Take Better Photos in Automobilista 2 In Four Easy Steps

Take Better Photos in AMS2 01.jpg
In this high-level tutorial, I'm going to show you four easy to follow steps that will allow you to get more about of the race photos you take in Automobilista 2.

Automobilista 2 has all the elements to create gorgeous automotive photography. A selection of cars and tracks old and new, lots of weather and time of day options, and a dedicated photo mode leave you with near limitless possibilities for creating impressive shots to share on social media or create your next desktop background.

Here are four tips that can help you get more out of your in-game photography. This is far from a master class, but for beginners, this should help you find some hidden beauty within the shot you take.

To access the photo mode, either pause any offline game session and choose the photo mode from the menu, or click the camera icon while viewing a replay.

Set the Scene

The first thing to consider is what you want to shoot. As the photographer, you’re responsible for all the elements that will appear in your shot. Do you want to bring attention to a specific car? Or perhaps a track? Is this a race with lots of cars in the shot, or a solo cruise? The weather and time of day will strongly influence the look of the final photo as well, so be sure to set the complete scene. There are no rules to what you should shoot, and the limit is your imagination, so have fun and be creative.

Take Better Photos in AMS2 04.jpg


Set the Shot

Professional photographers are sticklers for angles and positions within a shot. There are heuristics to bear in mind, but no hard and fast rules. One such heuristic is the rule of thirds, which tasks the photographer with setting the primary subject of the shot one third of the way from the top or bottom, and one third of the way from the left or right. But again, this is a heuristic, not a law. Shots from the front, side, rear or even top can also be aesthetically pleasing. Whatever angle you choose, be sure to experiment with height; shots from eye level often look unimpressive, whereas shots from near ground level can be a quick fix for making the shot look cinematic. Another easy upgrade for your photo is to fill more of the shot with the subject; fill 1/3 to ½ of the shot with the car you’re shooting to help emphasize what the viewer should be seeing. Rolling the camera can also look cool, and enhances a sense of speed within a photo. Use the W, A, S and D keys to move the camera, and the E and R keys to adjust height.

Take Better Photos in AMS2 03.jpg


Focus on What’s Important

You can guide the eye of the viewer to your subject using focus. Automobilista 2 allows you to manually adjust the focus distance and aperture. Your subject should be in focus, but what that subject is can be determined by you. If you’re showcasing a car chasing down its competitors, for example, try shooting from behind the pursuing car with only that car in focus and the other cars shown in the distance in soft focus. Another example might be a shot which features a section of a track; in this case, all cars may be out of focus and only a tiny section of track in focus to highlight the latter. Shutter speed and tracking adjustments have a similar effect, as blurred wheels and objects have the effect of drawing the eye to the subject, though using these parameters gives the shot a sense of speed as well.

Take Better Photos in AMS2 02.jpg


Apply and Tune a Filter

Automobilista looks great be default, but you can also apply a filter on the second screen of your photo adjustments which can take it to the next level. The filter you apply should complement the scene, so experiment with various filters to see which works best for the shot. Once the filter is chosen, use the tuning options below the filter selection to make minor (or major) adjustments. For starters, film grain can give a vintage look, and a vignette can trim out unnecessary background to further emphasize the subject.

Take Better Photos in AMS2 01.jpg


Once you have the shot you want, either use the Take Photo button within the photo mode or click Hide UI and press F12 to have Steam save the photo. Experiment with minor adjustments to your shot until you get it exactly right. Once you’re happy with it, be sure to share your creation in the comments below.
About author
Mike Smith
I have been obsessed with sim racing and racing games since the 1980's. My first taste of live auto racing was in 1988, and I couldn't get enough ever since. Lead writer for RaceDepartment, and owner of SimRacing604 and its YouTube channel. Favourite sims include Assetto Corsa Competizione, Assetto Corsa, rFactor 2, Automobilista 2, DiRT Rally 2 - On Twitter as @simracing604

Comments

To go a bit further, out of focus, "soft focus" there, should be avoid in your image composition, as every detail should have its place. Rarely in day light conditions you should need to use this effect, except specific artistic choice (isolating a couple from the crowd to suggest the strength of their link for example), or only if the background has to be ignored (portraits or uninteresting objects behind killing the image composition) or if you need to soften the image by bringing more light thanks to a large aperture (again portraits, to avoid capturing all the ugly and unnecessary skin details).

Soft background is also achieved by zooming, which is already a choice to isolate a subject, so bluring the background is logic.

For artistic choice, with specific lenses, you may want to use a low depth of field to work on the (too) famous "bokeh". Low depth of field became a thing in photography, even being imitated by our cel phones, but it is in fact generally a bad choice. Blurred background in the old photos was often the result of technology limitations, why trying to imitate when we can use better equipment? We can focus more on the image composition.

Low light conditions usually required large aperture just to be able to shoot, showing low depth of field and blurred background, but in the modern era, professional equipment brings so much light sensitvity, without degrading the image quality (noise), that sharp pictures can be taken in these conditions. And in a video game, as we are not limited by this aspect, why not taking sharp photos and working on the image composition?

After I've started IRL using the hyperfocal technique, which gives you sharpness from a few meters to the infinity at a fixed aperture (that's instant shooting), and using wider focal lenses (which are sharp at almost all apertures), I understood just how better my pictures looked in comparison with older pictures were some parts were blurred due to unchosen lower depth of field (and due to a composition lost because of the focus time, that's another thing).

About the shutter speed, a slow one indeed creates movement in the image (motion blur) and can be a good artistic choice to show racing sports. IRL it is achieved by lowering the aperture, that's why in this kind of pictures, you rarely get a soft background and a motion blur at the same time (and the result is probably not great). You can dobit with a strong ND filter, which lowers the quantity of light entering the lens and allows to use lower shutter speeds with higher apertures. But the logic is more about getting lower shutter speeds and creating motion blur when your lowest usable aperture is still too large because of bright conditions which bring too much light in the lens (so no blurred background).
 
There are more things to improve, one of them being that the roof of the vehicle should be either ABOVE or BELOW the horizon, never at the same level ! The way it is done here is distracting.
Take Better Photos in AMS2 01.jpg

Here is an example how i make photos. Objects in front, middle and back, none overlap each other, center of the screen has the sharpest image with light blur to objects closest and furthest, decent small frame added with film grain with a subtle film-like filter.
20221206153243_1.jpg

I try taking photos as if they were made by photographers at the track.
20221206152040_1.jpg
 
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There are more things to improve, one of them being that the roof of the vehicle should be either ABOVE or BELOW the horizon, never at the same level ! The way it is done here is distracting.
View attachment 630987
Here is an example how i make photos. Objects in front, middle and back, none overlap each other, center of the screen has the sharpest image with light blur to objects closest and furthest, decent small frame added with film grain with a subtle film-like filter.
View attachment 630988
I try taking photos as if they were made by photographers at the track.
View attachment 630989
In fact you wouldn't have those results by taking real photos.

For the first pic, you would not like to have the closer car out of focus and would rather have everything in focus to get advantage of the nice composition. Depending on the light and your lens, you could get some motion blur on the cars in the middle and more probably the upper left car (assuming the other ones are much slower in this part of the track). You would rather not sacrifice the image quality by shooting the middle car sharp and the rest blurry and it would be difficult using a high aperture in daylight, and it would be a bad choice using a narrower aperture but not enough to get a general sharp picture as you have done there, which would be irl the result of a bad camera setting and a bad choice of focus zone (a really bad photographer so).

In the second pic, you may try to emphasize the motion blur on the first car. As I've explained, to get motion blur you would have to close the aperture especially in day light, so you would rather have everything in focus. Again most of the picture is out of focus although there are lots of cars to see and the biggest car is in motion blur, everything is blurry. Ypu don't want such a result and ypu would achieve that with a ND filter to be able tonuse higher apertures with slow shutter speed, which isn't a good choice to take this photo.

As I've stated, bluriness is often just a mistake or a technical limitation (low light), and sometimes an artistic choice. In both your pictures, you would not chose such out of focus bluriness. I don't understand the black frame, iRL at worse you could get some vignetting, round black corners if you don't have the right hood for your lens, but it would not happen to a pro photographer.

No offense, on the contrary, you could get better results by applying less unrealstic effects.
 
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I am always amazed at how much creative people can get out of the non racing side of racing sim & games especially the painting and photo elements of Forza & Gran Turismo.
Some of the guys selling paints & tunes for Forza credits took it all way to seriously.
 
M D Gourley
Premium
Nice write up Mike, some great / classic information in your article:thumbsup:

Just a few of my own attempts to do screenshots.
I personally like using light and shadow areas to create shapes within the image, such as the shadow shapes that trees / building structures etc can create which can help isolate the subject or the shadows that the vehicle has cast onto the road which can add visual interest.
Usually having a low sun, early morning / late evening are great times to achieve this kind of lighting....remember - Light areas against dark areas, dark areas against light areas :)

Depth of Field Blur and Motion Blur is an effect AMS2 does quite well and can also be used to help isolate the subject matter as the eye is naturally drawn to the sharp areas of an image.

......at the end of the day if the creator of the image is happy with what's done, it's all good;)

00000 AMS2 Release STOCKCAR at INTERLAGOS crop copy.jpg
0000 AMS2 PHOTO MODE No Bokeh f16 crop copy.jpg
00a AMS2 ULTIMA RACE at ADELAIDE.jpg
0a AMS2 NISSANS at NORDSCHLEIFE copy.jpg
0a AMS2 UNO at DONINGTON Lightning crop copy.jpg
1 AMS2 COPA CLASSIC B at INTERLAGOS copy.jpg
2 AMS2 Multiclass OPALA OLD STOCK & FUSCA at BRANDS HATCH copy.jpg
2 AMS2 NISSANS at NORDSCHLEIFE copy.jpg
 
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M D Gourley
Premium
Just my 2 cents on creating Screen Shots.

I personally use the 'Drone Camera' in AMS2 Photo Mode as it has more control options to control the Camera and also to do a 'Fly Around' the paused Replay scene to compose a possible Screenshot for more creative options. It's really personal taste.

This screenshot is 'Drone Camera' view where it's possible to do a fly around the Paused Scene to compose a Screenshot.
0a AMS2 PHOTO MODE BMW GTE on NORDS Drone Camera View copy.jpg


1st cropped screenshot is what the standard image settings looked like in the 'Photo Mode' settings when paused the Replay and composed to want was wanted in 'Drone Camera' view.
1 AMS2 PHOTO MODE BMW GTE on NORDS Focus Distance Control crop copy.jpg


2nd cropped screenshot the 'Bokeh Shape' is set to '0'...this provides a small amount of extra vehicle sharpness but leaves some motion blur ( always random though and not always used )
1a AMS2 PHOTO MODE BMW GTE on NORDS Bokeh Control crop copy.jpg


3rd cropped screenshot the 'Shutter Speed' was set to '1 / 1000 s' which generally removes all motion blur for that everything sharp screenshot. If there is still some motion blur left in the image, adjusting the 'Tracking Speed' slider can remove this (random though)
1b AMS2 PHOTO MODE BMW GTE on NORDS Shutter Speed Control crop copy.jpg


If wanting all the screenshot image in focus with no motion blur, sliding the 'Shutter Speed' all the way to the right '1/1000 s' can do the trick, however, sometimes if there is still a small amount of motion blur left in the Screenshot, the 'Tracking Speed' slider can remove this ( trial and error )....it's a matter of moving the sliders slowly to see what happens to the screenshot image and adjust to your liking.

For that something completely creative, try pausing the 'Replay' when played at 'x5' or more speed as this can result in excessive motion blur, then adjusting the 'Focus Distance' slider to focus on the car of your choice...can look quite cool.
Below is a sample of this, also because I was in 'Drone Camera' mode I was able to fly around to the side to get another view point for a possible second screenshot.
2 AMS2 PHOTO MODE BMW GTE on NORDS x5 replay Speed crop copy.jpg

Below is the same screenshot as above but moved the camera around to the side for a different view point and another possible screenshot.
2b AMS2 PHOTO MODE BMW GTE on NORDS x5 replay Speed copy.jpg



This post is only intended for possible new Sim Racers to AMS2 and informational purposes only.;)
 
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My clicks
 

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Hi there,
ive had to pull up this post.
is someone else experiencing no motion blur in the photo mode after the latest update? no matter what shutterspeed i use the only thing blurring is the tire/wheel.
 
Yannik Haustein
Staff
Premium
That is a thing apparently, yes. Noticed the same myself, but can't say I was too unhappy about it because I could never get the tires to look like they were actually rotating in previous shots - at least not without messing up the rest of the shot :D
I am wondering though if it might have something to do with the motion blur graphics setting, which I have switched off for gameplay as I don't really like the effect. Gonna look into this!

Edit for @w4r10ck1604: It is indeed tied to the Motion Blur setting in the Performance settings tab. Cranked it up to high and voila, it was back in photo mode just like before :)
 
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M D Gourley
Premium
That is a thing apparently, yes. Noticed the same myself, but can't say I was too unhappy about it because I could never get the tires to look like they were actually rotating in previous shots - at least not without messing up the rest of the shot :D
I am wondering though if it might have something to do with the motion blur graphics setting, which I have switched off for gameplay as I don't really like the effect. Gonna look into this!

Edit for @w4r10ck1604: It is indeed tied to the Motion Blur setting in the Performance settings tab. Cranked it up to high and voila, it was back in photo mode just like before :)
Yes, you are indeed correct.:)....forgot about activating the 'Blur':redface:...old age I guess:roflmao:
 
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unfortunately this didn´t work for me.
i reinstalled everything and then i found out that the motion blur is not working with triple screen
I´had to disable the triple screen and then there was motion blur in photo mode.

i hope reiza will fix this in future updates.
 

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