About time I learned

This may not be the right place for this, but the people I need to see it are here more than anywhere else as far as I know, so I apologize in advance if I’ve misplaced it, and please feel free to move it or remove it and let me know where to repost it, and I shall do so.

For the first time, I finally have a nice high end desktop tower, and have the opportunity to take proper high quality screen-shots. As such, I’m fairly un-educated about how to produce nice effects and such. What I’m here for, is guidance for one particular type of shot I wish to take, in the hope I can work it out for myself with other types (In other words, I don’t need a list of how to’s, just an example from which I can learn.). If it helps, My specs are here(though this isn’t a hardware discussion thread): Below is the project brief:

I have built a ship much like the ones in the Matrix films (here’s a stock screenshot). I want a nice set of shots that have the same ambience as in the tunnels through which they fly. I’m looking for anything which can give me the same feel that can be observed within the films. The main shots I’m looking for are as follows:
+ Two or three “action” shots, i.e. as if moving through a tunnel (I realise these will most likely be the hardest to achieve as a picture is still).
+ A shot as if it were hiding (This might be easier to understand if you’ve seen the movies).
+ A couple of shots of it at rest or at ease so to speak.
+ Spec shots - Top, Front, Right and Floating shots, without perspective or with parallel perspective if it’s possible.

Things I expect I’ll need or would like to utilise:
+ Post Processing Pixel Shaders:
-+ Colour Mod.
-+ Bloom.
-+ Simple/Super Depth of Field.
-+ Sharpen.
-+ possibly the Pixel Render utility.
+ Maybe a custom map if anyone knows any suitable ones.
+ Any addon based enhancements that might be useful.

Finally, I’m looking to take the original screen-shots as PNGs or possibly something that can provide even greater quality (Don’t worry though, I shall only upload in a web suitable format). I also want to have as little post capture editing to do as I can, as I’ve found myself to be remarkably untalented with Photoshop, GIMP and similar image development software, thusly I want the source images to be as close to the final result as possible.

P.S. I was also wondering, are Dropbox gallery links permitted/advised on here?

Screenshots arent supposed to be so technical. You shouldnt want to make a good picture for the sake of impressing people, you should want to do it to express an idea in your head that you just cant seem to convey in some other artistic medium.

But, its good to see someone who wants to learn before publishing a shitty work.

You cant take screenies as a png. There is simply no way. Instead, in the console, type in “jpeg_quality 100”
It will do just fine. You shouldn’t need anything higher quality. If you do, then go into 3d modeling instead.

As for the rest, just mess around. For your idea, sounds like you will want a scene build (building your picture using scenery props an such)
Your most useful tools will be the light and lamp tool. Lighting makes all the difference. Play around with them and see how they work with your scene.

I hear what you’re saying, but that aside, being honest, there’s three main reasons I want to do this. firstly I want to see what’s possible if we really push the boat out. Secondly I want to see what I can and can’t get away with with this new rig. Lastly I’m looking for shots to add to a fictional story I’m having a go at writing (If everything goes well I’ll need to print these). On a lesser note, this is a new activity and I’m curious to explore it to the fullest, and possibly looking for something to use a desktop wallpaper too. In short, the scope is far broader than just posting here, and the subject matter is just a small part of a larger project.

Make no mistake though, I am grateful for your input, and I thank you for it.

Devshots_screenshot takes in full-quality TARGAs, which can then be made into PNGs.

Learn about camera angles, contrast, colour balance, mood lighting, and general composition while you’re at it, and learn about art styles. Watching/reading/playing/listening to any sort of medium can help refine your sense of style and aesthetic and also be a good source for inspiration.

There’s alot more technical stuff to making a very nice looking picture, moreso than you would think. It can get rather subtle but makes an immense change visually. You’ll learn more as you go.

Thanks for the help guys, I’m currently researching the effects and what not used in the scenes and seeing what I can combine for the best results. You’ve all been very helpful.