Whether you’re just getting into the world of P3D or are already a regular user, you have probably heard the name ‘TomatoShade’ being thrown around a lot, as well as talk about shaders or ‘Presets’
TomatoShade is an amazing freeware piece of software that enables you to edit your shaders in P3D, this basically means you can change the whole look and appearance of your P3D setup. Most users use ‘presets’ which you can find from many different sources by doing a quick Google search, we have some of our favorites highlighted further on
Download And Installation
Installing is super easy, simply download the .zip file below, extract it to a folder you can access easily, open up the folder and launch TomatoShade.exe
The first thing you’re going to want to do is to check for any updates as the tool is updated regularly, once you’ve done that you’re ready to start changing your shaders
Choosing and Applying a Preset
Finding the perfect preset for your sim is all down to personal taste, by doing a quick Google search you can find many presets people have spent time perfecting, below we have highlighted some of our favorites
Once you have downloaded your preset, it will be in the form of a .ini file, with this file in a location you can easily access, go to File -> Open in Tomatoshade and load the file, then press F9 or press ‘apply preset’ in the action menu. Make sure you read the section below to get your aircraft reflections working properly
Most presets have the Tomatoshade enhanced reflections enabled, this enables you to have much better reflections on your aircraft, however with the release of P3D v4.4, built-in PBR reflections were added, which makes the TomatoShade function a bit redundant, but not all aircraft addons use the build-in PBR function as of yet
This means you have the choice between TomatoShade’s reflections or P3D’s build-in function depending on your aircraft. Personally I disable TomatoShade’s function and use P3D’s build-in PBR reflections, as of writing this all aircraft I fly use P3D’s PBR system except the FSLabs a319/320 at the moment
To disable the TomatoShade system, simply load up the preset you want to use if you still don’t have it open, navigate to ‘Advanced Reflections’ and use the settings below, after you’ve done that, reapply the preset and you’re ready to fly!
If you have aircraft that do not use P3D’s built-in PBR system or prefer TomatoShade’s system, keep the settings as they are. If you load the sim right up after applying you’re preset, your aircraft may look similar to this…
Don’t panic, this is an easy fix. This is happening because you need reflection profiles for your aircraft (yeah I know, more profiles). The community have created reflection profiles for most aircraft out there and the site we highly recommend getting your profiles from is RDPresets
Once you’ve downloaded the reflection profiles you need, extract them to a place you can easily access. Go back to your TomatoShade directory and launch ‘DynamicReflectionMaker.exe’
You will be presented with a window as shown below, in the search bar enter the aircraft you want to apply your reflection profile to, for this example, we’ll use the FSLabs a321 (make sure you have selected the correct engine type for your addon if you have multiple engine types as the FSLabs does). Press open profile and navigate to where your profile is saved and load the file, some addons require another profile for the virtual cockpit, you will know this is the case when you download your profiles from your chosen site, as it will come with a ‘VC’ profile also. To load the VC file, simply press ‘VC editor’ and load the profile the same way as before
When you’ve done all that, press ‘save’ and that’s it, you’re ready to fly! Enjoy the brilliant new look of your P3D v4 setup!