Skyrim: 25+ Essential Mods for Gorgeous Screenshots

I got a gaming computer for two reasons – 1) to mod the hell out of my games and 2) to take some high quality screen caps!  I use FRAPS to take screenshots and capture video from my games – you can read about FRAPS and download it in my post here.  And these are the mods that I can’t live without when it comes to taking great screenshots in Skyrim – all the images in this post are unfiltered with no post-processing:

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Required:

These are mods you must install in order for the other mods to work!

Skyrim Script Extender (SKSE) – Don’t ask what it does, just accept that you need this and install it. :D

Fores New Idles in Skyrim (FNIS) – This allows your characters to strike different poses and use new animations.  It is a base file required for most animation mods.

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Highly Recommended:

These are mods that I highly recommend if you want to take high quality screenshots and also make your life easier.

Immersive HUD – This lets you turn off all the HUD elements (map, crosshairs, etc.) so you can get a clean screenshot without game icons cluttering the screen

Safety Load – This literally saved my game.  It prevents the awful Skyrim crash to desktop (CTD) when you have a bunch of mods installed.

SkyUI – This gives you a better user interface to navigate and organize your items/magic which is extremely helpful since most “poser” mods require items or magic to activate

Face Light – This allows your character’s face to always be in the best light so you can take beautiful screenshots even in dark caves or against backlit scenes – truly a MUST if you’re hoping to take screenshots of characters!

Skyrim HD – HD textures aren’t required but they make a hell of a difference in high-res screen shots.  If your computer can support it, do it!

Dynavision Dynamic Depth of Field – This allows you to focus on the object in the foreground while making the background blurry, like if you had a real camera!

Helmet Toggle Show/Hide – This lets you toggle equipped helmets with the push of a button – great time saver if you’re doing a lot of screenshots

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Recommended ENB Mods:

ENB’s are presets that make your graphics look crazy good.  There are hundreds of different styles to choose from – I personally prefer realism ENBs but there are some great fantasy and cinematic ones out there, too.

ENB – You need to install the ENB base files first before using an ENB preset, so do it.

RealVision ENB – This is a tried and true classic.  It makes scenes look very sharp and beautiful.  I do find the default settings oversaturated – I tend to adjust the preset’s saturation level down a little bit (default is 1.6 and I use 1.2).  Only use one ENB Preset at a time!

Poupouri ENB – This is my favorite ENB! I use a modified version of Morning Star (I made it slightly less saturated/bright during day time, with higher DOF), although I love First Seed for a more cinematic look.

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Recommended Environmental Mods:

These mods change how the world of Skyrim looks!

Climates of Tamriel – Beautiful lighting and weather systems for Skyrim; recommended use with the RealVision ENB preset

Enhanced Lights & FX – This mod gives scenes much more depth and realism with realistic lighting!

Pure Waters – You know where you picture spring water comes from?  That’s what this makes all the water in Skyrim look like J

W.A.T.E.R. – This gives a whole bunch of new water features and animations throughout the game.

Skyrim Flora Overhaul – Must have for beautiful leaves, grasses, and flowers!

Book Covers Skyrim – This gives all the books in the game beautiful and unique covers – if you’re taking any screenshots with books in them, this is a great mod!

Enhanced Blood Textures – This gives blood splatter and bleeding a more realistic feel … I know this sounds weird, but bleeding in water looks really cool …

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Recommended Animation/Poser Mods:

These mods allow you to make your characters and NPCs pose and animate in a variety of new ways.  They are an absolute must if you’re hoping to create lively screenshots!

Puppeteer Master – This is one of the only animation mods out there that does NOT require FNIS.  It lets you play any in-game animation or pose.  My favorite part about this mod is that it lets you change the expression/emotion on any character’s face really easily.

Puppeteer Master Reference Guide – This is a visual index of the hundreds of Puppeteer Master poses for quick reference

Halo’s Pinup Poser – Great pinup poses for your Skyrim character!

Halo’s Poser – Great poses for your Skyrim characters, including male, female, and pairs!

Additional Dramatic Posers for Pinup Poser – this adds a ton of new poses to Halo’s original mod that are much more “manly”

Extensive Pinup Poser Reference – This is a visual index of the hundreds of poses in Halo’s mods which comes in really handy when you’re trying to decide on a pose!

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Recommended Character Mods:

Here are all my recommendations for building beautiful characters!

For Female Bodies

For Female Textures

For Male Bodies and Textures

For Character Customization

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Recommended Player Homes & Locations:

The following player homes are great for picturesque or unique screenshots and you should definitely give them a try!

[post coming soon!]

Got any more tips for great screenshots in Skyrim?  Let me know in comments!

3 Comments

  1. Tobi Tran August 22, 2014
  2. iSleggo / SkyrimTale September 28, 2014
  3. Mikhaill B. November 11, 2014

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