One of Halo 3's greatest features is its ability to automatically save a replay of the last 25 games you played, to which you can go through from any angle, at virtually any speed. A sub-feature of this is the screenshots feature. While most of the fare you will see will be OMG LOOKEY HEREs, with a little skill, you can take quite good images.
The screenshots feature itself is quite powerful. The ability to take a picture of any moment, and have it appear on the internet for any computer to access almost instantly is very powerful. The exicution bunge pulled off is also mindboggilingly simple. Simply play through your film to where you want, hit x, and take the screenshot. While this is good for getting an image you and your buddies may want to look at, to get anyone else to care takes a bit more skill. Here are my personal tips.
Be sure your situation is interesting
Halo 3 is a box full of HD goodies, and it is often tempting to take a picture of a very basic occurance (say a grenade) because it still looks so cool. To take decient screenshots, you must wean yourself of this practice. In your screenshots, try to take unique pictures, pictures that will keep people interested. Don't follow screenshot trends (read: forge maps with all spawns lined up next to laser=old and lame), instead, try to set your own, be unique, and best, be creative.
Take time to frame your shot
While you can blitz through a saved film, and snap a screenshot from your normal first person view, you can do so much more. When you find the event you want to take a screenshot of, play around with free cam view, to find the best angle. Also, play through the event in slow motion, as to find the best time to take a screenshot. You may have to go through an event multiple times, but that is what rewind is for.
Use light and color
Depending on your location with free cam, various elements of the scene can come in and out of focus, say particle effects (Explosions, blood, etc), trails (laser shots, sniper smoke, etc), and other effects. Also depending on these element's distance from the camera, they can affect the overall view of the shot. For example, in one of my pictures, I got up close so the blue explosion colored the shot. It lead for a very interesting shot that is residing as my wallpaper (currently).
Don't always hide the hud
Bungie worked hard on the hud, and there are quite a few easter eggs hidden throughout. One such egg is the flipping of the elephant. Upon flipping, it has a funny
Hold to flip message. If you take a screenshot with the hud on, it will show up on the screenshot.
Name and describe your shots
Don't just always choose Autoname and save, choose a normal save, enter a name for the picture, and then enter a description. I know typing on the 360's software keyboard is a pain, and writing more than 5 words is hard, so do what I did. Purchase the Microsoft Xbox Live Messenger kit ($30 at circuit city). This is a tiny keyboard that plugs into the bottom of your controller, and lets you type, in addition to a headset. If you find this too cramped, you can also purchace a fully fledged USB keyboard, and plug it directly into the 360 (it works, i have tried it). Make your descriptions full and explanatory. If someone has gotten far enough that they are reading the details about their shot, best to keep them there a while.
Be snap happy
30 of the screenshots are displayed, and you can save more to your service record gallery, to keep forever (or till you delete them). Keep your screenshot bin rolling through, so people keep coming back, interested in whats new.
Here is a quick list of the steps i mentioned here:
- Keep your situation interesting, not boring
- Take time, frame your shot to the best of your ability.
- Use light and color
- Keep the hud occasionally
- Take lots of photos
If you do those, you should be able to take fairly interesting shots, but if you just cant seem to take one, keep practicing. You will get better over time.
Paradox460 is a halo 3 gamer, gamertag Paradox4600, who prides himself on taking interesting screenshots. His gallery can be seen Here.