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< 7.3.1: Photography 101 7.3.3: Skinning 101 >
7.3.2: Advanced Screenshot Tactics -Odan-Wei Belouve - May 22 04:47am
Prerequisites: in order to be able to take real custom screenshots, you must at first enable the cheat mode. This can be done by starting up a solo multiplayer game and accessing the console (Shift + ` ) Then, type Devmap

Depending on what kind of screenshot you want to take, SP or MP mode are different. I would strongly recommend MP mode for screenies that are directed toward 'portraits' of your digital character. Let's say you want to take a screenie of your character, with your prefered skin and saber, it's easier to select those from the MP menu than to call the commands in the console.

Now, if you want to create 'scenes', (i.e. pictures of something happening, implying the presence of other characters) SP mode is better because you can control the NPCs and place them where you want, in the position you want.

Alright, now I'm going to explain how I proceed to take a screenshot for portraits.

1 Portraits: screenshooting for profile pic making.

There are many commands that can be useful for that: cg_draw2D, cg_thirpersonangle, cg_thirpersonrange, cg_thirdpersonpitch, timescale, cg_forceregentime, notarget, b_npcfreeze, screenshot, levelshot, and screenshot silent.

Okay, taking a screenshot for a portrait is mainly a question of patience and trial and error. You have first to imagine what it should look like once done. Thus you'll be able to define what camera angle you want to use, what distance there will be between the camera and your character, etc. First bind a key to the screenshot command (/bind screenshot) and one to the screenshot silent command (/bind screenshot silent).

Before you start hitting your screenshot bind key, you have to prepare your tools (i.e. to bind keys to critical commands). I use several keys bound to several commands to have an ergonomic screen-shooting configuration. I bound a key to the command timescale 0.01 which will slow down the overall game speed at 1% of it's normal speed. Everything is affected: console appearing more slowly, shaders staying longer on screen, sabers trails staying longer also... this will give you the time to observe how moves are done, and usually you have the time to change the camera angle too. This way you can try to find what the best angle to take a screenshot in a kata or any special move. I also suggest you bind the command timescale 1 to a key, in order to get back to normal (100%) speed, whenever you need to. Imagine if you have to type those commands 20 times in a row, you would do well to bind them at first to avoid the mess I had to face at first.

Ok, now how to define a camera angle and distance. 3 commands are useable but I've found that only 2 of them are really useful.

cg_thirpersonpitch allows you to modify the position of the camera on a vertical axis while staying at the same distance. But as it stays focused on the character, you can achieve the same result by moving your mouse (values can be either positive or negative)

cg_thirdpersonangle allows you to modify the horizontal angle of the camera, ie whether you look at the character from behind (like in saber camera mode) or from the front or sides. This command is used with angle in degrees from 0 (back view) to 359 which means 180 for front view and 90 and 270 for the side views.
cg_thirpersonrange is the command that sets the distance of the camera from the character. A value of 0 is possible but will not put you in first person mode. Default value is around 100, I believe.

Ok, about the other useful commands: you have to keep in mind that you might want to add an NPC now and then to vary your screenies. notarget will disable their eventual aggressive mood toward you while b_npcfreeze 1 will freeze them in the position they are.

Another useful command will greatly help you in saving time: cg_forceregentime 0. This command will set the Force regeneration at the fastest rate, saving you precious minutes.

Ok, now you're ready to take screenshots of your character doing whatever you may think of


2 Scenes: screenshooting for records, wallpapers or just for fun

There are many commands that can be useful for that: cg_draw2D, cg_thirpersonangle, cg_thirpersonrange, cg_thirdpersonpitch, timescale, cg_forceregentime, notarget, b_npcfreeze, screenshot, levelshot, screenshot silent, and npc spawn .

Now, I'm going to review the scenes making which is, in my opinion, the funniest screenshot-related activity. Let's imagine you want to make your own wallpaper, with an in-game screenie but you dont want to take a screenie of JA people sabering/gunning each other. You want something that looks like the movies for example. Well, as far as the skins exist, it is possible to set something cool.

At first, you have to think about the scene itself: what is happening, who is there, what will be the map you'll use, etc.

Then, using the various commands reviewed on the first part, you can start to spawn NPCs and place them where you need them. This will set the scene but don't forget to freeze them to prevent them from moving/fighting.

Once the NPCs are in place, you will need to find the right camera angle and start screenshooting. Remember, you can also use your own character to act and thus make a cool screenie that will capture the action with all the NPCs around.

The pictures you get are in jpg format and can easily be imported into a sofware like Photoshop or Paint Shop Pro if you want to modify the pic to give it another feeling, etc.

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Comments
Jun 13 2005 08:56pm

Hitokiri
 - Student
 Hitokiri

cg_thirdpersoncameradamp is the command your thinking of genesis.
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Ph34r m1 1337 5k1llz!

May 24 2005 10:56am

genes!s
 - Student
 genes!s

I learned a cool command today on the servers, I think it was cg_thirdpersondamp #. Default is 0.3, minimum is 0, and maximum is 1. This command determines who much the camera will move with your character. If you set it to 0, the camera won't move at all, while your character can run around the area. I thought it might be usefull for taking nice screenshots.
No need to get angry with your performers, since you can do everything yourself. ^^
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I am the purifier, the light that clears all shadows.

The most inactive active member of the JA.


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