and homebase of SIFF


We Have a TS4 Pose Player!

Posted by Jorgha Haq on August 23, 2015 at 3:05 AM Comments comments (2)

I had no idea where to put that in the forum so it's going here because this is huge and it's going to make life so much easier for TS4 machinima! We have a TS4 Pose Player and it plays animations as well!

You can find it over at Sims4Studio HERE. You do need to register to use the site.

SIFF Update SPRING 2015

Posted by Minraed on March 22, 2015 at 7:55 AM Comments comments (0)

Keeping up with blogs and updates here is clearly not my strong point. I apologize if this is where you turn for important news. I would like to say that I promise to do better in the future, but it is hard to say since I have such a demanding life outside of here that I find it impossible to do everything I would really like doing. So... please be sure to follow us on facebook, twitter and tumblr and subscribe to us on issuu and you won't miss a thing. 

So yes, SIFF films are open and it is time to vote!  Polls are open until April 11th so watch them all, take your time and vote fairly in support of the many talented machinima makers. 

And a final note of interest is that our next Simatography magazine is about to be released. It will be smaller since we have SIFF right now, but you will find some really great community spotlights inside. Watch for it on Issuu later today. 

Sims 4 Machinima at SIFF (and more...)

Posted by Minraed on August 31, 2014 at 7:25 AM Comments comments (0)

Don't forget to scroll right to the end for an important annoucement about Sims 4 machinima and SIFF.


    Well here we are just days away from game release for The Sims 4 and already machinima makers are testing out the waters. With only CAS to offer, creative movie makers are showing us what might be possible. The examples below will show you what people are already able to do with just simple CAS animations and some creative green-screening. I like how we are seeing some good variety in the examples. I think this provides some perspective, since we all have very different styles when it comes to the type of machinima we like to make. As machinima makers, we can all recognize that we are never restricted to the confines of style dictated by the game alone. With creative scenery, set design, green screens, costumes and lighting we can create truly unique genres that may not reflect what the game alone is offering us. So check these out...

     Essiepictures may have been the first person to put out a CAS demo turned into a machinima.These various clips are a brilliant example of the possibilties.

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     Anyone who is familar with Bahariawans Studio and director Fadhil will know that he has a very oddball and quirky style that is all his own. Ok well, he's inspired by the film genre's that he imitates, but as far as Sims machinima goes, he's always making us laugh. His take on The Sims 4 CAS demo is no different. We can expect some hilarious new machinima from him I'm sure.

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    And finally, I will indulge myself by sharing my very own Sims 4 machinima. This may be the first one made from game footage because I had the advantage of capturing some footage while I was at the EA Creator's Camp. My intention was just to explore some of the camera moves, and some of the basic machinima making features and tools, but I ended up with enough to make this funny little thing. Keep in mind that what you are seeing is very basic, and even given that I am feeling impressed with the possibilities. There is no cc, no special lighting technique, no mods, just plain and simple in game capture. I hope you enjoy.

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Enter your early attempts at Sims 4 machinima at SIFF this season!

Since people are already exploring Sims 4 machinima we know that there will be some being made right away as the game is released, so we are going to allow these early attempts into SIFF. We will open up a separate Sims 4 category and will allow late submissions for Sims 4 only. Here are the ammended rules for your Sims 4 submission...

1. All usual SIFF rules apply - your machinima should not be released before September 15th and needs to be completed by September 20th

2. Deadline for Sims 4 submissions will be September 10th. Your film does not have to be ready by then, we just need to know that you are entering, so have your submission form in by then.

3. Have fun with it. We don't have all the CC and tools yet, so most people will not have time to finish a really in depth production. Try out an advertisement or something fun.

Get all of the needed info HERE on our SIFF page

Cinematic Prospects in The Sims 4 - Set Design

Posted by Minraed on August 8, 2014 at 4:55 PM Comments comments (0)


Setting the scene, or set design, is something that I focus in on quite a bit in my own machinima and photos, but also when I am considering the work of other people. The set design plays such an imporant role to setting the mood and plays a descriptive role - a good set design tells some of the story in and of itself. I will say this up front - set design in the early stages after Sims 4 release is going to be an issue and a big setback for many of us due to the obvious limitations of a new base game.  Having said that, I will also note that there is a lot of potential here and I personally can't wait to see how the possibilities grow as the collection of content becomes larger.


The outdoor views have a very different look and feel to The Sims 3. Some of you will like it and some will not. It does have a bit of a "pixar" animated feel to it, but at the same time there is some realism too. It is difficult to explain, but you will get the idea as you see more photos. The biggest limitation here for set design and story backdrop is that there are only two worlds to choose from at the start. There is no point in complaining about this, it is limiting and it sucks a bit, but it won't be that way for long. As new worlds come out, and they will, surely we will begin to see a variety of world types to suit our moods.

Background Scenery  lend a nice view to a scene - as in these photo examples. The neat thing is that depending on which direction you are facing, there will be a slightly different scene in the backdrop so this will lend some variety.

Neighbourhood Street Scenes have a much more realistic feel to them. There are more Sims wandering around it seems, or perhaps it is just that the Sims that are wondering seem to have more of a purpose to their wanderings, or maybe it is just that the walk and movements have a more realistic feel. 

Neighbourhood Editing - you cannot edit the neighbourhood on a grand scale, and you cannot edit the sections off of the designated lots. We will have to wait to see what other worlds are presented to us in order to have the neighbourhood background theme and feel that we need for a wider variety of stories and movies. This is going to be an initial limitation that will be frustrating to some, I know.  The best you can do, and this may work well in most cases, is that you can edit any of the larger lots to create a large set design that fits the theme that you are going for in your outdoor scene. This will, of course, be much easier to do once we have more outdoor objects to choose from.

Here is another example of how the world background will look as a backdrop to a scene.

Breaking News

More scenes will be available in the form of unlockable "parks" or secret areas, like rabbit holes in a sense, but it appears that they are actual locations that you can access. This too appears that it will create more opportunities for backdrop settings.
Read about it here...

Cinematic Prospects in The Sims 4 - Camera Views

Posted by Minraed on August 6, 2014 at 6:25 AM Comments comments (3)

This topic warrants a bigger post, but for today I'll just share a quick few views. I have some video footage and coming later I have a special gift from a new Simmer friend who has offered to share something with us that is on this topic. More on that later, but for now a  quick look at what the world looks like through the camera lens.

Close Ups and Lighting

I know that many people are commenting on how "cartoony" the sims look, and in some ways I agree, in others I disagree, but what I will say is that if you look at the detail and structure of the sims the canvas from which CC creators have to work with is, in my opinion, much more realistic. I have no doubt that we will be blown away with the outcome once cc comes to life (for those of us who are addicts). But, as for the native appearance of the sims, I challenge you to take this same shot with your Sims 3 game without cc, outdoors and show us what you get. (I should do this to compare later).

Not only do I love the detail, but I absolutely LOVE the lighting. This was taken outdoors with no fill light. If you have ever tried this in Sims 3 you would notice unsightly shadows. The lighting has definitely improved and will be noticeable when you take shots in the two most challenging scenarios - sunlight and dark shadows.The photo below was taken in a dark room with minimal lighting and yet retains a nice amount of detail. So yes, lighting is one of the things I took note of.

And here is a great example of the much improved night skies lighting.

It lends a beautiful ambiant effect I think.

addition - photo courtesy of

Depth of Field - Outdoor Views

Shallow depth of field, in camera terms, describes what you see here where the close part of the photo is in focus, but the background is less so. This is more or less noticeable in different camera positions. It is a gorgeous effect and one that I have always wished to have, but at the same time it is not something that you will want all of the time. I have to confirm this, but I was told that you can change this in the camera settings. We will have to figure that out when we get our hands on the game again, but if not there may be a way to do so in the .ini files or with an easy mod. More on that in the future.

View of the World from the Camera Lens

Despite the fact that the world is not truly open as we now know it, the background does not just drop off at the edge of the neighbourhood. What you see here is the home and land across the river which is not accessible to me from this position, but is there visually to create a wonderful backdrop. Beyond that is the far off scenery.  Unfortunately we cannot change that scenery at this time, but more on that in another post.

Here are two more examples of the camera view from above.

So that's all for today, but I still have so much more to share. Stay tuned.  And don't forget to drop by to

discuss or ask questions in the forum thread HERE

Cinematic Prospects in The Sims 4 - Emotions

Posted by Minraed on August 5, 2014 at 9:20 PM Comments comments (0)

While everyone else out there is talking about build mode and missing colour customizations and the gameplay details, I knew that I had to come to the table with the machinima and photography perspective and start some discussions around where The Sims 4 will take us.

Emotions are definitely one of the features of the Sims 4 that has been creating a buzz around the Sims community, and for different reasons depending on the gaming style of the person playing. There is no question that emotions will add quite a bit of dimension to gameplay, but you wanted to know was what will emotions mean to machinima makers and photographers. So here we go.


Grant Rodiek gave us some detailed insider information

so here are some of the take aways:



Emotions and Traits are tightly linked. People will respond with different emotions to similar situations depending on their underlying traits. This is something you can use to your advantage when adding traits to your sim actors. As we learn more and discover the little details around this you may find that you can be crafty in your trait selection in order to trigger certain emotion based animations and interactions.


Emotions and Animations are interconnected - similar actions will appear differently, that is with a variation on the animation, depending on the mood of the sim. If using gameplay to trigger your animations you will want to become familiar with these emotional states and their outcomes.



Several types of decor objects are associated with an emotional "aura" - an emotional trigger of sorts. When your sim walks into a room with these objects then they will respond accordingly based on the associated emotion. For example a statue with a playful aura will inspire playfullness in your sim. These auras can be toggled off and on within the object menu when you click on it, and by default they are OFF so you won't randomly be caught off guard. For our purposes this may come in handy to trigger emotions - you can place several objects that have a similar emotional aura, toggle them on, and when your sim is in that room they will surely behave in the manner of that emotion. This is one way to give you some control without a hack or cheat in place.


Your Sim can even create objects and paintings - when creating something the emotion of the sim will be transferred to the objected created. For example if your angry sim paints an angry painting, it will likely evoke anger when viewed.


You can hover over the object description to learn how much emotional aura an object has, for those that do have it. Auras are not added to every object type.



There are a few ways that animations are affected by emotions

• painting, cooking and other creative ventures will produce different outcomes based on the mood or emotion of your Sim while they created it - for example they paint different types of paintings when happy compared to flirty - then the paintings themselves take on that emotional aura and can be placed strategically to evoke certain emotions where you need them

• there are different variations on the animations in many cases, so the actual animation will vary slightly with the emotional state of your Sim

• emotional states trigger "whims" which are ideas that you can use to guide you so that you can make the most of the emotional state your Sim is in



• there are potions to control moods

• tv shows can affect moods

• traits affect emotional response - a snob would be bored watching kid's TV but someone else might find it makes them playful

• instruments can influence moods

• you can use the voodoo doll to inflict an emotional state on a sim

While we know that modders are already getting into CAS and toying with hacks and mods, and surely one to control emotions will be on the top of the list of mods to come, it is good to know that there are a variety of options when it comes to manipulating the moods of our Sims to help us tell our stories.

Feel free to comment in this thread, or join the conversation HERE In our forums

Machinima Monday, July 21st, 2014

Posted by Minraed on July 21, 2014 at 8:50 AM Comments comments (0)


Multi Editor Projects

   If you are not familiar with MEPs, or they are multi editor projects, machinimas created by editing together fragments filmed by a variety of machinima makers. There are several Sims machinima makers in our community who have done several of these, some have been presented at SIFF. Usually it starts with a host who selects a song and a theme, then invites others to join in. You would be responsible for filming your part, based on a clip from the song, with your own interpretation of the theme suggested. Once the individual film clips are completed, the main host does a final edit of all the parts, and voila, you have a completed MEP.  Most of the ones I have seen have been an interesting collage of styles and interpretations on a theme, and are often quite breathtaking.

    I recently had the honour of working with a selection of some of my favourite machinima makers on my very first MEP hosted by Titus Linde. It was a great experience. I loved being able to be a part of a machinima when I would not have had time to do a full one on my own. I loved the excitement of not knowing what everyone else was doing until it all came together in the end. The anticipation was wonderful. I also got to learn of some new machinima makers that I had never known of before.

   Another aspect of the MEP that I really appreciate is the coming together of Sims 2 and Sims 3 machinima makers. Most MEPs I have come across are collaborations of these two platforms. It makes me wonder what the future of Sims MEPs has in store with the coming of Sims 4. These are exciting times. So, if you have not seen many MEPs, here are a few examples. They will lead you back to YouTube playlists that will then likely have other suggested viewings where you will see even more MEPs show up on the list. If you are an MEP producer, I invite you to submit one to SIFF, as we now have an official MEP category and of course we also welcome Sims 2 machinima so we would love to see more of these at the festival.

Here are a few examples from some of the machinima makers that I know have produced or been involved in several MEPs, some even have been presented at SIFF in the past. I of course have to start with the one I was involved in.

Share your MEP with us on YouTube and we will add it to our MEP Playlist HERE

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Machinima Monday July 7, 2014

Posted by Minraed on July 7, 2014 at 8:45 AM Comments comments (0)

Machinima Monday has been something I have been toying around with for quite some time now. There just doesn't seem to be enough time to do it all. I have more ideas than time unfortunately. But, this is something that is really important, so I'm just going to dive in and kick it off. My goal will be to present something about Machinima every Monday. Perhaps a tutorial, a review, a showcase. Who knows what direction it might take.

I have two things to share today. One is for Facebook followers. Titus Linde, you may know from around here, and also as both a Sims 2 and Sims 3 machinima maker and photographer, has started up a page for Machinima fans on Facebook and follows the Machinima Monday idea by posting a showcase of great past machinima. This is definitely a page worth following. Find it" target="_blank" rel="nofollow">HERE - 


I came across this machinima today, just after I was taking some time to help a new machinima maker understand the use of interesting camera angles. I think that this machinima is a perfect example of a fairly straight forward machinima in that it does not have wild and crazy sets or costumes to make us say wow, but it has absolutely wonderful camera work. Notice how the camera does not capture the whole scene in a wide angle frame, it cuts in to close ups, and other interesting camera perspectives (perspective is the word for the position of the camera). Have a look at this closely and see what you can learn about camera perspectives and filming angles. This is one of the most important keys to a good machinima.

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SIFF BUZZ issue 7

Posted by Minraed on March 30, 2014 at 10:35 AM Comments comments (0)

Click the cover to read the issue.

     This season of SIFF has been a wild ride and we are just about to come to a close. This is such a sad time for me, but also exciting at the same time. Next weekend we will present the final BUZZ issue with the announcements of the winners and many other exciting announcements.

     Tabby Lloyd,our SIFF Buzz editor and Media Director takes to the Red Carpet in this issue as she attends each film premiere party and gives us a little bit of insight into each film. If you are a machinima maker then watch for Simatography Staff’s official comments on your YouTube channels. These should be completed within the next day or two.

     In this week’s issue we also showcase a few more Red Carpet pics. The stars have come out in full force to celebrate this season’s premieres and you will see many more in the Final Buzz issue next week. We love the excitement of the Red Carpet and all of the celebrities that SIFF draws into town.

     There is LIFE AFTER SIFF too. We have two fun machinima challenges coming your way soon after SIFF wraps up. This will be a good opportunity to practice some of your machinima skills before the next season of SIFF rolls around. In addition, we have a plan for something more for photographers too, and for the first time we will start opening these challenges up to The Sims 2 players. With The Sims 4 coming along we are preparing to open up our website to welcome these new players so we can’t do that without first making space for the dedicated Sims 2 fans who’s love for that version shows no signs of dying.  You can expect to see some changes to the forums that will reflect this shift.

     So, while SIFF comes to a close once again, new exciting things are on the horizon. So stay tuned.


SIFF BUZZ issue 6

Posted by Minraed on March 23, 2014 at 2:25 PM Comments comments (0)

It's Sunday, and you know what that means! It's time for the SIFF Buzz, our weekly showcase of what's happening both behind the scenes and in front of the camera at the Sims International Film Festival. Before we get to that, the Simatography staff wants to remind you that voting is now open for the SIFF films. Be sure to check out all the great machinima submitted from around the Sims community and vote for your favorites.


Since voting has started, Tabby Lloyd has taken the time to write a brief introduction to each of the films. You won't want to miss this. And speaking of things you don't want to miss we are showcasing the Ziggurat Theater put together by Petalbot. This is only one of the wonderful theaters submitted for our building challenge to create venues for SIFF parties, award ceremonies and other events.


We also have a number of celebrity sightings on the SIFF red carpet to share with everyone. Much like the Oscars and Academy Awards, our stars show up on the red carpet for movie premiers dressed in their finest to show support for their films and as well as check out all the other offerings. This week join the cast of Hollow Tower and the child stars of Everything has Changed among others.


It's easy to see that every SIFF gets larger and larger and continues to draw talented entrants from beginners to masters from all over the Sims community. The Sims International Film Festival wouldn't be what it is without the contributors and the fans. While we couldn't have SIFF without contributors, it's the support and encouragement of the fans the ensures it's growth. We want to thank everyone who continues to make SIFF what it is.


SIFF isn't the only thing happening at Simatography. We are still running the 100 Themes Challenge and have a number of great new entries to share with you. If you haven't checked it out, take a few minutes and visit the forum to see the creative ideas that everyone has. There is no deadline on finishing this so there is still time for anyone who wants to join.


Stay tuned. We will be announcing all the winners in just two weeks!


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