Overclock.net › Forums › Video Games › PC Gaming › How To: Improve the Quality of Screenshots While Keeping a Reasonable File Size
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

How To: Improve the Quality of Screenshots While Keeping a Reasonable File Size

post #1 of 12
Thread Starter 
This "How To" is not about improving the quality of games through the use of FXAA, SMAA, SGSSAA, supersampling/downsampling, AF, negative LOD bias, etc... What it is about is preserving screenshot quality from start to finish while also keeping the final file size reasonable.

The easiest method to preserve screenshot quality is to capture .pngs and do nothing. Unfortunately, .pngs tend to average around 2MB for a 1920x1080 shot and 4MB for a 2560x1440 shot. A forum full of those quickly bogs down. The solution is to use a 97% quality JPEG with one critical difference, no chroma subsampling. This results in a file one third the size of a .png and virtually identical in quality.


This crop demonstrates the difference between chroma subsampling on the left and no chroma subsampling on the right:




An aliased image was used so the effect would be obvious. Also, note the red pickups in the top right corner become visibly muted and muddy due to the chroma subsampling.


Not many image editing applications explicitly give control over chroma subsampling, Zoner Photo Studio 15 Free does and this How To will use it both for this feature as well as its excellent supersampling resizing. Zoner Photo Studio is fairly intuitive and has plenty of tutorials so its ins and outs will not be covered.


For maximum quality, screenshots should always be taken as .bmp or .png. Any other filetype is lossy, and will degrade image quality from the start. Apps that can take lossless shots include any of the RivaTuner derived utilities (MSI Afterburner, EVGA Precision X, etc...), FRAPS, Dxtory, and a number of other recording utilities. AA/effects injectors such as InjectFXAA, InjectSMAA, and SweetFX all have a built-in screenshot key that should be used to guarantee that the injected AA/effects are captured correctly. Driver level FXAA cannot be captured by any application.

Steam captures highly compressed JPEGs, it also fails to capture the effects of injectors so that's another strike against it. Steam should not be used.


Shots captured while playing at a larger resolution than the display's native resolution (downsampling) should be resized to the display's native resolution to give a fairly close approximation of what downsampling achieves. The best resizing algorithm for this is supersampling. With the source image selected in Zoner Photo Studio, select Edit > Resize from the menu and set Method to Supersampling and Width and Height to the display's native resolution.




To save the final image, with the source image selected (and resized if necessary) in Zoner Photo Studio, select File > Save As, choose a file name, set "Save as type" to JPEG Image and select Save. Now set JPEG quality to 97% and set Sampling to 1:1 to disable chroma subsampling and select Okay.




That's it. For more on chroma subsampling check out http://users.wfu.edu/matthews/misc/jpg_vs_gif/JpgCompTest/JpgChromaSub.html and http://www.dpnotes.com/the-best-way-to-save-images-as-jpg-jpeg-in-irfanview/
Fireball
(20 items)
 
  
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
Intel Core i5 2500K @ 4.7GHz ASUS P8P67 PRO EVGA 780 SC ACX SLI G.Skill 8GB DDR3-1600 
Hard DriveCoolingOSMonitor
Samsung 840 Pro 256GB Noctua NH-U12S | 2x NF-F12 Windows 7 Ultimate x64 Dell U2913WM - 2560x1080 - 75Hz 
KeyboardPowerCaseMouse
Logitech Wireless Illuminated K800 Corsair AX750 Fractal Design Arc Midi R2 Logitech G700 
Mouse PadAudioAudioAudio
Steelseries 4HD Creative Soud Blaster X7 Sennheiser PC 360 Headset Sony SS-MB150H Bookshelf Speakers 
OtherOtherOtherOther
Thrustmaster T.Flight Hotas X Logitech G13 TrackIR 5 / TrackClip Pro Google Nexus 7 
  hide details  
Reply
Fireball
(20 items)
 
  
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
Intel Core i5 2500K @ 4.7GHz ASUS P8P67 PRO EVGA 780 SC ACX SLI G.Skill 8GB DDR3-1600 
Hard DriveCoolingOSMonitor
Samsung 840 Pro 256GB Noctua NH-U12S | 2x NF-F12 Windows 7 Ultimate x64 Dell U2913WM - 2560x1080 - 75Hz 
KeyboardPowerCaseMouse
Logitech Wireless Illuminated K800 Corsair AX750 Fractal Design Arc Midi R2 Logitech G700 
Mouse PadAudioAudioAudio
Steelseries 4HD Creative Soud Blaster X7 Sennheiser PC 360 Headset Sony SS-MB150H Bookshelf Speakers 
OtherOtherOtherOther
Thrustmaster T.Flight Hotas X Logitech G13 TrackIR 5 / TrackClip Pro Google Nexus 7 
  hide details  
Reply
post #2 of 12
I won't add an in-depth guide of my own here... but just want to share the tools I use smile.gif

FastStone ImageViewer is a GOD SEND. It's free, of course. Allows batch operations like photoshop for resizing and saving. I typically put all the screenshots I take in a given play session in a folder. Open that folder in FastStone. Then I'll run my "save as PNG" batch for Flickr, and then my "Save as JPG" batch for forums.

When resizing my high resolution screenshots (via downsampling), I use Lanczos2 (prefer it over Lanczos3). Lanczos2 uses a kernel integer of 2, which in the end results in a resampling function with smaller negative lobes than the kernel 3 function (lanczos3). This results in an image which is both a crisp and sharp reproduction of the original, with less 'ringing' artifacting near lines than the kernel 3 function. So in the end, it helps with anti-aliasing, without introducing as much new noise near lines as Lanczos3. All resizing changes the image, and it's both a matter of preference, and dependent on the type of image you are downsizing. I'm no expert on these matters... just did a little research after being told that my photoshopped-resized images were rather sharp looking.

Speaking oh Photoshop... bicubic interpolation for image resizing is quite okay, but with respect to Lanczos2 it produces larger amounts of haloing, or ringing. This artefact is often perceived as added sharpness (acutance to be precise), but it IS an overshoot artefact (check "ringing" or "haloing" on wikipedia).
post #3 of 12
Thread Starter 
FastStone looks good. thumb.gif It also appears to have an option to disable chroma subsampling. Batch processing is also nice, seeing as the free version of Zoner doesn't have that.
Edited by zinfinion - 2/5/13 at 9:02pm
Fireball
(20 items)
 
  
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
Intel Core i5 2500K @ 4.7GHz ASUS P8P67 PRO EVGA 780 SC ACX SLI G.Skill 8GB DDR3-1600 
Hard DriveCoolingOSMonitor
Samsung 840 Pro 256GB Noctua NH-U12S | 2x NF-F12 Windows 7 Ultimate x64 Dell U2913WM - 2560x1080 - 75Hz 
KeyboardPowerCaseMouse
Logitech Wireless Illuminated K800 Corsair AX750 Fractal Design Arc Midi R2 Logitech G700 
Mouse PadAudioAudioAudio
Steelseries 4HD Creative Soud Blaster X7 Sennheiser PC 360 Headset Sony SS-MB150H Bookshelf Speakers 
OtherOtherOtherOther
Thrustmaster T.Flight Hotas X Logitech G13 TrackIR 5 / TrackClip Pro Google Nexus 7 
  hide details  
Reply
Fireball
(20 items)
 
  
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
Intel Core i5 2500K @ 4.7GHz ASUS P8P67 PRO EVGA 780 SC ACX SLI G.Skill 8GB DDR3-1600 
Hard DriveCoolingOSMonitor
Samsung 840 Pro 256GB Noctua NH-U12S | 2x NF-F12 Windows 7 Ultimate x64 Dell U2913WM - 2560x1080 - 75Hz 
KeyboardPowerCaseMouse
Logitech Wireless Illuminated K800 Corsair AX750 Fractal Design Arc Midi R2 Logitech G700 
Mouse PadAudioAudioAudio
Steelseries 4HD Creative Soud Blaster X7 Sennheiser PC 360 Headset Sony SS-MB150H Bookshelf Speakers 
OtherOtherOtherOther
Thrustmaster T.Flight Hotas X Logitech G13 TrackIR 5 / TrackClip Pro Google Nexus 7 
  hide details  
Reply
post #4 of 12
Yup. I love FastStone ImageViewer. I've been using it for almost 10 years now. It's a must have app.
X99 System
(16 items)
 
Z170 System
(13 items)
 
 
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
Intel 6950X @ 4.4GHz ASUS Rampage V Edition 10 2x TITAN Xp (3840 CUDA cores) SLI G.Skill TridentZ 3200 14-14-14-34 1T 32GB 
Hard DriveCoolingOSMonitor
4x Intel 730 Series SSD 480GB RAID-0 EK custom loop + Mo-Ra 3 Windows 10 Pro x64 DELL S2716DG 144Hz G-Sync 
KeyboardPowerCaseMouse
Corsair K65 RGB Rapidfire Corsair AX1500i Lian Li PC-O9 WX Logitech G303 
Mouse PadAudioOtherOther
Corsair Vengeance MM600 ASUS SupremeFX + harman kardon SoundSticks III ... Synology DS716+ NAS 12TB 1Gbps FTTH 
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
Intel 6700K @ 4.7GHz ASUS Sabertooth Z170 S ASUS Strix GTX1080OC SLI 16GB DDR4 Corsair Dominator Platinum 
Hard DriveHard DriveCoolingOS
2x Intel 730 Series SSD 480GB RAID-0 Seagate 2TB Corsair Hydro Series H115i Windows 10 Pro x64 
MonitorPowerCaseMouse
DELL U2414H Corsair AX1200i Fractal Design Define S Logitech G303 
Audio
Realtek ALC1150 
  hide details  
Reply
X99 System
(16 items)
 
Z170 System
(13 items)
 
 
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
Intel 6950X @ 4.4GHz ASUS Rampage V Edition 10 2x TITAN Xp (3840 CUDA cores) SLI G.Skill TridentZ 3200 14-14-14-34 1T 32GB 
Hard DriveCoolingOSMonitor
4x Intel 730 Series SSD 480GB RAID-0 EK custom loop + Mo-Ra 3 Windows 10 Pro x64 DELL S2716DG 144Hz G-Sync 
KeyboardPowerCaseMouse
Corsair K65 RGB Rapidfire Corsair AX1500i Lian Li PC-O9 WX Logitech G303 
Mouse PadAudioOtherOther
Corsair Vengeance MM600 ASUS SupremeFX + harman kardon SoundSticks III ... Synology DS716+ NAS 12TB 1Gbps FTTH 
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
Intel 6700K @ 4.7GHz ASUS Sabertooth Z170 S ASUS Strix GTX1080OC SLI 16GB DDR4 Corsair Dominator Platinum 
Hard DriveHard DriveCoolingOS
2x Intel 730 Series SSD 480GB RAID-0 Seagate 2TB Corsair Hydro Series H115i Windows 10 Pro x64 
MonitorPowerCaseMouse
DELL U2414H Corsair AX1200i Fractal Design Define S Logitech G303 
Audio
Realtek ALC1150 
  hide details  
Reply
post #5 of 12
Anyone know if converting them to jpeg's via PS adds any chroma subsampling? That's what I've always used, but yea my shots are basically 2-3mb's each.
Gaming Rig
(17 items)
 
  
CPUMotherboardGraphicsGraphics
i7 3770k @ 4.8GHz w/ 1.43v ASRock z77 Extreme 6 HD7970 @ 1270/1800 HD7970 @ 1270/1800 
RAMHard DriveHard DriveHard Drive
16GB G. Skill Ripjaws Z 9-11-12-28 OCZ Vertex 3 120GB Caviar Blue 1.0TB WD10EZEX DeskStar 1.5TB HDD 
Hard DriveCoolingCoolingOS
Caviar Blue 1.0TB WD10EZEX Raystorm Chrome XSPC CPU Block Swiftech Komodo 7970 Water Blocks Windows 8 64bit Ultimate 
MonitorPowerCaseAudio
Panasonic 54in VT 25 Corsair Fatl1ty 1000 watt PSU Corsair 800D Onkyo-NR-1008 
Audio
Energy CF70 towers, Energy CLR center, and Ener... 
  hide details  
Reply
Gaming Rig
(17 items)
 
  
CPUMotherboardGraphicsGraphics
i7 3770k @ 4.8GHz w/ 1.43v ASRock z77 Extreme 6 HD7970 @ 1270/1800 HD7970 @ 1270/1800 
RAMHard DriveHard DriveHard Drive
16GB G. Skill Ripjaws Z 9-11-12-28 OCZ Vertex 3 120GB Caviar Blue 1.0TB WD10EZEX DeskStar 1.5TB HDD 
Hard DriveCoolingCoolingOS
Caviar Blue 1.0TB WD10EZEX Raystorm Chrome XSPC CPU Block Swiftech Komodo 7970 Water Blocks Windows 8 64bit Ultimate 
MonitorPowerCaseAudio
Panasonic 54in VT 25 Corsair Fatl1ty 1000 watt PSU Corsair 800D Onkyo-NR-1008 
Audio
Energy CF70 towers, Energy CLR center, and Ener... 
  hide details  
Reply
post #6 of 12
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Derko1 View Post

Anyone know if converting them to jpeg's via PS adds any chroma subsampling? That's what I've always used, but yea my shots are basically 2-3mb's each.

Quality 7 and above in Photoshop disable chroma subsampling. Quality 11 or 12 will be around quality 97% quality as measured by other applications.
Edited by zinfinion - 2/6/13 at 4:37am
Fireball
(20 items)
 
  
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
Intel Core i5 2500K @ 4.7GHz ASUS P8P67 PRO EVGA 780 SC ACX SLI G.Skill 8GB DDR3-1600 
Hard DriveCoolingOSMonitor
Samsung 840 Pro 256GB Noctua NH-U12S | 2x NF-F12 Windows 7 Ultimate x64 Dell U2913WM - 2560x1080 - 75Hz 
KeyboardPowerCaseMouse
Logitech Wireless Illuminated K800 Corsair AX750 Fractal Design Arc Midi R2 Logitech G700 
Mouse PadAudioAudioAudio
Steelseries 4HD Creative Soud Blaster X7 Sennheiser PC 360 Headset Sony SS-MB150H Bookshelf Speakers 
OtherOtherOtherOther
Thrustmaster T.Flight Hotas X Logitech G13 TrackIR 5 / TrackClip Pro Google Nexus 7 
  hide details  
Reply
Fireball
(20 items)
 
  
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
Intel Core i5 2500K @ 4.7GHz ASUS P8P67 PRO EVGA 780 SC ACX SLI G.Skill 8GB DDR3-1600 
Hard DriveCoolingOSMonitor
Samsung 840 Pro 256GB Noctua NH-U12S | 2x NF-F12 Windows 7 Ultimate x64 Dell U2913WM - 2560x1080 - 75Hz 
KeyboardPowerCaseMouse
Logitech Wireless Illuminated K800 Corsair AX750 Fractal Design Arc Midi R2 Logitech G700 
Mouse PadAudioAudioAudio
Steelseries 4HD Creative Soud Blaster X7 Sennheiser PC 360 Headset Sony SS-MB150H Bookshelf Speakers 
OtherOtherOtherOther
Thrustmaster T.Flight Hotas X Logitech G13 TrackIR 5 / TrackClip Pro Google Nexus 7 
  hide details  
Reply
post #7 of 12
Quote:
Originally Posted by zinfinion View Post

Quality 7 and above in Photoshop disable chroma subsampling. Quality 11 or 12 will be around quality 97% quality as measured by other applications.

Ok cool.

So I'm guessing, only because of size, you would not want to go to max quality correct? Just so I understand the 97% thing. tongue.gif
Gaming Rig
(17 items)
 
  
CPUMotherboardGraphicsGraphics
i7 3770k @ 4.8GHz w/ 1.43v ASRock z77 Extreme 6 HD7970 @ 1270/1800 HD7970 @ 1270/1800 
RAMHard DriveHard DriveHard Drive
16GB G. Skill Ripjaws Z 9-11-12-28 OCZ Vertex 3 120GB Caviar Blue 1.0TB WD10EZEX DeskStar 1.5TB HDD 
Hard DriveCoolingCoolingOS
Caviar Blue 1.0TB WD10EZEX Raystorm Chrome XSPC CPU Block Swiftech Komodo 7970 Water Blocks Windows 8 64bit Ultimate 
MonitorPowerCaseAudio
Panasonic 54in VT 25 Corsair Fatl1ty 1000 watt PSU Corsair 800D Onkyo-NR-1008 
Audio
Energy CF70 towers, Energy CLR center, and Ener... 
  hide details  
Reply
Gaming Rig
(17 items)
 
  
CPUMotherboardGraphicsGraphics
i7 3770k @ 4.8GHz w/ 1.43v ASRock z77 Extreme 6 HD7970 @ 1270/1800 HD7970 @ 1270/1800 
RAMHard DriveHard DriveHard Drive
16GB G. Skill Ripjaws Z 9-11-12-28 OCZ Vertex 3 120GB Caviar Blue 1.0TB WD10EZEX DeskStar 1.5TB HDD 
Hard DriveCoolingCoolingOS
Caviar Blue 1.0TB WD10EZEX Raystorm Chrome XSPC CPU Block Swiftech Komodo 7970 Water Blocks Windows 8 64bit Ultimate 
MonitorPowerCaseAudio
Panasonic 54in VT 25 Corsair Fatl1ty 1000 watt PSU Corsair 800D Onkyo-NR-1008 
Audio
Energy CF70 towers, Energy CLR center, and Ener... 
  hide details  
Reply
post #8 of 12
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Derko1 View Post

So I'm guessing, only because of size, you would not want to go to max quality correct? Just so I understand the 97% thing. tongue.gif

Just as an example, 1920x1080 no chroma subsampling:

100%....1.7MB
99%......1.2MB
98%......910 KB
97%......787 KB

Obviously this will vary by image but it's fairly consistent with regards to file size percentage reduction from 100%.

Below 97%, JPEG compression artifacts start to become obvious. 97% and above, virtually the only way to tell is to apply a difference filter between the original and the JPEG. So 97% is the sweet spot.
Fireball
(20 items)
 
  
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
Intel Core i5 2500K @ 4.7GHz ASUS P8P67 PRO EVGA 780 SC ACX SLI G.Skill 8GB DDR3-1600 
Hard DriveCoolingOSMonitor
Samsung 840 Pro 256GB Noctua NH-U12S | 2x NF-F12 Windows 7 Ultimate x64 Dell U2913WM - 2560x1080 - 75Hz 
KeyboardPowerCaseMouse
Logitech Wireless Illuminated K800 Corsair AX750 Fractal Design Arc Midi R2 Logitech G700 
Mouse PadAudioAudioAudio
Steelseries 4HD Creative Soud Blaster X7 Sennheiser PC 360 Headset Sony SS-MB150H Bookshelf Speakers 
OtherOtherOtherOther
Thrustmaster T.Flight Hotas X Logitech G13 TrackIR 5 / TrackClip Pro Google Nexus 7 
  hide details  
Reply
Fireball
(20 items)
 
  
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
Intel Core i5 2500K @ 4.7GHz ASUS P8P67 PRO EVGA 780 SC ACX SLI G.Skill 8GB DDR3-1600 
Hard DriveCoolingOSMonitor
Samsung 840 Pro 256GB Noctua NH-U12S | 2x NF-F12 Windows 7 Ultimate x64 Dell U2913WM - 2560x1080 - 75Hz 
KeyboardPowerCaseMouse
Logitech Wireless Illuminated K800 Corsair AX750 Fractal Design Arc Midi R2 Logitech G700 
Mouse PadAudioAudioAudio
Steelseries 4HD Creative Soud Blaster X7 Sennheiser PC 360 Headset Sony SS-MB150H Bookshelf Speakers 
OtherOtherOtherOther
Thrustmaster T.Flight Hotas X Logitech G13 TrackIR 5 / TrackClip Pro Google Nexus 7 
  hide details  
Reply
post #9 of 12
Most forums I go to complain about images over 1.5 MB... so I typically try to stick to JPGs for forums. I'd love to post my PNGs, but I'd imagine if everyone did that on a forum like this, you could get some annoying load times.
post #10 of 12
Great guide zinfinion thumb.gif
Quad Damage
(24 items)
 
  
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
Intel i7 4930k @ 4.6Ghz Asus Rampage IV Extreme (Koolance Full WB) 2 x GTX 1080ti FE in SLI (EK WATERBLOCK) Corsair Dominator GT 2133 MHz (16GB) 
Hard DriveHard DriveHard DriveHard Drive
3 TB Seagate OCZ Vertex 4 256GB Crucial M4 128GB ADATA SX900 128GB 
CoolingCoolingCoolingCooling
RIVE Koolance Waterblock (VRM and PCH) Feser X-Changer 360 Feser X-Changer 240 Feser X-Changer 480 
CoolingCoolingCoolingOS
WaterCool MoRA3 Pro with Gentle Typhoon 3 x MCP 655 pumps (With EK top...all serial) 2 x EK FC 1080ti Blocks Windows 7 Ultimate x64 
MonitorMonitorKeyboardPower
Asus ROG Swift PG348Q (3440x1440 @100hz) CrossOver 27Q Led-P Logitech G15 EVGA SuperNova 1600T2 (Titanium) 
CaseMouseMouse PadAudio
Corsair Obsidian Heavily Modded Logitech G700 RocketFish Speed/Control M-audio AV-40 (Logitech G-35) 
  hide details  
Reply
Quad Damage
(24 items)
 
  
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
Intel i7 4930k @ 4.6Ghz Asus Rampage IV Extreme (Koolance Full WB) 2 x GTX 1080ti FE in SLI (EK WATERBLOCK) Corsair Dominator GT 2133 MHz (16GB) 
Hard DriveHard DriveHard DriveHard Drive
3 TB Seagate OCZ Vertex 4 256GB Crucial M4 128GB ADATA SX900 128GB 
CoolingCoolingCoolingCooling
RIVE Koolance Waterblock (VRM and PCH) Feser X-Changer 360 Feser X-Changer 240 Feser X-Changer 480 
CoolingCoolingCoolingOS
WaterCool MoRA3 Pro with Gentle Typhoon 3 x MCP 655 pumps (With EK top...all serial) 2 x EK FC 1080ti Blocks Windows 7 Ultimate x64 
MonitorMonitorKeyboardPower
Asus ROG Swift PG348Q (3440x1440 @100hz) CrossOver 27Q Led-P Logitech G15 EVGA SuperNova 1600T2 (Titanium) 
CaseMouseMouse PadAudio
Corsair Obsidian Heavily Modded Logitech G700 RocketFish Speed/Control M-audio AV-40 (Logitech G-35) 
  hide details  
Reply
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: PC Gaming
Overclock.net › Forums › Video Games › PC Gaming › How To: Improve the Quality of Screenshots While Keeping a Reasonable File Size