This series of interviews with screenshot artists, who take extensive and highly crafted in-game photographs, is an appendix to an article titled “Screenshots as type of visual art“. Unfortunately the article is in Czech (although a google translated version seems to output a readable translation), but the interviews part of the appendix offer a great insight into the work of popular screenshot artists. The artists interviewed are: PixieGirl4, K-Putt, Jim2point0, DeadEndThrills, Natty Dread.
Five selected artists answer a set of standard questions, revealing interesting practices of this community.
- One common answer from all interviewees is the recognition of the forum of deadendthrill.com as the main platform for the community of video game photography.
“deadendthrills.com has a new forum that will become the Mecca of a screenshot related stuff” -Natty Dread
- Technical quality (resolution, textures and anti-aliasing) of the images is very high and hardware used is powerful and custom made.
if you’re doing screenshots then you often have to use downsampling to achieve perfect image quality. Some games suffer such bad shader aliasing, furthermore, that you’re talking resolutions of 8K or even 12K before all the aliasing is gone. You want a resolution high enough to not just antialias the image when you downsample, but to downsample using a sharpening algorithm that preserves the detail in the textures, etc, without bringing out any jaggies. – DeadEndThrills
- Another interesting point is about what is allowed in terms of post production. Only cropping and colour grading is accepted, and certain tools are favoured (SweetFX versus Photoshop). The majority of the screenshots are achieved in real-time and saved as they are grabbed. Such rules seem strict in comparison to the GTA V in-game photography group Landscape photographers of Los Santos and Blaine County* which encouraged users to take their pictures and “work them up in Photoshop or your favorite editor before posting them here in all their glory”.
I normaly just crop pictures to a different aspect ratio. […] Or i remove little annoying things like one little blade of grass that looks through a shoe or something. I don’t like to change the colors in Photoshop. That’s what SweetFX is for. I want to capture the game like i see it ingame. Photoshoping a game screenshot is also frowned upon in our little screenshot community. –K-Putt
If a screenshot has a small, distracting element I can remove with content aware, I’ll probably do that. But it’s very rare and I can’t even think of the last time I had to. My screenshots are almost all unedited. I wouldn’t know what to edit in them that I couldn’t achieve in real-time with SweetFX anyways.
There are so many amazing screenshots from all sorts of talented folks, and the best would go up on the DET community page. –Jim2point0
I don’t do any post work unless it’s the very rare case of a glitch ruining a shot that’s taken hours to set up. If a character’s finger is clipping through something, for instance, then I’d probably fix that. Otherwise the shots are exactly as they’re grabbed. –DeadEndThrills**
** DeadEndThrills was also featured in a blog post on Videogame Tourism titled “The art of in-game photography”: https://ingamephotography.wordpress.com/2015/02/25/the-art-of-in-game-photography/
Links to the interviewed screenshot artists
PixieGirl4 : https://www.flickr.com/photos/pix111/
Jim2point0 : https://www.flickr.com/photos/jim2point0/
DeadEndThrills : https://www.flickr.com/photos/duncanjharris/
Natty Dread : https://www.flickr.com/photos/90866390@N06/