Days Gone

Dec 08

MotorStorm: Pacific Rift Photography 101

Stuart Trevor's Avatar Posted by on Dec 08, 2008 // Senior Artist, Evolution Studios

We put a photo mode into MotorStorm: Pacific Rift for a good reason — we think it looks pretty awesome, and the photo mode allows you to capture the best moments and save them so you can show your grand kids long after all your teeth have fallen out.


This blog post tries to teach you how to suck eggs with a few basic photography tips to transform those pictures of cars into works of art.

    1. Subject and Timing – Sometimes in MotorStorm you’ll want to reach for your trusty Photo Mode because something made you laugh out loud, other times because you think “oooh, purrrrdy…” but in both of these cases and most others, you’ll be looking for action. Action is all about timing, so you need to hit that Pause button and engage Photo Mode at just the right moment. Get this bit right and you can fiddle with the other settings and the try out the tips below to your heart’s content.

    2. Framing and composition – This is one of those things that some people find natural, and others need to give it a lot of practice.

    You can apply a couple of simple rules to all images that will improve their composition straight off, the main one being the ‘rule of thirds‘, which gives some rough guidelines for how to frame your subject in an image. Centring the subject is rarely the best approach for the sorts of photos you’ll want to be grabbing in MotorStorm — it imparts a very clinical, un-dynamic feel. So, imagine your screen split into nine boxes — groups of these will either frame different areas of the image, or objects in your photo align with their borders — such as the track taking up the bottom third of the frame or a tree cutting vertically a third from the side.


    3. Dutch tilt – No, not that wobble you get after a hazy afternoon in a Dutch coffee shop, but a photographic technique you can use to very subtle-y change the feel of a shot. By very slightly rotating the lens and so moving the horizon (or at least the axis of the shot) out of alignment with the edges of the image, you can impart a sense of drama onto an otherwise fairly standard looking snap. Just don’t over-cook it — if this effect is the first thing to hit you when looking at the photo, you went too far.

    4. Ragdolls – Shots always look good when there’s a ragdoll doing something interesting, whether they are giving the bird to the camera, or flying through the air with their legs akimbo. We prefer the latter.


    5. Vistas – Much easier than action shots because the timing is not so crucial, the primary focus of a vista shot will be a beautiful environment stretching for miles before you. If you’ve ever tried any traditional panoramic photography, you might be familiar with the concept of ‘stitching’ photos together to make a panorama — just take a load of grabs and make sure you overlap the edges a bit and don’t move or zoom the camera. Since you have complete control of the camera in Photo Mode, it would (in theory, I’ve never tried this!) be possible to produce a seamless 360 degree panorama, print it out massive and paper it all over your bathroom. Then just build a replica buggy out of the bath and you can pretend you live on top of Razorback. Result!

    6. Post – Don’t be afraid to throw your photos into your favorite image manipulation program to fine tune and tweak them to your hearts content. Maybe a rogue branch crept into the frame that needs cropping out, the framing is a bit off, or maybe you just think the guy who’s in the process of punching you off your bike needs a makeover. There are a ton of free and commercial applications you could try — we mainly use Photoshop at Evo, but there’s a whole heap of free and shareware offerings for you to flex your artistic muscles.

//Add Your Own



+ 4n4rchy on December 8th, 2008 at 11:41 am said:



+ COOL__JOSH on December 8th, 2008 at 11:45 am said:

i love using this


+ Neil on December 8th, 2008 at 11:46 am said:

This is a great feature of the game. I’ve taken a bunch of awesome photos so far.


+ sublimentality on December 8th, 2008 at 11:46 am said:

Quit saying first! Its Lame! On another subject I still need this friggin game but ive been waiting for a sale. One of the only games i havent seen any kind of a sale on yet this holiday season! Im so broke from this holiday season!


+ bigshynepo on December 8th, 2008 at 11:47 am said:

Nice, defiantly one of the things that sets this game apart. Now if only there were a video capture mode for more games…. *hint* *hint* *hint*

Keep up the great work, can’t wait to see the Motorstorm:PR DLC!!!


+ Enforcer_X on December 8th, 2008 at 11:48 am said:

Just WOW!

Otherwise nice post good tips!
Being a designer myself I have been wanting to play with this feature!

Keep up the awesome work!


+ ftwrthtx on December 8th, 2008 at 11:50 am said:

Awesome looking and sounding. I may pick up Pacific Rift just because of that feature.

I would really like to see this implemented into more games.

Thanks for the info.


+ IIIKAGEIII on December 8th, 2008 at 11:51 am said:

when do you think we will see SKYPE for ps3?

when will we be able to launch more games in home?

is that controller that was shown at the nvidia 08 converance really a ps3 (ps4) controller. because i would totally buy a game and controller that used that.

how come call of duty 4 isn’t a platnium title yet?

does the ps3 keyboard have firmware intergration like the PS headset?


+ Tigerriot on December 8th, 2008 at 12:03 pm said:

Please fix the save file so it can be copied. Those who own two PS3 systems have been screwed by your silly decision to lock the save file.

No other PS3 game I own does this.


+ LeoMindfreak08 on December 8th, 2008 at 12:04 pm said:

Good Tips!
Photo Mode is awesome… and unique!
We need it in more games !!


+ SDkngsht on December 8th, 2008 at 12:05 pm said:

haven’t used this feature in any game yet but this might be a good time and game to start with. especially since we can make custom wallpapers with the photos we take. i’m thinking two ideas…

1. large jump + good angle = incredible view
2. monster truck + any other vehicle = pure awesomeness :)

ps: @ #1…people seriously still get off on being first on a blog site? just kind of proves you don’t have $#!* else to do. kind of lame if you really think about it.


+ C-h-a-o-s on December 8th, 2008 at 12:11 pm said:

I wish the PS3 had this feature available at all times, not just games like this that support it. Same goes for the PSP, these features are great and a must have for both these PlayStation products.


+ IIIKAGEIII on December 8th, 2008 at 12:12 pm said:

is the sixence controller being developed for ps3?


+ Stoffinator on December 8th, 2008 at 12:22 pm said:

I love the ability to take photos, but I wish you could do it with a press of just a button or better yet take small gifs or photos.


+ Skier1017 on December 8th, 2008 at 12:23 pm said:


Of course.
I like what you’re doing with this photo mode. I haven’t picked this up yet but I think people playing the original MotorStorm still would like to see an update including this feature.


+ stlthriot on December 8th, 2008 at 12:27 pm said:

We need this in Burnout Paradise! :D
As well as a slow motion and replay control but that is on Criterion’s side of programming.
But yeah, we need photo mode in more games, racing especially.


+ Slayer612 on December 8th, 2008 at 12:28 pm said:


No Life.


+ kellyjaye on December 8th, 2008 at 12:31 pm said:

I didnt know it had a photo mode. I dont have the game but I hope it takes some nice high res pics. I really loved what they did with Rockband 2 but those pictures are the quality of thumbnails, why?? If the photos from Motorstorm compare to that, please upgrade it to include quality worth showing off :-(


+ Kamahl on December 8th, 2008 at 12:32 pm said:

the photo mode is great, i have already taken a few pics with it


+ Money1 on December 8th, 2008 at 12:38 pm said:

I have linger of shadows with this feature and i love it, even though I don’t own motor storm im glad the feature is supported by it. more games need this feature, resistance 2, heavenly sword, burn out, PAIN, etc. etc.


+ pick-e on December 8th, 2008 at 12:40 pm said:

Rather than update us about potential patches, DLC, or their time trial challenge…

Team Evo teaches photography?

That is actually pretty cool. :) I’ve taken many screenshots while playing through the game but only a small few are truly interesting. I miss many good moments because I’m so in the zone that pausing doesn’t even come to mind. I’ll have to work on that and the ragdoll tip since none of my pictures have people out of/off of their vehicles.


+ morbo1803 on December 8th, 2008 at 12:40 pm said:

@everyone complaing about #1

yeah, hes the one without lives… and as i write this i do see the hypocrisy but still

I love the photo mode, i’ve taken lots and lots of photos, and i especially love it after winning R2 from Three Speech :D


+ lifeRPGs on December 8th, 2008 at 12:41 pm said:

Sony, bring photo mode to Home. Bring video too, as the feature is already implemented.


+ GGCAN on December 8th, 2008 at 12:51 pm said:

Thanks Stuart.

In my own opinion…Motorstorm is one of the better PS3 games.


+ WHAT on December 8th, 2008 at 12:59 pm said:

This game is awesome! I was not too big of a fan of the first, but this ones pure fun.


+ THATPSPGUY on December 8th, 2008 at 1:00 pm said:

Nice add in for the game, I like it in WIpeout HD as well. more games need to have this in them and more of that in game youtubing video taking stuff. Good game but still too easy for me…


+ CircleOfFire on December 8th, 2008 at 1:05 pm said:

Please feel free to add your pics to my Motorstorm: Pacific Rift group on flickr:

If you export pics to the XMB it’s possible to upload them straight from the PS3 using the browser.


+ Jeigh on December 8th, 2008 at 1:18 pm said:

Time to pull out the Bansword and smite the first poster… If I recall correctly, the thing’s been hanging on the wall, and you don’t want to get rusty, Jeff. Or…hey, I suppose now is as good a time as any for Chris to try it out. :D

Those shots are incredibly good-looking. Bless Motorstorm for making such a normally horrible thing so, so beautiful. Thanks for the tips. :D


+ 2manyquestions on December 8th, 2008 at 1:21 pm said:

awesome you guys are the best!!!!!!!


+ zakir8 on December 8th, 2008 at 1:22 pm said:

I like the way you wrote first paragraph. But I guess games wont be the same after two generations.


+ Rogerjak on December 8th, 2008 at 1:44 pm said:

I have taken lots of awesome pics!


+ Trieloth on December 8th, 2008 at 2:12 pm said:

I like to play with that option. This game is really good and Iam superized that more people arnt playing it.


+ smokey_vols on December 8th, 2008 at 2:14 pm said:

Never used the photo mode before. This game gets me so aggrivated, sometimes I just have to turn it off lol.


+ lakaihigh on December 8th, 2008 at 2:33 pm said:

when my teeth start falling out and I’m an old man my grandkids will be playing video games in virtual reality. real 4D!!! LOL cool feature that i didn’t even know existed.

Oh almost forgot!
@ #1 get a life



+ enrichovega on December 8th, 2008 at 2:54 pm said:

What a great feature!

Hopefully you can post these up on your virtual living room walls in HOME. I would screen grab pics of me pwning my lil’bro, then invite him to my HOME space and together reminisce his EPIC FAIL.

How Sweet!


+ jbat17 on December 8th, 2008 at 3:14 pm said:

this game is pure fun! racing game of the year along with wipeout hd.. i like taking photos on both of those games. too bad both do not have a replay feature.. can’t wait to go home to change my avatar here to a pix i took from motorstrom.


+ izit420 on December 8th, 2008 at 3:44 pm said:

I think I may have to try out this Dutch Tilt. Pictures always look more interesting with a little Dutch Tilt on me…I mean them!!


+ rigved123 on December 8th, 2008 at 4:50 pm said:

another playstation’s awsome game is Shaun White.

Shaun White Snowboarding Review Video –


+ p-s-3 on December 8th, 2008 at 4:55 pm said:

I love MotorStorm: Pacific Rift :P

But why can’t i back-up my game save for?
I like backing-up my saves just incase my PS3 dies.
Apart from that it’s a amazing fun game :)


+ hijaker77 on December 8th, 2008 at 5:12 pm said:

One Question…
Is steering still dodgy from the Demo or have they fixed that?


+ LeeSan420 on December 8th, 2008 at 5:29 pm said:

40th,… anyway this game rules got it a few days ago love the custom music option, thanks for the guide i haven’t had the time 2 play much single player, iv’e been stuck on LBP and FALLOUT 3


+ Netweb on December 8th, 2008 at 6:36 pm said:

Next MotorStorm is on urban road !!!

We need tanks xD
And a new game mode like a Garbage Crash where we made a colision with other players and earn points…


+ zeke2040 on December 9th, 2008 at 8:42 am said:

sweet, i always love taking photo and showing them to my freakns.. i think its a great feature and its fun..


+ wavesln on December 9th, 2008 at 2:54 pm said:

Thanks for the tips.

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