Make your games prettier with SweetFx/ReShade!

by Backlash

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07-27-2016, 10:58 AM
#44894 (1)
I figured most people already knew about SweetFx, but for those who haven't, here's the skinny:

What is SweetFx/ReShade?

SweetFx is a graphical post-processing tool designed specifically to work with video games. The old versions worked only on DirectX9 games, but SweetFx 2.0 is compatible with DX8/9/10/11, and even OpenGL.

ReShade is another tool that's meant to work in tandem with SweetFx. It handles beefier effects like dynamic depth-of-field, and allows the more advanced parts of SweetFx to work properly.

What's a post-processing tool?

A post-processing tool is a program that uses "shaders" to change how a game looks. These shaders can do pretty much anything; ranging from simple ones that increase color saturation, to complex ones that simulate HDR, to a particularly unique one that attempts to render the game as multicolored ASCII characters.

Many modern games ship with certain post-processing shaders already programmed into the game, but SweetFx/ReShade allows just about any game made in the last 14 years to enjoy bloom, HDR, and other modern visual enhancements.

You might've heard of another post-processing tool called ENBSeries. While ENB is nice, it just doesn't have the flexibility of SweetFx; plus it's a total resource hog, whereas SweetFx runs great even on low-end hardware.

Alright, I'm interested. Let's see what it can do.

SweetFx can be used to update a classic game with a modern aesthetic, as seen with Battlefield 2: 

[Image: 687474703a2f2f692e696d6775722e636f6d2f65...552e706e67]

Alternatively, SweetFx can cancel out an annoying inbuilt color filter:

[Image: 687474703a2f2f692e696d6775722e636f6d2f55...732e6a7067]

In the best of cases, SweetFx can completely alter a game's visual tone.

[Image: 68747470733a2f2f692e7974696d672e636f6d2f...742e6a7067]

Sweet! Now how can I get it?

Easy! Just click the big green "DOWNLOAD" button on the dev's official website (Here, have a link!), extract it with 7Zip, and run "ReShade Setup.exe".

Then click the big "Select Game" button and navigate to where you've got the game installed. Double-click on your game's executable file. (NOTE: Make sure it's the actual game itself, and not just a launcher or settings application.)

By default, it'll try to autodetect what graphics library the game uses. If that doesn't work, you'll have to manually specify it by clicking one of the radio buttons. (If you're ever in doubt, try Direct3D 9.) Once you've done that, SweetFx will automatically install itself to the directory of the executable you specified.

Technically you're done, but you aren't going to get very far without a preset settings file. Just hop onto the official SweetFx Settings Database, search up your game, and download a preset (It'll be a .txt file called "SweetFX_settings".) Drop that file into your "SweetFX" folder in your game directory, overwrite the existing settings file. It's as simple as that.

Naturally, if the effects aren't to your liking, or if they're doing a number on your performance, you'll be able to tweak them by editing the "SweetFX_settings.txt" file. If you're anything like me, you'll probably try out at least three dozen custom configurations before settling on the one that's right for you. Enjoy! :D

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07-27-2016, 11:03 AM
#44895 (2)
What's the difference between this and ENB?

[Image: 68747470733a2f2f752e6e79612e69732f77757466626d2e6a7067]
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07-27-2016, 11:21 AM
#44896 (3)
can this get you vac?
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07-27-2016, 11:23 AM (This post was last modified: 07-27-2016, 11:48 AM by Backlash.)
#44897 (4)
(07-27-2016, 11:03 AM)malmon Wrote: What's the difference between this and ENB?

I've dabbled with ENB back when I used to play Skyrim. From what I've seen, ENB has a couple of super-nifty effects like SSAO and Motion Blur, but SweetFx focuses on offering subtle enhancements. In lieu of a list of shaders online, I'll just c/p the header from SweetFX_settings.txt:


 /                      Choose effects                         /
// Effects are listed in the order that they are applied.
// Set to 1 for ON or 0 for OFF
#define USE_ASCII         0 //[0 or 1] Ascii : Converts the image to Ascii-art.
#define USE_CARTOON       0 //[0 or 1] Cartoon : "Toon"s the image.
#define USE_SMAA         1 //[0 or 1] SMAA Anti-aliasing : Smoothens jagged lines using the SMAA technique.
#define USE_FXAA           0 //[0 or 1] FXAA Anti-aliasing : Smoothens jagged lines using the FXAA technique.
#define USE_EXPLOSION     0 //[0 or 1] Explosion : Scatters the pixels, making the image look fuzzy.
#define USE_CA             0 //[0 or 1] Chromatic Aberration : Mimics the look of a cheap camera lens, by distorting the colors.
#define USE_ADVANCED_CRT   0 //[0 or 1] Advanced CRT : Simulates an old CRT TV display. (has a very high performance cost)
#define USE_PIXELART_CRT   0 //[0 or 1] PixelArt CRT : Scanlines for pixel art (high performance cost)
#define USE_BLOOM         0 //[0 or 1] Bloom : Makes bright lights bleed their light into their surroundings (relatively high performance cost)
#define USE_HDR           0 //[0 or 1] HDR : Not actual HDR - It just tries to mimic an HDR look (relatively high performance cost)
#define USE_LUMASHARPEN   1 //[0 or 1] LumaSharpen : Sharpens the image.
#define USE_LENS_DISTORTION 0 //[0 or 1] Cubic Lens Distortion : Distorts the lens cubicly. (WIP)

#define USE_NOSTALGIA       0 //[0 or 1] Nostalgia : Remember when you played that game you always played on that first system of yours? You don't? Well here is a reminder.
#define USE_LEVELS         0 //[0 or 1] Levels : Sets a new black and white point. This increases contrast but causes clipping. Use Curves instead if you want to avoid that.
#define USE_TECHNICOLOR   0 //[0 or 1] TECHNICOLOR : Attempts to mimic the look of an old movie using the Technicolor three-strip color process (Techicolor Process 4)
#define USE_TECHNICOLOR2    0 //[0 or 1] TECHNICOLOR 2 : Yet another Technicolor effect - not sure if this stays or not. Let me know if you like it.
#define USE_DPX           0 //[0 or 1] Cineon DPX : Should make the image look like it's been converted to DXP Cineon - basically it's another movie-like look similar to technicolor.
#define USE_MONOCHROME     0 //[0 or 1] Monochrome : Monochrome makes the colors disappear.
#define USE_COLORMATRIX   0 //[0 or 1] Color Matrix : Allows color modification using a user-defined color matrix.
#define USE_LIFTGAMMAGAIN 0 //[0 or 1] Lift Gamma Gain : Adjust brightness and color of shadows, midtones and highlights.
#define USE_TONEMAP       0 //[0 or 1] Tonemap : Adjust gamma, exposure, saturation, bleach and defog. (may cause clipping)
#define USE_VIBRANCE       0 //[0 or 1] Vibrance : Intelligently saturates (or desaturates if you use negative values) the pixels depending on their original saturation.
#define USE_CURVES         0 //[0 or 1] Curves : Contrast adjustments using S-curves.
#define USE_SEPIA         0 //[0 or 1] Sepia : Sepia tones the image.
#define USE_VIGNETTE       0 //[0 or 1] Vignette : Darkens the edges of the image to make it look more like it was shot with a camera lens. May cause banding artifacts.
#define USE_FILMGRAIN     0 //[0 or 1] Film Grain : Adds film grain to the image.
#define USE_DITHER         0 //[0 or 1] Dither : Applies dithering to simulate more colors than your monitor can display. This lessens banding artifacts (mostly caused by Vignette)
#define USE_BORDER         0 //[0 or 1] Border : Can be used to create letterbox borders around the image.
#define USE_SPLITSCREEN   0 //[0 or 1] Splitscreen : Enables the before-and-after splitscreen comparison mode. (Only partially working right now)

#define USE_TRANSITION     0 //[0 or 1] Transition : Shows a welcome screen and then transitions to the regularly scheduled programming

#define USE_DEPTH         0 //[0 or 1] Depth : Enables the possibility to display the depth buffer - You will still need to toogle it on/off with (*) in-game

#define USE_CUSTOM         0 //[0 or 1] Custom : Write your own shader by editing custom.h, and then enable it here.

It's also way easier to set up of course. But the big selling point is performance: Whereas a decent ENB can bring a low-end laptop like mine to its knees, SweetFx has almost zero performance impact for most shaders while producing comparable if not better results, if you're willing to forego the really advanced stuff.

Naturally, the best case scenario is to run both at once: ENB for technical enhancements; SweetFX for fine tweaking. If you opt to do this, I'm officially in awe of your graphics card.

(07-27-2016, 11:21 AM)cyka Wrote: can this get you vac?

I haven't tried it on any games with VAC. It should work, but you might wanna search it up on a CS:GO forum or somethin' just to be safe.

Heart of the World
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07-27-2016, 12:19 PM
#44905 (5)

The Tower touches all the mantles of Heaven and by its apex one can be as he will.
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07-27-2016, 12:23 PM
#44907 (6)
(07-27-2016, 12:19 PM)⌬⌬⌬ Wrote: "prettier"

Prettier is a word

He has no style. He has no grace. This Kong has a funny face.
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07-27-2016, 02:34 PM
#44913 (7)
Don't have any screenshots anymore, but the ones for FFXIV are really nice.

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07-27-2016, 05:40 PM
#44932 (8)
(07-27-2016, 02:34 PM)snow Wrote: Don't have any screenshots anymore, but the ones for FFXIV are really nice.

[Image: 687474703a2f2f692e696d6775722e636f6d2f37...342e706e67]

Man, you weren't kidding. It's like a completely different game.

All in One
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07-27-2016, 07:47 PM
#44935 (9)
Next time I play Saints Row 2 I'll definitely use some of these presets. They really liven the game up.

[Image: 68747470733a2f2f752e706f6d662e69732f766d...692e706e67]

Subnautica and New Vegas had some pretty nice looking ones as well.

That ASCII mode is also one of the greatest features that I've seen in a while.


[Image: 68747470733a2f2f752e706f6d662e69732f6f6d...762e706e67]

[Image: 68747470733a2f2f752e6e79612e69732f6b7364717a782e706e67]
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flat is justice
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07-27-2016, 07:58 PM
#44938 (10)
(07-27-2016, 05:40 PM)RevonZZ Wrote:
(07-27-2016, 02:34 PM)snow Wrote: Don't have any screenshots anymore, but the ones for FFXIV are really nice.

[Image: 687474703a2f2f692e696d6775722e636f6d2f37...342e706e67]

Man, you weren't kidding. It's like a completely different game.

This is a really good screenshot because the biggest thing I noticed was the color from the water. It really is gorgeous.

07-27-2016, 09:53 PM
#44940 (11)
(07-27-2016, 11:21 AM)cyka Wrote: can this get you vac?

It will definitely get you vac'd.

EDIT: well maybe not vac'd, but I know some people have been banned by Blizzard for using this with Overwatch.
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07-27-2016, 09:55 PM
#44942 (12)
(07-27-2016, 11:21 AM)cyka Wrote: can this get you vac?

No, you won't get a VAC for using this. Here are 2 threads I would recommend checking out if you feel uneasy about it:

Reddit Disscusion about it:

Someone that works for Valve:
(If you want the full thread for that reply, top right corner of the page to view full thread)