Lights, Camera, GPose: A Guide to Designing Your Own Screenart, Part 2

For Part 1 of this guide, we examined using the top menu buttons of your GPose menu as action buttons that allowed you to control things like where your character was facing and toggling motion. Use the link to reference that guide as we build upon the lessons learned and get down and dirty with the left side menu or all the settings: General Settings, Effect/Motion/Subject settings, and Lighting Settings.

General Settings

GeneralSettings1

The General Settings tab looks like a camera with a gear cog on top of it. It’s the first large button on the left side. We’ve already gone over what the Camera Position does (gives you rather dramatic control on an X and Y axis for your view angle) and the corresponding Reset Camera Angle button on Part 1, so we’ll move right along to the next setting.

Color Filter: This drop-down menu allows you to select from a wide variety of filters to adjust how your screenshot looks. From Sepia to Monochrome, and to the slightly ambiguous “Bright” selection, the best way for you to experience these and to see what each filter will do in your current lighting is simply to experiment.

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Screen Effect: Like the Color Filters, Screen Effects give your entire screenshot a different look, whether by adding lines for creating motion or changing the texture of your image. The best way to see what all of these settings do is to experiment and combine them with different Color Filters to see how much it changes!

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Depth of Field: Let’s give a brief overview of Depth of Field in terms of photography, since FFXIV executes Depth of Field by following photography rules.

In Photography, you have something called an “F Number.” “F8,” “F2,” “F11,” so on and so forth. These numbers relate to how wide your aperture, or the hole inside the camera that lets light in, is in relation to fractions. Think golfing rules– the bigger the number after the “F,” the smaller the hole.

Aperture-- see?

The hole that centers in on James Bond is the aperture. I always thought this would be a fun way to demonstrate aperture.. just never had a use for it until now!

To condense, an F2 aperture is a larger hole while F11 is a smaller hole. So what does this mean?

Well, in photography, you achieve a Depth of Field by manipulating your aperture settings. In order to properly demonstrate Depth of Field, we’ll use the images below.

dof1

This image has a low Depth of Field.

See how the background and parts of the subject in this image are blurry? The depth of your visual field that is in focus is low. You can’t see very far into the image. Hence, depth of field. This was shot with a low F number, roughly F3 or F4.

dof2

This image has a high Depth of Field.

In this image, everything is in focus, it’s clear, you can see far into the visual field of the image. It has a high depth of field. This was shot with a higher F number, probably F8 or F11.

Let’s condense this, then, into our GPose menu.

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Using the slideshow, we see that enabling Depth of Field immediately makes your background blurry. Objects even further away than demonstrated will be completely fuzzy. Our Depth of Field slider, then, adjusts how much of your subject(s) will be in focus or clear.

What would I use this for?: I recommend enabling Depth of Field when you’re zooming in on a subject in your screenshot. By making the background blurry and putting your subject in focus, it immediately gives something for the viewer’s eye to latch on to. Portraits are a good example of this– if you’re trying to take a portrait of your character or a pair of characters, you don’t want to make sure that tree in the background is in focus because it’s not the subject of the image. So put the “focus” on the more important subject in your screenart!

Limb Darkening: This setting will further enhance your portraiture capabilities by  putting a fading edging around your image. Let’s take a look–

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Limb Darkening will basically just darken the edges of your image. The first two sliders control how dramatic the Limb Darkening is and the shape– the first slider is a circle, while the second slider adds more Limb Darkening to the top and bottom of your image, effectively turning the center of your image into an oval.

The rest of the sliders control what color your Limb Darkening will be. The default is black, but you can use the RGB scales to make the edges a completely different color.

 

Let’s wrap it up. 

This part of the guide was heavy, tossing photography terms at us and a copious amount of images. But I like to go… in-depth.

Hopefully, by now, you’ve grasped a better understanding of how the Toggle actions work for the top of the GPose Menu and how to combine them with all the goodies in the General Settings.

Things will get even more complex as we navigate the rest of the controls to add in status effects and lighting sources for Part 3 of our guide, coming soon! Don’t miss it!

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