Sunday, February 27, 2011

Browser - Screenshots in Active Worlds

Short of video, screenshots are one of the easiest ways to present your virtual project to the world.  Problem is, most people have problems setting up to take even the most simple screenshot.  Fortunately for us, the process has been streamlined since Version 4.1. Did you know that Active Worlds has a native screenshot feature?  I've spent many years taking screenshots for projects and articles, and for a long time it's been a convoluted process of taking the screenshot and cropping it in an image editor. With the use of a simple hotkey, I can take many screenshots in a short time and I don't have to edit them all right then and there.  It's very handy. :)

In order to get started using the native feature, you'll need to set a 'Screen Shot hotkey' that you use to take the screenshot while in browser.  Once you press the key, the screen will stop briefly and an image of your 3D window will be saved as a JPEG file in your Active Worlds directory.

So to begin, lets set the hotkey.  Nagivate to your 'Keyboard Controls' window by clicking Options > Configure Controls on the top menu bar.

Pick a hotkey to link the 'Screen Shot' option to; I linked mine to the . key on my number pad.

After navigating to the screenshot option, just press the key you'd like to use and apply it, then press OK.  Now you're set!  Just press that hotkey and then check your Active Worlds directory (most commonly found at C:\ActiveWorlds).  Your images will be saved as JPEGs, in the format 'imageXXX.jpg.' Your first image should be 'image000.jpg.'  Try it a few times and check it out.  Below are some images that I've uploaded using this technique.

Rising Glen Retreat, Alphaworld

Highridge Waterfall, Alphaworld
I'm using a widescreen monitor right now, and from that you can probably infer that these screenshots stick with your current resolution.  If you want to change the resolution of the image, you could do so easily by shrinking the Active Worlds Browser to the preferred size, and then take the screenshot.  This shortcut is a very helpful and easy solution to keeping records of your virtual projects in Active Worlds, and definitely saves on time when you're needing to take many pictures in a hurry!

Uploading screenshots to the internet is another matter, and I won't elaborate on that in this post.  You can use image hosting services online or upload them to the Active Worlds Forums through your control panel.

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