This post is my day 3 contribution to the 2015 Blaugust Initiative.
Here’s a feature in ArcheAge I wish every game would shamelessly steal: screenshot mode. It detaches the camera from your character and allows you to control most of its parameters manually, just like you might with a real-world camera. This lets you compose and refine the perfect shot.
The first thing to know about screenshot mode is that it doesn’t prevent your character from being attacked or even killed. However, if something causes your character to move, you’ll exit screenshot mode. Remember to pose your character before you begin.
To start out, press Ctrl + F12 to enable screenshot mode. A list of keyboard shortcuts for the advanced camera controls will appear. You’ll notice that your normal movement keys now move the camera instead of your character. You can press the space bar or X to raise or lower the camera. Holding down either mouse button allows the camera to pivot in any direction. Scrolling the mouse wheel will zoom in or out. You can position the camera just about anywhere, but you can’t move it through walls or solid objects.
The distance the camera can zoom out is also limited by your selected camera mode option. Switching to Classic Mode (Options → Screen Settings → Screen → Camera Mode) will allow the camera to zoom out slightly further.
One of my favorite techniques when taking a picture of the landscape is to move the camera in front of my character, then zoom in or out to frame the view I want. Or I can compose a shot of my character from the exact angle I want, which means I don’t have to spend a lot of time later cropping and resizing it.
Pressing Ctrl + Insert will toggle the depth of field controls. The easiest way to use this feature is to turn it on, point your mouse cursor at the object you want to focus on, and then press Ctrl + Delete to auto-focus. If you have a good understanding of focal length and range, you can also adjust those manually with their shortcut keys.
The blur FX option will simulate different aperture shapes and apply the refraction blur accordingly. It’s most dramatic with a depth of field very near the camera. With depth of field already enabled, press Alt + Insert to toggle blur FX on and off. For example, if you’d like blurred light to refract through a heart-shaped aperture, press Alt + F7 to switch to that shape. You can also control the size of the shapes and the strength of the blur applied to them.
If you’d like to hide or show the UI, press F12. When you have everything exactly as you want, press F9 to take the screenshot.
- Five Favorite Features: ArcheAge #1 – Screenshot Mode
- Five Favorite Features: ArcheAge #2 – Overachieving Quests
- Five Favorite Features: ArcheAge #3 – Public Transport
- Five Favorite Features: ArcheAge #4 – Custom Crests
- Five Favorite Features: ArcheAge #5 – Criminal Justice
Is this a feature you’ve seen in other games? Is it a feature you’d actually use, or is it too complicated? Let me know below.