Screenshot Secrets: photographing Stripes the family cat in Murrowind

Screenshot Secrets: photographing Stripes the family cat in Murrowind

I devote a lot of effort and effort to elaborating things no one notices. While this is arguably a waste of my time, technically it is productive. However, perhaps you, reader dear, might enjoy hearing about these tiny things, or at least they may find them interesting/weird. So let''s talk about the process which led to producing one (1) screenshot and 43 seconds of video for last week''s post about the Morrowind modder who added the family cat because their kids were afraid of

The story behind Stripes the cat coming to Morrowind is stunning, but the whole story is more interesting than the actual mod, and it''s all contained the mod''s readme file. Great for me as an avid readme reader, but the mod''s download page has only a small flaw to show. So off I go to play the mod for myself, and take a screenshot and video to give you a better look at Stripes. I expected this to take so long.

The first aspect is that Morrowind is a 20-year-old game that I hope to use in a novel screen resolution and avoid other potential tech difficulties. I soon get to OpenMW, a fantastic fan-made replacement engine, and I just need to start a new character, go through the tutorial, and use cheats to teleport to the distant city where I''ll find Stripes. I''ll leave it until the next day

Caldera is stunned when I arrive, and I have the intention to record Stripes fighting his nemeses and mudcrabs. Off to Vivec, where I sit at night and when I try to sleep, attackers, and utilize a console command to hide their corpses (and at this point remember I might have used a cheat to kill them), then sleep until it''s dark. And Stripes is ready for his portrait.

I learn why the mod''s only screenshot is staring down at him on the ground. Morrowind''s camera isn''t helpful to photography. Instead of looking for camera mods, I remember a useful console command.

What makes you uncomfortable with mods when you can reduce your wizard to 30% of their regular size? Then turn the FOV down as broad as it''ll go, turn off the HUD, put your weapon away, and you have a great first-person camera. While I''m struck by the idea, trickery is fine when it''s to show people a nice cat.

Finally, it''s time to record a video. Instead of seeking for mudcrabs, I''m spawning AI-controlled crustaceans. Many crabfights come out poorly on video. Maybe Stripes clips inside a mudcrab corpse and disappears, or Stripes is reluctant to fight, or I spawn the mudcrabs in positions which turn out to be uninteresting, or... it doesn''t help that I have a daft idea to experiment with the

I scouted to the other side of the island, filled with mudcrab positioning and numbers, and reloaded from save until one battle was delivered satisfactory. It''s not that I think the video I ended up making is amazing, but it''s better. It''s a video I think is well enough for a post. I''ve finally completed it.

Between setup, troubleshooting, scouting, and several attempts, it took me perhaps two hours for a snapshot, as well as less than a minute of footage. It was absolutely worth it, but yes, it was doubly worth it. I''m now taking on content, and now I''m assuming it was worth it. This is a fantastic day to spend on this post...

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