The Incredible Faces Of Skyrim

Taken in game, without the use of Photoshop, these pictures represent the very best in Skyrim portraiture and they look incredible.

Photographer Andy Cull decided to try and collect all the best 'portraits' in Skyrim — photos taken of characters in-game — and created a collection of 18 photographs. It took me a helluva long time to decide whether or not I believed these were in-game shots, but I think I'm ready to grudgingly accept it.

Still, these are spectacular. Absolutely spectacular.

I've posted a selection of my favourites below, but you can click here to check out the whole 18. Prepare to be blown away.


    How can this even, my skyrim looks like this

      If I was at home with photoshop I'd borrow that meme of accepted looks over hated looks and use these two images to point out what's acceptable and that low details should be accepted.

      I'm fairly certain these were all taken on PCs with a buttload of mods installed.

      Lots of mods! There's plenty out there when loaded together can get this kind of fidelity out of the game, however you'd have to spend a lot of time getting the right mix!

    Very heavy use of mods. Normal Skyrim does not look as good as this.

    And these are the best I can muster, after a ton of mods and yet faces still look somewhat vanilla :(

      Do you have a Flickr? I particularly liked this shot... If you do you should come and join the group.

    They look pretty nice and all, but what I am really interested in knowing about is exactly what mods were used to get the faces to look this good.

      I haven't explored the the Skyrim nexus as of yet even though it is superior, but the Steam workshop has plenty of good mods provided you downloaded the game through there.
      Here is how things look for me atm:

      It's a lot of mixing and matching as previously mentioned, there are things like more curved bodies, new hair styles and face smoothing to look in to. Also not all of them work together sometimes. Half the time I still don't know what I'm doing but I always try to make sure
      that the game runs smoothly aswell.

      As for the exact named mods on the bodies in my screenshot I used:
      (these are all from steam, but you can download other more custom ones from Nexus)
      - Radioreggae's Hair workshop and Lovely Hairstyles CE
      - Luscious Faces
      - The Eyes of beauty
      - CBBE Curvy mod v3 (To give females a more curvy appearance)
      - Caliente's Vanilla armour upgrades (to fit with the above CBBE mod)
      - various shadow striping fixes

      This will immensly improve things already, that and then ad some grass and weather and some hd textures for the landscape, and ur laughing :)

    I'm only using a GTX 660 Ti, so I'm not running those crazy 4K face-texture maps these images have, but I've still added a fair few pretty'ing mods to my game. Enhanced Character Edit (I think that's the one I'm using atm) really lets you carve a face better than the vanilla sliders, and these players have definitely used that or something similar.

    My recent toon:

    My Skyrim library (running around 80 mods):

    Last edited 14/07/14 4:09 pm

    I am not finding mods readily available that make Skyrim look anything like this good. Anyone got a link?

      Try Skyrim Nexus under the hair and face models section. Some nice ones in there.

    Look up mxr on YouTube. Some of the mods he reviews genuinely make the game look amazing but I don't recall any of his episodes focussing particularly on faces

    Even with all the mods under the sun, it takes a crazy amount of time and effort to take shots like these. You have to find very specific areas in the game where the lighting is just right; one step in any direction can throw it all out of whack. Then you need to find the perfect set of variables for things like depth of field, bloom, exposure, contrast etc. which look drastically different on a close up of a face than they would if you're looking at a typical Skyrim screenshot.

    Basically, the game doesn't just "look" like this. These are meticulously crafted pieces of art.

    One of the screenshots' author here (the last one, my wip Aela replacer, )
    I didn't know about this article, I'm really honored to be featured in it! Thanks!

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