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TOPIC: Need general tips for enhancing detail

Need general tips for enhancing detail 1 year 6 months ago #1

Now I understand most of this will be subjective to individual tastes, however I feel like I default to the same 4-5 shaders for each and every game without much fiddling. I usually go for a tonemap, lumasharpen, SMAA, HDR, and sometimes Gauss or Ambient Light. My issue is that in comparison to so many amazing screenshots on here I feel like whatever I am doing is falling far short of what is possible. Hardware limitations are of no issue to me, I think I just don't have a firm enough grasp on the program and all of its available features to be truly effective. Now I understand each game can only look so good, and you cannot create what is not there, but are there any specific shaders or tips anyone can recommend for really making things pop?

My biggest struggle is color balance. I usually prefer a warmer image, and I do get close, but again its missing that wow factor.

Any advice?
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Need general tips for enhancing detail 1 year 6 months ago #2

Will first note that many screenshots are captured in a very high resolution. I started using Reshade around 1-2 years ago. At first i was always using the same shaders, basically levels and ambient occlusion. Didn't think i needed any other shader. I gradually messed around rather thoroughly with every shader to understand how to utilize them. It's normal that it takes a while to achieve basic understanding on each shader function. If the game you're injecting supports depth buffer, you can go notably further with it. You can check the 'games' tab at the top of the page to see what games support depth buffer access. I would recommend trying MXAO (ambient occlusion method) and RBM (Reflective Bump Mapping). MXAO is one of my favorite shaders as it adds soft contact shadows which adds so much to the realism of games. Many screenshots on the forums use DOF (Depth Of Field). There are many DOF techniques available, the ones listed under DOF tab in Reshade are ideal if you want nice screenshots. For game-play, i would recommend LightDOF as it has superior auto-focus.

For games without depth buffer, it is definitely is a bit tricky to improve the overall look. Would recommend looking into the 'Presentations' area of the forums as there are some shaders suitable for games without depth access. Would recommend checking out PirateKitty and Loxa's shaders. You may find more than one bloom shader available, or many sharpening shaders available but they almost always manage different results.

It's difficult to explain much without going in depth and writing an essay, but I have learnt overtime how to make games look superior thanks to certain sources. DigitalFoundry on Youtube are great at graphical analysis in video-games. They explain many of the techniques used, and great thing is that Reshade can apply some of the same techniques to many games. I've also learnt the different types of shaders that only some games use well, such as eye/light adaptation and bloom which can be applied to almost any game. For a 'warmer image' look, i managed to create something similar using Loxa's 'diffuse glow' shader, if it's not what you're looking for, don't worry as you'll likely find another technique that suits your needs.

Best way in my opinion to get the look you want is by using the LUT shader. Stands for 'look up table'. The shader basically references an image for quick colour grading. The referenced image is in the 'textures' folder of 'reshade-shaders' folder. By default, it doesn't have an effect on your game as it needs to be altered. What i basically do is, i grab a vanilla screenshot of a game i want to colour grade. There are limited values you can change through LUT. I believe they are hue, saturation and brightness. I use Da Vinci Resolve to colour grade and i apply the same grade i apply to my vanilla screenshots to the LUT image. You should be fine using any colour grading program, just remember to keep the LUT a 1024x32 .png file. Remember to try every shader you can, and preferably on a game with depth buffer access so you can see depth-based effects.

It's ultimately great to know what result you're looking for and to understand which shaders will help you get there. Just research required. Good luck :)
Last Edit: 1 year 6 months ago by GP-Unity.
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Need general tips for enhancing detail 1 year 6 months ago #3

i would suggest you for a warmer image with a wow concept.. the Ambient Light shader. Mix its intensity low.. with a warm Adaptive Ilumination an dirts effects on (but dirt texture off. i think that would be so much..its about liking) .. help in most of cases with the warm concept (look like a little reddish-bloom ) make some tests.. and mix it with the DPX shader and your tone map or the lift gamma shaders (take some time to find your preset)
Last Edit: 1 year 6 months ago by Scorpio82CO.
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