Nvidia's powerful Ansel screenshot tool and amusing VR Funhouse demo go live

These are a lot of fun.

Mere days before the July 19 launch of the $250 GeForce GTX 1060, Nvidia’s setting the stage with the release of two new flagship pieces of software it’s been teasing since the GTX 1080’s reveal all the way back in May.

First up is Ansel, the supercharged screenshot tool for Dead End Thrills-wannabes like myself.

Ansel’s a driver-based utility that lets you pause the game you’re playing, freely roam the camera around the area to find a picture-perfect angle for the scene, then apply a large variety of filters and other editing options to create jaw-dropping screenshots. As an in-driver tool, Ansel supports custom resolutions far beyond the capability of the base games it’s supported in—images with resolutions up to 61,000 pixels wide have been shown—and can create 360-degree picture “bubbles” that can be viewed inside a VR headset, or even Google Cardboard.

I played around with Ansel in The Witness at the GTX 1080 launch event and found it both remarkably easy and remarkably powerful. Now you can try it for yourself. This morning, Nvidia released a new driver that enabled Ansel support in the gorgeous Mirror’s Edge Catalyst—just about the ideal game for the feature to launch with.

ansel free camera

Both games and Nvidia’s drivers need to be updated to support Ansel. The Witcher 3 is getting Ansel support later this month, with several others scheduled to embrace Nvidia’s screenshot tool in the future, including Lawbreakers, Paragon, and The Division.

Even better: While Ansel’s being touted alongside new GTX 10-series graphics cards, the technology actually works with a wide array of GeForce cards going all the way back to the GTX 600-series.

Nvidia Funhouse

But Ansel’s not the only Nvidia software hitting the streets this morning. The company’s VR Funhouse demo launched on Steam today, giving HTC Vive owners a chance to experience Nvidia GameWorks technology as a series of fun carnival games—hence the name.

And when I say it gives you a chance to experience Nvidia GameWorks technology, I mean a lot of it. Various aspects of VR Funhouse integrate Nvidia’s PhysX, Hairworks, Flow, FleX and Destruction effects, while interacting with objects leans on PhysX-based haptics.

That means gamers with Radeon graphics cards may want to pass on VR Funhouse, but if you’ve got a Vive and a VR-ready GeForce cards, check it out. It’s free, and it’s actually a lot of fun. Pro tip: In the level with the water guns, shoot straight up in the air and try to catch the liquid on your face.

Join the Good Gear Guide newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags nvidia

Our Back to Business guide highlights the best products for you to boost your productivity at home, on the road, at the office, or in the classroom.

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Brad Chacos

PC World (US online)
Show Comments

Cool Tech

Crucial Ballistix Elite 32GB Kit (4 x 8GB) DDR4-3000 UDIMM

Learn more >

Gadgets & Things

Lexar® Professional 1000x microSDHC™/microSDXC™ UHS-II cards

Learn more >

Family Friendly

Lexar® JumpDrive® S57 USB 3.0 flash drive 

Learn more >

Stocking Stuffer

Plox Star Wars Death Star Levitating Bluetooth Speaker

Learn more >

Christmas Gift Guide

Click for more ›

Most Popular Reviews

Latest News Articles

Resources

GGG Evaluation Team

Kathy Cassidy

STYLISTIC Q702

First impression on unpacking the Q702 test unit was the solid feel and clean, minimalist styling.

Anthony Grifoni

STYLISTIC Q572

For work use, Microsoft Word and Excel programs pre-installed on the device are adequate for preparing short documents.

Steph Mundell

LIFEBOOK UH574

The Fujitsu LifeBook UH574 allowed for great mobility without being obnoxiously heavy or clunky. Its twelve hours of battery life did not disappoint.

Andrew Mitsi

STYLISTIC Q702

The screen was particularly good. It is bright and visible from most angles, however heat is an issue, particularly around the Windows button on the front, and on the back where the battery housing is located.

Simon Harriott

STYLISTIC Q702

My first impression after unboxing the Q702 is that it is a nice looking unit. Styling is somewhat minimalist but very effective. The tablet part, once detached, has a nice weight, and no buttons or switches are located in awkward or intrusive positions.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?