The picture controls alter the .jpeg files out of the camera. The mode doesn't matter. There's a tip I know for picture controls. Nikon sets the default sharpening for the picture controls low at level 3. Nikon expert, Ken Rockwell, recommends going through all of the picture controls - standard, neutral, vivid, monochrome, and all of the others, and increasing the sharpening to level 6. I set mine to level 6 sharpening. I shoot RAW but sometimes RAW + JPEG fine.
CO, is this only available on D3300 (and older)? I can't find sharpening controls on my D3400.