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 Rachel's Coverpic Tips

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Posts : 9635
Join date : 2012-01-30
Age : 69
Location : In my own little world.

PostSubject: Rachel's Coverpic Tips   Tue Feb 21, 2012 2:56 pm

Rachel wrote:
I posted this back in my sims display thread.
This is a tutorial (?) on how I do all my cover pics. It's the same concept, but for those looking for a different coverpic now and again...

Step 1
I've downloaded this world so I have quick access to CAS

Instead of waiting for Sunset Valley/Riverview/Twinbrook to load, this world loads without extra houses, sims, etc. so it takes less than a minute to load on my CC'd up game. Before I had a ton of CC it would literally take less than 15 seconds. Another plus side is this world allows you to bring up graphics quality a little bit. When playing a normal game, my graphics need to be set on medium with a few highs, where here I can just max everything that matters.

Step 2
When I have my sim in a household just put it in as if normal. I set the needs to static since it takes forever to get some good pictures and turn off sims thought/speech bubbles. And then I set up a little "studio." It's basically a closed in room. No windows, etc. Just white floors and walls. I make sure I add some good lighting around the sim (using buydebug lights) Sometimes I'll use a pattern like I did with OK Go sims (paisley to go with their wardrobe, etc.)

Step 3

From there I just play around with interactions. Usually there will be a second sim on the lot so they can do interactions with each other.

Sarah: (Used her gossping with another sim)
Tessa (no CC): (She was just chatting with another sim and smiled after chatting)
Brooke: (I think the same for her as Tessa)

Other times I'll use the VR goggles (never end up using the pics though)

Sometimes I'll just have them interacting with other objects.

Aidan: (Playing video games)
Cuddy: (Writing on computer)
Liam: (On fire...)
Derek: (Checking self out in mirror)

Maybe walking

Tessa: (I got lucky with her! She was just walking around in a normal game!)

Or standing around (blank looks... usually don't end up great... these I don't like as much)


Or have their special idle animations

Shane: (Stood there rubbing his stomach o.O)
Nick: (Talking to self)

When you have sims interacting with something/someone else, go in to buy mode and enter MOO. Then move the subject out of the way. A lot of the time, Sims will continue doing their action (Example:
jumping on a trampoline.) and you can take pictures with a free area. And remember... constantly pause!!! It will give you a better chance to figure out if you want to take the picture or not, etc.

Step 4

After taking pictures (in cameraman mode!), I'll usually have about 20 or so in my screenshot folder. I'll go through and eliminate most of them until I have 5 or so. Then I play around in Photoshop, cropping, resizing and making sure I have 1 that I like which best shows of their features despite having a ton of it taken off. After that I do a small amount of editing. Usually I'll brighten eyes if they are light enough or blue/green. Sometimes sims with weird eye socket heights get their eyelashes cut off so I paint/clone those back in. Occasionally sims get noses distorted so I use the liquify tool to fix that. The thing that bothers me is that sims get their features dramatically changed during an interaction and don't exactly stay true to their actual appearance. Nose tips go in several different directions and their noses as a whole morph to a completely different shape. With Sarah I curled the edges of her mouth a bit more to make a more noticeable smile. And of course, I take the lighting a bit further with levels and stuff.

Looking at this before and after, I see a few more things that I could have done... but it's 1 AM and that's pretty much how stuff this late turns out. Laughing For example, the right side of the lip looks somewhat awkward (and I messed up the cheek a bit... a little more poofy than the original), I should have brought up the tear ducts (but that's also the way the dl'ed skin acts...), and maybe taken out a bit of the reddish hue. But still, that's because I'm picky. Laughing

To do the eyes, you need a burn and dodge tool. I know all Photoshop versions have it. I know paint does NOT. However, GIMP &, etc. might. If you know please post here! Anyway, what you do, is take the dodge tool (on a low percentage and very little), and paint the middle of the eyes (just around the pupil, very center of the iris). The dodge tool brings out light in an image (which if used too much can wash out the part), and the burn tool brings out the shadows (turns too dark if washed out). Use the burn tool to outline the edge of the iris. So this is a very good way of making the eyes pop. If I come across any more helpful PS tool effects for emphasizing sims, I'll post here.

So yeah, that's pretty much it. Smile It's mostly patience and playing around with different interactions.


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