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The Shot Clinic

You won't get banned for posting boring shots in this forum, and if you're lucky you won't even get them removed. The most likely outcome is in fact even worse: they'll be ignored. If constructive feedback is what you're after for a particular shot then maybe it's better off here. After all, no one gets bullied in the classroom.
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  • edited February 2014
    Hello everyone! My name is Martin and I have been in love with awesome screenshots since I found DET:)
    I have been lurking around on DET and in the screenshot threads on NeoGaf for years. I have never been able to post in those threads, but I hope I eventually can contribute here instead.
    Since I am quite new to taking screenshots and unknown in this community, I did not want to create an OT for a game before I could prove myself to you people first. I thought that this might be a better place to introduce myself and post a few screens for you to critisize. Hope that is OK.


    These are from Arma III:

    Tools used for these screenshots2990x1868, 150% Scaling ingame, Ultra settings"

    107410_2014-02-10_00011
    107410_2013-05-02_00009
  • edited February 2014
    Hello and welcome!

    Duncan morphed this into a new thread entirely, so my original comment seems pointless.

    I'm not so great at giving feedback on things though. I find 95% of all Arma 2\3 screenshots to be a bit dull.
  • edited February 2014
    Well, you've added a potentially very useful thread to the forum, so you're off to a good start!

    The first shot would be pretty good if you chopped off that area below the nose of the heli. Because of the FOV you're using it's kind of bending the landscape in that lower part of the shot so you're almost looking down on it. Not itself a problem but that terrain isn't really giving anything; in fact, it's highlighting that the vegetation isn't being drawn by showing you bare ground texture. So you've got a twofold problem of the subject (the helicopter) not really being anchored in the frame and the landscape being let down a bit. Crop it closer to the chopper - or ideally just do a better composition at the outset - and the landscape will play more of a supporting role and look a lot more natural to boot.

    The second shot's not really doing anything for me, to be honest. It's very soft, for starters, which I appreciate can happen with ArmA's default settings but can be sorted out. The guy's not really doing anything and is in a rather boring idle pose. Looking off-camera is a popular way of suggesting something bonkers amazing going on in a game like, say, Mass Effect, but you need to something equally hot going on in the frame or people will just assume there's a load more boring coastline. Another problem with your dude there is that too much of him's in shadow; he's just frustrating to look at 'cause you can't properly see him.

    Ultimately, someone looks at that and isn't quite sure what's being shown. It's not the bloke because he's not really doing much, it's not the landscape because there's not much there, it's not the rendering because it's all a bit soft, and there isn't really much composition to speak of. So what is it? ArmA's depiction of the natural and mundane is a strength that's very tough to capture.
  • edited February 2014
    Thanks for the welcome:)
    I think it is nice for new members to have a thread to post in where the stakes are not that high, and where we can get feedback to keep the standard high in the other threads.

    Two shots from Battlefield 4. These are taken at 2988x1868 (this is the highest I have been able to get my resolution witouth SRWE) and 150% rendering ingame. Is it just my monitor or do they look a bit washed out?

    bf4 2014-02-10 22-54-00-04
    bf4 2014-02-10 23-05-37-27
  • Okay. Rather than dwell on the appeal of bulldozers in videogames, I'm simply to going to say that your FOV is too high. You're grabbing shots at what many consider a 'playable' FOV of somewhere in the 80s or 90s, I'm guessing. The problem with high FOVs is that they stretch out the scene so that suddenly the area of interest is this band across the middle that's almost letterboxed by too much ground and sky - and that's precisely what's happened in the first shot.

    FOV distortion aside, the second makes two fairly common mistakes. 1) It tries to show the whole of this very large landscape feature, which ironically makes it look very small. There's a thing called 'edge violation' where the thing you're shooting is allowed to go off the edges of the frame, and that's the key to making it look big. Check out any good shot of a giant boss in a game and you'll see this in action. 2) You're looking down on it from really high up. Again, you're making it look small.
  • Really appreciate the comments. Thank you. It is good to know that I need to differentiate between FOV for playing and screenshotting. I also have a lot to learn about composing a good shot, so I will definitely work on that.
  • Yep. An low fov helps a lot. It's also a good idea to look at real pictures and try to simulate all those techniques for your ingame shots (if possible).
  • edited February 2014
    Sorry if I seem a bit eager. It's just the first time I'm able to get good feedback on my screenshots:) I can't seem to get the textures as crisp as you have gotten it in the BF4 thread Jim. Is that just the higher res, or some SweetFX as well?
    bf4 2014-02-11 02-03-23-49_cinema
    bf4 2014-02-11 02-06-46-99_cinema
  • 1. Very high resolution (6K) + a LITTLE resolution scale (105 - 110%).
    2. Don't use Post AA. Post AA is FXAA. FXAA blurs your image\texture quality.

    No sharpening in the BF4 shots. I just use SweetFX to capture the images and for slight curves here and there. I mostly stick to scenery because it's really hard to get an interesting shot with action going on that's actually interesting to look at outside of the action itself.
  • edited February 2014
    Thanks. I completely forgot to turn off Post AA in those shots.
    Do you set your custom res in the PROFSAVE_profile? When I do that, it just reverts back to my desktop res, and SRWE won't even find the BF4 window. Wonder what I am forgetting

    bf4 2014-02-11 03-31-46-74_crop
    bf4 2014-02-11 03-32-39-08_crop
  • I quite like that bottom one. Seems very bright through. 2560x1080 is the resolution I typically upload though and my files come in at around 3-4MB. 5MB if I save a PNG from FastStone. So why is yours 10MB? Holy poop.

    What I did in BF4 was line up my shot in windowed mode at my desktop resolution. Then alt-tabbed to SRWE and loaded a profile that changed my res to 6000x3375 (for example). Then I grabbed a screenshot then loaded a profile that switched me back.

    First time in the Valley of the Drakes last night. Grabbed a few screens very late and can't decide if I like any of then...

    image

    image

    image
  • Blinky said:

    Do you set your custom res in the PROFSAVE_profile? When I do that, it just reverts back to my desktop res, and SRWE won't even find the BF4 window. Wonder what I am forgetting

    That only works with the 32bit executable. SRWE doesn't find 64bit applications.

    @Jim, they are all awesome. But the composition isn't right on any of them. I somehow want to see more of his legs in the first one.
    The second one.. the dragon should be in the left side/middle. Now there is some empty boring stuff on the left side.
    And the third one... i don't know, really. I don't know where i'm supposed to look? :(

    The second one is the best though. But i have some sort of rule for my pictures. A monster/Character should never look out of the picture. It should always look into the middle of the picture. There are some exceptions of course.
  • HERE, HE'S LOOKING INTO THE MIDDLE

    image

    Interesting tips though :) For the 2nd one, I kinda wanted the dragon to be standing over all those dead bodies and still get the lighting from that fireball. The composition probably suffered as a result of forcing those things.

    Here's another angle on that first one. But somehow I don't like it as much. I find that trying to get better-than-average action shots is really difficult.

    image
  • Just to say that although things are moving along fine at the moment, if the Battlefield tweaks talk keeps going I'll split it off into a BF4 guide thread. Makes sense.
  • I think this giant weapon isn't helping :D I know that you want the weapon on the picture. I want that as well. But it's just to big.
    If he had some small sword, he could stand in this empty space on the right side of the picture. I don't know if that would help though.
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