In this Guide, I (Lying), will help you take screenshots of zOMG!. Most people use the built in method in Windows, which is clicking the PrintScreen button then pasting into an image editor, like Paint or Photoshop. I've seen this recommended a lot of times but it's really not smart at all, and I'm here to offer a much better way. For this guide, I'll be using the SnagIt, version 9.1.0 (Build 206). I consider this the best screen capture utility, but it isn't freeware. However, it has a 30 day trial period. That should help you decide if it's worth the money. Before we begin though, if you have any questions, comments, or suggestions, leave them in the discussions tab. And while this is a Windows only guide so far, SnagIt is in development for Mac currently, or you could try using emulation.
Why Not Use PrintScreen/Paste?
There are several reasons why the PrintScreen/paste method doesn’t' work in games. From now I'll refer to that method as "PS/P".
1. Unrealistic - do you really think you'll get a screenshot of what you want on the first click or try? That never happens. You need to take lots of screenshots, not one by one with PS/P. Also factor in lag - you might miss every time, so to be successful, you need to be able to take screenshots fast. 2. Limiting - the clipboard can only hold 1 thing at a time. What if you need to take a lot of pictures in succession, like I posted above? You'd be overwriting each previous capture in the clipboard unless you can past them into new documents really fast. You could install one of those clipboard enhancers but that doesn't solve the problem, it only eases it. 3. PS/P creates additional strain - if you're taking lots of images, you'll need lots of blank image editors open, waiting to be pasted into. This may take additional resources, and if you leave them all open to save them later, it could slow the game down. 4. Other players don’t' like it - moving away from the game to check/save screenshots might annoy others done repetively. 5. Counterintuitive - you leave the game every time to paste/check/save a screenshot. The time you waste doing that you might be dying or missing what others are saying. You can also miss what you wanted to take a screenshot of in the first place by diverting your attention!
- You can use almost any key to capture, not just PrintScreen.
- It has a built in Editor and Cataloging Program, helpful if you don’t have anything already.
- Uses the Ribbon for good integration into Vista or later.
- It's version 9… TechSmith has plenty of time to perfect this.
- You can create different capturing profiles.
- In addition to screenshots of images, you can also do videos, text, web sites, etc (we will not be getting into this though).
How I Set Up SnagIt
I set SnagIt up for full automation. All you will need to do is click… it will automatically save, name, and place your files. Whenever I do screenshots, I want it to act like a camera set in manual mode… no exposure or settings to worry about, just composition. If you want to see/reviews/edit/delete pictures, do it after, not while the game is going.
1. Download and install SnagIt. You can currently find it here. Run or Save the EXE, following the prompts. It has a very simple installation, with only options such as Add-Ins for Microsoft Office, a SnagIt printer, and if you want shortcuts or it to run at startup. You may need to do a restart before you can use it.
2. Open SnagIt. By default, it should be located at Start Button/All Programs/SnagIt 9/SnagIt 9.
3. You'll be presented with the main page and different profile, in Normal View mode. Ignore these, we wont' be using them. Instead we'll be setting up preferences.
At the top of SnagIt, click Tools, then Program Preferences (you can also access this menu through right clicking the Systray icon).
By default, captures are initiated with the PrintScreen key. leave it as is or change it to something else here then click Ok. Hide/Unhide is for showing/hiding the SnagIt program window. Don't pay attention to repeat last capture.
The Input menu can be located at the top of the screen (Capture/Input), through the right clicking the tray icon, or at the bottom under "Profile Settings" where it says Input. All main capture settings (Input/Output/Filters/Mode) can be accessed this way - from an in-program menu, from the right click menu using the tray icon, or with the "Profile Settings" box. Select Input in any of these ways.
If you don’t care about toolbars or extras being included in your screenshot (like from your browser), select Active Window. This will capture whatever window is in focus at time of click.
If you want only the game to be included, choose Fixed Region. Next, we'll define that region. Go to Input/Properties, then click Fixed Region and enable "Use fixed starting point" before clicking "Select region". Now, using your cursor, draw a rectangle around the area you'd like to captured by clicking, holding, and dragging. You could choose only the playing area, or the whole space with PDA/Chat/Crew List/Progress Bar included. Once the rectangle is made, click okay. Whenever you resize windows, move elements around, or even change browsers, you should define the fixed region again to make sure it includes what you want.
Near the bottom of the Input menu are 2 more options. "Include Cursor" will include your cursor in captures. You might want this to see what you were doing at time of the screenshot. Uncheck "Keep Links".
In the Output menu, choose File. Uncheck "Multiple Outputs" and "Preview in Editor". When you've done that, click Properties. Now we'll set up file type, naming, and placement.
Under File format, click "Always use this file format" and select PNG. I recommend this for zOMG since it's a lossless format. Unlike JPEG, it won't take any information away when saving files. JPEG is really suited towards photographs or images with fine detail anyways. Since zOMG uses simple shading and nothing complicated, any artifacts introduced by JPEG compression will be apparent, whereas in images of detail, it blends in better. The only option for PNG is bit-depth, but it's already set at Automatic.
Under File name, choose Automatic file naming, then click Options. I would suggest the <Prefix> <AutoNum> format, where you give the file a starting name (<Prefix>) and then a number is added onto that automatically <AutoNub>. You can just use <AutoNum> only and type in some text before it. When it's how you want it, click Ok.
Under Folder, it should be already set to "Always use this folder"… by default it saves to a SnagIt folder under My Documents, though click the Folder icon to choose/create another location
Once all of this is done, click Ok in the Output Preferences page.
You're finished! To capture a screenshot, click the capture key while zOMG! is running and check the selected folder to see them after. The SnagIt tray icon will disappear when processing captures and reappear when ready for another.
Save the configuration as Profile
Under Normal View (View/Normal View) you can save your settings to a profile for quick access. Click the green plus sign in the Profile "toolbar". A window pops up asking you where to save it (what group of profiles), what to call it, and even lets you give it a hotkey. You can update a Profile by selecting it, making changes, then clicking the Save icon on the toolbar. You can rearrange/delete/rename profile using the button on the end, Manage Profiles. To save space, you can view profiles as List as well (next to the Save icon), so you can collapse groups you don’t use.
Normal vs Compact View
If you don't need to save Profiles and want to save some screen space, turn on Compact View (View/Compact View). In this mode, the right click menu from the tray icon replaces the File/Capture/View/Tools/Help setup in Normal View and only a small row of icons are shown. You can still switch profiles by clicking the tray icon under Profiles, but you can't create new ones while in Compact View.
Stop the Editor
Under Tools/Program Preferences, click Program Options. Since you won't be using the editor under the setup above, you can uncheck "Always keep editor running in background" as it will only consume more resources.
Under Tools/Timer Setup, you can configure SnagIt to automatically take captures at set time or count down rather than being instant. You can also have SnagIt automatically take captures every couple seconds/minutes/hours.
Play zOMG! In a Tab
zOMG! opens in a pop-up by default, but by opening the game in a tab, you won't have to worry about defining a new fixed region if you ever move it around when your input is fixed region.
Capturing the Crew List
If you play with lots of different people, make a capture of the Crew List rather than adding them on the spot or copying their name down. This can save you a lot of time and you can use the date created metadata to remember when you met them.
PNGs and ICC Profiles problem
If you edit your screenshots in an image editor other than Photoshop and embed an ICC profile, you may get error messages when opening it in Photoshop. Photoshop will not let you use ICC profiles in PNGs.