Lighting and Color

Learn how to make color and lighting changes in SimPose to make your sims look more three dimensional.

Tutorial

  1. STEP ONE: SELECT AMBIENT COLOR
    Here is Mark in typical flat lighting. But we want him in more dramatic, colorful lighting. To get started, let’s go to the “Camera/Lights” section under the “Lights/Camera” tab.If you look at this section, you will see a dropdown box under Camera/ Lights controls. This section is very important, because four options are what are needed to add lighting effects of your sims. Let’s start with the most important one: AMBIENT.What is the “Ambient” selection? Pretend there is a main lamp flooding the stage where your sims stand. The Ambient selection allows you to decide what kind of light you want to flood your sims with.
  2. STEP TWO: CHANGE LIGHTING COLOR
    The next thing I’m going to do is to change the quality of light that is flooding the stage. So I click on the big button marked “Change:”
    This causes a typical Windows color selector to pop up. I will choose what looks like a very dark navy blue for “AMBIENT.”Uh oh! Now look what happened! Now my sim is all dark blue!
    This is because I flooded the stage with a dark navy blue colored light. But don’t worry– things will brighten up considerably. Don’t believe me? Then let’s continue with the next step in our tutorial!
  3. STEP FOUR: CHANGING LIGHTS 1, 2 AND 3
    Now let’s go back to that all important menu in the Camera/ Light Controls section.
    You will see: Light-1, Light-2, and Light-3. These are three *extra* lights that you have the option of turning on. They are very important. They will not only brighten up the stage, but add that much needed 3 dimensionality to your sims. Selecting each light and clicking on “required* is what switches each light on. The more lights you *turn on*, [by checking *required*]  the more brightly lit your sim; the less lights, the darker your sims will be. And yes, you can change each light’s color in the same way you do for “Ambient.”Now look what happens to Mark when I decide to choose “light-1” [by checking “required”] and pick a light blue color.


    As you can see, now my very dark blue sim has more light to him. What’s more, there is more dimension to him. Now let’s see what happens to him when I *switch on* Light-2 and make the color a dark red:


    Now Mark is brightly lit with colorful highlights! I chose the navy blue and dark red colors for a specific reason. The light blue gives him side lighting with pretty blue highlights, but the dark red makes him frontlit with this nice pinkish light.Let’s check him out in more detail! =-)
    I’m very happy the way our sim is right now and feel no need to turn on “Light-3.” He is very dimensional at this stage, so there’s no more need to add another light. If I did, the lighting will not be as dramatic and colorful [see example]:

    This was done with Light-3 added.

    TAA-DAA! That’s it! That’s how you colorize your sims. Isn’t it neat?

BUT WAIT– THERE’S MORE!

I know that after all that you’re probably excited to jump right in and start playing around with SimPose. But wait, there’s more! Let me show you how to tweak the light settings to get even more dramatic lighting out of this program!

TWEAKING THE LIGHTING WITH THE SLIDERS
You may have thought that all there was to the Camera/ Light Controls section was the dropdown menu. But there isn’t. There are also the Direction/ Elevation sliders.

What do they do? They control the direction of the main light source. The DIRECTION slider rotates the light. The ELEVATION slider point it either up or down. I’ll show you an example of what I mean:

ELEVATION/ DIRECTION SETTINGS ONE:
In this setting, the Elevation Slider has been pushed to the topmost position. This makes Mark lit from the front, but slightly off to the side.

ELEVATION/ DIRECTION SETTINGS TWO:
In this setting, the Elevation Slider has been pushed in the extreme opposite direction. Now Mark has the light behind and slightly above him.

See the difference? I could give you a demonstration with the Direction slider, but I think you’ve got the idea. When you want dramatic lighting, tweak the settings out of either the DIRECTION or ELEVATION slider to make each sim look as dimensional and best lit as possible.

Alright, so much for the actual process of creating a colorful portrait of your sims in Simpose. What are the tips and tricks you should know, as well as things to remember?

TIPS AND TRICKS

MAKING THE MOST OUT OF SIMPOSE
Okay, so what are some handy tips and tricks to know, that will have people who view your pictures going, “Wow!” ?

TIP ONE: THE DARKER THE AMBIENT COLOR, THE MORE DRAMATIC THE LIGHTING
When you’re selecting the color for the AMBIENT SETTING, always choose the darkest colors. The darker the color, the more lighting and shading effects you will get later on when you’re picking your Lights.The lighter the color, the more washed out your sims will be.

For example, here is “Lynn”, with the ambient color chosen as “Yellow.” As you see, there is no change at all in the color or lighting settings. This is because yellow is too bright. All it’s doing is washing out the stage with a bright light.

Now look what happens when I choose a darker yellow [olive] for the AMBIENT SETTINGS:

Now the lighting is more colorful and dramatic.

TIP TWO: THE MORE LIGHTS YOU ADD, THE MORE LIGHTING
Like I said previously, you have three Lights to flood the stage with. The more lights you add, the more lighting your sims will have. The less lights you add, the less lighting and the more dramatic the shades and tones.

PICTURE 1: Light1
PICTURE 2: Light 1 + 2
PICTURE 3: Light 1 + 2 + 3

SO: For the most dramatic effects, only choose Lights 1 and 2. But for more light with subtle shading, choose all three!

TIP THREE: MAKE MEDIUM AND DARKER-TONED SIMS WEAR LIGHT-COLORED CLOTHING
You get the most dramatic effects with very light colored items. As a result, it’s harder to get a dramatically lit sim if he or she is darker skinned. To overcome this problem, make sure the sim has very light colored clothes so the clothes will show the effects the best. In the picture below, you can see this problem. In the first picture, you can’t really see the colors and lighting, because Dana’s dark skin is absorbing all of the lights and she’s wearing very dark clothing. However, things change for the better when I put her in a very light outfit.