Screenshot Secrets: photographing Stripes the family cat in Morrowind

In this career, I expend a large amount of effort and hard work and care on particulars no a person notices. When this is arguably a bad use of my time, I appreciate the process—and technically it is successful. But perhaps you, reader expensive, may possibly appreciate hearing about these little things, or at the very least come across them intriguing/weird. So let’s discuss about the function which went into developing a single (1) screenshot and 43 seconds of video for very last week’s article about the Morrowind modder who extra the household cat due to the fact their kids ended up fearful of mudcrabs.

The story driving Stripes the cat coming to Morrowind is attractive but that tale is a lot more exciting than the true mod, and it is all contained the mod’s readme file. Excellent for me as an avid readme reader, much less enjoyable for web-site viewers. And the mod’s obtain web page has only a solitary muddy screenshot to show. So off I go to play the mod for myself, and take a screenshot and movie to give you a greater look at Stripes. I did not hope this to get so long.


The screenshot I ended up snapping for my post, for reference.

To start with challenge, Morrowind is a 20-yr-outdated recreation. Not ready to operate it in a modern day display screen resolution and cautious of other prospective tech challenges, I before long switch to the exceptional enthusiast-made replacement motor, OpenMW. As soon as that is operating, I just will need to commence a new character, go through the tutorial, use cheats to teleport to the distant metropolis the place I’ll find Stripes, and then undoubtedly I’m about finished.

But Caldera appears to be like dismal when I get there, and I have the strategy to record Stripes combating his nemeses, mudcrabs. Off to the fairly coastal town of Vivec! The teleport cheat dumps me in close proximity to a nice bay with a wee island. Perfect. Ish. I arrive at evening and when I check out to sleep through until dawn, a Dark Brotherhood assassin strikes. Mainly because I’m in my starter equipment, I am right away supermurdered. So! Use cheats to level me up and give me great weapons, go to sleep, now be attacked by a pair of assassins since I am significant-degree, murder them, use a further console command to cover their corpses (and at this point remember I could’ve used a cheat to destroy them), then slumber till it’s a dazzling dawn and Stripes is prepared for his portrait.

Manouvering Stripes into a good position, I discover why the mod’s only screenshot is staring down at him on the floor. Morrowind’s digicam is not conducive to photography. Instead than hunt for camera mods, I keep in mind a beneficial console command. Notice:

Why faff with mods when you can shrink your wizard down to 30% of their standard dimensions? Then transform the FOV down as slim as it will go, switch off the HUD, set your weapon absent, and you have a fantastic initially-individual digital camera. I was pretty happy to believe of this option. Following a several snaps, I have a screenshot I’m pleased with. Though I’m scornful of the ‘bullshots’ publishers usually phase to provide game titles, trickery is wonderful when it is to display men and women a nice cat.

Ultimately, time to document a video. Relatively than hunt for mudcrabs, I use console instructions to spawn a load. But now I’m not only herding a cat, I am herding AI-controlled crustaceans too. Lots of crabfights arrive out poorly on online video. Possibly stripes clips inside a mudcrab corpse and vanishes, or Stripes is hesitant to battle, or I increase too several mudcrabs and it truly is monotonous, or I spawn the mudcrabs in positions which convert out to be uninteresting, or… it will not help that I have a daft thought to film with the beautiful dawn as a backdrop, a element which hardly appears on-display screen but does make every thing backlit and murky. I ended up with masses of naff will take hunting broadly like this:

Not superior plenty of. I swapped to the other side of the island, fiddled with mudcrab positioning and numbers, and reloaded from conserve right until one particular fight arrived out great ample. It really is not that I believe the video I finished up generating is incredible, but it is much better. It truly is a video clip I consider is excellent sufficient for a post. I’m at last finished.

In between setup, troubleshooting, scouting, staging, and lots of attempts, it took me probably two hrs for one screenshot and fewer than a moment of online video. I think it was worth it. And now I am telling you about it, double-dipping on information, so of course, it was doubly well worth it. An priceless use of my time! Now I just need to have a enjoyable online video clip for our tweet about this put up…