Screenarchery

Screenarchery is a word used online to describe gaming photography, which consists in taking professional shots in your favorite digital dimensions using tools and hacks that fake a real camera and its common filters/techniques.

You have certainly noticed that, nowadays, the majority of PS4 exclusives have an incorporated photo mode in their settings (InFAMOUS: Second Son, Horizon: Zero Dawn, Uncharted, The Last Of Us: Remastered, etc). People seem to enjoy this feature so much that Nvidia decided to implement a free camera option in a few computer games like The Witcher 3, Ghost Recon: Wildlands, Mirror’s Edge: Catalyst, Mass Effect: Andromeda, ARK: Survival Evolve, The Witness, etc. There also are a bunch of fanmade tools/Cheat Engine tables you can eventually use if your GPU can barely handle Ansel (or if you don’t own a Nvidia card), or if the game you want to shoot doesn’t have the feature implemented. One thing you cannot find anywhere apart from Ansel is the possibility of creating 360° panoramics, very useful if you own a VR headset.

What do you need in order to start?

I will most likely repeat myself again here, but to make high quality screenshots you need to play games on their highest settings to take adventage of the original details. This means your rig has to be somewhat decent, or else you won’t be able to experience this the right way (low settings affect graphics and textures, getting rid of volumetric effecs and reflections as well). With that said, you need a GTX graphics card in order to use Ansel, and/or Cheat Engine to use custom tables.

If you want to make your shots high-res and do not have a 4k monitor, check this page.

For additional graphics enhancement, try ReShade.

Which game can you shoot from?

The list is quite big here, between Ansel and custom made camera tools. I’ll try to keep the page up-to-date adding in more games as soon as they come out, but if you can’t find a specific title in the list despite its older date it means I didn’t have the chance to test it yet.

 

DRAGON AGE: INQUISITION

HattiWatti’s Cinematic Tools
Features: Free camera, Field Of View, Resolution Scale (useful to make the shot even more HQ, careful though because it can affect the memory and thus I wouldn’t go beyond 2), Depth of Field, various environmental tweaks, Timestop.
High Resolution: SRWE

The tools are fully updated to the latest patch released, for more details check the whole guide I wrote for this here out of request on social media.

ASSASSIN’S CREED SERIES

Assassin’s Creed 3: Injector created by Otis
Features: Free Camera, Filed Of View, Timestop
HUD: Toggle
High Resolution: Nvidia DSR

The camera tools are stable, but you may experience a crash every now and then (rare).

Assassin’s Creed IV Black Flag: Cheat Table for Cheat Engine
Features: Free Camera, Field Of View, Timestop, Time of Day. The DeadEndThrills forum has all the needed instructions here.
High Resolution: Windowed Borderless Gaming (works best with 21:9 ratio) or Nvidia DSR

The CT seems to be quite buggy though and you most likely have to load it whenever you enter a new area, otherwise the camera will be stuck in your previous position and it’s hard to fix it then. Random crashes are highly expected.

Assassin’s Creed Unity/Syndicate: HattiWatti’s shared injector tool
Features: Free Camera, Field Of View
HUD: Toggle for Unity, Toggle for Syndicate
High Resolution: Windowed Borderless Gaming (Unity only, works best with 21:9 ratio) or Nvidia DSR

Assassin’s Creed Origins: Additional Camera Injector by Otis (use along with the Photo Mode)
Features: Free Camera (more control), Field of View, Resolution Scale (the higher, the more GPU is required. Careful with that).
High Resolution: SRWE (works best with 21:9 ratio) or Nvidia DSR

It can be used pretty much everywhere, but at the moment thre’s no additional HUD Toggle and thus you can only hide the UI by activating the Photo Mode.

DmC: DEVIL MAY CRY

Cheat Table by IDK31
Features: Free Camera, Field Of View, Depth Of Field control, Tonemapping, Timescale, HUD Toggle
Keybindings: UE3
High Resolution: GeDoSaTo

The game may crash with Cheat Engine when you exit to desktop, but it’s quite stable in general.

MIRROR’S EDGE

2008 version: Cheat Table by IDK31
Keybindings: UE3
Features: Free Camera, Field Of View, HUD Toggle, Tonemapping, Timescale, Depth Of Field control
Alt+Tab black screen fix: Turn physics off in the settings
High Resolution: GeDoSaTo

Catalyst: HattiWatti’s Cinematic Tools (or NVIDIA Ansel)
Features: Free Camera, Field Of View, Timestop, Resolution Scale, Depth Of Field, various environmental tweaks
High Resolution: SRWE

MASS EFFECT

I have the whole trilogy on PC but still didn’t get the chance to properly test that one. Everything will be added as soon as I do.

Andromeda: HattiWatti’s Cinematic Tools (or NVIDIA Ansel)
Features: Free Camera, Field Of View, Timestop, Resolution Scale, Depth Of Field, various environmental tweaks
High Resolution: SRWE

LIFE IS STRANGE

Cheat Table by IDK31 (UE3 keybindings included in this page), Before the Storm version here.
Features: Free Camera, Depth Of Field, Field Of View, Tonemapping, Player controls, Color editing.
High Resolution: GeDoSaTo (first game), SRWE (BFTS)

SKYRIM AND FALLOUT 4

Console commands
Features: Free Camera (tfc), Timestop (tfc1), Field Of View (fov *number*), weather change
High Resolution: GeDoSaTo or SRWE (the Special Edition only works with the latter). Fallout 4 in some cases may work with SRWE, but it generally tends to only run with your native resolution no matter what. DSR only works if it’s in windowed mode and the game won’t run properly in fullscreen either. I recommend to load F4 using a higher monitor resolution (one of the standards if you have a 4k monitor or a custom one made through DSR) and bring it back to normal once you’re done.

For a more complete Skyrim overview, read my full article here.

The graphics changes and DOF highly depend on ENB.

ABZU

Cheat Table by Duncun Harris
Features: Free Camera, Timestop, Field Of View
High Resolution: SRWE

See this article to know how to create panoramic shots, especially if you can’t play around with the resolution.

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