~The Sim Site Resource Center~
When I am designing new heads for my Sims, these are many things I think about. First, of course, will I design a man or woman, boy or girl. When I've decided, I either open up a pre-existing head and edit it, or start from scratch. This small tutorial is for those who would like to design a new head, with pure and total control.
The programs which I find helpful are the following:
SimShow - this program allows you to view your designs, without having to load up The Sims.
FaceLift - this program molds new faces for you, allowing you to control hair color, shape of face, and even allows you to edit your face and pull the eyes closer or farther or make your nose bigger, etc.
Adobe PhotoShop - nothing to say here, self explanatory, I love this program!
Now I'm thinking you already have some talent for creation, otherwise you wouldn't be reading and contemplating this. So here we go.
1. Using FaceLift, you can mold your own face using the buttons on the panel. Mold the face to your liking, and then edit it (the tool button). Adjust and fine tune your face, bring the eyes closer together and pull the chin back a little. Remember small changes can be drastically wonderful at times and drastically awful at others.
2. Save your new molded face. Make sure to apply the correct attributes to your face, (gender, adult or child, skin color) because if you don't it can make this process more time consuming.
3. You should be able to pull up your new molded face after you launch your paint program. Most likely FaceLift have saved your new face under thesims/gamedata/skins. Now all faces and outfits are saved as .bmp in a indexed color format. I find that it makes life a lot easier if you first change your image to RGB color.
4. Once you are in RGB color, change all you want. You've got plenty of tools to help you. The magic wand tool comes in extremely handy when you'd like to just select the hair or face, but also make sure it's selecting all of it. Holding down the Shift or Ctrl button helps you to add and subtract to your selection.
5. Using the lightening tool, you can choose to lighten the white part of the eyes, but don't go wild. Also, using the paint tool, on a low opacity can put a hint of color (green, blue) in the eyes.
6. When you're working on a female head, sometimes adding a little definition to their face does wonders. Using the Darken tool, on a low exposure, (and a large brush) lightly darken the cheek bones. It might not look like much, but when you're done you'll be surprised.
7. Using the Darken tool and a small brush on the eyelash area and underneath the eyes also add definition to the face. But please, low exposure and a small brush, too much can make a woman look like a raccoon and a man look like . . . well . . . you know.
8. Putting a feather of about .2 - .5 sometimes helps when you are trying to make a drastic change. For example, changing a blonde to a darker blonde is easy, but if you are changing them to a brunette, the edges around the hairline can look pixilated and distorted. Adding a feather will ease the change and if it still looks bad, try using the Smudge tool and lightly smudging the edges.
9. A lot can be said about the lips. Using the magic wand tool, you can select the lips and adjust the Color Balance. You can also utilize the Adjust Brightness/Contract menu. One neat tip in changing lip color is: if you use the Lightening tool, add a lighter area on the bottom lip, this creates a 'glossy' look.
10. Not many people seem too excited about editing male heads, but a little goes a long way. Use the Lasso tool and select the area along the edge of his chin. Then using the Darken tool, with the exposure set low, look at the brushes menu, find a brush that is not round or square, kind of splattered, like crumbs. Now proceed to Darken the selected area on the chin, you will have to click more then a few times, now deselect and you have a handsome man with a little stubble. This can also be used to create a goatee.
11. Don't forget the accessories! Adding a chin stud to a male head or a diamond nose ring to a female face, can add more that you expected, try and see if you like it.
12. When you are finished make sure to convert your head back into the original format, indexed color. When you get a little more creative you can play with the types of heads, like give a female piggy tails, or a male dread locks, these wonderful meshes are available at SimFreaks.com.
By: Purple Princess