First off, ALL credits go to the respective retexture authors for their amazing work, so visit their BSN Project Pages and drop them a message if you didn't do it yet
Never too much to say: Thank you to WV, saltisgood, KFreon and the rest of the creators/developers of MEExplorer!
smarteck BSN Project Page
Dead_Meat BSN Project Page
Ottemis BSN Project Page
Note on Ottemis textures: as Ottemis is still active and continuously updating her work (hopefully for long still ), all compiled .tpf files were removed from my shared folders as Ottemis created her own .mod/fixed .tpf files!
This is a project in work so keep checking the mediafile shared folders for updates!
LINK: Mediafire shared folders
Before you begin:
By replacing the textures using ME Ex, your original files will be PERMANENTLY REPLACED. So, always have following in mind:
1) ALWAYS BACKUP YOUR FILES before applying the .mods
2) Be aware that you are replacing low res textures with high res textures (most of them 4096) so this will have an impact on your system performance (fps, etc.). So always consider your hardware capabilities before doing hundreds of texture replacements
3) Some mods, specially big Packs, often include multi-level generic textures. When you install several .mod files on the top of each other, there is always the risk of replacing previously installed textures with the textures of the last .mod. So be very careful when installing too many mods. The best is to control what textures the mods replace and "in case of doubt, let it out". Check the author's project pages for infos, issues, etc. on their mods. Try to apply them in chronological order of creation date or your texture preferences or reapply the mod that have been replaced by these older packs.
4) If you had your treestruct built with ME3Explorer from revisions between 462 and 472, you may have errors because these versions where bugged. So install the latest ME3Explorer version and rebuild it
5) If you want that your DLC .sfar files are included while applying the mods, you will need to include the DLCs while creating treestruct (answer "Yes" to the popup window). This will extract all files included in the DLC sfar files and this process will take a while.
For more detailed explanation, visit Otte's Information page -> click me
Download the fixed TPF files from the folder "Fixed TPF Files" on the shared folders and create your own .mod files (advisable)
Q:What are these "fixed TPF files" and why can't I always use the author's original tpf files directly?
A: The textures included in the original tpf files (specially in old mods) often have a wrong format and/or no MIPMAPS or dirty entries. These have to be fixed (which takes a loooooooong time, specially on big packs ) and recompiled in a new "fixed tpf file". This can then be used to create the .mod file to be used with Mod Maker.
Ottemis has began to recompile her mods. The new tpf files (available her BSN Project page) can also now be directly used to create .mod without requiring a fix.
To create the .mod file:
1) Install the latest version of ME3Explorer (click me)
2) Run Tools-> TPF/DDS Tools 2.0 (read KFreon's instructions how to use it here)
3a) Use the "Install Valid" button from the TPF/DDS Tool 2.0 to install the tpf file directly, or
3b) Create the .mod file using the "Save Valid to .mod" button, go back to ME3 Explorer and run Tools -> Mod Maker from ME3 Explorer and apply the new created .mod file as usual
Note: In some scenarios, for example, few RAM or TPF files containing a large number of texture replacements, it might be advisable to create a .mod file and apply only few replacements (Jobs) in a row instead of applying all textures at once, for example directly via "Install Valid" button from TPF/DDS Tool 2.0. This will reduce the risk of file corruption in case ME3 Ex crashes during the process.
1) Mods with several alternatives
Some textures are available in several variants / different authors or alternatives (different colors). Choose and apply only one of them If you are unsure which one you want, visit the author's Project Page (links above) and check their screenshots.
Also, I would advise to load the original TPF files from the author's Project Pages using the Texmod Tool before applying them permanently so you can see if you like the textures or not.
2) Ingame "Checking downloadable content" errors
As DLC Packs are also changed, you may get "Could not check downloadable content" errors Ingame. This can be avoided in different ways: By permanently modifying the ME3 Exe file using an Hex Editor or use, e.g., WV's ME3 DLC Patcher DLL files to disable the DLC check -> click me. If you have an original Origin game , I would advise the second option because it doesn't make any changes to the file.
4) Mods to DLC files
To be able to apply the mods to the DLC files, you will need to include the DLCs when creating the treestruct with Texplorer (popup window)!