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Flash Bang Wallop! Nvidia Ansel's Screenshot Tools

Nvidia have unveiled their next top-end GPU, the GeForce GTX 1080, which they say can draw lots of really nice pictures really fast. Look, I’m sure Jeremy and his Week in Tech will have more to say about that soon, but what’s interesting to me is the software they announced alongside it. Nvidia Ansel will let people take fancier screenshots, pausing the action to rearrange the camera, apply effects, take ultra-high-res snaps, make 360-degree panoramas compatible with VR goggles, and so on. Support for Ansel is coming to Nvidia GPUs for games including The Witcher 3, The Witness, and No Man’s Sky, and it’ll work on many cards older than the 1080 too.

Games supporting Ansel will let players pop open a camera mode, which pauses the action, turns off the game’s user interface, and lets them compose a shot. Along with moving the camera freely, folks will get to fiddle with the field-of-view, tweak colours, and apply a few simple filters for that Instagram effect. It’ll also offer some fancy image formats, including colossal 8-gigapixel screenshots for mega-high detail, the high dynamic range EXR format, and 360-degree panoramas intended for virtual reality.

So far, Ansel support is confirmed as coming to The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt, Fortnite, Paragon, Unreal Tournament, Obduction, The Witness, Lawbreakers, The Division, and No Man’s Sky.

I’m a casual taker of screenshots myself – nowhere near as good as Duncan Harris’s Dead End Thrills or anything, of course – so I’m curious to get my hands on this. Hopefully this’ll help a new generation of screenshotters too, once folks get past the initial novelty of tacky effects on bad photos. Maybe I do have strong opinions on people’s Instagrams. Maybe these opinions are hypocritical considering my own bad, over-processed photography. Shut up.

As for GPUs which it’ll run on, Ansel will work with all these. The list goes back a good four years, so it’s not just for fancy billionaires.

Nvidia don’t give a precise date, but say we should expect Ansel “soon”.

Oh, and they also announced some new VR stuff. I’m only here for the screenshots, maaan.

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Alice O'Connor

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When not writing news, Alice may be found in the sea.

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