How to Make a Screen Shot

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Making screen shots (creating an image of what is shown on the screen) has changed through the various Trainz versions. The methods described here apply to TANE, TRS2019 and TrainzPlus. Screen shots have a number of uses in Trainz beyond just preserving an image of a part of your route for personal enjoyment. Routes can have a thumbnail image, used as the 'preview' image on the Download Station as well as in Content Manager, and as a prominent display when a route or session is selected in Surveyor (see: HowTo: Thumbnail and Preview Images). Screen shots can be shared with other Trainz people in a number of different ways. This "HowTo" page will explore each of these aspects and provide links to additional information.


TRS2019-social-menu.jpg Social Menu

The Social Menu (TRS2019 and beyond, only; see Help:Social Menu) is an icon on the top tool bar in TRS2019 (upper right corner in TS12 and TANE) and includes a "Capture Screenshot" item that, when selected (LMB), corresponds to pressing the PrtScrn key on most full keyboards (see Screen Print below); it does a bit more, bringing up a window display of the captured image, a vertical list showing icons of previously made images stored somewhere, and an ability to add a caption to the image. A Delete button removes the image in the display window, and an Upload button uploads the displayed image to the TrainzPortal (see below). The interface provides no way of saving the image to your computer; unlike using PrtScrn directly, the image is not placed in the computer clip-board.

The image does remove many of the surveyor tool icons, like track marks, but others (like switch red-green icons and spline end circles) are not removed. This particular means of capturing images from a route appears to be a work-in-progress directed towards posting your photos on the Trainz Portal Gallery (see below). Before sending the photo off, you can prepare a caption or you can add or change this title in the Trainz Photo Gallery. The "tag" is a list of consist-related assets, presumably somehow derived from those visible in the image, but in fact includes assets unrelated to the image, although on your route elsewhere.

The best photos will be obtained in Driver mode, as described in the next section.

"Screenshot Settings" provides a few options on handling images after they are made, including the option of modifying the tag line attached to the image. If you turn this off, the tag will be limited to providing the Trainz version, route name, and sesion name. Checked on, the tag adds a list of consist assets visible in the image.

Screen Print

The PrtScrn key found on most full keyboards (usually in the top row, towards the right) will take a picture of whatever is showing on your screen(s). To specify the active screen (if you have more than one monitor), use alt-PrtScrn.

The resulting image will be placed in the clip-board; to save you will need a paint or photo program. Realize, that the image obtained will be just as it appears on your monitor screen, and may be a bit messy if you have menus open/visible and, in surveyor mode, all the icons (like track markers, spline end points, consist direction pointers) visible. You will want to clean up the image, and this is best done before making the image. In the top-of-screen menu, select the Display Menu and select "Hide Interface" (Ctrl-Space to show/hide) to remove all menus from the scene.

Screen captures in Driver Mode

To acquire an absolutely clean photo, and capture some of the ongoing action on a route, use either the Screen Print or the Social Menu method (above) in Driver mode. Press '4' to change the camera to Roaming and move to the point where you wish to take the photo; use Tools Menu/Pause or 'P' to temporarily stop the action and set up the shot. Click "F5" to clear the screen of the menus and driver icons. Take off Pause (if you wish, for example to capture your train passing by) and take the picture. Moving around to set up a shot using alt-u or alt-y are no longer available in Trainz versions after TS2012 (see: Viewpoints in Surveyor).

Trainz Portal Gallery

Trainz Portal is the "official" Trainz web site at [Trainz Portal]. You can locate photos you uploaded from the "Capture Screenshot" window by clicking on "Go To Gallery" at the top right of the Trainz Portal homepage. In the Gallery, selecting "Recent Activity" should bring up your most recent posting to the gallery, or you may need to do a search on your login name (click "Search Media"). This site is a great way to see what others are producing by way of routes, but the interface could be improved. For example, clicking on "Show More Recent Activity" will add a few more recent postings, but enlarging any of the images will, upon closing, take you back to the original 10 recent postings. Links do not work unless you are logged in, and each time you go to the gallery you arrive logged out.

As you can imagine, the gallery has a great many screen shots. You can (if logged in) delete any of your screen shots that did not turn out as well as expected, and such culling is highly recommended.

Forum Posts

Another common use of screen shots is in posts to the Trainz Community Discussion Forums. Indeed, the community discussion includes a thread devoted to "screen shots" [[1]].

The following rules apply to posting on [[2]] Forum pages:

  • screen shots posted to the Forum should be in .jpg format, not to exceed reasonable pixel density or file size;
  • any screen shots that are considered excessively large by the moderation team will be modified to links or removed from the post altogether;
  • It is recommended that heavy images are posted to the screenshots forum.

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