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What is SweetFX ?

A quick look at a program that makes your games look less like a game


When gaming, do you yearn for better quality, do you want games to look more vibrant or have a better feel of depth, well now thanks to Sweet FX, all this and more can be yours.

So just what is Sweet FX ?  Well Simply, Sweet FX is a mod built on the InjectSMAA shader injector, which allows you to apply a suite of post processing shader effects to your games. Sweet FX isn't alone in this area there are other shader injection mod tools, like InjectFXAA, InjectSMAA or FXAAtool, to name but a few, but the creator of Sweet FX says that it improves on all of these.

SweetFX allows you to add SMAA anti-aliasing , sharpening and the ability to tweak the colour, gamma , exposure and more. It's meant to allow you to improve the look of your games and change the look and mood of it to your liking. If you use SMAA antialiasing instead of MSAA you can also make the game run faster (than with MSAA).

Here are some of the effects included:

SMAA Anti-aliasing: Anti-aliases the image using the SMAA technique - Info here

Cartoon: Creates an outline-effect that makes the image look more cartoonish.

Advanced CRT: Mimics the look of an old arcade CRT display.

LumaSharpen: Sharpens the image, making details easier to see

Bloom: Makes strong lights bleed their light into their surrounding

HDR: Mimics an HDR tonemapped look

Technicolor: Makes the image look like it was processed using a three-strip Technicolor process - Info here

Cineon DPX: Makes the image look like it was converted from film to Cineon DPX. Can be used to create a "sunny" look.

Monochrome: Removes colours from the image so it appears as if shot on black and white film.

Lift Gamma Gain: Adjust brightness and colour of shadows, midtones and highlights (avoids clipping).

Tonemap: Adjust gamma, exposure, saturation, bleach and defog (may cause clipping) .

Vibrance: Intelligently saturates (or desaturates if you use negative values) the pixels depending on their original saturation.

Curves: Contrast adjustments using S-curves.

Sepia: Sepia tones the image - info here

Vignette: Darkens the edges of the image to make it look more like it was shot with a camera lens. - Info here

Dither: Applies dithering to simulate more colors than your monitor can display. This lessens banding artefacts - Info here

Border: Makes the screen edge black as a workaround for the bright edge that forcing some AA modes sometimes causes.

Split screen: Enables the before-and-after split screen comparison mode.

...Yeah just a few features, also if you see this list and think these options are going to be far too complicated understand, you don't have to look far for a preset database on which people post multiple configuration settings and side by side images showing the difference, which allow you to download without having to do the hard work.

You don't have to look far on some titles to see the improvement in the overall display, with some presets offering only slight improvements whilst others look remarkably different. Below are some images that show a side by side comparison, using some of the presets that people have made and uploaded.

Project CarsProject Cars

Metro Last LightMetro Last Light


Whilst a lot of the presets that are available do offer improvements to the game visuals, not all of them are equal and whilst I was scouting around the preset database it was obvious that the number of downloads of the file did not always imply quality. So I would always recommend looking through each preset available to see which ones looks best to you. Just remember the presets that are available and ones you create can sometimes improve the overall performance, but the majority will have a slight hit on the overall FPS of the game due to the increased load that they place onto the graphics card.

In terms of compatibility though, SweetFX is fully compatible with all graphics cards as long as they support Shader Model 3.0 which means that practically all cards released after 2002 thereabouts should be supported, although because of the potential performance hit entry level cards need not apply. It is compatible with 32bit and 64bit versions of Windows since Windows XP and has also been tested to work on Windows 7 and 8, although it does not support 64bit game executables and also does not work well with programs that overlay onto the game, but Steam does have a work around to make it work.

If you want to have a go with the GUI version, it is available to download here  and the presets page is available here