Behind the Scenes4: Costume design and makeup!

As I have had some comments and questions in the past about the costumes and patterns I use, I’ve decided to take you on a tour of our costume and makeup department!

I’ve recruited a couple of our guest stars to help me with the tour and the transformation!

This is how Brenda usually shows up in the morning!

This is how Brenda usually shows up in the morning!


Brenda Blonde is one of our reoccurring characters and has been with us for what seems like forever! She is a mega star performer on stage and screen but always finds time to help us out with our various projects. Her most recent appearance here is in the character of Brennie. Because Brenda is so versatile and has went through many changes, we thought you might like to see how her transformation takes place.

Her first stop is usually at hair and makeup, where we try a few different style options out on her.

This is for Brennie’s more casual every day appearance
Brenda Blonde hair and makeup

This is her more formal hairstyle. It works well because the accessories attatched to this hair recolor well in cas. Some of the hair styles don’t recolor as well so we tend to avoid using them.
Brenda Blonde in hairstyling

When choosing hairstyles for the medieval time periods, I’ve found that the EA store had provided some that work really well when recolored. I really like the India inspired ones… Once you play with the coloring, they are quite passable for this time frame. I usually try to go with hairstyles that are realistic looking… sometimes that can be extremely difficult when using the EA provided items!


Brenda Blonde in hairstyling

I do occasionally use some custom created content but try to limit it because it adds to lags in my game loading and playing. I’ve also found that while some of them look great on the advertisement models, they end up being as much a disaster on my sims as the game or store provided hairstyles! One creator that I do use and trust is Cazy… I know a lot of people don’t want to use Sims Resource, but I have had very few problems with them and their content is now free.

This a sample of her work on her model
Cazy North Star hairstyle–set/id/1227646/
And, in my game:
Elizabeth York cover

Another important part of creating a more realistic character is in the eyes. Unfortunately, the EA provided eyes often leave one with a bland blank stare. There are so many custom options available for makeup and contacts that make sims more realistic looking! I generally use contacts by Eruwen.

Using the custom contacts helps too with toning down the vamypire look that the game gives.
Brenda Blonde hair and makeup

See the difference? This early photo of Brenda is without the contacts!

One last aspect of makeup that I will deal with here is not really makeup, but skin. The game provided skins leave a lot to be desired, especially with the vampires! Once you choose a vampire, their skin tone becomes an odd yellowish tone that does not look too great in game. I have played around with numerous custom skins and finally found ones that I am happy with for humans, and for vampires.

For my human characters, I usually stick with some very early non-default creations by LadyFrontbum. You can find her skins here.

For my vampires, I use starfruit skintones by Kurasorerina which you can find here:

or on sims3 blog here

Now, on to costume design!

Brennie’s character initially showed up looking like a peasant or serving wench. Here is one of the options available to us from the EA store. I chose this outfit for our demonstration because it makes a remarkable transformation once recolored!
Brenda in costume dept1

A version of finished product…
Brenda costume design1

But, there is a lot of in between in that process! Some important things to keep in mind when designing more authentic and realistic medieval designs… Lower status people, even those of noble blood would not have worn some colors which were often reserved for the high born nobles and Royals. One specific reason- those colors were extremely expensive and difficult to achieve. Wearing certain colors made one’s status, wealth and role quickly recognized. These were colors such as purple, red, gold, white-realistically, white was difficult to keep clean and most people would not choose to wear it often. Another thing to keep in mind is the textures, weaving and patterns available and more commonly used back then.

I use some basic patterns and textures and recolor those depending on whether the character is more common or more noble. I try to use patterns and textures that allow for easy color changing with good results…

Let’s start with a game pattern available to everyone. Yes, it’s extremely bright right now, but it has four color channels to work with so you can get a wide variety of results in playing with those color channels!
brenda costume design2

brenda pattern designs2

brenda pattern designs3

Here are some other basic original patterns and the results of playing with the color channels provided with them!
brenda pattern designs4

brenda pattern designs5

brenda pattern designs6

brenda pattern designs7

brenda pattern designs8

brenda pattern designs9

brenda pattern designs10

brenda pattern designs11

brenda pattern designs12

brenda pattern designs13

brenda pattern designs14

brenda pattern designs15

brenda pattern designs16

After wardrobe, Brenda visits the accessories department

This is a sample of more formal, royal jewelry used in it’s original colors
brenda jewelry choices

After recoloring the jewelry
brenda jewelry choices2

One piece of jewelry that I’ve found quite versatile is this collar!
brenda costume design8

After playing with the coloring on it, you can get it to blend in with various outfits and it becomes an interesting addition to the clothing rather than a necklace!
brenda costume design10

Finished look!
brenda costume design10

After those fittings for medieval wear, Brenda is once more transformed back to more current styling for some upcoming scenes.
Brenda in fitting for more current costuming

A bit of color adjustment and she’s ready to head out for the day!
Brenda heads out for next photo shoot

Now we meet up with our other guest star as he arrives for his costume and makeup sessions.

Eric Northman is another veteran performer who has been with us from early on in our projects. Yes, many know him from that other vampire series, TrueBlood… He is as busy as Brenda now days and we do appreciate him taking time from his hectic schedule to make guest appearances here with us. We also need to take a moment to thank his agent (creator), Kimwriter75 for ensuring that he’s available when we need him!

Eric arrives for costuming

Eric goes through the same makeup, hairstyle and skintone sessions. Because his more recent appearance was that of a more ancient, gaelic version of himself we did have to make some adjustments to his hairstyle!
Eric in hair and makeup

After the hairstyling, it’s on to the costume department for him as well!
Eric in initial costume choices

The same recoloring process and results
Eric optional costuming2

In this view, his tunic has simply been darkened to a deep red. The faint texture of the pattern remains and gives the pattern some added texture and depth. The trim has been changed to a game pattern in leathers and fur.
Eric pattern design2

Some simple recoloring of that leather pattern.
Eric pattern design3

Finally, a game pattern on his under shirt…
Eric pattern design4

You could leave the shirt the way it was for more of a chain mail effect, but I chose to recolor it to a softer tone for a somewhat woven appearance.
Eric pattern design5

One other optional clothing choice for him
Eric optional costuming
Some quick recoloring on that option
Eric optional costuming4

For the men, there is one added difficulty when putting together their costumes. This difficulty is in finding them decent foot wear that works with their outfits! The reason… Once again, EA has chosen to make it extremely difficult to match boots with various pants or outfits.

Here is an example of what happens. You might notice that in many of my photos, I choose not to show a full view of the men… this would be the reason!
Eric boot choices3

Eric boot choices2

Finally, we find a somewhat workable pair of boots…
eric boot choices4

A small bit of coloring and they blend well enough with the rest of the outfit to be acceptable.
Eric boot choices5

A finished costume!
Eric pattern design7

Eric is not quite as patient as Brenda. He was not exactly thrilled when we told him there was one more fitting for an upcoming scene!
Eric preparing for next shoot

The same recoloring process with a leather pattern on his present day jacket.
Eric pattern design8

A more appropriate hairstyle, a few minor color adjustments, and Eric is ready to go!
Eric ready for next scenes

Here are our two guest stars showing up on the set with other members of the cast!
showing up for a day on the set

Previous Behind the Scenes:

4 thoughts on “Behind the Scenes4: Costume design and makeup!

  1. Pingback: Behind the Scenes: Costume design and makeup! | Lady Eleanor DeGuille's private journal

  2. Pingback: Behind the scenes 3: Improvising and invention! | Lady Eleanor DeGuille's private journal

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