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ME:TMW | To Photoshop or not to Photoshop





Thanks, it is a mining colony after all :)


Thanks, such words to describe the stereotypical sci-fi city :P


It's just about how people use to and often still fantasize futuristic cities. Of course, for the Earth's case, it would undoubtedly never be like that but still :P


Thanks, it's all in the lack of color :P


Thanks a lot :)


Thank youuu :)


Thanks :)


Thanks :)


They're great aren't they?

Ln X

Wow, thanks :D


Thanks Carl :P


Thanks :)


I still do make 'futuristic cities' and there really is no one way to post a CJ. The variety and uniqueness of a given idea is what makes a CJ. But an FYI as well, the majority of my images are all just a collection of scenes in SC4, including Polaris. :)


Thanks, I've never really seen the film before but thanks anyway! And yep, ME:TMW episodes take hours, sometimes weeks considering that most updates might come with a new set of buildings that I have to make before hand. It's great you appreciate it :)


Thanks :)


Cool! I'm a real fan of sci-fi related stuff, if isn't already obvious :P Btw thanks!


Thanks :)

old joe

Lol haha yeah, no monolith, just a massive alien temple? :P


Thanks, I'm not one to allow my quality of work to slide :)


Thanks so much! It's great of you to say all that and I'm quite the fan of Mass Effect, so the recreations are just something I like to do (as well as side stories). My earlier works used to be functional, and I stressed about it quite a bit then. Now, they're largely static and aesthetic-centric. Sorry to disappoint :P


Thanks, great of you to stop by :)


Mass Effect: The Milky Way. Out of my collection of City Journals, story plots and themed images, ME:TMW's images are by far one of my heaviest applications of Photoshop editing, requiring post-game editing to add visual effects you cannot typically insert in the game itself. Visual effects such as lasers, holography, miscellaneous signage (That are pasted on BATs that are not my own), color filters, lens flaring, light alteration, graphic correction, cloud layering, saturation alteration and other such effects that are essential to give the images the feel and atmosphere you get from the actual Mass Effect series. And before I began BATing for the CJ, numerous elements such as the Kodiak Shuttle and Reaper ships were mostly photoshopped as there were no other ways of getting them into the pics.

Photoshopping has become one of ME:TMW's primary assets, and without it, would lose its special ability to present various atmospheres and environments, that allow you to immerse youself in a world unlike our own -- that also doesn't stick to the traditional Earthy, above-ground environments that SC4 is bound by.

So when you tear the editing away from the actual image, you can let the naked images run and show you how it would look without the special post-game editing. They're not as remarkable without their respective effects which give you a sense of being immersed in pollution, underwater scenery or a gaseous alien atmosphere.

Here are some samples of ME:TMW images that are edited, and then shown naked.

Episode #22 | Fire in the Sky



This is an image of Kanaze, ravaged and polluted by dirty industry. When naked, the image looks far cleaner than its edited counterpart. Hardly a good representation of what the Tizo District would really look like.

Episode #17 | Underwater Secret



The underwater episode that when deep into Salacia's vast planet-wide ocean. Without the editing, it feels nothing more like an above-ground coral reef, if that ever made any sense. Also notice the station is gone. Yeah, at the time, I photoshopped since GMax was failing to export it completely


Episode #13 | Fall of the Protheans



The Prothean Colony on Eden Prime in Pre-human colonization times, minus the Reaper annihalation.

Episode #10 | The Delta Research Team



An image of the surface of Tosal Nym, stripped of any dust storm clouds.

Episode #36 | Blood Pack Comms



Without the color filtering, the atmosphere of Tarith as opposed to the first is less alien, without the greenish-blue hue to paint the picture of a chlorinated atmosphere.

Episodes #31 #32 #33 | Origins: John Shepard, Kaidan Alenko, Kasumi Goto

In order of image - Kaidan Alenko, John Shepard, Kasumi Goto



Without photo editing, the saturation of said images can be either too high or to low than they should be to set a certain mood. In Origins: Kaidan Alenko, the orchard image requires light alterations and color filtering with adjustments to its saturation to create a bright sunset atmosphere. In Origins: John Shepard, New York's GM building is given a brighter profile and holograms are featured on the sides of towers to create a busy, futuristic urban setting. While in Origins: Kasumi Goto, the Umeda tower, which is orginally quite a striking and rather saturated light navy blue, is reduced to a more desaturated and calmer image minus the overwhelming colors in what is supposed to be a neutral setting.

These are just some examples. That's all for now, come stop by again at Random & Random for anything new! Expect some more Sci-Fi related images as I've been watching a particularly interesting modern remake of a classic Pre-millenia sci-fi film.


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It depends on what mood you try to set it in, although some stuff, like the underwater scene, actually makes sense to photo edit it to make it look underwater, I mean it looks pretty dry without that photo edit :P

Just balance it out and try not to make it too po-mo. :P

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Wow what a difference photo-shopping makes to the images, it gives it so much more depth and makes some ugly, boring buildings seem so much more interesting 

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Myself a purist, I think it's best not to use photo editing software on sc4 pics. Your skill at this certainly better compared with pure images. Keep doing it.

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Photo Shop as long as the final result is not 0% SimCity.  You are currently photo-shopping quite well because your work enhances the scene, mood, surrounding effects that isnt part of SC4 'screenshots'. And your results are definitely SC4-Recognizable.


Its like this hasty-shop i posted in a Iphone-or-android forum continued debate.  The modified result didn't lose the originality, but enhanced it by adding a little "hot sauce" and got the message over clear what Data prefers..heh!




(there are no finger-motion simulation or other enhancements in the orig)

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Geez, I must say that Photoshop (or any image editing program) has made SC images much appealing, brought out the mood, character, story, and achieved the uniqueness of each 'creation'. These are true in particular in your non-urban scenes, which would be simply mish mash of stuffs like stone and trees. The urban-scenes, on the other hand, I found them quite good even without filters and special effect - not necessary eye-pleasing but still very good.  


I guess what is more important is the creativity of the player/artist, both the game and photo-editing are just tools to present our imagination, and in your case, you never cease to amazing me with your works. Through these I (and the others) sure can learn a lot :D

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