How to take good screenshots

screenshot1

Someone asked me how to take good screenshots in World of Warcraft, so I thought I’d write a small post about it and share my tips.

I’ve been taking screenshots since I leveled my first character back in the Burning Crusade. I didn’t know anything about how to hide my UI, zoom or turn up my graphics and resolution when I first started. But I’ve learned a lot since then, mostly by reading other guides and tips and by taking loads of screenshots. When I play I’m always looking for good shots. Sometimes I run or fly around doing something completely different when I suddenly see something I just have to take a screenshot of.

Basics

How do I take a screenshot?

Press the Print Screen button on your keyboard, it’s usually located at the top right. You should see a “Screen Captured” message.

How do I hide my UI?

Press Alt+Z to hide it and press Alt+Z again or Esc to get it back

How do I make names of characters/NPCs/pets disappear?

Open the Game Menu, choose Interface and then Names. You can uncheck the names you want to hide.

Where can I find my screenshots?

You screenshots are automatically saved in the screenshots folder in your main WoW directory.

Quality

WoW actually has an internal setting for screenshot quality which by default is set to 3/10.  You can turn it up by typing the following command into your chatbox

/console screenshotQuality 10

You should also turn your screen resolution and graphic settings up as high as your computer can handle before taking a screenshot.  This can be done in Game Menu – Interface – System.

Tips and tricks

  • Zoom all the way in so you’re looking through your character’s eyes and take pictures from first person view
  • Stand behind the object you want to take a picture of without seeing your own character and zoom in as far as you want
  • Fly around on a mount without effects
  • /sit /lay down to get a good view of something low to the ground
  • Talking to a friendly NPC will usually make them face you
  • Do emotes
  • Remove names, guilds, titles
  • Pay attention to the light
  • Having a character in target our mouse-over will make them look brighter
  • Find a neutral background for character shots
  • Edit the screenshot afterwards. Brightness, contrast, crop etc
  • Take as many screenshots as you can, spam your Print Screen button
  • Hold down the right mouse button to move the camera around
  • Hold down the right mouse button and use your arrow keys or the a and d key to turn your character around without moving the camera
  • The rule of thirds: photos are supposed to be more interesting with the key element of your picture off-center.
  • Take time to experiment

screenshot2

I usually edit my screenshots before posting them. I turn up the contrast and brightness a little bit so they don’t appear so dark. It’s not a big difference but it makes them look better.

 

Free photo editing programs

Online

http://pixlr.com/

http://www.befunky.com/

http://www.photoshop.com/tools

http://www.fotor.com/

Downloadable

http://www.gimp.org/

http://www.getpaint.net/

http://www.phoxo.com/en/

Other guides 

http://wowpedia.org/Changing_the_screenshot_format

http://reviveandrejuvenate.blogspot.se/2010/05/tutorial-tips-for-taking-screenshots.html

http://www.wowhead.com/help=screenshots-tips-tricks

http://wow.joystiq.com/2012/05/17/tips-and-tricks-for-taking-great-wow-screenshots/

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16 thoughts on “How to take good screenshots

  1. I didn’t know about that quality control thing! I’ve always just turned my graphics up. I’ll give this a shot next time and see what the difference is.

  2. Another online photo editing service out there is http://www.picmonkey.com/. It’s fantastic for doing all sorts of graphics, and it’s free! (You can upgrade to some fancier version, but all that does is block ads and give you access to a few more fonts, filters, labels, etc)

    Fantastic guide!

  3. Pingback: #WoWscreenshotaday – Day 23 – Yellow | One Crazy Paladin

  4. Thanks for sharing this! I was linked here by acbarberi on another blog.

    I just started a blog myself so this will really help with making things pretty! :)

  5. Pingback: #CrazyScreenshotChallenge September Screenshot-a-day Challenge | One Crazy Paladin

  6. Awsome post, bookmarked forever! :)

    I didn’t know about “/console screenshotQuality 10″ and it annoys me so! I run the game on Ultra, still everything seems blurry when I take screenshots. Hope this fixes it. :)

  7. Pingback: Create Beautiful Web Graphics with just PowerPoint and Screenshots : Ted Curran.net

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