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Screenshots

From Retro CDN

As the Retro wikis are largely centred around games and videos, we like to make use of screenshots to depict them. Screenshots are a form of direct capture from the device used to display or render the image - a means of showing exactly what the game or video looks like.

General guidelines

  • Use PNG format images. PNG is a lossless, lightweight bitmap format supported by all modern image editor and web browsers, and can be optimised. See PNG compression for more information.
  • Do NOT convert a lossy format, such as JPEG into PNG. This results in a bigger file and does not eliminate the JPEG artifacting.
  • Do not ever upload BMP files. These are uncompressed and unsuitable for internet usage.
  • If using an emulator, disable filters when taking the screenshot. (If the emulator has an unfiltered screenshot option, you can use that while keeping filters enabled.)
  • Strive to upload images at the correct screen resolution. Details on this vary by platform and will be documented below.
  • Our wikis will tolerate lesser quality images in the short term, but in the view of replacing them with the highest quality versions as soon as possible.
  • In extremely rare circumstances it may be impossible to achieve clear screenshots. In this case, JPEG is accepted.

Square pixels

Chances are you are reading this guide on a display that uses square pixels. In many situations, video game consoles may not have been designed with square pixels in mind, rendering at a sub-4:3 or 16:9 resolution for performance reasons, and expecting the hardware to stretch the image accordingly. The Nintendo Entertainment System and Super NES usually render images internally at 256x224 (8:7), with the intention of the image being stretched to 320x240 (4:3).

When taking screenshots, always work in square pixels. Any appropriate stretching will be handled by the wiki software.

Video games

In the world of video games, screenshots typically come in two forms - those taken by specialised capture equipment (in the case of newer systems), and screenshots from the game running in an emulator for older games.

Sega Mega Drive

Resolution should be 320x224, or less commonly 256x224.

  • Kega Fusion: Set "Options > Set Config > Extras > Output Stage" to Final. Go to Video, set the window size to 320x240 and disable all filters except Brighten. Borders need to be cropped manually an image editor for the correct resolution. Kega Fusion is not recommended for 256x224 screenshots due to stretching.
  • Gens/GS:
    • Disable Fast Blur (hotkey F9).
    • Set Color Scaling to "Full". (Graphics > Color Adjust > Scale Colors) [requires r7_pre5 or later]
    • Other than the above options, screenshots are taken in their original resolution without filtering.
  • Gens/GS II: Screenshots are always taken unfiltered.

Sega Master System and Game Gear

Game Gear screenshots should be 160x144.

For Master System, screenshots should be 256x192. Note that most games that use horizontal scrolling also blank the leftmost 8 columns, so the image can be cropped to 248x192. (Some PAL games may use 256x224 or 256x240.)

Sega Saturn

  • SSF: Turn off Enforce Aspect Ratio (Option > Screen).

Sega Dreamcast

Resolution should be 640x480.

  • NullDC: In Options>PowerVR turn Palleted textures to act Versioned to result in best quality possible.

Nintendo Entertainment System / Family Computer

Resolution varies per game.

  • FCEUX: Go to Config > Video, and in Drawing Area, change NTSC to 0 and 239 and press F12 to take a screenshot. By default, it is saved to the snaps folder in the location of FCEUX.exe.
  • Nestopia: Disable all video filters and press F12 to take a screenshot.

Game Boy Advance

Resolution should be 240x160.

  • VisualBoyAdvance: Go to "Options > Emulator" and select PNG format at the bottom of the list. Screenshots can then be taken by clicking "File > Screen capture..." and simply giving the resultant PNG image a name and a directory for it to be saved to. The resultant image size should be 240x160 and the only processing needed a run though pngpress.

Nintendo DS

Resolution should be 256x192 per screen (256x384 total).

  • DeSmuME: Disable Unreastically High-Precision Color Interpolation (Config > 3D Settings).
  • No$GBA: Go to "Options > Emulation Setup" and set "NDS Mode/Colors" to DS-Lite or DSi.

Neo Geo Pocket Color

Resolution should be 160x152.

  • NeoPop: Lacks a built-in screenshot ability, so Print Screen is needed.

Nintendo 3DS

Top = 400x240, Bottom = 320x240

Wii U

TV = 1280x720, GamePad = 854x480

PC

As PC displays can vary considerably, so can the resolutions of PC games. For the most part, we recommend screenshots are taken in the original, "standard" resolutions - 4:3 or 16:9.

While modifications may allow a game to reach higher resolutions than originally intended, we highly recommend that screenshots are era-appropriate. That is to say, if the game came out in the mid-1990s, 640x480 is likely to be more appropriate than 3840x2160 (4K), a resolution more common 20 years later.