Nvidia Ansel gives in-game photogs a major camera upgrade


— 11:41 AM on May 9, 2016

Alongside the announcement of the new Pascal graphics technology at Dreamhack Austin, Nvidia also announced Ansel. The virtual scenery inside our favorite titles is becoming ever more pleasing to the eye, and while showing off cool screenshots has always been a favorite pastime of gamers, a small subculture has arisen that's dedicated to the art of "in-game photography." Much like real-life photographers, game photographers spend time checking angles and lighting to get the perfect shot. Ansel is a tool designed to make that much easier.

No doubt named after legendary photographer Ansel Adams, Nvidia's new tool allows gamers to pause gameplay and move the camera around a scene with pitch, yaw, and roll controls to find the perfect angle on the action. The available image filters—to alter brightness and color saturation, or add a vignette or sketch effect—will be familiar to the Instagram crowd. The field of view can be adjusted, too, and the screenshot can be supersampled up to 32x the normal game resolution, then saved in OpenEXR format to preserve full image quality for later editing.

Perhaps the most interesting feature of Ansel is the ability to capture 360-degree stereo panorama images. These images are meant for viewing in VR, but you can also capture non-stereo panoramas. Nvidia has a few examples up on the Ansel technology page.

If you're eager to get into game photography, Ansel is supported on Kepler, Maxwell, and Pascal GeForce GTX cards. It appears game devs will need to incorporate the technology into their titles on their own, though. The Division, The Witness, Lawbreakers, The Witcher 3, Paragon, No Man's Sky, and Unreal Tournament are all slated to include Ansel when it gets a general release, and we'd expect more titles to include it over time.

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