Setting the Scene: How to Create a Realistic Street

This tutorial  is reprinted with permission from RedHotChiliSimblr on Tumblr. It was written for The Sims 4 but the advice extends across all versions of The Sims.

Some of you were interested in a mini tutorial about realistic street. Because we don’t have a “create a world” tool yet, we need to think smarter. First of all, it isn’t as hard as you may thought. You just need to be cautious and pay more attention to details. Wherever you live in this planet, houses on the same street generally have something in common. It could be the walls texture, the mail box, the trees and so on. To make your own realistic street in the sims you must keep a pattern and stick to it. I’ll show you this with Newcrest – which I’m rebuilding since months now.

Choose Your Aesthetic

First of all, you must pick an architectural style. For Newcrest, I chose Canadian inspired building, Mont-Royal district. It’s a vibrant place which I was lucky to visit. When you have chose your “city inspiration”, browse the web for save some pictures. I usually took screenshots with my mobile in order to look at them while I’m building. It’s pretty useful. If you don’t have any ideas of a real life city base, I recommend you to check this out :

  • • For Willow Creek : Saint-Germains des Prés – New Orleans – 
  • • For Oasis Springs : Palm Springs – Johannesbourg – Albuquerque – 
  • • For Newcrest : Montréal – Harlem – Dublin – 
  • • For San Myshuno : Macao – San Francisco – etc.

Follow a Pattern

Once you’ve build your first house on the street, remember the items you chose for the exterior (windows, light, walls, floor, landscaping…). Because you’ll use most of these for the other houses to make it look similar. According to me, the street lights is one of the most important things to create a pattern : if you place the same in front of each house, it’s already looks more realistic ! Same goes for the windows. You’re not oblige to use the exact same color or shape, but it should look alike. For example, you can make several townhouses which looks exactly the same, but change the colors of the door, windows, pick different chimneys etc. Don’t forget about pathways ! You should keep a continuity. 

Sims 4 Tip : With the new “copy tool” you can make townhouses super quick ! Just pay attention to the size of the base house to have enough room to duplicate it.

Pick a Palette

Most cities/neighbourhoods have aesthetic rules decided by the city council or the community. For example, no pine trees, no yellow door or windows, no wood walls, no pool etc. Of course, there’s no such restrictions in the Sims. But, you can still follow some to help you have a “realistic” street. The easiest is to only use some colors per district. For example, green – brown – yellow – black / red – purple – orange – grey / etc. Do not chose up to 4 colors on the same steet. Oh, and you always need a “neutral” tone like white, grey, black, beige or brown. It’s a base. 

If you need some palette inspiration, you can find some here.

Respect the Lot Size

A lot of builder make this simple mistake: building small houses on big lots. It’s not handy for the person who’s downloading your lot, and you miss a real opportunity it. TS4 maps are pretty small, so if above that you left some “blank” space it’s just… frustrating. Why you don’t build townhouses on larger lot? Or a farm? If you don’t want to build a big house, why you don’t make a coffee shop next to it ? You can set it up as a community lot but still have a fake house for your sims to rest. The possibilities are endless!  

Use the Gallery

If you have a really bad memory, you can made a room full of all the items you want to use for the street (floors, walls, lights, bushes etc.) and then save it to the Galley. It could be easier to keep track with the original pattern. Plus, if you’re not really good at building, you can still download lot and just add details here and there! But take your time. Making a realistic street can be time consuming. Sometimes you need togo back and forth between some houses because if you change something on one house exterior’s, it could have an impact on the others. 

Details, Details, Details

Even if we don’t have any cars, you could pretend to.Build fake garages or bus stop. For the bus, you can still save the room in the gallery and then place one of them in each neighbourhood. I personally have different bus stop designs for each town. You can take a look here (Oasis Springs + tutorial – Willow Creek).Landscaping is a big part of the project too ! Use the same brushes (up to 4) for the same neighbourhoods with different intensity. Chose up to 3 different trees to make it look symmetric! 

AI hope all this quick tips helped you somehow 😉 If you still have any question, feel free to reach me!

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