Saturday, November 13, 2010

ENB Series Flight Simulator X or 9 - How to install and obtain cool HDR lighting tutorial

If your computer is not powerful enough to run FSX in DX10 mode with Bloom enabled, or you are bored of the default lighting in fs9, you can easily add a very cool mod either in either FSX or FS9 which adds HDR lighting and dynamic shadows to the simulator. The mod is called ENB Series and it is based on a modified version of the DX9 dll which forces HDR and many effects in games which do not support it by default. The mod was originally developed for GTA game, but works very well in both FSX and FS9.

Good part at this mod is that it improves the visual quality of Flight Simulator X or FS2004 without a heavy toll on frame rates. I could argue that the effect is even better than the one obtained if you enable Bloom and DX10 mode in FSX, but, at least on my configuration the frame  rate remains the same when ENB series is enabled. Besides the visual impact you will also notice a interesting effect, if you look at the cockpit instruments and then raise your view to the sky, you will notice how the light dims out, similar as your eye iris will close to adapt to the increase amount of light. This adds a nice effect as the simulation would have actually been a movie, and the camera would have adjusted to light when moved from the dashboard to the windshield/sky.

The image at the top shows the difference between default FSX (right) and FSX with ENB Series enabled (left).

How to install ENB Series in either FSX or FS9

1. Download the mod from the official page below. I use version 0.075.

2. After the zip file is downloaded, extract and copy the two files (d3d9.dll and enbseries.ini) in the FSX/FS9 main folder (same place where fsx.exe/fs9.exe is located).

3. You will need to replace the config in enbseries.ini with one that is best suited for the simulator (default one is provided for GTA). Open enbseries.ini with Notepad and replace the content with the configuration. I use the one provided on this forum:

Save the file after is changed!

4. Start FSX and start a flight. To start/stop the mod press anytime SHIFT+F12;

To uninstall the mod just delete the two files you copied from your simulator installation directory.


Known issues:
If the ENB Series does not work in FSX or 2004 or you see black squares, clouds, etc with the mod enables, check if you have two monitors connected to the computer. This mod does not support multi monitor setup on some configuration. Just disconnect the secondary monitor and restart the simulator  and it should work.

Use the mod at your own risk. I did not encountered any issues with it but you may never know!