Taking Screenshots Without Mods

Hey guys, its me again. I have got news for you, a) I am still alive (that's good depending on who you ask and when you ask me), and b) I found a way of Taking and Posing for Screenshots in Skyrim WITHOUT MODS!

Screenshots without Mods. You read that right, without mods. I learnt this by being stubborn (didn't really want to download 101 mods for only a few screenshots).


This way can only be done on PC, and uses Console Commands (you are going to be using it a fair bit in this tutorial. I'll cover the basics of Screenshots and Console Commands (CC) in this tutorial), and the usage of Animations, inside Skyrim itself.Warnings (READ ME!)One thing you MUST know, before you even think about touching the Console Commands, is that it can AND will destroy your Skyrim IF you aren't careful and/or use the wrong commands.

Here's the warning from the UESP. It explains, the Warning and Consequences, better than I can.

'If you don't know what you're doing, using Console Commands can cause your game to malfunction! Executing the wrong command can cause your game to stop working normally; furthermore, you may not become aware of malfunctions right away, and you might not be able to track their cause.They can cause problems like making quests impossible to complete, altering your game's display. all kinds of game behaviours, your ability to play your character and your ability to play the game at all. Solutions are not always easy, and may involve losing saved games or reinstalling your game.'

-Extract from the UESP Console Commands Page

NOTE: I am no way accountable for any malfunctions, corruptions or any form of damage to either your Skyrim Install or your Saves. I have personally used Console Commands, but only when I have no choice (Esbern…) or for taking screenshots.If you follow my instructions in this tutorial, you won't have to worry about any problems (unless of course, you turn off the 'essential' state of any quest giver (General Tuilius to Esbern (for me, he has ALWAYS been buggy and the only way through his related quests (in the Main Quest Storyline), has always been via Console Commands).


The Basics

Before we get started, there are a few basics, that you need to know, before you begin learning about Console Commands (there are hundreds of CCs but for the sake of this tutorial, I'll mention the most useful/the ones I use).

On the keyboard, to open the Console, you must press the tilde key (~), it is located between the Tab/1 and the Esc button on most keyboards. While you have the Console open, the game environment will pause itself, and unpause itself when the Console is closed again.

Many Console Commands, in Skyrim are either Toggled, Targeted or Untargeted or it is one or the other. To my knowledge of Console Commands, both Toggled and Untargeted Console Commands are both the same.

Also all Console Commands are not case sensitive. E.g tai can be both used as a toggle and targeted Command.

Also, something else worth noting, is most Console Commands, have an abbreviation making it easier to type basically. Typing the abbrev or the full Command, both do the same thing.Example: csb and ClearScreenBlood both do the same thing.

Another two examples are tgm which is the abbreviation of ToggleGodMode and tfc which is the abbrev of ToggleFlyingCamera.

One last thing that you will need to know, before we start talking about Console Commands, is FormIDs and BaseIDs/RefIDs. FormIDs are identifiers for virtually everything in Skyrim, ranging from a random Chicken to Alduin himself. BaseIDs and RefIDs are two types of FormIDs that are used to identify NPCs, creatures and objects in Skyrim. If a object is unique, both the BaseID and RefID will be fixed, whereas a object which isn't unique (e.g a Wolf), will have different BaseIDs and RefIDs.

Example: Take Lydia (Housecarl of Whiterun if you don't know her). Lydia has both a RefID and a BaseID. They are 000A2C94 (RefID), and 000A2C8E (BaseID). You can simply see the RefID by opening the Console and clicking on Lydia, but the BaseID, can be (only to my knowledge, ingame) found via the help command, which I'll cover later on.


Screenshot of Lydia's' BaseID from Console Commands (merely a screenshot, cropped)

Console Commands- ScreenshotsBelow are the most common Console Commands used for making and taking Screenshots. For all of the Console Commands, check here (UESP link).

csb- This basically removes the 'blood' splatter off the screen, this can be useful for making screenshots.NOTE: I have noticed that for some reason that it removes the Sky in the Soul Cairn, replacing it with a purple blur. However, this has only happened once and causes no other problems to my knowledge.

enable/disable- disable basically makes the object invisible, while turning off the collosion but the scripting on that object will still run. Whereas enable does the opposite of disable, making the object visible and turning the collosion back on.NOTE: Both enable and disable won't affect the scripting on the object.

FOV (FieldofView)-NOTE: Ask an expert to explain it.showracemenu- This brings up the Creation Menu from the very start of the game (when you step off the carriage to pick your Race etc etc), and can easily be used to change your character looks. You will end up having your hands bound though, after this, whether you made any changes or not. All you need to do is to draw your weapon/spell (or really any movement)

sucsm - This can increase or decrease the speed of the Freeflying Camera. You will only notice this command taking affect if you use tfc. The default speed of the Freeflying Camera is 10.Example from the UESP Console Commands Page:‘sucsm 50 after typing in tfc will allow the Camera to move about 5 times faster than its default speed'.sucsm is very useful for close up screenshots, however I have never really used it so I have very limited experience in using it.

tfc (Toggle Freeflying Camera)- This enables you to control the camera around, instead of moving the player with it. To use this tfc, effectively, I highly recommend going into 3rd Person View beforehand, otherwise, you won't be able to view your character.NOTE: A nifty trick, I learnt is that you can type tfc 1, which enables the full control of the camera, AND freezes all of the environment, but still lets you move the camera around.Simply type, tfc 1 again to disable this and return back to normal. (Or simply type tfc 0 to unfreeze the environment, while having control of the camera.

tgm (ToggleGodMode)- This simply toggles on and off God Mode, which I highly recommend for taking screenshots. Really no explanation necessary I think.tim (ToggleImmortalMode)- This is very similar to tgm, BUT as you take damage, your Health will go down, but if it hits 0, you will not die. But if Sprinting or Casting Spells, related bars, hit 0, it will act like normal.

tm (ToggleMenu)- This toggles your HUD (Heads Up Display), essentially making it clear, toggling the Compass, Menu (when you hit Tab) AND the Console off. This can simply be reversed by typing the same command again.NOTE: I only use this for when I have done all necessary commands and changes for my screenshots, as it is pretty hard to see what you are doing, when the Console is hidden.


Idle Animations

Every game is made up of countless animations, even in Skyrim, as without them, how would you move or even do anything? They basically are essential. I had stumbled across some Animation Records called Idle Animations. I haven't and won't be able to test every single one of them as there are over 4,000 Idle Animations.Here is the 'page' of Idle Animations that I have used recently for Screenshots.

However, there are a select few, that I have tested that do work perfectly for Screenshots. The only way to use these Idle Animations is via Console Commands.

To use an Idle Animation, simply open the Console and type the following: playidle

Example:playidle IdleRitualSkull

To my knowledge, the Animations only work on the Player, however there are plenty of Animations, so there is no reason that most of them will work on other NPCs (there are also Idle Animations for Wolves, etc).To 'cancel' or 'get out' of an Idle Animation, simply move. I found jumping cancels out the Animation easily.

NOTE: Idle Animations will NOT work if the game environment is frozen (via having the Console Window open, or usage of the tfc command.Tested AnimationsThere are about 4,600 Idle Animations in Skyrim. I can't test them all so, what I will do, is list the ones that I have used, and any Animations that others use.


NotesWell guys, that's it really. I'd like to thank Chris Dinoko for giving me the idea of taking screenshots without mods (technically, he asked for screenshots and I tried, hence this) and Curse for showing me the GIANT mod list for screenshots.If you have any questions guys, seriously ask away.For those who are wondering, I'll add in screenshots with each of the Idle Animations that I and anyone else have used. This shows what the Animation looks like and saves you time when deciding on the right one.

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  • Ok guys, I've hit a major problem. For some unknown reason I am can't seem to format my work (above) and I did just go through it all and updated it so it wouldn't look like a wall of text and well... Yeah no luck. For the time being till I find a way to fix it, I'll keep it here and if you guys have any questions in regards to fixing it let me know.

    • Lemme fix that up. 

      • And done. All you need now are the screenshots. I never knew about those idle animations built into the console command system. Id love it if you listed everything you've used and include some screenshots as well. 

        • Hmm.. Sorry for the late reply been having trouble with PC and phone, but sure, I can do that. It'll take a while as I can only do so much in a few hours (all I get really before battery dies) but sure. I'll get started. Will start after school holidays done here (after b'day/next week, fairly busy where use free wifi)

  • I saw you don't want to use but Might I humbly request a Screenshot of a redhaired Breton Female with One mod  The floating Market Pack 1 Called the Risen Phoenix Armor with a Nordic Hero Bow


    • Hmm... This thread never was intended to be a Screenshot thread but hell. Lets do it. Any other information you can tell/give me? Such as place, story etc?

      • I wouldn't mind an Arrow shooting Scene from Cover or maybe a few of her killing Thalmor

        • Hmm, yeah I’ll see what I can do

          • Alright ive found it on Nexus, due to the size the longest in theory it should take is about 9-11th next week, only because of the size of the mod.

            (Cab only find it on Bethesda Net but think that’s for Xbox, and instead of just the armor the mod is the whole thing)

            • I'm not understanding the last part of your comment 

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