A Layman’s Guide to Captura (with pictures)

Warframe12 - A Layman's Guide to Captura (with pictures)

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WarframeRunway - A Layman's Guide to Captura (with pictures)

r/WarframeRunway has a lot of awesome photography, but I've noticed some common flaws in less upvoted pictures. I like helping my friends out with their photography, so I thought I'd write a somewhat comprehensive guide to help people looking to improve at Captura.

I'll start off with the (in my opinion) major three factors that make or break a photo: Field of View, Depth of Field, and Lighting.

(P.S.: Do note that these aren't guidelines, just suggestions of what to look out for in a picture. There's always some exception to this somewhat general advice.)

(P.S.S.: Most of the "bad" examples were taken while writing this guide; far, far later than the original pictures were taken, so they don't always line up exactly.)

Field of View

For portraiture (which is what Captura is mostly used for), a low field of view is ideal; A high field of view causes the background to appear distant from the subject, while a low field of view "tightens" the image and makes facial features more flattering.

Here's a picture with the standard field of view.

And here's one with a very low field of view.

Depth of Field

A portrait with no depth of field effect can look messy – it brings too much focus to the background of the picture rather than the subject, making it confusing to look at. Though when adjusting the DoF setting in the Captura menu, make sure you're not blurring part of your warframe as well.

97dkw33w78f51 - A Layman's Guide to Captura (with pictures)

Here's a picture without depth of field.

And here's one with depth of field enabled.


Or more specifically — three-point lighting. A good set of lights can make a dull, flat picture "pop" a lot more. In theory, three-point lighting works like this. In practice (in Warframe, that is), I usually pick three fitting colors, mess with their brightness, and spin them around until I get something I like. It's not necessary for every picture, but I like to turn the scene lighting very, very low so that my lights look more intense.

Here's a picture of my (Mag)num opus without three-point lighting, with scene lighting turned all the way up.

And here's the same picture, but with bright orange lights and next to no scene lighting.

You can get very creative with these three lights — look for light sources in the background that you could amplify or simulate with your lights. Here,
XXWOPEV - A Layman's Guide to Captura (with pictures)

Umbra is lit up softly by Lua in the background with a faint white light. Also keep filters in mind; I like to use a small amount of the Contrast filter, but the pictures of Wisp attached to this guide are all taken with the Lotus Glow filter. It's up to what you find fitting for the image, really

Now that those are taken care of, here's some smaller details that make pictures a lot better.

Pose – None of the big three factors matter much if your subject looks stiff as a brick. Turn on slow motion and cast some abilities, jump, swing your weapons, etc. You're bound to catch some great poses in those animations.

Wisp, early into casting her 3 holds a ball of energy and holds her hands around it.


Time it right, and Vauban will hold one member of THE SQUAD in his hand while juggling the rest high above his head.

The Shedu makes anyone look badass by just standing around.

Particle Effects – DE has done an incredible job with particles in this game. Use them responsibly, and your pictures will look far better for it — but don't go overboard and obscure your subject. To get the most out of them, set your graphical settings to the highest available option, even if you have a low-end PC; you don't need a high framerate for a photo.

The bootylicious dementor is particle queen.

Using the particles subtly can be just as good, if not better, than having a lot of them.

Weapon Trails – Much like particle effects, use these in moderation — it's very easy to obscure the subject with them.

Birb Prime swinging the Kronen around herself, leaving beautiful blue trails.

The Excalibur family having a father-son fight.

Framing A picture with the subject in center frame can look great, but it can sometimes be pretty boring; the rule of thirds is very useful in this regard. Divide the image into a grid of nine squares. Now place your subject in a way that occupies two-thirds of said grid. Keeping a good balance between the subject and empty space is ideal. Also — take both landscape and portrait versions of your photo; yes, this means rotating the camera and craning your neck sideways, unless your monitor is fancy and can rotate.

The Tenora's barrel takes up the left third of the image, while Mag takes up the right two thirds.

Gauss takes up the right two thirds of the image, leaving one third of empty space behind him.

While it's not necessarily the correct way to take a picture, I prefer to fill the screen with the subject as much as possible, leaving little empty space. However, some pictures can look good with a good amount of empty space as well.

Mag and her cape take up a majority of the space in this picture, making it feel tight.

But in this picture, Mag takes up a lot less space, but it doesn't feel wasted.

And last but not least…

BE STYLISH – There's no point to taking pictures of your favorite frames if your fashion sense is wack. Find a nice color combination for your frame, maybe a bit of armor and a syandana, and make sure to pick a scene that compliments your colors. But remember, Warframe is a videogame; if you take pictures too closely you'll notice the polygons in meshes and the crust in textures.

Was making this guide an excuse to post all my dope pictures? Maybe. But I hope this'll help people looking to get into or to improve their Captura skills.

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