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 Antialiasing and Anisotropic Filtering to the highest setting they will 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 that you read the guidelines on images so that you take/save your image in an appropriate style/format for the wiki. Screenshots are generally 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 that explains 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
Require
sv_cheats 1
noclip This allows the you to move around the map unrestricted. This is how you get some nice looking shots to display.
cl_drawhud 0 This removes the heads up display, including the Timer, Health and Ammo HUD's.
fog_enable 0 This removes Fog from the map. This helps with longer shots or map overviews.
r_portalsopenall 1 This 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 This removes any visible weapons and cross-hairs from the screenshot.
mat_picmip -1 Increases the quality of textures. This makes all objects look more detailed.

Note: Many of these commands are regarded as "cheats", and as such can only be used in local games. 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 will save the image as a TGA (Targa) file in your \Steam\SteamApps\<username>\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 will first need to convert the image into PNG format.

  • There are numerous websites that will 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 will automatically take 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 will appear on the Desktop. Alternatively, you can press fn+F5 for the same result as Windows.

See also