The Sims 3 - Wall Curving
Beginner and Intermediate Tutorial
By Nore Negonc
|Edit Town||Edit Lots||Houses||Households||Basements/Multistory||Garages||Rooms|
|Pools||Roofs||Slopes||Stairs/Elevators||Wall Curving||Moving||Switch 'hoods|
Welcome to another guide on wall curving, Basic Wall-Curving. This guide is for those who are entirely unfamiliar with CFE (constrainfloorelevation true cheat) and curving walls in general. The first section of this guide is going to cover the exact same material as the advanced guide, as the fundamentals are well… key to understanding any kind of wall curving. After that though, we are going to create a structure from scratch. I recently recommended to Agneza in the Building forums that she should try out a wavy roof on one of the beach houses she created to give a softer summer feel. She agreed and so I thought creating such a roof might be the ideal instance to teach wall curving.
Before we get started, I am going to mention a few things from the advanced guide. If you already read that guide, you won't need to reread these things. However, they are the fundamentals and are worth reiterating in this guide.
1. Always start from the bottom. This is the most basic and incredible reason why we are able to create some unique and beautiful structures. The way CFE works is that curving the lowest level will consequently curve every level above that. Even if there is no actual wall above it, you must imagine as though your entire lot is covered in 5 imaginary square stories and when you curve a wall, the air above it will curve as well, as if there was floor there. The good news is that when you start curving the second and third and fourth and fifth levels, the first level maintains the curve you created. However, this leads to guideline number 2!
2. Always think ahead. Because of rule number one you must usually have a clear idea of what you want to do with all the levels with which you are working. This is because imagine you have curved the first, second, third and fourth stories and are working on the fifth. But then imagine you changed your mind about the curvature of the first story and wanted to redo it. Recurving the first story will then curve that area of every story above it. This leads to guideline number 3!
3. CFE can be… frustrating. Because of its nature, wanting to change anything can lead to having to start over.
4. Always remember as you curve that coloring can have a very strong effect. So while something might not look a certain way, it might look exactly the way you were imagining once you have begun coloring it. And always and I mean ALWAYS color in EVERYTHING before you start curving. Once you begin curving you cannot build floors and ceilings on curved walls so even if you do not think you are going to use them, fill in every floor and ceiling. You can always delete later but you cannot fill in later. As for the walls, I recommend using a different color for each story or level, so you can easily see your curvature as you go.
5. Some terms - guide walls are the walls we use to guide the curve of our actual structure, normal height walls are walls that maintain the default height of a wall when you first build it, foundation height walls are walls that have been CFE'd to the same height as a foundation wall. Because you are likely going to be dealing with walls greater than and less than the height of a normal wall, I also recommend choosing wall coverings that have a base design along the bottom. This is so you can easily see which walls are greater or less than normal height. Also remember that foundation height is the lowest a wall can go before it begins to curve the wall below it.
6. Your first task of course is to actually write in CFE lol. You can start the console with cntl-shft-c. After this the exact command is constrainfloorelevation false. Now before we begin with curving the actual walls, it is necessary to discuss when CFE is needed and when it is not. As you build you will most likely be going back and forth between CFE true and false. CFE false is ONLY for curving walls and foundation. Make certain that when you are working on terrain, use CFE true so it does not do anything to the walls you spend so long curving lol.
7. Guide walls - So the first task in any kind of wall curving is guide walls. You build these walls around areas you want to curve. It is a good idea to build them on each side of the curved area as you are going to need to level the terrain from one guide wall to the next. These guide walls are what we use to lower and raise terrain. The core of the building is NEVER raised or lowered. We only raise and lower the ground underneath a guide wall. For this you want to select the medium size brush on lowest softness. Choose an area of your guide wall to raise or lower. The medium sized brush creates a nice rectangular intend, thus allowing a leveled area on the guide wall. With this level, you then utilize level terrain to level the rest of the guide wall to this height. From there you can begin using level terrain to curve your main structure.
8. Creating curves - The key to creating curves the way you want is clicks. Now while clicks are not exact, a gentle nudge on your mouse key will always give you the same height when you lower or raise the ground. This is what I am going to call one click. If you hold the mouse button for more than a fraction of a section, you might unintentionally get 2-3 clicks. Always work in terms of one click at a time, even if you are raising or lowering terrain by 20 clicks, you want to be certain it is 20 after all and not 19 lol! Knowing this, there are 2 basic kinds of curves you can create, concave and convex. Concave curves create an outward form, while convex curves go inward. To create convex curves you start by moving the terrain by a small number then increasing. So first one click, then level the terrain, then four clicks, then level, then seven clicks, etc. To create concave curves you start by moving the terrain by a large number then decreasing. So first seven clicks, then level the terrain, then four clicks, then level, then one click, then level, etc.
Now you might be wondering what to level. You start with the entirety of your guide wall. After that it is based on what kind of form you are creating. I normally level 2 tiles at a time, or 3. To create a curve you use your guide wall to level 2-3 of the tiles on your core structure and then adjust your guide wall to a new height and level the next 2-3 tiles. You leave 1 tile area between leveling otherwise the new curve will just take over the old one instead of creating a new curve in between the two (again if this makes no sense at all, you likely are going to need to see the guide to basic curving first lol). Note that the softest curve you can make is a 1-2-3 or 3-2-1 click curve. The larger the difference between how many new clicks you do, the more dramatic the curve.
For those of you unfamiliar with these terms in general, you can see a good instance of their use right in game with the fountains! When you create curved fountains you are given 2 choices, a concave curve and a convex curve. The basic 1-2-3 or 3-2-1 curve would be the same as any curved fountain you create with the same width and length. When you create fountains with different widths and lengths, you are creating a curve with a greater or lesser incline.
Build your core. Here we can see the basic structure and what will be the usable area of this house. As with any building using CFE, from the most basic like this to the most advanced, you want to make certain you leave an area that is of normal wall height so sims can actually live there lol. This first image is of that. Do not worry about creating rooms yet as anything with a normal wall height can be walled even after curving other areas of the building.
Build your roof. This is the area we are going to curve. You might notice there is an extra wall there, this will be detailed later.
Cover all the floors, ceilings and walls. This is key as you won't be able to do so after you begin curving. Notice how I utilized a wall covering with a different color base. This is a good indicator for when your walls are more or less than the height of a normal wall. If they are more the line will curve, if they are less the line will curve down and vanish. I also colored the front differently as this area is going to be deleted later.
I threw in a fence which if you want to do you must also do before curving as you sometimes cannot do so afterwards. More details on why a fence here later.
Now we build our guide wall. Remember that it should be a bit away from your structure and is you are making advanced structures, you should create guide walls on the other side as well. If you are just starting leave yourself some room as working in tight areas can be difficult (but doable!)
To start we are going to lower the roof to foundation height. This is 8 clicks down on the guide wall. Remember to use the medium size square brush on the lowest softness.
Then level the guide wall.
Now lower the roof.
Notice our base line vanished on the second floor indicating a lower than normal height wall. Notice also that the first floor remains the normal height.
Now we are going to begin our first curve, a convex curve to start off the wave. Raise the floor by 2 clicks.
Level the guide wall.
Level the roof. Notice that I do not start with the first tile. As I mentioned you must start 1 tile away otherwise you will just raise the edge to the new height, rather than create a new incline. I am leveling 2 tiles at a time. You can do one but it is easier to see what to do with 2-3.
Here you can see both the new incline as well as the flat area that is the new height of that section of the roof.
Now because we are doing a convex curve, we must raise the terrain by a number greater than 2. Remember if we wanted to do a straight line, we would raise it by another 2, and a concave curve would be less than 2. Here we are going to do 6. I started with just 4, which I realized was not enough, so you are going to see 2 images, the first is raised by 4, but then I raise it by another 2.
Now you want to level your structure. Notice again that we are starting one tile away from the first incline.
And here we can see the start of our convex curve.
Now we want to smooth this out into a wave with a gentle concave curve. So we must raise the terrain by a number less than 6. I chose 2.
Now level out the guide wall.
And then level the structure. I do not have the leveling shown here, no idea why, I must have forgotten to take the image, but you get the idea. You can see now that not only do we have the convex curve, but the start of the concave curve as well. We then lower the terrain by 2 again to create the downward concave curve on the otherwise. Notice that because the incline before this is technically zero (flat) that we are still decreasing the number for a concave curve, in this case negative 2.
Level off the guide wall.
Now we are going to level the structure, again 1 tile away from the last curve.
And now we can see our first wave!
The next wave is going to have a very gentle convex curve to even it out. Here we are going to raise the terrain by 1.
Level the guide wall and then the structure. Now notice here that while I did create the start of a convex curve, it creates this awkward acute angle. Here is when we must use our creativity to make it look better.
I leveled the structure at the same height but two tiles away instead of one.
Here you can see a much more even curve. Note that if the building had been longer, we could create more inclines to smooth out the angles, but for now we only have so many tiles with which to work.
Because we are looking to create a convex curve, the next number must be greater than 2, so again I chose 6.
Level out the guide wall and then the structure, again now we can go back to one tile away.
There we see it, the start of our second wave.
Now we are going to revisit why I created an inner wall. Remember these walls must be created before curving if you intend to do something creative. This new bit of creativity is what can make good houses look great, instead of just doing a normal curve. I am going to lift the curve on the ceiling of the first wall to create a curvature on the floor of the second wall. Then after we delete this gray area of the first floor, we can see a rather cool wave. So we begin by raising the guide wall to the current height of the first floor (normal height). Now normally you would want to have started with this, remember always start with the bottom, but in all honesty I forgot hah.
We now raise the guide wall by 8 to create the edge of the wave in the front (note that here we are leveling the guide wall of the first floor, not the second like before).
We then raise the front of the first floor. You might be wondering how the front of the second floor is now curving down, but you can ignore this as I deleted a few images in between as I was working with various heights.
After you alter the height of the first floor, the height of the second floor goes back to normal wall height, while the height of the second floor is now taller than normal wall height (curve of the base line).
Now we lower the guide wall by 2. Notice that while we are lowering the wall to create a concave curve, the actual wall height will raise because we are lowering the guide wall but the actual structure is still at normal wall height.
Now level the guide wall on the first floor (not the second).
Lastly we level the structure one tile away.
We now get this awkward look. This is because we have been leveling 2 tiles at a time. While I could have just done 1, I did this to show you what to do if you did this on something else.
Here we are lowering the extra tile back down to the height of the rest of the floor.
And now we can see the half concave curve that was the original idea.
Ok back to the second floor. Now these next few things would not have been needed had we started on the first floor, but they are good knowledge for instances when you want to fix something on a lower floor and then fix the floors above it again. We start by finding out the height at which we were. This is shown here by leveling the guide wall back to the height where we left off on the structure.
I am going to be going through some tries I did here before arriving at what I was thinking originally. I had curved the second floor but did not like how it looked when I deleted the first floor (see image below), so I decided to raise the first floor some more. You can also see that I utilized the same find where we were technique on the first floor now.
Now I raised the guide wall by 8 clicks again, and then another 2 (yes you can just do 10 lol, but these are the images I took and I attached them both so no one would get confused).
Then leveled the structure (notice how it is taller than before).
Here we see the new height and the second floor needing to be fixed again.
We find out where we were on the second floor.
Now I did not go into detail on this earlier, but after you find out where you were, you must work with the wall to find that height again. Once you move the terrain under a guide wall, the walls above it will again go back to normal height. You can notice here that I had to lower the height to get the second floor back to where it used to be (the left area of the image is what we lowered, the right is where it used to be).
Now we can level the guide wall in its entirety.
After this we are going to lower the very last line to this height (not shown).
Here is the final structure. I deleted some of the wall on the first floor, so you can see the wave that was the original idea. Originally I had intended for the front of the second floor ceiling and first floor ceiling to meet, but I forgot one of the fundamentals, the minimum height between two walls must be the height of the foundation wall. So while it is not ideal, fret not, this is where the fence comes in.
I am now going to color the walls, delete some extra flooring and walls, do some terraining, and throw in a few rocks and shrubs. You might have been thinking that the structure you see in the image above is quite… unattractive, but remember the fundamentals. Always thinking about your coloring and structure as you go. As you can see from below, deleting a few walls, throwing in some color and a bit of designing and behold, a very nice structure, ideal for one of the rooms in a beachfront modern cottage. And a quick note here, curved rooms are not entirely unusable. Here you could easily create stairs to the second floor and use this room as a sun room by throwing in a few lounge chairs maybe some greenery and a coffee table.
Some of the things you could do (before starting your building) were to have built the room on two single tile lines of foundation so you can see the sand under it, throw in a deck and creat other rooms, a few with flat roofs and maybe another with a similar roof to this. You can imagine the final house would be quite something.
There you see it, a full guide to the basics of wall curving, with some intermediate techniques thrown in. If you think of any questions or get stuck, let me know. It might all sound a bit confusing when you read it, but once you get started curving walls, you will be in wonder at all the create and incredible things you can do! Thanks for reading, cheers!
|Edit Town||Edit Lots||Houses||Households||Basements/Multistory||Garages||Rooms|
|Pools||Roofs||Slopes||Stairs/Elevators||Wall Curving||Moving||Switch 'hoods|
You can support our Sims 3 site by purchasing your next game (digital/hard copy) through EA Origin