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5/23/2016

Appendix to article Screeshots as type of visual art - interviews | Cnews.cz

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Appendix to article Screeshots as type of visual
art - interviews
Interviews, appendix to article Screenshots as type of visual art.

Questions:
1. YOUR HW STATS?
2. HOW LONG IS IT TAKE IN AVERAGE FROM INSTALLING THE GAME TO UPLOADING THE FINAL SCREENSHOT?
3. WHAT IS YOUR FAVOURITE PART ON PROCESS OF MAKING THIS KIND OF SCREENSHOTS?
4. WHAT DO YOU THINK IS MOST IMPORTANT FOR MAKE REMARKABLE PICTURE?
5. CAN YOU REVEAL ME SOME TECHNICAL "HACKS" FOR FACILITATE WORK OR SIMPLY MAKE BETTER VISUAL IN
GAME?
6. DOWNSAMPLING AS ANTI-ALIASING. ADVANTAGES AND DISADVANTAGES, HIGHEST RESOLUTION YOU USED...?
ARE YOU ACTUALLY PLAY DOWNSAMPLED GAMES?
7. WHAT IS MOST ANNOYING/COMFORTABLE ENGINE FOR TAKING SCREENS?
8. SWEETFX. WHAT IS YOUR FAVOURITE EFFECT AND WHAT EFFECT YOU USUALLY "FIX" IN MOST OF GAMES? WHAT
GRAPHIC EFFECT YOU HATE?
9. SAME FOR ENB AS ABOVE.
10. IF YOU HAVE NVIDIA GPU, YOU PROBABLY USE NVIDIA INSPECTOR. ANY TIPS FOR SETTINGS IN THAT PROGRAM?
11. WHAT ADDITIONAL SOFTWARE YOU USE FOR TWEAK GAMES? SRWE?
12. EXCEPT SPLITTING SEVERAL SCREENS TOGATHER AND RESIZE PICTURES, WHAT IS YOUR COMMON USED EDIT
IN POST-PRODUCTION?
13. CAN YOU RECOMMEND SOME INTERESTING SITES ABOUT TWEAKING GAMES?
14. CAN YOU RECOMMEND SOME OTHER USERS/GALLERIES THAT YOU REALLY LIKE OR MAYBE THEY ARE EVEN
INSPIRATION FOR YOU?
15. SOMETHING ABOUT YOU, WHERE ARE YOU FROM, WHAT IS YOUR JOB, HOW YOU COME TO THIS HOBBY...?
16. ARE ABLE TO MAKE SOME MONEY WITH THIS HOBBY?
17. YOUR FAVORITE GAME FOR TAKING SCREENS? MOST TECHNICALLY PERFECT MADE GAME FOR YOU? YOUR
FAVOURITE GAME EVER? WHAT GAME ARE YOU LOOKING FORWARD?
18. HAVE YOU EVER WORKED/WORK WITH/IN SOME GAME COMPANY?

AKTUÁLNÍ ČLÁNKY
Google do chytrých hodinek
přidal radar. Ovládat se budou
i bez dotyku [I/O 2016]
Dnes Lukáš Václavík

Google testuje novou podobu
výsledků vyhledávání. Mají
formu karet jako na mobilech
Dnes Lukáš Václavík

1

Seznam vyslal do ulic
snímkovací vozy. Doplní i
aktualizuje Panoramu
Dnes Lukáš Václavík

Neradostné vyhlídky:
Superbakterie by v roce
2050 mohly zabít 10 milionů
lidí
Dnes Žádná velká věda

Nvidia má grafickou kartu se
čtyřmi GPU na jednom PCB,
poběží na ní služba Grid
Dnes Jan Olšan

1

OBLÍBENÉ ČLÁNKY
Nejčtenější články
Kdo fotí nejlépe: Samsung, Sony, nebo
Huawei? (slepý fototest)
Nvidia GeForce GTX 1080 a GTX 1070
odhaleny. 16nm GPU GP104 je tu
Samsung Galaxy S7 edge: král zakřivených
telefonů (recenze)

Nejdiskutovanější články
Zač je toho Pascal: Uvedení GeForce GTX
1080 je tady, vše odhaleno (74)
Je tu „Service Pack 2“ pro Windows 7 a snazší
aktualizování starších Windows (27)
Nvidia GeForce GTX 1080 a GTX 1070
odhaleny. 16nm GPU GP104 je tu (20)

 

PixieGirl4
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------1. I have an i7 3770k CPU, overclocked slightly, 16GB of RAM and a single Geforce 680 4GB. The graphics card isn't
really cutting it anymore for 4K resolutions or higher on the newest games, and soon I think I'll get two 700 series
cards.
2. It depends on the game and how much time I can find to spend on it. But it takes me about twice as long to
screenshot a game as it does to play through the story. So in a game with an 8 hour story it will take me about 16
hours to "photo-tour it". Mass Effect 3 took me 85 hours just getting screenshots!
3. My favorite part is the feedback. People seeing them and commenting. I would love to say I do this just for
myself, but if no one looked at my shots I don't think I'd bother. Feedback spurs me on to do more games! I do
enjoy the process of taking the shots, but feedback makes me think that I'm actually quite good at this, and makes
me feel like there's a "reason" for doing it. If that makes sense :)
4. Just like photography, composition is the most important thing.
5. Well not really, because it depends on the game. The only general "hack" that works for every game is
downsampling.
6. There are no disadvantages at all to driver-based downsampling, unless you count how annoying it can be to get
it working in the first place, or the framerates (which entirely depend on the game and your hardware). Once it is
working properly at the resolution you desire, it's flawless, and also looks really nice in motion (but not as good as
actually having a monitor at the desired resolution!). The highest resolution I have actually used in real-time is 8K

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(7680x4320 @ 16:9, with a few variant aspect ratios) that was with Dishonored. It wasn't driver-based though, it was
with SRWE, which certainly is NOT flawless. :) Yes, sometimes I do *play* games at 4K, but only if I can still get a
great framerate. So not with any newer games. 
7. The best engine for this is undoubtedly Unreal Engine 3, because it's very versatile, has plenty of general hacks
and tweaks that can be copied over different games from different companies; and even when everything is closed
off tightly, people know how to unlock things. UE3 also has a very useful "tiledshot" feature, that lets you grab
screenshots at any resolution you desire, but that isn't without it's problems. I hope UE4 will work similarly! Plenty
of other engines are just impenetrable where developers are determined that no one will unlock the debug tools.
8. I never use SweetFX.
9. I hardly ever use ENB. I have used it with Skyrim, and Grand Theft Auto IV (and all of my shots of GTA are deleted
now because they were inadequate). I don't have enough experience or knowledge of ENB to really answer the
question. 99% of ENB profiles make a game look worse than vanilla, and the other 1% look beautiful.
10. No useful tips from me about Inspector, unless you want to know basic info you can find anywhere, or how to
properly apply SGSSAA (super-sampled anti-aliasing), then I'm not the person to ask :)
11. I use SRWE sometimes, but rarely. I prefer not to use it, for numerous boring reasons. I'm an advocate of true
driver-based downsampling :P
12. Creating Little Planets: http://www.flickr.com/photos/pix111/sets/72157636180863246/
13. The DET forum: http://www.deadendthrills.com/forum/ PC Gaming Wiki http://pcgamingwiki.com/wiki/Home
and WSGF http://www.wsgf.org/ But most of what I learn is from talking to people or from long Googling sessions.
14. Dead End Thrills inspired me to start doing this. Some others that are really good are jim2point0:
http://www.flickr.com/photos/jim2point0/
Nic Clapper: http://www.flickr.com/photos/clapperdude/
K-Putt: http://www.flickr.com/photos/k_putt/
15. I'm a 24 year old British girl living in Australia. I got into this hobby because I am very interested in games' visual
art and graphics, and think games can be truly beautiful experiences. So I enjoy trying to capture that in still
images. :)
16. Nope! see 18.
17. All answers are Mirror's Edge. It's still gorgeous. I love it's art. So easy for me to get good shots from it. It's also
one of my favorite games to play. I don't really consider it my favourite game ever, but I don't really HAVE a
favourite game ever. But if it wasn't for the bad story and short length, it definitely would be. The game I'm most
looking forward to is Mirror's Edge 2. 
18. Not really. For a little while last year, I contributed directly to Dead End Thrills, alongside Duncan Harris and Nic
Clapper. I eventually left the site for my own reasons and went back to Flickr. But in that time I was given access to
special developer builds of The Witcher 2 from CD Projekt RED, and Alan Wake and Alan Wake's American
Nightmare from Remedy. Neither were for paid work though. I would never expect to be paid for this, and don't
have any real aspirations of doing paid work for a games company. Primarily this is a hobby for me. :) I was offered
a job recently at a games company in England taking screenshots for a game that is currently in development, but
since I'm not in England anymore I had to turn the offer down.

  

K-Putt
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------1. - CPU: Xeon1230v3 | GPU: OC'ed HD 7950 | RAM: 8gb CL7 1600mhz | SSD and all the other computer stuff like
cables and such :P
2. - It depends. Sometimes it doesn't take long. So i'm done with my first batch in an hour or so. I needed around 56 hours for my first batch of AC4 shots for instance. 
My latest Trackmania shots took me around 6-7 hours. Mostly because rendering them took so long. But yeah, it
varies greatly.
3. - I really love to explore the world with a free camera. Viewing the game in a different angle or setting up a scene
for my pictures.
4.- Good question. And i really don't know to be honest. I always tried to imitate real photography to some degree.
Using the rule of thirds and lower FOV.
5.- There are some nifty little tools like SRWE or SoftTH to force extreme high resolutions in games. Or Cheat Engine
to hack in a free camera or other nice little screenshot helpers. AC4 has a really good cheat table for instance
thanks to jim2point0 and other cheat engine magicians. You can change the sun position or the time of day. You
also have free camera and full fov control. And of course there is SweetFX. One of the best little tools there is for PC
gaming in general.
6.- Advantage - Extremely good image quality. Disadvantage - you need a lot of performance. I normaly play in
1080p or 1440p(downsampling) and just use normal anti aliasing. For taking screenshots i'll use a higher resolution
beyond 4k if possible. FPS does't really matter as long as i can move around. 15-30fps are fine for that. My highest
resolution is probably 7200x4050(16:9 Aspect Ratio) / 7200x3000 (2,40:1 Aspect Ratio). I would go up to 8k but my
GPU isn't powerful enough. But 7200x3000 is already good enough to be honest.
7.- Most annoying Engine.. hmm.. Not sure about this one. Most of them are annoying because developers remove

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all the nice commands most of the time. The best engine for simple screenshoting is probably the CreationEngine(Fallout/Skyrim etc.). It has all the features you want already build in. You just need the right command to
remove the HUD or to enable the free camera with time stop to freeze everything. The Unreal Engine 3 is also a
nice one. It normaly comes with timestop, free camera, fov controls etc. But like i said. Dev's tend to remove those
commands for some reason.
8.- My favorite effect in SweetFX is probably Levels to adjust the... levels. Or Curves to add some contrast. Tonemap
is also a nice effect to get rid of some colors. LiftGammaGain does the same thing but it's a bit better for that
actually. Gaussian - Bloom is also nice. Or UnsharpMask for DX10/11 games. It's near useless in DX9 games sadly.
There is no shader i hate. I never used HDR though.. maybe sometimes. Not sure what it's really good for tho. I can
get the same results with other shaders.
9.- Never really used ENB.
10.- I have an AMD GPU. I used RadeonPro for a long time, but most of the options don't work anymore or i just
don't need them. I can't wait for the new update though. 
11.- I don't really use any other programs besides SRWE/Borderless gaming(alternative for 64bit games),
SweetFX/eFX, SoftTH, CheatEngine or D3D looking glass to force a fullscreen game into window mode. Maybe MSI
Afterburner sometimes to grab a screenshot. But only if SweetFX doesn't work.
12.- I normaly just crop pictures to a different aspect ratio. Assassins Creed 4 doesn't like custom ratios for
example. It always runs in 16:9 no matter what. So i have to use the border shader in SweetFX to imitate a 2,40:1 AR
so i know what it looks like at the end. Or i remove little annoying things like one little blade of grass that looks
through a shoe or something. I don't like to change the colors in Photoshop. That's what SweetFX is for. I want to
capture the game like i see it ingame. Photoshoping a game screenshot is also frowned upon in our little
screenshot community.
13.- Dead End Thrills started a Forum recently for exactly this purpose. Screenshoting tools and screenshoting
games in general. It's still quite new, but already full of nice little screenshot guides for a lot of games.
14.- There are a lot of good people out there. James Snook(jim2point0), Midhras, Natty Dread, Nicolas(Stein3X),
Christopher Bedwell(Godspazz), Joanne Harper(PixieGirl), Recluse., Nic_Clapper, Mr Roderick, Roland(RMA2kay4),
nbnt, J. Taylor and of course Dead End Thrills. I probably forgot half of 'em now... I hope the other ones will name
them :)
15.- I'm a 22 year old german dude. I found out about this hobby over several forums. I made simple gameplay
screenshots for maybe 2 years. Just to share them in a german forum. After i saw what can be achived in games
(screenshot wise), i begun to research how to do this stuff myself. That was ~1 year ago. And i'm still learning. 
16.- I never made a cent with this little hobby.
17.- Difficult question. There are a lot of great games out there. Favorites.. probably Mirrors Edge, Call of Juarez Gunslinger(So georgious!), Batman series or Brothers - a tale of two sons. I have dozens of favorite games really. I
quite love AC4 right now with all it's neat hacks/cheats to get screenshots from the game. Looking forward to get
some more shots in this game :)
Games i look forward to.. hmm. Probably Watch Dogs.. but after all the news about this game recently i'm not so
sure anymore. The new Batman looks promising. Dying Light, Daylight, Hellraid, Wolfenstein, Routine, Alien
Isolation, Evolve.. and many other games.. 
18.- Never really worked for/with a gaming company. I once asked a developer of Call of Juarez - Gunslinger for a fix
in the dev-menu. And they actually fixed the problem! They probably just fixed the problem for me. Altough, he
said that they had problems in their new Chrome Engine 5 (Dying Light) and that i found this bug helped them
there. Not sure why.. but yeah. Win - Win.

  

Jim2point0
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------1. Specs:
Motherboard: Asus Maximus V Extreme 
CPU: Intel Core i7-3770k @ 4.4 GHz 
GPU: 2x-SLI EVGA GTX 680 4GB 
RAM: 16GB Corsair Vengeance @ 1866 MHz 
Monitor: QNIX QX2710 2560x1440 (max downsampling resolution: 5120x2880) 
PSU: CORSAIR HX Series 750w 
2. "How long is it take in average from installing the game to uploading the final screenshot"
Are you asking how long it takes until my first screenshot? For some games, there is no final screenshot. I could
always go back. As for the first screenshot, it depends on the tools available. If I can't achieve what I want in a game
due to lack of free camera tools, hud options, the ability to pause the game... etc etc, I might not even bother. This
is why you won't see any Tomb Raider screenshots from me (no free camera). 
3. "What is your favourite part on process of making this kind of screenshots?"
My favorite part is mostly interacting with other folks who participate in the hobby. I seem to get the most
enjoyment when a screenshot generates discussion about the game, the art, or just about the hobby in general. 
4. "What do you think is most important for make remarkable picture?"
For screenshots, first and foremost, I try to remove all aliasing. Usually via high resolution downsampling. My goal
is to always showcase game art in the highest possible quality. I don't like otherwise great images being hindered
by technical flaws. It's really hard to describe what makes a screenshot good though. If I can look at an image from
a video game and understand the intention (why someone took that particular shot) then I think it's been
successful. That intention can just be to showcase a unique and\or creative composition. Or maybe to invoke a
certain emotion. If I can not understand the intention behind a shot, then it is likely going to be forgettable.

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5. "Can you reveal me some technical "hacks" for facilitate work or simply make better visual in game?"
There are a few mods for enhancing visuals or just tweaking slightly. I always use SweetFX a little bit. I'll use ENB if
it's available for a particular game. But usually I like visuals to keep the original game visuals intact. Other than that,
I use Cheat Engine all the time. It's often the only way to get control over the camera in a game. But I'm still
inexperienced so I can't always accomplish what I want.
6. "Downsampling as anti-aliasing. Advantages and disadvantages, highest resolution you used...? Are you actually
play downsampled games?"
Downsampling is the most effective and reliable way to kill aliasing in games. From a pure image quality standpoint,
I don't think anything beats it. It combats every source of aliasing (geometry, transparency, shader, texture, etc...).
The obvious downside is that it's very demanding. Sometimes I'm running games at 3x the native resolution of my
monitor. The highest resolution I've used is probably 8000x4000 in Dishonored. That game was the least
demanding game I've taken screenshots of, so I was able to push the resolution a bit higher. My Dark Souls
screenshots were all 7680x4320, which is also pretty high. 
Some games are actually quite playable with downsampling. Because I'm very picky about image quality, I'll always
run a game at the highest resolution performance will permit. Dead Space 3 was actually running over 60 FPS @
3840x2160. I still pushed it higher for screenshots though.
7. "What is most annoying/comfortable engine for taking screens?"
I doubt anyone will argue that Skyrim has by far the most versatile screenshotting tools available. Everything you
could possibly need can be achieved via the console. The sheer number of visual mods for that game add almost
infinite possibilities. You're really only limited by your own creativity\motivation.
There are too many engines and\or games to list that actually don't allow for any camera control at all. And for
those games, I usually won't bother. Some people like to challenge themselves within the limits of a game, but I
prefer to have the control I need to accomplish what I want. I have enough trouble as it is when I have the tools I
need simply due to my own lack of creativity or having no knowledge of composition.
8. "SweetFX. What is your favourite effect and what effect you usually "fix" in most of games? What graphic effect
you hate?"
I don't use SweetFX all that much, actually. I try to keep art direction pretty close to original. I do love the gaussian
bloom shader. It can really at drama to the lighting in some games. What I hate to see people using SweetFX for,
however, is oversharpening and crushing black levels. Oversaturation is also a common problem. 
9. "Same for ENB as above."
I'm no expert with ENB at all. I've only used a few presets in Skyrim that others have created, but I always find that
nothing is perfectly consistent in all scenarios. 
10. "I noticed you use two GTX680's. So you probably use Nvidia Inspector. Any tips for settings in that program?"
Nvidia inspector can be useful for enabling SGSSAA in DX9 games, but support for it is becoming more and more
rare. I find I don't use it much anymore. I might use a few flags to fix SLI support, but that's usually included in
future driver updates anyways. 
11. "What additional software you use for tweak games? SRWE?"
SRWE is actually an extremely useful tool. Mostly for capturing high resolution screenshots. You can force a game
to render at a higher windowed resolution via a config file, then shrink that window down with SRWE so it fits on
your monitor. Some games don't work that way and actually re-render to whatever size the window is. For those
games, you can line up a shot at a normal window size, then switch to a much larger resolution to capture a
screenshot. It can even force fullscreen games to run in a window, which is very convenient.
Cheat Engine is the other tool I can't live without. I've used it a few times to create tables which allow for free
camera movement in some games (DmC, Enslaved, Dark Souls, AC3, AC4, etc etc...). Other people have used it to
unlock developer commands, remove HUDs, etc etc. It's extremely powerful. With enough experience in reverse
engineering, Cheat Engine could be the most powerful tool in a screenshotter's arsenal.
12. "Except splitting several screens togather and resize pictures, what is your common used edit in postproduction?"
If a screenshot has a small, distracting element I can remove with content aware, I'll probably do that. But it's very
rare and I can't even think of the last time I had to. My screenshots are almost all unedited. I wouldn't know what to
edit in them that I couldn't achieve in real-time with SweetFX anyways.
13. "Can you recommend some interesting sites about tweaking games?"
I don't know any 1 site dedicated to game tweaks. I usually research everything I can about a game from anywhere I
can. PCGamingWiki is a good resource, actually. If you just want screenshot related tools and techniques,
DeadEndThrills is slowly becoming a great source of info for that as well.
14. "Can you recommend some other users/galleries that you really like or maybe they are even inspiration for
you?"
Sure. There are quite a few folks I follow that capture some great screenshots.
First and foremost, DeadEndThrills. He's responsible for getting me interested in the hobby to begin with.
Midhras - constantly tweaking Fallout 3 and getting shots of other games in between
Nic Clapper - Very creative and interesting compositions
The lovely Joanne Harper aka Pixiegirl - very creative and interesting compositions
Anthemios - solid compositions with sweetfx\photoshop tweaks
K-Putt
Stein3x
.Natty.Dread. - I hope you like SweetFX shaders
Digital Epicness - Witcher 2 Wizard
15. "Something about you, where are you from, what is your job, how you come to this hobby...?"
I'm from the United States. I have a house where I live with my wife, 2 cats and a dog. I do web development for a
living at Ebay.
I've been a video gamer all my life. Art and graphics in games have always fascinated me. Being swept up and
immersed in video game worlds really helps to get away from real life stress. I also suffer from pretty bad
depression, and found that there's no better cure than gaming. 
I only came to discover this hobby when someone posted some of DeadEndThrills' Skyrim screenshots on reddit.
The quality alone looked like nothing I've seen in video games before. I found that he had a Flickr group where
anyone could contribute. There are so many amazing screenshots from all sorts of talented folks, and the best
would go up on the DET community page. I wanted to be a part of that if possible. I've improved a ton since then,
but I'm still nowhere near as good as those folks listed above.
16. "Are able to make some money with this hobby?"
Not a single penny. If anything, I lose money with all the time I've spent on this hobby instead of using that time
more productively. Like... doing extra client work or becoming a hugely successful youtuber (I wish). As much as I'd
love to earn a living somehow in the video game industry, I don't think it's in the cards.
17. "Your favorite game for taking screens (probably Dark Souls or Dishnored?=))? Most technically perfect made
game for you? Your favourite game ever? What game are you looking forward?"
Assassins Creed 4, Dark Souls, Dishonored, Borderlands 2, Bioshock Infinite... I definitely love all these games and

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many of the screenshots I've captured of them. 
I don't think any game is technically perfect. CryEngine games probably come the closest. The Borderlands series is
probably my favorite. The art style and gameplay click so well with me, not to mention the hilarious dialog. My
Steam library says I spent the most time playing Battlefield Bad Company 2... which makes sense. It's definitely my
favorite competitive FPS.
Right now I'm looking forward to the Witcher 3 more than anything else. Can it really live up to all the hype and
amazing images\videos we've seen so far? I can't wait to find out.
18. "Have you ever worked/work with/in some game company?"
Nope.

  

  
 

DeadEndThrills
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------1. Your HW stats?
I'll have to get back to you on this one. How much detail do you need?
2. How long is it take in average from installing the game to uploading the final screenshot?
Every game is different when it comes to what can and can't be done. Ideally you're looking for as much control
over camera and time (i.e. being able to freeze the game but still move the camera around) as possible. Some
engines have a reliable set of functions for this, such as Unreal, but chances are those functions are locked in the
retail build or removed entirely. So then you have to find a workaround: a memory patch to re-enable them, a
coordinates hack to force the camera around, or maybe even asking the developer for debug code. As you can
imagine, that part of the process can therefore take anything from a few minutes to months or even years. I think it
took two years to get developer code for Arkham City, for example, and under strict conditions.
Taking the shots is probably an hour on average. If it's a case of getting an NPC to stand in a certain place and strike
a certain frame of their idle animation when the lighting is just right, that can take longer. Basically, the more
variables you're working with, the greater the possibilities and the longer the shot deserves. Skyrim stuff could take
half a day, for example. The EVE Online stuff I've been doing recently is composed from scratch in the game's SDK,
so that can take one or two days per shot.
3. What is your favourite part on process of making this kind of screenshots?
All of it! Seriously, if any of it was boring then I doubt I'd have stuck at it.
4. What do you think is most important for make remarkable picture?
Consistency and personality. That's two things - sorry. You want a shot to have drama, which is why it's generally
better to have a character in there. And if you've got that character in there, you need to make sure their pose is
appropriate for the scene, and that they're lit in the best possible way for that exact shot. It's those little details that
separate the good shots from the great ones.
5. Can you reveal me some technical "hacks" for facilitate work or simply make better visual in game?
There aren't really any go-to hacks for this. There are certain 'essential' mods for some games, but even then it
comes down to lighting, action and composition. You have to find those for yourself.
6. Downsampling as anti-aliasing. Advantages and disadvantages, highest resolution you used...? Are you actually
play downsampled games?
I probably wouldn't use downsampling if I was just playing the game. I actually play most games on console where
1080p is perfectly adequate. But yes, if you're doing screenshots then you often have to use downsampling to
achieve perfect image quality. Some games suffer such bad shader aliasing, furthermore, that you're talking
resolutions of 8K or even 12K before all the aliasing is gone. You want a resolution high enough to not just antialias
the image when you downsample, but to downsample using a sharpening algorithm that preserves the detail in the
textures, etc, without bringing out any jaggies.
The obvious downside of this is that it can take a few dirty hacks to get games running in those resolutions, and the
performance hit is extreme. I'll always push games to the point at which the framerate stops being acceptable for
setting up shots. 
7. What is most annoying/comfortable engine for taking screens?

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Comfortable: Unreal. Annoying: anything that involves a load of peripheral tools and workarounds to get results. I
only really encounter those scenarios during commercial work, though.
8. SweetFX. What is your favourite effect and what effect you usually "fix" in most of games? What graphic effect
you hate?
I don't really have a favourite effect per se, but I do love good shaders and materials. Games that get those right
can look amazing, especially if they're combined with a consistent art style and high-quality textures. BioShock
Infinite: Burial At Sea is about the best game I've seen in that respect.
Plenty of effects out there to hate, though! Anything that's been added because it's fashionable, or to hide flaws in
the game's basic look, is generally very bad. Vignetting, depth of field, colour grading, motion blur, eye adaptation,
bloom... all of these can be good or bad depending on the use. 
9. Same for ENB as above.
A good ENB comes down to two things: the input Boris Vorontsov's had in it, and the taste and talent of whoever's
done the preset you're using. Skyrim and GTA IV are probably the best examples of ENB in action because Boris
tailored ENB to suit each of them, and because the communities for those games have invested so much time in
achieving great results. As ever, consistency is what you're looking for. People who just crank up certain effects to
'show them off' are usually doing more harm than good.
10. If you have nVidia GPU, you probably use Nvidia Inspector. Any tips for settings in that program?
I very seldom use it, to be honest. If you use downsampling the way I use it, it's usually sufficient to just go with
whatever cheap AA solution the game has, whether that's SMAA of FXAA. I don't even use SLI any more, so that's
one less reason to use Inspector. It's a great tool, though.
11. What additional software you use for tweak games? SRWE?
Yeah, SRWE has become essential. Running games at 8K+ means running them in a window, and sometimes even
forcing them to via something like D3D Looking Glass. So obviously you have to then resize that window to
something that'll fit in your desktop while the rendering stays at 8K or whatever. Or it can work the other way:
sometimes, if a game's renderer resets to whatever the window size is, you run the game at desktop resolution and
then scale the window up to take the shots. That's how it is with games like Rage, Wolfenstein and The Evil Within the id Tech 5 games.
12. Except splitting several screens togather and resize pictures, what is your common used edit in postproduction?
I don't do any post work unless it's the very rare case of a glitch ruining a shot that's taken hours to set up. If a
character's finger is clipping through something, for instance, then I'd probably fix that. Otherwise the shots are
exactly as they're grabbed.
13. Can you recommend some interesting sites about tweaking games?
Well, my site has a forum, which is about the only place I look at nowadays. I believe PCGamingWiki is very good for
general tweaks. Otherwise it's just a case of Googling for answers on places like the Steam forums. If there's a really
specific thing involving file formats or ini file encryption, XentaX can be very useful. My experience with other sites
is pretty limited, though. Oh, and (Rick) Gibbed's site is great for the games he chooses to work with.
14. Can you recommend some other users/galleries that you really like or maybe they are even inspiration for you?
There's a guy called Anthemios on Flickr who's a constant source of inspiration. He zeroes in on the most important
thing in any shot, which is drama. I've seen him take what many would consider a mundane environment and just
transform it through nothing but colour grading, lighting and fog values. He's a magician.
Other great people include jim2point0, who does a lot of invaluable memory hacks, Midhras, Pixie... Too many to
mention, really. 
15. Something about you, where are you from, what is your job, how you come to this hobby...?
My job is a game industry screenshot artist - and no, I'm not making it up. The industry has a very real need for
assets nowadays, and sometimes it's not in a developer's interest to put a lead artist, animator or cinematics
person on the job for the hours it often takes. It's not always about getting *better* shots so much as finding
someone who understands the tech and workflows enough to turn that stuff around fast without compromising
quality. Of course, having the shots be kickass is always a plus ;-).
I came into the hobby via my job writing at Edge Magazine for several years. Certain frustrations with how games
are consumed by gamers and the media, how quickly they're forgotten, the poor quality of assets, etc...
And I love game art, of course. I love the chemistry involved in making all those bits of artwork and technology work
together to make something players can lose themselves in.
16. Are able to make some money with this hobby?
Well, like I said, it's my job. However, the commercial stuff I do is actually very different to the 'hobby' side of it.
Working on games still in production, to briefs supplied by marketing people, is different in almost every respect. It
can be a lot more frustrating and the results are often the best you can come up with, but not necessarily as good
as you'd like. You don't really have the luxury of going back and redoing shots, or spending hours on them, as you
might when doing it as a hobby.
17. Your favorite game for taking screens? Most technically perfect made game for you? Your favourite game ever?
What game are you looking forward?
Favourite game for shots would be Skyrim, I guess. Most technically perfect game from an art perspective... I'm
reluctant to say. I'd hate to single one out. Same goes for 'favourite game ever' - there are too many. Game I'm
most looking forward to is The Evil Within.
18. Have you ever worked/work with/in some game company?
See above.
 

 

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Natty Dread
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------1. 
Well, about 80% of the shots on my photostream were shot on my old core2quad Q8300 with 8GB of RAM and an
nvidia 460GTX. It was really hard some times, for example: I was regularly getting less than 1 fps when doing those
Dark Souls shots.
Just recently I upgraded my hardware and got the following configuration:
i7 4770k
ASUS Z87-PRO
16GB Kingston HyperX Beast 2400MHz
MSI 770GTX
Dell U2713HM
Dell U2412M
SSD 480GB Silicon Power Velox V55
SSD 250GB Silicon Power Velox V55
WD 2TB WD20EARS
WD 4TB WD40EZRX
700W Cooler Master Vanguard
Thermaltake Urban S41 Black
...and life just got a lot easier. :) 
2.
It depends on how easy it is to get a satisfying screenshot without any additional tweaks. Like, for instance: ARMA 3
developers have implemented their "Splendid Camera" which has all the things needed to set your creativity free
right off, but most of the times, to get some really interesting and unique shots you have to wait until someone
(usually jim2point0) makes a working cheat table with the free cam; timestop; no-hud; ect... 
Usually I like to go at least half way through the game before doing shots as it helps you get the feel of the  story
and visuals and possibly enables you to do some lore-friedly shots later on.
3.
Tweaking the visuals. Be it though SweetFX, ENB or some other method it is most definitely my favorite part changing the graphics to better suite my vision of perfection for that particular game.
4.
Composition, composition and composition. Most difficult thing to master for sure and I am far from being even
close to where I want to be in this regard. If you need some good examples just look at some of Nic Clapper's
screenshots.
5.
There is no magical "hack" that will work for all the games. Tweaking a specific game usually makes me spend a LOT
of time searching the web and gathering all I can (mods, ini tweaks, console command variables and similar).
6.
Well anti-aliasing IS downsampling basically. At least the best, highest quality form of AA which is supersampling
(SS) renders your image at a higher resolution and then shrinks it to your display size (native res) removing
(averaging) the jagged pixels in the process. 
The way I see it the biggest advantage of rendering and capturing your shots at higher resolutions is just that - you
have a high res image that you can for instance print, showcase on a 4k monitor in full size or just zoom in and
enjoy the lovely details you usually don't see on the native res...but to do that you need to render and capture your
shots at high resolution AND force or switch on AA at the same time. Your graphic card will suffer but you will have
a nice big and clean image after and you don't need to downscale it to reduce the aliasing artifacts. The other
advantage is that you can render and capture a high-res image without any AA methods applied (or use a less
taxing, posprocess form of AA) and the downscale the image to any size you desire to completely remove aliasing,
but, in this case you must scale down the image  to get the "clean" result.
I almost never play games in higher than my native resolution. I just pump in some cheaper AA methods like SMAA,
FXAA or MSAA and enjoy the framerate.
7.
Most annoying / hard - Dark Souls. Most comfortable - ARMA 3
8.
With SweetFX I regularly use the Gaussian shader made by Boulotaur. It has a few uses but I only use it as a bloom
effect. I just love that "sfumato" type effect it creates. I can't live without it. 
I don't dislike any of the SFX shaders as each of them can find it's use in some form or another but I really don't see
the point of that Advanced CRT shader, besides getting you blind or nearsighted.
9.
The most powerful feature of the ENB Series injector is ambient occlusion coupled with indirect lighting,... if you
manage to get it working. The thing is that ENB is a game-specific injector which means you can't just dump it over
any game and expect it to work like SweetFX. It too has a pretty good bloom effect that is a little more compatible

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then AO when used on a non supported game. To get the ENB to work with an unsupported game is a trial-anderror type of thing. You just have to test all of the versions available (starting with the generic ver), tweak the
settings and pray to god it works.
10.
I do nothing special in the nv inspector. Usually I search the web for compatibility bits or just test a bunch of them
to see which ones are working. 
For AA I usually use 4x Multisampling with 4x Sparse Grid Supersampling. For Anisotropic filtering 16x; lod bias
-1.500; texture filtering quality - high quality. 
Sometimes I try to force the ambient occlusion through the inspector but it rarely works properly.
11. /
12.
The only thing I do in post is crop and sometimes a small gamma correction. When I'm doing "paint-shots" I usually
do it in Corel Painter.
13.
deadendthrills.com has a new forum that will become the Mecca of a screenshot related stuff. Besides that I often
visit the neogaf, guru3d and Steam forums.
14.
I wouldn't like to name anyone specific but most of the people that I follow on Flickr make pretty awesome shots
and serve as an inspiration regularly.
15.
I was born and live in Serbia, Belgrade. I've been hooked on gaming for a long time, ever since the C=64 days. It's
probably the sole reason I got interested in art and even back then I used to do much more digital than traditional
works. I got a graphic design masters degree but I was never much into that "stuff". My one and only love
concerning digital art is 3D graphics.
The game that got me into screenshoting is, surprise, surprise...Skyrim. It all started from the wish to show off my
enb tweaks but I never dwelled much on that game, the whole new world just opened up to me and wasn't going to
stand still.
16. No... :P
17.
I think that my most successful shots were that of Dark Souls, so there, that's my favorite game I shot and quite
frankly - played in a couple of years. One of the reasons for this is that when properly and fully tweaked this game
looks so much better than vanilla. Of course this would never be possible without the magnificent dsfix from
Durante.
Most technically perfect game? Crysis 1, 2 and 3...or just CryENGINE.
A couple of my favorite games would be: Creatures 2 (C=64); Earthworm Jim; Alone in the Dark (original series);
Monkey Island (first 3 parts); Silent Hill: The Room; Morrowind; Baldurs Gate 2; Fallout 2...
Currently I can't wait for Dark Souls 2 to come out. Witcher 3 in the near future, Kingdom Come: Deliverance in the
far future.
18.
I've worked for Eipix Entertainment and am currently working in Nordeus on a non-disclosable title as an 3D
modeler and texturer. 
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