Mogwaisoft’s Shade for FSX is a little program that can modify the ambient colors and tones in FSX. It is somewhat similar to, but better than, the ENBSeries freeware which also helps improve the bloom and shade in FSX. The latest version of the program at the time of this post is 1.02.
Shade for FSX comes with a graphic interface where users can pick different presets with varieties of light, shadow and fog settings for the ultimate effect in color and tone rendered in FSX. Also, it allows users to create their own customized settings to match their preferences and tastes.
The working principle of the program is as follow:
- When it is executed, it firstly backups and removes all sky texture files under X:\Microsoft Flight Simulator X\Texture directory to a temporarily created temp folder under the same directory
- Then it creates and injects the replacement sky textures to the folder according to the preset chosen
- When FSX is quitted, it removes the replacement files and restores the original default textures from backup to its original location
So in general, the integrity of FSX is well protected as long as users follow the instruction from the developer. Moreover, there is no performance hit from the program.
I LIKE IT because:
With Shade installed, the contrast and color of scenery are instantly enriched so that all objects appear to be more 3-dimensional.
I DISLIKE IT because:
All available presets dim the brightness of scenery significantly. Much like you are wearing a pair of very dark sunglasses all the time.
It’s completely alright during the middle of the day. But in the morning, the brightness of FSX scenery seems to be 1 to 2 hours behind the clock — at 9am, the ambient is still as dark as 7am (see image below). And in the afternoon, it seems to be 1 to 2 hours ahead of the clock — at 4pm, the ambient is already as dark as 6pm. That’s a problem.
The developer says that different users have different computer setups and preferences, it is not possible to provide a preset to cope with all users. And that’s why the program comes with a feature to allow users to create their own settings.
The explanation is somewhat correct but the customization is definitely not an easy task under current version’s capability.
All changes can’t be seen instantly. The program must be run before FSX. So users have to quit and start FSX and the program again and again and again in order find out the results of the changes they made.
After a week’s experiments after the purchase, I still haven’t come up with a satisfied result. Tried to abandon it but FSX then seems to have something missing.
My goodness. Really crazy about this Shade for FSX !
1. Do read on my other posts regarding how to solve issues in Shade for FSX.
2. Although Shade will backup all default sky texture of FSX to a Temp folder when it is excuted and restore them after it is unloaded, it does no harm to create your own backup as an additional safety measure.
Under the Texture directory, I just created a folder called FSX Default Backup for SHADE and put a copy of all 140 sky texture files onto it. So files could be restored just in case something unexpected happens.