Help:Taking screenshots

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Screenshots are an integral part of the wiki, seeing as we are covering a game. Here are some tips to help you in taking screenshots.

Clear shots

To create clear shots for the Wiki, make sure that your computer can run the game at a reasonable quality. If possible, set the in-game graphics to High/Very High and set both anti aliasing and anisotropic filtering to the highest setting they can run at. You can turn this down when you want to play the game again, but it is necessary to take a good screenshot. Make sure to set mat_mipmaptextures to 1.

Make sure that you read the guidelines on images so that you take/save your image in an appropriate style/format for the Wiki. Screenshots should be uploaded in .png format.

Console commands

The following commands can be helpful when taking screenshots within Team Fortress 2. For each code, there is an explanation below on how it affects the screenshot and whether it requires sv_cheats 1, restricting the usage to local servers. Using sv_cheats 1 in this way does not affect your VAC status (an alternative is to use Spectator).

sv_cheats? Code Effect
sv_cheats 1
noclip Allows you to move around the map unrestricted. This is how you get some nice looking shots to display.
cl_drawhud 0 Removes the heads up display, including the Timer, Health and Ammo HUD's.
fog_override 1
fog_enable 0
Removes Fog from the map. This helps with longer shots or map overviews.
r_portalsopenall 1 Opens all the area portals on the map, rendering all areas in the map. This can be extremely expensive on the framerate.
Do not need
sv_cheats 1
r_lod 0 Increases the quality of models (level of detail). This makes all objects look more detailed.
r_drawviewmodel 0 Removes any visible weapons and cross-hairs from the screenshot.
mat_picmip -10 Increases the quality of textures. This makes all objects look more detailed.
tf_spectate_pyrovision 0 Disables Pyrovision in spectator mode.
glow_outline_effect_enable 0 Disables all the outlines on objectives.

Note: Many of these commands are regarded as "cheats", and as such can only be used on servers with sv_cheats set to 1. They can be used, regardless of server setting, when spectating via SourceTV.

Other players

Unless necessary for your shot, make sure that you play on a local server so that you do not capture other players within your screenshot.

Taking a screenshot

Under Windows

Taking a screenshot under Windows is simple. By default, pressing F5 saves the image as a TGA (Targa) file in your \Steam\steamapps\common\team fortress 2\tf\screenshots directory.
Do not use Steam screenshots (F12) as these are saved as low quality JPEGs instead.

In order to upload the image, you first need to convert the image into PNG format.

  • There are numerous websites that do this for you. Here is a quick link to one.
  • Most image editors can perform the conversion. IrfanView and Paint.NET are free and easy to use.

Under OS X

Taking a screenshot under OS X is slightly simpler than above. By pressing ⇧ Shift+⌘ Cmd+3 at the same time, OS X automatically takes a full-screen screenshot. It is also possible to take a screenshot of a certain part of your screen using ⇧ Shift+⌘ Cmd+4. Any images taken via this method appear on the Desktop. Alternatively, you can press fn+F5 for the same result as Windows.

See also