Guild Wars Screenshot Guide – Take Better Pictures

Once you are ready to take your picture, position the camera in an optimal location. Remember, screenshots with your character at dead-center can be boring. This is especially true if it is a picture of your character’s back. Captivating photographs are original images. Try showing the world something it hasn’t seen before, or from a perspective that was not expected. Generally, try to fill the screen with your subject. Yet, also take notice of the background. Guild Wars is loaded with eye candy. Try to tell a story. If you picture can explain itself without words, you have done well.

Once you hit the “Print-Screen” button, you have two options. Not only has a picture been saved to your hard drive, but the image is also on your clipboard. Sometimes, I directly paste the contents of the clipboard straight into an image manipulation program. However, it’s probably best to locate the saved file. Typically, this is the path to Guild Wars screenshots…

C:\Program Files\Guild Wars\Screens

The image is stored as a .jpg file. That is a switch from the .bmp file format, which is not Internet friendly. JPEG, PNG or even GIF are better formats for displaying images on web pages. For the most part, you’re likely to leave your pictures in the JPEG format. However, be warned. JPEG uses Lossy Compression. While JPEGs are known for small file size, which are perfect for the Internet, you do sacrifice image quality. GIFs can only display 256 colors or less, which is not ideal for Guild Wars screenshots. Yet, GIFs can be used for animation. PNG uses Lossless Compression. That means the image quality is not sacrificed. However, PNGs are usually much larger than JPEG files.

You can edit your Guild Wars screenshots in Microsoft Paint. However, I would not recommend that as your primary choice. I use Fireworks, but I would also recommend Adobe Photoshop. If you cannot afford commercial software, there are plenty of open-source image editing programs out there.

Advanced Techniques – Sometimes, there’s a screenshot that is really important to me. Sometimes, I want the quality to be as good as it can be. Perhaps I’m considering a cover image for the next issue of Photics. In those scenarios, I want the highest resolution possible. Your screenshots are saved at the quality of the game’s resolution. Like so many things in technology, more is better. That is why you’ll also want to consider your Guild Wars resolution. A screenshot taken at 1600×1200 (roughly 2 Megapixels) is going to look much better than 800×600 (roughly 0.5 Megapixels). Naturally, a 1600×1200 image will take more space on your hard drive. That is something to consider while taking screenshots. Just how important is the resolution of your image? When it’s important to me, I will temporarily play Guild Wars in the highest mode possible. Otherwise, I generally play Guild Wars in 1024×768 windowed mode.

4 thoughts on “Guild Wars Screenshot Guide – Take Better Pictures”

  1. Wow! Thanks, P! I’ve been doing both photography and in-game photography as well lately and this guide was SOOOOO INCREDIBLY USEFUL!!

  2. Nice article, Mike, and very timely, too! You know a lot of players will be taking pics of the Wintersday event, so this will be a really good help for all of us.

    The “turn off the interface” tip is key. Or, if you want to leave the interface on, for instance to show your skill bar, be sure to wait between shots so the screenshot file name fades. I’ve disappointed myself too many times wanting to show the interface and capture an action shot, only to see “This screenshot has been saved as file name such-and-such” in bright green across my “classic shot.” ;)

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