World of Warcraft: How to take screenshots / pictures in wow
Have you ever been riding through a zone like Ashenvale and thought “hmmm that lake with the trees behind it would make a good desktop background”. No? Well I guess you were probably too focused on killing those pesky Furbolgs. The worlds of Azeroth and Outlands are massive, sporting enough scenery for millions of potential screen shots. Unfortunately most players are too busy leveling to even notice what a work of art the game world really is.
I believe players need to slow down a bit, soak in the sun on Westfall beach taking pictures or the lighthouse or take snapshots of the many castles, towers and citadels. If someone sent you on a quest with a 1000g reward to find the best screen shot; where would you go? What technique would you use to take it? What is it that you like about the resulting image?
A screen shot can be taken using the Print Screen button on your keyboard. Once taken the screen shot will be saved to your WoW folder in the subfolder named screenshots. The mouse pointer is not included in the shot, but is instead treated as if it isn’t there. Anything behind the mouse pointer will be shown correctly. To remove your User Interface, hold Alt and hit z. You now only have your character in the way. Simply hit Alt z again to bring your UI back. To hide your character from view, just scroll right in to minimum distance until your character is behind your viewpoint. Now you have your make shift camera, is it mounted in the right place, and are you facing the right direction and angle?
When you find something you want to take a screen shot of, you must first decide whether you are going for a long shot or a close up. When doing a close up, you may have to look at your target from several angles. This is so that you can find the best way of not including background junk. You want your items to be the picture and nothing else. When you go for a long shot, you need to determine how far back you need to be to include a balanced background. Center your target, make sure itt is in the center of the shot. If you are in a forest you might use two trees along the borders. Creating an appealing shot has a lot to do with balance and being even.
Try to make your shot look natural. When you’re taking pictures of characters; go into the interface options and turn off character names and titles. Make sure you have nothing selected and your UI is hidden. This is what makes the difference between a screen shot that looks like a photo or artwork and one that is basically a game play shot.
Techniques - Materials & Resources
There are so many ways to make screen shot unique. The world has loads of resources at your disposal. My favourite is the scope. Scopes are only available to low level or higher engineers; so it is not option for everyone. If you have access to a scope though, it is a great tool.
At short distances the scope creates a magnification effect and at long distances, it increases your maximum view distance. You can use the scope to take a shot of something right in front of you, but really close up and without the useless background junk. Alternatively, if you want to get a downward angled shot of some scenery but the nearest cliff is a bit too high or a bit too far away; the scope may solve this issue. However, the scope only has one zoom and you have to position your character in the right spot to get the perfect distance. Unfortunately, some shots are just impossible.
Action Emotes can add a lot of personality to screenshots of characters. Instead of just standing on the hill, make them dance. Wait for the spin and take the shot. The same goes for laughing, saying no or any other /command that makes your character move.
Character abilities can make some very nice screen shots, but they have to be perfectly timed, set up before hand and often take more than one player to get right. You could try getting your warrior friend to charge at a bear, and take a shot mid charge. Another nice one is to dress a character in a particular outfit, stand them in front of a wall and get a druid friend to cast some heals on them. Take a shot of your character surrounded in green glowing leaves. If on your own, use enrage abilities to change how you character looks or take shots of major abilities like divine storm, slam or heroic throw. If you’re a paladin, dress up as an angel and cast your wings: 20 seconds to take a few shots from different angles and walah!
Mounts can be extremely useful. Want a slight downward shot? Mount up for some extra height. In areas where you can fly, you can get just about any shot you like from any desired angle; as long as there aren’t a crapload of annoyingly placed trees in the way. If you’re in Azeroth, ground mounts can give some assistance, but the real opportunities come from flight points.
Flight points act in a similar way to flying mounts, but the angles you get to use and the time you have to take your shots are extremely limited. But at the same time, this is an advantage if you become good at it, because very few else are likely to have got that same screen shot. There are openings to get shots of places like Booty Bay, Northshire Abby, the entrance to Blackrock Mountain and Ashenvale Lake. Don’t forget you can also take pictures of the mounts themselves, with you on them or if you wait for the wing to move up; without you.
If there are any techniques you would like to add, please enter them in the comments.
Now go make some alternate art!
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