Fallout 3

I sometimes get asked the question how I am able to run my game at such strange resolutions. I've answered this so many times in a PM that I finally broke down to write this little guide.

I mostly use DTG's utility called SRWE, or <i>Simple Runtime Window Editor</i>. It can take any window and resize the window to any desired resolution. I use it to run my games rendered at high resolutions, often far surpassing what my monitor is capable to display, and then resize the window using SRWE to fit my desktop.

This will happen at a small cost: the translation to a lower resolution is done without a resizing algorithm to filter for artefacts. Depending on the ratio of resizing you will run into more or less funkiness.

However, if you use the right screenshot utility, the screenshots you take will be shot at the rendered resolution, not the resolution of the resized window. Not all screenshot methods will work with this. Steam, ENB's screenshot function, and Fraps don't get what SRWE does. Try using one of the SMAA, FXAA or SweetFX injectors and use the screenshot function of those (configurable via their ini's, mostly injector.ini).

Also, you can use SRWE to run your game in non-standard desktop resolutions, such as the 2.35 anamorphic ratio in which I take a lot of shots. Of course, this can also be achieved in ENB via a vignette, but that has to be rendered via code, losing you some FPS, and showing up in screenshots, which is something I do not want. Using SRWE, I get gorgeous filmic widescreen images and shots, while SRWE makes sure to black out the desktop where no image is rendered. WIN!

I've used SRWE to run my game at crazy aspect ratio's, e.g. 5760x720 pixels for panoramic shots that don't require stitching in a photo editor. I've managed to pull off a 8600x1080 shot, but that damn near fried my machine... and it sucked.

You can get SRWE in the optionals area for the Skyrim Unstretched Windowed Fullscreen Mode mod over at the Skyrim Nexus:
Make sure to download SRWE and not UWFM if you want to run this utility in ANY game that you can run windowed. And thank the author, please!

Sadly I have no time to build an illustrated guide. Here's hoping someone with the inclination will do a video guide.

SRWE Guide:

In this example we will render the game at 3840x1634 (2.35 aspect ratio) and resize the game window to 1920x817 (still a 2.35 aspect ratio, but at one fourth the resolution), fitting it to a standard 1920x1080 (or 1920x1200) desktop.

Set game to launch in a window instead of fullscreen.

Set desired resolution (3840x1634 in this example). Aspect ratio can be different than your desktop size (2.35 in this example, instead of the common 16:9 or 16:10 ratios). (See note 3 for hints on how to set Fallout 3 to run in a window with desired resolution).

Launch game and alt-tab out.

Launch and switch to SRWE.

Select your application window via 'Select running application' and hit 'Open'. A tree-like list will appear on the left hand side of the main SRWE window. The items of the list are known as "Window" in Microsoft Windows family OS terminology. For more info, see What Is a Window? (Windows) article.

In most cases, the main window (of selected app/game) is first item in the list, and an application main window may have child windows (such as buttons, text boxes, drop-down lists, menu, toolbars, etc...). For example, main windows of Skyrim and Fallout 3 have a nested window for rendering graphical output. In SRWE it is displayed like this:

1. Skyrim
___1.1. (00xxxxxx) (Window ID as hex code)
2. ...
3. ...

If you're going to save your work as a profile which you can later use to quickly repeat this process, put check mark in front each window you are going to edit. For Fallout 3/NV and Skyrim, this means you have to put a check in front of both window 1. and window 1.1. See note 4 for more info about the checkboxes.

For Fallout 3/NV (or Skyrim), make sure window 1. is selected. Hit 'Remove borders' and 'Fake fullscreen' buttons in GENERAL window. Also hit 'V.Center' and/or 'H.Center' if your chosen aspect ratio will not cover your entire desktop. to make sure that bottom or side bars will be of equal size.

For Fallout 3/NV (or Skyrim), select child window 1.1 (designated by a hex code), and go to area marked 'Window position and size' in the GENERAL tab. This will show your rendered resolution as designated via game configuration files or in-game settings (3840x1634 in our example).

You will have to swap these values for values that will fit your desktop. If your aspect ratio will render the game in landscape mode, take the horizontal rendered resolution and divide this by your horizontal desktop resolution (e.g. 3840/1920=2). Put your horizontal desktop resolution in the box for Width in the 'Window position and size' are. (Swap 3840 for 1920 in our example.)

Now divide the Height value in the 'Window position and size' area (1634) by the factor you've just calculated (2) and enter this, swapping out the rendered value (e.g 1634/2=817).

Save the profile under a name that reflects the aspect ratio for future use in any game at any resolution that fits this aspect ratio (e.g. '2.35 aspect ratio' in our example).

Either shut down or leave open SRWE and alt-tab to your resized game window.

Note 1:
Not all methods to take screenshots will capture the full window. FXAA, SMAA and SweetFX injectors will. FRAPS, Steam, ENB will not. PRINTSCREEN will.

Note 2:
If you chose an aspect ratio that will render the game in portrait mode (e.g. 3:4) adjust accordingly, by first fitting the vertical resolution to your desktop size and then adjusting the horizontal resolution.

Note 3:
If you want to run Fallout in a window of specified resolution, you have to open FalloutPrefs.ini (located in My Documents/My Games/Fallout3) using a text editor. Change the line that reads "bFull Screen=1" to "bFull Screen=0" to run in a window. Find the lines that start with "iSize W=" and "iSize H=" and exchange the values there for your desired width and height.

Note 4]:
About the checkboxes (square shapes in front of each window (item) in the list): Actually, you don't have to put the check mark to manipulate a window (size/position/styles). It is enough to click on an item to start working with it. The checkboxes are needed only if you're gonna save window settings to a profile. Since, there might be a hundreds of windows in the list, only windows with the check mark are saved into a profile, all others are ignored.

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  1. Xianshi
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    Wonderfull! Alltough my machine doesn't want to do proper "4K" pictures.


    There is still a big differance between the shots in 2.35:1 and 16:9!
  2. Dude159
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    You say aspect ratio can be different from desktop size, but when I change the resolution to anything not supported by my monitor I get:
    "Failed to initialize renderer.
    Your display doesn't support the selected resolution. Please set a different
    resolution in Skyrim's Launcher under 'Display Settings'"
    Can I get around this? Or can I only run Skyrim in a resolution my monitor supports (kind of defeating the purpose of the tool)?
    1. Dude159
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      Was running in fullscreen :$
  3. smellytoes
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    rawrly cewlz. Running it with ENB will make you feel like you are watching matrix on a projection screen. Screenary cewls but game play is yikes! Only workable flow is by reducing the resolution so that the amount of frames isn't dropped by much. So, yes! this is a spiffy utility for screenbooms and slight loss in performance depending the amount of res used in the window screen. cawshun is advised if you go beyond 4k+ res with 2.0+ ratio, expect a popped blood vessel on a low res monitor.
  4. Mohamed2001
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    Is it safe, or will I end up with a fried PC? I was thinking about 1920x1536..

    Good guide however.

    Also, my monitor is forcing it to display up to 1280x1024 only.. Which is what I am using now.. So, I can't choose 1920x1536.
  5. shadowfx78
    • BANNED
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    Nevermind i found it great guide will be sure to try this utility out
  6. lonewanderer518
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    Works perfect- just followed your instructions. Thanx
  7. TheHaggis
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    So if I'm understanding this correctly, I could, for example increase the resolution to something higher than my 1440x900 monitor supports, while staying at a 16:10 aspect ratio, right?
    1. midhras
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      Yeah! Absolutely. It all depends on what your card could handle. Just multiply both values by the same number (try 1.5 for starters) and follow the guide. Should work. Great for screenshots, and you may luck out and run it relatively glitch-free, visually. The shots will always be immaculate though.
    2. TheHaggis
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      Tested it out, works fine at 2560x1440. Thanks for the article!