Art of Eorzea: 10 Step ReShade Filter Guide

Welcome to another edition of Art of Eorzea. This is the sister column to ‘Echoes of Eorzea’ and is dedicated to the artistic side of Final Fantasy XIV. In this series have already covered ‘Screenshot Basics’ and an ‘In-depth Depth of Field’ guide, however, within the very first article I specified that I’d be exploring many aspects of screenshot photography,  expanding on each area, such as DoF, color theory, framing and lighting.

To ascertain what would be the most useful subject to cover next in this series, I asked the FFXIV community on Twitter by use of a poll. The highest percentage fell upon the creation of a ReShade preset guide and, as ReShade very heavily falls into the creative side of gaming, it’s a very worthy subject to be covering in my opinion. I really hope that this article can be of some use to you on some level. If you don’t know what ReShade is, the following articles may be of some use:

ReShade Install Guide
ReShade Settings Guide
ReShade Depth of Field Guide

Before I continue I would like to take a moment to emphasize that I am no expert, and any creative opinions are entirely subjective (my experience can be found here). The following advice and tips are just explanations of the way I do things, they may not be perfect in the slightest!

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Late afternoon in La Noscea.

Results will vary based on time of day, character clothing, hair color, skin tone, weather, how vivid the color in the environment is and many other factors. I’ve tested the preset in both day and night conditions and it ‘seems’ to work well (unless the light is too bright). Hopefully by the end of this article you will know enough to be able to adjust your filter to suit your environment.

Where to begin?

The first thing I think of when beginning the creation of a filter is an imagined ideal end result. Do I want it to look autumnal, or stark, or suitable for portraits? With the help of the new Group Pose time-stop feature, creating filters suited to environments has become a lot less stressful as you can now pause the time of day when entering GPose.

Today I will be starting with my usual filter basics and then leave you with some optional extras which will allow you to easily tweak the look of the filter.

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Tip: Keep in mind that, even though you create your filter for a certain environment, you can test it out alongside the GPose filters and various lighting environments to see if it becomes more versatile.

Basic 10 Step ReShade Filter

SHADERS

For each shader I mention, I will reference the description from the ReShade Settings Guide (or summarize it) alongside my own comments if applicable. Ideally, this will be a basic environmental filter which will emphasize color, contrast and image depth with slight sharpening.

For the sake of comparison this preset was created at the Last Vigil in Ishgard.

Important: Please remember to disable GPose ‘Depth of Field’ setting before creating any sort of filter preset (it will throw off your DoF and sharpening).

The video above shows the before and after stages of this ReShade preset as well as some of the variables each shader can achieve. Sadly my screen recorder (Action!) crashed the game six times while trying to film the creation live, so I had to go back to film afterwards with OBS (and pray Ishgard weather conditions didn’t change). The best I could do was to deconstruct and reconstruct the filter to show you how the layers build up, I do apologize that there was not more. Should you not be able to discern the settings from the screenshots, they are available within the video. I have tried to not go over the top with the filter and maintain a relatively ‘neutral but enhanced’ look, though I’m not sure if I succeeded or failed in that regard but I hope you like the results.

ONE | MXAO

MXAO is at the top of my list because it gives me a good idea where character and object shading is going to be, then when it comes to adding in the contrast and brightness in other shaders. This way I’ve got a good idea what I’m working with and I won’t go overboard on the shadows, which could create very heavy and jagged lines.

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Description: In Final Fantasy XIV ReShade, MXAO creates a very noticeable difference between images, creating depth and shade.

“MXAO can both apply little shading almost for free or heavy shading for screenshots to completely change the look of the scenery.” Source.

Keep in mind that this is an environmentally dependent preset, so one set of values may work for certain hairstyles, yet for others, you might have to pull the slider to the opposite side and lessen the intensity to create a more subtle effect or compensate for certain shapes. The most important slider here is Sample Radius (determines where the shadow will sit), so set that first before altering the others.

TWO | Adaptive Sharpen

Next, let’s sharpen the image a little to provide slightly cleaner lines and emphasise features.

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Description: Adaptive Sharpen is versatile and its primary use is to provide definition around objects within an image. I tend to use this option in its default form more than any other sharpening shader. You may increase the sharpening strength to suit your need, although I would recommend having lower values for wider distance shots as it may make the image look very grainy or cartoon-like.

THREE | Tonemap

Tonemap might seem a rather extreme addition to the filter at this point and ‘washes out’ a lot of the color but when I build a filter I think in terms of building blocks. This shader provides the ability to lay down the foundation of the color changes and also provides the ability to make some basic contrast and brightness alterations. Keep in mind you can always come back to this at a later stage and make some careful adjustments.

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Description: Tonemap is another color manipulation setting incorporating Gamma, Exposure, Saturation, and Bleach. However, the most important feature of Tonemap is the Defog setting. The color you choose in the bottom right is the color it will remove from the image.

FOUR | Clarity

Although subtle, I feel that clarity adds some more image depth that MXAO doesn’t quite capture and emphasizes objects in the image a little more with out excessive sharpening.

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Description: Clarity essentially emphasizes the shadows in the image to provide more contrast. This shader is somewhat similar to the ‘strengthened effects’ GPose filter. There is a lot of flexibility in this preset and it’s well worth spending some time on as your image can get a great boost from it.

FIVE | Levels

Levels will act as the base for the image contrast, as you can see in comparison to image three, it has become significantly more bold and less ‘washed out’.

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Description: Levels only has two settings to worry about, BlackPoint and WhitePoint. BlackPoint emphasizes the dark areas and WhitePoint, the lighter areas. This is a very simplistic way of adding contrast to the image.

SIX | FilmicPass

This shader is very much personal choice but I absolutely love including it within my presets, it makes the tones quite unique but keep in mind you may have to balance other settings around it. The shader itself also has great control of lighting and saturation so it’s great for multi-purpose use.

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Description: FilmicPass provides both contrast and background darkening. The most important values to keep an eye on are Strength, Fade, Contrast, Linearization, Bleach, EffectGamma and Saturation. The values required for a daytime shot will be quite different as these values will over expose your character quite badly because they are designed to compensate for low light.

SEVEN | DPX

Here I’m using DPX to emphasize the cooler tones without losing saturation, depth or contrast.

Description: DPX is a powerful preset in terms of the color manipulation of your image. You have control over Contrast, Saturation, Colorfulness, Strength, RBG Curve and RBGc.These settings are relatively safe to play about with to see the color alterations that can be achieved. Having a play works best for a preset such as this.

EIGHT | Tint

Changing the color tone of your image can have a huge impact on your final image and in this instance I’m using the tint to add a slight warmth back into the more pale tones such as Novi’s skin and the sky. In effect, I am replacing the warm tones of the were lessened by Tonemap/DPX, but these tones are artificial and of my own choosing.

If I add a tint into images it may be necessary go back and edit the Tonemap again to make sure that the color balance is as desired.

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Description: Sepia is a handy setting to use if you wish to subtly tint one of your presets. Just modify the RGB value (or enter your desired hex code) and adjust the strength. 

NINE | Technicolor2

In all honesty I don’t know how my brain works, but here I can only assume that I’m using Technicolor2 to emphasize both the cold and (artificial) warm tone structure developed using the other color management shaders. In all honesty, I just do what my eyes tell me to!

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Description: The technicolor setting aims to recreate the Technicolor three-strip process. Technicolor 2 has slightly more versatility and may play a useful part in slight alterations of color in conjunction with other settings.

TEN | Depth of Field

As a photographer I enjoy using depth of field in my images above any other style or technique, the same goes for my Final Fantasy XIV images. I don’t seem to be capable of creating a preset without it!

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Description: The depth of field variables within the ReShade presets are possibly some of the more complex options in the lineup and can very easily break, so pay attention to what you are changing and note the value before changing it. For a standard preset with simple DoF, I will turn on the DOF_AUTOFOCUS and DOF_MOUSEDRIVEN_AF in the general DoF settings. Mouse driven AF simply means the mouse will determine where the focal level is detected. [Full DoF Guide here.]

Why leave DoF until last? It’s easier to see the whole picture during the color/light editing process, and then add in the DoF. If gamma/exposure alterations need to be made because of DoF bloom then you can go back to Tonemap or FilmicPass and alter those settings retrospectively.

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Landscape versatility: Filter used in Eastern La Noscea on a bright, clear day.

Note: You are absolutely not obligated to use all of these shaders or even replicate the settings I have used. A similar filter could be achieved in fewer steps but I feel each of the color altering shaders offers something unique and it’s just my preference to use a few of them during the process of creating a filter base such as this one. I also based the main chunk of this shader around color and contrast management because these are the foundations of all my presets. Many other additional shader choices would be down to personal taste such as adding blooms, lens flares or special effects, so working with the basics seemed logical.

Please, please remember to back up your presets!

Optional Extras

The above video displays some of the capabilities and uses of the addition shaders mentioned below.
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DepthHaze

If you’d like to add a little more depth and interest to your images, depth haze is a great way to do it. From steamy pools to eerie forests, this is a fantastic and versatile shader.

Description: Depth Haze is similar to Adaptive Fog although far more subtle. The shader places a fog effect in the far distance.

Adaptive Fog

Description: Similar to DepthHaze but with greater flexibility and stronger effects. This preset is also wonderful for creating silhouette images for the background with the right configuration. It also makes a great green-screen!

Emphasize

Description: Emphasize gives you color in the foreground of the image, fading out to grayscale in the background. You can manually alter the color focus by using the FocusRangeDepth and the ManualFocusDepth.

Ambient Light

Depending on the look you are going for, this shader gives you the ability to add a soft lighting effect without losing the sharpening effect from Adaptive Sharpen (as you may do with Gaussian Blur).

Description: This is a great setting for adding not only more light and contrast to your images but allows a subtle ‘bokeh’ type effect that I spent a very long time in the lens flare section looking for!

Magic Bloom

Description: Ideal if you want to add a slight bloom to your image without losing too much clarity. It is a wonderful effect, but sometimes this shader is bugged unless moved to the top of the use list in the preset .ini file. Please do not make modifications to these files if you are a novice user!

Tip: Depending on brightness of day use levels to realign the contrast and exposure.

Why am I not giving the preset away with this article? Simply put, it would defeat the object of me showing you how the filter is made and I’d like you to have a play with the settings! This way you may find something more suited to your tastes visually. If you do have a go please be sure to tag me @aeyvi on twitter to show me your screenshots (I really would love to see them)!

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Portrait aspirations: Although the filter has very warm tones it still seems to work in a dark studio with one subtle GPose light source (level 1) positioned on Novi’s right side.

 

The ReShade Settings guide has a visual index of various other shader settings if you’d like some inspiration.

All the images in this article have been created using the same filter featured in the guide, as versatile as the filter has (luckily) proved to be, not all conditions worked well, as shown below.

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Not so versatile: Light studio environments do not wield the best results.

 

Final Thoughts

If you got this far, thank you so much for taking a look at the article. I can’t tell you how unbelievably grateful I am for the support that I’ve received from the community in regards to this column and my screenshot adventures. If it wasn’t for you I wouldn’t have the confidence to keep working on my screenshot portfolio or write these articles.

I hope above all that this guide has been helpful and informative. Enjoy your new preset!

If you have any questions, advice or comments please don’t hesitate to get in contact either through here, Screenographic or Twitter.

The post Art of Eorzea: 10 Step ReShade Filter Guide appeared first on MMOGames.com.

Art of Eorzea: Depth of Field Basics & ReShade DoF Settings Guide

reshade dof settings guide

Welcome to this special depth of field edition of Art of Eorzea! Today we will be covering depth of field photography principles, the Final Fantasy XIV Group Pose depth of field settings and (almost!) the entire list of the ReShade DoF settings. This is a very long article and so I would urge you to use the index below if you are here looking for specific information, alternatively you can search the page using ‘Ctrl & F’. Each of the ReShade DoF settings have been listed exactly as they are written in ReShade to make searching this article easier.

For those who have not read this column before, Art of Eorzea is the sister column to Echoes of Eorzea and is a series primarily of screenshot photography and art based articles which begin to introduce the technical and practical aspects of photography when combined with in-game screenshots and screenshot art. The first in this series ‘Art of Eorzea: FFXIV Screenshot Basics‘ briefly covers a range of principles which are to be elaborated upon in subsequent editions, such as color theory, framing, and of course depth of field.

This article is a huge undertaking for me, especially the ReShade settings section as there are so many variables and options involved, it’s almost impossible to visually represent all of the capabilities of the program. I sincerely apologize in advance if I have made any mistakes. I will be reviewing this article frequently to make additions and alterations if necessary.

For those who are familiar with all the photographic principles, please forgive me but I feel it’s only right to go over them in more detail for this guide even though they were briefly covered in the first ‘Screenshot Basics’ article. Feel free to skip ahead!

Index

Depth of Field Explained
FFXIV GPose DoF Settings
ReShade DoF Settings
ReShade: Ring DoF
ReShade: Magic DoF
ReShade: GP DoF
ReShade: Matso DoF
ReShade: Marty McFly DoF
Notes & Disclaimers

A general ReShade settings guide which explains most of the ReShade settings can be found here!

Note: For the majority of the images of the article I have created a purpose-built apartment room to display example settings used (the location is listed at the end of the article, feel free to visit or use the room). Ideally, I would have liked to use a wider landscape showing some of the beautiful locations in the game, however, with continual light and weather changes it proved too difficult to keep the images uniform.

Depth of Field Explained

In photographic terms, depth of field is used to highlight certain objects within an image or direct the viewer’s eye in a certain way. By definition, it is the area of an image that is sharp and clear when objects in the foreground or background remain blurry.

Types of Depth of field

Deep
The image is mostly entirely sharp, it can emphasize that all subjects in the image have relevance from foreground to background.

reshade dof settings

Medium
Objects in the foreground are in focus and being highlighted, while background details are blurred but still identifiable allowing the image to retain context and allowing the viewer to know that the secondary elements are still relevant to the whole image.

Shallow
Shallow depth of field is used to focus on one specific subject and highlight it. It can also turn a messy background into a wash of color or blur, allowing the focus of the image to be clear and prominent.

reshade dof guide

 

What Creates Depth of field?

The zone of sharpness depends on three main factors; the aperture of the lens, the distance between the lens and subject, and the focal length of the lens. Also (this relates to ReShade setting “DOF_FOCUSPOINT”) the beginning and end of the zone of sharpness will be determined by where you choose to focus the lens.

1. Aperture

The measurement of the aperture is known as the f-number, the smaller the number, the larger the opening and vice versa. If you think of the human eye, if there is a large amount of light, the iris will be very small. So, a large aperture would be f/2.8, and a small aperture would be f/22.

F/2.8: Large aperture, large opening. Would indicate a shallow (blurred background) depth of field.

F/8: Medium aperture, medium opening. Would indicate subject and midground are in focus with the background blurred but still identifiable.

F/22: Small aperture, small opening. Would indicate a deep depth of field (sharper image in both foreground and background).

In Short:

Large aperture = Small f-number = Shallow (small) depth of field.
Small aperture = Larger f-number = Deeper (larger) depth of field.

2. Subject Distance

The closer your camera is to the subject the less depth of field you will have in your image and vice versa. This is something you can even use your smartphone to test out by focusing it on an object near to you, then focus it in the midground, then background. You should see a noticeable difference in blur surrounding the closest object (assuming your phone has autofocus).

3. Focal Length

The focal length of the lens determines how much it can see, and how magnified a subject appears in the frame. Shorter focal length lenses (<50mm) have a wider angle of view, so the subject takes up less of the frame than if it was shot at the same distance with a lens with a larger focal length (telephoto). Due to the image being magnified with longer focal length lenses, as too is the blur in the background so it appears as a more shallow depth of field. Shorter focal lengths offer a greater or more clear image from foreground to background.

4. Focal Point

The point at which you focus the lens will affect where the zone of sharpness will begin and end. The depth of field extends from about one third in front of the subject to two thirds behind.

Now, of course in Final Fantasy XIV we do not have a ‘real’ camera or lens to control, but I feel the theory behind this principle is important as it may help understand how the ReShade settings relate to real life photography.

 

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FFXIV GPose DoF Settings

In the Group Pose tool (GPose)  there is a built-in depth of field setting on the first tab. gpose dof settings

If the number is low (0), the objects in the close foreground will become slightly blurred or out of focus and objects. If the number is high, the setting will produce a large depth of field, meaning almost no blur.

You will want to use the GPose setting on a higher number if your character or object is very close to the ‘camera’.

gpose dof settings

Double-click to enlarge. GPose DoF is off in the left image, and on in the right image.

The GPose depth of field setting, though a wonderful addition to the tool, is limited and produces a very subtle gaussian blur effect. In some circumstances, it may not appear to work at all depending on the emote and zoom that you choose for your image, as the axis for the camera, zoom value and emote placement can ‘confuse’ the value on the depth of field slider and result in subtle blurring of the whole image. The effect is applied on the basis of where the camera is physically sitting in-game, however, the zoom slider value only magnifies the image and does not move the camera’s placement.

gpose dof settings

Double-click to enlarge. The differences are very subtle and may only be noticeable when viewing the image at full size.

The higher value, the more depth of field there is (greater clarity) and the lower end of the slider makes things more blurry.

If you want to see a clearer marker for how the depth of field settings are affecting your image, keep an eye on the ‘band’ of focus along the floor as you switch the slider from 0 to 10 (you’re more likely to be able to see this in a confined space such as an inn room or apartment).

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ReShade DoF Settings

Below I will list the ReShade depth of field settings in turn along with their tooltip and a short description if applicable. Example screenshots will be provided for as many settings as possible to more easily identify what the setting is capable of. However, some settings work in conjunction with other settings and so 1-100 results could be produced (so I’ve chosen an image that most clearly represents the setting).

The ‘Reshade Basic Settings’ section lists the standard depth of field settings that apply for all shaders. Each shader has additional settings, which are listed separately below, but the settings will nearly always be on default to display the various effects each shader can produce. Not every setting can be elaborated on, as the tooltip may already contain enough information.

Please remember to disable GPose depth of field before changing the settings in ReShade, otherwise, it will apply its own blur in addition to that of ReShade.

Note: For this guide, I will be leaving MXAO OFF and trying to include my ReShade window in most screenshots so that a wider variety of settings can be viewed and checked.

Terms:

Bokeh
In photography, bokeh is the aesthetic quality of the blur produced in the out-of-focus parts of an image produced by a lens. Bokeh has been defined as “the way the lens renders out-of-focus points of light. (Source)

Chromatic Aberration
Chromatic aberration, also known as “color fringing” or “purple fringing”, is a common optical problem that occurs when a lens is either unable to bring all wavelengths of color to the same focal plane, and/or when wavelengths of color are focused at different positions in the focal plane. Chromatic aberration is caused by lens dispersion, with different colors of light traveling at different speeds while passing through a lens. As a result, the image can look blurred or noticeable colored edges (red, green, blue, yellow, purple, magenta) can appear around objects, especially in high-contrast situations. (Source)

LDR
Light Dependent Resistor: An LDR is a component that has a (variable) resistance that changes with the light intensity that falls upon it. (Source)

Basic ReShade Settings

Basic ReShade settings apply across the board to whichever depth of field shader you have toggled on.

Please, please back up all your .ini files before playing with any settings. I say this in every guide but it’s so very important.

Note: The first set of standard DoF setting shown here will be displayed using ‘MatsoDOF’ toggled on unless specified otherwise.

Note: Don’t be scared of the scary looking names for the settings (it’s been a reaction from anyone I’ve shown the settings list to!)

DOF_AUTOFOCUS
Tooltip: Enables automated focus recognition based on samples around the autofocus center.

Derives its autofocus target from DOF_FOCUSPOINT or MOUSEDRIVEN_AF. I would recommend that this is turned ON otherwise other settings will not work. This is a bit of a fiddly setting to use in conjunction with the focus point, so I would always opt for MOUSEDRIVEN_AF as that will give you the most control of subject focus (but keep this setting on even with mousedriven AF).

DOF_MOUSEDRIVEN_AF
Tooltip: Enables mouse-driven autofocus. The AF point is read from the mouse coordinates, otherwise, DOF_FOCUSPOINT is used.

The depth of field will focus where your mouse pointer is, works in conjunction with DOF_AUTOFOCUS.  I would recommend that this is turned on unless you are creating a filter where you wish to manually set a constant depth of field focus area. Please make sure DOF_AUTOFOCUS dropdown is set to ON.

reshade dof settings

Double-click to enlarge. Example image showing MOUSEDRIVEN_AF/mouseover focus on.

DOF_FOCUSPOINT
Tooltip: X and Y coordinates of the autofocus center. Axes start from upper left screen corner.

Works in conjunction with DOF_AUTOFOCUS to which it gives the X and Y coordinates of where the central focus point should be. For the example, I have set the focus to the location of Novi’s head area, I have included a copy of the ReShade values for reference (below). This is a good option for maintaining a centralized focus on a subject you know will be in a constant place on the screen. Further settings will expand from this area such as  DOF_FOCUSRADIUS.

Note: This setting is more easily used with a visual guide/curtain in place – please see iGPDOFQuality below for more information. If you wish to use GP position for your focus point you will need to have the DoF shader GP65CJ042DOF toggled on instead of MatsoDOF, but you can switch back to Matso once you’ve positioned the focus.

reshade dof settings

Double-click to enlarge. Example image showing DOF_FOCUSPOINT values.

 

DOF_FOCUSSAMPLES
Tooltip: Amount of samples around the focus point for smoother focal plane detection.

DOF_FOCUSRADIUS
Tooltip: Radius of samples around the focus point.

Manual focus point: Seems to invert the focus area. Works in conjunction with DOF_FOCUSSAMPLES. Increases and decreases the area of focus determined by the DOF_FOCUSPOINT.

reshade dof settings

Double-click to enlarge. Example image showing DOF_FOCUSRADIUS values.

Note: At this point, I have reverted settings to default, turned DOF_MOUSEDRIVEN_AF off.


DOF_NEARBLURCURVE
Tooltip: Curve of blur closer than focal plane. Higher means less blur.

Blur in front of the focus point, determined by the values in the DOF_FOCUSPOINT.

DOF_FARBLURCURVE
Tooltip: Curve of blur behind the focal plane. Higher means less blur.

Blur behind of the focus point, determined by the values in the DOF_FOCUSPOINT mentioned above, only as we have reset the values, we will be altering the focus point after setting the far blur.

I will explain these two together as they are practically the same but appear in the background and foreground (imagine a curtain of blur behind and in front of your character/focus). Check that your character or focal point is in focus, then drag the slider of DOF_FARBLURCURVE to align the ‘curtain’ of blur behind the subject at your preferred distance. For the DOF_NEARBLURCURVE I tilted my camera up and slowly decreased the value in the settings box. This setting can be a bit jumpy so I set it to a low value then manually typed in the number, increasing it by 0.100 each time.

reshade dof settings

Double-click to enlarge. ReShade values for DOF_NEARBLURCURVE (foreground blur curtain)/DOF_FARBLURCURVE (background blur curtain).

 

DOF_MANUALFOCUSDEPTH
Tooltip: Depth of focal plane when autofocus is off. 0.0 means camera, 1.0 means infinite distance.

This setting only needs to be used if you choose to have the autofocus (DOF_AUTOFOCUS) turned off. When the AF is off, your image subject is no longer chosen by the focal point specified earlier in the settings. To have this focus on a relatively close subject you will have to use a low value, and once again, the slider is very sensitive in confined spaces (such as the studio I’m using) so manually entering (by double-clicking on the value) a low number around 0.040 should work. Combining manual focus, near and far curves and infinite focus is very useful for presets such those for weddings if you want a constant background blur in a given place.

DOF_INFINITEFOCUS
Tooltip: Distance at which depth is considered as infinite. 1.0 is standard. Low values only produce out of focus blur when focus object is very close to the camera. Recommended for gaming.

From what I can see this is for setting a focus area when both DOF_AUTOFOCUS and DOF_MOUSEDRIVEN_AF are both off. The higher the value,  the more blurred the distance is.

reshade dof settings

Double-click to enlarge. ReShade values for DOF_INFINITEFOCUS.

DOF_BLURRADIUS
Tooltip: Maximal blur radius in pixels.

By far, one of my favorite settings! The higher the value, the more blur and loss of distinction you will have in the background. This is an important setting if you want to make stars and the particle effect more pronounced and glowy! Higher value means more blur and wider bokeh effect (yey!).

reshade dof settings

Double-click to enlarge. ReShade values for DOF_BLURRADIUS (how blurry the depth of field effect is).

Back to the top!

Basic DOF settings have been reset to default. Toggle OFF MatsoDoF and turn ON RingDoF.

RingDOF

reshade dof settings

Double-click to enlarge. Near and far focus view of the default RingDOF setting. As standard, objects in the background will have a red and green halo effect.

iRingDOFSamples
Tooltip: Samples on the first ring. The other rings around have more samples.

Works in conjunction with iRingDOF Rings and explanation will continue below.

iRingDOFRings
Tooltip: Ring count.

To view the effects of the iRingDOFRings, put this and the iRingDOFSamples on a low-value number. You will see a very fragmented green and red halo effect (shown in the upper image). If you keep the iRingDOFRings on a low value and raise the iRingDOFSamples to the highest value (30) you will see that it smoothes out the effect but it’s still fragmented. If you then raise the value of iRingDOFRings to the highest value (8) you will see that the fragments lose all definition and the depth of field effect is very blurred and smooth with a green and red halo.

reshade dof settings

Double-click to enlarge. Example showing the various value options for iRingDOFSamples and iRingDOFRings.

Double-click to enlarge. An additional example in low light, showing value options for iRingDOFSamples and iRingDOFRings.

fRingDOFThreshhold
Tooltip: Threshold for bokeh brightening. Above this value, everything gets much brighter. 1.0 is a maximum value for LDR games like GTA:SA, higher values work only on HDR games like Skyrim etc.

The lower the value in this field,  the brighter lit objects and the surrounding effect become. Works in conjunction with fRingDOFGain.

fRingDOFGain
Tooltip: Amount of brightening for pixels brighter than the threshold.

Works in conjunction with fRingDOFThreshold above. Using the threshold control at lower values, the fRingDOFGain can be used to further control the intensity of light being exaggerated by the threshold above.

fRingDOFBias
Tooltip: Bokeh bias.

Emphasizes the bokeh effect from any light source. Use with care as it can wield some pretty scary results in normal studio conditions!

reshade dof settings

Double-click to enlarge. Example showing fRingDOFBias values in combination with the other DoF shader values shown.

dof reshade settings

Alternative lighting for fRingDOFBias.

fRingDOFFringe
Tooltip: Amount of chromatic aberration.

Increases the amount of red and green halo (displaced color) around the edges objects in the image.

reshade dof settings

Double-click to enlarge. Example showing fRingDOFFringe setting.

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Basic DOF settings have been reset to default. Toggle OFF RingDoF and turn ON MagicDOF.

MagicDOF

iMagicDOFBlurQuality
Tooltip: Blur quality as control value over tap count. Quality 15 produces 721 taps, impossible with other DOF shaders by far, most they can do is about 150.

Smoothes or fragments the depth of field effect. At lower values, the appearance is fragmented, at higher values, the effect is very smooth.

reshade dof settings

Double-click to enlarge. Example showing the iMagicDOFBlurQuality at highest and lowest values.

fMagicDOFColorCurve
Tooltip: DOF weighting curve.

High values produce a halo effect and brighten bokeh effects on subjects within the image. Lower values produce a more crisp definition around a subject that is the focus of the picture, as well as those in the rest of the image (this setting may change effect depending on what your DOF_BLURRADIUS), is set to.

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Basic DOF settings have been reset to default. Toggle OFF Magic DOF and turn ON GP65CJ042DOF.

GP65CJ042DOF

iGPDOFQuality
Tooltip: 0= only slight gaussian far blur but no bokeh. 1-7 bokeh blur, higher means a better quality of blur but less FPS.

This setting is so useful to place your DOF_FOCUSPOINT (mentioned above in the ReShade Basic DoF Settings). At a value of ‘0’ the shader creates a black curtain that shows you where your depth of field focus. If you scroll back up to DOF_FOCUSPOINT in your ReShade and modify some of the numbers, the curtain will be placed in the corresponding coordinates. This helps me align my manual focus point.

bGPDOFPolygonalBokeh
Tooltip: Enables polygonal bokeh shape, e.g. POLYGON_NUM 5 means more pentagonal bokeh shape. Setting this value to false results in circular bokeh shape.

On/off switch for effect.

iGPDOFPolygonalCount
Tooltip: Controls the number of polygons for polygonal bokeh shape. 3 = triangular, 4 = square, 5 = pentagonal etc.

To be able to display this shader effect properly I have firstly turned on DOF_MOUSEDRIVEN_AF so that the mouse cursor will choose my focal point, and also set the DOF_BLURRADIUS to 17.300 to emphasize the bokeh shaping. These two settings are near the top of the general DOF.FX options (covered above). The GPose ‘Particle’ effect will also be used for this example along with lower lighting conditions.

This setting basically allows you to change the shape of the bokeh effect.

reshade dof settings

Double-click to enlarge. Example showing the iGPDOFPolygonCount at values 3,4,5 and 8.

fGPDOFBias
Tooltip: Shifts bokeh weighting to bokeh shape edge. Set to 0 for even bright bokeh shapes (shown above), raise it for darker bokeh shapes in the center and brighter on the edge.

Provides bokeh shape definition. Allows you to change the bokeh shape from hollow (just the outline) to a filled glowing shape.

fGPDOFBiasCurve
Tooltip: Power of bokeh bias. Raise for more defined bokeh outlining on bokeh shape edge.

fGPDOFBrightnessThreshold
Tooltip: Threshold for bokeh brightening. Above this value, everything gets much brighter. 1.0 is a maximum value for LDR games like GTASA, higher values work only on HDR games like Skyrim etc.

fGPDOFBrightnessMultiplier
Tooltip: Amount of brightening for pixels brighter than fGPDOFBrightnessThreshold.

Additional brightening for the bokeh effect.

fGPDOFChromaAmount
Tooltip: Amount of color shifting applied on blurred areas.

reshade dof settings

Double-click to enlarge. Example showing the difference between low and high values fGPDOFChromaAmount.

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Basic DOF settings have been reset to default. Toggle GP65CJ042DOF and turn ON MatsoDOF.

MatsoDOF

bMatsoDOFChromaEnable
Tooltip: Enables chromatic aberration. (For definition see ‘Terms’ above).

On/off switch for effect.

fMatsoDOFChromaPow
Tooltip: Amount of chromatic aberration color shifting.

Color distortion within the image creating RBG shifts of the original object.

Double-click to enlarge. Example image showing fMatsoDOFChromaPow color shifts.

fMatsoDOFBokehCurve
Tooltip: Bokeh curve

reshade dof settings

Double-click to enlarge. Example showing the difference between low and high values fMatsoDOFBokehCurve.

iMatsoDOFBokehQuality
Tooltip: Blur quality as control value over tap count.

reshade dof settings

Double-click to enlarge (the effect is not very visible unless viewed full-size). Example showing the difference between low and high values iMatsoDOFBokehQuality.

Sharpens/disperses bokeh light sources at low values, creating pretty little flower patterns!

fMatsoBokehAngle
Tooltip: Rotation angle of bokeh shape.

Possibly the most fun setting out of this bunch, you can effectively turn the sparkles into bokeh glowy rain! I’ve changed the value to 78.000 for this example.

reshade dof settings

Double-click to enlarge. Example showing fMatsoBokehAngle at value 78.000.

Not such a great effect for the studio!

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Basic DOF settings have been reset to default. Toggle OFF MatsoDOF and toggle ON MartyMcFlyDOF.

MartyMcFlyDOF

This is, by far, the most extensive shader of the those discussed in this article. For most images in this section, I have used a focus point of 0.160/0.900 with autofocus on and mouse driven AF off (though under usual circumstances I always have mouse driven autofocus on). One of the reasons I enjoy this shader so much is because you have many on/off switches so in effect it feels a little safer. The other shaders often have settings that impact all other settings, so if you make a mistake and forget what the default value was, it can be annoying and break filter. With the MartyMcFlyDOF you can simply turn the setting off if you don’t wish them to impact on the other settings. I feel this allows you more freedom to experiment without instantly breaking the whole thing (as I’ve done many times)! The general DoF settings still impact on this shader. Many of these settings are best displayed using the ‘Particle’ effect from the GPose settings in low light.

iADOF_ShapeQuality
Tooltip: Quality level of DOF shape. Higher means more offsets are taken, cleaner shape but also less performance. Compilation time stays same.

As mentioned in the tooltip the higher value can be very performance intensive. My first instinct was to set it to 255 and I barely scraped 1fps! At a low value the effect disperses the particle light effects creating tiny falling flowers (as seen above but larger).

fADOF_ShapeRotation
Tooltip: Static rotation of bokeh shape.

bADOF_RotAnimationEnable
Tooltip: Enables constant shape rotation in time.

On/off switch for effect. This setting enables the little bokeh stars to rotate on the spot or as they are moving. It’s a beautiful effect but not very useful for static screenshots.

fADOF_RotAnimationSpeed
The speed of shape rotation. Negative numbers change direction.

bADOF_ShapeCurvatureEnable
Tooltip: Bends edges of polygonal shape outwards (or inwards). Circular shape best with vertices >7.

On/off switch for effect.

fADOF_ShapeCurvatureAmount
Tooltip: Amount of edge bending. 1.0 results in a circular shape. Values below 0 produce star-like shapes.

Double-click to enlarge. Example image showing fADOF_ShapeCurvatureAmount values.

bADOF_ShapeApertureEnable
Tooltip: Enables deformation of bokeh shape into a swirl-like aperture. You will recognize it when you try it out. Best with big bokeh shapes.

On/off switch for effect.

reshade dof settings

Double-click to enlarge. Example image showing bADOF_ShapeApertureEnable on.

fADOF_ShapeApertureAmount
Tooltip: Amount of deformation. Negative values mirror the effect.

This effect is advised for large bokeh effects though in the example image you will be able to see the effect anyway. The setting effectively swirls the bokeh shape and makes it look like tiny swirly star shapes.

bADOF_ShapeAnamorphEnable
Tooltip: Lessens horizontal width of the shape to simulate anamorphic bokeh shape seen in movies.

On/off switch for effect.

fADOF_ShapeAnamorphRatio
Tooltip: Horizontal width factor. 1.0 means 100% width, 0.0 means 0% width (bokeh shape will be vertical line).

Ever wanted to make pixel rain? Now you can! By having particle effect, the bADOF_ShapeTextureAmount on 1 and switching this setting to 0!

reshade dof settings

Double-click to enlarge. Example showing fADOF_ShapeAnamorphRatio at the value of 0.

bADOF_ShapeDistortEnable
Tooltip: Deforms bokeh shape at screen borders to simulate lens distortion. Bokeh shapes at screen edges look like an egg.

On/off switch for effect.

fADOF_ShapeDistortAmount
Tooltip: Amount of deformation.

This setting effectively distorts the bokeh effect by slightly squishing it horizontally.

bADOF_ShapeDiffusionEnable
Tooltip: Enables some fuzziness of bokeh shape, makes it less clearly defined.

On/off switch for effect.

fADOF_ShapeDiffusionAmount
Tooltip: Amount of shape diffusion. High values look like the bokeh shape exploded.

Can produce a frozen glass-like effect for your background blur.

reshade dof settings

Double-click to enlarge. Example showing fADOF_ShapeDiffusionAmount values.

reshade dof settings

The same setting under studio conditions.

bADOF_ShapeWeightEnable
Tooltip: Enables bokeh shape weight bias and shifts color to the shape borders.

On/off switch for effect. Gives the appearance that the bokeh effect is hollowed out, effectively darkens the internal area of shapes and subjects. Be careful with the settings as they are quite sensitive and you could end up looking like someone has drawn thick charcoal lines around objects in your image.

reshade dof settings

Double-click to enlarge. Example showing the bADOF_ShapeWeightEnable setting on and off.

fADOF_ShapeWeightCurve
Tooltip: Curve of shape weight bias.

Lower value input means that the darkness around objects becomes thicker.

fADOF_ShapeWeightAmount
Tooltip: Amount of shape weight bias.

Spreads the darkness effect from ‘internal’ shadow (displayed in the first image above) to edge shadow. This is perhaps not the best environment to display this setting so I may review this at a later date.

fADOF_BokehCurve
Tooltip: Bokeh factor. Higher values produce more defined bokeh shapes for separated bright spots.

A higher value in this box will increase the intensity of any light source producing the bokeh effect within the image. This is a great setting if you wish to emphasize the stars.

reshade dof settings

Double-click to enlarge. Example showing the fADOF_BokehCurve setting.

bADOF_ShapeChromaEnable
Tooltip: Enables chromatic aberration at bokeh shape borders. This means 3 times more samples = less performance.

On/off switch for effect.

iADOF_ShapeChromaMode
Tooltip: Switches through the possible R G B shifts (6 modes).

A selection of color combinations to choose from, for this screenshot below I have kept the bADOF_ShapeTextureAmount on 1 and used Mode 4 with the GPose ‘Particle’ effect running.

fADOF_ShapeChromaAmount
Tooltip: Amount of color shifting.

A higher the value in this setting, the more stretched out the ‘stars’ become.

Double-click to enlarge. Example showing iADOF_ShapeChromaMode in Mode 4 with the fADOF_ShapeChromaAmount set to 0.250 and GPose particle effect on. bADOF_ShapeTextureAmount is also set to 1.

bADOF_ImageChromaEnable
Tooltip: Enables image chromatic aberration at screen corners. This one is way more complex than the shape chroma (and any other chroma on the web).

On/off switch for effect.

iADOF_ImageChromaHues
Tooltip: Amount of samples through the light spectrum to get a smooth gradient.

reshade dof settings

Double-click to enlarge. Example showing the iADOF_ImageChromaHues setting.

Increases the number of colors included in the ‘chroma’ effect. Higher values will create a rainbow halo effect and also an almost warped-like distortion around the edges of the image.

fADOF_ImageChromaCurve
Tooltip: Image chromatic aberration curve. Higher means less chroma at screen center areas.

Slight distortion of the chromatic aberration effect. Lower values result in more blur.

reshaade dof settings

Double-click to enlarge. Example showing the fADOF_ImageChromaCurve setting.

 

fADOF_ImageChromaAmount
Tooltip: Linearly (in a straight line) increases image chromatic aberration amount.

fADOF_ImageSmootheningAmount
Tooltip: Blur multiplicator of box blur after bokeh to smoothen shape. Box blur is better than gaussian.

Makes the depth of field effect even more blurry or softer in appearance, so this setting is fantastic to use in conjunction with a high DOF_BLURRADIUS (mentioned above in the Reshade basic DoF settings) if you want to create additional blur behind your focus point.

reshade dof settings

Double-click to enlarge. Example showing the fADOF_ImageSmootheningAmount setting.

The following settings were listed in the master file, however these do not (yet) appear in my version of ReShade 3.0 nor in a friends copy of 3.1 but I’ve chosen to put them in here just in case!

bADOF_ShapeTextureEnable
Tooltip: Enables the use of a texture overlay. Quite some performance drop.

On/off switch for effect.

iADOF_ShapeTextureSize
Tooltip: Higher texture size means less performance. Higher quality integers better work with detailed shape textures. Uneven numbers recommended because even size textures have no center pixel.

iADOF_ShapeVertices
Tooltip: Polygon count of bokeh shape. 4 = square, 5 = pentagon, 6 = hexagon and so on.

Changes the shape of the bokeh effect from light sources.

bADOF_ImageGrainEnable

Tooltip: Enables some fuzziness in blurred areas. The more out of focus, the more grain.

On/off switch for effect.

fADOF_ImageGrainCurve

Tooltip: Curve of Image Grain distribution. Higher values lessen grain in moderately blurred areas.

fADOF_ImageGrainAmount

Tooltip: Linearly multiplies the amount of Image Grain applied.

fADOF_ImageGrainScale

Tooltip: Grain texture scale. Low values produce more coarse Noise.

Shader Credits: Marty McFly, Matso (Matso DOF), PetkaGtA, gp65cj042.
ReShade Credit:

Crosire

Official Reshade Website.

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Keep in mind!

If your DoF settings ever break completely (this has happened to me several times) copy the [DOF.fx] settings from a ‘plain’ preset .ini (located in your /game folder) and replace that section to have everything back to default.

Disclaimer!

I am honestly no expert in ReShade. This guide is based on my own understanding of each setting, so I apologize if anything written here is incorrect or misleading. Should there be any inaccuracies or additions you would like me to review please drop me an email through the screenograpic website contact page or drop a message down below (or on Twitter). I am still learning and happy to take on constructive feedback. Thank you in advance!

Some of the settings shown here may differ depending on the ‘artificial zoom’ from the GPose camera, also ReShade version. There is a such a huge range of variables within the settings, so the depth of field values will need to be tailored to your specific requirements. I’ve tried my best to briefly summarize the settings for each shader (where necessary) but sadly I cannot cater for every eventuality. I am aware that I have missed ‘LightDOF‘ from this guide, it will be added at a later stage.

In the future, I hope to show a range of ‘how to make your own’ filters for specific environments, but there’s a lot of photographic and Screenographic theory to cover in more depth first, including the ‘Bloom & Lens Flare’ section, color theory, and framing!

For anyone wishing to test these settings in the apartment studio shown throughout this guide, the location of my apartment is in Shirogane – Ward 16 – Apartment 2 – Odin (Chaos data center). The door will be open for anyone to use unless I’m working in it!

Related Articles:

If you managed to get through all of this without your brain melting, congratulations! I truly hope something here has been useful to someone. I wish you the best until I hopefully see you once more in the next edition!

The post Art of Eorzea: Depth of Field Basics & ReShade DoF Settings Guide appeared first on MMOGames.com.

Echoes of Eorzea: ReShade Settings Guide

This week in Echoes of Eorzea I have attempted to formulate a basic ReShade Settings Guide. For those who are perhaps new to ReShade, an earlier edition of Echoes of Eorzea covered a basic ReShade Installation Guide.

If there is anyone who wishes to ask some specific questions regarding the article please leave a message in the comments below or PM me on Twitter.

 

Introduction

The beauty of ReShade is that you can tailor your filter to your environment or requirements if you understand how the settings work. Creating a full preset is like trying to create a menu from a multitude of ingredients. Some work fine on their own but not when mixed with others, and some change and flourish when combined with others. Sometimes you will produce a tasty meal, other times, a pile of sludge.

If the list below looks a little overwhelming then you can search this page for your desired setting using the Ctrl+F shortcut.

This guide is aimed at covering the basic settings and will be going over the capabilities of most shaders, along with example images. The list is more of a companion, to be used as a reference as you learn more about ReShade. If you are an experienced ReShade user I doubt that, sadly, I will be able to offer any new pearls of wisdom!

Before I begin though, I want to emphasize that I am still learning and cannot claim to be a ReShade master (I know there are many out there), however, I’ve been asked to write this up time and time again after others have seen my presets and wanted to know how this can be achieved, and so getting to know the settings is a very important process.

As I also emphasize in any response regarding my own creations, each filter is usually created under specific conditions and therefore works best when those are replicated (and may look terrible or not function elsewhere). For example, my ‘night’ filters can work in some daylight conditions yet more often than not, they will look awful and the colors and contrast are hideous. My current work can be viewed at the Screenographic website.

If you wish to try out a variety of filters, you can find the FFXIV library here. Make sure the preset you download is listed for ReShade and not SweetFX, their configuration files are different.

However, if you are reading this guide then it would seem you are wishing to gain a more in-depth understanding of ReShade in order to create your own presets. There’s no harm in viewing other configuration files to see how other creators have handled their settings.

Sometimes you will find a ‘standard’ filter that adds color, sharpening and shading as these are the fundamentals. However, if you want to delve deeper and create something more unique it’s ideal that you grasp the basic concepts first. I still find myself juggling presets, mixing and matching various settings in hope of achieving something nice (mostly blind luck to be honest). To make your images even more original you can begin to mix in the GPose standard filters and effects.

Even though I will list the settings here I would highly recommend the best way to get used to them is by playing around and seeing how it works. Not every variation will work, as some settings are location dependent and some error, depending on your graphics settings. If your preset is created for a close-up studio shot, it may not work for a location shot (sharpening value changes) yet there is no harm testing each filter you create under different scenarios, the results may surprise you!

Please note: this guide is not intended for those using Stormshade even though some explanations of settings may still be relevant.

 

Important Notes

  • ALWAYS backup your presets. Dropbox is an excellent free tool for this.
    If you are playing with the settings and you create a preset you really like but wish to build on it, go to the folder where your presets are stored (e.g- C:\Program Files (x86)\SquareEnix\FINAL FANTASY XIV – A Realm Reborn\game) then right click on the preset name, copy and paste it. Rename the pasted version. Go back in the game, create a new preset with the same name given to the pasted .ini. The settings will be ported in (or reload) and you can continue playing with the preset without risk to the first. You can always revert to your previous preset and repeat this process if you get in a tangle.
  • Keep organized! Start by minimizing all settings and go through them one by one.There are a lot of settings in ReShade and some settings have a large list of variables. You don’t want to be accidentally shifting the wrong settings or clogging up the list while trying to learn.
  • Ensure your ReShade folder has read-write privileges. One of the most frequent things I hear regarding ReShade is that the file will not save the settings. The only answer I’ve come across for this is that the folder (C:\Program Files (x86)\SquareEnix\FINAL FANTASY XIV – A Realm Reborn\game) does not have Read/Write permissions. It must have these in order for the files to be written. If you still struggle with this, download a basic preset.ini from the FFXIV Library, drop that into your folder, duplicate and rename it. Then go back in the game and into the ReShade menu (shift+f2) and click the + icon. Name the preset to match and then the settings will port in. This will give you a preset to have a play with.

Things that may change how/if a setting will work:
Light day/night, thunder, snow, wind, PC graphics and network speed.

The order of presets in the top list of ReShade may not necessarily match the order of the lower list.

As there is such a vast array of settings so I will not be covering every single one, however, I will be going over the basics and explaining ones that I have found most useful while creating configuration files. Descriptions of lesser used settings will be kept to a minimum even though I will try to cover as much as possible. Settings I use frequently will be marked with a star (*). I will provide some reference images to more easily display the visual impact of the filter.

 

ReShade Settings

I have endeavored to keep the image the same for most filters but those that require close-ups have been created under uniform light conditions in the studio. The settings have been listed in the order they appear in the top menu of ReShade.

The location of the majority of these images have been taken in Upper LaNoscea (X29.7 Y: 24.7), so if you wish to test a ‘faulty’ setting it’s best to go there and compare locations.

 

Adaptive Sharpen
Adaptive Sharpen is versatile and caters for close-up shots and I tend to use this option in its default form more than any other sharpening shader. You may increase the sharpening strength to suit your need although I would recommend having lower values for wider distance shots as it may have the side effect of making the image look very grainy and pixelated.

reshade settings guide

Clarity
Clarity essentially emphasizes the shadows in the image to provide more contrast. Increasing both the ClarityRadius(4), ClarityOffset (4000), ClarityBlendIfLight (170) values, lowering BlendIfDark (25), and selecting Linear Light in the ClarityBlendMode will provide the type of contrast and sharpness displayed in the image below. Thes shader is somewhat similar to the ‘strengthened effects’ GPose filter. There is a lot of flexibility in this preset and it’s well worth spending some time on as your image can get a great boost from it.

HDR
HDR stands for High Dynamic Range. Dynamic range signifies the ratio of light to dark and ideally, those can be balanced to provide a more equal distribution of detail in an image. This setting can be used to provide a boost in saturation and contrast to your image. Increasing the Power value will darken the image and increase the saturation and contrast. Radius 1 and 2 provide a slider ranging from a ‘light>dark>light’ exposure scale. HDR can look very effective if going for a Posterization effect or if you layer it with other effects while building your filters. [Images uses Power: 3.840, Radius1: 3.120, Radius2: 3.280].

Levels
Levels only has two options to worry about, BlackPoint and WhitePoint. BlackPoint emphasizes the dark areas and WhitePoint, the lighter areas. This is a very simplistic way of adding contrast to the image.

Lift Gamma Gain
Lift gamma gain is ideally used in conjunction with other settings in order to emphasize them. LiftGammaGain adjusts the highlights, mid-tones and shadows of red green and blue. You can also use this as a way to recolor your image.

reshade settings guide

SMAA
SMAA is a less resource demanding antialiasing mode. Anti-aliasing smoothes out jagged lines (usually seen around edges of objects).

CA
Adds colored lines around the image, similar to those when wearing 3D glasses. I have displayed the more extreme variables in the image below.

reshade settings guide

Cartoon
The cartoon shader adds a darkening effect to edges to create a comic style appearance. The two options here are based on intensity alone. For the image below I have used a relatively low Power value (2.337) and a lower Edge Slope (0.867) so that the effect did not become too overwhelming.

reshade settings guide

Adaptive Fog
Adaptive Fog is a bit glitchy and location depended (as it needs a lot of depth to determine where to place itself). Many people have problems with this preset so don’t worry if yours doesn’t work. My location is x29.7 y24.7 for this image so you can test whether yours works at this location as mine has. Even during writing this and taking the screenshot below, mine was flashing off and on.

MaxFogFactor – The higher the value, the denser the fog.
FogCurve – The higher the value, the closer the fog is to the location. The description in ReShade is “The curve determines how quickly items are fogged”.
FogStart – The ‘line’ at which the fog starts, the lower the value, the further away from you it begins. Some players use this setting to create a white background for their screenshots by having high values in MaxFogFactor and FogCurve while having a low value in FogStart.

reshade settings guide

Color Matrix
Adds a tint to the image.

Colourfulness*
Adds saturation to your image.

reshade settings guide

CRT
Recreates the effect of an old CRT screen. The sliders increase the density of the CRT squares or lines. You may also adjust the border and corner shaping.

reshade settings guide

Daltonize
Daltonize adds a color-blind effect to the image. There are three variables to choose from, Tritanopia (pictured below), Deuteranopia and Protanopia.

reshade settings guideDeband
Deband will produce a noise-like effect over the image similar to the effect of the FilmGrain setting mentioned below.

 

DepthHaze
Depth Haze is similar to Adaptive Fog as it places a fog effect in the far distance. In the image, I have put the EffectStrength slider at full (1.000) and selected pink for the FogColor (why not!), with the FogStart at it’s the lowest value (0.000) so it will be furthest away.
This preset is also wonderful for creating silhouette images for the background with the right configuration, currently, it works quite well in the background during a thunderstorm (with the correct location depth). Current location is listed above if you wanted to take a look.

reshade settings guide

Display Depth*
This preset is location dependent and need lots of environmental depth/levels in order to work. If the conditions are not suitable the screen will go black. As mentioned above, try this at my location coordinates (or Limsa Lominsa for example) to determine whether this is a location problem or a graphics bug.
Display Depth works by graduating objects from the foreground to the background. Black is at the front and pale grey towards the back. I adore this preset for more abstract pieces.

reshade settings guide

DoF*
As a photographer I enjoy creating depth of field in my images above any other style or aspect, the same goes for my Final Fantasy XIV images. The depth of field variables within the ReShade presets are possibly some of the more complex options in the lineup and can very easily break, so pay attention to what you are changing and note the value before changing it. If you make your color alterations before adding DoF, back up or duplicate your filter (in the copy and paste method mentioned in the introduction above). For this example, I have used the MatsoDOF setting. For a standard preset with simple DoF, I will turn on the DOF_AUTOFOCUS and DOF_MOUSEDRIVEN_AF in the general DoF settings. Mouse driven AF simply means the mouse will determine where the focal level lays. If I am creating a wedding filter or something that needs a constant background DoF I will turn off both the aforementioned settings and manually edit the DOF_FocalPoint (X/Y coordinates to focus to remain in a given area), the DOF_FocusRadius(200) and the DOF_NearBlurCurve (medium to high value). A more important thing to do is to keep the DOF_ManualFocusDepth low, and the DOF_InfiniateFocus high. I would love to go into these settings in greater detail but perhaps that will warrant its own article at a later date.

reshade settings guide

DPX*
DPX is a powerful preset in terms of the color manipulation of your image. You have control over Contrast, Saturation, Colorfulness, Strength, RBG Curve and RBGc.These settings are relatively safe to play about with to see the color alterations that can be achieved. I will also include my settings list used in the image below so that you are able to see exactly what I have used to achieve this look. Having a play works best for a preset such as this.

reshade settings guide

Click here for the settings!

Emphasize*
Emphasize gives you color in the foreground of the image, with it fading out to grayscale in the background. You can manually alter where the color focus by using the FocusRangeDepth and the ManualFocusDepth.

reshade settings guide

FilmGrain 1 & 2
The Film Grain setting is designed to reproduce images in the style of the photographic techniques where a high ISO is used. I don’t often find much use for this setting (unless perhaps you are looking to create old-fashioned sepia Wild West imagery)! FilmGrain2 makes my head spin, and I don’t recommend looking at that at all (perhaps a bug!).

FineSharp Mode 1-3
Fine Sharp offers a more user-friendly sharpening alternative to Adaptive Sharp and has a minimal list of setting which will allow you to determine how strong or subtle the sharpening of the image is. Just beware, emphasizing too much detail is not always a good thing. Try different sharp modes at different distances and see which suits you the most for the preset you are trying to create.

reshade settings guide

FilmicPass*
FilmingPass is a wonderful filter which can work well on its own and with others! It provides both contrast and background darkening. As there are so many settings to go for, I have included my preset values for the image below, so that you are able to recreate the image and have a play. The most important values to keep an eye on are Strength, Fade, Contrast, Linearization, Bleach, EffectGamma and Saturation. The values required for a daytime shot will be quite different as these values will over explode your character quite badly as they are designed to compensate for low light (the main culprit is the contrast slider, try changing that before any other setting if switching from dark to light).

reshade settings guide

Click HERE for the settings!

FXAA
FXAA stands for Fast Approximate Anti-Aliasing originally created by a chap that works under NVIDIA. The job of this filter is, in short, is to smooths jagged areas. I haven’t yet worked out a way to get this setting to work for me!

GaussianBlur
Adds a faint blurring over your image. Great for dreamy images, not so great if you are valuing the clarity and sharpness of an image.

AmbientLight
This is a great setting for adding not only more light and contrast to your images but allows a subtle ‘bokeh’ type effect that I spent a very long time in the lens flare section looking for!
alDebug: Don’t worry about this, leave it off.
alInt: The base intensity of the Ambient Light. I set this on a high value at first so I can see what I’m able to play with. Having it on a high value allows you to see more clearly what the other variables do.
alThreshold: This doesn’t seem to work for me, it either makes no change or floods the screen with bright color. You can lessen the alInt to get more from this variable.
The AL_Adaptive dropdown also allows you to select whether you would like the light to be cool or warm.

reshade settings guide

HQ4X
HQ4X stands for High Quality, and then the value the image values are increased by, in this case, x4. In short, it makes things smooth, or in my case, very blurry! This setting is on me ‘to investigate’ pile.

Bloom* (Bloom & Lensflare).
You will need to be near place a light source in GPose to get the most out of testing this shader. The list of settings is extensive so I will provide the setting list below the image. If you wish, you can then replicate the variables and hopefully, you will be get an idea of how the shader could work. The image below has Novi positioned against a dark background with one light source (at level 1 intensity) positioned a few feet in front of her. As with the DoF settings, I may elaborate on this shader in a future article to show some more variations and capabilities of the shader.

reshade settings guide

Click HERE for settings!

LumaSharpen
Yet another sharpening option, however, the difference with Luma is that the sharpening is a little softer, there is a list of presets, and you can even set it to show you the sharpened areas (show_sharpen) so that you gain more control over the sharpening process.

MagicBloom
This shader is ideal if you want to add a slight bloom to your image without losing too much clarity. It is a wonderful effect, but often bugged regardless of which game you use it in. As soon as you exit the ReShade menu it turns the filter off. Not so magic after all. It’s great when it’s working though!

Monochrome
The black and white setting, quite basic. RBG sliders will determine how the monochrome filter will tackle corresponding colors.

reshade settings guide

MXAO*

“MXAO can both apply little shading almost for free or heavy shading for screenshots to completely change the look of the scenery.” Source.

In Final Fantasy XIV ReShade, MXAO creates a very noticeable difference between images, creating depth and shade. It’s very rare that I don’t use this within one of my presets. Keep in mind that this is an environmentally dependent preset, so one set of values may work for certain hairstyles, yet for others, you might have to pull the slider to the opposite side and lessen the intensity to create a more subtle effect or compensate for certain shapes. The most important slider here is Sample Radius (determines where the shadow will sit), so set that first before altering the others.

reshade settings guide reshade settings guide

Sepia*
Sepia is a handy setting to use if you wish to subtly tint one of your presets. Just modify the RGB value (or enter your desired hex code) and adjust the strength. After using Sepia I would usually go back to other color/tone management settings to adjust the contrast appropriately.

SurfaceBlur
Adds a blanket blur to the image and the settings determine the depth. To increase the intensity of the blur, increase the values of the BlurRadius, BlurOffset, and BlurStrength. I’ve not yet found a use for this one!

Technicolor 1 & 2
The technicolor setting aims to recreate the Technicolour three-strip process. Technicolor 2 has slightly more versatility and may play a useful part in slight alterations of color in conjunction with other settings. However, I feel that other color altering options work well and have a wider array of variables such as DPX.

TiltShift
Tilt-shift is a wonderful technique in both photography and in-game and can be used in images to enhance the area of focus by blurring certain other areas, most commonly in a band. In Reshade it’s a good idea to start by having the Show Center Line on, as this will help you to place your central focus point. Use the offset to determine where the line places on the horizontal axis first which will be your central point of focus. Then use the Axis value if you wish to tilt that line. The Blur Curve will determine the width of the central area of focus and the Blur Multiplier will increase or decrease the amount of blur in the lower and upper sections. Remember to turn off the Show Center Line once you have placed the tilt-shift at the desired location.

reshade settings guide

 

Tonemap*
Tonemap is another color manipulation setting incorporating Gamma, Exposure, Saturation, and Bleach. However, the most important feature of Tonemap is the Defog setting. The color you choose in the bottom right is the color it will remove from the image. Playing with the RGB sliders will give you an idea of how this works in practice (I’ve removed orange tones in the image below).reshade settings guide

UIMask
Imports an image from the ReShade-shaders directory and displays it over your screenshot.

Vibrance*
Vibrance allows more control over the saturation of specific RGB values. If you wish to highlight a certain set of colors this setting might be useful.

reshade settings guide

Vignette
Adds darkness to the corners, recreating the somewhat overused ye’olde Instagram filter or the more standard definition of the reduction of an image’s brightness or saturation towards the outer corners.

 

Final Thoughts

To round things up, here is a list of presets that I frequently use when creating a new filter and which I think may deserve a more attention compared to other minor settings: Clarity, AdaptiveSharpen, Colorfulness, DisplayDepth, DoF, DPX, Emphasize, FilmicPass, Bloom, MXAO, Sepia, and Tonemap.

I apologize if there are any mistakes in here (and that I could not go over every single setting!), I am still learning myself but I wished to share what I have gathered so far. If you have any questions or comments please drop me a message here, on Twitter or the through the Screenographic website which houses my portfolio.

 

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Thank you for reading and I really do hope something in here will help someone! Now it’s your turn, go play and combine all the things! Let me know how you get on.

reshade settings guide

 

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