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The Sims 4 – Ambient Occlusion and more about Graphics!

Back in 2013, SimGuruMeatball spared some time to answer some questions on The Sims 3 Forums about The Sims 4 and it’s graphics. Thanks to Rincon Del Simmer for the find!

If you don’t know what ambient occlusion is, it helps light to break through different surfaces in the game, making the graphics more realistic. Here’s an example video:

Rhedd_V: Sims 4 may have a technically better lighting engine, but that doesn’t make Sims 3’s “crappy” by any means. It’s the only game I know of that has on-the-fly rendered, accurate reflection maps, and realtime ambient occlusion that won’t slow an average computer to a crawl, for instance.

I’d just like to see a Sims 4 screenshot where all of the metal reflections weren’t painted on. Not that any lighting engine is going to make me like those cartoon trees…

SimGuruMeatball: Happy you thought so, but we did not have realtime AO (Ambient Occlusion) on TS3. We do on TS4 though and we do have reflections.

SimGuruMeatball: Design is design. Art is art. Designers do the design. They, with the producers, decide which features go into the game. As head of art I try to make sure that the art looks as good as possible, dependent on the features and needs of the overall project. Polish is done throughout a project all up to the point it gets sent for final submission.

bethyGrace: Cool  Thanks for sharing. For what its worth, what I’ve seen of the world looks beautiful. The sims I might need to get used to, but another game is another game right… its going to be different! It must be crazy in that studio at the moment. Do you know if we will be seeing more from the game soon?

SimGuruMeatball: Thanks! The game do look different, we have a very distinct art style. We didn’t really get one together properly on TS3, but on TS4 a lot of work has been put in to get things looking cohesively. I understand that the art style might not appeal to everyone, but saying that it is lower quality than TS3 is just wrong. We don’t have lower resolution textures or assets, we actually have a lot of graphical improvements.

Oh, it’s definitely crazy over here  But I wouldn’t want it any other way! I am unfortunately not privy to upcoming press releases, those things are way above my head.

Ze_Blue_Panda: To me it’s just a different art style of hair. Like it or not, I don’t think it’s badly made or anything. Simple yeah but just another style.

SimGuruMeatball: Correct. Just because things are simplified and stylized doesn’t mean that things are lower res or of poor quality. It’s a style choice, not quality.

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About the author

Jovan Jovic

Founder of the Sims Community website. I've been a Sims player for over 10 years and counting! My free time is usually spent in writing articles, graphic design and activism.

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