Replies: 4 (Who?), Viewed: 2535 times.
Original Poster
#1 Old 9th Feb 2019 at 12:59 AM
Default Get Individual Feedback on Pic Techniques and Content
Want to take demanding shots for contests, stories, websites, Instagram, fun...?

We've started a thread for talking about the technical side of getting great screenshots in Sims 2, but this thread is for posting pics for individual feedback, so that people can feel comfortable posting a pic and asking for individual advice about a certain shot, like... does this work? how can I make it more...? without feeling they are interrupting a technical discussion in progress in the technical thread.

People can offer feedback on general photography issues like composition, framing, color palettes... as well as technical advice specific to Sim shots.
Original Poster
#2 Old 9th Feb 2019 at 3:02 AM Last edited by Sunrader : 9th Feb 2019 at 7:47 PM.
So, I'll kick us off, but hoping someone else will jump in....

Right now, I'm into crowd/group scenes with the most iconic pre-mades so I'd love feedback, ideas, suggestions, questions on these type of shots.

I've set up a hood with all the extracted pre-mades to make this happen.

This two-shot set I did yesterday took quite a while to set up so that everyone can be seen, but still look natural. I'm pleased, but welcome suggestions for better lighting etc.

I didn't use any pose boxes for this. I first set up the lot to run autonomously to see what they'd do, then kept letting them move autonomously to get natural positioning, freezing them and nudging them into place with moveobjects on. When, for a split second, all the ones in the exterior shot, just standing there in that silly way they do, suddenly turned their heads and looked at someone or something so that there were nice lines of sight, I almost cried with joy.

This one I think was less successful. I've been experimenting with NPCs looking like playables so that it looks like the locals run the business and I wanted a shot of all well-known premades running my Bowl and Dine. Again, I make the scene run autonomously and try to catch natural poses, so no pose boxes on this one either. I had trouble with the NPC accessories disappearing when I froze the sim... so, for example, Ginger Newson had a great shot carrying a tray, but when I froze her, the tray disappeared. Eventually, just to get her with an order pad, I had to freeze everyone else until she did what I wanted. Anyone have work arounds for that sort of thing? And the shot is visually busier that I wanted it to be... yeah... not sure about this one... maybe because, although that crazy color scheme on the floor and walls is fun for play, it needs to be much calmer for the photo.

Original Poster
#3 Old 17th Feb 2019 at 1:18 PM
Default Feedback, please, and post your pics, too! :)
We need to get this party started! So...

I fussed with this pic a bit, and it's ok, but I'd love to know how you would improve it, especially regarding the lighting. I wanted to highlight the broom to show off the mod MidgetheTree made in response to my ask. I usually try to do everything in-game, but here, in Corel Photopaint, I added light effects from the cauldron and from the crystal ball as fill, but I'm sure you guys can tell me how to do it better. I also tweaked the focus, but I'm not sure that was successful. I like what it did to the right side of the screen, but not as much the left and center. Thoughts?

I also wanted it to give the impression that the viewer is seeing the familiar view you first get of the Head Witch's Fortress of Eternal Darkness, but I wanted to tweak it for a better pic, and, I think, to make it actually feel more real, my feeling being that a real house has details that result from being lived in, like personal things on the bookshelves and a chair moved out of place that you've been sitting in. Do you think it feels familiar but lived in or would you do something differently?

I also realized, after I had her posed, that I wanted to tweak her skin so it wasn't such a bright color, but I didn't think I could do that without her moving... is there a way I could have?
Mad Poster
#4 Old 17th Feb 2019 at 4:35 PM Last edited by simmer22 : 17th Feb 2019 at 11:31 PM.
I do like the light and colors, and the idea behind it is good. There are some things that can be done better or different, though.

The angle is a little awkward. I'd probably aim for something from the front, 3/4 view or even back. Sometimes it works to chop off top of the head/hat of the subject in the frame, other times not, but for full-body shots I'd say not. If the person is in the middle of the shot they can almost look like a "barrier" and it creates two "rooms" in the picture. Personally I prefer to have some air above their heads in long shots, so the room looks more whole.

Personally, I like to have the sims facing in the direction with the most air. if they've got more air behind them than in front (unless there's a clear reason), it often looks like they're not the focus of the picture and/or are heading away, or that they're interacting with something outside of the picture. For very wide-screen pictures, you may need to place them a little more to the right or left to get a good balance in the picture.

The witch also look like she's praying or perhaps is worried. Not sure if that's what you're after, but if there is a witch in the room it would look better if she's got a purpose, perhaps doing something "witchy", like stirring in the pot or reading the spell book. Her outward look fits into the scene, but not the pose. Perhaps try a different floor, too - the star floor kind of makes it look like everything is floating. A dark wooden or stone floor might ground her better in the room.

With everything else going on, the broom does get more of a background element feel, rather than beeing highlighted. Perhaps have the witch admire it or interact with it somehow? The eyes are often drawn to areas that are bright, colorful, have high contrasts, or are interesting. The broom is bright, but is still a bit overshadowed by the very bright cauldron and the red tiger wall hanging. I had to read that it's meant to be a tribute to the broom to understand that's what you tried.

If you want to keep the elements, maybe get a bit more focus on her face - the green among all the red and black can also be one of those contrasting points, but on that angle it's not the first thing you notice. Perhaps cut down a little bit on the sides, too? You may not need the entire bookshelf and chair in the picture, just a smaller piece of each.

I tend to use the snapobjects cheat for what it's worth. You could put the elements a little closer to the witch, or perhaps further back in the picture. Maybe turning a few of them around so you see the details, like the spellbook.

The angle of the picture makes the room look like it's tilting down a few degrees toward the left, particularly when using that floor where there's no lines that balance the angle. You'll maybe want to straighten this up a little bit. Angled shots usually work better if they've got a purpose.
Original Poster
#5 Old 17th Feb 2019 at 10:54 PM
Great feedback, thanks. Very helpful. It helped me clarify what I wanted to accomplish. Your feedback helped me clarify that the story I wanted to tell was that we have just stumbled on the lot and seen this scene, which players have done for years, but, this time, the broom is there, part of the story. This is why the Maxis floor is still there, the props are all there, and why she takes the pose we always see her take when we first enter that lot. You've given me an idea how to make that story clearer. Thanks! Post one of yours now.
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