Warnings: Some photos contain partial Sim nudity and implied sex
Basic cheat codes:
(scene from Poison's Bend using the moveobjects and snapobjectstogrid cheats)
First off, because there was a time I didn't know this... hit shift-control-C to bring up the white cheat window at the top of the screen. The cheat codes I use for picture-taking are moveobjects on and boolprop snapobjectstogrid false . Type those in the cheat window just like they are typed here. Then you will be able to pick things up like sims, couches, couches with sims on them, etc. and place them where you want. (more on that later)
(This is a scene from Poison's Bend. Notice the hypodermic needle)
You can also make moveobjects and snapobjects work for you by picking up items, trying to put them "in" the sims' hands and see what happens. There's never any guarantees, but sometimes you can get some really cool screenshots this way.
Greyed-out shots (like the one above)
That's done with Microsoft Office Picture Manager. I go into my sim's Storytelling folder, right-click on the screenshot and choose "Open With/ Microsoft Office Picture Manager. From there I use a little slidey thing (how technical am I, lol) to adjust the color and save the picture. That's it. But I think Photobucket can also make pictures faded or greyscale, as can a lot of other photo editing programs.
Basic screenshot picture-taking:
I still do not have any camera mods in my game, so all the screenshots I have in my stories (with the exception of the screencaps in my Castaways story) can be done by anyone with just the basic in-game camera. I do a lot of hitting the Tab key and zooming... hitting the Tab key again, zooming out, zooming back in, Tab again, zoom again... you get the picture. :D But the Tab key is essential for getting those up-close-and-personal shots.
And again, because there was a time when I didn't know this either... once you hit Tab and are in "cameraman" mode, you will hit the Z key to zoom, the X key to zoom back out, the W key to move forward, the S key to move back, the A key to move to the left, the D key to move to the right, (why do I feel the need to sing the Time Warp song??) and the C key to take the picture.
I use the clothing adjuster from the Insimenator for picture taking a lot. It's a great way to get your sim into different clothes (or naked) quickly, painlessly, and without any annoying spinning. Also, it does not go into your sim's queue. It just happens, so you can set up an animation and then change the clothes during the animation for your picture. I love that.
Animation Hacks and Mods:
Anyone who's tried to take sim screenshots knows how frustrating it can be waiting for the sim to make a certain expression and/or how much of a pain it is to try to set up situations for the animations to happen naturally in the game. It was a wonderful day when I discovered Squinge's Hula and More Hack and then later, Jaydee's animation boxes.
Squinge's Hula and More Hack, (from the link, click on Squinge /Hula /then choose one of the options there. I just have the one on top), It's just a fun little hack that opens up many of the game's animations. It is a self-interaction for the sim. You click on the sim, choose "Hula and More" from the pie menu and from there choose any of the options available.
Jaydee's animation boxes: I LOVE THEM. They open up animations based on the EP the box is from (so you can pick and choose the ones you want based on the EP's you have.) They are so good for those hard-to-get expressions. For example, almost all of the evil expressions I used for Aerin in Poison's Bend came from the OFB box: Customer/Browse options. Who knew the sims could look so sneaky when they shop? OFB Customer/Browse is also good for thoughtful and contemplative expressions, and pretty much any of the Nightlife "reject social" animations are good for sadness or disappointment. I'll be honest, lots of times I look back at my screenshots and I could not tell you exactly what animation their expressions are from. I try out many and watch the animations like a hawk, riding the Pause button. When I find an expression that works, I go with it.
(scene from Pale Horse Riders using the "cry softly" action from the Reaction Tester overlaid with the "plead" action from Jaydee's OFB animation box)
Paul's Reaction Tester is a good tool also. You can get to it by typing in your cheat window boolprop testingcheatsenabled true and then shift-clicking on a sim, choosing "spawn" and then "Paul's Reaction Tester." It will look like a yellow box sitting on the floor, which you can pick up and move around. Some poses are best accomplished by using a combination of Paul's tester and Jaydee's boxes. Jaydee gives great instructions on her website on how to take screenshots this way. Don't forget to disable testingcheats as it can sometimes cause your game to run slowly; boolprop testingcheatsenabled false.
One More Slot Packages and the Invisible Magisplay Tray:
I give props to madame_uglywho turned me on to these, lol! I'm still rather new to them myself and I'm still finding more and more ways to use them. The possiblities are endless!
Basically, the One More Slot Packages (OMSP's) look like sawed-off pieces of upright 4X4's that you can place "inside" certain items (you will need to download the proper OMSP for the item you are wanting... bed, couch, counter, etc.) The Magisplay tray is an item that came with OFB, but by using the moveobjects cheat, you can pick up a sim, place it on the magisplay tray, then pick up the magisplay tray with the sim on it, place the whole shebang on a OMSP, and then place the OMSP where you want it. For example, you could pick up a sitting Sim, place it on the magisplay tray, put the magisplay tray on an OMSP for a bed, and make it look like the sim is sitting on the bed.
The trick is to make the items invisible so they cannot be seen in your screenshot. There is a wonderful tutorial here that explains this. One caveat... the sim will usually freeze on the tray/OMSP combination, and sometimes you will have to quit without saving and/or delete the sim using moveobjects, save and exit, and go back in. No big deal if you plan ahead and save your game accordingly.
Naked Sims and Naughty Pictures:
(this is a scene from To Fear the Dawn)
Disclaimer: I am 36 years old, so it's perfectly all right for me to have all the naked sims and simulated sex pictures I want to have in my sims game, and I don't mind sharing what I use to achieve that with other consenting adults... BUT if any of you, dear readers, are underage and get in trouble for having this stuff in your game or going to the sites where this stuff can be obtained, I wash my hands of it. *grin* You have been warned.
CBoy's Nudist Hack: Used to get the sims naked and keep them that way, even if they are shy and always want to get dressed again. Will also give the option to have the sims sleep in the nude, get up from woohoo in the nude (makes perfect sense to me) and, depending on their personalities, not bother to get dressed after taking a shower. (This explains why Lazlo Curious is almost always sitting around on the couch watching TV naked in my games, lol)
Censor Blur Removal: No nudist hack in the world will show you what you want to see unless you get rid of those annoying pixels. ;) There are several censor blur programs available. The link is to the one I use.
(This is a scene from Poison's Bend using the invisble booth and the Hot Smooch option)
Invisible Couch and Invisible Booth Recolors: These are what I use to make it look like the sims are having sex in bed. They're really not. They're usually just naked and making out on the invisible couch, which I have picked up using the moveobjects and snapobjects cheats that I mentioned above, and plunked down into the middle of the bed.
(scene from Pale Horse Riders)
You'll have to watch the animations like a hawk (and feel like a major perv in the process) to get just the right angles to make it look like the sims are in the throes of ecstasy, lol And call me crazy, but those sims get a major "O face" going on during that sofa makeout... oh yes they do!
Realistic sim birth:
(scene from The Standish Legacy)
This is something I've been trying to accomplish for a while and I still think there has to be a better way (where's the mod for blood all over the floor and a placenta tossed into a plastic basin? Hmm? Where are those? Where's the skin with a C-section scar and stretch marks? Where's the milk-filled postpartum boobies? GAH!! I want birth realism, dammit!!!
Okay, back to what I *have* been able to do, lol.
The scenes in The Standish Legacy where Morgana is in "labor" are accomplished by another of Squinge's Hacks... the Rub Belly hack. (go into Squinge/ Pregnancy/ Rub Belly.) This enables a pregnant sim to rub her own belly and have "labor pains" on demand. The birth position was accomplished by having Morgana exercise to the TV, using the clothing adjuster from the Insimenator to change her back into her nightgown, putting her on a magisplay tray/OMSP as illustrated above, and putting her on the bed.
The puddle beneath Morgana's feet when her water broke was just her peeing herself, lol. I used Insim to put her bladder need waaay down and just waited for it to happen. :P
The naked post-birth baby was from the Insim's clothing adjuster. Yep, it works on babies and toddlers too! I love changing the toddlers to "underwear" so they run around in just a diaper!
That's about all I can think of at the moment, but if any of you have any questions or if I missed something you'd like to know, feel free to ask! I tried to think of everything I use but with kids running in and out I get a bit distracted, lol.