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This section is designed to help beginners take their first steps into the world of creating Halo art, or for experienced users to brush up on some of the more general concepts of taking high quality screenshots.

The key to a great screenshot lies not in some wild effect,
but the way in which the screenshot is composed.

Positioning

The first step to taking a great screenshot is to assess the main feature of the image, usually a player or vehicle. It is important that this object be properly aligned and positioned. For example, if a player is looking to the right of the screen, position him on the left hand side.

One of the oldest conventions of visual media is the “Rule of Thirds”. Simply put, the viewing area is divided into three horizontal spaces and three vertical spaces, to produce this:

rule of thirds

It has been proven that people are more likely to look at the circled areas, rather than the exact middle. Use this to your advantage by positioning objects slightly off center.

rule of thirds

You’ll notice that in this screenshot, the center of the player’s eyes is positioned on the top right intersection. Of course you don’t needs to draw lines on your TV screen, you just have to trust your instinct.

Zooming

When there are two objects in the picture, be aware of depth and distance. If two objects are far from each other, zoom in using the right thumbstick to bring them closer together. This technique is very useful, even for portrait shots, as it will enlarge the background so that you don’t need to move the camera right up to the object. Plus it adds a professional quality to the screenshot.

zooming

In this image, the player appears just as large as the Elephant, yet is very far away. By zooming in, you can create the illusion of two objects being closer than they really are. In general, always compare what the image will look like normal and zoomed in.

Zooming is a very peculiar aspect of screenshot taking and its benefits are not easily explained, so just use it as much as you can.

Lighting

Once you have gotten used to finding the right angles and positions, you can move on to using light sources. Lighting effects can be produced from many things, such as grenades, rockets, lasers and even the sun.

Obviously, an indoor shot will rarely have good lighting without some artificial help. Outdoors, however, the sun’s light will glisten on your armor. Having the camera in a position similar to that of the sun’s will help harness this light. Notice in the first image how the armor is shining. This is because the player is facing the sun and the light is reflecting into the camera.

lighting

Similarly in this image, the light shining down reflects quite intensely, especially off the Elite’s white armor. If the player is between the light source and the camera, the light will wrap around and highlight just the edges of the armor, while the rest of the armor will remain relatively dark.

Things to remember:

  • If you are trying to take an epic picture, keep an eye out for any debris that might spoil the shot. Grenades and weapons falling out of a recently killed player are a common nuisance. Have some patience and carefully adjust the camera angle to try and hide these from view.
  • Always try to use as much screen space as is appropriate. As in the first image, roughly two thirds of the screen is a good starting point.
  • Keep changing the angles as the film goes on; don’t just keep it in first person view. Rotating the camera around might reveal something interesting that you wouldn’t otherwise notice.
  • Try, try and try again. If you don’t feel satisfied with your screenshot, go back and take it again, you might have missed something that makes it look far better.


Written by AusQB, from the Ar7is7s of Halo

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