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All the tips, info, and instructions you could need to help create beautiful, unique, interesting sims.
How do you make sims?
It may seem simple, but people have asked this time and again.
Sims are created in either Body Shop or Create a Family/Create a Sim in the game. You go through and change their facial features using sliders (adjustment controls that "slide" left to right), change their skintone, hair, makeup, eyes, clothing, etc., and then just keep adjusting their features and content until you get something that you like.
Basic info and tips to help get you started not only making basic sims, but creating really nice, interesting, unique ones.
- Body Shop: Make your sims in Body Shop, which comes with your game, rather than in Create a Sim. They stay still, you can choose all the content for them, and you have quite a few more sliders than in the game. You can always change a few things once you get into the game.
- Sliders: Don't be afraid of the sliders! Just using the Maxis templates makes for boring sims. Try at least a small adjustment to every slider.
- Random Sims: The "Randomize Sim" button only randomizes the content on your sims and uses the same faces you can choose on the whole-face templates. You're better off choosing one of the basic templates and then modifying as you do not get random facial features with randomized sims - just random face templates with random content.
- Really Random Sims: Want something truly unique? Go into Body Shop, close your eyes, and start moving the sliders randomly. You may have something hideous at first, but once you begin working on the features, you may find you have something really different and interesting as a result.
- Using Other Sims as Bases: Download sims created by other people, and change them to your liking - switch hair and makeup and play with their facial features. Just remember: if you modify a sim created by someone else, you shouldn't upload it or use it in a contest as it's not really YOUR sim - this is only for personal use - no sim stealing!
- Pattern Sims After People: Try making a sim that looks like a real person. You don't have to make it look exactly like them, but having a picture of a person that you like to use as inspiration can help you create original, unique face sculpts. You can use celebrity pics, pics of friends and family... and mix and match features... use one person's eyes, another's nose, etc.
- Try a Copy: If there is a particular sim you like, try examining their facial features and try to recreate them on a new sim.
- Make Sims Contentless (At first): Create your facial sculpts without any content - no default skintones, no default eyes, no makeup, no custom anything. Use Maxis defaults and create interesting faces that way. If you can get unique faces with no content, you will have a striking, unique result once you put content on.
- Try Different Content: Once you do put on content, experiment with different types of content. Skintones especially can change the whole look of a face, making features look different.
- Use Custom Content! Even if you don't download a ton of sim content, just having some nice custom skins, eyes, brows, and makeup makes all the difference between boring sims and interesting ones.
- Maxis Fuglies as Bases: Try using one of the ugly Maxis faces and softening the features by adjusting the sliders, for a more unique, striking face.
- Eye Sizing: Don't make the eyes too big, and make sure they're not too far apart. Look at pictures of real people for proportion - the eyes should be about one eye-width apart, and the eyes should be about as wide as the nostrils.
- Unique Features: Make at least one unique, stand-out feature, and then adjust all the others to compliment it. A strange nose, interesting lips, or tilted eyes look much more impactful if the whole face has unique but not over-unique features.
- Who Cares About Pretty? Not all sims have to be model pretty. Try making one or two features that are imperfect - nose a bit too big, lips a bit thin, pointy or squared-off chin, etc. - your sim can still be beautiful without looking like they were sculpted in a lab.
- Softening Features: If you find part of your sim's face is going weird, like a strange lump on the jawline or sharpness in the face from too much adjustment, switch to the premade faces or features and right-click one or two times on a basic premade face. It will fade in the premade face/features without obliterating your work and will soften any harsh or jagged lines you may have developed while sculpting.
- Take Your Time: Creating a really good sim takes a long time! Don't just crank out a sim in 5 or 10 minutes... Spend at least 20 to 30 on the sim, then save them. Then go do something else, come back, and work on them again later with a fresh set of eyes. Repeat until you have a really unique, interesting sim - there's no such thing as too much tweaking!
- And Now For Something Completely Different... Do something completely different than what you usually do - if you normally make "normal" sims then go for something really funky - gothic, punky, alien, victorian, etc.
- Your Pixel People: As you create your sims, try giving them a history and a backstory - by thinking of them more like real people and less like just another pretty sim, you'll find you will spend more time making unique features and faces.
- Ethnic Backgrounds: You may find you can get really interesting faces by imagining an exotic ethnic background, then looking up people with that ethnic origin, and patterning your sims' face off their features. Not everyone of a certain ethnic origin may have their more typical features, but it can help a lot in getting your sims to have a unique flavor.
Sims for Breeding
If you're creating your sims not just as models, but for play, and you plan on having them breed and bear children, you'll want to keep the following tips in mind, as second generation sims are often FUGLY if you don't create the parents carefully:
- Similar Faces: Sims with similar faces will tend to create more beautiful children than sims with wildly different faces. Try switching your female sim to male (or vice versa) before finishing them, to make sure they'll look good as the other gender.
- Gender Switch: You may even want to make a sim as one gender, then switch the gender and adjust them some, saving the sim as male and female, then breeding them, as they'll tend to create pretty children together due to their similar faces.
- Age Down: If you want your sims to create better-looking toddlers and children, switch the parents down to toddler or child while you're creating them, then soften the features of the toddler/child a bit, then go back to adult. Repeat until you have a decent looking sim both young and older.
- Kids Are Just Fugly: Even with all these tips, toddlers and children will tend to be, well, ugly. For more information on that, see Game Help:Baby Face Problem.
- Townie Breeding: If you plan on breeding your sim with townies, you can ensure they'll have beautiful children. First, create your sim in Create a Sim/Create a Family. Then create a second sim using one of the Maxis faces. Then "Make a Child" using those two sims. Roll it a few times to see what kind of kids they'll make. If they don't make nice kids, choose a different Maxis face for your second sim. Repeat until you find a Maxis face your sim breeds well with. Then, when you go to play, have your sim have kids with a Maxis sim that uses that same face (townies, maids, etc., all use the same faces that you can choose in Create a Sim/Body Shop) to make lovely children.
Overslidering is pushing the sliders beyond their limits, to make more extreme facial features. First, you need to decide which feature you're going to need to overslider as you want to do it first. Adjust the slider(s) on that panel to their limits, then switch to a premade feature (like a chin or a mouth) and click on it to reset that feature to a premade default. Then go back to the fine adjustments and you'll find that it reset the sliders to the middle, so you can readjust them again.
The same works for pets, too - adjust the slider to max, pick a default feature like forehead shape (anything but tail works for pets) and you'll have more range on the sliders again.
Thanks to the following users for providing info that has been added to this FAQ: Ghanima Atreides, Aijux, sidneydoj, JessicaMcPherson, claire., corvidophile2, jmtmom, ThePolygotNerd, Cheeseisgood, The_French_Sim, PennyTheCorgi, sakrayami
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