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Old 20th Aug 2020, 8:51 AM DefaultAny tips on beauty marks/moles? #1
WatermelonSandal
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Hi, I had the idea of creating some beauty marks for my Sims, nothing much, just some minor spots/moles that could be layered depending on how many you want. The problem is making them look good. Here's what I have at the moment:

(These are all of the beauty marks on one Sim at once)
I've got the colour I want, it's just giving them some definition and getting rid of the pixels. Any pointers? Thanks.
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Old 20th Aug 2020, 9:34 PM #2
Azelanne
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I'm in no way an expect, but my personal tricks are:
- Use a skin's face texture as the base, so the moles follow the face's painted highlights and shadows.
- Don't make them 100% white in the alpha.
- Run a median filtre on the alpha for a 'blotchier', more natural look.

I'm http://crispsandkerosene.tumblr.com/ on tumblr, admittedly not very active on MTS.
Old 21st Aug 2020, 12:07 AM #3
simmer22
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The problem with using a face texture as a base is that you can only use the marks with a limited number of face textures, because not all are created exactly the same. I guess it depends on how versatile you want them to be - you can get more out of them if you create them so they stand on their own and have shadows that can overlay any skin (up to a certain point, anyway - dark or very light skintones may need separate color adjustments, but you can probably manage with 2-4 versions if you're making for a variation of natural skin colors if you plan it right).

Also keep in mind, if you plan on just making it for yourself it's fine to do whatever you like - but if you plan to upload and want the marks to be versatile for others too, try to not use a skintone as a base unless you absolutely have to. There are 1000+++ skintones to pick from, and nothing is worse than seeing a really nice makeup set and then realizing it's based on a skintone that totally clashes with the skins you're using.

Greytoned, feathered alpha is a good idea for a blended effect wherever that's needed, but don't go overboard. Sometimes it is fine with less feathered effects, too. It depends on the effect.

Other than that - look at pictures of the effects you want to make. Play around with brushes, lay down a colored layer, and do the painting in the alpha layer. You can also use layers, and then copy them over to the alpha (in Photoshop you can add a color overlay to make them white), and play around with transparency (opacity). This makes the layers very exact and much easier to edit because you can copy/paste them into the exact spot, and reset if you have to, and you can save copies of both files as PSDs if you need to edit them later (I always work with layers).

Using layers and mask layers is absolutely something that helps me, because it allows for easy opportunities to edit. I know enough to get by, so if I poke at something long enough with the tricks I know, it usually ends up looking at least halfway decent, even if the road there sometimes is quite clumsy...
Last edited by simmer22 : 21st Aug 2020 at 12:19 AM.
Old 25th Aug 2020, 9:03 AM #4
WatermelonSandal
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Quote:
Originally Posted by simmer22
The problem with using a face texture as a base is that you can only use the marks with a limited number of face textures, because not all are created exactly the same. I guess it depends on how versatile you want them to be - you can get more out of them if you create them so they stand on their own and have shadows that can overlay any skin (up to a certain point, anyway - dark or very light skintones may need separate color adjustments, but you can probably manage with 2-4 versions if you're making for a variation of natural skin colors if you plan it right).

Also keep in mind, if you plan on just making it for yourself it's fine to do whatever you like - but if you plan to upload and want the marks to be versatile for others too, try to not use a skintone as a base unless you absolutely have to. There are 1000+++ skintones to pick from, and nothing is worse than seeing a really nice makeup set and then realizing it's based on a skintone that totally clashes with the skins you're using.

Greytoned, feathered alpha is a good idea for a blended effect wherever that's needed, but don't go overboard. Sometimes it is fine with less feathered effects, too. It depends on the effect.

Other than that - look at pictures of the effects you want to make. Play around with brushes, lay down a colored layer, and do the painting in the alpha layer. You can also use layers, and then copy them over to the alpha (in Photoshop you can add a color overlay to make them white), and play around with transparency (opacity). This makes the layers very exact and much easier to edit because you can copy/paste them into the exact spot, and reset if you have to, and you can save copies of both files as PSDs if you need to edit them later (I always work with layers).

Using layers and mask layers is absolutely something that helps me, because it allows for easy opportunities to edit. I know enough to get by, so if I poke at something long enough with the tricks I know, it usually ends up looking at least halfway decent, even if the road there sometimes is quite clumsy...


I've never planned on using a face texture because it might come out a bit too realistic for the skintones I use (Honey Honey by Lilith/magical_girl_sandbox). I always use layers and I've separated them because I plan on making them layerable, so I'll see how I do there, even though I may need some practice with the alphas.

As for the colour and the ability to see it on different skintones, I was planning on using this colour, since it's a very common colour for beauty marks.
(HEX: 6D3924)
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Old 25th Aug 2020, 11:28 PM #5
Azelanne
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I probably didn't explain myself properly, sorry about that: I usually take a fairly dark face texture, blur it, starkly reduce its contrast, and overlay a semi-opaque solid colour over it. I'm not saying you should leave a strip of the original skin colour around the mole haha. I just like to ensure that a freckle on the cheekbone won't be as dark as those below it. Obviously, it's not needed for all styles.

I'm http://crispsandkerosene.tumblr.com/ on tumblr, admittedly not very active on MTS.
Old 19th Sep 2020, 2:09 PM DefaultFinally came back to these! #6
WatermelonSandal
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So I finally returned to this project, and here's what I've done with it:
I used a dark base game skintone as the base and as Azelanne said, reduced the contrast, blurred it, and laid a colour over it. Then I went ahead and added a softened alpha mask.
The first image is with a fully opaque (white) alpha, and the second is with a semi-opaque (grey) alpha. I can see what simmer22 meant when you said that it created a good blended effect. At the moment I like the second one more, but might change the colour of the base layer.



UPDATE: Here's a kind of "medium" one that sits in between the two shown above in terms of alpha. This one's closer to the effect that I want.

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