View Full Version : Tutorial: The Swimmable Lake Illusion

16th Feb 2006, 10:03 PM

I've never written a tutorial before, but the original one by HabboArwen (http://thesims2.ea.com/mysimpage/mysimpage.php?user_id=119356) has been removed from the exchange, and people keep asking for a replacement. (I hope it works okay for you, I'm kind of nervous ...)

To view it, extract the contents into a folder, and open the file called "swimmable_lake_illusion.htm". It should work with any browser.

Before starting the tutorial, you may want to download the water terrain and recolors included here (http://www.modthesims2.com/showthread.php?t=104748).

I sometimes forget to respond to PMs. So if you have any questions, please ask them in this thread. You might ask something that someone else needs answered too :)

16th Feb 2006, 11:13 PM
This is very interesting! I didn't know!
Thanks, TDK!

(moving to the Build Tutorials)

Sim Master
16th Feb 2006, 11:23 PM
Wow, being able to swim in lakes! Even if it is an illusion, it would still look cool, so thenk you, Tkd! :)

17th Feb 2006, 12:33 AM
This is great! I'll try it tommorow!

And dont be nervous, your explanation is so accurate that I would be a fool if I cant creat the lake following the istructions! (Well, I hope I'm not! lol)

Thanks again! :)

17th Feb 2006, 12:10 PM
It's more detailed than the disappeared one...:D

That's pretty neat...:)

Just a few suggestions,
May add fences and/or sims-inaccessible plant or rock objects to surround the lake randomly to further reduce the chance sims swim out of the lake, yet they can still swim out through the dive board or ladder in rare cases. I don't know of any solution for that yet.

Added: a solution provided by Loverat

Swimmable lake tutorial linkage (These're different methods to attempt to create swimmable lakes/beaches/ocean/sea/ponds or else) (alphabetically ordered in terms of username):

Tutorial:Making a swimmable lake-The safe way (for all game versions) (terrain paint approach)

Tutorial-SWIM in a lake (for all game versions) (terrain paint approach) (yes, it's back again.)

Tutorial: Making real lakes swimmable (for all game versions) (water tool + fake pool approach)

Easy swimable real lake -Tutorial

Tutorial for creating pool lakes & beaches (for only the base game TS2 and/or EP1-UNI) (swim-pool approach)

Tutorial: The Swimmable Lake Illusion (for all game versions) (terrain paint approach)

Trouble-shooting threads:
Help - Swimmable Lake

17th Feb 2006, 7:38 PM
Thanks, all -- I hope it works for you!

they can still swim out through the dive board or ladder in rare cases. I don't know of any solution for that yet.

If you place the pond plants under the dock in each tile that was unable to be raised, then that should block them from swimming through the dock. At least, it has worked for me in the trials I had done. Maybe I missed something :blink:

The most important thing to remember when you build a lake like this on your lot -- remember not to use the Terrain raising/lowering/leveling tools near the lake -- it might ruin it. And when placing fences, walls, or foundations near the lake, do not have the ConstrainFloorElevation cheat set to False, as the active cheat may adjust the terrain levels near the lake.

18th Feb 2006, 7:21 AM
If you place the pond plants under the dock in each tile that was unable to be raised, then that should block them from swimming through the dock. At least, it has worked for me in the trials I had done. Maybe I missed something :blink:

The most important thing to remember when you build a lake like this on your lot -- remember not to use the Terrain raising/lowering/leveling tools near the lake -- it might ruin it. And when placing fences, walls, or foundations near the lake, do not have the ConstrainFloorElevation cheat set to False, as the active cheat may adjust the terrain levels near the lake.

Lol, I meant sims can swim through the objects themselves in some very rare cases for some reasons, in other words through the same pool accessory pathways they enter and exit the lake These cases happen randomly rather than controllably. That's what I know so far. :confused:

So if partitons like walls, foundation walls, fences or else will be by the lake, they are better built before working on the lake with boolprop constrainfloorelevation false, and then level their tops (except those of fences) from the relative highest point after counting the 4-click-high limit. Yet, for foundation wall, one can start tobuild it from the highest point and spread it without the cheat and much problem coz it's bottom is flexible, unlike its top. it won't affect the lower base layer except the 4-click-high limit. That's why start building it from the highest point. Fence archs cannot block sims accessment. Yet, Mikeiside's "Easy wall" can make the default wall easier to be done in this case.coz its top and bottom are both flexiible without that cheat set to false, yet one has to know how to level their tops back later.

Lol, it's not really such a big deal... Every method can have its own limitation(s).

This terrain paint approach for lake and sea or else is already very good. :), especially after installation of EP02 NL or a newer EP.
I'm still not satisfied with the combo-water tool approach. The graphical glitch is killing my eyes. :gonemad: or it takes too many plants or objects to cover up the big graphical glitch. Maxis should have allowed users to recolour the tile sidesand bottoms...

I really wish Maxis didn't alter the pool tool. Instead, they would create a new pool tool, so the old ways would still be available as well as the new ones. But, Maxis is often dumb in this way... Or is it assuming the players can't handle two pool tools with proper naming and descriptions...or an additional option setting for both.

I feel like i'm making a lectue or whine... I'll mute myself ... :bandit:

25th Feb 2006, 2:32 PM
Thanks so much! :gonemad:

26th Feb 2006, 4:00 PM
Hey, sounds very interesting, but I can't get the water terrain! (shame on me, it seems that I'm the only one who has this problem) I mean, it's not in my ground cover tool, nor everywhere else. What should I do??
Thanks in advance

27th Feb 2006, 12:32 AM
Water terrain doesn't come in the game -- you either need to make it yourself with HomeCrafter or download it.

If it helps, I made some water terrain that is included with these accessories here: http://www.modthesims2.com/showthread.php?t=104748

27th Feb 2006, 2:52 AM
Thank you!!

2nd Mar 2006, 1:01 PM
Thank you soooooo much tkdjunkie!! Your tutorial was Chelby proof! LOL I can understand it, then you have no worries!!!!!!! hehe

Thanks again!

7th Mar 2006, 2:25 AM
The tutorial was great, although I had to raise the lake sides 3 clicks to keep sims from swimming through them. I do however have an interesting problem. One of my sims has now started swimming everywhere instead of walking. Any ideas on how to fix this?

[edit] Well, I would up just deleting and then resoring the sim using InSIM; which fixed the problem. Now I hope my fixed lake keeps it from happening again! [edit]

7th Mar 2006, 6:08 AM
I re-did my lake four times before relizing it was water TERRAIN and not the Water tool! So where can I get me some water terrain, I checked that link with the ladder, but it wasn't in that file.

7th Mar 2006, 2:26 PM
Oops I could have sworn that there was a water terrain with those recolors. Apparently I was wrong about that :sorry:

So I've just added a rar file with four water terrains in it. It's the second file in the download list here (http://www.modthesims2.com/showthread.php?t=104748).

Sorry for the confusion!

7th Mar 2006, 7:43 PM
sweet deal, swimmable lake here I come!

14th Mar 2006, 7:00 PM
For some reason after the sims get out they just start falling into the ground and back again :?: :?: :?: :?: :?: :?: :cranky: :grrr:

15th Mar 2006, 10:46 AM
get your sims to use the ladder to "get out" again.

How about some invisible barrier to bound the sims in place? The barrier can be even like shadowless carpets but with a block setting to disable sims access, or maybe no mesh at all! So, when outdoor, it can barely have any shadow done by the game engine, and it can keep the pool/pond/lake/sea shore look seemless without seeing some visible rock, plants or else... This type of invisible barrier may not take up much of the resources.

19th Mar 2006, 11:43 AM
Thank you so much, This is exactly what i needed. Thank you so much, the turtorial was easy to follow and understand....well done!

Uindo no Kurada
1st Apr 2006, 12:40 AM
waaah, for some reason i can't get this to work for me! It keeps saying I need to put the divingboard on the side of a pool! help please :cry:

2nd Apr 2006, 4:03 PM
Worked like a charm the FIRST time....thank you so much :beer:

5th Apr 2006, 10:54 AM
thanks this is cool! i cant believe its that SIMPLE though!!!! and i thought it was complicated :)

8th Apr 2006, 11:51 PM
waaah, for some reason i can't get this to work for me! It keeps saying I need to put the divingboard on the side of a pool! help please :cry:

Same here..What am I doing wrong?Im sure i followed the directions perfectly...I think :sadpanda:

9th Apr 2006, 6:22 AM
Uindo no Kurada & sunnyshine14,

Have tired to input moveObjects on?

Just remember to input moveobjects off after using this cheat...

9th Apr 2006, 7:15 PM
Oh no..Thank you!

11th Apr 2006, 3:56 PM
it is definitely the moveobjects cheat, because i got the "need pool first" thing, and i just did moveobjects on, and it was fine! but niol is right, turn it off after because its so annoying!!!!!!! lol

12th Apr 2006, 5:29 PM
Sorry I'm so late to the party! Cyclonesue (http://www.modthesims2.com/showthread.php?t=53761) has a set of water terrain paints, and there are a bunch at Parsimonious (http://www.parsimonious.org/).

Just remember, if you build and upload lots without water, the packager will grab all those water terrain paints anyway. Don't delete them with CI, or the lot will have problems. Instead, put them in a separate directory and pull it out of Downloads before you build.

And, just to second Niol, I have to surround my water with objects. See my post here (http://www.modthesims2.com/showthread.php?p=948121#post948121), if only for a laugh!

26th Apr 2006, 2:52 AM
thanks aloth but wre you triying to tell how to et your sim 2 swim in the lake or just showing a picture because if you were showing a picture you did great but if you were trying to tell how you get youre sim tio swim in the lake i suggest you add more on to that :rofl: :rofl: :rofl:

26th Apr 2006, 10:17 AM

To know what this tutorial is for, download, open, and read it. 1-2-3 steps... And, you're getting there...

27th Apr 2006, 5:06 PM
Really good, thanks :D

28th Apr 2006, 5:22 PM
OMG that was so easy!! You did a very wonderful tutorial! :anime:

29th Apr 2006, 6:33 PM
COOOOOL!!! And even Delphy said thank you!!! :lol:

7th May 2006, 8:03 AM
I've tested this extensively, and I can't verify any need for the kind of exact depth placement described in the tutorial. The sims are perfectly happy to swim in the ground at any elevation, the only requirement being that the diving board and/or pool ladder must be placed one level above the ground to swim in and must have two squares of level ground each, to be accessible.

By setting the constrainFloorElevation property to false, you can squish the level with the diving board down as close to the swimming level as the game will allow (an elevation difference of 4 clicks) to minimise the glitches in the animation. A foundation placed on level ground defaults to that height anyway.

The "diving in" splash is displayed at the level where the diving board is placed, while the "swimming" splashes are displayed at the actual position of the sim.

The sims will swim in anything they can normally walk on, which includes the ground, foundations and flooring tiles, but not, ironically, actual water. They appear able to swim through (at least some) fences, but they can't traverse an elevation change of 4 or more clicks.

The attached images show a sim swimming in second-level floor tiles, accessed from a third-level diving board; the placement of the splash, in relation to the board and the diving sim; and a sim "jumping" up through the air to use a ladder that's one default story height (16 clicks) above him.

8th May 2006, 12:14 AM
I built this lovely seriously deep lake off the edge of my sim property that lead right up under the corner of my sim home. This is awsome cuase now I can build a new home with a swimable lake and go skinny dipping :!: :lol: ;)


10th May 2006, 8:01 PM
I have not done this download yet. Though I may have in the past...was on ts2 totorial I think, 'how to make swimable ponds'. Either lowering the terrain by 4 or raising the terrain.

I have an issue though. I have a downloaded lot, came with a pond and deck. It was not swimmable at the time. I made it swimable by lowering the terrain (tools) 4 clicks, not raisng any. However now my sims swim from the pond to the kitchen! all you see is the head. The MAIN problem is, when they pop out (to make food, read a book, ANYTHING!) they have the white swimming rings around them at all times. Its an active moving grafic that animates non stop.

For my not-so-normal sims, this would be fine, but I would like my normal sims to be rid of this white ring around the neck. Would this download change this?


thank you

12th May 2006, 6:02 PM
Greate Job Man

12th May 2006, 6:10 PM
Usually it's 5 clicks needed, lower the terrain by 5 clicks forming it like a cup.Then to make sure the sims won't be able to get out and swim all over the place add with moveObjects cheat some lilypads on the edges , both decorating and ensuring that it will work.It's very tricky though and it needs lot of testing to get it right. 5 clicks and lily pads help a lot though!

13th May 2006, 6:13 PM

Just get your sims back into the lake/pool and have them "get out"" again until they no longer sink down to the floor again.

17th May 2006, 9:44 PM
I've combined the effect of this tutorial with the method for submerged buildings and transparent floor tiles to create the illusion of swimming in actual water terrain:


In the image you can see the edges of the transparent floor tiles that the sims are actually swimming in, which are submerged one click beneath the surface of the water. You can also see that by lowering the base of the jumping board to one click above the swimmable surface, the sims no longer "fall through" the board when jumping in.

I'm going to streamline the building process and then I'll post a nice tutorial - but it's probably going to be one for advanced builders nevertheless, because there are some fiddly bits which probably can't be reduced to a series of steps that always work without a bit of trial and error.

18th May 2006, 12:01 PM
Ah well.

Since I am apparently forbidden to post tutorials, I guess I won't let anybody know how to do it. Pity, since I had already written up the entire thing nicely.

18th May 2006, 12:29 PM

This method is a combination of the fake-pool-approach, water tool, and terrain paints. Terrain paints can be applied before the the water tool or terrain tools. Well, that may work nicer for the shallow areas.
The biggest problem is definitely the graphical glitch caused by the tiling edges. Some floating plants or trees can be used to do the cover-up.
According to your pic, the gltich isn't that much compared to another combination with also Sunni's swim-pool approach under TS2-UNI.

I'm in the hope that the ugly tiling edges can be graphically silenced one day, so this type glitch can be eliminated.

Yes, it must have been hard and a lot of work to do a step-by-step tutorial.:clap: do share it... please... :bunny:

Lol, just create the tutorial as a new thread in the build mode forum with a clear title, and then wait for a moderator to decide if to bring it into this tutorial section.

For those who wanna try JustTheBast's method,

Tutorial: Making real lakes swimmable

18th May 2006, 12:40 PM
Heh! And here I was, trying to post in "the right place".

I just tried it and found that I can indeed start a new thread in the Build Mode forum. I thought I was completely forbidden to start new threads for some reason. D'oh!

21st May 2006, 4:18 AM
Tkdjunkie and all,

This is a wonder of creativity. While I am having some of the "fall through the dock" and "swim rings around the neck in plain clothes" glitches, this has been a real experience to try and enjoy.

I really love the idea of the Sims being able to swim in the lake also as well as a sterile ole swimming pool.

One thing that is strange, I am getting multiple (2-5) duplicate messages that my Sim has earned a "Fitness point". This glitch may be because I recently downloaded a "talk in the pool" hack or some other hack conflict.

All in all, I am loving this. Thanks for all the hard work and time. Creating fun for others is a very selfless act. A cyber pat on the back to you all!

Ashley M
31st May 2006, 4:01 PM
But where can I download that water?

31st May 2006, 7:24 PM
Ashley M,

May rad the third paragraph of the first (beginning/major) post.

22nd Jun 2006, 5:04 AM
I've always want to know how on earth to do this. This is a nice, simple & easy tutorial. It looks great too in the game. Thank you very much for providing this :)

Lucha Lutwieta
3rd Jul 2006, 11:17 AM
I have this don byfore but I dídn't no enymore how!

thanks al lot!

20th Jul 2006, 11:45 AM
Look, I´ve read your tutorial about ¨How to make a swimmable lake¨ but the problem is that I don´t get step 6 I don´t know what to do! :!: I´m very worried cause I´ve always wanted to make a swimmable something!!! My friend know how to make swimmable beaches but she isn´t able to tell how, so please help me.
Please reply,

20th Jul 2006, 11:49 AM
Do you know how to make swimmable lakes?? Please tell me
Please reply,
Chucheomega :up:

28th Jul 2006, 9:11 PM
How do u get the water to be so blue!?

28th Jul 2006, 11:41 PM
i followed the directions and the swimming was great , there was nothing near the ladder but no one could get out. it fell out of queue

7th Aug 2006, 8:09 PM
holy hell
... nice job!!!

9th Aug 2006, 9:01 AM

May read back the first post about the tutorial. It has mentioned where to get the related terrain paint for the "water"


Can you post a pic to show? I'm slow...lol...

30th Dec 2006, 6:53 PM
Just TELL us how,you don't need to inclue a file!Screenshots and WORDS would help!My computer only has [ ] this much space in it and it might be nice for everyone to be able to know how so if you know how to type(which you obviously do) then maybe you sould use text.

9th Jan 2007, 8:05 PM
my winrar says the file is "curropted", can you please make a doc. or a txt. or something like that?

14th Jan 2007, 7:03 PM
:bunny: I made a beach tutorial that included a swimmable ocean! It is locatedhere! (http://thesims2.ea.com/exchange/story_detail.php?asset_id=114546) Go easy on me, I made that last year. :bunny:

15th Jan 2007, 6:34 AM
you can turn off the image loading in your broswer(s)

may try to re-download it not around the beginning of an hour to avoid a system reset that can lead to corrupted download(s).

16th Feb 2007, 5:10 AM
I think I've tried something like this before.
If this is the way to swim in lakes where you put the pool ladder on a foundation next to land in swim in land, an important warning:

My sims, when I tried this a few months ago, swam in the land and such as well, even after getting out of the "pool" via the ladder.
I'd test it again to see if it was just a hack I had, but I didn't have many hacks at the time, and I find it so annoying I'd rather not destroy a sim with it. xX;''
If you're not having this problem, then maybe it's just me, but yeah...

16th Feb 2007, 12:31 PM

May try this invisible fence to surround the swimming area to avoid sims from swimming everywhere...http://www.modthesims2.com/showthread.php?t=219292

Unfortunately, there can be some hacks that can cause sims to swim out after get-out.

22nd Mar 2007, 3:56 AM
This looks interesting! Thanks! I will try it!

1st Apr 2007, 12:48 PM
awesome, im glad i saw this, thank you

1st Apr 2007, 8:06 PM
This was great!! However I had to stop using it because I couldn't get my sims to stop swimming through the house, LoL. =(

1st Apr 2007, 8:08 PM

Unfortunately, there can be some hacks that can cause sims to swim out after get-out.

Yeah, that was the problem I had.

29th Jun 2007, 5:28 PM
ahh..this is soo cute, and it's exactly what i need, but i cant open the tutorial lol. can someone give me the short version of how to make a swimmable lake? pleasee? =]

1st Jul 2007, 5:13 AM

you just have to do the followings:
1. download the file
2. decompress it just like a download
3. find the file called "swimmable_lake_illusion.htm" or "swimmable_lake_illusion" (if the extension is hidden.)
4. open/load/drag-open that file into a brower like firefox, IE or else.
5. done.

6th Jul 2007, 2:59 AM
Amazingly, amazingly simple and easy to understand! I wish I had read this prior to pounding on m keyboard trying to figure it out myself! Thanks!

11th Nov 2007, 7:44 AM

my whole sims family is now swimming everywhere in stead of walking.

13th Nov 2007, 2:11 AM
my whole sims family is now swimming everywhere in stead of walking.

my sims start swimming everywhere no matter how closed i make my pond, they swim in my garden, yard, house floor


16th Nov 2007, 3:50 PM
my sims start swimming everywhere no matter how closed i make my pond, they swim in my garden, yard, house floor

17th Nov 2007, 6:20 PM

please read post 70, the one right before you posted.

17th May 2008, 12:03 PM
Cool stuff! Thanks

10th Sep 2009, 6:15 AM
It's been a year and a half, but I just tried this today. Even though my Sims have the option to "Get In", they just stand on the diving board and back out — I tried it with three different Sims on the same lot.

Also, there's fish in the lake. I was wondering how this would clash with Seasons; I downloaded the terrain paint but it doesn't seem to be affecting anything.

31st Dec 2009, 2:32 PM
Amazing! Very easy to follow. I only have base game, so I had to get the terrain paint as well (just like federiko)

happy new year everybody!

24th Feb 2010, 8:22 AM
my swimable lake's never worked because i never knew i had to click three times!
thank you, thank you, thank you!

6th Jan 2011, 9:13 PM
OMG! That diving board you have there is lovely! :gjob: