Want to take some screenshots of your latest build? Show your skills to the world? Well, you not only have to make the build, but also the screenshots good! A good picture can catch someone’s eye and make them more likely to check out your build over someone else’s. And it’s for that reason and due to how terrible some people are at taking screenshots that I’ve put together this helpful guide..! So always try to follow these few simple tips below, and you’ll (hopefully) be a professional builder and photographer in no time!

1. Basics

Whenever you’re new to Minecraft or not, the following can improve your screenshots massively. Firstly, always click F1 when taking screenshots to hide your chat and hotbar. It improves visibility, and looking nicer and more professional! Next, always pick the angle or perspective that’s best suited for your build. For example, stand right at the foot of a skyscraper, looking up, when taking a screenshot of it to make it seem to loom over you; Therefore making it seem bigger or more intimidating than it might be. Wait for the perfect weather and time for your screenshot (or use commands if in creative). This can change the way a build looks and feels – eg. adding thunder in the background of a dark mansion can make it feel dark, mysterious. But you wouldn’t want rain in your happy unicorns build, would you?

You could also mess around with the video settings, where you can eg. change the cloud height or completely remove clouds if they interfere with your build. Depending on how good your PC is, altering the rendering distance can make more of the build and surroundings visible, which can be good as well. Also, always check your surroundings! If, for example, even one chunk doesn’t load in the background, it can ruin an otherwise perfect screenshot. You might also want to remove any mobs around your build, as who would want a sheep wandering about the streets of their town? 🙂

2. Proportions

This basically means ”Where things are in relation to one another”, and it can affect how good a screenshot looks. Never just put something in the middle, take a screenshot and call it done. It just doesn’t look as good. Experiment till you get the right proportions – they can change the way the build’s size, amount of detail visible etc look. Try to, for example, have things in the background and foreground or on both left and right, as opposed to just in the centre. Proportions can also be used to make some areas of the build stand out more than others, and if you get them right, can completely change how your build looks in the screenshot. Just like I mentioned the standing at the foot of the skyscraper earlier.

Shaders screenshot of lake, forest and mountains at sunset

3. Texturepacks

Using a texturepack can make a build better and more detailed, as long as you pick the right one. They can completely change a blocks texture, because who said that a brewing stand cannot be a traffic cone? For example, if you have a castle, try finding a nice medieval texturepack with plenty of details to spice up your build. But this, of course, is optional. Unless you build on a creative server, then those usually have their own texture packs. Or maybe you just want or need a texturepack for your build because eg you don’t like Minecraft’s default glass texture, or the default glass simply doesn’t fit your build? In this case, it’s up to you!

4. Shaders

Shaders might or might not make your build better, but they will for sure change it. Some might change it a lot. They mainly change the way water/lava, sky and glass look; As well as make the lightning, reflections and shadows more realistic. Those things can transform a build as long as you take the photo from the right angle, using the right shaders. This too is optional, but useful. Although there is a drawback: some (usually the more amazing looking) shaders require a good PC, so if you play on a potato like me then they won’t work..!

Shaders screenshot of lake, forest and hills at sunset

5. Finishing touches

To make your screenshots more appealing you can do quite a few things, but here are some of them… The first and pretty obvious thing to do is to edit your screenshots; Even small edits can change the way the builds looks and feels in the picture. This can be done with a simple editing software such as Gimp and can really enhance a raw screenshot; For example, doing something as simple as adding some writing – such as your build’s name – or your (team’s) watermark/logo. This will also make the build more original and belong to you, and might put off image thieves! You can also make a nice enhanced text with fonts, images etc for your build’s description if publishing it on some website or blog. This is a nice finishing touch and will make the boring descriptive bits more attractive and likely to be read.

Alternatively, you could scratch the idea of taking screenshots in-game altogether. Instead you can use software such as Chunky to take pictures of certain parts of, or of the whole, map. Those programs have plenty of options and filters to enhance your build without shaders (but still with textures, if you want!) This does require more effort (and probably a few tutorials!), but it’s worth it. It’s known as rendering, and if you get good at it, people might even pay you to make amazing renders of their builds! Although I’d personally say that you stick with in-game screenshots, as it’s quicker and easier. But in the end it’s up to you which method you choose. Depends on your time frame and experience with rendering.

And that’s just about it; I hope that this has helped you, whenever you’re a beginner or a professional! Simple things like those can improve your screenshots and spice up the builds in them by a long way. So next time you take a screenshot, remember just how easy it is for a tiny mistake to spoil a giant build!

Image credits: top/kotaku.com, bottom/shadersmod.net, thumbnail/Raph’ Play@youtube.com

Tips to improve your screenshots
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