If you follow some people who play Final Fantasy XIV on Twitter you might have seem some amazing screenshots accompanied with the tags of #Reshade or #GShade.
If you are wondering what they are, it is basically like this: Reshade is a program that applies some post-processing effects to whatever appears in your screen and as far as I know it is used only with games. You can find some presets for different games here.
GShade is a modified version of Reshade made by a group of Final Fantasy XIV screenshot aficionados called GPosers. Besides some technical changes that I honestly don't understand, GShade also comes packaged with a bunch of community presets for use with Final Fantasy XIV. They don't have an official site (that I know of) but you can find the latest version of it by following their twitter account or joining their Discord server.
"But wait a minute!", you say, "Isn't this against the EULA of Final Fantasy XIV?"
No, not really. Since neither of those touches the executable or the data files of the game it is perfectly fine to use them. In practice what they do isn't all that different than if you were holding a colored piece of glass in front of your screen while you play or if you edited the screenshot on Photoshop and posted somewhere.
It is just a much more convenient of getting great looking results for scrubs like me who couldn't make anything decent with Photoshop even if their life depended on it.
And it isn't even limited to screenshots, the effects will stay on while you play too and you can change the presets on the fly! Although some presets are a bit more resource intensive and are really only intended for screenshot purposes.
I only started to use GShade relatively recently myself. There were a couple reasons for this:
- I am terrible at screenshots. And no 3rd part software will solve that.
- I use screenshots mainly for my blog posts. I was afraid that if I used GShade it would give a false impression of the graphical quality of Final Fantasy XIV for anyone reading my blog.
Reason number 2 is easily solvable. GShade by default uses a different key than Final Fantasy XIV for its screenshots. So if I just use the "Print Screen" key the screenshots that Final Fantasy XIV will generate will be the with the actual game quality, no post-processing whatsoever. Even if that wasn't the case I could just easily deactivate GShade with the press of a button, take my screenshot and then just press it again to reactivate it.
As for reason number 1.... Well, the only way I will get better screenshots is by taking more of them and GShade certainly makes it a lot more compelling. 🙂
To finish this post here is an example of some presets that come with GShade.
These four shots were taken in Middle La Noscea. The presets I used, in order, were: Cyane Prism, Full-Time Senpai Cheshire, GShade Gameplay Realism and Neneko Fuyu Gameplay.
And just to show some of the more creative presets, here are some I took in my attempted photo studio. The presets shown are: GShade City of Sin, Johni Comic, Johto's Studio1 and Neneko Studio Manga Sunset.
These are just a small sample of the presets that come with GShade. In the hands of someone that is good at screenshots (read: anyone that isn't me! XD) they can make for some fantastic pieces of art. 🙂
You can even create your own presets too if you have the patience and inclination for it! 🙂
I don't have the patience for that so I will just stick to the ones made by the community and be thankful there are people out there willing to spend the time on it and sharing their works! XD