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Level design

Making a Levelshot

Making the Levelshot

The levelshot is the image that is displayed while the map is loading, quite often it will be peoples first glimpse of your map so its worth taking the time to make a nice one.

First of all you will need the levelshot Photoshop template, which you can find here.

This contains the levelshot.psd file and the font used for the map name. Place the font in your font folder (C:windowsfonts for XP and Windows 7).

Taking a Screenshot

Before you take your screenshot make sure you have the quality settings as high as they go and that your screen resolution is quite high; preferably 1024 pixels or more in both width and height.

Go into your GPU driver settings and enable as much anti-aliasing and anisotropic filtering as possible.

These cvar settings will help the quality of your screenshot:

cg_draw2D 0This will remove the GUI
cg_drawHands 0This will stop the gun from being rendered.
fov 90Yes 90, distortion isn't a pretty thing.
r_gamma 1Anything other than 1 will make your screenshot look horrible.
r_picmip 0Highest quality textures.
r_simpleshaders 0If your using the latest renderer, this enables all the new effects.
r_bloom XSeason with bloom to taste; I find r_bloom 4 a nice setting.
r_fancywater 1If applicable, enable fancy water.


Take your screenshot with the screenshot console command, not screenshotJPEG, so you don't loose any quality due to JPEG compression.

Now open the levelshot template and your screenshot into Photoshop, replace the Siberia back ground with your own image; you might have to transform it (Ctrl-T) to get it to fit properly. Change the text to the name of your map.

Finally change the image resolution to 1024x1024 to make the engine happy and save the levelshot as ut4_mapname.tga and put it into your q3ut4/levelshots folder. 1024x1024 resolution targa images may take up 3mb of disk space but don't worry, they compress very well when placed in pk3 files, especially as two thirds of them are solid black.

Notes

If you are not happy converting a 1024x768 image into a 1024x1024 image (there's plenty of reasons why you wouldn't be happy), you can always scale the template up to 2048x1536 before you paste your screenshot in, then scale down to 1024x1024.
1024x1024 resolution levelshots are the norm nowadays, using 512x512(or lower) is considered pretty old hat now.
By NulL  -  Monday, 30 May 2011  -  viewed by 1451 members and 25847 visitors

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