Sims 4 Hairstyle Design Process Detailed By Producer

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2014-09-02
sims 4 city living
A screenshot from Sims 4: City Living expansion pack. EA

The Sims team shared the design process of its Laundry Day stuff pack with players over the last year. We got to vote on the theme, the objects, the clothes and the main features. However, one component of the DLC that fans haven't seen yet are the hairstyles. SimGuruGraham took to the Sims forums to not only show us the selected hairstyles for the upcoming stuff pack, but to explain why we didn’t have a part in its design.  

The main reason the Laundry Day hairstyles were not a part of the voting process was because they are typically the most time consuming assets to create. Its design process requires tons of revisions of miniscule details, more so than creating the average object. The hairstyles are locked in before the final selections for objects and clothing because the artists and external partners need more time to complete the prototypes. The Sims dev team couldn’t find a way to smoothly include hairstyle selection as part of the voting schedule.

“The process starts with gathering photo reference of different people wearing the hairstyle that we're creating, so that we have a variety of examples of what that hairstyle can look like,” SimGuruGraham explained in the post on the Sims forums. “From there our artists will draw their own interpretation of the hairstyle superimposed over a bald Sim. They create two versions of these drawings - one which is opaque, which demonstrates what the final material should look like, and the other which is transparent, so that the modeler has a clear example of the shape and volume of the hairstyle in comparison to the position of the Sim's head.”

While we didn’t have a part in the process, SimGuruGraham shared a fairly detailed graphic that revealed the edits to the hair assets. Some of the notes involve separating a large strand of hair, properly tucking one behind the ear,  adjusting the way the hair falls on the back of the head,  making a messy bun feel “less organized” (which is understandably hard to do when creating from scratch), and blending the highlights to look more natural. Take a look below.

sims hair
The Sims 4: Laundry Day Stuff Photo: EA
sims hair
The Sims 4: Laundry Day Stuff Photo: EA
sims hair
The Sims 4: Laundry Day Stuff Photo: EA

In SimGuruGraham’s explanation, he also revealed hairstyles aren’t usually decided by a consensus, which is another reason why they weren’t included in vote. The fan-made DLC voting system was meant to mimic The Sims team’s own internal design process. The hairstyles are often left to the art director’s discretion.

“When it comes to hairstyles, they're typically selected by the pack's Art Director without a lot of outside input,” SimGuruGraham said. “Our art directors have collected a treasure trove of reference material of various hairstyles that we could include in the game someday, and with each pack that comes along they choose a few from this collection they've amassed.”

sims hair
The Sims 4: Laundry Day Stuff Photo: EA
sims hair
The Sims 4: Laundry Day Stuff Photo: EA

Take a look at the final version of the hairstyles below and in this teaser. As you can see, the Sims team is slowly but surely adding more wavy textures and interesting updos to the game. Which is your favorite? Let us know in the comments. The Sims 4: Laundry Day stuff pack releases as an unspecified date this Winter.

Read SimGuruGraham’s full post here.

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