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 Rachel's 10 Tips For Making a Celebrity Sim

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MerryWiddow
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PostSubject: Rachel's 10 Tips For Making a Celebrity Sim   Wed Feb 29, 2012 10:29 am

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Hi guys, recently I've been getting a lot of questions recently about how I get my sims so exact, so I think I'll make a post here, and eventually copy it over to my blog on the TS3 site. These are either things I've noticed myself about sim making, or have received as tips from other people. Only the first two tips are for those who use CC and/or mods, so don't let that put you off!

1) Find realistic skins and eyes (sometimes even eyebrows?)
Skins and eyes make a huge difference in how the sim looks. To make the most realistic sim as possible, find a skintone and eyes that have good proportions, shading, etc.

Skins
The more detailed a skin is, usually the more realistic it is. Another tip: don't mix different racial skintones. Ex: don't use Asian skintones on Caucasian sims, and in some cases vise versa. This is because different areas in real life have prominent facial features that are exaggerated on skins creators make. If you use non-default, get a good mix of different races. I use default because I've never really made sims anything else other than Caucasian. Here are currently the default replacements I use and they're the best I've come across so far.

http://mysims3blog.blogspot.com/2010/09/applemandarinstrawberry-set-of-3.html



Eyes
I've gone through a lot of trial and error with eyes. Usually you can tell when eyes are realistic or not by looking at pictures. However, proportion is what has been a huge issue for me. Usually the more simplistic an eye is, the better. Be careful with reflections being overdone. That's why I don't like subaxi or lemon leaf's eyes. Here are the eyes I'm currently using:

http://linna.modthesims.info/download.php?t=397231


Here are some examples of eyes you probably don't want if going for realism:
Click here
Click here
Click here

Sometimes eyebrows?
I don't really like the games eyebrows, but that's more of a personal preference. They're too solid, big, or untamed. I have downloaded a few eyebrows by Missbonbon at Garden of Shadow's advent calendar. They're ok. I love how they look with darker colors, but sometimes blonde can be an issue. I don't have many tips on other eyebrows as I try to limit how many I have in game.

http://www.digitalperversion.net/gardenofshadows/index.php?topic=20736.msg530931#msg530931


2) Mods are your friend!
I use two types of mods that are really helpful (not necessarily required) when making celeb sims.

Mastercontroller
You've probably seen me blabbering about this a lot, but this is truly the most helpful mod for TS3 overall. The main reason it's helpful is that you can go back and edit the sim in-game instead of going back and forth after saving to sim bin, going in game, sim bin, etc. There is also a slider hack in it that allows you to multiply the limit of how far it goes. Very helpful for people in real life who have very dramatic features. Usually 2x should be enough. I just found out about the slider multiplier feature and it's been insanely helpful. One feature being tweaked makes all the difference in the world.

Slider Hacks
These are really helpful for those who are perfectionists (like me! :-bd:). Like I said, one feature makes all the difference. Sometimes I'll run into people who have very narrow jaw lines that can't be created with basic sliders. Another person I'm working on has a cleft chin. Sometimes their eye shape can't be made right and you need an eyelid width slider. Heck, even an eyebrow thickness slider does the trick because you're so limited in game!

3) Lipstick on guys... doesn't really work
Unless the male sim your making IRL wears makeup, don't put it on them. I'm especially talking about lip glosses and lipsticks. If you are making a sim who wears guyliner, sure, they should wear it. Sometimes even blush and foundation can help. But lip makeup rarely ever gives the effect you want. I've heard people using reasoning like "My sim has really red lips naturally!" Well, it doesn't look that way when you put it on in game. The base game lipsticks are especially bad because they are flat and most of the time, don't even look good on women to begin with. Again, this may be a matter of personal preference, but to me it just doesn't look right. But! There is hope. Some creators DO make natural lips that you can add in game. I haven't tested them out, but if you really are desperate for "rosy" lips, then that might work. This is a bit dramatic, but here is why you don't use lipstick on males.



4) Windowed mode is an even better friend!
When I did my first celebrity sim, I tried doing it by memory and on full screen. Really, this is the worst possible way to go. By my second sim I was still in full screen, but did use a photo for reference. I just kept pressing the windows key and going back and forth from the reference pic to my game. Now, I put my game into a small window and drag it off to the side of my screen and have the reference photo on the other. Usually adjusting the window just enough can make it so you have enough of the picture and the sim. This is usually what my screen will look like when working on a sim. Anna Paquin's picture is on the left, and her sim is on the right. I have enough room to see Anna and her sim. My computer screen resolution is 1280x1024 and the window I use here is 1152x824. Occasionally, I may need to go smaller to a smaller game window.



Note: If you're using a photograph, that'll work too! Even better, you can play your game in full screen and keep the photo to the side of your computer.

5) Finding the Perfect Picture
Sometimes the whole reason I abandon a sim is because I can't find a good enough picture of them. I don't like guess work, and that's how important a picture is. Here are some things to keep in mind while searching for a picture.

High Quality
Professional photo shoots are the best, of course. Fan photos of people usually have bad lighting, are blurry, or just don't show the celeb/person at their best.

Bad quality (flash really bothers me in pics...):


Big enough/Clear features
Obviously you're going to need to be able to see each person's features. This is different from the last one because while fan photos are big, they aren't high quality and while photoshoots are good quality, they may not be big enough or focus.

Bad Size/Hard to See:


Good Angle
Honestly, you can never really see a person's features right if you aren't looking straight on. You can do a lot of guess work, but you'll never get the results you want unless you're looking straight on at the person. Can you go make a sim based on this picture accurately? No, probably not. Smile



After putting all those requirements together, the following picture would be ideal for Tim McIlrath. In fact, it's what I used when I made him as a sim. You can see his features just right, the picture is gigantic, and very clear. The black and white is also a bonus for contrast.

Click here, too big!

Mix and match ONLY if needed.
Sometimes you just can't find that one perfect picture. The problem is that different pictures can change how a person looks dramatically. Sometimes if you find a clear picture for face shape, their eyes may not look good. Sometimes the angle might be bad, but you can see nose length. Mixing these pictures can cause conflicting facial features.

For example, the first picture shows Hugh Laurie's nose length, but the rest of the features would be considered bad angle. The second one is great, but really, how long is his nose? After tweaking both in CAS you can have a hard time trying to make the nose look just right.


6) Relaxed Faces in CAS
A long time ago, I asked Magic to look at a sim of mine in the chatbox. I can't remember which one it was since it was so long ago, but I showed him the reference pic along with the sim. He pointed out a tip that has been really important for me over time and made me realize a lot of things.

What smiling does
Look in the mirror and smile. How do your facial features change? It's probably obvious. Your eyes squint (or get bigger maybe?), nostrils flare, nose is wider, cheeks are bigger, etc. Now if the picture you have of the celebrity is where they are smiling, take those factors into consideration and tone them down more. It'll make the features correct in game when they are performing those actions.

Creepy face
Sims smile WAY too much. And when they smile, it's BIG. So you can't make your sim have smiling features in create a sim. It's like a double smile and they're faces get gigantic and they look like they're crazy and going to kill you. Seriously.



Here's Ethan Mars, my most recent sim. Despite being depressed, he always has this subtle smile on his face. I don't want to add those features in CAS, though, because it just gets exaggerated in game. With a relaxed face in CAS, his features look normal and realistic in-game (left). However, make a slight smile on his face in CAS (top right), he gets this freaky smile that doesn't look right (bottom right).



7) Take a Break and Come Back Later
This is actually the reason why my sims take so long to make. I don't make them in one sitting. A lot of the time I will rush through on the first day, and spend up to another 3 days tweaking the features to make sure it looks just right to me. It's like checking your work on a math assignment. You can take as long as you want, but you most likely won't be perfect unless you check your work. There may be a mistake in your work somewhere, and throw the rest of your answer off. It's the same way with sims. Come back a day later and check to see what you can improve on. Never be satisfied with what you have that first day. Smile

8) You're making a sim for in-game, not for CAS
I've read on MTS, that preview pictures are not allowed to be CAS pics... and for good reason too. Sims look SOOOOO much different in-game than when you first made them in CAS. I can make a sim look perfect in CAS and exactly like their celebrity counterpart, but in the end, the game messes up how they look (no idea why, but it just does) once you go to live mode. This is why I recommend mastercontroller. You can edit each feature and go back to see how it looks in game. I mean, after all, you don't play the sims inside of CAS!

9) Play test the sim
One of the biggest mistakes for my earliest sims was that I didn't play test my sim in game. Just like you would with buildings, worlds, and etc., you want to see how your sim looks in game. Do they still resemble that celebrity? Or are there things you need to change? Check to see how their facial features look when they make a funny face. How similar would your celebrity look if they made that face? This is true for any sim, though. Check to see how your sim looks in game before uploading in general, there might be a facial feature you want to change before uploading to the exchange.

10) Cover pictures
Ok, well, I'm kinda cheating here since I've already posted this tutorial before on here, but I was short on tips and didn't know what to do for my last one. Rolling Eyes So I recommend checking out this thread if you are going to upload to the exchange. It shows some different tips on cover pictures to use if you plan on using a custom one (which you should!)

http://builders.forumotion.net/t832-rachel-s-coverpic-tips

--------------

I hope this tutorial helped or inspired you! These are what I do, and I'm not sure if anyone else does it differently. I mean, of course there are the obvious things such as practice, finding the correct hairstyle, etc. but sometimes the smallest things can really help. If anyone has their own tips, please post them here, and I'll add them into the main post!

I apologize if there are any serious typos in this or if a part doesn't make sense. I started typing it at 10 last night and kept working until about 2. xD If you need some clarification let me know and I'll try and rephrase the best I can. Smile

This was quoted from the old site. Rachel aka rinirae on TS3.

.:*~*:._.:*~*:._.:*~*:._.:*~*:._.:*~*:._.:*~*:._.:*~*:._.:*~*:.

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