Gamers have become pretty accustomed to the functionality of tools like GeForce Experience and Raptr for years now. Press a button and you can record gameplay without much of an overhead. Optimise your image settings. Update drivers. Run games at inordinately high resolutions.
The simplicity is cool. The world and art of in-game photography has still been buried behind SweetFX profiles, custom Cheat Engine tables, INI hacks and more for a while. But NVIDIA is trying to change that.
As part of their Pascal reveal over the weekend, NVIDIA has lifted the lid on a new program called Ansel.
The idea is to enable gamers to take in-game pictures and photos of whatever they want, unrestricted by camera angles, field of view, resolution or more. Here’s NVIDIA on what you can do:
Free Camera — Roll, zoom and reposition. Go wherever you want to create the perfect photo. Ansel instantly overcomes the limitations of traditional game capture, allowing you to frame the perfect shot.
Super Resolution — Once you’ve positioned and framed your shot, Ansel allows you to capture screenshots at up to 4.5 gigapixel resolution, or 32x higher than your screen resolution. Using your NVIDIA GeForce GTX GPU, Ansel can render and save these screenshots in just seconds. The result: images that you can downsample to lower resolutions for wall prints, posters or super-high-quality desktop wallpapers.
Post-Process Filters — So you can tweak the look, feel and mood of your screenshot before saving, Ansel includes brightness, vignette, sketch, color enhancer, field of view and many other special effects options. It lets you create and share your own special FX filters, as enthusiasts do now for ReShade and other post-process applications.
OpenEXR Capture — If you’ve got a high-dynamic range TV or monitor, you can export Ansel screenshots in the OpenEXR format, enabling you to view high-dynamic range, super-resolution screenshots at the highest possible fidelity. Or you can export in OpenEXR to work with the image in editing tools like Adobe Photoshop to further adjust the look of your screen captures.
360-degree Capture — With Ansel you can also capture 360° panoramic screenshots. It automatically stitches the 360° panorama in mono or stereo so you can view them in Google Cardboard, on your PC or in a VR headset. For Cardboard users, we’ve released the NVIDIA VR Viewer bundled with Ansel 360 Capture screenshots that you can view today. Download the app and check it out!
Some of these features are typically included in a game’s Photo Mode; other times they’re only available through console commands, or special developer builds of a game.
Games will have to be coded to work with Ansel however, which explains the software’s limited support at launch. What is supported, however, is pretty good: The Division, The Witness, Lawbreakers, The Witcher 3, Paragon, No Man’s Sky and Unreal Tournament will all be Ansel-compatible “soon”.
The best part of this is that you probably won’t need to upgrade. Ansel supports all GeForce cards from the GTX 600 series and up, meaning that anyone who currently enjoys using Shadowplay will be able to use the new screenshot capturing technology as well.