JKA's In Game Basics

Alright soooo many things to tell you and please forgive me if some of this you already know.  I just want to make sure I cover EVERY possible thing you could use to help your pics!

1. Cheat Codes
First and foremost I want to cover cheat codes that I have already typed in before I even start the shot.

(Again just going from basics so forgive me if this is knowledge you already have)

Press ctrl, shift and C to be able to type in the cheat codes.

moveobjects on: allows you to place object *pretty much* anywhere you want.  You can also hold in alt while moveobjects is on and your object or sim won't snap to the grid.

buydebug on (or just buydebug works as well): This brings up another category in buy mode with tons of objects.  Even if these objects aren't things you use in your shot, they might be useful (ie the plants) for obtaining some interesting poses. If you have world adventures, the tomb objects are awesome for a lot of fantasy inspired shots!

unlockoutfits on: opens up a ton of new clothes and even makeup in CAS you might find useful.

hideheadlineeffects on: an absolute must.  Hides the annoying plumbob and speech/thought bubbles.

Now I have mods that automatically turn this one on for me, but if you don't, then you want to type in testingcheatsenabled true.  (I think thats what it is).

2. Camera Functions
Here are some important camera functions that will come in handy later:

Press tab when in live mode to help with picture taking.
Camera controls:
W - forward
S - back
A - Left
D - Right
E - Tilts up
Q - tilts down
Shift plus A - Rolls to the left
Shift plus D - Rolls to the right
Z- zoom in
X - Zoom out
Shift and S - reset

Also, this is not something I have, but I want to suggest if you have graphic or lag issues.


May or may not help but this tiny little world reduces the workload on your game, so it might help :D

Okay so let's get started.  I think first I want to talk about composition.  As far as sets go its a little hard to talk about until we have a specific assignment.

I'm going to just do a basic pic of a sim in her bedroom to show you my process. Remember this isn't set in stone but I'm hoping this will help you out with your overall composition.

Going to show you some comparison photos as well.

(BTW, with the game updated mods aren't QUITE as important. For example, if your testingcheats are enabled you can shift click on a sim and edit them in CAS and they will remain in their current pose.)

This is kinda left over from some pics i took to practice hair drawing  xD so let's put some hair on her.

Much better.  Obviously wardrobe is pretty imporant.  Needs to be appropriate and since I'm doing a bedroom shot, I want her in cute undies and kinda messy but cute hair.  Not overdone.

Now this is where I'm sure everyone is different.  I start out by only building a shell of the set, keeping in mind what what the camera is going to see.  Now let me first explain something.  I have this big overhead light at the moment only to illuminate my room.  I'm going to take it away later because I'm not a fan of how sims are illuminated by overhead lighting.

Okay so One thing I might do differently is that I build just a basic shell of my set first and pose my sim.  Basically the object the sim will be interacting with or sitting on, the sim and if indoors at least one of the walls in the room.

Since this is going to be an indoor pic, I want to say that I think a pic just looks like it has more depth if you include a corner of the room in the pic.  Just a pic straight on against one wall is really boring.  Also there is a balance you want to have with zoom.  You want to be fairly close to the sim but its nice to see some details of the set. Let's look at some comparison pics:

Notice we're playing around here with positioning of the sim, the bed, etc and also using camera mode.

Basically from here you just fill in details where there seem to be empty spots on the shot.  I love finding CC that gives it that extra boost too, like pillows for the bed so it doesnt look like every other sim bed. Remember to play around with different textures, patterns, etc.  We'll get into more advanced stuff like colors later :D  For lighting, I used to use the invisible lights under buydebug, but I've basically started (if possible) using mostly the outdoor spotlights.. and I may use many of them:

Then we basically play around with tab until we get something we like: