Taking Screenshots

When I first started working on TOR Fashion, I made a lot of mistakes when taking screenshots (which you can see sprinkled throughout the site). I’ve learned a few things along the way and wanted to share them to help others who are submitting images to TOR Fashion. It’s frustrating when you spend all that time getting the perfect armor set only to take such poor screenshots no one can admire your gear.

Remember, you can submit up to 15 images. For instance, you can take detailed shots in preview or with excellent lighting conditions and then get that perfect action shot with a different background. Also, it’s fine to submit your character more than once.

The following images have not been doctored in any way, except cropping. – Exile

Print Screen vs Screenshot Program

I don’t use the Print Screen button to take screenshots. I prefer to use programs that allow me to crop the image when I take it instead of getting the whole screen and having to go back and crop it later with another program. Normally, I have my screenshot program tied to the Print Screen button so it will work the same as if I pressed the button for the program.

Snagit

My preferred program for screenshots is Snagit. Snagit puts a tool at the top of my screen where I press a button that stops the action in game and allows me to drag my cursor and grab only the part of the screen I want. Unfortunately, the free version is only a 15-day trial and then you have to pay $49.95.

Gyazo

I also use Gyazo. Gyazo is a free program that will allow you to grab screenshots or create gifs. I don’t use it as my primary program because it pulls up a webpage for you to save the image instead of a separate window on your computer. Sometimes the Gyazo website can be running slow and I don’t like having to wait for the image to come up. I do use it for gifs though because Snagit has an option for videos, but not a way to do gifs.

Crop

If you don’t use a separate program, make sure you crop images for the Character Submission Form. I can crop images for the visual database, but the Character Submission form uploads directly to the site and it’s difficult to see details when your character is tiny compared to the background. I use Adobe PhotoShop to crop images sent for the visual database. If you can’t afford to purchase a program, try something like Fotor Photo Crop or Picresize.

Screenshot_2016-01-11_18_51_29_315113

Character Select Screen

The character select screen is an excellent place to get a close shot of the front of your character. Unfortunately, it sometimes changes the colors of items. An example would be it will show the pants as color matched when there is a separate dye on them.

Arke Satele

Cut Scenes

Cut scenes are great for getting really detailed close-in shots of your character, especially since you’ll see hand movements and facial expressions that you might not be able to replicate with emotes, but you do need to hide your UI, especially if you have subtitles on.

Iresse Front

Lighting

Lighting is the most important aspect of taking a good screenshot. Colors look radically different based on where you take the picture and in a lot of cases, you can’t make out many details in darker locations.

Previews

Previews will get you the best images for details, but often the colors are slightly off or you get some reflected light.

Kigal Preview

Tatooine

Tatooine is by far the best for lighting conditions, but be careful to keep the sun on the character’s face. Here you can see my Sniper in the same location, but standing away from and into the sun. This does not hold true for the Tatooine Stronghold. The lighting is terrible in the Stronghold.

Sefone Tatooine ShadowsSefone Tatooine Sun

Makeb

Makeb is a really good location, especially since the background vista is much more interesting than Tatooine.

Stycks Makeb

Alderaan

Alderaan is also good, but the lighting isn’t quite as bright as the other two planets.

Arke Alderaan

Fleet

Fleet is hit or miss. It’s possible to find some locations with some decent lighting, but generally it’s much darker than direct sunlight. Imperial Fleet tends to be worse than Republic Fleet, especially for characters with dark armor.

Arke FleetAkeron Fleet

Arke Guild BankAkeron Guild Bank

Ship

Your character’s ship can also be hit or miss depending on the lighting conditions on the ship.

Iris ShipAkeron ShipSefone Ship

Ilum

Dark planets, like Ilum, are generally terrible for screenshots unless you are trying to highlight the glow on a particular item.

Sefone IlumSefone Ilum Glow

Clipping

Try not to clip off parts of the armor when you are getting shots (except for close in shots).

Tzira Clipping

Distractions

If you have too many distractions in the background, it’s difficult to focus on your character.

Phlegethon Background

Highlight

Don’t highlight objects with your mouse because you get a weird blue glowing outline.

Treek HighlightedTreek Not Highlighted

Nameplates

Turn off the nameplates for characters under Preferences, Nameplates.

Sefone Nameplates

Graphics Settings

If possible, turn on the highest graphics settings for the shots. This is the difference between everything on the highest settings and everything on the lowest settings.

Kokytus High GraphicsKokytus Low Graphics

UI

Turn off your UI by typing ALT+Z.

Iris UI

Zoom

Zoom in on your character as far as you can without clipping. You can’t see armor details from far away.

Leethee Zoom

Sprint

Submitted by: Prov

If you’re taking screenshots of your characters in combat for action shots, turn sprint off by right-clicking the Sprint buff on your buff tray before you start a fight.

That way, if the ability you’re taking a screenshot of ends the fight, you won’t get that full body shimmer when combat is over, diminishing what would otherwise be a perfectly lovely screenshot.

original

Advanced Screenshots

By: Aeden

Black Shot Locations

Taris (Pub side) and Hutta (Imp side) have great neutral light and are the locations for the black shots. Each location presents it’s own difficulties be it trees or available angles but the results speak for themselves. It is essential that you stand on the lip or close to the lip of it to get the needed light.

Hutta

HuttaHutta 2

Hutta 3

Taris 1

TarisTaris 2

Taris 3

Taris 2

Taris 2.1Taris 2.2

Taris 2.3

Tatooine

Due to some of the problems some people had with the black shot locations I’ve found another on Tatooine. It’s a lot easier as there is full light.

TatooineTatooine 2Tatooine 3

Custom UI Build

A custom user interface will allow you to access all your emotes, toys, mounts and even engage in combat while still having enough screen for great shots. A good alternative to Alt+ z.

Custom UI

Angles and Close Ups

Close up angled shots make better use of your three dimensional space. Details often missed by the standard front, back and side shots can be seen much better this way. Try shots from the ground looking up or from up above looking down. Experiment for better results.

Angle 2Angle

 
  • Aleksey314

    Awesome detailed guide. Some things I knew, some – I did not. Can’t wait to return home and practice.
    Maybe it’s worth inserting a link to this article in the pages where people go to submit their screenshots?

    • Exiled Messenger

      Great suggestion! Thanks.

  • Vicious

    Do you have a suggested resolution size for screenshots? I’d be happy to save you some time cropping.

    • Exiled Messenger

      It doesn’t matter. WordPress automatically re-sizes all pics when I post them and then you can click on the image for a full size version. The only cropping I do when I receive photos is to cut them down to just the character when people submit the entire screen and I don’t make them any particular size.

  • Aleksey314

    Even though my game resolution is 2560×1440, for some reason my screenshots are not of that quality, when you zoom in or crop out all except the character, you can see the pixels quite clearly. I’ve used usual PrintScreen, will try Fraps instead.
    By the way, is it possible for you to make pictures even bigger than now when you click on them? Sometimes you want to look at details but even the enlarged picture is sort of small…

    • Exiled Messenger

      I’ll check into it, but I really don’t know if there is a way to tell WordPress what size to make the images.

      • Aleksey314

        Cool, that’s what I meant. Thank you. I wish I could upload more customized sets, but the rest of my chars wear standard gear. But I hope to dress my coming Shadow and Juggernaut in something good. Actually I got such impression that there are a few good-looking sets of level 45-ish. Vendetta, some weapons, Sith Champion’s.

        • Exiled Messenger

          I’m never happy with my character’s outfits and am constantly making small adjustments when I see a new set come out. Of course, it’s pretty easy for me to change the site. 🙂

    • Exiled Messenger

      I honestly don’t tknow what to tell you about the pixelation. I use Photoshop for all of the images on the site. I create a 25″ x 25″ canvas, zoom in twice so it takes up the whole screen, and then paste the screenshots in. I then crop the images down to the characters and that’s it.

      I do have a really nice graphics card though: http://www.amd.com/us/products/desktop/graphics/7000/7970/Pages/radeon-7970.aspx

    • Vicious

      I use Steam for screenshots (F12), rather than TOR’s print screen. Steam’s screenshot tools are very handy, and swtor has a bug that makes prnt scrn sometimes not work at all. If you have Steam just click the “+ add a game” in the lower left corner to add SWTOR to your library. Then when you start SWTOR just right click the steam icon on your system tray and select SWTOR rather than using the regular shortcut.

  • Aleksey314

    Exile, does this web-site allow adding some kind of appreciation feature? Like the little buttons Thumb up / Like or stars 1 to 5 to press on to show the grade of your approval. Sometimes you want to praise an uploader, but cannot think of any comment.

    • Exiled Messenger

      Let’s see how this works. There should be thumbs up and thumbs down selectors at the bottom of every page now.

      • Aleksey314

        I’d prefer these icons to be right under the screenshots, but still cool enough. Now people have means to disapprove Hallowed Gothic sets, LOL : – D

        • Exiled Messenger

          Well, my choices were top of the page (I’d prefer people to look at the images first), bottom of the page, or write code into all 1,880 posts so I can place it wherever I want.

  • Aleksey314

    Here is another suggestion. Is it possible to somehow tag or make posts of Customized sets so that they are automatically always on top of the main page? And all those weapons etc underneath. I got this thought today when I noticed some nice-looking sets under a bunch of inane blasters : – ) People’s creativity should be seen first, what do you think?

    • Exiled Messenger

      No, it doesn’t give me the option. That’s why I’ve been putting the latest customized sets in the Announcements.

  • K

    Any idea why the game sometimes decides it just doesn’t want to let me take a screenshot? Most of the time it works fine but occasionally it just won’t take the darn picture, and I have not been able to link anything similar from time to time that it has happened, so I have like no idea why this would be happening.

    • gua543

      Dunno mate, I’ve had what you described a couple of times and I still don’t know what was the cause of it.

      • Shikitakufu Zu

        i have heard, but not tested, just remapping it as print screen.

    • Aeden

      The swtor screenshot option fails a lot and can sometimes not work all together. Your best option is to try a dedicated program for screen shots. There are lots of free ones including one mentioned on this site though I use Tiny Take. It’s free and never fails. Give it a shot.

    • Sisqi

      I’ve experienced this as well and I could never make any screenshots of those nice conversation movies or when in an instanced area (behind the green screen).
      I managed to get a work around when I changed the programming of the keys on my keyboard. Prt Scr now does exactly that without having to press Alt and will make a screenshot in Swtor that ends up in the Swtor Screenshots folder.
      If the Prt Scr doesn’t work in Swtor, windows still takes a screenshot that ends up in the screenshots folder in Pictures.
      I’m on Windows 10 and I use a Razer Deatstalker Expert Gaming Keyboard. I hope this info might help.

  • Prov

    I’d like to add a small tip: If you’re taking screenshots of your characters in combat for action shots, turn sprint off before you get into a fight.

    (For anyone who might not know, right-clicking the Sprint buff on your buff tray will remove the buff. This works for many neutral/helpful buffs.)

    That way, if the ability you’re taking a screenshot of ends the fight, you won’t get that full body shimmer when combat is over, diminishing what would otherwise be a perfectly lovely screenshot:

    • CraigMitchell

      What animation is that? Impale/Overhead slash?

      • Errtai

        Should be Zealous Leap.

      • Prov

        Yes, it’s Overhead Slash.

    • Aeden

      Excellent useful tip. Thanks for that.

  • Sisqi

    What a brilliant idea about the GUI!

  • Aeden

    Just so ppl know if they shoot pics in either of the sewers it is essential that you stand on the lip or close to the lip of it to get the needed light. Many apologies for those who found out the hard way.

  • WHTJunior

    The Character Select information is not entirely correct. If you left-click and hold the button down, you can drag left and right to spin your character.

  • Kyne

    A word on the graphic settings: With the changes to Anti-Aliasing last year, the generic “ultra” graphics setting doesn’t necessarily give the best details anymore. “Very High” Anti-Aliasing can make details look more blurry than the “High” setting, which often seems the best compromise between smooth edges and sharp transitions.

    Also, if you use custom graphic settings, be aware that weapon textures are not part of the character textures. Both values need to be set to “High” for best texture quality on armor and weapons.

  • Faythe

    “The character select screen is an excellent place to get a close shot of
    the front of your character. Unfortunately, it sometimes changes the
    colors of items. An example would be it will show the pants as color
    matched when there is a separate dye on them.” <—- I am going to attempt to explain what I have found to make this easier. This is because of your settings, especially with the new wardrobe functions. Look at your MAIN gear that you are currently wearing; does it have pants turned on/off for dye? If it's turned off, pants for TAB 2 that you are trying to show will also have the dye turned off. A good way to test this is to open it up the outfit you are trying to show in an appearance modification station. Basically your gear for your pictures needs to match whatever you have turned on/off on the gear that is on your person. …I hope that wasn't too confusing. 😀

  • Faythe

    “The character select screen is an excellent place to get a close shot of
    the front of your character. Unfortunately, it sometimes changes the
    colors of items. An example would be it will show the pants as color
    matched when there is a separate dye on them.” <—- Re-editing my post to explain this with pictures, what I posted before was so dang confusing. Please don't flag this post if it I do something horrible, I'm attempting to post pics for the first time in this comment.

  • Faythe

    “The character select screen is an excellent place to get a close shot of
    the front of your character. Unfortunately, it sometimes changes the
    colors of items. An example would be it will show the pants as color
    matched when there is a separate dye on them.” <—- Re-editing my post to explain this with pictures, what I posted before was so dang confusing. Please don't flag this post if it I do something horrible, I'm attempting to post pics for the first time in this comment. In the first pic I am showing what is turned ON/OFF on my main armor. Belt off, Pants on. When you hit apply to switch armor around, sometimes all of your colors automatically unifies or things get a little weird. In the second picture, I'm showing what happens in the appearance editor after you starting switching between armor without checking; this is how it will also show in the character select screen. In the third shot is how my armor is supposed to appear. The last shot is making sure that everything between my main armor and the wardrobe tab is exactly the same: Belt turned off because it's dyed and color matched pants. (Please also excuse her armor, she is a work in progress.) 🙂

    • Faythe

      I know I deleted and re-posted too many times, I’m very sorry. I just wanted to make sure the images were large enough to get my point across without being ridiculous.

  • D. Rose

    When fighting mobs, how do you get rid of their nameplate and the target reticle?

    • Exiled Messenger

      Does hiding the UI work?

      • D. Rose

        I have “nameplate on enemy npc” unchecked and the UI hidden. When I click on the mob for action shots the nameplate pops up and I get a targeting reticule. There must be something else I need to disable since other people are getting good fighting screenshots, but I’m just not figuring it out. 🙁
        https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/789d702f7f9f4716d3c51fc8762f9bf8435b27bdd4b620344e26c620bbcef52a.jpg

        • Prov

          The way I got around this is to target the mob, begin the ability I wanted to take a screenshot of, and instantly deselect them. You can see the results in my submission titled “Corias (Katarn)”. I made a gif representation of this in action, but I figured it might be a little big to post in a comment here.

          Here’s the link: https://gfycat.com/DirectSpitefulCaracal

          Hope this helps.

          • D. Rose

            Thank you for solving this for me! This is going to take some practice :0

          • Prov

            I think you can press Esc too, rather than just clicking off to the side, but I’ve gotten used to that.
            An important thing to note that I forgot to mention: Every time you don’t have an enemy targeted and one damages you, SWTOR automatically targets that enemy. You can see this happen after I force leap to the mob in my link.

            You can fix that by targeting something else out of sight of the angle of your screenshot, but that could get clunky and hard to control fast if you’re trying to do ability screenshots.

            Example:

            Say I was fighting T7 in my first screenshot (heaven forbid; I love the little guy):
            https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/4d9793b55d858210ca0a3850f8e0ed1e29a5647cda3360047ba54b02f54ffa89.png

            If I didn’t have anyone selected, T7 would automatically be targeted if he hit me, potentially messing up the screenshot. How to fix this? Target the far-away droid that’s invisible from this angle, as seen in this second screenshot:
            https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/82ff004136b1e75c5f80636a357bbfe1ce3e038288b5ec71dc1eb400e364b5bb.png

            Now, this’d be messy if I was trying to actually attack T7 with a targeted ability, like my basic attack, but if I was just trying to get deflect/dodge shots, this’d work well.

            Hope that all makes sense!

          • D. Rose

            It does. Thanks 🙂

          • Prov

            I’m just glad I could help out! 😀

  • Deathstroke11

    Hello there! Great guide! But I was wondering, what’s the best way to take a screenshot of a companion?

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