fog Of War (reveals unexplored area) On
; Toggle land Level Of Detail Off (if necessary)
; tll
; Toggle the UI HUD/Menus On
; Toggle Debug mode off to hide console messages
; Enter '~' to close the console.  Then exit the game.

[Back to top]
[Jump to End]

Script 3: TESTG_Loc01.txt

; TES Texture Guide script for Location 01.
; Link: [http://www.uesp.net/wiki/Oblivion:Console_Command_Tutorial#Using_Batch_Files_With_the_bat_Command]
; Copy this file to the game '\Oblivion' folder.
; Run with console command: '~', then 'bat TESTG_Init.txt' FIRST (case insensitive),
;   but only once per session.
; Then run this script with 'bat TESTG_Loc01.txt'.  (case insensitive.)
; Remove all actors from screenshot
; killall
; Toggle Sky
; ts
; Toggle Lite Brite
; tlb
; Toggle Menu/HUD mode to display/update message boxes if apparently locked up.
; tm
; * * Make your screenshot now. * * Default save location is the game install folder.
; Enter 'bat TESTG_Loc##' to run another location script;
; OR when completely finished, enter 'bat TESTG_Restore.txt'.
; Only use these scripts for screenshots and DO NOT save the game.
; Script commands after this teleport do not execute.
; Teleport to site location 01:  -4269,82305,730 in 'sdt 0' units format.
; Note 'coe x,y' also works with the translated 'sdt 31' cell format of -1,20.
cow Tamriel -1,20

[Back to top]

Return to General Information page

Back to General Information

Unless otherwise stated, the content of this page is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 License