NVIDIA CEO Jen-Hsun Huang today announced a new tool at the company’s ‘Special Event’ that will allow users to natively capture 360 images in-game, and then view them in VR headsets. The news accompanied the long-awaited announcement of the company’s newest GPU, the GTX 1080.

The software, called Ansel, is a suite of tools that allow you to take in-game, real-time photos as if you had a digital camera. Built into the driver itself, Ansel allows is said to allow you complete freedom of movement in-game so you can snap the perfect shot.

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a 360 photo of ‘The Witness’ viewed through the HTC Vive

While Ansel is being billed as an easier way for digital photographers to capture in-game snapshots—sort of like an Instagram app for video games that allows you to tweek shots, complete with shading and lighting aftereffects—the camera system also lets you take stereo panoramic photos, of course viewable in VR headsets.

Huang demonstrated both capture of in-game 360 photos and reproduction of a panoramic photo taken from The Witness on the HTC Vive, as well as a smartphone for Google Cardboard users.

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taking a stereoscopic picture with Ansel in ‘The Witness’

Nvidia is billing the feature from the Ansel tool as “the world’s first in game 3D camera system.”

“No longer are you constrained to [simple screenshots]. All the freedoms of a digital camera, all the special effects, the ability to use Photoshop, and do so much more,” said Huang.

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As seen today, Ansel lets you adjust brightness, enhance colors, add vignette, and even scale resolution up to 32 times your monitor’s native resolution.


Disclosure: Nvidia paid for travel and accommodation for one Road to VR correspondent to attend an event where information for this article was gathered.

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  • Raphael

    None of the photos seemed to have any real depth. Tried on Vive with virtual desktop as per instructions. Images displayed in full 360 but they looked flat as pancake for the most part. One of the photos had very slight depth.