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Taking better screenshots

D-day December 19, 2012 User blog:D-day

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This is just some tips that I wanted to share for taking screenshots.

General tips

  • Hide the user interface (UI) by pressing "V".
  • Uncheck any of the gameplay options you do not need when taking pictures, such as "Show shimmer around objects with loot" under the "Options > Game", unless this is intentional (e.g., it is meant to show there is a bug, or to show the reader how something is supposed to appear)
  • Don't forget to use "pause" (spacebar) when taking a picture. You will probably want to try out different angles and zoom before selecting your final picture.
  • Make sure you have the highest graphical settings possible everything.
  • Note that screenshots taken from the game will generally not be uploaded correctly (it may come back as a "blank" image) and may not be the quality you wish. Use a scree capture software (Gadwin, FRAPS) instead.
  • Consider the compression of the image you have taken. PNG files would ideally be optimized (use PNGGauntlet), although it is not necessary.
  • Don't forget the make the subject stand out (lightning is important in this case), and to crop the picture. If you're showing off a weapon for example, we don't need to see other NPCs.
  • You may want to download this mod to remove the interface and the dialogue options showing up during cutscenes.

An example

The left picture is rather hard to discern the subject from its environment due to colors being similar. Additionally, a front view is not ideal since it's a quadruped animal. A side or a three-quarter view will work much better.

Invisible Warden

Your character needs to be a female human Warden. I haven't tested it out on all companions, so it may not work on them.

runscript appearance 13

This will change your character to a Qunari's model, which does not exist for female characters. As such, your character will appear invisible. You will be able to take picture more freely.

Note that sometimes your character will get randomly stuck, or you will not be able to move with WASD (clicking on the ground may be a bit slower). Return to your character's model by opening the console again:

runscript appearance -1

Enemies

In Dragon Age: Origins, it is impossible to hide the rings under the enemies and characters unless you modify the texture files yourself. Since most of them will always turn hostile, you may want to take a picture in a different pose and without them attacking you and using their abilities.

This is where the appearance modifier come into play.

First, move to the location where you want to take the picture, which would be one of the enemy's primary locations. It'll be a bit weird if the enemy you are trying to capture is in Amaranthine for example.

Check the appropriate console page for the list of appearances ID. Each in-game model has a number:

runscript appearance #

Your character will now use a new model. Feel free to use any attack so they can pose differently.

Removing UI helpers

Sometimes, it is better if UI helpers (ground rings, attack angle, etc.) are removed. I've already prepared a ZIP file containing what I believe should be removed to get rid of these. It is done by saving a transparent 1x1 DDS file so there would no real texture for the game to use. There's about 17 files that I have modified, some probably unnecessary though, heh.

Extract the "vfx" folder. It should be in your "override" folder in your "Documents", where mods are located:

C:\Users\(User)\Documents\BioWare\Dragon Age\packages\core\override\vfx

If you want to restore the textures, simply remove the folder.

Uploading the files

This part concerns the wiki. If you have several images to upload, use the MultipleUpload page. I recommend adding this on your toolbar if you are using the default skin.

On your toolbar (at the bottom of the page), click on "Customize" and search for "Upload multiple photos". Additionally, you may use "Upload photo" (Upload) as it's more reliable in my opinion. It can also be added on your toolbar.

Tag your image under the BioWare licensing (assuming it's still a Dragon Age image, of course) ({{Bioware image}}). If you upload your images through one of the recommended features I have suggested, it'll be in a drop-down menu.

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