The 4 best free image editing tools on PC for screenshots and gifs

PC Gamer at

At PC Gamer, our screenshots folders are constantly full to bursting with screens of whatever game we're currently playing. When it comes time to edit them, we usually use Photoshop—but sometimes there's a better piece of software out there for dealing with images that's lighter and faster and cheaper (read: free) than Photoshop. Our colleagues at TechRadar recently rounded up the best free image editing software, and we've listed the ones we like to use below. These are our favorite utilities for making gifs, batch editing tons of screenshots, and making simple, quick edits that don't need the power of Photoshop.

Dark Souls 2 4K screenshots

Wes Fenlon at

Dark Souls II is a gorgeous game. Except when it's an ugly game. It's a little weird that way—some environments are absolutely breathtaking, while others stand out with dated, blocky geometry. This gallery mostly reflects the former, capturing some of Dark Souls II's most breathtaking vistas and immaculate art direction. There are no bosses or secrets in sight, so don't fear spoilers.

The theme of this gallery is "stoic." Or perhaps "pensive." Or "ooh, pretty lighting." Now feast your eyes on 40 screenshots captured at 3840x2160.

The Elder Scrolls Online screenshots: maxed settings at 7680x1440 on LPC

Cory Banks at

The Elder Scrolls Online is currently live for those who preordered, and what better way to celebrate than with ridiculous screenshots from the Large Pixel Collider? We took a trip through Tamriel that spanned three 1440p monitors, using the LPC's four Nvidia GTX Titans to take some gorgeous panorama shots from the game. Here are some of our favorites.

Thief Gold: 3840x2160 screenshots from the LPC

Wes Fenlon at

Thief is back. We've played the reboot from Eidos Montreal and seen what Thief looks like in 2014. But what does the original Thief, released in 1998, look like today? We decided to find out.

With the right mod installed, a modern PC can easily run the classic 1999 version of Thief, Thief Gold, at 1080p. But we played Thief Gold on the Large Pixel Collider, which is never satisfied with 1080p. The LPC worked its pixel-pushing magic to render Thief at 3840x2160, and we took a ton of screenshots along the way. This is The City sharper and higher-res than you've ever seen it before.

New Batman: Arkham Origins screenshots show brutal deployment of the Batfist

Ian Birnbaum at

Batman: Arkham Origins continues to tease us with nicely rendered screenshots, adding to the new gameplay video we got from Gamescom last week. Also check out that multiplayer trailer from a months ago.

South Park: The Stick of Truth farts out some new screenshots

Perry Vandell at

Gamescom 2013 has brought a great many things to the fore, among which are some screenshots for South Park: The Stick of Truth. So far, everything about The Stick of Truth looks like something you'd see from your usual episode of South Park. From what I've seen, you'd have good reason to be suspicious if it weren't for a trusty reticule featured in a couple of images. That's some fine work you did Mr. Reticule. Damn fine work.

Assassin's Creed IV: Black Flag screenshots wash up on our shores

Perry Vandell at

Ubisoft has spent an exorbitant amount of time showing off Assassin's Creed IV: Black Flag's open world. We've seen video after video highlighting how much Black Flag has improved from its predecessor, to the point where we've sort of forgotten Black Flag has multiplayer. Luckily, we have some brand new screenshots to remind us of that fact.

Star Citizen interview with Chris Roberts - new concept art and in-engine screenshots

Tyler Wilde at

Star Citizen is one of the most ambitious games in development—a massive, high-fidelity, multiplayer space combat sim headed by Wing Commander creator Chris Roberts. Back at GDC I interviewed Roberts about how he plans to realize Star Citizen's prodigious goals, the latest development update—which details modular ship customization—and how the universe as a whole will be simulated. You probably also want to scroll down for the first in-engine screenshots since the prototype reveal.

BioShock Infinite's Columbia re-created in Minecraft

T.J. Hafer at

Given that Minecraft's engine has kept everything except sand and gravel suspended at a fixed height with Lutece fields since long before we knew what they were, it has served as a natural and inevitable stage for one fan's re-creation of BioShock Infinite's moralist anti-utopia. The artist goes by Tiresh on imgur, and has already painstakingly replicated some of the game's most detailed and iconic areas.

The best graphics mods of 2012

Duncan Harris at

Running a website called Dead End Thrills (about pictures of grafix), I spend a lot of time playing with visual mods. When PCG asked me to list my favourites from 2012, I agreed thinking I could do it in the style of the prize round from Bullseye. "You'll be up all night 'cause it don't look like shite." "Act well-heeled with this depth-of-field." But that wouldn't work overseas, they said, and stopped being funny after two examples.

Here's a straightforward top ten, then, in no particular order.

Painkiller: Hell and Damnation administers a double dose

Logan Decker at

Of Orcs and Men screenshots confirm that it isn't easy being green

Omri Petitte at

Cyanide's upcoming RPG Of Orcs and Men is something like Inglorious Basterds minus Brad Pitt and with more shirtless, musclebound orc powerhouses. The plot staple of an eternal struggle between humankind and all things green gets a new perspective -- the player is placed in the shoes of Arkail, a renowned orc warrior seeking to end enslavement and slaughter at the hands of men by directing more violence at the Emperor. See today's new screenshots inside...

New screenshots for The Cave show cavernous carnivals, levers and such

Omri Petitte at

Double Fine's upcoming platformer The Cave, directed by click-master Ron Gilbert, deals with a variety of contemporary topics, such as the vagaries of subterranean carnival workers and the possible population of a magical talking cave. The latest round of screenshots still doesn't explain the connections between kingly cathedrals, missile control centers, and "OMDog" vending machines under one stony roof, but we're sure it'll all come together. Dose up on the wonderful weirdness inside.

Payday: The Heist screens break out

Matt Purslow at

Point Break simulator Payday: The Heist was the surprise highlight of E3 this year, and Rock, Paper, Shotgun have uncovered some screenshots the Left 4 Dead-influenced cop killing game has dropped on its latest robbery. Read on to see nine full-res images packed with unsettling face-masks and SWAT team brutality.

E3 2011: Aliens: Colonial Marines screenshots are climbing out of their eggs

Rich McCormick at

They mostly come at night, mostly, but it's early afternoon in the UK, and new screenshots for Gearbox's Aliens: Colonial Marines have just arrived. They show the co-operative shooter's glistening world, and remind us of two important things: wherever you go, there's an alien dangling behind your head, and they're coming out of the Goddamn walls, man. We'll bring you more information on the once-canned, now-alive game as soon as we've taken off and nuked the site from orbit. It's the only way to be sure.

New Batman: Arkham City screens send in the clowns

Graham Smith at

The sad clown character of Pierrot, famous from pantomime and Commedia dell'Arte, according to Wikipedia "became an alter-ego of the artist, specifically of the famously alienated artist of the 19th and early 20th centuries. His physical insularity; his poignant muteness, the legacy of the great mime Deburau; his white face and costume, suggesting not only innocence but the pallor of the dead; his eternal rejection by Columbine, coupled with his never-to-be vanquished unworldly naïveté—all conspired to lift him out of the circumscribed world of the Commedia dell'Arte and into the larger realm of myth. Much of that mythic quality still adheres to the "sad clown" of the postmodern era."

Anyway. Here's a new screenshot of Batman punching a one-armed clown carrying an enormous hammer, plus two other skulking shots.

Steam screenshot feature now in beta

Tom Senior at

It's now possible to use Steam to capture screenshots of your favourite games. Any game that works with the Steam overlay will support the feature, which will let you upload your shots to the Steam cloud so you can access them at any PC. The feature's currently in beta, read on for details on how to opt in.

How to take superb screenshots

Richard Cobbett at

Long after the battle is over and the credits have rolled, the memories of saving the world still linger. Make them even better with our guide to building up a collection of great gaming snaps and videos.