We recently came across the game screenshots page of Viktor V., aka Polyneutron and we were truly amazed at his work! Epic Games Art Director, Chris Perna, was also impressed and he tweaked one of the shots, added some explosions and had prints made of the design. The prints are now hanging on the wall in his office and outside of the Unreal Tournament Art Room.
We reached out to Viktor to ask if he would share his screenshot secrets with the Unreal Tournament community and he happily obliged, despite being right in the middle of a pile of paperwork for his University. We recently posted some 12K screenshots and a tutorial for creating them and Viktor has expanded on the instructions. The tl;dr version is as follows, “Choose a pretty angle, try to zoom in and zoom out, compare both and choose one, rotate, try to get some great composition and enter the console command to grab the shot.”
To expand on this, Viktor said, “When you are shooting, finding the correct angles and scenery becomes more complex and intriguing. It’s interesting to experiment with. Timing becomes extremely important with some of the rendering techniques like Screen-Space Reflections. (SSR)”
“During the process I discovered that in some early [Unreal Tournament] builds, the “PlayersOnly” command wasn’t working as it used to work in, say, Mass Effect 3 (where the rendering stops but the flycamera stays active, and one can easily find a decent spot to shoot). On the contrary, in those UT builds I wasn’t able to move the camera freely around, so I tried something different. That’s how I began to work with the “Pause” key, which still works fine for me, although I haven’t tried the “PlayersOnly” command method since that particular case I’ve described above. It may now it work properly, allowing to control the camera while the rendering is frozen.
“The problem of the “Pause” method is that Screen-Space Reflections do not update when the game is set on Pause. So, when one moves the camera beautiful reflections create a lovely colorful mess on the surface they were applied to. These reflections shift all over the place creating incorrect reflections as I tune the camera position.”
“I decided to set “Slomo 0.01″ for that case, so I could set up the camera position in Pause, un-pause the game for a split second (thanks to “Slomo 0.01″) and I could still have some time to make a capture. Animated objects like characters or moving meshes (like those giant fans at the Outpost 23) do not change their positions drastically, and then I pause the game again to get a High Res Screenshot.”
“Since my PC isn’t the most powerful, sadly I can’t provide shots like those magnificent 12k shots. I guess the number of gigabytes dedicated to video memory is the key problem here. I think 8K resolution (I resize shots in Photoshop to 4k) is quite good, too.”
We want to thank Viktor for his help with this post and we’ll be sending him one of the screenshot prints to hang on his own wall. Thank you Viktor!