The Sims 4
The Sims 3
The Sims 2
Guide: Camera Controls & Taking Screenshots
| Jump: Tutorials
| Jump: Tutorials
Tutorials - General (All games)
Learning how to use the camera controls and what to use for taking screenshots is essential for taking clear, attractive in-game pics that will do a good job "selling" your item to downloaders. Not sure how? Then read on!
Tutorials - The Sims 4
With the default TS4 camera style, you cannot get a Sim's-eye-view screenshot angle, and all your images will be from slightly above the scene. Therefore, it is highly recommended that you switch to the TS3 style camera. You can do this by using CTRL+SHIFT+TAB or by pressing Esc > Game Options > Game Camera > Sims 3 Camera. This will make it much easier to change the angle of the view and rotate the screen.
In TS4, the in-game camera (C key) can take screenshots of a high enough quality that no additional screenshot program should be required. However, if you need to take pictures of a UI component and 'Capturing the UI' Isn't working for you, we'd recommend checking out the 'Taking screenshots & Tools' section!
By default, the in-game camera does not capture the UI (user interface) which can make it hard to capture chance cards, dialogs, and other boxes that pop up. To fix this, press Esc, then Game Options > Screen Capture > Memory/Picture Capture, and then enable "Capture UI".
If you got windows 10, then using this tool is even easier than ever! Simply use the shortcut: Windows logo key + Alt + P for taking a screenshot.
For more info on other shortcuts for it and Windows 8 and 7 support, see: Snipping Tool
I have a relatively new Nvidia Card!
If you have a Nvidia card, with Ansel support (Check here if not sure) you can also take advantage of the Nvidia Ansel and take screenshots with ALT+F1!
I have Windows 10 but I don't have a Nvidia Graphics card...
Windows 10 came with even some other great features, Not only did they integrate the Snipping tool, but also something called XBox gamebar! All you got to do then is just use the shortcut Windows Logo key + Alt + PrintScreen :)
You can always use something that isn't installed on your computer per-se. If you rather use programs like Fraps or IrfanView, feel free to do so! Although given the fact that those programs are ancient, you may experience some issues with Windows 10 telling you they're viruses and giving you a hard time using them. Just warning you beforehand!
If you read through 'Taking Screenshots & Tools and you seem to be out of options/can't use those options, then there's always the Print screen button!
To do this, simply press the Print Screen or PrntScn key on your keyboard - it's usually off toward the right, over the arrow keys, above Insert and Delete. This will copy your current screen to your Windows clipboard, as if you had selected and copied it as an image.
Then open any graphics editing program (or Paint!), and paste the image. If pasting it doesn't work, then simply create a new Document inside the program with your screen resolution and then paste it.
Tutorials - The Sims 3
In TS3, the in-game camera (C key) can take screenshots of good enough quality that no additional screenshot program should be required. However, if you need to take pictures of a UI component (Think: notifications, moodlets, your sim's relationships) We'd recommend checking out the 'Taking screenshots & Tools' section!
For TS3, if you do not use the C key, you must run the game in windowed mode to take screenshots. If screenshots are taken with an external program while the game is running full screen, the screenshots will turn out extremely dark. You can enable windowed mode with the following methods:
The easiest method is to just use the ALT+ENTER keys on PCs or COMMAND+RETURN keys on Macs to toggle between the 2 modes while the game is already running. The keystroke combination work on most screens, just not at the loading screen while the game is just starting.
If you're already in the game, then you can tweak the Game Options from the Options (F5) menu. For the "Enable fullscreen mode" setting, ticking this means that the game will be in fullscreen mode and vice versa. Click the checkmark again to confirm your changes.
Tutorials - The Sims 2
In order to take nice big pics, you should not use the C key or the camera button on the game's controls to take your pictures. Even on the highest picture settings, pictures will still be small, with a very high level of JPEG compression, making them blurry and crunchy. Instead, run the game in windowed mode, and use Print Screen or a screenshot program.
In order to take your pictures using the methods described here, you will need your game running in a window, so you can easily switch to other applications without causing major instability and lag. Instructions on setting up Windowed Mode for Sims 2 may be found in Game help: Windowed mode. Windowed mode should be perfectly safe - in fact, some users actually report better game performance when running in a window. Your mileage may vary.
There are many programs available, free and pay, that will take screenshots for you by using a hotkey, and save them to a folder - just like The Sims 2 with the C key, but with options for much better quality settings.
Obviously this is optional, but in case you're searching for ways to use poseboxes and setting up your sims, ready to model for some awesome CASparts (Or objects!) CozyPixels did an amazing tutorial on this!
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