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Wednesday, 2 February 2011

Taking the Perfect Homestead Picture

We often run homestead contests and the like which require folks to send in pictures of their wonderful ranges for everyone else to vote on.

There's a great guide HERE for taking a screenshot to post on our wall but sometimes when entering a contest there's a few tricks that you can use to make your picture that little bit nicer and possibly garner yourself a few more votes.

Watch where your cursor is

The first suggestion is to check where you're mouse cursor is when you're taking the shot. When Windows takes a screenshot to post, it automatically hides the cursor on he screen to make things tidyer, but it won't hide anything in the game popping up because the cursor is over it, see these examples:

There not crushingly awful to see but in a close contest the lack of any distracting messages is always a bonus.

Stop hunger striking

Have a look at the last picture above of Rudolph and you'll spot another tidyness issue. Although crops and trees look best when fully grown, animals don't. Try to feed all your animals before taking the shot to remove the distracting yellow arrows, especially if there's a lot of them.

Varmints and neighbours

Having Varmints around doesn't bother me and I don't think the red aura looks that wrong, ditto having some neighbours on your stead.

What I would say, however, is click the little cross to remove and "flags" above their heads.

Quality over Quantity

This is possibly the most important tip. Take a look at these two versions of my Avatar...

The one on the right is in high quality, the one on the left is low. There's a noticeable difference just in this little image so think how it looks across an entire homestead. Animals and avatars (yours and the NPCs like Fanny and Hank) are the most affected by the quality.

When we were just posting on Facebook it didn't matter so much due to their image size limits. Now we can post high resolution version here on the website it may well make a difference in the final vote.

The size of the final picture you send is unaffected by the quality so it won't be quicker to upload if you take it on low quality.

When you go to full screen keep the menu opn and check the quality button, it'll look like one of these:

If it's the top one, click the little eye image TWICE, just to check you're on high quality, sometimes the game drops it automatically when you go full screen. If it's the bottom one click the little eye ONCE to make it high quality. You will be able to see the difference, even zoomed out.

Maximise the space

You're showing off your homestead so be sure to get in the most you can. Click on any image on the left hand side that'll disappear, the gifts button or the gift to friends button. If there's a chance to finish a mission before grabbing, then try to, the less stuff on the left hand side the more you get to promote your homestead.

And finally... close the menu. Click the little triangle to shut the menu with the quality and full screen options in. Sometimes it's surprising how much of your homestead it uses up.

Please note, these aren't RULES for entering, you can enter a homestead shot looking however you desire, just hints and tips that might make your entry a little more attractive to voters.