How to take good screenshots in racing games

How to take good screenshots in racing games

Our tutorial guides you through the process of creating stunning screenshots in your favorite racing game.

Photo credit: Assetto Corsa Competizione / Steam

There is a common saying among photographers stating: “your first 10,000 photos are the worst.” Well, they do not have to be! In our tutorial, we guide you through the basics of creating awesome screenshots in racing games.

Tools to take unique screenshots

There are several ways to catch a good shot of your car. Almost every racing game nowadays includes an in-game photo mode to help you create great shots. We definitely recommend using these tools as they often include very helpful functions which make things easier for you. Those can be changing the focus, adding effects like blur or being able to play with camera perspectives and angles.

TOOLS TO TAKE UNIQUE SCREENSHOTS
Most games already include plenty of in-game tools to create a nice screenshot. Photo credit: F1 2020.

The photo tools mean a huge opportunity to create unique shots. While a real-life photographer will always be limited to shooting from a safe distance and just has one opportunity for a good photo each lap, racing games are different. You can move as close to the car as you wish and take all the time you need to get your perfect shot. Let’s go on and see how to take advantage of that.

How to prepare your screenshot

Before you start going into details, it is always a good thing to take a step back and make a clear decision about what you want to shoot. Different occasions require different settings. For example, if you want to get a cool action shot of your car, you can look to shoot it while driving through a corner. That is usually way more interesting than a car just driving down a straight.

If you plan to show off your vehicle in front of an interesting background, look for nice and unique spots to place it. Red Bull Ring’s turn three could be a great choice if you like to have a beautiful landscape in the background. You can also use unique architecture or objects like the Suzuka Ferris Wheel to spice up your picture.

This Bugatti blends with the environment
This Bugatti blends with the environment, the distinctive stripes of Circuit Paul Ricard. Photo credit: Assetto Corsa / ChampionJoe.

Of course, an exciting wheel-to-wheel fight or a drift also make a great shot. Whatever you choose to depict, make sure the motive is unique. There are thousands of pictures of cars going down a straight with just grey asphalt in the background. Only something new or exiting is going to draw the communities’ attention and make a great wallpaper. So now, let’s see how to make your screenshot a perfect one.

Rules to keep in mind while shooting

There are several easy-to-remember factors to spice up your image. We begin with the perspective. As we already mentioned, racing games offer unique possibilities to show cars in action, so make use of them. Get really close to the vehicle or use a bird’s eye view to show us the beauty of a racetrack. Use your creativity – the sky is the limit.

Unnormal perspective
A normal photographer would never be able to get this perspective. Photo credit: Assetto Corsa / ChampionJoe.

Another crucial point that separates mediocre from awesome screenshots is the lighting. A ray of sunlight cutting through the image can be an eyecatcher if you shoot during the daytime. Some games like Assetto Corsa even have an in-game setting to change the time of day, and therefore the entire light scheme of a picture. Make use of that to create awesome shots at dawn or sunset.

Use of a dawning sky
An average photo becomes magical through the use of a dawning sky. Photo credit: Assetto Corsa / Champion Joe.

If your game does not include such an option, your position of the camera should adapt to the lighting circumstances. It is not nice to have the sun burning out your eyes or leaving your car in the shadows of a big stand.

What makes racing cars so fascinating is how fast they move along the track. But sometimes, it can be hard to depict speed in a still image. A good means to add more dynamics to your screenshot is to give it some motion blur, which is a feature of most in-game photo tools as well.

Motion blur
Motion blur shows us this Formula 3 car is speeding through the corners at Hockenheim. Photo credit: Assetto Corsa / Champion Joe.

Overall, the most important rule for creating a good screenshot is to not have any boring spots in it. The background is just flat-out grass? Zoom in on the vehicle so it occupies all the space. Half of the screenshot is just blue sky? You might want to think about changing your point of view. As we mentioned at the beginning, it is always good to remember what you actually try to photograph and making that object the focus, leaving everything unnecessary out of sight.

Motion blur and tilting the camera angle
Motion blur and tilting the camera angle make this shot so impressive. Photo credit: F1 2020.

Editing screenshots to polish

Your work is not always finished once you hit that screenshot button. True experts of screenshotting always polish their work afterwards. To explain all of what you can do in image editing programs with your pictures, we are going to need a separate tutorial. So instead, let’s focus on easy tweaks you can perform with any image editing software available.

In-game screenshots tend not to have the greatest scale of colors. Therefore, it is always recommended to work on contrasts as well as color saturation. Another very basic, but effective way of improving your screenshot is to crop it to another size to cut out boring sections.

THE PLAYER’S ARTFORM: VIRTUAL PHOTOGRAPHY

F1 2020: HOW TO RECORD YOUR GAMEPLAY

Just like racing, creating screenshots needs a lot of practice and repetition. It takes time to get an eye for nice camera angles, lighting, and everything else. And just like in racing, good results begin with a good start, which we hope our guide provides for you to create awesome shots.

What is your favorite screenshot that you have created? Share it with us @overtake_gg!