Friday, October 9th, 2009

Downloads, Hacks and Tips to Take Rockin’ Pics in Sims 2

Sims are notorious for not cooperating when you’re trying to take pictures of them.  Either they won’t stand still and you have to pause the game or they get a funky look on their faces and it takes forever for them to cycle through to an expression that’s what you want.  Sometimes, no matter how long you wait, you’ll never get the shot that you’re after.

Here are a few things that you need in order to get the exact picture that you’re wanting.

  • Sign-up for an account at Mod the Sim2 – All of the custom content that I feature for download comes from there along with the hacks that you’re going to need to download.  They also have TONS of great tutorials.  You can register for an account by clicking here. [It's free.]
  • Purchase or download a photo editing program.  I use Photoshop CS4 and you can download a trial version by clicking here.  Since that trial is only good for about 30 days, you might consider GIMP which you can download by clicking here.  GIMP is like Photoshop and functions much like Photoshop.  Also, it’s free which will make most users very, very happy.
  • Download Decorgal’s Modeling Hack by clicking here.
  • Download JohnBrehaut1’s One More Slot Package for Bed and Counters by clicking here.
  • You’ll also want to download the invisible recolor of the magisplay tray by clicking here.
  • Download FRAPS by clicking here.  Change the hot keys if you want or leave them at default.
  • Download GunMod’s camera hack by clicking here.  Make sure that you load this particular one in: My Documents\EA Games\The Sims 2\Cameras [for XP users] or Documents\EA Games\The Sims 2\Cameras [for Vista users].  Override the file when it prompts you.

Woo!  I think that’s it for the downloads.  Remember that everything should be downloaded into either \My Documents\EA Games\The Sims 2\Downloads\ [for XP users] or \Documents\EA Games\The Sims 2\Downloads\ [for Vista users].

Open up your game after loading all of your downloads and start with a blank lot.  You’re not going to build a real house since all of those extra walls will just get in the way.  I always build one really big room and then use a corner of the big room as a set.

Things you’ll need “on set”:

  • A cheap mirror so that you can change the appearance of your Sims.  I say cheap so that you’re not wasting $ but if you have the cash to burn then buy whatever your little heart desires.
  • A “One More Slot” thing – Found in Tables and then Misc.
  • Magisplay tray – Found in shelves
  • Model Hack black box – Found hobbies and then Misc.
  • Whatever props or objects you want like a bed or counter top
  • Lighting!  Lots and lots of lighting!  You can place them off camera if necessary and they are a must.  I forgot to add them and my shots are very dark because of that.

Here’s a picture of my set:

Some things to remember when you’re taking pictures in Sims 2.

When you’re using Fraps and you have kept the screenshot at default as F10, if you’re not in “camera mode” [by pushing Tab] then hitting F10 will hide your character/control screen [or whatever that's called].  You have to hit F10 to bring that back or you won’t be able to control your Sim.

Ctrl+Shift+C is your friend.  That opens up the cheats dialog.  To display all of the cheats, type in help.  You should use the cheats dialog to turn on moveObjects on [so that you can move everything exactly where you want], Plumbbobtoggle off [to get rid of the green diamond-the Plumbbob] and maxMotives [so that your Sims never get tired, hungry, etc.].

Once you have everything that you need on your set and you’ve enabled all of your cheats, it’s time to get down to the business of taking pictures.

Click on the black model box and select whatever pose you want.  It doesn’t matter what they’re doing or where they are; your Sim will automatically begin the action.  Move your Sim on top of the Magisplay tray and then on to whatever height “One More Slot” object that you need.  If necessary, change the color of both objects so that they are “invisible”.

Position your screen so that you’re about where you want to take pictures and then hit Tab.  If you’ve installed GunMod’s camera hack then you can zoom more than you normally be allowed which comes in handy when you’re wanting an up-close shot.

Hit whatever button you’ve set in Fraps and you’ve taken your first picture.  Hit Tab again to exit camera mode and reposition everything to your liking.  Continue the process until you’ve gotten all of the shots that you want.

Next, open up your photo editing software.

Find your pictures in the file where you set Fraps to save your pictures.  [I have mine to save Fraps\Screens.]

Here is my picture prior to editing it:

While you can turn off “free will” of Sims, you can’t turn off free will of pets.  Hence, the cat on the counter next to my Sim.  *sigh*

The free version of Fraps only saves images as .bmp files and the edges will be jagged.  A simple tip, after you’ve cropped your pictures and adjusted the colors, use your “blur” tool to smooth out the jagged edges.

There you go.  A pretty easy to follow guide to taking basic pictures in Sims 2.  Custom objects, hair, skins, and practice editing in Photoshop/Gimp will make a big difference but the base game with no custom content other than what I’ve told you to download will serve you well.

Good luck and happy picture taking!

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4 Responses to “Downloads, Hacks and Tips to Take Rockin’ Pics in Sims 2”
  1. mj says:

    i cannot get this to work for the life of me

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