Diablo 3 Rainbow Colour Removal Mod

Is Diablo 3 just too rainbow coloured for you? You will all remember the DiabloWikiArt Controversy  debates which discussed the fact that Diablo 3 was just too bright and didn’t capture the essence of the previous games. Blizzard stuck to their guns with the art direction and the majority of us are pleased with the results.

“But wait! It would be so much better if it was darker!”. This  is a cry we have heard time and time again. Well if you want it darker then check out this modification from Axecutioner who has taken what was originally a Skyrim mod to tone down the colours in the game by utilising a  Direct3D hooking filter.  This ‘mod’ is simply a DLL file and a few shader filter files that are dropped into the Diablo 3 install directory.

Axecutioner has tweaked the shader filters to give the game a gloomier look and the results are pretty interesting when you see it live in this video. As Axecutioner quite rightly states, we don’t know whether this is allowed by Blizzard  but as it’s not messing with the original game files I can’t see a problem. Axecutioner also says that he has been using something similar while playing WoW for over a year without any problems.

Axecutioner also released a few comparison screenshots which you can find after the break…

Thanks to Iskariota for sending this over.

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78 thoughts on “Diablo 3 Rainbow Colour Removal Mod

  1. Looks awsome, I hope Blizz adresses the use of stuff like that before release so I wont get banned for using it and lose my precious wings and dyes.

    • If it’s not modifying any game files or processes (like in this case) you’re safe. If it does modify game files for purely aesthetic reasons then that’s against the TOS, but they usually don’t care, they just don’t make any exceptions so there are no loopholes for hacks.

      • Unless it attaches/injects to a process in some way so that Warden sees it as something weird, which may result in a flag for the next banwave.

  2. not bad but i’m not convinced… it seems to me there’s a better feeling of immersion with the original colors, and some areas lack a lot of visibility with this filter on. sounds difficult to improve anything without changing the whole art direction from the beginning. the walt disney colors of the cathedral dungeons are really annoying though…

    • Agree with everything in this post. This filter isn’t bad at all, but it would most likely lose out in the long run.

      Anyway, it’s a shame the Cathedral dungeon doesn’t look as good as the rest of the game. It seems almost blurry, as if they made it as as an experiment and then moved on to a more sophisticated approach.

  3. I am not sure.. while it doesn’t look bad… it doesn’t look good either. Also there are some pretty desaturated and dark places even in beta.. making it even more dark and desaturated .. not good IMHO.. But of course.. it’s optional tool (hopefully not against EULA) so I can just say my opinion and move along as it is not affecting me in any way.

  4. that is interesting.  I prefer the original but its cool for those that really care.  I doubt Blizzard would have a problem with it.  Its basically just a filter for your video driver and the only thing effected is your monitor output.   

    To me, it just looks like the gamma is being turned down.  I’ve always turned gamma up in really dark games as I can’t stand not seeing most of the screen.   And it isn’t like the darkness adds a scary element.  To me it was always annoying.  But thats just my opinion.  Optional filters always a bonus. 

  5. the modded version looks much better and i dont talk about the colors. the textures have more deatil somehow

    • It’s called contrast… the detail was always there it’s just made clearer with this.
      The Blizzard Devs wanted a sort of painting look so they didn’t add much of that. There are pros and cons to both.

      • It’s not just “contrast”, it’s a reduction in the post-processing blur that is applied to the whole scene by the pixel shaders.

  6. Messing with the texture files, I did sharpen and mess with a lot of them and I noticed that a lot of detail isn’t being brought out with the current palette. It’s very muddy, maybe due to lack of higher-sized textures that will hopefully be present in the release of the game.
    But it’s certainly interesting to see such a sharper version of the game in motion, and the detail you really get to see brought out. I’d probably try it but I can imagine a lot of areas in the game where this could create an issue, either aesthetic or otherwise.

    • Yeah, the new muted palette looks like shit, but the enhanced clarity and sharpness is a huge improvement over this dream-scape blur we normally get.

      I think I’d definitely use a ‘sharpness’ filter.

      • I would settle for just higher-res textures. If you look at the textures on their own, especially the fauna, they are absolutely amazing. They just aren’t represented well in max resolution, because the textures are so small. This is something no amount of mods or plugins is going to cure.

        But the sharpness does help to bring out a lot of the detail they seem intent on hiding for whatever reasons. I’m just holding out for bigger textures and I’d be happy. I play in 3D, and games are naturally darker that way anyway.

  7. Although I am not a huge proponent of “removing the colors from d3”, I have to admit that the modded images look much more diablo-esque to me. I also prefer the removed soft-focus effect in the mod. It really brings out the quality of the artwork.

  8. omfg… now way! its so great! you made me very happy! ty so much! thousand kisses
    when its turned off/on im “ohh yes! these colours are doing so good to my eyes” everytime… man.. so great. ty
    btw i didnt know something like this is possible.. i thought i will have to play with sh_it colours for the next years

  9. How is this not considered a hack by the games (Warden) ? How is it different than the techniques used for wall hacks in Counter-Strike for example ? I like the effect though and I appreciate the work, but I’m surprised he hasn’t been banned for using it.

    • It isn’t sniffing or modifying your memory at all, nor is it messing with any of the code of the actual game. It interacts with your video card’s driver files. It isn’t a “hack” or a “cheat” in the sense that Warden would ban you for using it and it probably would have no way of detecting that you are using it.

      • I guess it’s like turning down the contrast on your monitor – it’s messing with another device/system that is involved in displaying graphics to you?  That’s how I see it anyway.

        • Basically. It’s just like having another DX runtime going on your system. It has nothing to do with D3, actually. Just think of it as a tailor-made driver that only operates for Diablo III, and only impacts direct x.

  10. Love the outside world, but the dungeon shots were just too dark and previous posters are right, it’s just going to get darker.

  11. It’s funny, I remember when people darkened screenshots and blizzard claimed that it wasn’t as easy to do for the entire game. Guess they lied.

    • You know, let’s stick to some good ol internet traditions and actually post sources and found our claims on solid ground. Oh, who am I kidding.

      • Anyone who’s followed the controversy story knows what their arguments for keeping it the way it was were.

        You know, let’s stick to some good ol internet traditions and actually post comments regarding issues we have followed ourselves and understand. Oh, who am I kidding.

      • Oh, and here’s the quote, right out of the wiki page that was linked in the article:

        Jay Wilson: The key thing to remember here is that this has been Photoshopped. This isn’t created by the engine. Though it looks really cool, it’s almost impossible to do in a 3D engine because you can’t have lighting that smart and run on systems that are reasonable. If we could do that, we probably would in a few of the dungeons.

        There you go cocksucker.

        • It’s always easy to prove your point by ripping quotes out of context. Jay was actually referring to the light radius. The new mod doesn’t reintroduce the light radius…

          • Because light radius is totally 100% unrelated to D1/D2’s more somber atmospheres. The mod certainly doesn’t reintroduce it, as you’ve mentioned, but it has a side effect of making areas of the screen further away from your character look darker. Just look at the screenshots. Kind of like LoR, no? Actually, I’ll answer that myself: Yes.

            So, what’s the actual difference between this and LoR, now that we’ve established that they’re similar? This won’t consider objects/walls in your way; it’ll just make everything X away grittier. Which looks bad.

  12. Hmm looks like all he done is changed in game gamma setting, or made a bit of code that has the same effect as dropping the gamma setting a nock.

  13. I am very glad I saw this. Makes it clear just how good the present style actually is. Some areas (cemetery etc) look wonderfully sharp and detailed compared to the in-cathedral levels though…hopefully all that will change by the time the game is released.

  14. For me, I think the current style of colors and lighting is working pretty well.  The only thing which really bothers me is the richness of the purple and violet colors in some of the dungeon scenes.  It’s a little too saturated in my opinion.  I think of ‘My Little Pony” every time I see it.
    If left up to me, I’d just de-saturate those colors a little bit.

  15. mmm personally it look less impressive than wat i tot it would be. Just make me appreciate the original graphics of D3 more…………..

  16. Meh… the outside areas don’t change much. It mostly just makes them have more contrast… The cathedral, however, looks pretty different with all that color taken away. Honestly, I think it makes it look pretty bland with all that color taken away… The extra contrast is nice in some places and kind of crappy looking in others… All in all, I definitely like the original better. The colors are already relatively subdued in this game and it’s nice to seem some color in places to contrast the darker areas and that goes for the cathedral vs. old tristram/weeping hollow as well…

  17. I love the contrast effect. Making detail sharper is more in-tune with how the other Diablo games look.

    I’m not a fan of the darkened colouring. It can make it a bit difficult to see what’s going on, and I mostly like the colours on the original anyway.

    That said, if there’s a contrast effect enabled in-game, I’m taking it. It might just be what’s needed to get rid of all WoW-ish vestiges in the graphics and we have us some true Diablo sharpness.

  18. I really like this and hopefully this will be functional shortly after release. What I like about it is that it makes the display a bit more grittier (or sharper, if you will), so it is not necessarily about the level of “darkness” as such; also, what is really obvious upon watching the vid is that the filter takes away that awful “warm” hue, which I personally strongly dislike.

  19. Moral of the story: Don’t mess with the contrast/saturation settings and ruin the fine art of Blizzard. 😉

  20. It’s very intriguing. I have hard time making a complete judgement without actually playing with it. I found that when I got into the Beta on Monday, the look and feel of it was very different from what I had seen in videos and casts I’d watched.

    I certainly don’t hate it, but at least from the video, I don’t love it either. I was wondering if the sharper images were an illusion or something you had actually done. That part is definitely cool.

  21. will be using this yes!
    now you can finally see that they actually use textures on the ground outside, and not just some undefined blurry stuff..

  22. Makes the cellars look better, and the floorboards in the tavern or floor stones in the cathedral. Otherwise, meh, and it really “muddies” the background doodads in the far off distance. Unburied are hard to make out, too. Not a bad effort, I guess it works for some folk.

  23. I think the original looks a lot better, I prefer the colors. The game is dark enough as it is, this only seems to make it colorless.

  24. kills the saturation contrast completely  and by that i dont mean adjust – it just kills it – but sure if you want to kill your saturation and lose contrast and detail go for it … its not like this is any special. everyone can already adjust this kind off stuff on his Monitor – the pinacle of this program is just the dynmaic switch …

      • you dont. this mod does not magically creates detail – it simply drives the tone contrast up, ergo it only kills the values in between a subtle gradient of tones – maybe you should get your eyes checked if you dont realize how cheap this method is.

  25. You would have to be a moron to play the game like this. The color in the video changes so drastically and randomly (at 0:18, 0:22, 0:25). When you just change a .dll file to create changes in the color/saturation/brightness (or whatever this is doing) it throws off the balance when the game’s lighting changes the color and you get those obvious flashes of color change. I think you have to be extremely stubborn and have bad eyes to think it’s a good idea to play the game that way. (Maybe if it was modded properly and the brightness/saturation didn’t flash in and out randomly it would be fine, but this just looks stupid)

  26. I like it, I wish blizzard would have an in game option for darker colors, but that`s never gonna happen

    • Agreed.  I like the classic dark dungeons, but the open areas in Act II and V of D2 were somewhat refreshing.  A good mix keeps it interesting.  If you want it to be as dark as possible, draw your curtains, put your sunglasses on, paint your room black, and listen to Dimmu Borgir… haha…

    • It does look a lot better than the new bright kiddy console look, and it would definitely make it a lot more involving / give you that Diablo fear (reminds me of Diablo 1 butcher freaky part)
      Be nice to have the switch like that, i would probably find id want to use this more.
      But id say that the blizzard way makes you want to play it more and more ‘casual’
      Possibly a part way between the 2 (make the outer areas a bit easier to see etc would work.

      I think ill use the mod for the first play through to give the game more epicness story wise etc then go back to the bright happy diablo look for the rest of the time. Never know till its out tho 🙂

  27. Meh, I prefer the original one. What most people don´t seem to realise is that dark, gritty and gory does not have to mean black and white colors. Wide color palette can (and oftentimes does) make for a darker mood of the game then billion shades of grey and black. Red, purple, green and various other colors can make a better mood then that. Recent example would be Path of Exile, ARPG that tried to conform to, shall we call them uneducated, demands of the playerbase and tried to win over all the people who were raging over “rainbow colored” Diablo III. The end result is a bland and boring looking game that has way too little colors and repetitive gameplay. But hey, as long as it´s not “rainbow colored”, right?

    • i saw only the class trailers and i loved them. and when i say “love” i mean that i was frustrated and angry that D3 cant be as great as that.

  28. Anyone who thinks this makes the game look “too dark” has either never played D1/D2, or doesn’t understand what the franchise is about.

  29. Really shines on the outdoor areas.  Makes the current version look blown out, washed out, and almost blurry in comparison.  For the indoor areas, meh.

    • This pretty much sums it up. It works wonders in certain areas but will be hard to have fit throughout the whole game. I suppose having a switch on/off could solve that but that will get tiresome after a while.

  30. I hate posts like this.  Real fans of diablo never said it was about the color for fuck sakes. It’s about the atmosphere.  Dungeons felt like torture chambers and suffering went on in there.  The beauty of the art direction in diablo 2 that fans were asking back for got reduce by a developer to an argument about rainbows. You know what, fuck ’em.

    I remember being concerned about being watched while I played and being confused for getting involved in satanism or checking out some dark corner of the internet. This is tame in comparison.

  31. That filter is a step in the right direction. D3 is just another Irvine game with popping colors and fireworks. And who cares if they add some corpses here and there in the game, as they did after feedback? If the art style is cartoonish with popping colors and cute monsters, it won’t change the atmosphere in any way.

  32. It looks like who ever posted the screenshots mixed up my the screenshots with my old version of the plugin (which was really dark, as seen in the cathedral screenshot) with my newer version ones that the sepia, gamma, and exposure settings were not as extreme.
    Here’s where u can see my latest screenshots and more updates:

  33. Personally I’ve never had much of a problem with the current art look but I certainly don’t mind this one. If only, adds more variety and increases replayability for the game. If you’re sick of the same old colorful palette, switch over and play the entire game in classic-D style, dark n broody.

    I say all hail the DarkStar mod!

  34. “blackoutchili
    November 18, 2011 at 18:14”

    ure so pathetic, man.Im not an emo and having diablo from the beginning (1997) and i dont forget the dark and gothic atmosphere of the first one.If you arent blind or … (or just an idiot whos following the actual trend from rainbow fans : if you dont like the rainbow colors then u are an emo), so you can realize the connexion between d3 and wow.Moreover, you can see the difference between the main line of Diablo series and this over coloured children game.Anyway, this mod is pleases me.

  35. much better than the original, I hope it improves further, but I’ll definitly use it. If only solutions for bringing back pk would be so easy…

  36. I always thought the problem was just liek when body builders use tanning oils.
    It just makes things look more defined.
    I like the mod, and am downloading it now, but I have kind of grown fond of the way the coloring is done now. ?_?

  37. Am i the only one that noted that this guy put the *post pictures at max settings and the *original ones at very low??
    The darker setting is nice but if u want to compare, do it without cheating!

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