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Which hair type do you prefer? Alpha or clay?

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    ironknight35ironknight35 Posts: 3,751 Member
    Alpha hair is amazing! Just look at this hair for guys... *.*
    CpctNNS.png?1

    He/Him
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    duhboy2u2duhboy2u2 Posts: 3,290 Member
    I prefer the look of alpha hairs but don't use them because of binning issues? I guess that its binning issues anyway. I find it irritating that my sim children, when born to parents with alpha hairs come out with random hair colors instead of genetic ones. So I typically only use the alpha hairs after my sims are finished procreating. I like to stick to the colors they were 'intended' to have, so even when I use alpha hairs instead of clays I try to match the hair as closely as possible to the natural hair color.
    Loving yourself is the most simple and complicated thing you can do for you.
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    tonicmoletonicmole Posts: 121 Member
    I am a big clay fan. Personally, Alpha hair always looks like it's in mid movement. A lot of the problem is that alpha hair is almost always too elaborate and looks like a wig.
    What's the deal with the creepy Sim in the yellow shirt, and glasses? The one right up there! I'm guessing what ever he is it starts with "serial".
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    NotLoudonWainwrightNotLoudonWainwright Posts: 863 Member
    I only use Maxis match CC hairs. Everything else looks terrible, including "clayified" hair which looks like shiny rubber.
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    CharlottesmomCharlottesmom Posts: 7,015 Member
    Clay, though at first it was off putting, I don't mind it now.
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    ironknight35ironknight35 Posts: 3,751 Member
    I think clay hair looks okay, but I prefer alpha though xD Maybe the clay hair would look better if it were more detailed.
    He/Him
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    ironknight35ironknight35 Posts: 3,751 Member
    duhboy2u2 wrote: »
    I prefer the look of alpha hairs but don't use them because of binning issues? I guess that its binning issues anyway. I find it irritating that my sim children, when born to parents with alpha hairs come out with random hair colors instead of genetic ones. So I typically only use the alpha hairs after my sims are finished procreating. I like to stick to the colors they were 'intended' to have, so even when I use alpha hairs instead of clays I try to match the hair as closely as possible to the natural hair color.
    The random hair colors can be annoying... The same thing will happen if you have a CC skin (the kids will have random skin colors). :neutral:
    He/Him
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    AyradyssAyradyss Posts: 912 Member
    edited October 2016
    Well, as far as the definitions, "Alpha" hair is generally more realistic with strands and layers of hair to simulate, well, hair. The term "Alpha" comes from (to the best of my knowledge) the fact that it uses an alpha-channel and shader system to create transparency. (Those fine little hairs are drawn onto less fine meshes -- the 'air' between them is actually just made transparent so it looks like there's nothing there.)

    "Clay" hair is what shipped with The Sims 4 out of the box. It generally just looks like a single lump of clay or plastic painted to look generally hair-like. (I always called it 'claymation' hair myself, as it looks like the stuff in those old 'claymation' animated shorts.) It has 'clumps' of hair rather than 'strands.'

    Me, I pretty much loathe the 'clay' style hair. I agree completely with @CK213 -- I think the alpha hairs look just fine with the rest of TS4 -- though I do also use other CC including a default replacement skin, so that may be a factor. I don't think the actual Sims themselves, other than the hair, really looked that bad (bad for me being 'unrealistic/cartoony'). Their expressions are something I take issue with a bit -- I really don't care for the exaggerated, caricature-style facial expressions much. But I can cope with that as long as I have my CC for the rest.

    One tell-tale that you can see with an 'Alpha' hair is that the transparency interacts oddly with other transparent objects in the game. (This just happens in general in TS4 anytime you have multiple layers of transparent objects in front of each other.) Like when a Sim showers (glass) or sometimes when they're swimming or in a hot tub (water). This is simply an issue with the TS4 engine and rendering transparency -- unfortunately, it just wasn't made to really render layers of transparency. For me, the glitch is small enough that I can absolutely put up with it compared to how much I dislike the 'claymation' look.

    As always, beauty is in the eye of the beholder.

    Edit: I'm also very much in agreement with @CK213 and @Aesir26 as far as there being a glut of really crazy-long hairstyles in unrealistic 'freeze-frame' positions. I've had to do some looking to find styles I liked, but they are definitely out there. Make no mistake -- I'm definitely not saying that ALL 'Alpha-style' hairs are great. There are good and bad among both types of hair, certainly.
    Pay for product -- not potential!
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    LinamintsLinamints Posts: 952 Member
    Aesir26 wrote: »
    Simanite wrote: »
    Can someone explain to me what is alpha and what is clay?

    It usually refers to the texture of CC hair. Alpha means it's more realistic while with Clay the texture is closer to what we see in the default hair for the game.

    Alpha hair is hair that uses a shader called "simglass" it creates a transparency effect that allows realistic appearances in hair meshes since you can see through your own hair if you hold it to light, so you can create similar layers to real hair by use of this transparency.
    Alpha hairs are also usually made of many planes (segments of hair).

    Clay hairs are usually a solid mesh that is sculpted and shaped into a hairstyle. These hairs have no transparency so creating that realistic effect isn't really possible. Not that they can't be very detailed (I've seen really beautiful clay hairs) but it's very hard to create something similar to an alpha hair.

    "Parenting is just like gardening, except if you let your garden die you don't go to prison." - Anna Blast
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    aaronjc123aaronjc123 Posts: 1,117 Member
    Definitely clay - fits in better with the style of the game.
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    SimmingLoveSimmingLove Posts: 280 Member
    Clay all the way, everyday! Whenever I download CC I always end up taking it out within a week of when I got it. Just doesn't fit as well with the Sims 4 feel.
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    staravia81staravia81 Posts: 369 Member
    I prefer clay and "Maxis match" hair. Alpha doesn't fit in with the art style of the game. For it to look right on my sims, I would need cc skin and makeup, and because I'm playing the Sims and not Second Life, I have no desire to go that far in terms of cc. Alpha also tends to be too long and it's supposed to show movement, but has the look of too much hairspray applied while in a wind tunnel.
    My builds!
    EA ID: staravia81
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    ironknight35ironknight35 Posts: 3,751 Member
    staravia81 wrote: »
    I prefer clay and "Maxis match" hair. Alpha doesn't fit in with the art style of the game. For it to look right on my sims, I would need cc skin and makeup, and because I'm playing the Sims and not Second Life, I have no desire to go that far in terms of cc. Alpha also tends to be too long and it's supposed to show movement, but has the look of too much hairspray applied while in a wind tunnel.
    A lot of alpha hair does look weird, but it is possible to find some great looking hair (if you look around). Try some of Stealthic's hairs. ;)

    He/Him
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    feetinstockingsfeetinstockings Posts: 4,264 Member
    stupid here comes into conversation for clarification. Clay hair is what doesn't move in game and alpha is hair that does???? right???
    :*

    I like hair that looks good on my sim. I think I usually go for alpha.
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    jeepjeepcatjeepjeepcat Posts: 2,302 Member
    Maxis match all the way. I much prefer the look of it in game, the alpha hairs look lovely but too jarring in game for me.
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    LinamintsLinamints Posts: 952 Member
    @dreamprisoner Those cream stripes are usually caused by lag (if it's there only briefly). It happens because the game is still processing the transparency of things in that area so for a brief moment the hair turns the color of skin.
    If it's that way all the time, then one or all of the shaders were mistakenly using the shader "simskin" if you (or anyone else) find a hair that does that that you really want, download Sims 4 Studio, under tools>modding and click "Glass Shader (CAS)" it will correct the incorrect shader.
    "Parenting is just like gardening, except if you let your garden die you don't go to prison." - Anna Blast
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    NeiaNeia Posts: 4,190 Member
    Clay hair for me, I like the Maxis style
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    JoAnne65JoAnne65 Posts: 22,959 Member
    Clay

    I started off using Alpha hair (And CC in general), just like I did in Sims 2 + 3, but I've always liked the basic Sims 4 style, and the clay hair itself. So eventually I took all of the Alpha CC out and found that I was completely happy having just Clay and Maxis Match hair.

    Here's my sim Arabella, and how she looked when my game was packed with Alpha CC vs how she looks now with Clay hair.
    rrfrf.png

    In some ways I think that Alpha hair is LESS realistic than clay hair, a large majority of the styles are supermodel-esque, they're all freakishly long, compared to how real hair is and the shorter styles look like they've been grafted from Anime characters. The shine of the hair isn't, to me, realistic, it looks more like the plastic nylon used for Barbie dolls than real hair. A lot of the styles, if not done properly, also look ratty, greasy and unkempt.
    frrffrrf.png
    Something that annoyed me about Alpha hair was that, if you're downloading it from different creators, a lot of the time the styles didn't work together, one Alpha hair would be extremely shiny, the other more dulled and long, and another ratty with hairs going every which way.
    Alpha hair also didn't work well with the game, it would disappear through windows, or in the sauna.
    image.png
    I had a lot of glitches where the hair would have cream stripes running through it, or the portrait of my sim would show them with blue hair, here's two examples (I grabbed the pictures off google)
    t15jlvy.pngrffrrr.png
    And this screenshot from my own game of what happened often with Alpha hairs, sims would get covered in a shiny layer of something...
    image.png
    100% agreed. For me your Arabella proves your point perfectly.
    5JZ57S6.png
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    Julia5520Julia5520 Posts: 10 New Member
    Both but I like alpha more as long as the sim has a nice skin mesh on to go with it. Otherwise it looks like a wig.
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    83bienchen83bienchen Posts: 2,592 Member
    Clay for me.
    Now now EA, don't be stinking up our lovely lavender bath with your shopping fart. - My TS4 mods - Gallery ID: 83bienchen
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    AfterMidnightAfterMidnight Posts: 1,020 Member
    Clay. Alpha hair looks out of place in TS4 imo.
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    doedeardoedear Posts: 303 Member
    edited May 2017
    answered this before i think but clay belongs in sims 4. some alpha hairs are okay though i'll admit.
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    jupiknowjupiknow Posts: 4 New Member
    > @Simpkin said:
    > I prefer the clay hair.
    > I think the other hairs make sims look like prostitutes.

    Sound like my grandma when I buy jeans that are a little too tight.
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    CupidCupid Posts: 3,623 Member
    some people can make alpha look really good, with enough cc
    but i'm not one of those people, so clay. :D
    HdLHa3j.png
    (◡‿◡✿)
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