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MTS speed build challenge results - posted on 11th Nov 2018 at 2:38 PM
Replies: 13 (Who?), Viewed: 1473 times.
Test Subject
Original Poster
#1 Old 2nd Jul 2018 at 5:56 AM
Default Using the Sims to make comics?
Hello. I'm a cartoonist and I had some questions about using the Sims to make comics. My plan would be to design characters and sets using the Sims and then do screen grabs and turns those into comics eBooks. I've done a lot of searching for info online but I haven't found answers. Any help you could offer would be much appreciated!

1. Is there a way to bypass most of the "game" aspect of the Sims so you can focus on using it more like just a 3D animation program? The Sims might be a fun game but all I really care about is the graphics. I'd like to be able to pose the characters and have them do what I want instead of constantly dealing with them wandering off or getting into arguments or whatever. I want digital puppets more than artificial life forms. I want to use them to tell MY stories, not theirs!

2. I can't get a solid answer on the copyright of original works created using the Sims. Does anybody know if I'd be able to use the program to create comics I could then sell? It sounds like EA would own the rights to the appearance of all characters created using the Sims, but that's not the issue for me. I just want to be sure that my own comics created with the Sims program could be sold commercially.

3. While the Sims 4 has the best graphics of the Sims programs, it eems like there are more mods and expansions available for the Sims 3. (For example, I'd like to do some horror comics and there's a monster expansion for Sims 3 but not Sims 4.) On the other hand 4 will presumably have more support and hopefully further expansions coming. It's not a "legacy" product, it's current. Does anybody have an opinion on whether it makes more sense for me to use 3 or 4?
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Space Pony
#2 Old 2nd Jul 2018 at 8:29 AM Last edited by DesereiPandemoni : 2nd Jul 2018 at 8:51 AM.
1. Posepacks are your friends, along side MC_Command Center, That Mod that allows control of animals in case you want to position them, a lot of CC that you'll need to ask permission to use monetarily. But it's probably easier than asking EA for permission to use their stuff monetarily.
2. Copyright belongs to their respective holders, technically you shouldn't be able to make money off anything without express permission. Though the Sims resource seems to have some kind of exclusive deal with EA that means that EA doesn't bother them about their paid mods and they don't seem to go after the patreon modders even though it's technically within their rights. You can get around this by using the game to set up scenes and then drawing/tracing those scenes yourself (Then modifying the style of the drawing until it is distinct and not just a "life-like" sketch of Sims 4 graphics).
3. Sims 4 doesn't actually have the best graphics in the series (looking at you doom/quake birds and squirrels/cartoony blurry envirnments) what it does have is the most samey looking but easily modded genetics in the series making creating your anime waifu literally a custum skin download away and reduced texture on things so things don't pixelate to hell and back. This is what they actually mean when they say Sims 4 has "better graphics".
4. I wouldn't hold out for that support...I would gurantee the expansions though.

All in all if I were you I'd just use the Sims to set stuff up/design characters then I'd trace the stuff I can't draw yet and draw the stuff I can't reproduce in game/ need to change for copyright reasons. There are also a whole lot of people that use photoshop with the game but I couldn't tell you how they do that. If you want to look at other webcomics made using the Sims there was the Scumthorpe files made in Sims 3 existing in the Sims 3 thread archives...although sadly I think most of the photos for that have been rendered obsolete because of photobucket shenanigans. Ashame because the Creator had alot of good ideas about making Sims distinct and iconic for telling stories as well as advice on using poses in unusual ways. You'd probably have found that useful even if you intend to use Sims 4 rather than Sims 3. But it's been lost to the sands of the internet last I checked unfortunately. That one doesn't draw over it's photos granted but then it didn't intend to make money. If you intend to make money you can't just cobble together other peoples work and call it art. That only really works for post-modern scultptures
Test Subject
Original Poster
#3 Old 2nd Jul 2018 at 11:09 AM
My research into using this program for original, commercial work turns up a lot of confusing info and nothing concrete. I have seen Sims Machinima on MTV and other places, but it does make me concerned that EA never seems to take a firm stand either way. It almost seems as if EA is deliberately trying to keep it vague, although I'm not sure why they'd do that.

I wouldn't see it as cobbling together other people's work... I see it as using a computer program to tell entirely new stories, with characters and environments I'd design. I can draw, but I'd be going for something else here. I'm interested in telling a story with 3D graphics and I think this program could work well for that.

I know Second Life allows commercial use of work made using their program, but that would be a lot more complicated for me to use than the Sims. With Second Life you need other people to control all of the Avatars, and finding reliable "actors" and arranging schedules sounds like a pain. I've also looked into Moviestorm and other programs, but they all have their drawbacks and for various reasons I feel like The Sims would probably be my best option.

Quote:
Originally Posted by DesereiPandemoni
1. Posepacks are your friends, along side MC_Command Center, That Mod that allows control of animals in case you want to position them, a lot of CC that you'll need to ask permission to use monetarily. But it's probably easier than asking EA for permission to use their stuff monetarily.
2. Copyright belongs to their respective holders, technically you shouldn't be able to make money off anything without express permission. Though the Sims resource seems to have some kind of exclusive deal with EA that means that EA doesn't bother them about their paid mods and they don't seem to go after the patreon modders even though it's technically within their rights. You can get around this by using the game to set up scenes and then drawing/tracing those scenes yourself (Then modifying the style of the drawing until it is distinct and not just a "life-like" sketch of Sims 4 graphics).
3. Sims 4 doesn't actually have the best graphics in the series (looking at you doom/quake birds and squirrels/cartoony blurry envirnments) what it does have is the most samey looking but easily modded genetics in the series making creating your anime waifu literally a custum skin download away and reduced texture on things so things don't pixelate to hell and back. This is what they actually mean when they say Sims 4 has "better graphics".
4. I wouldn't hold out for that support...I would gurantee the expansions though.

All in all if I were you I'd just use the Sims to set stuff up/design characters then I'd trace the stuff I can't draw yet and draw the stuff I can't reproduce in game/ need to change for copyright reasons. There are also a whole lot of people that use photoshop with the game but I couldn't tell you how they do that. If you want to look at other webcomics made using the Sims there was the Scumthorpe files made in Sims 3 existing in the Sims 3 thread archives...although sadly I think most of the photos for that have been rendered obsolete because of photobucket shenanigans. Ashame because the Creator had alot of good ideas about making Sims distinct and iconic for telling stories as well as advice on using poses in unusual ways. You'd probably have found that useful even if you intend to use Sims 4 rather than Sims 3. But it's been lost to the sands of the internet last I checked unfortunately. That one doesn't draw over it's photos granted but then it didn't intend to make money. If you intend to make money you can't just cobble together other peoples work and call it art. That only really works for post-modern scultptures
Field Researcher
#4 Old 2nd Jul 2018 at 6:18 PM
You won’t be able to sell your comic book using Sims 4 assets, even just screenshots. EA is the copyright holder and would have to give you the green light to sell products using their property and would probably require a cut of any profit. If it was free, that would be very different.

TSR + Patreon aren’t breaching the license agreement as neither of them are explicitly selling Sims 4 content. TSR memberships eliminate advertisements on the website, all mods are free. Patreon is considered a donation, and ultimately all of their stuff must release for free at some point at well to avoid breaching the license agreement.

I think it’s a great idea using the game to setup your characters and scenes, but I would recreate those screenshots to avoid any legal complications as another user said.
Test Subject
Original Poster
#5 Old 2nd Jul 2018 at 10:51 PM
Well, that's really disappointing. But thanks for the info.

Quote:
Originally Posted by drake_mccarty
You won’t be able to sell your comic book using Sims 4 assets, even just screenshots. EA is the copyright holder and would have to give you the green light to sell products using their property and would probably require a cut of any profit. If it was free, that would be very different.

TSR + Patreon aren’t breaching the license agreement as neither of them are explicitly selling Sims 4 content. TSR memberships eliminate advertisements on the website, all mods are free. Patreon is considered a donation, and ultimately all of their stuff must release for free at some point at well to avoid breaching the license agreement.

I think it’s a great idea using the game to setup your characters and scenes, but I would recreate those screenshots to avoid any legal complications as another user said.
Space Pony
#6 Old 3rd Jul 2018 at 5:06 AM
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ursa Major
Well, that's really disappointing. But thanks for the info.


There is another option here: Commission a bunch of modders with money and replace literally everything in the game with default replacement assets that you own the copyright for. Then use sliders that give every character/sim faces or proportions that they can't actually achieve without the use of mods, next commission another modder to repaint the Sims 4 worlds to your liking. Now that literally everything in the game has been replaced with your own assets and assuming you use poses rather than in game animation. I think you might have a better case for legality.

On the otherhand...that's so much work you might be better off just drawing it. On the other other hand if the webcomic doesn't work out you now own enough digital assets to create your own video game...congrats?
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retired moderator
#7 Old 3rd Jul 2018 at 1:00 PM
Well, Rooster Teeth got permission from EA to use Sims 2 to make Strangerhood, back when Sims 2 was still current. So it would be worth contacting EA to ask about this.

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Test Subject
Original Poster
#8 Old 4th Jul 2018 at 2:01 AM
I have contacted EA to ask for permission. We'll see what they say, but I'm not too optimistic.

Quote:
Originally Posted by simsample
Well, Rooster Teeth got permission from EA to use Sims 2 to make Strangerhood, back when Sims 2 was still current. So it would be worth contacting EA to ask about this.
Test Subject
Original Poster
#9 Old 6th Jul 2018 at 12:06 PM
They said no. It's really disappointing, but at least I got their answer before I'd put more time into this.
Theorist
#10 Old 6th Jul 2018 at 1:18 PM
You can use sims poses for overlay at least, but I wonder if they would allow that, or at least allow it while getting shares from it... idk really. It's a tight situation and it's EA's property.
dodgy builder
#11 Old 6th Jul 2018 at 1:39 PM
Can't you just remove sims from the creation and make them more humanoid looking?
Theorist
#12 Old 6th Jul 2018 at 2:49 PM
Does not change the fact that they still used EA's content as a base for making the comics. They will have to be free. Any kind of usage of EA's content for income is violation of legal rights.
Field Researcher
#13 Old 6th Jul 2018 at 9:38 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ursa Major
They said no. It's really disappointing, but at least I got their answer before I'd put more time into this.


If nothing else the game still serves as a good setup/reference tool. There’s nothing wrong with building out your set and creating your characters and scenes in game, and then drawing/modeling them from reference.
Mad Poster
#14 Old 6th Jul 2018 at 10:01 PM Last edited by simmer22 : 6th Jul 2018 at 10:41 PM.
1: (fyi, I mostly use TS2 for storytelling, but you can use the same principle) - you can use mods and cheats to keep sims happy at all times, so you only need to make them eat/sleep/pee/etc. when you need it for the pictures. That's what I do when I do storytelling pictures. There are poseboxes or pose collections to make posing easier.

Personally I prefer using TS2, but which game you'd use is up to you depending on the style you want.

2: You can use Sims to make stories people can read for free, but I'm not entirely sure if it's legal to monetize your stories in book/E-book form if you use pictures of sims. If you try putting that kind of books onto the market there's a chance of copyright issues or similar. If you plan on earning money off of a project like this, I think you'd be better off not using Sims. However, like said above, you should be able to bypass this by using the pictures as a guideline for drawings or a rough base for digital art as long as the characters don't end up like exact copies of sims, and you don't make it obvious you used Sims as a base by using obvious sims furniture, plumbbobs, freezer bunnies or other sims-related icons, overall esthetics, and so on in the finished pictures. You may also want to stay away from using obvious sims characters like Bella Goth and company.

I'm writing a sims story I'm hoping to some day to get out in book form, and I do use sims pictures for the initial web series - but when (or if) I get to the book project I don't plan on using the pictures, only the written version. I'm pretty sure this gets around any legal issues, since I don't plan on earning any money what so ever on the actual sims pictures (plus, the written version needs a serious rewrite anyway), and there's also nothing sims-related in the story itself. I just like having a visual base for the characters and sets in the story, and the sims are kind of stand-ins for actors.

3: Pretty sure all 4 sims games would be considered EA's still. Using any of the games directly could make them come sniffing around for legal issues. Not sure how harsh they are on these issues, though.
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