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Looking to see what the level of effort is for implementing a screen capture command into PS3 game by a mid-level PS3 game developer.

Bonus for a description of what is involved in the process...


Not sure how to get back my question since it was the first but let me clarify some things. @Nate Bross, nope I am not the actor although i've fielded calls for him on occasion

@coderanger my intent was to try and speak to other PS3 developers, however coming from a web development no one in my social circle close or extended develops on the PS3. Additionally i'm interested in hearing the effort required in terms of hours so that this information can be passed on to a client. A client who has a game on the PS3 using the unreal engine. Convo with devs sometimes go something like "can you implement feature a" which gets a response "this will take us 8 weeks and an army". Trying to be educated before the ask. I hope that helps

If anyone here is a PS3 game dev and would like to respond off site so as not to break NDA that would be awesome.

@Roger it would be from within the game, something that users can use. Something akin to the iphone screencap utility. No need to get fancier than that.

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Your middle name isn't William is it? – Nate Mar 3 '11 at 0:57
If you're a licensed developer, the tools allow you to take a screen capture. If you want a command line alternative, raise a support issue and someone from SN will be glad to help. – Ray Dey Mar 3 '11 at 0:59
Sean, please clarify exactly what you are looking for here. I believe any discussion of Sony Playstation 3 development would be under NDA, so we don't want to encourage anyone to break any such NDAs. If you are asking about homebrew development please be explicit about that and I suppose it would be okay here (I'm not familiar with the PS3 platform). But if you are indeed asking about NDA-covered development, I don't think you will get any answers and I would encourage you to close your question and speak with Sony or other fellow PS3 developers. – Ricket Mar 3 '11 at 3:05
@Ricket: If the information is obtained through reverse engineering, it can be published, and then it can be used by non-homebrew developers unless Sony somehow managed to forbid it in their developer contract. Reverse engineering for interoperability is usually legal (for example, it has been recognized as legal in the US for the iPhone). – Gilles Mar 3 '11 at 19:10
@Giles I don't think that is a legal battle this site wants to become involved in. The SDK is the legal property of Sony and anything inside it is covered by an NDA, making an argument that this would be covered under fair use I leave to people with lawyers and money. – coderanger Mar 4 '11 at 1:59

Do you want to capture the screenshot from within the game for some purpose, or from a development PC?

From the development PC there are simple facilities provided, you easily use the Target Manager SDK to achieve this (you'll need to read the full description to see what else you need to set up as specifics are NDA'd).

From within the game, the simplest way is to insert something after the frame has been rendered to first flush the GPU (to ensure that everything has finished being rendered before you continue). The game should have a pointer to the current frame buffer somewhere, you'll know the format of that buffer (the stride, etc), you can then do what you want, including writing it out in a format of your own choice with a little work.

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As your client is using the Unreal Engine, I recommend looking at the UDN. Here you will find all the information you need relating to implementing features within the Unreal Engine itself. I couldn't tell you exactly what you would need to call though as a good portion of it (any link that is red) is blocked off only to licensed developers.

You will need to make some sort of arrangement with your client for them to let you access their development materials.

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The PS3 runs a variant of OpenGL ES (which is the same thing most mobile devices are using), though I don't know of anyone that actually uses OpenGL directly. shows how to create a screenshot an an iPhone, I wouldn't expect it to be very different.

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