Le Mans Ultimate: How To Take The Best Screenshots

If you are someone who is snap happy in sim racing, then this is the guide for you.

Just like its physics engine, Le Mans Ultimate uses rFactor 2’s graphical engine as a base. The simulator therefore carries noticeable visual similarities to rF2, but it brings with it a variety of noticeable improvements that can make for the perfect desktop wallpaper.

We’ve all seen the photo-realistic screenshots of scarlet Ferraris, sunset-flooded circuits and poised GT cars that were packaged with the simulator’s release; its roster of 12 World Endurance Championship contending cars certainly looks the part in the right conditions. 

But how can you take the best screenshots in Le Mans Ultimate? From controls to graphics settings and the best techniques when out on track, here’s what you need to know.

Does Le Mans Ultimate have photo mode?

Unlike some simulators on the market in 2024, Le Mans Ultimate does not have a photo mode that’s dedicated to taking screenshots. 

Platforms such as iRacing and Assetto Corsa Competizione don’t have photo modes, either. However, both have heads up display (HUD) panels that allow you to edit the camera’s zoom and aperture, for example. 

In Le Mans Ultimate, the free camera and free lens tools will take this feature’s place and be your best friend as they allow you to make these adjustments via a set of custom controls instead. 

  • The free camera tool allows full control over movement and zoom
  • The free lens tool allows full control of focus distance, aperture and exposure

You’re also going to need to make use of the simulator’s pre-existing instant replay feature and the ability to watch sessions from the garage, which provides the footage you will be able to take screenshots of.

The best controls for screenshots

Le Mans Ultimate does not automatically bind controls for either the free camera or free lens, which is where we come in. Given you must assign every movement or control to a bind, there’s no way your wheel is going to have anywhere near enough buttons, so we’d recommend that you use a gamepad and keyboard in harmony for taking screenshots. 

This will ensure that you can still use the majority of your keyboard for other controls in the game, which is especially important in Le Mans Ultimate as it does not allow users to assign multiple inputs to something (CTRL + a letter, for example), and still give you an intuitive feel.

Most importantly, we would recommend that you use your gamepad to adjust the replay, move the free camera and make the majority of changes to the free lens. 

One free lens control will need to spill onto your keyboard, as will assignments that enable the free camera and free lens – the latter pair can be assigned to any key of your choice.

Replay button assignments 

The first thing you need to do before taking the best screenshots in Le Mans Ultimate is to give yourself full control of the replay. 

There are two ways you can access a replay in the simulator:

  • The instant replay feature, which is bound to “R” on your keyboard by default
  • Hitting “Watch” when in the garage

Either will allow you to take screenshots without restriction if you’re using the free camera and free lens tools, although the instant replay feature is best for single-player race weekends where you can jump into a replay halfway around the track, take your desired screenshot, and hop straight back in the car to continue driving.

Watching the replay from the garage is best if you want to drive a lap and then take screenshots, however, this method will not be suitable for use at longer circuits such as Le Mans where a lap time exceeds the three-minute limit for a replay.

  • You can change the replay length in Settings > Gameplay > Instant replay
  • You can set the bind to open an instant replay in Settings > Controls > Gameplay

Once you have your chosen method of opening a replay, you will need to assign a button to three key replay controls:

  • Replay Play
  • Replay Fast Forward
  • Replay Rewind

These are best placed on your gamepad for easy access when taking screenshots:

Free camera button assignments 

Now that you can navigate a replay effectively, you can turn your attention to the free camera button assignments. 

Setting controls for the free camera is the most simple part of taking screenshots in Le Mans Ultimate on paper, but it is probably the most difficult stage in practice as you need to juggle leaving room on your gamepad for the free lens controls whilst making a setup that is still intuitive. 

Here are the best free camera button assignments for Le Mans Ultimate:

  • The left thumbstick is for physical, omnidirectional movement of the camera
  • The right thumbstick is for turning the camera
  • The triggers physically move the camera vertically 
  • The shoulders roll the camera to the side

You may notice that the controls to zoom in and out can not be found amongst the other free camera binds, so scroll up within Settings > Controls > Camera to the “Cinematic Camera” subsection and assign “Camera Zoom In” and “Camera Zoom Out” to the “D-Pad Up” and “D-Pad Down” buttons.

  • Remember to assign a button to “Enable Free Camera” on your keyboard

Free lens button assignments

With all of your camera movement and replay controls assigned to buttons on your gamepad or keyboard, it’s time for the more fun binds.

The free lens allows you to adjust the aperture, focus distance and exposure of the camera, which are key tools for composing the best screenshots. 

However, we recommend that you ignore the exposure control – Le Mans Ultimate automatically adjusts the exposure of your image and we found that it met our needs in all conditions. You can easily get more creative and play with shadows and highlights in post-processing instead.

As we are low on free buttons on our gamepad at this point, prioritise putting the aperture control on it as you will want to adjust this the most depending on the scenario of your screenshots. The focus distance controls, meanwhile, should be bound to your keyboard – likely your arrow keys – as they will very simply get slightly less use.

Here are the best free lens button assignments for your gamepad in Le Mans Ultimate:

  • Remember to assign a button to “Enable Free Lens” on your keyboard
  • On your D-pad bind the up and down controls for your Aperture Increase/Decrease

The best graphics setting for screenshots

Now that your controls are all set up, you can dive into your graphics settings. 

Unlike simulators such as iRacing, Le Mans Ultimate features a relatively simple set of graphical adjustments. There are a few key areas that you need to focus on:

  • Ensure anti-aliasing is set to MSAA 8x and “Texture Filter” to 16x to avoid pointed edges on objects as much as possible
  • Turn “Post Effects” to high for the most realistic overall look
  • Put “Texture Detail” and “Circuit Detail” to ultra for high-quality cars and objects

When taking screenshots, though, there is a balance to be found. Ultimately, you don’t want to turn everything to its absolute maximum as this will hurt your framerate even more than running high or ultra settings already will. 

As a result, we made some small sacrifices within our recommended graphics settings that should allow you to take beautiful screenshots no matter your hardware.

How to set up and take a screenshot

Out on track, the first thing you need to do is enter a replay. We found that it’s best to take screenshots in a single-player session using the instant replay feature. From there, navigate to the segment of the replay where you would like to take a screenshot using the gamepad controls that we showed earlier.

Once you’ve picked your spot, you need to enable both the free camera and the free lens which, together, allow you to take full control over the camera’s positioning and zoom as well as aperture and focus distance.

With both controls enabled, you can compose your shot making full use of the zoom and tilt features. Compared to iRacing or Assetto Corsa Competizione, the in-game camera cannot extend to particularly long focal lengths, so you may find yourself feeling like you have to move closer to the cars to find the shot you want. 

When positioned correctly, adjust the aperture and focus distance in unison. You want to make any changes whilst keeping your eye out for a few things:

  • Are your subjects in focus? If your focus range is too small then you should increase your aperture and change the focus distance can bring this closer to or further from the camera.
  • If you can see a ring of halo-like bloom around your car, your aperture is likely too low.

When you’re happy with your screenshot, you need to wait for the box that automatically pops up when you make free lens adjustments to disappear as there is no way of removing it manually without turning off your HUD entirely. 

Then, all you need to do is take your screenshot using Le Mans Ultimate’s default bind of F12 and you’re done! That’s how to take the best screenshots in Le Mans Ultimate.

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