Throwing Some ReShade

Hello Eorzeans! We’re here with yet another installment of our photo-taking discoveries within the world of Hydaelyn, but this time, the topic has some barred entry. Unfortunately, this guide will not be usable to adventurers who play on PlayStation 4, as the tool involved is for PC (or Mac) only. For those who play on computers, I encourage you to keep reading!

You may have seen the term thrown around if you peer into the XIV sub-communities that exist around the web: ReShade. It’s a popular add-on that works with several games to enhance graphics via filter presets, predominantly used by game photographers to achieve some amazing effects. Thankfully, it is also really easy to install, but I won’t be going into how to get it and how to find presets — only an introduction into how it may be used.

HOWEVER! I will give you the link to learn more about how to get ReShade and how to install presets, which has been covered here.

Before I get to the fine details of how ReShade can enhance your photos dramatically with simple, subtle changes, I do want to take a moment to assure you all that using this won’t violate the Terms of Service, as it isn’t classified as a “mod.” While ReShade can impact your gameplay, due to its nature of being a post-processing plug-in that will eat your computer’s processing power (Read: Don’t have it running unless you intend to take pictures, or toggle it to Performance Mode within the settings. Any other time, turn the plug-in off.), the FFXIV community has addressed the plug-in in the past.

Utilizing such a tool would not violate any agreements customers have with Square Enix, and we don’t plan on doing anything to restrict users from accessing it.

However, we advise that players use this at their own risk. Square Enix does not regulate the content of the aforementioned add-on and will not be responsible for any damage or losses resulting from its use. — Hvinire

It is at your own risk to use it, but I can personally attest to never running into performance issues that weren’t borne of an internal (as in within ReShade’s files) issue as it is, so it’s more than safe if your computer can handle the extra burden.

Once you have ReShade installed and you have some presets you like installed, feel free to go to the field! For my examples, I decided to primarily stay within the area I named this blog for: The Black Shroud. I didn’t use intense shifts and filters, mostly as this was my first time using the presets I picked out, so they are only the tip of the iceberg in regards to what you can do. Below, however, I have it set to where the original images (without ReShade) are on the left, while the ones with ReShade are on the right.

These were done with miiolk’s Angelite preset after a bit of toggling to warm the colors & increase the overall contrast of the image. You may recall in the past that I said that Group Pose’s Depth of Field setting is incredibly limited, but with ReShade filters it begins to act more like an actual camera lens, filtering both fore- and background, as demonstrated in the second set of images.

These, on the other hand, are enhanced via Espressolala’s adjustments to the above preset, creating the Shadownite and Darknite presets that are designed to handle dark lighting better. Because I wanted to keep the dark lighting for dramatic effect, the changes only seem minimal (especially so in the second set) and focus on color enhancement above all else.

Lastly, however, I leave you with a preset I’m incredibly fond of using in Performance Mode. While the focus of the No More Washed Out Colors preset is to enhance the colors within the world of XIV to where they seem more vibrant and full of life, it’s a great, subtle adjustment to photos that really helps them pop! The best part of this preset, in fact, is how well it runs in Performance Mode, which means you can play the rest of the game having it toggled on without it eating your computer’s processing speeds!

These are just three of the many, many preset options that are out there to find and test out, though. Feel free to experiment, play around, explore, and just keep taking pictures, adventurer! You have all the tools you’ll need now to start taking amazing photos, but fear not! This isn’t the last you’ll hear from me, as I’ll keep sharing my photo-taking progress and share any treasures I may find.

Until next time, Eorzeans! And may you ever walk in the light of the crystal.

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