A Call for Screenshots

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A Call for Screenshots

Postby peteyg » Mon May 17, 2004 12:57 am

We need more good screenshots. Why?

1. The official gallery has only got a few from the 0.4 dataset, which I randomly grabbed one afternoon like the night after it was released. And half of them totally suck. More good screenshots in the gallery means more people download the game.
2. Review and news sites often post a screenshot when they report on a new version of Vega Strike. It was crazy seeing a crappy screenshot I took being used 24 hours later by a dozen news sites. More good screenshots means more people download the game.
3. We need more better splash screens, because some of them suck. We need more in-game art incorporated into the splash screens, and a nice selection of screenshots would make it easier on splash screen artists.

Okay, now that you're convinced, here's some tips from a veteran Vega Strike screenshot artist!!

1. High rez (=> than 1024x768). 1600x1200 is best. This means we can pick small sections of the screenshot to use in splash screens or whatever, with a smaller hit in quality.
2. Graphic options to maximum! Use max antialiasing, max possible VS graphic options. Who cares if you only go at 10 fps? You aren't making a movie.
3. Use the Home key to match speed, get close, and then look out the back or side of your ship for a clear view of your screenshot subject. Just don't bump into them.
4. Use Time Decel to make the action shots easier to get. http://vegastrike.sourceforge.net/forums/viewtopic.php?t=928
5. Capture action! Ships firing at each other with explosions and shields flickering is way cooler than your Llama.blank cruising in Cephid_17.
6. For the most part, stick to the new 0.4.x artwork. If you've seen it in a 0.3.x or previous, then it isn't going to wow people as much as the Howard Day stuff.
7. Edit your starting mission (missions/explore_universe) to give you a cool ship to photograph, with wingmen, enemies, or whatever. Change your system to one with a cool background (not the default green).
8. Bonus points if you can get a good example of Vega Strike's graphical capabilities. The specular lighting maps that make parts of a ship's texture glint at varying levels in the sunlight, fading atmospheres of planets, shield flickers, anything that says "Oh COOL!"

If anyone else wants to suggest tips, go ahead. Post your screenshots to the regular user gallery (http://vegastrike.sourceforge.net/gallery/user_screenshots), and I'll stick the cool ones in the 'official' gallery, and remove them from the user one.

Come! Let us take screenshots!
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Postby Ares » Thu May 20, 2004 8:21 am

*Starts duct taping cameras to his ship; flies off*
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Postby jackS » Thu Jul 22, 2004 1:18 am

VS front page now has slots for screenies - we could use some good ones :)
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Postby Major » Sun Aug 08, 2004 4:52 am

I have 50 good screenshots; their format is around 1000x750

It would take too long to upload them each individually so i uploaded them in a single zip-file (17,6MB)
http://netzwelt.gaming-hut.de/temp/dele ... ensbig.zip
(Note: I will delete the file after August)

I also have more graphical stuff; i will upload that during the next days
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Postby Major » Sun Aug 08, 2004 5:25 am

OK, here´s the rest, feel free to do whatever you want with the stuff:
-----------------
My Crosshairs (29kb; most in PNG and some in PSD)
http://netzwelt.gaming-hut.de/temp/dele ... shairs.zip
-----------------
Templates for my small screenshots. There are the templates for the graphics at my VS-Artwork Page in Photoshop-format. Each ship has its own layer. The images have the size of 175x315 pixels.
Just ignore the error-message about the missing font (6,5MB).
http://netzwelt.gaming-hut.de/temp/dele ... mplate.zip
-----------------
Two Splashscreens with the dostoevsky and the Plowshare in Photoshop-format (5,5MB)
http://netzwelt.gaming-hut.de/temp/dele ... creens.zip
-----------------
The textures for the data4.x ships from Howard Day (the file isn´t anymore at his webspace). All in Photoshop-format (47MB)
Edit:
http://netzwelt.gaming-hut.de/temp/deleteme/vstex.zip
-----------------
Last edited by Major on Sun Aug 08, 2004 8:13 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby Ari Rahikkala » Sun Aug 08, 2004 6:51 am

* looks at vega4x_franklin2.jpg *

Ouch... those star streaks in the wrong place ruin what would otherwise be a wonderful shot.
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Postby Halleck » Sat Jan 15, 2005 8:41 pm

Allright, I'll try to snap a few.
7. Edit your starting mission (missions/explore_universe) to give you a cool ship to photograph, with wingmen, enemies, or whatever. Change your system to one with a cool background (not the default green).

How do I do this?
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Postby peteyg » Sat Jan 15, 2005 9:20 pm

Open up mission/explore_universe.mission with a text editor, the rest should be pretty obvious.
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Postby Halleck » Sat Jan 15, 2005 9:28 pm

Um.. not exactly. Is there a list of values somewhere? For instance, a list of ship names to replace "llama.begin" with. Also, I have no clue how to go about adding wingmen.

Edit: I found VShips.pdf, but I still need to find some list of names that are recognized by the game which I can just plug in.
Edit:pretty.mission seems to contain such a list.
Last edited by Halleck on Sun Jan 16, 2005 1:41 am, edited 2 times in total.
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Postby Halleck » Sat Jan 15, 2005 11:06 pm

Okay, I'm back with a few shots. My results were mixed, but I grabbed a couple images which I think are decent. You can see them in JPEG format on my website. The originals are in BMP format because I was saving them in MS paint- I dont think having GIMP running in the backround while playing VS with the graphics jacked all the way up is such a good idea.

Because of paint, a few shots got their right edge sheared off when i forgot to reset the view window before pasting.

I picked a few of the better ones and uploaded them to my server at http://eliot.bambi.net/ih/vegastrike/ . Please tell me what you think!

If you want, I can post the BMP's, or convert them to PSD/XCF and then post.

Just a side note- the pause key works well for freezing the action right where you want it, but having to press shift+| is annoying. I think I'll try playing with the bindings to make pause a single button.
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Postby hurleybird » Sat Jan 15, 2005 11:31 pm

Looks nice, what settings are you running at BTW, and what type of hardware do you have.

Most screenshots get "prettied-up" with anti-ailsing and anistrophic filtering too btw.
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Postby Halleck » Sat Jan 15, 2005 11:41 pm

hurleybird wrote:Looks nice, what settings are you running at BTW, and what type of hardware do you have.

Most screenshots get "prettied-up" with anti-ailsing and anistrophic filtering too btw.

I'm running and AMD Athlon XP 3200+ with 512mb ram and an integrated NVIDIA GeForce4 MX. My Vega Strike settings are as follows:
512mb ram +256 mb swap
Display Lists
Decelerated gameplay (makes it easier to take screenshots)
My sound only
Medium Volume
Extreme detail
1280x1024 resolution (the highest my monitor supports)
Reflective per pixel lighting
32bit color fullscreen
No mouse (to eliminate ghost reticle)
Software cursor
No joystick.

Also, I re-bound pause to the [`] key, works much better now.
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Postby Halleck » Sun Jan 16, 2005 1:15 am

I'm getting better results now. I picked out a few more shots and posted them.

Here are a few things I figured out that made my life easier. Most of these are probably no-brainers for people familiar with VS, but might be helpful for newer players wishing to take some sweet screenshots:
  • pretty.mission in \mission\test\ contains a ton of "sitting duck" spacecraft that will engage if fired upon. It's much easier to find an opponent this way, but the scenery is fairly sparse.
  • One of the function keys (f7 I think) is a camera that shows your target in relation to your ship. Using this camera, you can get some nifty angles during combat.
  • You can switch camera angles and targets while paused. Cycling through targets while using the f7 camera lets you pick a better angle. This can also be accomplished by using s,f,q, and z keys to control the f6 camera, althouh this will not work while paused. F11 and F12 zoom in and out for most cameras.
  • As mentioned above, binding pause to the [`] key (or any key of your choice) makes it easier to pause the game than the default binding.
Last edited by Halleck on Mon Jan 24, 2005 5:03 pm, edited 4 times in total.
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Postby Halleck » Sun Jan 16, 2005 1:59 pm

I've posted a few more shots. Check out the planetside and firebird ones!

EDIT: I put a couple of the ones I think might be worthy for primetime (with a little cleanup, of course) into the user gallery. I also have a few neat ones sitting around on my hard drive which I haven't converted to JPEG yet, which I'll put up at my site if I get the chance to convert/upload.
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Postby Halleck » Mon Jan 24, 2005 4:36 pm

Sorry for my five zillionth post in a row, but I have some new shots up at the user gallery, taken with my shiny new Aelar.
<table border=0>
<tr><td>
Image
</td><td>
Image
</td></tr>
<tr><td>
Image
</td><td>
Image
</td></tr>
</table>
Oh man, I rule at bbcode.

Sorry about the green nebula background, but usually the interesting stuff happens before I even depart Cephid-17. Does anyone have suggesstions for some cool galaxies I could change my starting one to?

By the way, I found a handy windows utility called GrabCaptureScreen, and I'm about to test it out with Vegastrike. I've had success with using its predicessor, GrabClipSave, for automatically saving screenshots within games, so it will probably work fine. I'll be back with the official verdict in a bit.
Last edited by Halleck on Mon Mar 21, 2005 2:45 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby hellcatv » Mon Jan 24, 2005 6:09 pm

I really like these screenshots

gosh...I was trying to code in a screenshot mechanism... the code looks right but it only grabs the top eighth of the screen--it sounds really dumb that I can't get it working--I should upload it to a PC...maybe my mac is whack :-)

that should make it easier to get shots
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Postby Halleck » Mon Jan 24, 2005 6:25 pm

:D I'm glad. Perhaps we should pick a few to clean up and place in the main gallery.

As to an in-game screenshot feature: that would be awesome. No worries if you can't get it to work, though. What you could do to make life easier is allow the f6 camera controls (ghost camera) to operate while the game is paused. That would let the screenshot author pick the perfect angle to capture that gorgeous flare or gigantic explosion.
Also, I reccomend changing the default binding for the pause key to something that requires a single keystroke ([`] works well for me). This will make it easier for people who want to take screenshots, allowing them to stop the action with the push of a button without having to muck around with their config files beforehand.
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Postby jackS » Mon Jan 24, 2005 6:49 pm

@Halleck:

BTW - which version are you running? 4.1D, 4.2, CVS(if so, date pulled)
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Postby Halleck » Mon Jan 24, 2005 10:21 pm

I'm running 0.4.2. I could probably teach myself how to get the cvs version, but I haven't bothered so far.
BTW, is there any way I could get my hands on a "snapshot build" of the cvs for windows, or would I have to compile it myself?
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Postby hurleybird » Mon Jan 24, 2005 10:40 pm

There is already an .exe if you download the data.4x tree.

I use tortoisecvs to make my life easier
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Postby Halleck » Tue Jan 25, 2005 4:48 pm

Okay, cool. I got TortoiseCVS and I'm attempting to checkout the data4.x/ module. I'm seeing plenty of files appearing, which is a good sign.
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Postby hurleybird » Tue Jan 25, 2005 10:14 pm

thats whats supposed to happen :)
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Postby Halleck » Wed Mar 30, 2005 2:32 pm

I have good news for all screenshot takers!
Last night, hellcatv made a small modification to the code that allows the ghost camera controls (qzsd if I'm not mistaken) to function while the game is paused. This makes taking action screenshots much easier as you are allowed nearly unlimited control over the camera once you have paused at the right moment.

I haven't taken any really fantastic shots yet, but here are a couple I snapped when I was testing the feature:

I didn't really need to be paused on this one, but hey, it felt cool :wink::
Image

Here's an example of the power the controls afford you. I paused in the middle of combat and swung the ghost cam around to take this shot:
Image

It's interesting to note that you can also control the "death-cam".
Image

You'll definitely see some really awesome shots from me at some point in the future, and I'm hoping some of you guys will take the opportunity to get some sweet action shots as well!

Enjoy.
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Postby charlieg » Wed Mar 30, 2005 10:02 pm

Those screenshots are seriously cool.
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Postby Halleck » Sat Apr 16, 2005 11:24 am

Okay folks! Here it is, as promised.
Lazer Rain Redux:
Image
Last edited by Halleck on Sun Apr 17, 2005 3:46 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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