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Old 8th Oct 2016, 3:01 PM DefaultLighting the castle walls: any advice? #1
Elynda
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I have just completed a build project which I intend using in a story post. I am quite pleased with it, save for one little annoyance with lighting the exterior.

I'm giving you a close up view, because showing the rest of the building would be a huge spoiler.



You see the problem? The torches look very effective there, except that the light does not carry on up to the next floor. I wanted to start my chapter off with a night time view of the building, but this rather spoils the whole effect of the shot. There are windows and other details on the wall above, which I don't want to lose, and even if I do place other torches above they don't look right and it doesn't get rid of the discontinuity anyway.

I'd appreciate any insights or suggestions as to how I could overcome the problem. Thanks in advance.

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Old 8th Oct 2016, 6:05 PM #2
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Only solution I can think of is to use some of the invisible light sources (from buydebug) on the storey above. I think there is a wall one- if you could set the colour to match the torches and get the brightness just right, it might work.
Old 9th Oct 2016, 1:25 AM #3
Elynda
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I've been experimenting with both wall area lights and ceiling area lights, and if I carefully position them I can light up the whole front wall evenly, the trouble is it is then too light and I lose all the atmosphere of torchlight and shadows. If I dim the lights it all becomes patchy again. I think I shall have to give up on night time photography and show the thing in daylight. Thanks for the suggestion tho' simsample.

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Old 9th Oct 2016, 1:28 AM #4
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For Sims 2, we had GunMod's lighting mod which allowed light to bleed across portals. But I don't know of any such mod in Sims 3. If I remember correctly, it used to work- the lot lighting used to bleed over into the world too- but it got broken at some point and never fixed.
Old 9th Oct 2016, 11:44 PM #5
AngieMFAK77
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This is one of those things I hate when building. The only thing I do that can make it look remotely better is to use the invisible wall lights like SImsample suggested from Buydebug. Place them facing the wall on the floor above and then mess with the custom brightness to make it look like a bleed. You could also use Decorators Best Friend to move the light up or down depending on where you want the glare to fall.
Old 10th Oct 2016, 2:30 AM #6
Elynda
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Ah, Decorator's Best Friend sounds worth trying, thankyou. And I've been trying various arrangements of invisible wall lights, with the colour set to 'flame' so that they match up with the torches and it is something of an improvement.

Those torches are a bugger to work with, aren't they? If you switch them off they still look like they're burning, move the camera slightly and they're properly off, then move it a bit more and they're burning again! Maybe it's my poor graphics. I think I might try the outdoor lanterns instead.

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Old 10th Oct 2016, 7:06 PM #7
Anno2015
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It also depents on what kind of wall... When I build castles and/or forts I often use Foundation as walls. I do this to make a higher first floor level (for example 2 or 3 floors high) so I can build 4 levels up from there (and even can make a basement entrance on ground floor level (and from there elevators up to the real caste).

To make a Old Castle turned to a Modern rebuilt I decided to drop the "flames" and use spots. I found one by the wall lights formed like a tilted castle tower shining to top levels...

The combination made (for example as above 2 or 3 floors high) multi floor lights (light is bound to the top of the level, using foundation multi floors high you can "stretch" that boundary...

I hope I explained it clear, if needed I can make screen caps for more clarification (reply here or messege if wanted).

Another option is placing groundspots pointed sideways IN the wall (some types an not that wide and will not show) -> it can be that lights poitned right will show on the outside and left on the inside and the other way around... that i didn't figure out exactly till now, but it it may work just by switching direction and is worth trying if you don't get any effect...

p.s.The foundation wall light effect is also nice on a multi level basement dining hall or partyroom
Old 11th Oct 2016, 1:47 AM #8
Elynda
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@Anno2015 Yes, I would be interested in seeing screen caps. of that, it sounds interesting.

I have been experimenting using spots that would illuminate just the area around the gate without the discontinuity at the top of the wall, but the ones I have cast the light at the wrong angle. The only thing that seems to work are the circular floor lights. If they could be somehow concealed from view I might still have the torches, turned off (since, as I say, they still look as if they are burning anyway). Then I could adjust the colour so that it looks like torch light.

I don't really fancy the idea of doing any rebuilding, since I've already started shooting pictures for the story. There are still a lot of things about build mode I don't understand. For example, I'm pretty sure I've seen at least one house that seemed to have a double foundation, although that doesn't seem to be possible from what I've tried. Also I've seen many that appear to have some sort of intermediate floor - like a foundation built on top of a wall - between the proper floors, although I've never been able to work out how that's done.

Anyways, thanks for taking an interest and for your reply.

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Old 11th Oct 2016, 7:54 AM #9
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Ahh, Elynda, it sounds like you are talking about using the CFE (constrain floor elevation false) cheat. Welcome to the dark side. It is the coolest and most frustrating tool you will ever use. There are tutorials available on MTS and YouTube, if you want to venture further.

Also, the cheat "PlaceFriezes On/Off" allows the placement of foundations on floors.
Old 11th Oct 2016, 11:55 AM #10
Elynda
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Ah, another mystery solved!

Just to prove to myself I hadn't imagined it, I tracked down the house I was talking about last night. it is the one called 'Suburban Temple' in Twinbrook. I spent about an hour trying to work out how it was done, but except for discovering that if I extended the existing floor out I could place more double foundation under it, I was still in the dark as to how you make one from scratch. I thought there had to be some 'archane' mystery to it. Well that will be useful if I ever built any more castles.

Thanks attuned.

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Old 11th Oct 2016, 12:21 PM #11
Volvenom
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It sounds to me like you're attention to detail is such that the bugs following cfe might be annoying you. Some can be fixed, but not all. If you're this preoccupied with lights not distributing right on the wall, twisted walls and floating floor tiles might just be a pain in the butt.
Old 11th Oct 2016, 2:43 PM #12
Elynda
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Perhaps you're right Volvenom. I am a bit of details fanatic, especially when it comes to my story posts, I like to get everything just right. And perhaps now is not the time go go messing with things like cfe, but I shall certainly be looking into it later. Meantime I think I've got this lighting thing sussed, using the wall area lights as suggested above.

Thanks everybody for all your suggestions.

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Old 12th Oct 2016, 8:14 PM #13
Anno2015
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1. Top 2 IMG farsight of a spot on the ground pointed at the wall combined with the castle wall light; Bottom, close up- left of the sample above, right the close up of castle wall light on "just walls", here you can see that they don't even really work with just 1 floor (all the blocks on the building are 1 floor high = on 10 high you'll still see them though...
2. Spot placed on the ground covert by a hedge (place hedge first, then place spot with moveObjects cheat)
3. Final product of #2 with spots in hedge and in top of "stepped" foundation level
4. Fire station (2 floor high foundation level, this shows really well what I meant, light continues to the top of the floors wall = high foundation wall high light, even when only bottom level is lighted. On the right side you maybe can see part of the stairs connecting ground level with 1 high (foundation basement, closed off with wall (doors/windows not yet placed here)
5 Example of 2 high foundation with castle light, now you see light from floor to top of 1 high level (while ground floor isn't even lighted as shown by example #1, this becomes a dining hall with large paintings on the wall (the example I mentioned I couldn't find (yet) between all the worlds I tested with (over time I made more then 40 towns with the world editor eacht with 20/50 buildings (each time I learn a significant building method which makes a difference I have the urge to start over->
6. Just as with glass roofs (which you can use to connect different levels of foundations till 6th floor high, in this example I used glass blocks to connect low # floor buildings with a very high appartments building (each block on the building (suppost to be windows) is 1 floor high. I used the blocks by placing 1 floor high pillars, place the glass blocks on top. remove the pillars and place ceiling lights on the bottom of the blocks, the right image shows that if ground level is proper lighted the much higher foundation wall is as wel (since it's the ground floor level wall only in this case very high...


Left- Castle in progress with use of constrainFloorElevation I made the foundation wall in a slope with the same degree as the stairs next to them, creating a top point with castle in the back and entrance/guard towes at the front. Used another light trick for daylight in the basement, place swimming pools in them and place windows in the pools.
Middle- Military base with a tank garage (2 high foundation wall since the Tanks have got an antenna higher then level 1 floor) at the front, on a high foundation at the back an jet airport
Right- Military base with multi level foundation (connected with constrainFloorElevation cheat), the bottom pic might not be clear enough but there the ground level has 3 different heights: one for office, 1 floor high, 1 for tanks, placed around 1,5 1 tiles stairs down so the 1ts floor floor covers most of them (only turret is visible from 1 floor high or up) and a bit down for the garage entrance (back of IMG) to connect it with the basement garage

Hope this will answer your request @Elynda, if needed I can make many more screenshots (and I've got a 1920x1080px dimension img of all i posted here (if things are not visible enough)
As you can see and imagine foundations bring lots of purposes (from placing tanks on the perfect height till making high walls, sometimes it takes a while before you've created the best effect (placing stairs 1 tile long for hundreds of times in the past) and measurement at forehand is almost always needed (know what you want to make an picture the plans before starting) because chanching concepts while building can take much longer (and as said I start over and over, this is one of the reasons :S
Questions are welcome but it may take me untill saturday to answer (gotta work as well
Old 13th Oct 2016, 2:56 AM #14
Elynda
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@Anno2015 Thankyou, that's all interesting stuff, and very useful.

Although I'm not going to be making any major changes to the exterior of the castle now I will certainly be experimenting with some of those ideas for lighting the scene. Also, there are the underground parts of it to consider, which I am going to modify extensively. The lighting ideas will be useful there, since I want to create a sort of subterranean temple which will be two (maybe even three) stories deep with tall pillars: think Moria, except nowhere near as huge, obviously. I can take my time with that part, since it'll be a while before I get to that part of the story. Lighting will play a big role there, and you've given me a lot the think about. Can't wait to get started!

Once again, thanks.

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Old 13th Oct 2016, 6:12 PM #15
Anno2015
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A short last tip: use "delete" pool 1 floor above the wall of a basement = you delete the outer wall of the basement, altough it's underground Sims doesn't bother with that = you have daylight in your basement (sims sees it as a room without closed walls) . It gives great posibilities to work with light (and a good view). When done building you can close the wall with the basement tool (just place basement there) or leave it open so you'll have light. The last (keep it open) I do often when building a top level basement garage, I remove a piece of wall behind a stairs/ramps (stairs cover the visibility from the inside). Another nice Idea is placing glass cubes on the ground floor with a basement below them = you have a glass roof over your basement (possibilities enough to use it, I once build an 4 floor basement with a glass roof, I removed 1 piece of wall all 4 floors and placed stones in front of the open walls, placed some plants and you have a underground garden with daylight, as it seems through the glass roof on the top...

see for more info/inspiration Is it possible to build a cave

You're welcome ofcourse!
Old 14th Oct 2016, 1:17 AM #16
Elynda
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Thanks for those tips too Anno2015, you've been a great help and an encouragement.

I have just begun experimenting with my idea of building an underground temple, but so far it doesn't appear to be possible to make an underground chamber more than one story high. I thought it would be just a matter of knocking out the floors, as I would do above ground, but I soon discovered it doesn't work like that. The only way I've found of removing part of a floor is to put in multiple stairs and then delete them, a clumsy way of doing it, but it works.

Thanks too for reminding me about that thread on creating a cave, I'd seen it before, but I shall certainly be reading through that again.

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Last edited by Elynda : 14th Oct 2016 at 1:32 AM.
Old 14th Oct 2016, 2:20 AM #17
Volvenom
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You can remove basement floors by picking a floortile and delete the floor with ctrl and knock it down. Unless I'm mixing up 3 and 4 ...
Old 14th Oct 2016, 3:20 AM #18
Elynda
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Thanks Volvenom, I'll give that a try next session. Meantime I used my 'stairs' method, which isn't as tedious as I thought since once you have opened up a space you can build walls around it and use the green arrow tool to stretch it out larger. I took a screen-shot of my initial experiment.



As you can see I've used the dreaded torches as temporary lighting! The actual thing is going to be larger than that. And I am going to use the idea of 'false' walls and windows on the upper level with light sources placed behind them. Maybe on the lower floor too. Not sure about those Gothic archways though. Maybe there will be just one, with a stairway beyond, leading to the surface. Ideally there will be nothing actually on the inner walls to cause those discontinuities. The chandeliers light the upper level, and I plan to place invisible ceiling lights beneath them to give the idea that they are illuminating the lower floor too. The Temple furnishings will include some kind of free standing candelabras.

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Last edited by Elynda : 14th Oct 2016 at 3:38 AM.
Old 14th Oct 2016, 12:03 PM #19
Volvenom
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Removing the basement idea Anno is talking about with pools is ok I guess, but I have found lots of those tricks to leave black ceilings, and most of the time I find it hard to live with.

In this tutorial you can see how I build Cella House you can download here at mts. It's rather long, but if you go to 38:40 you can see how it looks in game with it's twisted basement. I make these houses from time to time, but as I said the look in game bothers me quite a bit.

Old 15th Oct 2016, 12:10 AM #20
Elynda
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Wow Volvenom! That's given me a lot to think about. A very interesting and helpful tutorial. When I'm finished with the present project I might well have another go at creating an actual Hobbit hole - you seem to have overcome a lot of the problems I had with that. But I musn't get side-tracked, one job at a time! Anyway, I've downloaded the CellaHouse so I can take a closer look at things.

Once again, thanks for all your help.

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"Well, the way things are can go and eat a dick then!" - Lolita Scumthorpe
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