SPONSOR OF THE MONTH (MARCH ’21)

Every month we feature a sponsor at random and write up an article on them. Give a warm round of virtual applause to Seran Leveille who is Sponsor of the Month March ’21!


  About You:

Nickname: Ente, Ducky

Character Name: Seran Leveille

Race: Miqo‘te Seeker of the Sun

Main Server: Lich (Light)

Where do you share your screenshots:

Twitter: @SeranLeveille
Instagram: @seranleveille

Screenshot Tools: GShade, Photoshop



   About FFXIV


Why did you choose your current race?

I wanted to play a male character since I played a female for a few years, from Hyur to Au Ra and after this, Elezen. I wanted a character that looks more seasoned. I chose the male Miqo‘te face I have now since the Highlander was too bulky, the Elezen too tall, and so I went with the cat race. I don’t know why but I like this face.


Tell us a bit about your character (personality, what do you like most about him/her, etc).

Seran is quite a stubborn but friendly guy. It is hard to convince him that he can trust you but once you manage you have a dependable friend on your side. He enjoys traveling, is a fan of stories and tales, and collects all of them from many different people.
He grew up in Gyr Abania where he lived in a village that was known for excellent crafts. Since his mother and father were part of the Crimson Duelists he was left in the village where Seran lived with his grandmother.


After the Garlean Invasion that destroyed his village and the betrayal towards the crimson duelists, he fled to Ul‘dah where he lived until he met his later mentor and finally learned the arts of Red magic. From that day on he joined the many adventurers and traveled through the lands of Eorzea and Othard. He encountered the Scions during Heavensward where a later friend of him recognized his Echo and dragged him along.

Currently, he is 37 years old.


What is the most important part of the game for you, and why do you keep coming back to it?

It is the world, the stories, my friends, and the content of course. I love the many classes I can play, gatherer and crafter included, the dungeons and trials, the music… and my static. Taking screenshots is one of my favorite things I do so that‘s a big reason why I play the game.


What was the best experience you had in-game?

I recently left the Free Company I was in since I started the game and opened a new one with my friends. As we decorated our FC house the storm of help I got with that was incredible, all of them helped to craft and gather materials. We managed to decorate the whole house quickly, which felt very refreshing after spending so much time in a dead FC. Everyone worked so hard to get a house, camping in multiple places, waiting, we even made shifts for that. And as it was time to decorate it worked so well, I’m very happy about that.


Which is your favorite song, and why?

Apologies from the Sohr Khai dungeon in Heavensward. The song is emotional for me, and I love listening to it. Like Return to Oblivion, the song had the right vibe for E8s and made the fight even more atmospheric! I turned the volume so loud I wasn‘t able to listen to the mechanic announcements.


How often do you change your main job glamour? Do you have any preferred one?

That depends on the class. Some classes keep their glamour for over a year like my Redmage glamour, I have his main outfit since the end of the first Eden Tier. Sometimes I change them every 4 months… or weeks. Sometimes I make multiple glams for a class like Dragoon where I have 2-4 different glams.

 

 About FFXIV Screenshots


What would you describe your screenshot ‘style’ as?

I am not sure about that honestly. I think I like it when my colors are less flashy, my pictures are sharper and crisp, and I’m a fan of vertical formats. In most of my screenshots, I try to show my characters’ personalities and tell a small story, and on other screens, I try to make something simple that looks pretty or something I like.


Please, explain to us the methods or steps you take when taking a screenshot. Any tips you can give for new screenshoters?

I usually get an idea of what I want to make. Sometimes I make a sketch. I choose a location and a Glamour and just go in, turn on GPose.


For the first steps I turn off all my game shaders and only focus on lights and composition, after that, I turn on the Shader. Sometimes I go into post-editing and remove some errors I dislike, like clipping items, textures, or the overall colors and contrast.

As for tips I can recommend making layouts and sketches of the composition and check on the locations beforehand and if the glamour and character you choose fit with the background. Is there enough light? Is the weather situation good for the screen? Do the colors match? It always depends on what you want to make and what you set your focus on. Just one thing: Try to think about what you would do when you have a real camera in your hands. That‘s how I learned to use less dutch angle. And… don‘t overthink it, go in and try to approach the picture from different angles and experiment with the lights.


What/who inspires you for taking screenshots?

Other people inspire me or the stories I want to tell. Sometimes I make myself a new glam and get inspired by that. Everything that I like inspires me, from music to artwork.


What is your favorite emote/pose?

The emote I use the most is the annoyed expression. I don‘t have a specific emote I like the most. I try to find something fitting for my idea and try anything until I get the pose I want. Experimenting is my favorite thing about Screenshots, I love that.

An emote I got fond of is the grovel emote, when you time it correctly there can be some interesting results, same goes for the flame dance.


What kind of snaps do you usually take (selfy, group, landscape)?

In most cases selfies, sometimes landscapes. I only do group screens when I take a screenshot of our static.



Screenshot showcase:
Share with us four of your favorite screenshots and tell us why do you like them so much:

This is one of my more recent screenshots. It was for a sponsors challenge and I had this idea in mind I wanted to do it at all costs. I managed to do so but needed to rebuild my studio, clip a floating chair so the height corresponds, and reposition the Morpho all over again until It FINALLY had the right position. It was one of the few screens where I did some post-editing, like working a bit on the hair’s bad texture but only a bit since I want to keep most of the game‘s textures even when they are not the best sometimes. It was a lot of work and it took me a few hours but I’m very happy with the result and that all my work paid off.
One of the last pictures I took with my female Elezen alt. In this case, I just went into a dungeon and made a few pictures. What I like the most about this screenshot is the composition. The flowers that glow a bit due to the lighting, look like a whirl, and the character’s soft expression. It has that relaxing and magical vibe for me I like.
A simple portrait where I tried to show my character when he‘s older and in a different timeline… a what-if scenario. I like the colors and the intense glance. It was originally supposed to work with something else, but I decided to keep it like that in the end. In this picture, the vanilla one had better lighting on the chest, as I used the shader the white „burned out“ a bit too much but I sacrificed that for the crisp look.
It was exhausting to make this screen but it was worth it. I tried to take the screenshot over and over again until I got this result and I still like it, it was one of the most successful I took. I was alone as I did this so I had only a few minutes before my character died and I needed to restart. I prepared the camera angle, the lights, and everything else beforehand so I only needed to wait for Nidhoggs animation to run until I snap something I like.