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Screenshots are not art by Illogical-Lynx Screenshots are not art by Illogical-Lynx
Video game screenshots are not art, stop posting them on an art website. Entertaining? Yes. Funny? Perhaps. Art? No. :movingon:

Made this a while back, figured I'd be selling my soul to the demon of insincere fanservice if I didn't post it.

TL;DR: No matter how new/inexperienced you are at drawing/painting/photoshop, I'll always respect you a thousand times more when you post real artwork than when you take the cheap and lazy way out. :hug:

Thanks to =jake10684 for the Awesome Stamp Border.

PS. This is not a personal shot at anyone, especially not those on my watchlist. If you're on my watchlist, I watch you because I love your ART. Post more of it and I'll be a happy camper indeed.

PPS. If you're going to post screencaps here, TOS requires you put them in scraps only. FAQ #578: What does deviantART consider to be a proper desktop screenshot?

Read it.

Now with a plz account so us non-subscribers can use:

Add a Comment:
TheDarkHeretic Featured By Owner Jul 24, 2015
Totally agree with that, thanks for doing this amazing stamp :) Hug +fav !
NaeGevurah Featured By Owner May 16, 2015  Hobbyist General Artist
If I ever post a "screenshot" it would be from OpenSim to show 3D architecture/vehicle models I've created.
caboose7777 Featured By Owner Mar 7, 2015
they are too....screenshots take time and somewhat math but mostly time
MadelynKitten Featured By Owner Dec 29, 2014  Hobbyist Digital Artist
This includes people who edit Naruto OCs from screenshots of the TV series Naruto or any other anime correct?
RMXTrailMix Featured By Owner Nov 21, 2014
Here's a fine example;…
catz537 Featured By Owner Nov 21, 2014  Hobbyist Digital Artist
I AGREE SO MUCH WITH THIS STAMP. Ughh... people just really make me mad. Lately I've been seeing things like memes and screenshots from shows, and every time I try to tell the people to take them down, they get all pissy and start insulting me for no good reason and then block me before I have a chance to respond. It's really quite childish and stupid. If you want to pos that crap, get a fucking photobucket account instead of being an art thief! I posted a journal with linkes to some of the art thieves' accounts in…
SimonCaneplz Featured By Owner May 8, 2015
Its the law, and even if art thief post it on photobucket, it is still a crime, theres alot of rumors about photobucket copyright free, I come across about photobucket, these rumors are extremly dangerous because it often lets art thief broke copyright law elseware and so on, if art thief wants to post that something really bad, how about NOT POSTING IT ANYWARE ON THE SITE.
catz537 Featured By Owner May 8, 2015  Hobbyist Digital Artist
I didn't know it was not allowed on photobucket..I'm aware that art thievery is illegal, but a site like photobucket is obviously not for posting your own artwork. dA is different; if someone posts something on dA, there is a copyright symbol next to their username under the image they posted, which is a sign saying that is their work and it belongs to them. Photobucket and other non-art sites don't have the copyright symbol indicating that the person who posted it owns it, so it doesn't seem like much of an issue to me on a non-art site since people aren't really claiming it as theirs on those sites. :shrug: But it's true that if anyone claims any art as their own that doesn't belong to them, regardless of where they post it - dA, photobucket, tumblr, twitter, facebook - they are being an art thief and that is not okay. 
Kharlene Featured By Owner Edited Oct 3, 2014
Ehh... I work as a graphic artist and do mechanical CADD work for HP, I have a BA in Graphic Arts from UCSD, and I have to say... I find this fairly pretentious (even more pretentious than my stating my credentials there). I do a lot of graphic design work day in and day out, I take photographs continuously, all because of my job. Unfortunately 99% of which I can't post or show here (or anywhere) because otherwise I'll be fired do to the fact they're concept work projects HP has yet to release (if they were released they wouldn't be concepts anymore). But one thing that I've found where I can do some of the graphic work I love doing is via screenshots of video games--namely Skyrim and Fallout: New Vegas are the two mediums I've utilized.

And before anyone gets on their high horse saying that it's not the same or similar to photograph. In one part you're right and in another you're absolutely wrong. If we're talking just a quick snapshot press of the button, then you're absolutely right. It's no different than if I were to step outside of my house right now take my digital camera, indiscriminately take a snapshot of the street I live on and then try to b.s. to everyone that it was a nice artistic view of my hometown avenue. All of which can be done in a sum of about 3 or 4 minutes, and even then I'm being a little generous. And yet, it'll still be considered art and photography merely for the fact it's a picture of relatively unbusy avenue from a front lawn with some fall leaves on the ground. :| (Blank Stare) 

However, if I were to post up something like this or this, which the textures are not vanilla (sweat doesn't exist in the vanilla game), they are high definition 2048x2048 skin and sweat textures done by phenomenal artists (i.e. neither being me), and the customized armor (which you will never find in the vanilla game because they don't exist) of the latter pic were done by others. However the sweat and skin textures (done by two different texture artists (they're modders but I call them artists because their work is as good as much of the professional graphic work I see on a daily basis at work)) originally were not compatible with the lighting textures and ENB that I created, which meant I had to recode each to make them work. All of which takes time--hours in fact to get it just right the way I want it. No differently then when I'm at work working on that shiny new concept ad for an HP printer or monitor at work. But then in the game itself I spent for either of those pictures a solid 2 hours each looking just for the right spot and right shot I wanted. I have about 1200+ hours logged in Skyrim alone, but I've never beaten the damn game (I haven't even genuinely played it for over a year), because I do shit I like just described in it and that's all I do, even after I've sank nearly 200 dollars in the game. While when I was in college as a poor student, I was doing photoshoots with my digital camera to later do PRECISELY what I do in Skyrim these days during my off-time.

The reason I bring up that very last bit is because I read one argument in these comments that screenshots isn't like photography because it's not a natural setting or genuine environment, it's one you paid for. And the first thing popped in my head was, "You mean like a studio?", I lost track of how many times in college in my graphic design courses, we had to alter pics we had taken with our digital cameras, and being poor students that we were we had no money for a studio, nor did we have time (do to other classes and part-time jobs) to go wandering around looking for "perfect shots". So instead what we'd do is make a studio, most when they thinking "studio" it's some rented out room with special props and background canvases. No. We're poor, we didn't have that kind of money. Maybe twenty bucks on us if we're lucky. So with that we'd buy 20 bucks worth of crap to set up a makeshift "studio" in the corner of or dorm rooms or some place outside or even on campus. And then snap an easy 100-1000+ pictures and sift through them to find the one we liked the most for our purpose to alter for class.

The most silly thing I keep seeing in these comments is the delusional belief that it's the environment that makes a picture of a photographer or digital artist artwork. It is not. It's what they do with the environment presented to them that makes the picture artwork, which can be any environment, any place and anywhere.
Zosalot Featured By Owner Aug 16, 2014  Student General Artist
Thank you very much. :XD:
I can't stand a lot of groups when I watch them and then get flooded with screenshots the next day. I can go take my own screenshot or go to a site where you're supposed to share screenshots if I wanted one! 
So this is a nice stamp!
Fritsa-Wolf Featured By Owner Edited Aug 14, 2014  Student General Artist
There's a dude that goes screenshotting any tiny hint of the 'Illuminati' or 'The Stone Masons' in TV shows, animated things, games, etc. They also take a photo of their TV or computer screens (the second one doesn't make any sense, I know). It's like "dude calm down".
Angel-Of-The-Triad Featured By Owner Jul 13, 2014  Hobbyist Writer
Now, what if the screenshots were from a game such as Garry's Mod where people may take and pose in game props and models to form a scene that they've envisioned with said props and models and then take the time to line the in-game camera up just right before taking a screenshot? Would that make any kind of difference on the matter?
HYPERTiZ Featured By Owner Edited Jul 15, 2014  Student General Artist


that would be art

A) but if its a screenshot of the game etc you shooting then maybe.

 B ) if its a screenshot of previewing a model you made in game etc

examples like that/

although screenshots of eg

C) "…"

is probably not acceptable?
Lazurites Featured By Owner Jun 23, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
I agree. Could I use this on my profile?
Illogical-Lynx Featured By Owner Jul 29, 2014  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Go for it, that's what it's there for! :)
Numeriku Featured By Owner Jun 13, 2014

Art takes effort!

*Takes a walk through the Tate Modern*


I'm with GodForsakenBastard on this one. Whilst there are many people who take screenshots that took no effort at all, there are those out there who actually do take their time just like a photographer would in real life. It may be easier because unlike in real life you can pause, but then once again I could bring up digital art and the use of programs like Photoshop. In real life you don't have a undo function, as well as the plethora of other tools, but does that make the picture drawn any less of an art piece? No.

An example of what isn't art? This stamp.

Illogical-Lynx Featured By Owner Jun 14, 2014  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Oh man, modern art is a whoooole other kettle of fish. They had one guy in my country who won a modern art competition without even showing up. He ordered his lackey over the phone to gather up all the trash from the other exhibits and just pile it in the room where he was supposed to make his. The pile of trash won the competition. Ridiculous.

I feel your comparison to photoshop is unfair. Photoshop is a tool which can create 100% original artwork and you cannot create art without effort using it. I suppose you could say that you could download a whole bunch of complicated brushes (which are basically complete images of something) made by other artists and just stamp them on a blank canvas and call it a day, but I would equally decry that as not being art either. The reason a screenshot can never be art is because the artistic value of the image is entirely due to the work of the artists who worked on the game. 99.99% of the artistic merit in a screenshot belongs to those artists, not the person taking it.

I have pictures that I worked on for months in my gallery. The cruel irony of my most commented AND my most favourited deviations both being stamps whacked together in five minutes each is not lost on me at all. That said, stamps have their own category here which is "deviantart related" and not under "digital art" to stop people confusing the two. I don't have to violate copyright law or the terms of service to post them.
Numeriku Featured By Owner Jun 16, 2014
You missed my point it seems, or don't seem to want to view it from a different perspective other than your own. I suggest you reread what I wrote, because I in no way shape or form was denouncing the use of Photoshop as a legitimate tool to create art.

If screenshots broke copyright laws they would never allow the function to begin with, nor would many other websites allow said posting of screenshots. Hence why I side with GodForsakenBastard. One can take a screenshot which has had no work done in terms of changing the vanilla content, where as others mod their games to the point of it not even looking like the vanilla product any more. Doing these things ontop of setting up the shot and the time it takes makes them worthy of being art.
BewitchingBard Featured By Owner Jun 10, 2014  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Then putting words in a box and calling it a poem is art too?
What did I miss?
Illogical-Lynx Featured By Owner Jun 12, 2014  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Bluh, every now and then I see a DD go to some poem which is about ten words long and the comments are all "z0mg so profound!". I don't profess to know how those people reach that conclusion. That said, dA has categories for poetry, no matter how sad or pretentious it is, so I can't really complain about it being here.

On the subject of "Words in a box", the cruel irony of the fact that my most favourited and most commented submissions to this site are both stamps I banged together in 5 minutes is not lost on me here. :(
BewitchingBard Featured By Owner Jun 12, 2014  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Omg yes. I know that feel, It's kind of annoying. I love the ones that can be read either way and it has an entire different meaning.

Also, bleh. This generation is confusing. ;u;
Fullmetal0Thunder Featured By Owner May 19, 2014  Hobbyist Filmographer
Actually, most of them are. You are basically saying screenshots of your own animations and pictures that you make yourself are not art. Screenshots are photography, which is art. That makes it art. But if someone screenshots somebody else's drawing and claims it as their own then that's another story. And who says all screenshots don't take effort? Unless they are stealing art that people worked hard on, I don't want to hear it.
Illogical-Lynx Featured By Owner May 20, 2014  Hobbyist Digital Artist
If you've got an animation or a piece of art to show, post the animation or the art. The screenshot is not necessary. But that isn't the point of this stamp and you know it.

If you can tell me what the aperture size, f-stop, ISO speed and exposure time of a screenshot is, then I might be inclined to believe that screenshots are photography, but not before.

What is a screenshot of a video game or a screenshot of a TV series if not a screenshot of someone else's art? The character in the screenshot was rendered by an artist, animated by an artist and put against a background rendered by more artists. When you post on dA, you ARE claiming it as your own. See the little copyright thing which appears by your name on every picture you submit? Right here.. That is a legally binding claim that you own the copyright to the image. If you do not own that copyright, then you are stealing the hard work of the artist(s) who do own the copyright.
Fullmetal0Thunder Featured By Owner May 20, 2014  Hobbyist Filmographer
The screenshot is too necessary. And I will post it wether you like it or not. And who cares if it's not the point of the stamp? I certainly don't.
Illogical-Lynx Featured By Owner May 20, 2014  Hobbyist Digital Artist
You can post screenshots of your own artwork if you wish, it's not against the dA terms of service and you're not breaking the law by doing it. I have no problem with that and neither do the site admins. But if you post screenshots of video games, TV shows, movies or any other art that is not yours, then that makes you an art thief and likely to get banned accordingly.
Fullmetal0Thunder Featured By Owner May 21, 2014  Hobbyist Filmographer
And if it's a custom character skin like in Minecraft for example or a drawing you made in a game that you can't upload through the console, then what?
HYPERTiZ Featured By Owner Jul 15, 2014  Student General Artist
A custom character you have made in MINECRAFT or pixel art etc is clearly acceptable,

as in

original shot of the game or has their copyright material.

eg taking a screenshot of a pokemon in X Y, example below.


but yeah...

I see where you are heading with here.
Linkard777 Featured By Owner Apr 5, 2014  Hobbyist Writer
Following you logic, photographs are not a from of art. Does it take some skills to take a good screenshot of a Rift invasion or a massive boss fight in a game like Rift? Or just a good panorama picture in any game in general? Yes. You could say it is easier than photography, and it is true for some games, but as the video game industry evolves, will become more and more like photography.
It's like making videos on Youtube. It's underated.

Oh crap yeah, this has been posted in 2009, the video game industry has evolved a lot since :3
Illogical-Lynx Featured By Owner Apr 16, 2014  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Heh, yeap, this is pretty old. For context, I made this as a member of several Halo fanclubs which were becoming saturated by people posting screenshots taken in the utterly idiot-proof theatre mode present in Halo 3 onwards. I've mellowed somewhat on the issue, but the core of my complaint which I think still remains is that I think that screenshots offer an easy way out for people to sidestep actually learning a useful and rewarding skill like creating their own fanart. dA is one of the most accepting places in the entire world for a beginning artist and filled with very skilled people who are happy to impart their wisdom if only they were asked. The laziness of people turning this down in favour of spam-posting theatre-snaps frustrated me immensely.

That said, to address the comparison to photography, I feel the major difference is that generally, when you take a photograph, you are not taking it in an environment which was entirely put together and created from the ground up by paid, professional artists. Could you truly call a photograph your own work if you were taking photographs of paintings in an art gallery (and had a professional photographer standing next to you adjusting the settings on your camera so that each shot came out perfect)?
Linkard777 Featured By Owner Apr 16, 2014  Hobbyist Writer
First of all, I realized that my first comment was kinda rude, idk why, sorry sorry about that.
And second, I think that screeshot taking in video games is becoming more and more like photography. In games like Rift, you can build "dimensions", which are like houses, and I can absolutly see how you could place different objects to make it look beatiful. I'm sorry, I have to go but I'm gonna make this short. Nowadays, you don't have dull environment in games. I totally agree that taking a screenshot of the sunset in a game, if and only IF it's only that should absolutly not be considered as an art, but since video games are getting more open with more character posibilities and costumization (not only of the character) posibilities, although it is easier than photography, I agree, it's becoming more and more like an art. But again, I agree that taking a screenshot of a pretty environent in a game with no good angle and stuff should absoluty not be considered as an art :) 
Sorry for this messy comment, I'm kinda in a rush :p

Have a good day! :3
monstermaster13 Featured By Owner Jan 29, 2014  Hobbyist Writer
I've posted a few screenshots but they are mainly from Zoo Tycoon 2 and mainly part of a group i'm part of,   for the most part I try to steer clear of them.   Don't worry my Zoo Tycoon screenshots are in scraps as are the characters I made using heromachine.   I try to abide by the rules on here because I don't want to risk ticking the admins off or getting banned.
DaniellaCrest Featured By Owner Jan 5, 2014  Hobbyist
I don't do video game screenshots...I just uploaded a 'work in progress' screenshot of my fan art, though...have I done something bad?? DX 
Meadowind Featured By Owner Jan 5, 2014  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Oh, the comments below...
Taking screenshots from a game and uploading them is a copyright violation, and therefore AGAINST THE RULES of this website. I wish more people would realize this. Okay, yeah, there might be games that allow or even require you to take screenshots and post them everywhere. But even if that's the case, they would still belong into scraps and NOT your main gallery, because they took little to no artistic effort to make. Unless you edited them so heavily that you have turned them into something of your own. Which is somewhat never the case.

And as for the "desktop screenshot" part from that faq entry posted below, this would only count when the task bar or recycle bin or ANYTHING from your actual desktop would be part of the image. So, never play games in full screen mode, I guess. Then it would even be okay to post it in the main gallery. :shrug: I even once read someone saying: In the desktop category it's allowed to steal anything!
See that pretty picture on pixiv? Want to upload it because you like it, but don't want to violate the rules? Make it your desktop background, problem solved! I hope I wasn't giving anyone ideas....
Illogical-Lynx Featured By Owner Jan 13, 2014  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Yeap, realistically, even if all the baddies raging at me were right and screenshots WERE art, it's still against the rules so they're still not allowed to post them. You press "I agree to the TOS" when you create your account, that means you don't post screenshots outside of scraps. It's not an opinion like some of the people posting seem to think that it is, it's a cold hard fact that is backed up by the TOS and the FAQ. It staggers me that people would even try and argue against that.

Desktop screenshots category I think is a hangover from the bad old days. Back when I joined 8 years ago, there was a field on your page which was for a desktop screenshot, but it was separate from your gallery. Was fun for sharing your workspace and your OS, but no-one considered it art. At some point they took it away and rolled desktop screenshots into your gallery. Not the brightest move as far as I'm concerned and far more open to abuse than the amount of benefit it provides.
petiliI Featured By Owner Nov 23, 2013  Hobbyist Digital Artist
i only do them for kiribians
The-Syreth-Clan Featured By Owner Nov 10, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
:iconwhatifplz: What if the fanart is (on) a car from a video game? I think about those Pony themed Forza cars some people spend fucking DAYS on. Screenshots are like photos, you can do them with either a click or by carefully setting things up. Okay, I admit photography does need more time setting things up.

My point is: Everything can be considered art as long as there are proper amount of effort put into it. But hey, it's a subjective term, doesn't it? A bucket. Feel free to fill it with whatever you want, there is a wide variety of thingsto choose from.
Cloppy-Fuzz Featured By Owner Oct 14, 2013  Hobbyist Digital Artist
like photography isn't an art? Same thing can be argued.
Scattered-Critiques Featured By Owner Jan 27, 2014  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
no, photography is original, and all the lighting and positioning takes effort.
different story
Cloppy-Fuzz Featured By Owner Jan 27, 2014  Hobbyist Digital Artist
I mean the assorted facebook/myspace/instagram goers that take a picture of a lawn chair and call it "poetic".
If you actually spend time on and care about your work, then you're an artist.

photography has always just been a grey area
Scattered-Critiques Featured By Owner Jan 27, 2014  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
oh. i see.
Illogical-Lynx Featured By Owner Oct 14, 2013  Hobbyist Digital Artist
You can argue that screenshots are as much art as photography when you can tell me what f-stop, ISO speed, shutter time and aperture values you used to create a screenshot and why you chose each of them for the ambient conditions. :movingon:
Zing-007 Featured By Owner Sep 19, 2013  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Not all screenshots aren't art. All of the stuff I post here are screenshots. Yes, there are a generally a lot more cases where the screenshots are absolutely not art, but I wouldn't say always. :)
GabrielleDace Featured By Owner Jul 20, 2013   Digital Artist
The question I have is;

What if the said artist created a mod in game and wanted to take a screenshot of said mod (clothing, face mod, weapon, etc.) to present in their gallery?
major-eddicus Featured By Owner Jul 1, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
Yikes, now I feel guilty for having some screenshots on my Scraps. :c I better get rid of them.
Illogical-Lynx Featured By Owner Jul 2, 2013  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Scraps are fine for screenshots. :)
dA rules say that as long as they're in scraps, there's nothing wrong. FAQ #578: What does deviantART consider to be a proper desktop screenshot?
major-eddicus Featured By Owner Jul 2, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
o. Well, whatever, too late for that. :D
krisskrossed Featured By Owner Jun 7, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
THANK YOU! This is EXACTLY what I was looking for in a stamp :)
Illogical-Lynx Featured By Owner Jun 9, 2013  Hobbyist Digital Artist
You're quite welcome. :)
Redrobynsart Featured By Owner May 30, 2013  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
It seems like anymore the new section on deviantart is a sea of screenshots...I mean after all Deviantart DOES have the word "art" in it, but I guess that means nothing to some.
OutofLuna Featured By Owner May 14, 2013
There is a lot of so-called "art" on DA, that hardly requires more effort than taking a screenshot. Many of which I keep wondering why people even bother uploading
While I understand what you mean, I also disagree to some extent.

I could compare it to photography, which I do a lot of myself. Taking a photo is taking a moment in time, a moment which you may have absolutely no influence over. While games themselves are someone elses work (their art so to speak) I find that some screenshots can be exceptional.
Some games do require setup and skill to capture, and many moments just happen and cannot be duplicated. In that sense, I do think that taking a great screenshot requires effort, absolutely.

I think your elitist attitude is the real problem with DA. Especially considering, no offense, that your own uploads hardly merrit you being this elitist.
There's a lot of people that have tremendous problems taking criticism as well. People upload inferior works then can't take even friendly hints and tips about it without freaking out and going all "DONT JUDGE ME ITS MY ART!"-tantrums.

The only problem I see with screenshots is the amounts of bad ones there'd be. Much like how there's tremendous amounts of really bad "art" right now. So in that sense I understand you.
Screencaps of animé though, that's just rubbish no matter how you look at it.
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