How to extract sims from screenshots! (revised version)

Original publish date: February 15th, 2013

Hello once again!

In this tip I will show you how you can extract just your selected sim from a screenshot you took in the game!

What you need:

  • The Sims 2 or 3; it doesn’t matter which game you got
  • A graphics editing software (Photoshop is recommended)

Note: This tip is based on the use of Photoshop, so if you don’t have Photoshop, the steps might be different.

Here’s how:

  1. Fire up your Sims game, either Sims 2 or Sims 3. Go to the family you wish to take the screenshots.
  2. Command the sim you want to take screenshot of to an empty area of the lot, and build a wall section behind the sim. For best exposure, in Sims 2 the screenshot should be taken during summer (if Seasons is installed), and with the non-shadowed part of the wall facing towards you, and for Sims 3 the screenshot should be taken during midday if possible, and try to get the non-shadowed part of the wall facing towards you. For the best image quality, you should zoom the camera all the way inwords, and make sure that you can see the whole sim.
  3. Press the letter C on your keyboard to take the screenshot. For the best result, you should pause your game first before taking your screenshot.
  4. Minimise the game, and go to the directory the screenshot was saved. For Sims 2 this directly is in C:Documents and Settings[yourusername]My DocumentsEAGamesThe Sims 2NeighborhoodNxxx(xxx is the neighborhood you are currently playing)Storytelling (for Windows XP), or C:Users[yourusername]My DocumentsEAGamesThe Sims 2NeighborhoodNxxx(xxx is the neighborhood you are currently playing)Storytelling (for Windows Vista/7/8). For The Sims 3 your screenshots are saved in C:Documents and Settings[yourusername]My DocumentsElectronic ArtsThe Sims 3Screenshots (for Windows XP), or C:Users[yourusername]My DocumentsElectronic ArtsThe Sims 3Screenshots (for Windows Vista/7/8).
  5. Copy the newly created .jpg file to a temporary directory, and open the file in Photoshop.
  6. Now here’s the hardest part! Double-click on the background layer to create the new layer, and call it whatever you like.
  7. Use the crop tool to crop out any unwanted areas around your sim.
  8. Now use the magic wand tool. Click on any areas you do not want and hit the delete key. It is best to zoom in, as there might be small fragments which are hard to remove.
  9. Once you get the image to the specification that you want, save the image as a png file (only png file supports transparency) and you’re done!

Hope this helps!

Update: After playing around I’ve just found out that, with Sims 3, although taking screenshots with normal Sims are quite easy, but things get more complicated if you want to take a screenshot of a fairy, since fairy wings are not entirely opaque, which causes problems that, when you later edit your screenshot in Photoshop, some parts of the wings will blend with the wall, even sometimes completely, thus making it difficult to get the whole sim on a transparent background without any unwanted fragments or shadows, unless you’re super good in Photoshop and you know how to fix up unwanted bits and blend the fairy wings with the background.

Enjoy!

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