Wow! I actually ended up winning the second Strike a Pose challenge! I was very pleasantly surprised. Winning granted me immunity for the third challenge and an extra day to turn it in.
I thought I might need the extra time when I wound up deciding to scrap the first set that I worked on Monday. I was so frustrated with the outdoor lighting in the game; it makes my sims look pasty and alien. I brainstormed a bit and came up with a new concept that took them indoors instead. I’ve since gotten some good tips throughout the week that should help me if I attempt outdoor daytime shoots in the future. However, even though I’ve managed to get my sims to look pretty decent outside now, there’s still a big problem: my shadows are incredibly pixelated and blocky.
Look at the shadows on her neck. It reminds me of graphics from the Commodore 64! Completely unacceptable. I started playing around with settings, made sure my graphics driver was updated, etc., but nothing helped. Then I posted a thread on the EA technical forum as well as a post about the issue on the SAP forum thread. From the responses plus googling the issue, I’ve found that I’m definitely not alone.
The problem was apparently reported in mid-2009, yet it’s still going on (like many issues with the game). I don’t understand EA at all. Most companies strive to fix issues with games (or any product really) as quickly as possible, but this one seems to ignore most of them as much as possible. I’m going to get to the bottom of this issue though; I won’t let it go.
Anyway, getting back to SAP, our third challenge was to have our model embody a female cartoon character that we were randomly assigned. I got the Flinstones. I wasn’t really too excited or inspired by the challenge until I started getting into it. Once again, it took tons of time just hunting down the custom content I wanted and coming up with a scenario. I started with an outdoor shot that I was going to make similar to the picture of the cartoon that was sent to me. I hit on the idea of putting a jeep in the shot and replacing its tires with boulders and then also placing a dinosaur (CC) such that it would look like it was in the jeep. My original idea for the roleplay was that Meg would be doing a photoshoot for Durastone, a new tire company, with the motto “Come back to the Stone Age. Our tires never have to be replaced.” When I decided to scrap this idea, I skilled up one of my sims in photography and took some set pictures first. I later used them in my interior shot, and I think it really added a lot to the shot.
For more information on the roleplay and shots I wound up submitting, check out the SAP website. I’ll end this with an outtake I liked: