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Enhanced Gameplay Cameras

by Tom Duhamel Posted 26th Dec 2008 at 5:52 PM - Updated 30th Aug 2011 at 2:58 AM by Tom Duhamel : Added the Known Issue statement
138 Comments / replies (Who?) - 25 Feedback Posts
Picked Upload! This is a picked upload! It showcases some of the best talent and creativity available on MTS and in the community.
There are many camera configurations available out there, but none that I liked. Most camera settings available are made for modders, photographers or movie producers. None are very comfortable for the casual player.

These camera configurations were tweaked with playability in mind. I picked the Maxis default cameras and gave them some more flexibility without going to the extremes. I tried to keep a lot of comfort for playing and maintain the original feel of the game.

Below is a brief description of the changes I've made along with pictures.


Live Camera

This is the basic camera, the one you use while actually playing the game. I gave it more flexibility while maintaining the general feel you are used to and keeping things comfortable.


  • Zoom out further so to see the largest lots at once, without impacting playability at regular zoom level
  • Zoom in further so to see Shady's beautiful eyes
  • Camera height increased, so that at close zoom levels the view is more natural and comfortable
  • Adjusted pitch so that, at farther zoom levels, you can move the camera lower (without going to the extreme so that the camera would enter a neighboring house of hide behind a mountain) or higher (so that you can actually get a top-down view from Live mode)
  • Minimized the delay in tracking mode (when you right-click a Sim's thumbnail) while avoiding that the camera dances with the Sim

Starting with version 1.1, the distribution now contains a No Fade add-on. Normally, when zooming in close to some objects such as staircases and ceiling lamps, they fade out and eventually disappear completely. With this add-on, this effect is removed. (See Instructions section below.)


Neighborhood Camera

Maxis default Neighborhood camera is very restrictive, no wonder it's the one people tweak the most. Most authors of original neighborhoods will recommend that you use a modified camera in order to use their creation the way they intended.


  • Doubled the zoom out distance in order to view the entire neighborhood at once
  • Slightly increased the zoom in distance
  • Allowed the camera to be moved over the entire neighborhood, to the borders, instead of just two blocks from the center (you can see the end of the world)
  • Allowed pitch (vertical angle) change
  • Fixed the field of view (FOV) so that the neighborhood won't distort as you move around on some screen resolutions


Top-Down View Camera (Build Mode)

Increased the maximum viewing distance so that larger lots can now be viewed at once.


Free Camera

This is the camera used when hitting Tab. This camera is mainly used for pictures and movies, and with that in mind I made it more precise, without making it ridiculously slow. This camera is not used for actual gameplay.
  • Can now be moved to ground level (if you feel you need to take pictures of shoes)
  • Pitch increased so that you can take pictures of the grass or the sky (it's a shame that Maxis drawn stars and clouds in the sky but didn't allow you to view them)
  • In order to increase precision, the camera moves much slower than before, but is still comfortable to work with

Tip: Place the camera as close as possible to where you want it to be in Live mode before hitting Tab, since you will find that this camera now moves much slower than before.


CAS Camera

This is actually a set of two cameras, namely Create-A-Sim (CAS) and Create-A-Family (CAF)


  • When editing the face, can zoom out completely and view the whole body
  • When editing clothing, can zoom in to mid-body (instead of to the face) so that you can view details of clothes
  • Mouse wheel sensitivity improved so that you don't have to spin forever
  • Improved zooming capabilities for pets
  • CAF: Can now zoom in and get a family picture (the default zoom level is so low that it's not actually very useful)




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Compatibility Notes

These files are compatible with the base game, all the way up to the latest
expansion packs (namely Apartment Life and Mansions & Gardens).


Known Issue

There exists a rare condition which causes this mod to crash the game. While this situation seems to be very rare (millions of users worldwide are using this mod without problems), I thought it would be better to warn you, so that you can work your way out.

The known problem occurs only with users who own the M&G expansion pack (no matter what other pack you have or have not), and only occurs in the neighborhood. I have not been able to reproduce the problem myself, but at one point I got the help of one user who had the problem, but despite looking and trying different possibilities, we were not able to pinpoint the problem nor find a solution. We have also determined that other custom cameras did the same problem on that same machine.

For those affected, the game will crash immediately upon loading the neighborhood view. Restoring the original file fixes the problem. The crash does not make any further damage to the game, so this problem is not permanent and not considered critical.

Though this problem is very rare, if you find that you have the problem, the solution is to restore the original neighborhood camera. The other cameras will not cause any problem and you can use them normally, but you will loose the features that I have implemented for your neighborhood. (Note: Please make a backup of your original cameras, as stated by the instructions below, in case you run into problems.)

If at any point in the future someone finds a solution, please contact me. For now, this notice is the best I can do for you.


*** Installation Instructions ***

Camera configuration files go to: "My Documents\EA Games\The Sims 2\Cameras\" (NOT Downloads)

1. Backup all files from the Cameras folder before proceeding (I will not provide you with default files).
2. Install the files from the archive in the Cameras folder, replacing default ones. (See notes below regarding the No Fade add-on.)

You are not required to install all of the different cameras. You can only select and install those you like. Feel free to try other cameras from other authors and mix them with mine any way suits your needs.

BuildCamera.txt = Top-Down View Camera
CASCamera.txt = CAS and CAF cameras
FirstPersonCameras.txt = Free Camera
LiveCamera.txt = Live Camera
LiveCameraNoFade.txt = Live Camera No Fade add-on*
NeighborhoodCamera.txt = Neighborhood Camera

*No Fade add-on: To install the No Fade add-on for the Live camera, simply drop the file LiveCameraNoFade.txt with the others. If you don't want to disable the fading effect, do no install this file. (See Live Camera section above for more information.)

To uninstall, overwrite the files with the ones you backed up.

Note: When installing a new EP/SP, the install process overwrites the camera files with fresh ones. Therefore, you need to re-install this mod after installing an EP or SP.

Copyright Notice

The International Copyright Law does not extend to the point as to cover simple configuration values. However, since tweaking these values required that a lot of Sims be tortured, I invite you to kindly follow the usual rules.


Additional Credits
Paint Shop Pro 9 for screenshots and picture editing
And as always, the incredible Notepad


No animals were shaved during the production of this mod.

You must have the expansion or stuff packs listed below installed to use this custom content. Please see the post text for any exceptions.

Sims 2
Key: - File was updated after upload was posted
Filename - Tip: You can click the magnifying glass to see the archive contents Size Downloads Date
Enhanced_Gameplay_Cameras_11.rar | Enhanced Gameplay Cameras 1.1 2009-01-04

Size: 6.4 KB · Downloads: 58,503 · 5th Jan 2009
6.4 KB 58,503 5th Jan 2009
Don't forget to Thank the creator after downloading! Use the Thanks button located above the screenshots above.
Basic Download and Install Instructions:

1. Download: Click the download link to save the .rar or .zip file(s) to your computer.

2. Extract the zip, rar, or 7z file.

3. Place in Downloads Folder: Cut and paste the .package file(s) into your Downloads folder:
  • Origin (Ultimate Collection): Users\(Current User Account)\Documents\EA Games\The Sims™ 2 Ultimate Collection\Downloads\
  • Non-Origin, Windows Vista/7/8/10: Users\(Current User Account)\Documents\EA Games\The Sims 2\Downloads\
  • Non-Origin, Windows XP: Documents and Settings\(Current User Account)\My Documents\EA Games\The Sims 2\Downloads\
  • Mac: Users\(Current User Account)\Documents\EA Games\The Sims 2\Downloads
  • Mac x64: /Library/Containers/com.aspyr.sims2.appstore/Data/Library/Application Support/Aspyr/The Sims 2/Downloads
Need more information?
 
138 Comments / Replies (Who?) - 94 Feedback Posts, 37 Thanks Posts
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Field Researcher
#2 Old 26th Dec 2008 at 7:38 PM
Now I have Gunmod's camera hack and I always wanted a live camera hack that zoomed further out like yours does. The reason I like Gunmod's though, was because there was no fade on stairs, sims or trees etc. Does you hack have this or should I stick with the one I have? If you don't have that option is that something you would be willing to implement? Either way, good job!
Lab Assistant
#3 Old 26th Dec 2008 at 8:47 PM
Has this mod been tested with M&G? Gunmod's camera hack no longer works with M&G, so I have been looking for something to replace it.
Field Researcher
Original Poster
#4 Old 26th Dec 2008 at 9:36 PM
TashaFaun:

I didn't change the default fading feature on the Live camera. The reason is that the Live camera is for playing, and as such I do prefer that objects (including staircases and ceiling lamps) do fade away as there is action beneath. For pictures, I do use the Free camera (the one you get when you hit Tab), and in this mode there is no fading by default (I've seen comments on other camera hacks that claim they have removed the fading from the Free camera, but there was never any fading on that camera).

However, if after considering my comments, you feel you still like a fading-free Live camera, I can certainly make an alternate version.

Chinchillagrl6:

Unfortunately I don't have M&G (Mansions and Gardens) yet, nor AL (Apartment Life). As such I couldn't test on those.

I have read comments for the GunMod's mod, and also on different places around the web. For AL, for the best information I could get, I do believe that the changes they've made to cameras (which seem to only be for the purpose of adding a ceiling) only apply to a new, different file which I do not affect, and as such I think I have not made a conflict with it. However I was unable to find why GunMod's mod has a problem with M&G, and as such I cannot tell if my mod has a problem with it or not. My mod only replaces the files I had to change, not the entire set of files, and as such I hope I avoided any problem caused by M&G changes.

I would invite people using one of those two packs (or both) to try and tell me what went wrong. In this case, please tell me what camera has a problem, and if possible send me the corresponding default file so that I can inspect and see the differences for myself.

Please understand that these camera settings cannot possibly harm your game. At best, there will be a feature missing, and at worst the game won't load. In any case, if you have problems, just put the default files back (overwrite mines with the default ones, which you should back up first as my instructions suggest) and start the game again.

And so that you are not tempted to sue me (I'm just an Inventory Clerk you know) I do encourage you to backup your neighborhoods, just like for any other mod, when testing.
Instructor
#5 Old 26th Dec 2008 at 9:38 PM
I've also never been satisfied with any of the other camera hacks out there (for the reasons you've listed), so I'm going to give this a try. Looks great, though!
Lab Assistant
#6 Old 26th Dec 2008 at 10:41 PM
great work ... thanks
Lab Assistant
#7 Old 26th Dec 2008 at 10:42 PM
I'll try this out and let you know if it works with AL and M&G installed when I get home.

Thanks!
Field Researcher
#8 Old 26th Dec 2008 at 11:19 PM
Oh, I like this! I'm going to give it a try! Thanks a lot!!

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Test Subject
#9 Old 26th Dec 2008 at 11:54 PM
Just tried it out in my game. I think this mod is about to become my new best friend. Thank you!
Test Subject
#10 Old 27th Dec 2008 at 12:23 AM
This is OUTSANDING work. A huge thank you and kudos from me C:
Field Researcher
#11 Old 27th Dec 2008 at 3:24 AM
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tom420
However, if after considering my comments, you feel you still like a fading-free Live camera, I can certainly make an alternate version.


I'm not a big fan of the tab function and rarely ever use it. The big reason I downloaded Gunmod's camera hack was because he took away fading in live mode (for picture takers and movie makers). I always wanted one that would get closer though so if you are willing to do an alternate version with no fading at all I would be forever grateful. If not, no worries! Thank you for your hard work.
Field Researcher
Original Poster
#12 Old 27th Dec 2008 at 6:21 AM Last edited by Tom420 : 5th Jan 2009 at 6:37 AM.
Default No Fade (Live Camera)
Attached is a version of the Live camera with fade disabled. That is, you won't see through staircases and other objects which normally fade out as you zoom in.

There is absolutely no changes other than that in this version.

If no problems are encountered (not that I expect any), it will be part of the normal distribution for future updates.

See, I'm listening

Edit:
IMPORTANT NOTE: A No Fade add-on is now available as part of the normal distribution in the download section above, starting with version 1.1. The file below should not be used anymore.
Download - please read all instructions before downloading any files!
File Type: rar LiveCameraNoFade_For_EGC10.rar (967 Bytes, 145 downloads)
Description: Live Camera - No Fade (EGC 1.0)
Field Researcher
#13 Old 27th Dec 2008 at 7:03 AM
Oh wow! I didn't expect it so quickly. Thank you, works beautifully!
Lab Assistant
#14 Old 27th Dec 2008 at 7:41 AM
Everything works perfectly with AL and M&G.

Thank you so much.
Lab Assistant
#15 Old 27th Dec 2008 at 12:56 PM
I've applied it to my game (I still don't have AL or M&G) and it works fantastic!
I played for about 3 hours with no problems
Thank you so much!
Regards.
Lab Assistant
#16 Old 27th Dec 2008 at 1:28 PM
Confirming that it works with M&G and AL, but it makes Tab mode/Cameraman mode painfully slow. I prefer to use it to line up my shots, but moving around to get it just so takes forever. I can see the good part to that, but it was a surprise when I tried to use it to take a "virtual tour" of a lot.
I can't confirm the widescreen compatibility right now (I play in a standard window), but I could test it for you if you still need it.

I basically just like to play uglacies.
Lab Assistant
#17 Old 27th Dec 2008 at 6:36 PM
Thank you for sharing. I hate the inflexibility of the maxis cameras, but I hate being yanked across the lot (or off of the 'hood!) when I slightly move my mouse. I really appreciate the small changes you have made- they are wonderfully expressive of my own vague ideas on how cameras should behave!
Field Researcher
Original Poster
#18 Old 27th Dec 2008 at 7:27 PM Last edited by Tom420 : 5th Jan 2009 at 6:32 AM.
Free Camera 1.1 Beta
Thanks to your comments (both in this thread and in private messages) I know the time spent on tweaking those numbers wasn't wasted. I'm listening and currently working the values again for a (hopefully) even better update.

Swampcandy: Thanks a lot for confirming that things work fine with the latter EP and SP. While I tried to make this mod compatible for all past and future releases of the game, I had very little information regarding those two late releases and were anxious to hear about this.

Yes, there is a problem with the Free Camera (the one when hitting Tab). Actually, it's the only one I was never satisfied of. But the ModFather himself came to the rescue and suggested a value which, I believe, gives quite a good result. Seems an acceptable trade off between accuracy and speed. Credit goes to him for his help. I have attached the file. I'm eagerly waiting for your comments, positive or negative (private messages welcomed). If you feel this one is fine, it will make it's way into the next update.

Edit:
IMPORTANT NOTE: This file is now included in version 1.1 available from the main dowload section above and is not needed anymore.
Download - please read all instructions before downloading any files!
File Type: rar FreeCamera_11Beta.rar (1.3 KB, 112 downloads)
Description: Free Camera 1.1 Beta
Lab Assistant
#19 Old 27th Dec 2008 at 11:07 PM
This sounds unbelievably useful and awesome and all sorts of lovely words!!! Definately deserving of a picked download!! :D
Field Researcher
#20 Old 28th Dec 2008 at 12:33 AM
Awesome! Always hated the CAS camera, and rarely used the 'tab' function. Thank you!
The Great AntiJen
retired moderator
#21 Old 28th Dec 2008 at 1:10 AM Last edited by maxon : 28th Dec 2008 at 1:13 AM. Reason: adding a bit
Quote:
Originally Posted by Chinchillagrl6
Has this mod been tested with M&G? Gunmod's camera hack no longer works with M&G, so I have been looking for something to replace it.


It most certainly does still work with M&G - you need to remember that when you install a new EP, the EP overwrites the camera mod/cameras folder so you need to reinstall it.

I like the sound of what you've done in CAS - though I do like Gunmod's mod. I think I might try mixing & matching. Thanks for your work.
Test Subject
#22 Old 28th Dec 2008 at 2:33 PM
The only camera mod that actually convinces me!
And a proper CAS camera mod!
Thanks alot :D
#23 Old 28th Dec 2008 at 7:38 PM
looks nice! Though... i'm gonna stick with my camera... but your's is great too!

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Test Subject
#24 Old 28th Dec 2008 at 8:58 PM
Thank you for creating this camera mod, I've been using it for about 2 days. I love it especially in CAS mode.
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retired moderator
#25 Old 30th Dec 2008 at 1:16 AM
I've been using this for a while, with the Free Camera 1.1 Beta and I really like it. UNtil now I'd not found a live mode camera mod that I like better than the Maxis one- but this is great as I can take ground level pictures and birds eye views. Thankyou!

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