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How to Take Higher Quality Screenshots

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How to Take Good Screenshots in Rigs of Rods

            Hello, my name is Mason, and I’ve been wanting to make this for a few days now. The reason I wanted to a compile a list of tips as to taking Screenshots in Rigs of Rods, is that I think most people don’t even realize many of the things they could be doing easily to make them better. In other words, I keep seeing stuff like this:

 

z8YdezT.jpg

 

That could easily have looked like this:

 

bLyaSB3.png

 

With very little extra effort. So let’s get started shall we?

  1. Graphic Settings- As someone recently pointed out in a thread, your screenshots will only look as good as your game does. This means that in some cases you may be required to deal with lag if you want to take a really nice looking screenshot. The following pointers will be about what each important graphics setting does, and which ones you should have on, or off.
    1. Screen Resolution- Too many times people are playing RoR in a tiny 800x600 window, on a screen that is significantly larger. This can make for some ugly screenshots. To fix this go to your Config, and in the Settings tab, go to “Render System” and make sure the “Video Mode” is in your screen’s resolution, and 32-bit color.
    2. FSAA- As Matt Wilkinson pointed out FSAA makes your screenshots, much better. It make the edges around your truck, and other objects much crisper, and much less jagged. Having it set to “8” will do the best for your screenshots. This is also in the “Render System” section of the Config.
    3. Rendering Device- Not much here, but if you have more than one video card, make sure this is set to the superior one. This is also found in the “Render System” section of the config.
    4. Texture Filtering- One of the most neglected things is texture filtering. If you have it on a high setting the textures will look very nice, if you have it off, you may mistake RoR for MTM1. If you can’t run “Anisotropic” or “Trilinear,” then even “Bilinear” is better than “None.” These options are found in the “Graphics” tab in the Config.
    5. Sky Type- This is becoming less important with people using more Skyboxes, but if you plan to use a track without a skybox, and have a picture with the sky in it, it looks bad on “sandstorm,” and will look much better on “Caelum.” If you can’t deal with the lag on “Caelum” you may want to find a track that has a skybox, or just leave the sky out of the picture. These options are found in the “Graphics” tab in the Config.
    6. Water Type- If for some reason you are using water in your picture, make sure you have the water type somewhere above basic. These options are found in the “Graphics” tab in the Config.
    7. High Quality Reflective Effects- Have this on for a shiny truck. It will look much better, and if you alt+tab, and then go back in game, the shine will still be there with this setting on. These options are found in the “Graphics” tab in the Config.
    8. (IMPORTANT) Screenshot Format- Use .PNG. The .Jpeg are worse quality, and get really compressed and filled with artefacts when you upload them. Use .PNG. These options are found in the “Graphics” tab in the Config.
    9. Options to Avoid- Shadows, Waves, Dust, HeatHaze, Engine smoke, Custom Particles, Mirrors, Dashboard, Sunburn, HDR, Motion blur, Skidmarks, and Glow are all unnecessary, and in some cases can even make the picture look worse. Some of them can be nice to use, but are in no way necessary, or in some cases, recommended for taking good screenshots.
  2. Trucks- Ok so if you want to take a general nice picture, using different trucks can make a big difference.
    1. Personally Made Trucks- Remember, the more work that you put into making a truck, the better it will look. This could be as simple as adding lexan, a –spec map, a nice bake, or even as complex and building a new body, chassis, or other things. Be creative and remember, since you are making it, there’s no reason to settle.
    2. Using a pre-made/V4 truck- Ok, Quality on these vary. If you want to use something like Marshal Law for a specific reason, Ok, but there are better trucks. Trucks that have been released Post V4 have been known to have quality increases. Trucks made by people like Chris Hamilton, Johan Seminario, John Cannon, Mark Colineri or Klayton Halog (as a few examples) are great quality and should yield some good screenshots when done right.
  3. Tracks- Same as before, a track can make/break the picture.
    1. Personal Tracks- Ok, this is really a note to all creators. Stop rushing your tracks. Take your time. I’m sick of seeing rushed tracks that are poorly sized, poorly made, poorly textured, with badly made ramps, and missing obstacles being put out 3 times a week by the same people. (exaggeration but whatever) Taking time on your tracks will help make them better, and in the end produce better screenshots.
    2. Other tracks- Same as above, using a poorly made track can really hurt the screenshot (why do you think I don’t use my own tracks?). Anyways, I’d recommend stuff made by people like Klayton Halog, Tharindu Don, and Danny Mackey. There are a few other good tracks, but the people I listed tend to make consistently great tracks.
    3. Photo Taking Tracks- A few of these exist. Such as the Advanced Auto Parts store made by Aaron Lurie *link* or the Photo Warehouse made by Nadeox1 *link*
  4. Composition- Ok, this is where it starts to get real. Composing your picture can make and break it. If you have just a picture of a plain truck, it’s going to look boring. Using some different art/photography techniques, it can get to look interesting.
    1. Rule of Thirds- Ok, so there are a lot of explanations of this, but basically, put the subject in the corner of the photo, rather than the center Here are some examples *link*
    2. Contrast- “Wow, I love looking at this picture of a brown truck on brown dirt!” Said no one ever. Having contrasting colors make the picture better broken up, and more interesting, i.e. Black on white, blue on orange, it’s not that difficult a contrast to grasp.
    3. Action Shots- Yes, believe it or not, it’s more fun to look at a truck doing something, rather than sitting still. Use Free Cam (Shift+C) and Fixed Free Cam (While in Free Cam press Alt+C) to get a picture of the truck sliding, jumping, doing a wheelie, whatever.
    4. Line- Using a line that leads toward the subject, or two lines that intersect at the subject, can make your picture look less bland
  5. Editing- going to let this be pretty much free range, but please refrain from just putting an Instagram filter on it. Be creative, and learn the program you are using before hand. Here is a good example: svlvtz.jpg
  6. Uploading- So you’ve composed, and taken your .PNG image and are ready to show it off with the world, but how do you give it to them?
    1. Sites to Avoid- Puush. Whereas it’s nice for sharing stuff with friends, it turns everything into a compressed .jpeg, and really takes away quality. Also, there are better alternatives to photobucket.
    2. Sites to Use- I’d recommend using imgur. It uploads things in great quality, and makes it easy to share. Imageshack is also a good option.
  7. Additional Tips- Other things, turn off HUD, more to be added later.
  • Upvote 13

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Very good tips there, even with my terrible computer I try to always turn most of the settings up for screenshots although sometimes I do forget.

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    1. Rendering Device- Not much here, but if you have more than one video card, make sure this is set to the superior one. This is also found in the “Render System” section of the config.

 

The rendering device is which monitor for people with multiple monitors, it's best to use the one with the highest resolution.

 

6otos.png

Only reason the cards are different is I run my main monitor on GPU and my secondary monitor on my motherboard to get better FPS.

  • Upvote 2

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One thing I'll add to this is if you have Photoshop there is a nice feature called "save for web and devices".  Basically it takes a photo with a large file size and makes it smaller.  I've noticed little to no quality loss doing this and it uploads faster and loads on pages faster.

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