Monday, February 22, 2010

Guild Killpics: How does your guild handle them?

Among guild websites, "kill pics" are often a big deal. These are screenshots taken after a new boss has been downed as 'proof' (or just as a momento) that your guild has triumphed: especially important in the days before achievements, loot, and statistics tracking! These are most often posted on guild websites' news page, with some text about the boss or congratulations to the winners of particular boss drops.

Some are simple screenshots, uploaded straight to the file host and linked into the web page. Some are heavily edited and even positioned for "coolest effect" on camera angle, etc. Some are posed, others are "as the boss died." Many large guilds boast at least one player who removes all gear and poses naked.

For my own, I do the following:
  • Alt-Z is your friend. UI posts are for interface screenshots; kill pics look best without an interface, imo!
  • Turn off player names. I just don't like having them floating over heads and cluttering the image! Some guilds like to have them on to put a name to each pixelated face.
  • Crop and resize the image. I run a 1600x900px resolution, and certainly don't need all of it for the shot. I average Vortex's screenshots down to 770px wide to fit the max width of the front page news panel. This can be done with free programs such as MSPaint and GIMP.
  • Add a title, guild name, and date of the kill. If your guild has a logo image or particular font they use for their name, that can help in labeling it as "yours."
  • Sharpen parts (or all) of the image to further give it clarity.
  • Use photoshop styles to make the text look good. I pick colors from the screen shot itself or that would compliment it well, or colors that I just feel like using on a given day. This is where photoshop pulls leagues ahead of GIMP and MSPaint: layer styles which can be downloaded, imported, edited, and saved for future use.

  • Add some kind of border graphic to the image using similar/matching colors and styles as used for the text. It helps bring the image together and frame it. This can be anything from a simple solid or shadowed border to a full, faked magazine or comic book cover. Similarly, you can style it after newspaper articles, postcards, or wanted posters, though this may take more time and effort.
  • Add anything else that you'd like.
    • Loot Drops or achievements can be screenshot or print-screened off of tooltips, and added to the margins.

    • Did something crazy happen during the raid? Was something funny said? Did you get a screenshot of it? Picture-in-picture can make for a memorable kill pic.

    • Create a text box to add captions.
    • Draw in some missing players, in case they accidentally hearthed out before the shot was taken or some other circumstance/emergency. Like AFKae here.

    • Alternatively, use WoW Model Viewer to build a missing player and edit them in. If you do the lighting and cuts right, you can't tell they were not in the original.
    • ...or draw in the boss, in case he despawned before you got a chance to get the screenshot. Your guild will laugh.

  • Save it in a good quality. I prefer .png as the filetype; jpegs can work well, too, but be careful with the compression when saving it as it can get grainy/pixelated. .gif is often very pixelated and low-quality, so I avoid using that type.

How about your guild? Do you spend much time setting up the "ultimate" kill pic before moving on to the new boss? Are you proud of your killpics, or do you barely notice them? your guild photographer a slacker who hasn't posted the Valithria killshot (rescueshot) yet? /ducks


lissanna said...

I take the guild pictures. I'm also sometimes a slacker. I mostly just post them on my blog, but I don't do all the fancy stuff (maybe I should!)

Kae said...

At least I remembered to upload the valithria screenshot to my filebox to work on today. :) I'm better about keeping the killshots updated when we're trying to attract recruits, though, lol.

virile said...

We mostly forget until it's too late. :((

Keeva said...

I do everything you do, the whole list.

Including slacking on not posting recent ones :D

Also, my guild is really pro, leading progression on our server, but I swear to god they are the WORST at lining up in straight lines for screenshots.

I yell at them.


They're hopeless. Drives me crazy. Every single boss kill has me yelling at them to line up straight.

Then I get comments like "screenshots are serious lol" or complaints about it taking too long... some people just don't care, I guess. But I look back on my vanilla shots and they mean a lot... I want to remember these fights, not just take a haphazard shot that looks ugly. I care about good screenshots!

Oh, one last thing: I ban AOE crap. Don't Tranquility, or blizzard, or rain fire down on the raid.. you can put wings on or turn into skeletons or demons, but don't mess up my shot with a whole lot of AOE garbage. At least they've learned that, I suppose.

But straight lines...

Kae said...

/digs up

Ohh I like the angle you got on your Gunship pic, Keeva :)

Jen said...

My current guild... total slackers. If we get a picture I'm happy, if it's actually got a date it's amazing.

My ex-guild used to do it in style. Proper kill pic with everyone aligned, the AoE (I love it!), date+boss name, humorous text, photoshopping things in... the works.