Article – Screenmania Part 1

4th place in the TMU Writing Contest. Part 1 of 2. Written by JumperJack.

This tutorial will explain how to take the best screenshots, and how to make them look cool in an easy way.

The types of screenies

First I’ll explain the best way how to make the screenshot itself. The first thing you’ve got to think about is what kind of screenshot you want to take, because there’re different types of them:

  • A track screenie: a screenshot which is made for a track, mostly used for Trackmania Exchange.
  • A skin screenie: a screenshot which is made to show a skin, commonly used for Trackmania Carpark.
  • An environmental screenie: a screenshot which is just meant to look nice.

For the first type, you’ve got to use the track you’re making the screenie for. For the second and the third one, you can also make a new track in the editor which isn’t a track at all, but only scenery.

Taking the screenshot

The thing you start with when making a screenie is to play the track in solo mode. Just drive the track and save one (or when you want to make a screenie with more cars, more) replay. Then go back to the main menu and go to the Editor. Within the editor, you go to your replay that you’ve just made, select it and Edit it.

All replays have got a standard Race Camera, and when the author has made an Outro in the MediaTracker, there’s mostly much more than just a camera. In most cases, you need to delete all these clips, except for the Time, Ghost and Events one.

When you move a camera to somewhere in the sky where you can see a large part of the track, and then move the timetrigger, you’ve got to be able to see the car driving without the camera changing. It should look like this then:

Image 1 Click to enlarge.

Now make a new clip with a Custom Camera, which starts and end at the same time as the Time-clip. Don’t forget to then save the replay under a new name, for example “Screenshot_Replay_02”

What you’ve got to do now, is getting the car on the right place where you want it. Therefore you can move the red timeline, or adjust the “Replay Time” for the precise work. When you’ve got the car on the right spot, you still have got to get the camera on the right spot too. For a rough placement of the camera, just use the arrows. When it comes down to the precise work, there’re two buttons in the left-upper corner of the screen, right above “Keep Playing”. These two buttons make the camera move slower or faster, which is very useful to adjust minor differences in the placement.

When you’ve got the exact place on the right way, just select the Custom Camera block you’ve just created, and click on the “Add Key” button, and save the replay again. Don’t forget to check if the Target is set to “None”!

Image 2 Click to enlarge.

Now press TAB, and all information will disappear. Then move your cursor out of the screen, and you’re ready to press the “Print Screen” button! Press TAB again to get back to the information. For windows-users, click on the Windows button, or on Alt+Tab to minimize the game. Then open your image-editor and paste your new screenshot.

When you want to make a replay with more cars with different skins, just select the Camera-clip and press the export-clip button. Save it under a new name, for when you export more clips in the future.

Image 3 Click to enlarge.

Now open another replay of the same track, again delete all the clips except for the three that you kept last time too. Then press the import button, and open the clip that you just saved. If it’s alright, you’ve got again a Custom Camera with one key. Select that key. Now you’re able to move the key, like that, the car on your screen will be in different places, but the placement of the camera will be the exact same as in your last Print Screen.

Now it could happen that you can only move the key for a pretty big part. To solve that, write the numbers of the specific key down on a piece of paper. For this key, you can see in the second screenshot from above, that the numbers are these:

562.7 / 72.63 / 492.26 / -8.7863 / -148.1 / 0 / 60

Then delete the key, and deselect the camerablock. If it’s alright, you can freely move the camera now. With changing the time at the same time, find the right moment where you want to see the car on the screenie, place a new key there, and fill in the same numbers you just wrote down. Select the key, and there you’ve got the right moment you want to catch! Press TAB, and then Print Screen, open your image editor, make a new file and paste the screenshot. Repeat this action until you’ve got all the cars you want. You can also change the skins of the replay-car by clicking on the Ghost-clip. The skin won’t change immediately, therefore you’ll need to save the replay and open it again.

We’re done in TrackMania itself right now. In the next part, we’ll look at what to do next.

To be continued...

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4 Responses to Article – Screenmania Part 1

  1. insane says:

    nice one so far, nothing really new, but should get some of the newer players started 😉

  2. T_Z_ says:

    Nice tutorial JJ 😉

  3. rycardoo says:

    Well…nice explenations….Hummm I like.
    Congartulations JJ.

  4. djoszee says:

    wow, complicated!

    I usually do it like this:
    – I delete all the camera clips
    – I put a ‘camera custom’ clip
    – I don’t set anything within this clip
    – I zoom in on a piece of the track, and scroll on the timeline till I see my car
    – Using left, right, page up/down and alt+mouse I’ll focuss on a nice picture and do the tab thing to take my screenshot (use f10 dude, dont go copy pastin)
    [i]This might be a bit messy and complicated at first, but it doesn’t require messing around with clips[/i]

    Djo

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