How to prep mod files using TES4Files

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Overview

This tutorial will demonstrate how to prepare your mod for archiving and eventual upload to a mod site.

TES4Files examines the selected .esp file and pulls all associated NIFs, textures found in the NIFs, sounds, etc. and puts it in a sub-folder with the same name as the mod.

Steps

  1. Start TES4Files. In this example TES4Files is installed in the Oblivion/Data subdirectory.
  2. Choose MyMod.esp and check Fix NIFs and click Export
  3. Once done, click OK and close TES4Files, the following directory structure will be created:
    Oblivion\Data\MyMod\MyMod_error.txt
    Oblivion\Data\MyMod\MyMod_log.txt
    Oblivion\Data\MyMod\Data\MyMod.esp
    Oblivion\Data\MyMod\Data\Textures\*
    Oblivion\Data\MyMod\Data\Meshes\*
    ...more... (depends on mod content)...
  4. Check the error.txt file to make sure there are no missing textures and such.
  5. Copy your readme file ("MyMod Readme.txt") to the same folder as your .esp file since it will not grab that file. It will copy it if named "mymod.txt" but it is not recommended since Oblivion Mod Manager and similar end-user tools expect the "readme" word somewhere in the filename.
  6. Examine the mesh, texture and any other folders with a quick glance to make sure you see everything that should be there.
    NOTE: TES4Files cannot see files that are not referenced in the .esp file such as DistantLOD, texture replacers, music files (unless referenced in script), and any optional/alternate files such as alternate EGM files for example. You will have to copy those into this folder yourself.
  7. Create an archive in the folder that contains the .esp (do not include the data folder and error/log files). Example:
    Oblivion\Data\MyMod\Data\MyMod.7z
    The contents of the archive should look like this which would allow the end-user to extract directly into Oblivion's Data folder if they wanted:
    \Meshes\*
    \Textures\*
    \MyMod.esp
    \MyMod Readme.txt
    ...more... (depends on mod content)...
  8. Move your archive and readme to your upload area and delete the temporary export folder:
    Oblivion\Data\MyMod\*

References

LHammonds Oblivion Mods Site
Tool Home Page: MentalElf's TES4FILES