This artical will reference how best to capture proper, Relic-style full quality screenshots. It can be used for capturing Video (eg: via Fraps), as well.
For the perfect screenshot, you need to take into account that you can pause the game. Obviously, this can be done in real time games (not recommended) or through a replay (recommended).
For both, you need to set up the camera, and make sure that you turn off all the extra visual user interface (UI) things. Firstly, however, you need to set up the game to look its best.
Note: You must have a shortcut to the game with the parameter -dev to access advanced User Interface console commands! Without it, parts of this tutorial will not work.
This information has been provided mainly off the forums. Making sure you take the most high-quality visuals is hard without these extra (hidden) options, which are normally unaccessable:
This forces antialiasing (smoothing of links) on for the game, and uses full textures for team colours (eg: in skirmish), and uses high polygons too. It makes the game look a lot crisper, and when zoomed in, much more full of detail.
The downside is that it of course slows down your computer more. Of course, since it is only visuals, your computer may take no noticable hit, even 8 player games, but if it does, of course for screenshots during replays it might be acceptable.
Setting the resolution to the highest possible, and turning on Full or High settings for all visuals is of course a good thing to do. Without these, the above changes won't matter much if the textures are blurry, or the models of less quality.
SCREENSHOT of low, high and max quality models zoomed in.
To start with, find an appropriate shot you want to take a screenshot of, or start a movie from, and make sure to pause it. This is much easier in a replay (although you cannot rewind a replay).
Make sure you have the Full Camera View option on in the options menu, else you cannot move the camera around, or zoom in or out.
The camera is controlled using these controls:
You can also access a lot more angles and zoom levels if you edit a specific file. These are called camera_high.lua and camera_low.lua. These are located in the Engine.sga file, and would reside in the Dawn of War/Engine/ folder if extracted, or changed. Of course, low camera is for the more static camera (it has less zoom in and angle properties), so don't bother to edit that. High camera is what we want to change. This is what it looks like;
-- General camera parameters FieldOfView = 60.000000 ClipNear = 0.1 ClipFar = 3600 TerrainClip = 1.0 -- Interpolation in camera motion and camera snapping -- -- Rate = rate to interpolate -- Base = base to perform interpolation in (2.71828 for linear, must be >1) -- Threshold = threshold to start performing interpolation -- -- Controls pan speed SlideTargetRate = 4 SlideTargetBase = 2 --SlideTargetThreshold = 1 -- Controls zoom speed SlideDistRate = 2 SlideDistBase = 5 --SlideDistThreshold = 1 -- Controls orbit speed SlideOrbitRate = 10 SlideOrbitBase = 1.01 --SlideOrbitThreshold = 1 -- Controls declination speed SlideDeclRate = 4 SlideDeclBase = 1.01 --SlideDeclThreshold = 1 -- Controls the speed of the zoom with the double button press DistRateMouse = 0.50 -- Controls the speed of the zoom on the wheel DistRateWheelZoomIn = 0.7 DistRateWheelZoomOut = 1.45 -- Distance range in metres DistMin = 2.0 DistMax = 38.0 -- Declination speed DeclRateMouse = -5 -- Declination range : angle range you can look at a target DeclMin = 0.0 DeclMax = 80.0 -- Mouse orbit speed OrbitRateMouse = -4 -- Default camera parameters DefaultDistance = 38 DefaultDeclination = 45 DefaultOrbit = 45 -- Minimum eye height DistGroundHeight = 2.0 -- Pan velocity scaling -- Panning speed at the default/min height PanScaleMouseDefZ = 500 PanScaleKeyboardDefZ = 175 PanScaleKeyboardMinZ = 35 PanScaleScreenDefZ = 150 PanScaleScreenMinZ = 30 -- Panning acceleration -- To turn acceleration off, use the following values: -- PanAccelerate = 0.0 -- PanStartSpeedScalar = 1.0 PanAccelerate = 0.0 PanStartSpeedScalar = 0.5 PanMaxSpeedScalar = 1.0 -- Enable/disable declination DeclinationEnabled = 1.0 -- Enable/disable rotation OrbitEnabled = 1.0
You can copy this, and save it as camera_high.lua (LUA is a text file), and just pop it in the Dawn of War/Engine/ folder for it to take effect.
If you change the lines referencing:
-- Distance range in metres DistMin = 2.0 -- Minimum zoom distance (2M). Decrease to get closer. DistMax = 38.0 -- Max zoom distance (38M). Increase to be able to zoom out more. -- Declination range : angle range you can look at a target DeclMin = 0.0 -- Can be negative. If negative, you can look "Up" (as in a few cutscenes in the game). DeclMax = 80.0 -- If higher, I guess you can look down more. Untested: But if higher, the camera could go upside down I guess! -- Minimum eye height DistGroundHeight = 2.0 -- This is the distance the camera is located off the ground, so when you zoom and and look dead -- ahead, you will be 2M from the ground. Decrease to 1.0 would probably be best, for combination -- with the DeclMin value, to look up.
Editing other values means you can set the camera speeds when zooming or moving the camera to your preference. If lower, it'd be more precise to get the right angle with the odd camera!
If you extract the file, also extract camera_me.lua (ie: Mission editor camera) for reference. Copy and paste it if you like how the camera works – as a reference, the DeclMax is 2000! Of course, you cannot see anything at that distance with the sky and fog on...
This is a very important thing – the little things that get in a way of a screenshot are, among other things, the circles under feet (selection circles), the massive User Interface with all the buttons on, and so on.
There are cumbersome ways of removing these one by one in the console, but there is a much easier way in the form of a small script. This was found on the forums, and should be working correctly in all versions of Dawn of War.
Firstly, create a new text file, and copy this into it:
screenmode = 0 function toggle_screenmode() if screenmode == 0 then taskbar_hide() message_hide() screenmode = 1 else taskbar_show() message_show() screenmode = 0 end if(ingame_stats_toggle ~= nil) then ingame_stats_toggle() ingame_stats_mouseover_toggle() ingame_select_ui_toggle() W40k_ShowSystemMessage("") end end bind("shift+tab", "toggle_screenmode()")
Now this is a simple LUA file, and should be saved as autoexec.lua in the Dawn of War root folder. This is executed when Dawn of War starts up, and adds a new shortcut to toggle the screenshot mode noted above.
Basically, it calls these console commands in sucession:
Hides the large map, menu buttons and other controls. Use taskbar_show to reverse it.
Removes Pause Defeated and Replay messages (the white text centre top of the screen). Call message_show to reverse.
Removes selection information (the circles and boxes around things) from the screen. Can only be called with -dev on the Dawn of War shortcut (see introduction). Call again to reverse.
Removes health bars and other similar icon information from the screen. Can only be called with -dev (see above). Call again to reverse.
Removes any mouseover things for statistics.
Makes sure no system messages get in the way.
SCREENSHOT of the UI and it Removed in comparison.
Note: You do not need to ever hide the mouse pointer unless you use an external screencapture program. If you do need to hide it, call:
Causes the cursor to become completely removed from the screen. Call cursor_show to show it again.
Press the Print Screen button, which will create a JPEG file in your Dawn of War/ScreenShots/ directory. It will be at your games current resolution.
If using an external capture program, note it might capture the mouse pointer (see above for instructions to remove this also). Follow the capturing instructions for how to capture the screen.
Dawn of War has an in-built capture console command – which saves a cirtain amount of frames to the Dawn of War/ScreenShots/ directory, as TGA (read: higher quality then JPEG) quality. In my experience, even at the lowest resolution and quality, my computer stutters at around 1–4 frames per second. I havn't tried disabling sound however. Faster computers (and notably, faster graphic cards) would be able to handle it more sucessfully.
It is slow because it captures to your games resolution, and to a more complicated file format (TGA), causing a lot of hardisk reads and writes.
For it to work, either add another function to your DoW autoexec.lua, noting that 500 is 500 frames, and can be changed, and that the key combination could be changed too:
function start_capture() capturemovie(500, 0) end bind("shift+ctrl+tab", "start_capture()")
Or call this command in the console (and note: that this will start capturing before you have a chance to remove the console!):
Captures for number of frames. number must be a positive integer, such like capturemovie(300, 0). Second parameter unknown. Will not stop capturing, so be careful about the number of frames if you are testing. Frames are not incidental of time. 300 frames could take 300 seconds (with big obvious gaps between the animations happening), if it is a slower computer!
After capturing these different shots (called moviecap_00_00000.tga to moviecap_00_99999.tga if a 100,00 frame capture, and the first one in the directory), link together the screenshots using a program such as VirtualDub.
For VirtualDub, use File -> Open Video File... and select Files of Type to be Image Sequence (*.bmp, *.tga). Then, select the first one (ie: movecap_XX_00000.tga) and it will find the complete set, and then you can encode them in an AVI file, or save them as a GIF file together, as well as editing quality, size and so on.
For external capturing programs such as Fraps, you must check thier documentation. VirtualDub is likely going to be a good thing to compress and edit it however.
Hopefully, you now know how to take the best quality screenshots and movies possible, and how to use autoexec.lua to save time when setting up screenshots, as well as expanding how the camera works!
Once finished editing, recompressing or resizing screenshots, you can host them online. Here are some links to free hosting pages for images only:
Note: Screenshots still need to be added.