Tags: posts polarity-music Bitwig Tutorial Theming

Bitwig Theming and Color Customizations

Tutorial | Apr 26, 2024

In this video, I demonstrate how to use the Reshade tool with Bitwig Studio Beta 1. By installing Reshade and selecting the appropriate API, users can apply various graphical filters and effects to Bitwig Studio, similar to how one would modify games with Reshade. However, it is important to note that this is an experimental plugin, so caution should be exercised when using it.

You can watch the Video on Youtube - support me on Patreon - Reshade Tool

In the latest Bitwig Studio 5.2 Beta 1, users with NVIDIA GPUs may notice an overlay feature similar to what's found in games. This is because Bitwig now utilizes GPU for rendering. Here’s how you can leverage this for visual modifications:

  1. Using GeForce Experience Overlay: By pressing Alt-Z, you can access the GeForce overlay, originally intended for game recordings and applying graphical filters. However, Bitwig is not recognized as a supported game for these filters.

  2. Applying Reshade for Visual Adjustments:

    • Download and install Reshade, choosing the version with full add-on support.
    • During installation, select Bitwig Studio from your Program Files and specify the graphics API (e.g., DirectX 10/11/12).
    • Install shader plugins or packages as desired. Options include standard effects or more extensive shader packs for creative visuals.
  3. Customizing Visuals:

    • Once installed, you can adjust shaders like color grading, hue changes, or even apply retro effects like CRT simulations.
    • Advanced users can utilize LUTs (Lookup Table Files) for precise color adjustments.
    • Modifications are global, affecting the entire interface rather than individual elements.
  4. Important Considerations:

    • This method is experimental and may not be officially supported by Bitwig.
    • Avoid using this in professional settings without backing up your work.
    • Modify directory permissions as necessary to ensure Reshade can save settings.
  5. Engagement and Sharing:

    • Once satisfied with your settings, you can save these as presets and share them with the community for feedback or further customization.

The use of Reshade in Bitwig Studio is a playful, experimental approach to customize the visual experience, leveraging the GPU-based rendering of the software.

Questions & Answers

Maybe you dont watch the video, here are some important takeaways:

What is Reshade and how does it work?

Reshade is a tool that hooks up between an application or game and the graphics card API (such as DirectX or Vulkan) to apply graphical filters. It is intended for single player games but can also be used with applications like Bitwig Studio. Reshade allows users to modify colors, add effects, and even use lookup tables to change the appearance of the application or game.

How do I install Reshade in Bitwig Studio?

To install Reshade in Bitwig Studio, you need to download and run the Reshade installer. During installation, select the Bitwig Studio executable file and choose the appropriate graphics API. After installation, make sure to set the directory for Reshade to have the correct read and write permissions, and then open Bitwig Studio to see the Reshade overlay.

What can I do with Reshade in Bitwig Studio?

After installing Reshade in Bitwig Studio, you can choose from a variety of shaders and effects to modify the appearance of the software. This includes changing colors, applying a CRT monitor effect, adding blurs or grain, and much more. You can also save your settings as presets and share them with others.

What should I be cautious about when using Reshade in Bitwig Studio?

It's important to note that using Reshade in Bitwig Studio is highly experimental and may not be officially supported. It's recommended to only use it for fun or experimentation purposes, and not for critical or important projects. Additionally, be cautious when modifying the directory permissions for Reshade in Bitwig Studio, as it may violate the terms of service.


This is what im talking about in this video. The text is transcribed by AI, so it might not be perfect. If you find any mistakes, please let me know.
You can also click on the timestamps to jump to the right part of the video, which should be helpful.

[00:00:00] So when you open up Bitwig Studio, Beta 1, 5.2, Beta 1, you maybe already noticed something.
[00:00:09] Sometimes you get an overlay.
[00:00:10] If you use an NVIDIA MvDA graphics card, you get this, yeah, this overlay here.
[00:00:17] Use Alt-Z to open up GeForce, the experience overlay.
[00:00:23] So if you do this here, it looks like this.
[00:00:27] It's obviously in German, but you can record games with this and it usually gives you here
[00:00:32] options to apply some kind of graphical filter.
[00:00:36] But when we choose this here, it says this game is not supported.
[00:00:41] So because Bitwig Studio now is based on all the drawings, all the rendering is based on
[00:00:47] the GPU, we can actually treat this like a game, right?
[00:00:52] And I remember back in the day when I used to play Battlefield, I used a tool called
[00:00:59] Reshade because in Battlefield, I even made a video about this year, seven years ago,
[00:01:06] in Battlefield we had a bad tint here, this yellow tint on top of every level, right?
[00:01:13] And it looked a bit off to me.
[00:01:16] So I created basically a reshade preset to make it look more like clear, right?
[00:01:22] I think the tint basically, it's so reshade works basically like this.
[00:01:27] It hooks up in between the application or the game and your graphics card API, like
[00:01:35] DirectX or Vulkan or something like this.
[00:01:38] So it not changes the application, it just says to the application, hey, I'm the DirectX
[00:01:44] API basically.
[00:01:45] And I think this only works on Windows, not on Linux.
[00:01:49] Actually there are some different solutions there, but on Windows it kind of works.
[00:01:54] So you can download Reshade here, it's completely free.
[00:01:57] You can choose here Reshade or Reshade with full add-on support.
[00:02:02] I downloaded here the ladder.
[00:02:06] So yeah, and by the way, this is highly experimental, right?
[00:02:10] I show this because people will get behind this anyway at some point and they will try
[00:02:17] it out and it's probably better to experiment with this in the beta phase.
[00:02:23] And yeah, please don't use real, your real work, your real project with this or make
[00:02:32] sure everything is safe or if you're not safe with fiddling around in Windows, then this
[00:02:38] is probably not for you.
[00:02:41] So when you download this here, we have to stand in the download folder here.
[00:02:47] Looks like this and you can install this.
[00:02:51] It says here this build for Reshade is intended for single player games only and may cause
[00:02:57] bands in multiplayer games.
[00:02:59] So Bitwig is not a multiplayer game, it's also not a single player game, not a problem.
[00:03:05] So here there's a list of applications and Bitwig is not in here, at least not for me.
[00:03:11] So I go here for the program files, Bitwig Studio beta one directory and I choose Bitwig
[00:03:16] Studio and then I hit next.
[00:03:20] Make sure this is correct.
[00:03:23] Hit next and then you can choose basically your API.
[00:03:26] For me, it's direct X 10, 11 and 12.
[00:03:30] And when I hit next, I can choose plug ins, shader plug ins for this tool.
[00:03:35] If you already installed Reshade at some point, you get probably a question for uninstalling
[00:03:43] this again or updating, right?
[00:03:46] This is also important.
[00:03:47] If you want to remove Reshade, just reopen up the setup and then choose here the same
[00:03:53] API, hit next and then you can uninstall it.
[00:03:58] So here's now a list of plug ins we can install or actually shaders or packages of shaders
[00:04:04] you can just run here with the standard or sweetfx packages, but you can also check everything
[00:04:11] if you want to.
[00:04:12] If you want to try out a few wacky things and then hit next and then it downloads here
[00:04:18] all the plug ins or shaders to the directory.
[00:04:25] It takes a moment.
[00:04:29] Yeah, please if something went wrong, please call the don't call the support bitwig support
[00:04:34] right and say polarity made you do it.
[00:04:39] So these are now at once you can install for reshade itself.
[00:04:43] We don't need any of that and hit just next and it says it's installed.
[00:04:50] So inside of the bitwig directory, it looks now like this.
[00:04:53] You have now here reshade preset any reshade log reshade.
[00:05:00] Then we have reshade shaders.
[00:05:04] In there are all the shader applications and also textures and so on.
[00:05:09] And to make sure everything works correctly, you also have to set this directory to or
[00:05:15] do you have to remove the right access or the rights protection here.
[00:05:22] I need to go to extended here or advanced or safety here.
[00:05:29] And then I have to I think I change trusted installer here writing rights and also for
[00:05:37] users that the user can write into this directory.
[00:05:40] It's pretty important because if you open up reshade in bitwig, then it wants to write
[00:05:45] your settings down, right?
[00:05:47] What kind of changes you make and so on.
[00:05:50] So this directory here needs to be to be a free of right protection.
[00:05:55] So we need to remove the right protection for this directory.
[00:05:58] That's pretty important.
[00:06:00] I don't know if this is allowed by the TOS of bitwig studio.
[00:06:03] I have no idea.
[00:06:04] This is highly experimental.
[00:06:05] We just you know, fiddle around and have some fun.
[00:06:09] That's basically what we try to do.
[00:06:11] So if we open up here bitwig studio now, it should give you some kind of overlay.
[00:06:19] Yeah, top here, you can see it loads basically all the reshade packages in there.
[00:06:27] And it's now in Germany and it uses the system language.
[00:06:30] So if you are on an English language based operating system, this is probably in English.
[00:06:38] What it says here basically reshade was successfully installed and I can use position one on my
[00:06:44] keyboard to open up this panel inside of bitwig studio and reads you here and gives you some
[00:06:49] kind of information and also a tutorial.
[00:06:52] You can also skip the tutorial if you want to.
[00:06:55] So we do this and you're back in your menu here.
[00:06:59] So these are all the shaders we installed and you can choose any shader.
[00:07:03] You can also choose multiple shaders.
[00:07:07] Let's say here's adaptive color grading.
[00:07:09] I'm searching for something here.
[00:07:11] Let's say hue, hue FX and enable this.
[00:07:15] You can see already a bitwig changes colors.
[00:07:18] You can open this up here and can change the humid hue range.
[00:07:23] I think we can also here, yeah, detach this here and move it around.
[00:07:29] So you can see the colors already changed, right?
[00:07:33] Can make changes to it.
[00:07:36] We can also instead of changing the hue, we can call in a lot.
[00:07:42] If you have a lookup table file, if you already, if you do photographs or video processing,
[00:07:51] you probably already know what LUTs are.
[00:07:53] So basically have a lookup table of colors and you can change them red for green or,
[00:07:59] you know, you can exchange the colors basically as a table of colors and you can exchange everything.
[00:08:05] So you can use LUTs in here if you want to.
[00:08:08] There's also some wacky shaders that say you can make everything look like a CRT monitor
[00:08:14] here.
[00:08:15] Then you have your settings down here for the CRT FX.
[00:08:19] You can change the resolution.
[00:08:24] Gamma monitor, brightness, scan intensity.
[00:08:31] Coverture doesn't work.
[00:08:35] What else do we have?
[00:08:36] Over scan.
[00:08:37] So you can, you know, create a lot of strange effects with this.
[00:08:43] This goes way beyond what you can do with themes or theming in other doors.
[00:08:50] It may be even better.
[00:08:52] I don't know.
[00:08:54] But it's not like you can say, oh, I want a slider in green and I want this in red.
[00:08:58] This is not possible.
[00:08:59] It's more like a global effect on top of Bitwig Studio.
[00:09:04] You can also use here, make everything look like a character here.
[00:09:13] Character spacing.
[00:09:15] That's even smaller.
[00:09:18] Swap colors.
[00:09:19] Oh, God.
[00:09:20] Invert colors.
[00:09:21] So yeah, a lot of wacky things.
[00:09:25] Also something like this.
[00:09:28] Okay.
[00:09:30] Blurring.
[00:09:31] Can blur Bitwig.
[00:09:35] There are a lot of post FX that you can use.
[00:09:40] Let's stick here with the UX.
[00:09:42] You can also.
[00:09:45] Yeah.
[00:09:48] And then if you are happy with this, you can also save this into a preset file and can
[00:09:52] share it on the internet for other users, right?
[00:09:54] Or for later use or draft different settings.
[00:10:06] Color mix situation limit.
[00:10:10] Maybe search for color here.
[00:10:15] Adaptive color.
[00:10:21] Darkness.
[00:10:31] So yeah.
[00:10:37] Color inversion.
[00:10:40] Color isolation.
[00:10:42] Let's probably not watch this one.
[00:10:54] Only red in world.
[00:10:55] Oh, God.
[00:10:56] Yeah, you can do wacky things with this.
[00:10:59] I just want to show you this because you will discover it at some point anyway.
[00:11:05] So you can tweak this in all kinds of different directions.
[00:11:12] And like I said, if you use a lookup table, you can basically really target specific colors.
[00:11:20] You can say everything that's red.
[00:11:22] I want to have it green.
[00:11:23] Also feel like this, right?
[00:11:27] But here with the sliders, you can also have a lot of fun.
[00:11:35] Oh yeah, you can remove the saturation here.
[00:11:41] Then dial in something that looks more like to your taste.
[00:11:49] Yeah.
[00:11:50] And like I said, you can combine it.
[00:11:57] Doomgrain, okay.
[00:12:00] I can add grain on top.
[00:12:02] Looks like a movie now.
[00:12:07] So yeah, this is all now possible because it renders on the GPU.
[00:12:11] It's like a game and you can modify it.
[00:12:14] But like I said, please treat this with caution.
[00:12:19] And it's just an experimental plug-in.
[00:12:23] Or maybe it's fun to you to just play around with this.
[00:12:26] I go here to performance mode.
[00:12:29] So performance mode is basically that you only compile shaders that you use, not all
[00:12:35] shaders.
[00:12:37] It takes a while sometimes.
[00:12:41] Yeah, and then you can hit position one and then you can play with this and use Bitwig
[00:12:52] as you do.
[00:12:59] And yeah, it's kind of funny to do this.
[00:13:01] I put the link in the description below.
[00:13:04] And if you want to, you can share maybe your reshade presets in the comments down below.
[00:13:11] Maybe you found something funny or you have some ideas about it.
[00:13:15] Let me know in the comments down below.
[00:13:16] Okay, that's it.
[00:13:17] Leave a like if you liked the video.
[00:13:20] Subscribe to the channel and have some fun with the beta.
[00:13:23] Bye.
[00:13:23] [BLANK_AUDIO]