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How to Get Better Quality Stereoscopic 3D Screenshots with 3D Vision

By Anton Belev

Special thanks to Anton Belev, webmaster for 3dvision-blog for this guide submission.  Not happy with the image quality you are getting from your NVIDIA GeForce 3D vision screen shots?  This will fix that right up!

If you are like me, I'm sure you have had stereoscopic 3D screen shots from games that don't look as good as they could.  The reason for this is that NVIDIA set the default quality level to 50% to cut down on file size.  Most of us want quality more so than smaller files, right?

NVIDIA GeForce 3D Vision Regedit

The good news is that the level of quality can be adjusted from within the registry, and this guide will tell you how it's done.

Before making any changes to your registry, create a restore point in Windows, and make a backup of your registry file!  Very important.  Once ready, access the registry file by running "Regedit" from the windows command line.  Depending on your OS, the "SnapShotQuality" setting can be found in the follow registry tree sections:

For 32-bit Windows:
[HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\NVIDIA Corporation\Global\Stereo3D]

For 64-bit Windows:
[HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Wow6432Node\NVIDIA Corporation\Global\Stereo3D]

The percentage value is represented in the form of integers (e.g. 80 equals 80%).   The default value is 50% which creates a smaller file, but also features a lot of visual artifacts caused by image compression.  Keep in mind that 99 is the maximum value you can enter to get the highest quality level.  If you input 100 or more, you’ll only reach 75% of the quality potential instead.

Here are some screenshot comparisons done in stereoscopic 3D with different quality levels to see the difference in file size.   In the above image, a quality level of 1% results in a really small file, but the quality is so bad that it is practically useless.  The default level of 50% still results in a small file with decent quality, but it's still not good enough because of the compression artifacts. 

The default setting for good ratio between quality and file size should actually be set to around 80%.  With this setting, it is difficult to find compression artifacts, and the file size is still very small.  This is probably the best option if you want to directly share S-3D screenshots with other people over the internet without having to edit them them further.

If you don’t care about the file size, you can directly go to the maximum level of 99%, but the file size is three times greater than the 80% quality level.  You can then compress them and share online.

NVIDIA File Naming Convention

There there is the naming convention of the screenshots saved under your User account in the Documents folder in a specially named NVStereoscopic3D.IMG folder.  For the above example, we used the built-in stereo 3D test application in the 3D Vision driver and the name of the file is as follows: nvsttest01_50.jps.

The first part of the file name “nvsttest”, which represents the executable name of the application you took the screenshot from.  After that comes the number 01 which represents the screenshot number from that particular application.  A separator (“_”) follows, and the number 50 represents the quality level of the screen shot.

This naming convention creates some limitations because both numbers are fixed at only two digits.  This means that you can only save up to 99 S-3D screen shots from a certain application, then you need to move the images from the default folder.  The same also applies to the quality level: the two digit limitation prevents using the 100 setting.

In conclusion, we think NVIDIA should change the default quality setting 80 and allow more than 99 screen shots per application per folder.  In the meantime, happy screen capturing!