The Witcher 3's New Screenshot Tools Are So Good

Illustration for article titled iThe Witcher 3s/i New Screenshot Tools Are So Good

The Witcher 3 is the latest game to see Nvidia’s fancy new Ansel screenshot technology implemented. Which means users can now not only take very high resolution screens, but panoramic 360-degree shots of their gameplay as well.

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The necessary upgrades and patches for the tech went live earlier this week. I’ve been testing it out and it’s awesome.

If you’ve got a GTX 680m or above, hitting alt+F2 during gameplay brings up this menu that lets you adjust all kinds of things in the current frame, from FOV to filters:

Illustration for article titled iThe Witcher 3s/i New Screenshot Tools Are So Good
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From there, you can mess around and make things look very, very pretty. There’s the option to take regular screenshots, screenshots at enormous resolutions (up to 63,000x) and even panoramic shots that can be viewed both on the web and with VR headsets.

Here’s what that kind of pixel count gets you. Below is a screen I originally captured at 13,000x (reduced to 800x just for scale purposes):

Illustration for article titled iThe Witcher 3s/i New Screenshot Tools Are So Good

Here’s the detail you get zooming in:

Illustration for article titled iThe Witcher 3s/i New Screenshot Tools Are So Good
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The image at the top of this post, meanwhile, is a crop of a screen originally taken at around 6,000x. These are the kind of tools previously only available to professional bullshotters.

Far more impressive, at least technically, are the 360-degree screenshots, some examples of which I’ve dropped below (provided the embeds work for the browser you’re using right now). Notice how some of them are panoramas of regular screenshots (with Geralt in the “centre” of screen), but others are almost like dioramas, since I’ve moved the camera around for more distant shots.

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(Hit the little square icon in the bottom right to see them in full-screen, and drag your mouse/finger over them to pan the camera around)

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Luke Plunkett is a Senior Editor based in Canberra, Australia. He has written a book on cosplay, designed a game about airplanes, and also runs cosplay.kotaku.com.

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DISCUSSION

I love Ansel. I’ve been taking screenshots of Yennifer nude (which requires the help of mods since you can’t activate Ansel during cutscenes) - which I can provide upon request - but other screenshots I’ve taken of normal scenery are just beautiful. I’ll post normal, 1080p versions of those below. (when I can get to my computer that is)

That said, I do have some complaints.

—The save directory is that of ShadowPlay’s. May I ask WHY?! I want to save all my screenshots to my OneDrive (so I can view them on my phone), and not my ShadowPlay folder which is NOT in my OneDrive (and for good reason - those raw videos take up a ton of space).

—Where’s the option to save DSR shots in PNG and other uncompressed formats? I get that JPGs already take up 1xx’s of MBs and GBs, but I’d still like the option.

—Where’s the iOS version of NVIDIA’s screenshot viewer? We can use our accelerometers to view 360° shots - we don’t require VR.

—There needs to be a separate Ansel category in the GFE settings. That way I can manage global Ansel settings (like the save location) and keep tabs on images currently being processed, even once I leave Ansel/the game. Especially since…

—Maybe it’s due to my old FX-4100, but why does it take 30 minutes to render 33x (1080p) DSR shots? It’s especially annoying since if I leave Ansel/the game, the shot will be lost.

—Why are some of the controller inputs weird? For example, the FOV and roll sliders move by 10° when I adjust them with the controller, while the triggers (which move the camera up/down) aren’t sensitive enough IMHO. I know I can use it with the KB/M (and those issues won’t replicate there), but in a game like The Witcher 3 - which practically demands the use of a controller - I shouldn’t have to switch input devices outside of activating Ansel. In fact, I wish Microsoft would let Nvidia use the Xbox Button to call up Ansel to make things that much easier for controller users.