NVIDIA has just announced Ansel, a fun in-game virtual digital camera that changes the way gamers snap “screenshots”. So much so in fact that the word “screenshot” shouldn’t really be used. The camera can output humongous captures (~60000×40000 pixels), and can snap 360 VR shots as well [photo credit: Anshel Sag].
It works in a simple way: there’s a shortcut to activate Ansel. Once it’s ON, the game action is frozen, but the camera remains interactive. The user can fly around and find a good viewpoint to take a snapshot of. Some parameters can be changed, including photo resolution, field of view and color effects.
Ansel is a really good idea, and it comes built into the NVIDIA graphics driver. It makes sense since, at any given time, the driver does contain all the data required to render a scene. It does not need to know what the game is doing, only what it needs to render.
Of course, some games might be incompatible depending on their implementation and the amount of guesswork that the driver needs to do to find all the game camera parameters. There’s a list of games that NVIDIA has tested, but the chances are that most games will be compatible, and with a little cooperation from game developers, most games will work with Ansel at some point.
The super-large resolution is very handy too because one could now print poster-size images of game captures and crops aren’t a problem now. Expect to see a wave of in-game captures heading to the web, and VR headsets.