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Easy high quality character screenshots.
By [GFL] Teun
This is a simple, seven steps guide explaining a neat trick on how to make a proper in-game screenshot of your character and favorite loadout. No SFM or Garry's mod required for this, just your regular TF2. If you follow the steps you can easily make a nice screenshots like the ones in my unusual hat album[imgur.com].
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Intro
So you would like to make a nice in-game screenshot of your loadout, but don't want to have to taunt or rely on someone else to make the shot? Then this guide is perfect for you. I can assure you that following these steps will not harm your TF2 game files in any way, so don't worry about that.

Character screenshots are great for showing off cool item combinations or hats you've come up with. You can use them to convince people to buy your items, make friends jealous or even make a steam avatar out of it.

In this album [imgur.com]are a number of good examples of the kind of screenshots you can make with this guide. I've had a lot of experience making these shots and it's even clear to see that the later the date gets, the better the quality became.

If you experience any problems or have questions, feel free to comment on my profile or add me to ask for help. I'm always glad to help people out.
Steps
  • Step one.
    Go to options > video > advanced, and crank every setting up (fps doesn't matter because we're going to take screenshots).


  • Step two.
    Choose "Create server" from the main menu and choose a map you like.


  • Step three
    Open the console by pressing ~ (if it doesn't open go to your options > keyboard > advanced > enable console)

  • Step four
    Enter the following command in the console and press enter:
    sv_cheats 1; noclip;

  • Step five
    Go to a nice place in the map and enter noclip again in the console to turn it off.

    (koth_harvest_event in this example)

  • Step six
    This is where the magic happens. Copy and paste the following list of commands in the console:
    cl_drawhud 0;
    c_maxyaw 360;
    c_minyaw -360;
    thirdperson;
    cam_idealyaw 150;
    cam_idealdist 100;
    cam_idealdistup -50;
    cam_idealdistright 70;
    cl_showfps 0;
    tf_forced_holiday 2;

  • Step seven
    Line the camera up properly. You can insert the following commands in the console to change the camera:
    "cam_idealyaw ###" Angle of the camera
    "cam_idealdist ###" Distance of the camera
    "cam_idealdistup ###" Place of camera on Y axis
    "cam_idealdistright ###" Place of camera on X axis
    (you can use your own values in stead of ###)

    Press the screenshot button (default = F5 or F12) to take the shot. Make sure you make more than one, so you can choose the best screenshot later on.

That's it, you're all done!
F.A.Q.
I made a small F.A.Q for some questions that keep popping up.

Q: How do I get my hud back and my camera normal again?
A: Disconnecting from the server should reset it. If it doesn't, restart TF2.

Q: Is it possible to get my character on the center or right side of the screen?
A: Yes, "cam_idealdistright 0" should move the camera to the exact center on the X axis and "cam_idealdistright -70 " should move the camera more to the left.

Q: Is it possible to taunt if I want to make a screenshot like this?
A: Taunting is a bit weird in this case, because it will position the camera behind your character again, but keeps the angles you entered before. If you want to taunt and make a good shot, I recommand using the command "host_timescale #" to slow down the speed on the server. Host_timescale 1 will be normal speed, 0.5 will be half the speed, etc.

Q: Is it possible to try on items I don't have on the screenshot?
A: Yes it is. You can type "itemtest" in the console to open a window where you can select any hat/misc you like. For more information on the itemtest command, you can read this guide.

Q: Can I make a screenshot like this from a replay?
A: Yes you can. Just go into your replay, find a good spot and type in "cl_drawhud 0" to hide your hud. More information about replay screenshots can be found in this guide.

Q: How do you get those nice lighting and shadow effects on your screenshots?
A: I make those using Photoshop. It's a bit to complicated to explain in this guide though. You can add me if you want me to help make a nice screenshot for you.

If you still have problems or unanswered questions, feel free to add me.
Examples
Here are some examples of screenshots I made with this technique:
(koth_king and cp_foundry)
(pl_barnblitz and koth_harvest)
169 Comments
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[GFL] Teun  [author] Aug 8 @ 9:24am 
Ah yes, you are right about the executing. It's right there in the description on gamebanana.

In all honesty you also said that you won't learn how to use it by not testing it, which is true. By playing around with this a while and rebinding some keys I was able to take some really nice shots. It's quite cool to rocket jump for example, especially with slow-motion explosions.

I think I'll use it some more in the future. Thanks again for making this!
Jasǿn.Ҥ Aug 8 @ 8:29am 
Well, your problem with the taunts can simply be solved by rebinding the aliases and it is intended that the user has to execute the .cfg via the console ;) (think i wrote that somewhere in my description aswell). But you are right, some missing information about that slow time thing : The user is supposed to activate it during the camMode to save the moment and adjust the camera, the problem is that you cant take a screenshot when the time is "freezed" so you have to quickly unfreeze it (by pressing 9 again,in this case) and take your shot ^^
[GFL] Teun  [author] Aug 8 @ 2:45am 
Well I've tried your script Jasǿn and I gotta say. It works great!

Like you said it works really well for action shots. I did came up to some problems. For example I couldn't taunt, because the taunt button (G) toggled the camera mode. Also, after pressing 9 to slow the time, I had some trouble getting the speed back to normal again. It says pressing 9 again should make it normal again, but it stays in slow-motion untill you press G again.

To run the script I had to type "exec screenshot" in the console. This might be because I have specific binds set for every class (including a clear.cfg in every class file). But it might be nice to add this as a help to the explenation.

I'll add a link to your script in my guide.
Jasǿn.Ҥ Aug 8 @ 12:26am 
So its me again :3 I wrote a script that makes it easier to place the camera in a nice spot for taking screenshots. It works pretty well with action and taunt 'shots too ;) Make sure to check it out : http://tf2.gamebanana.com/scripts/8543
yahoo Aug 8 @ 12:11am 
You should say something about thirdperson_mayamode
Jasǿn.Ҥ Jul 24 @ 4:40pm 
I've made some nice screenshots of my killstreak effects on my profile if you like to check it out ;) Anyways, many thanks for that guide, otherwise i would have probably never got to
know these commands :D
btw, if you want to make screenshots while taunting, i'd suggest to only change the cam_idealdist to 50 or lower if you want to take a picture of your characters body in the middle
, oh and dont forget to use the host_timescale, command its very useful ;D
Medek//46% Jul 23 @ 4:48am 
Very nice guide.
[GFL] Teun  [author] Jul 5 @ 2:38am 
Sounds good. I'll be sure to try that out next time.

Thanks for sharing!
Majestic Wang Jul 4 @ 9:16am 
I have a cool little command setup, cl_drawhud 1;c_maxyaw 360;c_minyaw -360;thirdperson;cam_idealyaw 340;cam_idealdist 50;cam_idealdistup -10;cam_idealdistright 40;cl_showfps 0;tf_forced_holiday 2; to have it like a Third-person over the shoulder view.