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      Please help us for July   06/30/2017

      This month we're hoping for a little bit of a boost this month or next, in addition to covering the regular bills, we could benefit from some hardware upgrades. STEX Collector's Set gifts can now be sent to you via digital download as well as regular mail if you wish! Every donation dollar goes toward keeping Simtropolis online and humming along. Your contribution counts! Hardware Upgrades As our website community software improves with more and more features, and as we bolt on additional features such as chat, the increased load to handle all these new toys is taking the server a bit to task. You may have noticed that we'd been forced to temporarily disable the chat as we worked out allocating resources for more optimal performance. Following this, we've applied a number of 'soft' changes such as caching options and experimented with server configurations (nginx as proxy, for example), so the hardware aspect is also an area we'd like to focus on. The last time we upgraded hardware was back in 2012, prior to the release of SC13. Your contribution means a lot! Your donation will go toward helping us to 1.) migrate to a newer server or 2.) at least get some ram/cpu/storage updates and any other infrastructure hardware or services. Donate and Get a Gift or Donate Any Amount Thanks so much! - Dirktator & The Admins
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    Snow Effect Tutorial


    The Big Z

    Please PM The Big Z if you have a question regarding this tutorial.

    Snow Effect Tutorial

    The purpose of this tutorial is to show how one can add a snowstorm effect to your SC4 pics, whether of a City Journal or other reason. I used Photoshop 7, but I am sure that you can use any photo editing software with the same capabilities.

    STEP ONE:

    Find a Picture

    You may use whatever picture you want. I am using a picture of JENX Burg Eltz V12 from my City Journal. Open the picture in Photoshop.

    Step1.jpg

    Step TWO:

    Replacing Colors

    For the next Step you need to add some of the white stuff! So, click on Image>Adjustments>Replace Color. As the picture indicates.

    Step2.jpg

    Now, your mouse will become a dropper. Click on a color of your choice. I chose some of the roof colors because snow likes to stick there, a lot. Of course there will be other places in the picture that will share that color. So, be careful what you choose! Now, don't worry about the quality quite yet. You can slide the 'fuzziness' bar at the top of the Replace Color Window. Once you've reached your desired look, click OK.

    Step THREE:

    Its Awful Cloudy

    Now, create a new Layer. I find that Ctrl+Alt+N works best, but however you want to add a new layer is fine. Make sure the colors you have set are either Black and White or a Shade of Gray and White. NO COLORS! Make sure your layer's opacity is 50%. Then click on Filter>Render>Clouds. Now your picture will be somewhat, well, gray or darker.

    Step4.jpg

    Step FOUR:

    Noise, Noise, Noise

    Ok, now it time to add your snow flakes! On the Toolbar, click Filter>Noise>Add Noise. A window like the one below should appear. Slide the bar around to see how bad you want your storm to be. Make sure you have chosen the options: Glaussian, and Monochromatic. If you don't, you'll get a bunch of colored snow flakes!

    Step5.jpg

    Step FIVE:

    LET IT SNOW

    Ok, this last part is really easy. Go back to Filter, but go to Blur>Motion Blur. Now, a window will pop up, and you can choose how many pixels to move your layer. I would suggest NOT going over 20 pixels, or it won't really look realistic, unless you're in a tornado. You can also choose what angle. So, left, right, up, down. It's up to you! Once you've found your desired look, simply click OK. And viola! You're finished!

    Finished.jpg

    **TIDBITS**

    Now, don't forget, its your picture! Experiment a little! Change the Opacity, if you want an even stronger storm! Or, less motion, if you want a lighter snow fall! There is endless possibilities! But first and foremost, make sure you have FUN!


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