Frequently Asked Questions
Q. What do you use to create your snapshots? (Sims 2)
A. Here are the tools I use:
1. GunMod’s Camera Mod – This mod allows you to zoom way in, way out, see your entire neighborhood, and lower the camera all the way to the ground. Extremely handy. You use it the same way you use Cameraman Mode in the regular game, so if you know how to use that, this will be a piece of cake. I’ve gotten so accustomed to using this mod, that I can’t play without it!
2. GunMod’s Radiance Lighting System – This can be tricky to work with at first — previously I used the Umbrella Lamp to brighten my shots, but with the RLS installed, the Umbrella Lamp can make things way too bright. So I have to futz around with the lighting more now, which is usually a matter of trying combos of different lamps and light fixtures to get the right look. Also, if you have anything white, such as window frames or white clothing on Sims, you have to reduce the light dramatically so that it doesn’t glare. On the upside, this mod really brings out the detail in textures and makes everything look more 3-D. Now that I’m used to it, I love it.
3. SnagIt – I use this to take my snapshots, but you could also use Fraps or another program (just google “screen capture” to see what’s available). You can even use regular ol’ Windows Paint, but then you have to keep switching out of your game so you can paste the PrintScreen in and save it. That can be kind of a pain and make your game unstable (from all of the switching back and forth) but it’s still a possibility, and fine for one-off shots. I liked the trial version of SnagIt so much that I purchased the software, but you can probably find a freeware equivalent with a little hunting around (there’s also a 30-day trial version of SnagIt available if you want to give it a test run).
Jenn the Simmer Girl has an awesome tutorial on configuring SnagIt for Sims 2 picture-taking. The main advantage of using SnagIt (or Fraps, etc.) is that your pics will turn out much clearer and sharper than if you use the in-game screen capture. It’ll look more like what you see on screen when you play.
4. Image-editing – Once I have my pictures taken, I have to go into a photo-editing program like Photoshop to crop and resize them. (You should be able to do that in SnagIt or Irfanview as well.) Sometimes I mess with the saturation/contrast/brightness in order to fix pics that are too dark/too light/the wrong color. Mao has a great tutorial on this over at SimScribes. Also, I use “Sharpen” (most paint/image-editing programs have a feature like this) to make the shot look crisper.
Taking Totally Bitchin’ Pics – This is a work in progress but contains a ton of extremely useful information.
(I’ll post more tutorials here as I find them.)
Q. What eyes do you use/where can I find default eye replacements? (Sims 2)
A. Up until my Franchesca Diaries series, I used either Maxis defaults or eyes by Lyran (with a few exceptions). From Franchesca onward, I have been using the eyes by SiluettaSims (which is currently on hiatus while the owner finds a new host).
As for other eyesets, here are some nice-looking default eye replacement sets, ranging from more Maxis- or cartoon-like to very realistic:
Echo66’s Snow Eyes
Helaene’s Beautiful Stranger Eyes
Migamoo’s Semi-Realistic Eyes (two sets: here and here)
Hooligans’ Starlit Eyes
Schuldig’s Realism Eyeset
Enayla’s Eyes for the Eyeless
Albiel’s Eyes Pack
Lastrie’s Obscure Eyes
Lyran’s Eyes as Defaults (click on “Genetics” then “Eyes”)
You can find more by searching on the word “default” in the Mod the Sims 2 Downloads section.
Also, these aren’t defaults, but I like ’em (and will probably use some of them in the near future!):
Several sets of eyes by Tuulia at EyeCandy
And if you wish your PlantSims had different eyes and skin, here’s a remedy:
Replacement Skin & Eyes by Hysterical Paroxysm