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
Table of Contents
- Print Screen vs Screenshot Program
- Character Select Screen
- Cut Scenes
- Graphics Settings
- Advanced Screenshots
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 will get you the best images for details, but often the colors are slightly off or you get some reflected light.
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.
Makeb is a really good location, especially since the background vista is much more interesting than Tatooine.
Alderaan is also good, but the lighting isn’t quite as bright as the other two planets.
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.
Your character’s ship can also be hit or miss depending on the lighting conditions on the ship.
Dark planets, like Ilum, are generally terrible for screenshots unless you are trying to highlight the glow on a particular item.
Try not to clip off parts of the armor when you are getting shots (except for close in shots).
If you have too many distractions in the background, it’s difficult to focus on your character.
Don’t highlight objects with your mouse because you get a weird blue glowing outline.
Turn off the nameplates for characters under Preferences, Nameplates.
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.
Turn off your UI by typing ALT+Z.
Zoom in on your character as far as you can without clipping. You can’t see armor details from far away.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Fixed Head Position
Use companions, pets, NPCs or anything you can select to add realism to your head positioning in your shots. Enemy NPCs can be targeted with your weapons.
Close Body Shots
Position your camera to look up at your character. Without moving your mouse zoom back very far without letting your camera off the ground. Slowly pull back on your mouse dragging the camera on the ground as you manually zoom out. You will get the closest full body shot this way.