153: Shade Shifter Version 3 Released

The version 3 of my Shade Shifter utility has been completed.   It will be ready for download within a week.   In addition to code optimizations and user-interface enhancements, major features added to the new version include the following:

When the utility is started, it will automatically check and display the current Day Cycle of FSX for users’ reference.    This minimizes the needs of calling up the Day Cycle Calculator for just today.

For example, the Day Cycle of today — May-14, 2012 in FSX — is 2.   It will be shown as “Today’s Shade 02” when Shade Shifter is started.   (Refer to Post 116 for more information about the Day Cycle Calculator.)

The concept and feature of Breaking the 10-Day Shade Cycle Limit discussed in Post 124 have been integrated to the new version.    So a unique Preset can be easily activated according to the current Day Cycle and the Calendar Period of a month.

For example, the Preset associated with May-14, 2012 mentioned above is Desert Tints according to the day’s Day Cycle and the shade table below.  (Refer to the Post for more information.)

To some extent, this rendered a sort of Preset Randomizing capability without human invention.   And it is fully user-customizable.

An FSX Default option is added to the Shade Selection List, which allows users to choose for a Clean, FSX Default, No Shade Preset environment.

This sums up the major new features of the Shade Shifter Version 3.

Existing Shade Shifter users will get a download link notification of the Upgrade Patch in a couple of days.

“You’ve Got Mail” should be ringing soon.

Other who are new to this site and interested in this utility should subscribe first and send me a request via the comment section below.

Anyone interested could get it from the Freeware section in my shop.

115 thoughts on “153: Shade Shifter Version 3 Released

  1. Hey, some time ago, I subscribed to your (very nice) blog, and asked for ShadeShifter… But I did not receive an answer yet… :( Could you please send me the link for this lovely tool?


  2. Hi Tom,

    shade shifters FSX default setting doesn’t work for me. I get an error message and fsx doesn’t start at all.
    Any idea?

    I want to fly without a shade preset, only used shade shifter for the palettes and I am not sure whether shade shifter overrides the fsx default values.

    If I start fsx with its win fsx.exe, without shade shifter, will I the get a fsx without changed palettes?
    Recently I did that, and flew through a foggy area, the fog became red, which could be a hint, that any shade preset is still active. Or could that also be fsx standard?
    I am totally confuses ;-)

    Thanks for helping!!


    1. Hi Daniel,
      Was it working in the past? If yes, when did the problem occur? Check if you modified anything.
      If it is a new install, then just don’t run the file. That’s it.


      1. Well, I haven’t used the fsx default option in the past, so I can’t say if it’s working or not ;-)
        They only thing that I can say is, that I did start the regular fsx.exe and the I got a red fog. I think the standard fsx texture shouldn’t have red fog?!
        I am not sure.

        I’ve never used the shade guide to install and/or override any texture. Because of that I didn’t backup the original fsx files.


      2. What do you mean by “haven’t used the fsx default option in the past”?
        Do you have Shade for FSX on your system before you install ShadeShifter? It is required to run my utility. Also ShadeShifter won’t install without it in the first place.
        Could you be more specific what you have done?


      3. Tom, sorry for bringing confusion ;-)

        First, I own “Shade”!

        I installed Shade on a fresh Win7/FSX setup/intallation.
        Then I installed Shade Shifter.
        Never touched Shade´s own .exe files.

        I always started Shade Shifter and chose my desired presets.

        Yesterday I startet FSX via fsx.exe (without Shade Shifter) to see (after months of using FSX with shade) how it looks without any Shade preset.
        Then I noticed the red fog, and that´s the point where I am not sure, if the FSX textures may be overwritten (because I can´t remember a red FSX standard fog) , which normally shouldn´t be the case, because I only used Shade Shifter.

        I hope it´s a bit clearer now :-)


      4. Hi Daniel,

        Much clearer now. Note that my ShadeShifter only gives an interface for users to choose a preset for Shade to use.

        Shade then runs, backups FSX texture files, and creates new texture files according to the preset. When FSX exits, Shade removes the newly created texture files and copies back the original FSX files from the backup directory.

        The problem you described sounds like something screwed up during the copy and backup process by Shade or FSX — for example if an unexpected CTD occurs, the backup process will not be carried out.

        OK, after you start up ShadeShifter and enter the Preset Selection screen, item 34 is set to be FSX Default. This one is based on the bare FSX setting.

        Let me know if the red fog exists under this setting. I’ll see what I can help.



  3. Hi Tom,

    I got here late lol – would you be so kind as to send a download link for Shade Shifter?

    Haven’t actually used Shade since it’s GUI didn’t make sense :/

    Would love to try it out before I go on holiday in 3 weeks :D



  4. Hello Tom,

    Great work on Shade and Shade Shifter. I have version 1.02 of Shade. Are the upgrades to Shade sequential, or can I just install Shade v2.0 and then ShadeShifter v3.0? Based on the answer to that question, could you please send download link to my email address accordingly?

    I’m just not sure if I need to add Shade v2.0 first, before installing ShadeShifter v3.0. At any rate, I do not have download links for either Shade v2.0, or ShadeShifter v3.0.

    I’m still getting up to speed on FSX and its Lighting Ramp concepts. Thanks and keep up the great work!



    1. Hi Tim,
      I created the ShadeShifter; not Shade for FSX. My ShadeShifter is an addon tends to add conveniences to the using of Shade for FSX.
      If you puruchased Shade, I encourage you to upgrade it to v2 first; even though my ShadeShifter works for either versions.
      I have sent you the link to download my ShadeShifter. Check your mailbox.


      1. Hi Tom,

        I really like your shade shifter, it´s a really great tool! :-)
        However I´ve got a question or a suggestion:
        when we execute shade shifter it always asks that a specific profile may be loaded.
        On the one hand it´s a useful information, on the other I hand you won´t get surprised which preset wil be loaded ;-)
        You can say, it´s logcal that this or that preset will be loaded, because of the day cycle, but I wish you could turn off this option, and shade shifter is just loading the defined preset but without telling the user which one will be loaded.
        Do you think this is possible?

        Would be great if you could realize my suggestioN! :-)

        THANKS !!



      2. Thanks Daniel for the suggestion. Turning off this info is possible. Let me think about it because it was the idea to show the info in the first place.


      3. Hi Daniel,
        Just released a new version which comes with an option to hide today’s preset as you requested. Have sent it to you as well. Check your mailbox.


  5. I did a walk around, I copied default preset 34 to user preset 01, and it loads the defaults without a hitch. For some reason it doesn’t seem to load #34.


    1. Hi Jim, The package I sent you contains both version 2.1 and version 3 upgrade patch. It seems that you didn’t install the upgrade patch correctly. As mentioned in my email sent to you, you need to overwrite some core files in v2.1 with those come with version 3. Do check and install again. In particular, you have to ensure that all files in ShadeShifterSettings folder of v3 are copied.


      1. Hi Tom,
        I uninstalled shade completely and reinstalled everything, same problem, I think this is what is happening…
        When I load FSX defaults from within your program and go to fly now from within the program, thats when I get the error, I think the correct way is to load the defaults from your program than fly from FSX, The FSX default presets are loaded in FSX at time of switching presets without entering FSX via your program. Like I mentioned before everything works except the default presets.
        Am I correct to how this works.
        love the program


      2. Hi Jim,
        Could you explain clearly the following? I don’t quite get what you mean.

        “When I load FSX defaults from within your program and go to fly now from within the program, thats when I get the error, I think the correct way is to load the defaults from your program than fly from FSX, The FSX default presets are loaded in FSX at time of switching presets without entering FSX via your program.”

        Or, could you put it in step-by-step manner so that I see if I will regenerate the same error.

        There were no reports as yours to me before. Also, I am using the same thing as you are. So I really don’t have a clue so far. Do write down the steps so that I can try out here on my side.


      3. Tom, Im not at my home computer, this is close to what I do, the wording may not be exact.

        when using shade shifter:
        I select preset 34 (fsx presets)
        It switches to fsx presets
        I select fly from shade shifter
        (I get the box saying preset are loaded do you want to fly) – something like this
        I select “ok” to fly using default presets
        This is when I get the error and have to close program, It doesn’t let me into fsx.

        This is the only way I can use it when switching back to default presets

        I select preset 34 (fsx presets)
        It switches to fsx presets
        I select fly from shade shifter
        (I get the box saying preset are loaded do you want to fly) – something like this
        I select “no” to fly using default presets
        It closes out of shade shifter
        I then fly from FSX

        I think the default presets are loaded before using FSX
        Like I’ve said before, switching to all other presets lets me fly from shade shifter.


      4. Hi Jim,
        I have tried your steps and don’t find any problem with it at all.

        Check this: Go to your “Shade for FSX” folder and

        Option 1
        1. Check if a file called shade-34.txt exists (this is the file telling the ShadeShifter to load default FSX)
        2. Run ShadeShifter
        3. Choose different presets, and check if this file change accordingly.
        For example, if you choose the first one, the file will become shade-01.txt, etc.
        4. Choose FSX default again, the file should rename to shade-34.txt again.

        Option 2
        1. If shade-34.txt (or anything similar) doesn’t exist, copy the file from V3 upgrade patch to the folder.
        2. Follow 2-4 in Option 1 to check if everything works ok.

        Actually, when default FSX is selected, my uitlity will skip the loading of “Shade for FSX”, and just run FSX.


      5. The problem is something to do with my computer, this is the error I am getting.

        “When JIT debugging is enabled, any unhandled exception
        will be sent to the JIT debugger registered on the computer
        rather than be handled by this dialog box.”

        It gives me two options “close” or “continue”. When I choose either option the program closes.

        I cannot find the way to disable JIT debugging. I searched the internet for the past 2 days and came up with no solution.

        This error also happened when I loaded Traffic X. I got the same error using part of that program.

        I didn’t think it was your program
        Thank you again

        P.S. I know its not your problem, but do you know of a fix, I think it has to do with visual basic program.


      6. Hi Jim,
        if you can use other presets from ShadeShifter without any problem, the default FSX option should be ok as well. As I mentioned earlier, when you choose to run the Default FSX, my utility simply quit itself and run FSX only. That means it won’t load “Shade for FSX” at all, just simply run FSX.
        I still suspect something wrong with the installation.
        Have you tried the steps I suggested you to check? Do you see the shade-34.txt in your directory etc?


      7. If the changing of the preset works, there’s no reason why it has error. Hm….in the ShadeShifterSettings folder, do you find the settings-34.ini ?
        How many of them and what are they?


  6. Hi,
    I just found your site, I would like to recieve the link to shade 3.0, another question I have is the shade time change you mention post 113, will this work with all presets that came with shade.
    Thank you


      1. Thank you, Tom
        This makes shade work as good and easy as rex and fswc,
        I will sure get more enjoyment out of it.
        Thank you for all your hard work and time to make fsx better and more enjoyable.


      2. Hi Tom,
        When I try loading FSX defaults from v3 I get this error.

        Unhandled exception has accured in your application …..

        When JIT debugging is enabled, any unhandled exception
        will be sent to the JIT debugger registered on the computer
        rather than be handled by this dialog box.

        Any Ideas


  7. Evening Tom,

    I used SHADE with FSX and found it brilliant, and am about to load it with the P3D 1.4 upgrade.

    I would appreciate your Shade Shifter Ver 3 please.




  8. Hi Tom,
    I just subscribed. I discovered FSX Times a few weeks ago and found a lot of very interesting tweaks and tips. I very much appreciate all the stuff. Your Shade Shifter seems to be a highly convenient utility for all Shade users. And I am looking forward to downloading and experimenting with it. I shall keep you posted about my firts impressions. Thanks a lot for your contribution to the community of simmers. Best regards.


    1. Hi Bernard,
      Please subscribe again. Your last subscription seems to be failed since I couldn’t find you on the subscriber list.
      Anyway, the link of the Shade Shifter is sent to you by email. Glad you find my blog useful.


  9. Hey,

    great tool – I often check your site for your latest news and tips to our beloved FSX :-)
    Would you please send me a link to your newest shade shifter tool?
    would be great!


      1. Yes, I know that, my question is, if I have to lauch FSX with ShadeShifter in “Run FSX” button or if I can only press the “SWITCH” button in ShadeShifter and then call the FSP_Limiter instead run fsx thought ShadeShifter.


  10. Good day. I read in another Forum about the shade shifter. If possible i’d like to give it a try.
    May I keep my enbseries active or shall i deactivate it?



  11. Hi Tom,

    Looks like a very nifty and intuitive piece of software to make life a bit easier using the Shade program. Would you be so kind to send me the download link for The Shade Shifter?

    Thanks in advance!

    Marco Bruno


  12. hi Tom. Can You please send me the download link for shade shifter so I can test it. Looking forward:-
    Thanks in advance


    1. BTW, you are on my mailing list for Shade Shifter. You don’t have to send me request for upgrade.
      Don’t know why you didn’t receive the version 3 update in the first place. Perhaps check your junk mail setting if it blocks you from receiving my mail.


  13. sorry Tom I cannot seem to find the link to the shade shifter in any emails I have gotten. When you get the time can you send it thank you.


    1. Hi Dustin, there is no link to the Shade Shifter in blog post notification sent. I sent out the first version to all subscribers but not everyone had “Shade for FSX”. Also, some people were not interested to get it. So from the 2nd version, I only send the download link to those people (only subscribers of my blog) who showed interests and requested for it.

      You are not in this group of subscribers yet. If you have “Shade for FSX” (a must) and are interested to get my ShadeShifter utility, please let me know.

      The practice I am taking for my blog is: “If you are interested in something I created, send me a request.” I am willing to share my stuff but I don’t really want to send it to people who are not interested either.

      Hope you understand and sorry for the inconvenience. Tom


      1. Well I was trying to keep from bugging you and saw in a post that the link was between something and your sig. That’s the reason for me thinking it was in email. But, I do have shade and think that shifter is a must, spot on coming up with this. If you could subscribe me in that group I’d appreciate it. Following your advice here is cranking up my fsx game play immensely. Thank you


      2. No problem at all, Dustin. Please check your mailbox in 15 mins for the utility. I am writing a post to all subscribers who may have similar question about download link as you were. Tom


      3. Hi Tom, I request the new version of SFFSX. I have Ver. 2.1. I subscribed, so I hope you could send me the download link.
        Thanx for your help and your good work for FSX Pilots.


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