"The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim": Create Player Characters With CBBE or UNP

Updated on April 4, 2020
profile image

I am a huge fan of "The Elder Scrolls" series as well as all of the other great Bethesda titles.

A beautiful Player Character, created using a variety of high-resolution "Skyrim" mods.
A beautiful Player Character, created using a variety of high-resolution "Skyrim" mods. | Source

In this article, I will review how to update the graphics for your Player Character using a series of mods.

As your Player Character is central to your Skyrim experience, you want it to look as good as possible. The mods in this article will greatly improve its appearance. In addition, all of the graphical improvements we make to your Player Character will be applied to the Non-Player Characters, making your game look much better.

First, we will update all of the body models with better, high-resolution textures and a more natural-looking figure. Then, we will look at replacing the face, hair and eye textures, again with higher quality, better-looking textures.

After you have installed and configured your mods, you could end up with a character that looks something like mine (pictured above).

An example of the sliders added to the Player Character creation screen by the excellent "Skyrim" mod, "Race Menu".
An example of the sliders added to the Player Character creation screen by the excellent "Skyrim" mod, "Race Menu". | Source
The beginning screen of the character customisation available via the "Skyrim Unbound" mod.
The beginning screen of the character customisation available via the "Skyrim Unbound" mod. | Source

How to Manage Mods: Nexus Mod Manager

The first step is to install a couple of essential mods using Nexus Mod Manager. If you are unfamiliar with it, Nexus Mod Manager is an excellent tool that allows you to do the following:

  • Cleanly install and uninstall mods.
  • Manage installed mods including creating a correct load order.
  • Organise your mods so you know exactly what is installed.
  • Install and download mods with one click.
  • Check all installed mods for updated versions automatically.
  • Use the built-in download manager to easily download mods.

For more advanced users, there is another Mod Manager called Mod Organizer. It allows you to:

  • Have multiple profiles, all with separated save games and different installed mods.
  • Each mod is installed in its own folder to reduce conflicts and make removal easier.
  • Broken mods can be fixed and installed correctly.
  • Mod conflicts are flagged to you and resolution steps recommended.

The "SkyUI" mod greatly enhances the User Interface for "Skyrim", making much better use of the available screen space.
The "SkyUI" mod greatly enhances the User Interface for "Skyrim", making much better use of the available screen space. | Source
Click thumbnail to view full-size
An example of "CBBE" in-game.The "DIMONIZED UNP" Female Body model for "Skyrim".
An example of "CBBE" in-game.
An example of "CBBE" in-game. | Source
The "DIMONIZED UNP" Female Body model for "Skyrim".
The "DIMONIZED UNP" Female Body model for "Skyrim". | Source

Installing Mods to Personalize Your Game

"Skyrim Unbound" allows you to skip the opening sequence and fully customise your character's intro. You can choose starting equipment and place (you can start in any city, town or wilderness or even jail), or even delay the main story and turn off dragons.

Installing Mods to Improve Body Models

The next step is to install either "Caliente’s Body Mod" or "DIMONIZED UNP Female Body" from Skyrim Nexus, depending on your preference to replace the female characters' models. I have chosen the "Big Bottom Edition" of "Caliente’s Body Mod" (often known as "CBBE") as I like the way that the models look. "CBBE" is also far more configurable than "UNP". If you activate the mod in Nexus Mod Manager, using a GUI installer, you can choose between body shapes, whether the models are nude, choose textures, eyebrows and finally whether you would like to install some tools to help you further configure the models. "CBBE" comes with a utility called BodySlide which allows you to fully configure your Player Character’s body shape, which I will cover in detail below.

You can see pictures below of a "CBBE" and "DIMONIZED UNP" female Player Character. I suggest that you check both mods out on Skyrim Nexus, but be warned, there are pictures there of an adult nature.

Click thumbnail to view full-size
Vanilla Skyrim Player Character before body model mods have been installed.Skyrim Player Character after body model mods have been installed.BeforeAfter
Vanilla Skyrim Player Character before body model mods have been installed.
Vanilla Skyrim Player Character before body model mods have been installed. | Source
Skyrim Player Character after body model mods have been installed.
Skyrim Player Character after body model mods have been installed. | Source
Before
Before | Source
After
After | Source

Use Caliente’s Body Mod BodySlide Tool

Where "Caliente’s Body Mod" really comes into its own is with the use of the BodySlide tool that is an optional extra. Using it, you can take the default body shape and change it using the sliders shown below. The changes you make will immediately affect your player character’s body shape the next time you launch Skyrim. To use Bodyslide:

  • In the Skyrim data folder, browse to \CalienteTools\BodySlide.
  • Run BodySlide.exe as Administrator.
  • Select CalienteBody as Outfit / Body, which is the mesh that you are editing if you chose the "no underwear" version or Caliente Undies if you chose the underwear version.
  • Under Preset, choose the option that most closely fits what you want your player character to look like.
  • Click Preview Small and Preview Big and an image will appear for both sets of sliders.
  • Adjust the sliders that you are interested in until you get the body shape you like. You can see below the extensive list of options you have available to choose from.
  • Finally, click Create Bodies and BodySlide will create two NIF files in the \Data\meshes\actors\character\character assets folder.

If you want to save your settings as a preset, click Save Preset and name your preset. When you save it, make sure that you save it to \Data\CalienteTools\BodySlide\SliderPresets so that BodySlide can see it. Now, next time you use BodySlide, your new preset will be available.

Now, when you run Skyrim, your player character will use the new NIF files you have created and will have a body shape identical to the one you created.

Example of the sliders available in CBBEs BodySlide application which you can use to adjust the body shape of your Player Character in "Skyrim".
Example of the sliders available in CBBEs BodySlide application which you can use to adjust the body shape of your Player Character in "Skyrim". | Source

Mods For Male Player Characters

For the male Player Characters, I recommend:

"Better males - Beautiful nudes and faces - New hairstyles" by Chris57 and FavoredSoul.

Examples of the hairstyles available from the "ApachiiSkyHair" "Skyrim" mod.
Examples of the hairstyles available from the "ApachiiSkyHair" "Skyrim" mod. | Source

Installing High-Definition Textures

ApachiiSkyHair and ApachiiSkyHair

The first mods we will install to improve textures are "ApachiiSkyHair" and "ApachiiSkyHair Natural Retexture". These excellent mods replace both the hair for Humans, Elves and Orcs for both males and females. You should install all the below packs from the mod:

  • Apachii SkyHair – a Natural Retexture
  • Apachii SkyHair – Female Retexture
  • Apachii SkyHair – Female Retexture
  • ApachiiSkyHair Female
  • ApachiiSkyHair Female
  • ApachiiSkyHair

You can see examples of female elvish hair from Apachii’s excellent mod below:

"Coverwoman", a "Skyrim" mod, replaces female faces, lips and make-up with new high resolution textures.
"Coverwoman", a "Skyrim" mod, replaces female faces, lips and make-up with new high resolution textures. | Source

Coverwoman

Next, we will install "Coverwoman" by mrLenski, which replaces all the faces for all non-beast races with high-resolution textures. The mod enhances the skin of the face, the eyebrows, lips and also the make-up. It also comes in five variants which gives you greater choice over how your Player Character, as well as the games NPCs, will look.

"CoverKhajits", a "Skyrim" mod, replaces all in-game Khajits with new high resolution textures
"CoverKhajits", a "Skyrim" mod, replaces all in-game Khajits with new high resolution textures | Source

Coverkhajiits

Then, we will upgrade the Khajits with "Coverkhajiits", which comes in both a male and female version to replace models and textures. It also improves the textures of all Khajits in-game (both Player Character and Non-Player Characters) and comes in two variants the 1024 and 2048 texture sizes. For those of us with slower computers, the 1024 textures are a perfect mix of performance and quality.

Click thumbnail to view full-size
"Better Beast Races v2" before and after. Argonian EditorArgonian EditorKhajits EditorKhajits Editor
"Better Beast Races v2" before and after.
"Better Beast Races v2" before and after. | Source
Argonian Editor
Argonian Editor | Source
Argonian Editor
Argonian Editor | Source
Khajits Editor
Khajits Editor | Source
Khajits Editor
Khajits Editor | Source

Better Beast Races v2

To complete the texture replacers, we now install four more mods.

First we install "Better Beast Races v2" by Xenius. This mod changes the shape (the meshes) of the beast races the Argonians and the Khajits, making their faces less angular and more rounded. This will work perfectly with "Coverkhajits" (which is purely a texture replacement), as "Better Beast Races v2" does not replace the in-game textures, just the meshes that create the shapes that we see in the world of Skyrim.

The photos above show how lore-friendly these mods are. They will make a massive difference to how these races will look in-game.

"Eyes of Beauty" adds beautiful eyes to Player Characters and NPCs in" Skyrim".
"Eyes of Beauty" adds beautiful eyes to Player Characters and NPCs in" Skyrim". | Source

Eyes of Beauty

The next mod we will install is "Eyes of Beauty" by Gabriel Mailhot. This excellent mod comes with four options:

  1. Standalone, which will either add or replace eyes just for your Player Character, depending on the option you choose.
  2. A version for elves just again for the Player Character.
  3. A Dawnguard expansion.
  4. A package that replaces all the eyes of Skyrim's NPCs.

You can choose any one of the above options and install them and they will work perfectly together. Personally, I installed them all, but that is personal preference which is thanks to the flexibility offered by the modder.

This mod by Hvergelmir replaces all "Skyrim" beards with high resolution hand painted beards.
This mod by Hvergelmir replaces all "Skyrim" beards with high resolution hand painted beards. | Source

High-Resolution Brows and Beards

The last mod I am going to look at is "High-Resolution Brows and Beards" by Hvergelmir. As the title suggests, these replace the in-game beards and brows with highly detailed textures. It replaces the existing beards with high-resolution, hand-painted beards that looks fantastic. Hvergelmir has done similarly excellent work replacing the brows of everyone in-game (your Player Character, as well as all NPCs). They both come in 1,024 and 2,048 versions, depending on how powerful your computer is.

Enjoy Your New Characters!

By replacing the default body models and textures for our Player Character's body, face, eyes and hair, we have been able to make our Player Character look much better and more attractive than the Skyrim defaults.

I hope that you have enjoyed seeing the changes that these mods have introduced and that you go on to have a lot of adventures with your new character in the wonderful game world that is Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim. Thanks for reading.

Which model mod do you prefer?

See results

© 2015 Robbie C Wilson

Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment
    • profile image

      Caesa 

      4 years ago

      After i add all this mod, did i have to run another tool other than LOOT (e.g. Wyre Bash or Dual Sheath Redux Patch or DynDolod or FNIS)?

    working

    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, levelskip.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://maven.io/company/pages/privacy

    Show Details
    Necessary
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Features
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Marketing
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Statistics
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)
    ClickscoThis is a data management platform studying reader behavior (Privacy Policy)