ENBSeries is a graphical modification for many games, including Skyrim. It uses a modified d3d9.dll file, implementing new graphical options such as ambient occlusion, indirect lighting, Bokeh depth-of-field, lens effects, better bloom, HDR, tone maping, parallax maping, vignette, sun rays, detailed shadows, film grain, reflections and much more to come in later versions.
The settings can be modified and adjusted to your liking. Many people have released their own ENB presets which they use and wish to share.
And no, the creator won't tell us what the ENB name actually means. I'm serious, he won't. Don't attempt to figure out what it stands for and just remember what it does; it makes your games look pretty. Go to the official website for more information.
First, you want to get the d3d9.dll file from the official website. Usually the newest release is the best option, but some presets require a specific version because of stabilization or specific issues. After downloading the enb, place the files into the Skyrim main folder (usuallly Steam\steamapps\common\skyrim\). Now if you want to use a preset made by someone else, download and extract it to the same place as before. This should overwrite some files but it shouldn't interfere with the d3d9.dll. Once you start the game, you should see a significant difference between the ENB and vanilla.
Please note that performance will depend on what binary version the ENB is and what kind of computer you have. This varies depending on your processing speed, how much RAM you can allocate, and what kind of graphics card you have.
There really isn't a "best ENB" out there. It all comes down to player preference, or how well your rig can handle that specific ENB preset. You gotta search for what you like. You can use a really colorful ENB, or a very movie-esque preset with film grain and filters, or even a very simplistic one with just SSAO and a few lighting tweaks. Here are a few ENB presets that we would recommend to you. They are all ranked for different graphic card specifications; Shit, Okay, and Good. An ENB could also have optional presets for low and high end computers. Some features would be removed or added depending on the settings but will accommodate you better. Check out the UESP link for full details on the specs. You should never use an ENB if you don't meet the game's minimum requirements, even if it is a really simple ENB. If you can run the game at Ultra settings with no issues with textures, than you're pretty much set you use anything you want!
Click on the pictures to go to the ENB links!
What is Reshade and SweetFX?
Reshade and SweetFX are post processing tools that tweak and add new features to almost any game, including Skyrim.
They improves anti-aliasing, bloom, HDR, tonemapping, and even adds new features such as LumaSharpen, Technicplor, Cineon DPX, and more. It also works with ENB, so you can use both at the same time. Some ENB presets come with SweetFX now for easy installation.
Check out the SweetFX forum page for more details.
ENB Snow FX is a mod that replaces the vanilla snow effects.
When installed, the modification will remove the fake particle screen overlay effect and replace it with true particle effects. These effects are great looking but very taxing on low-end computers. Like any ENB feature, the snow can be tweaked to your liking.
If you want to best looking falling snow, this is the mod you want to get. The snow only works when your ENB is on. If the ENB is not on,
the snow will look like dark blue polygons like in this picture.
Click on the EnbDev button to go to the mod page.
Q: What's the difference between Wrapper and Injector ENB?
A: The wrapper version replaces Skyrim's d3d9.dll file with one that works with and is configured for ENB. The ENB should start up whenever you start your game. The injector version uses an executable file that you have to run every time before you start up Skyrim for the ENB to work. This version should not overwrite the default dll.
Q: What does it mean when an ENB says it's incompatible with a lighting mod?
A: When an ENB says it's incompatible with something like Climates of Tamriel, it really means that the ENB would look different with it on. You can use the ENB with or without certain mods, but the ENB will look a little different than what the auther envisioned because mods like CoT change the brightness and saturation of the base game. This will also change how the ENB will look like in the end.
Q: Why does my game keep crashing when I have ENB and SweetFX on at the same time?
A: It's probably because you need more VRAM. ENB and SweetFX are both post processing programs that go over your game which makes the game look different to the viewer and doesn't necessarily edit the game. This will take a toll on any PCs because of the amount of VRAM required to keep up the post processing and filters at a steady pace. So in this case, you'll have a layer of post processing over post processing. To remedy this issue, try enabling only a few of each setting on both ENB and SweetFX to have a perfect combination of the two that won't set your computer on fire.
Q: Which ENB file controls the DOF effect?
A: That would be the "enbeffectprepass.fx" file. It should come packed with any ENB preset.