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Outlander: Mystery Man at the Gathering

Previous Outlander post: https://timeslipsblog.wordpress.com/2014/08/31/outlander-after-the-gathering/

 

If you read my After the Gathering post, you will recall my suspicions and ponderings on this mysterious Sassenach type hanging out with Dougal…

OUT_104-20140205-JH_8934.jpg

I thought perhaps it might be the Duke of Sandringham as he was lurking about the Castle around that time? But, then I was made aware of the fact that the Duke of Sandringham will be played by Simon Callow!

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Simon_Callow

Simon Cowell Duke of Sandringham outlander Simon Callow Simon Callow2

 

 

In looking at the mystery man in our photo as compared to these photos of Simon Callow, I would have to agree that it seems doubtful or highly improbable that the suspicious looking Sassenach type is the Duke of Sandringham… unless of course the makeup department is doing an incredible job of  performing magical transformations into characters? And, they are doing just that if you take a few moments to consider the transformations of some other characters?

 

Take for instance, Duncan LaCroix… and his alter ego, Murtagh Fitzgibbons?

Duncan Lacroix as Murtagh Fitzgibbons Murtagh-Fitzgibbons-Duncan-Lacroix Murtagh Fitzgibbons

Or Grant ORourke as Rupert MacKenzie… Grant O'rourke as Rupert MacKenzie

Rupert MacKenzie2 Rupert MacKenzie

 

And, then there is Stephen Walters and his other personality of Angus Mhor?!

Stephen Walters2 Stephen Walters as Angus Mohr Angus Mhor

 

Stephen Walters and Grant O’Rourke… or as we now know them better as? Angus and Rupert, the comic relief team of Outlander!

Angus and Rupert2

 

So, Yes the makeup department is capable of amazing transformations! That being said and somewhat proven, I do have my doubts though now as to whether the mystery man could actually be Simon Callow playing the Duke of Sandringham? But, if it is not him, that still leaves us with the nagging question of who is this slightly sleazy looking Odd Man out Sassenach character lurking and wandering about Castle Leoch… Who ever he might be, I am certain that he is not a MacKenzie or a Clan member!

 

 

 

 

Outlanderday!

Yes, Finally it’s once again Outlanderday! The day so many of us look forward to all week! Here’s the preview of tonight’s episode!

 

I am still trying to decide on what we will feast on tonight… running a bit behind today! But, taking a cue from the ever resourceful Mrs. Fitz, and our own Dunvegan Castle’s Minn,  shall have a longer look into the pantry supplies in a bit and determine what we can serve other than parritch or more bannocks… Though, I may just have a wee bit of the parritch this morning?! I do not think, however that either of my Cooks would approve of my serving Parritch for a dinner feast!

Glenna Fitsgibbons2 Screenshot-14

 

Hopefully, I will find something more appropriate in time for dinner and Outlander viewing?

 

Now for a bit of amusement,  on my part at least?! I was playing a bit more with that somewhat addicting Sims4 CAS demo… it is rather addicting in that it’s so easy to pop in and out of when ever I have a few spare moments, not like my Sims 3, which is a much longer process of loading up the game and then going into the character creation.  Anyway, I did previously create versions of Claire and Jamie, and thought I would try adding a few members to their clan?

The household now consists of an assortment of Fraser family members. I did include Mrs. Fitz because I don’t want them all to starve or have to survive any length of time on Claire’s cooking?!

fraser household

So, here you have it… Jamie, Claire, Brianna, William, Mrs. Fitz, and her grand daughter Laoghaire Mackenzie!

 

Jamie and Claire are already on my Sims 4 Creations page!

jamie16

claire43

Close ups of Mrs. Fitz

Glenna Fitzgibbons2 Glenna Fitzgibbons3

Brianna Fraser, Claire and Jamie’s daughter. She previously went by Brianna Randall before she went through the stones herself and found her Father.  For her creation, I used the play with genetics tool in the demo and this is what they provided when I used Jamie Fraser as the donor!

Brianna Fraser2 Brianna Fraser

 

William Ransom, Jamie’s son by Geneva Dunsany. His full name is William Clarence Henry George Ransom and he is Legally, the son and heir of the Earl of Ellesmere, his mother’s husband at the time of his birth. He makes his first appearance in the Outlander book, Voyager.

William Ransom

 

Ahhhh and last, but certainly not least, I have included the teen tart, Laoghaire Mackenzie! She is Mrs. Fitz’ grand daughter and causes more than a few problems throughout life for Claire and Jamie. The beating he took for her in last week’s episode was only just the beginning of the troubles this girl brings!

Leghaire Fitzgibbons Laoghaire Mackenzie Laoghaire Mackenzie2

 

Well, that was fun! I may add more of them later on!

 

Now, everyone enjoy your Outlanderday… and if you haven’t read the books but are just learning about this epic Clan through the series, go spend some time looking up these additional characters as they will be important in the future of the Series! I am off to get a few other things accomplished before the evening of Outlander!

 

Previous Outlanderday post: https://timeslipsblog.wordpress.com/2014/08/17/outlanderday-dinner/

 

 

 

 

Dunvegan Castle progress

Previous Dunvegan progress: https://timeslipsblog.wordpress.com/category/dunvegan-castle/
Brennie at tea

While Eric is lost in his memories of a long past, (We will get back to him soon, I promise!), work continues on the Castle restoration and Brennie has a few memories of her own. Brennie has not called the Castle home for quite as long as Eric but she has been there for quite a few centuries! Some of those centuries were more pleasant and or more memorable than others. She arrived during the 1400’s when much of the Castle as it stands today, did not exist. For a long time, it remained rather small and more of a fortress for defense. It was during the 17th and early 18th centuries that the Castle came closer to it’s present day appearance.  Unfortunately for Brennie, those were also some of her more difficult years. Prior to that time, in the medieval period, she had less problems finding ways to fit in as a female and a vampire. Those earliest years were difficult in terms of sheer survival but they did allow her a bit more freedom from social judgements on her appearance and behaviors.  Over the centuries as the Highland Clans were being more integrated into the politics and the regimes of the rest of the country and losing their individual identities and freedoms, life became much more regimented and governed by the social customs and rules of the larger world around them. Eric and the other men found it less difficult to find their place and fit in as warriors, soldiers, clan leaders or land owners. Brennie would have had a far harder time coming to terms with the restrictions and rules placed on her as a proper “young” lady of good standing. 

 

Even in her earliest years at the Castle, she struggled with being the “Lady” of the Castle. She was not raised in such an environment and had never desired to be in such a position of authority and leadership. It took her many centuries to adjust to it and even in the present day, she was not comfortable with all that running such a place entails. She did learn early on that one thing was essential to the Castle’s running… That was to have a  person who did know how to run a Castle! As Eric’s clan and the Castle took on more importance, Brennie realized that image was and is everything. She needed a person who could help her present a proper image to the rest of the world, who knew what had to be done, how it had to be done and when it had to be done, even if she herself had no real idea?  Somewhere or when during that time, she found just such a person in the form of one Mistress Minna MacGuinn.

 

Every Castle has it’s version of Minna… Castle Leoch for instance has Mrs. Fitz. 

Glenna Fitsgibbons Outlander 2014

Glenna Fitsgibbons2

 

Our  Dunvegan Castle has Mistress Minna MacGuinn or just Minn if she likes you well enough?

Minna Minna Macguinn

There was a period of time when Brennie was not necessarily  on that well liked list and would be the first to admit that she was downright skairt of the woman!

Minna and Brennie

 

Screenshot-12 Screenshot-13

 

Who’s Kitchen is it… It’s Minn’s Kitchen, Who runs the Castle… Minn does, and best ye not forget it lass!

Minna's kitchen2

 

All of the upstairs kitchen, as well as other improvements were more due to Minn’s suggestions… or demands than anything Brennie would have thought of during that time. Once Brennie sorted things out and came to an understanding with Minn, understanding as in it’s Minn’s way… Well, after that Brennie left much of the day to day running of the Castle up to Minn and they got along fine!

 

Minn’s kitchen, and best ye not forget that!

Screenshot-6 Screenshot-5 Screenshot-3 Screenshot-2 Screenshot Minna's kitchen

 

Minn was instrumental in a number of changes and improvements. The back room behind the kitchen would eventually become a large alchemy/medicinal and herbal room. And, Minn was also responsible for added garden space outdoors… Shortly after her arrival, she shrugged and tsked at the lovely outdoor gardens and made a comment to Brennie. “Achhh and sure it’s a pretty place for entertaining and all but what would ye be needing that for seeing as ye’re so skairt of them such things now aren’t ye?” She was right about that… This was during a time when Brennie was having such a difficult time of adjusting to the world that she avoided people as much as possible and her reason for having Minn was so that she didn’t have to face any of the many guests that often frequented the Castle. Minn was having none of that, and she was the one who helped push Brennie back to the outside world.  Minn would get her working garden and Brennie would get her life back during that time as well!

Screenshot-4

 

 

 

 

Sims4: Creating a character 3

Previous Character creation post:  https://timeslipsblog.wordpress.com/2014/08/10/sims-4-creating-a-character-2/

 

Ok, I have finished my sims version on Catriona Balfe as Claire Randall. As I stated earlier in this process, I was not going for an exact replica of Catriona Balfe but more of a representation of her portraying Claire Randall.  She ended up being more of a starting reference point for me to put a face and shape to Claire.   If you are interested, you can find her in the sims 4 gallery. My creator name there is judywork1957.

A very important part of this process is looking at the face and expressions in a variety of angles and emotions. My one irritation with the CAS is the cartoonish cheesy smile that the sims keep showing me! It was extremely difficult to judge mouths and expressions with that annoying smile, not to mention the difficulty in getting a good photo!

 

Before we look at the final shots of my representation, these are photos of Catriona/Claire that I used in the creation. I also tried to keep some images of her as the books describe her in my head throughout the process.  My one lament was that I was not able to come up with a really good representation of her very curly, mostly untamable hair! I did my best in coming up with a somewhat unruly and messy hairstyle for her. If you look at the photos, you will see that in the front on ones, she has a rather wide, square jawline and puffier cheeks. From the side views though, you get a much narrower, finer sculpted appearance.

Claire Randall3 Claire Randall2 OUT-102_20131106_EM-1710.jpg Caitriona-Balfe Claire Randall

 

 

In order not to get that horrid cheesy type smile, I had to tone down her mouth a great deal. I’ve also did a bit of photo editing with the photos because the brightness of the CAS photos is rather too bright and glaring and detracts from the actual sim images!

old photo of Claire with hair well tamed!

This is done to portray what an old photo of Claire might have looked like… with well tamed hair for the photo!

claire with hat

Another older type photo representation of her in a hat. The hat is typical of what she might have worn in the 1940’s while on Holiday in Scotland.

claire43 Claire comparison5 claire comparison4 claire comparison3

 

One last detail I adjusted was her body. Here is the completed body sculpting. I kept her thin and made some final adjustments to her well proportioned backside!

claire48 claire49 claire50

 

The costuming was perhaps the most difficult and frustrating part of the whole process as we have extremely limited clothing options in the CAS Demo!  These are some options I came up with for her.

 

claire44

An everyday casual look that might get her by in either the 40’s or the 60’s depending on which time she was at between time traveling through the stones.

claire45

A nice simple sun dress… or slip, or shift? It is rather short for the 40’s but then maybe she lost the rest of the dress in her ordeal!

claire46

A rather fun, flirty little formal attire… a bit short and scandalous but then again, Claire does have a reputation for being a bit scandalous at times!

claire47

A very basic athletic outfit… we don’t have a lot to choose from!

claire48

Sleep wear… she’ll just sleep in her undies for now!

As far as personality and traits, I gave her the knowledge aspiration with nerd brain desire to be book smart and handy.  For her traits, I chose perfectionist, neat and hot tempered. She does have bit of a short fuse when it comes to some things so I felt justified in giving her the hot temper!

Ahhhh and now that I’ve created her, I suppose it wouldn’t be fair if I didn’t attempt to have a go at Jamie as my next project…

 

 

Sims 4: Creating a character 2

Previous character creation post:  https://timeslipsblog.wordpress.com/2014/08/10/sims4-creating-a-character/

 

The one nice thing about this Demo is that I can go into it quickly! I hope they keep some form of this creation system when the game comes out, like they had with sims 2 body shop. There are times when I don’t have a lot of extra time and this is nice, not having to load entire game just to do some work on a character!

This morning, I was able to work on some body sculpting and give Claire a bit more padding on that backside! I also adjusted her weight a little and pushed up her chest a bit. I did not want to go overboard and create anything extreme or cartoonish with this adjustment. I just wanted it to have more definition, be a bit rounder and curvier.  Now, there is a slight issue with the actress portraying Claire… She is very tall and very thin! I think that in future episodes of the series, she might have to put on some weight or wear some padding to create that pronounced backside! That is just my personal opinion and observation in comparing Catriona Balfe to the character Claire? Other than that minor issue, she does an amazing portrayal of Claire!

Claire body sculpting

 

I also spent a bit more time with the facial sculpting and hair styles. It is a difficult and fine balancing act with the hairstyles as they tend to change the entire face shape when you change a hairstyle. This was always an issue with sims 3 as well so I am used that problem. What I would suggest is to choose a few hairstyles that you think the character might wear at various times, try them out and then make small adjustments between the styles.

These are three different styles that I tried out with Claire.

claire9 claire23 claire25

 

It’s important to keep the character in mind when choosing hairstyles and makeup. Claire is not a dressy, frilly type person. She doesn’t bother much with hair, makeup or jewelry in any time period that she is living in. Knowing that, I kept her hairstyle, makeup and jewelry as basic and simple as possible. In fact, I toned down the makeup to the barest minimum and only used the eye makeup for eye definition and detail.

The wardrobe and costuming are extremely limited in this demo so I chose something that she might get by wearing in the 40’s or the 60’s when she went back through the stones the second time to find Jamie… She was older then so I adjusted her hair color a little to represent that!

claire28

This is what we now have! I am still not quite satisfied with the eyes but will work on them again later tonight!

claire27 claire29 claire comparison2

 

Sims4: Creating a character

Many of us are experimenting and getting used to the different facial and body sculpting features of Sims 4. I will readily admit that I am struggling a bit with these new tools! It takes much practice to edit the finer details that give a character that unique and individual look makes them who they are.  While it is easy to create a random sim, sometimes the best experience and skill comes from working with a model and trying to recreate that look. It is more difficult and challenging, but often it does give you some sort of base to start from? Think of it like sketching or painting using a model or picture as a reference as opposed to drawing it free hand. How many of us have that special talent to create an image free hand, just from an image or vision in our head? Not very many of us are that skilled!

As most of you are probably quite aware of from browsing this Blog, my other obsession lately besides my story and simming in general, is Outlander. So, with that in mind I have set a goal for myself to practice my sim creation by using a model from the Starz series. I will attempt to create a sims 4 version of  Caitriona Balfe as Claire Randall. Of course, it will not be an exact replica… I am definitely not that much of an artist or expert sim creator!  Hopefully though, I can come close in the representation and the finished character will be recognizable as Claire.  That is the first and foremost detail to keep in mind when recreating a celebrity character. You want them to be more recognizable as the character they are portraying than necessarily the celebrity at face value.

http://www.starz.com/originals/outlander?utm_source=bing&utm_medium=cpc&utm_campaign=Search%20%7C%20Outlander%20Tease%20Campaign&utm_term=outlander%20starz%20claire

 

The first thing you absolutely must have before you start is a decent head shot/profile picture of the character you are trying to create. Try to find a fairly good sized, clear photo to work from.

This is the photo of Claire/Catriona that I chose to use as a reference.

Claire Randall

 

Keep a copy of this photo close at hand in an easily accessible file. You will be referring back to it often throughout the process. What I did was set up a separate file to save all of the progress photos and this one in.  As you work with the character creation, it is a good idea to check your progress often by taking headshots of your work in progress in various stages, then take some time to set the photos together with your reference picture. Here is an example:

Of course, we can not get the exact hairstyle right now. What we are more concerned about at this point anyway is getting the facial features as close as possible. By looking at these two photos next to each other, it is easy to see where some changes need to made if possible. I can see that I need to work on adjusting the eyebrows, which I think is possible with the sculpting tools. I can also probably make some minor adjustments to the eye shape, but I don’t think I need to do too much there? Her nose needs a bit of touching up and fine tuning as well. The one thing I don’t think will be possible right now is the creases around her mouth… the demo gives us some face detail creases but they were far too deep and pronounced to use effectively here! Overall, I do think I am somewhat close and it will just take a bit more tweeking with the facial sculpting tools.

Claire Randall comparison

One other detail important and defining to the character of Claire is,  anyone who has read the books will be familiar with this detail, her backside! It is often described in great detail by her other half, Jamie Fraser, and can not be overlooked when attempting create her character! This picture does not give the best detail of it, but it does show some promise?

Claire Randall2

 

This is as far as I’ve got on progress with her. I do hope this work in progress helps others out as they work their way through sim creation in sims 4! I will continue to post progress photos and share the trials with you!

Related posts about Sims 4 CAS demo

https://timeslipsblog.wordpress.com/2014/08/09/sims4-cas-demo-creations/

https://timeslipsblog.wordpress.com/sims-4-creations/

 

 

 

 

Sims4 mods and Custom Content

Ahhhh Yes, I know I mentioned previously that I was finished with Sims4 discussions, thoughts and concerns for now… I want to clarify here that this following post does not really pertain to any doubts or concerns about the game! This post is my testing and experimenting with the Custom Content that is already available for use in the Sims4 CAS Demo. Because the game creators are promoting this area as one of the highlights and benefits of the new game, I was interested in seeing how it works now and how it will work when the game is released.  I decided to test this out since I am sure that there are many others interested in this as well.

 

You can find a variety of the available content on the newly set up My Sims 4 Blog.  Most of you are probably already very familiar with  My Sims 3 Blog and this new site is an extension of that.

http://mysims4blog.blogspot.it/

 

You can find instructions on how to download the content here:  http://simnationblog.tumblr.com/post/93160312625/installing-mods-in-the-sims-4-cas-demo

 

If you look in your documents files for Sims4 demo, you will find that a mods folder has already been set up for you! Follow the above instructions exactly and copy the package files to your mods folder, which should be located in documents/Electronic Arts/Sims 4 Demo/Mods. The resource cfg is already installed there for you so it is just a matter of adding your package contents to the file.  If you have copied them correctly, your mods file will contain the packages like this.

mods folder for sims4 demo

 

The installation process was quite easy. My only concerns right now are the fact that once you go in game, there is no way to easily or quickly find your custom content! Most of the content so far is default replacements and re-colors or re-textures of game provided material. None of the custom content gets labeled or tagged in any way as cc so you will have to hunt around for it within the various selections available. At first I thought that none of it was showing up in my game! After some added research though, I did figure out how to search for it in each category that it was created from.

This custom dress recolor is by Rusty Nail:  http://blog.naver.com/PostList.nhn?from=postList&blogId=jinhee_a&categoryNo=99&currentPage=2 What you do need to do when downloading, is pay close attention to the original item and color it is created from. This will make it much easier for you to find it in your game!  Rusty was kind enough to show in game shots detailing exactly which outfit and color have been replaced. Many thanks to him for that!

Rustynail default replacement dress

This dress recolor is also available on his site!

Rustynail default replacement dress 2

 

Some of the downloads do not provide that in game reference so you just have to search for it in game. This sweater recolor is available at Kano Ya Sims: http://kanoya.tumblr.com/post/93209223880/sweaters-with-roses-for-ts4-my-first#  You will have to search through the colors until you find the recolors.

Default sweater replacement2 Default sweater replacement

One other set that I was impressed with is available at misfortune sims:  http://missfortunesims.tumblr.com/post/93876795227/mf-sims-ts4-retextures-download-1-2-3-4  You can download either separate pieces, or the entire set.

Pink outfit two Pink outfit default replacement

 

Now, on to the last, but just as important and impressive category of the custom content. That would be the make up, eye and hair replacements and retextures. As I mentioned, these are mostly all default replacements at this stage so once you install them in game, they will replace what ever the original was. For this reason it was a bit difficult for me to accurately see the differences or get good comparison pictures! I am just going to present the test sim with the custom makeup, eyes and hair retextures for you to view here.

Hair: I downloaded a number of hair recolors and retextures from Everborn’s The Sims 4 Workshop:  http://community.simsglobe.com/topic/148-everborns-the-sims-4-workshop/

hair options without mods

custom lip color by Kano Ya Sims: http://kanoya.tumblr.com/post/93228141655/lipsticks-for-ts4-default-download-like-tag

default makeup replacements

 

Eyes: The eye color replacements are from Gelcha: http://www.mixei.ru/showthread.php/99488-%CF%E5%F0%E5%EA%F0%E0%F1%EA%E8-%EE%F2-Gelcha/page2?p=3020005&viewfull=1#post3020005

default eye color replacements

 

My one major concern at the moment is on the sharing process for these package items? I am not sure right now if the packages transfer with the sim when you upload it or download one from the gallery? I am still trying to research this issue. If anyone has an answer for this, please do leave me a comment! I would really appreciate knowing this important detail for future use and I am sure that many others would like to know for sure as well!  My concern is because it was such a major issue with Sims 3 and so many people did want any type of custom content in their game. The Sims 4 creators are stating that this new game will be much more friendly and usable for custom content but there will always be those who prefer not to have it in their game. Hopefully there is some way, or will be some way of easily flagging or labeling the content in the future so you know if it’s shown up in your game, or so you can easily find it once it is there?! At this point, I can not see it immediately in game and would have to go to my mods file to track it?

 

Previous Sims 4 post:  https://timeslipsblog.wordpress.com/2014/08/09/sims4-cas-demo-creations/