Over on Twitter, @TheSims
stated that we should post suggestions for improvement to gallery images here. I am coming at the issue from the perspective of a builder. There are several problems with the existing system:
- Gallery shots are taken from fixed perspectives that may wind up being too close or too far away, depending upon the size and shape of the structure.
- The angle of the shots does not work for some type of builds, hiding elements, like roofing, that balance the structure.
- Neighborhood objects such as trees, rocks, or even other buildings often wind up obscuring some or all of the images.
- Interior shots are so zoomed out that very few details can be ascertained and anything you have done that may be special or subtle cannot be seen.
There may well be more complaints; feel free to add your own!
Possible Systems for Improvement for Lots:
- When saving the lot, prompt the user to take one or more screen shots for use in the gallery. Allow them to go into TAB camera mode in order to get the zoom and angle they desire. Send these shots directly to the library file as part of the saving process.
- When saving the lot, use something similar to the in game sim photography system (I am referring to when the sims use a camera to take pictures in GTW) to enable the user to take one or more screen shots for use in the gallery. Send these shots directly to the library file as part of the saving process. This method would be less desirable than the first, as the player might not have as much flexibility to get the shots at the angle/zoom they'd like. It would still be better than the current system though!
- Change the lot saving process to match the sim saving process in CAS, where the player can cycle through different preset camera angles of the build and select the one they find most favorable. This would be the least desirable option, as unless great care is given to the different preset angles, some of the current problems might still exist (zoomed too far out, objects obscuring the build, etc.). However, at least it would provide some options and player choice, where there currently is none.
- Use the camera presets file (located in VideoCameraStates) to determine positions/angles to take shots and overwrite default shots with those shots (see pg. 2 for details). This would be a fairly flexible system - up to 5 shots of the creator's choice, very non-intrusive, and perhaps more easily implemented than some of the others.
- If possible, let the creator take a maximum of 8 pictures (8 is the current maximum); prompt them for the number of pictures they want to take within that limit.
- If possible, allow the creator to select a time of day for each image (make use of the functionality already present in build mode to set the time of day).
- Add a "skip" function that is available throughout the process; if the creator clicks "skip," the game generates the default gallery shots that it ordinarily would. This functionality is necessary because many creators save to their library as part of a testing process or to save while it's a work in progress, and they do not care about gallery images at that point.
- Consider also adding a game option that would toggle the creator driven imaging system off. When the system is introduced, you'd probably want it off by default so as not to confuse people who are used to the current process. Patch notes could alert interested creators that the option now exists, and they would find it very quickly.
- If option 3 is selected, enable the game to select the "front" of the lot based on which door has been selected as the "front" door. This will aid in the many cases where people build on sizes like a 30x20 and select the 30 width as their front side, but the game has designated the 20 width as the front (currently only those who have Get Together can use lots where the 30 width is the front).
- Allow builder to hide world objects that may get in the way of the picture(s), i.e. neighborhood trees, lampposts, etc.
- Take pictures at highest graphics settings automatically (background toggle for photos only)
- Enable applying filters to screen shots (using system from GTW photography)
- Enable brightness adjustment
- Let user choose wall cutaway level.
Suggestions for Improvement for Rooms:
- Ability to zoom in
- Allow for more than one image, so that more detail can be shown in large rooms.
Suggestions for Improvement for Sims/Households:
- Add 3D rotation for headshots in order to allow a focus on distinguishing features.
- Add the ability to choose the sim's expression (or cycle through available expressions, including a neutral expression, i.e. face at rest).
- Add the ability to choose the sim's pose (or cycle through them).
- Add more Maxis poses to select from
- Add ability to show (at least) one outfit per category, with a choice of poses for each.
- For "family portraits" provide a choice of group poses/arrangements, and if possible the ability to choose the position and outfit of each sim.
- Add a variety of selectable backgrounds (like in the photo studio object).
- Options to create a full length view of a sim
- Ability to zoom in to take close-ups/headshots
More? Please feel free to discuss other ideas and options, and I will add them to the list. Suggestions for rooms and sims are also welcome.
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