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******************  The Sims 2 Painting Guide  *******************************
**********************  Guide Version: 1.0  **********************************
**********************  Written by Comazon  **********************************
******************************************************************************


I.     History
II.    Introduction
III.   Start Painting!
IV.    The Importance of Creativity
V.     The Advantages of Painting
VI.    Easy Money and Aspiration
VII.   Bug: Implementing your own picture
VIII.  FAQ
IX.    Contact Me
X.     Copyright Information



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I. History
---------------------------------------

9/29/04 - Version 1.01 is released
              *Added minor content
              *Fixed minor punctuation errors
              *Fixed minor spelling errors

9/28/04 - Version 1.0 is completed.


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II. Introduction
---------------------------------------

The goal of this guide is to help inform you about how painting can be an
excellent career. Not only because it can make good money, but also because 
it allows you to add your own personality to your house. I also discovered a 
way to put in any picture I wanted as a painting, which allows you to further 
customize the style of your home. 

Making a guide on GameFAQs has always been an ambition of mind. Since most 
people probably don’t realize how fun painting can be, I decided this was my 
chance of being able to help other Sims 2 players. Albeit a fairly short FAQ, 
here it is…

Note: Based on what I read on the message boards, other people have also
      found out how to do the "Implementing your own picture" bug. I wanted 
      to make it clear that I am not stealing this information and claiming 
      it as my own finding. I actually did discover this on my own along with 
      everything else in this guide.


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III. Start Painting!
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Step 1: Buying an art easel...
	
	The first thing you need is the cash to buy an art easel. It’ll 
	cost you $350. The exact name of it is called the “Independent 
        Expressions Inc. Easel”. After you find a place to put it down, you 
        are ready to move on to the next step.
	
Step 2: Feelin’ Good...

	Unfortunately, you can only paint if your mood (not your aspiration 
	meter) is in green or better. Try to make your sim as happy as 
	possible before beginning to paint since it would be ideal to
        complete a painting without taking a break.

Step 3: Paint!

	If the mood is in the green, you’re ready to paint!



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IV. The Importance of Creativity
---------------------------------------


Creativity has a huge impact on your ability to paint. 

First of all, the more creativity points you have, the more money each 
painting you make is worth. You will gain money for each painting as your 
creativity skill goes up, and will continue to grow even after creativity is 
maxed out (though that may be a glitch).

Also once you get around five creativity points, you will then have the option 
to “Paint Still Life” or “Paint Portrait”. With the “Paint a Portrait” option, 
you can ask people on your lot to pose for you to paint. With the “Paint Still 
Life” feature, you can take a sceenshot of anything in the game and paint it. 
If you wanted, you now have the ability to paint your own picture (go to the 
section VII for details).


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V. The Advantages of Painting
---------------------------------------

1. As I stated before, the value per painting continually increases even after 
   creativity is maxed out  (I’m currently making around $2000 per painting).

2. Painting is a good way to increase your fun meter and improve your overall 
   mood while making money (It give a fun rating of 5).

3. Adds personal taste to any building (especially if you use the bug in 
   section VII)

4. Gain 6000 Aspiration Points for selling a Masterpiece (if that’s a Want you 
   have).
   
   (A masterpiece is any painting your sim made worth more than $500).

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VI. Easy Money and Aspiration
---------------------------------------

This is an easy (although boring) way to rack up some cash and aspiration 
points. Setting up the situation may be difficult, but once it’s established, 
the rest is a breeze. This seems to work no matter what aspiration goals you 
have picked beforehand (family aspiration, popularity aspiration, knowledge 
aspiration, etc.)

*************
Requirements:
************* 

1. Must be able to consistently make paintings worth over $500.

2. Must have 14,000 stored aspiration points.

3. Must own an art easel. 

**********
The Steps:
**********

1. Take your sim and begin to paint. This will help increase the odds of 
   getting the “Selling a Masterpiece” Want (which you will need for this 
   strategy).

2: Eventually, you should get the “Sell a Masterpiece” Want. If not, you can 
   increase the odds of the Want appearing by painting more or by completing 
   other easy wants. As soon as you can see “Selling a Masterpiece”, make 
   sure to lock it by right clicking on it.

3: Purchase the 14,000 Aspiration-point item, called "The Eclectic and 
   Enigmatic Energizer".

5. Begin to paint your masterpiece.

	Note #1: Try to be in a good enough mood to finish the painting 
                 without stopping.

	Note #2: To ensure you are in a good mood, I recommend using the 
                 Energizer to max out your mood (only if your aspiration meter 
                 is gold or platinum).


6: Once completed, click on the painting and choose “Sell Painting”. Since 
   your painting should be worth over $500, you should fulfill the “Sell a 
   Masterpiece” Want.

7: Hopefully, “Sell a Masterpiece” should come right back up again as a Want. 
   If not, follow step 2 again before proceeding to step 8.

8: Keep repeating steps 5 – 7 for as long as you like.

	Note #1: You only get 5 uses out of the charger. When they run out, 
                 buy a new one. You should be able to earn 30,000 Aspiration
		 points per charger, so you should easily be able to spare the 
                 14,000.
		 
		(5 uses * 6,000 Asperation points per Masterpiece = 30,000
		 Asperation points) 
                 

	Note #2: Do NOT break the cycle of steps 5 – 7 unless you intend to 
                 stop the process, as your Wants are likely to change into 
                 something other than “Sell a Masterpiece”.


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VII. Bug: Implementing your own picture
---------------------------------------

Note #1: This is using “The Sims 2” V1.0, no guarantee it’ll work with any 
         patches that get released.

Note #2: A picture editor is stongly advised in order to get the most benefit
         out of this exploit. I currently use Paint Shop Pro.


**********
The Steps:
**********

1.  Once the option becomes available, choose the "Paint Still Life" option 
    after clicking on the art easel.

2.  The game should automatically pause for you to take the sceenshot. 
    Whatever you do, DO NOT unpause the game.

3.  Once the game pauses for the screenshot, press the letter 'c' to take the 
    picture.
    (Make sure to still keep the game paused).

4.  Minimize "The Sims 2" by pressing Ctrl+Esc (or possibly Alt+Tab)

5.  Find the screenshot you are supposed to paint. It can be found in 
    ".../My Documents/EA Games/The Sims 2/Storytelling/Snapshot.bmp"
    (without the quotes).

6.  Open this file with a picture-editing program of your choice.

7.  Now comes the fun part....tweak that picture to your heart's content. You 
    can do whatever you want to it (including overwrite it with another
    picture), but you must keep it as a bitmap file with the same file name 
    (snapshot.bmp). The new modified picture will be the picture your sim will 
    paint. Though not mandatory, it is strongly recommend to keep 
    snapshot.bmp's resolution at its default (The default resolution for 
    snapshot.bmp varies depending on the resolution of the game. For example, 
    if you play at 1152X864, the picture has a width of 177 and a height of 
    307. If you play at 800X600, however, the picture has a width of 255 and a 
    height of 442)

8.  Save and overwrite the old snapshot.bmp with the new modified one.

9.  Maximize "The Sims 2".
 
10. Unpause the game.

11. Watch your sim paint the picture you wanted!

12. Once completed, treat it however you wish. The game sees it as just a 
    normal painting.


If you want to know why to keep the game paused, or why to keep the resolution 
fixed, read the FAQ.


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VIII. FAQ
---------------------------------------


Q: What good does an increase in creativity do for painting?

A: The value of the paintings you make go up and creativity also allows you to 
   have more options while painting ("Paint Still Life" and "Paint Portrait).


Q: Do the still life paintings or portraits have the same value as the normal 
   paintings?

A: Yes, to the best of my knowledge all the paintings you can make all share a 
   similar value.


Q: Why is a painting I just made worth less than a previous painting?

A: The pricing of paintings seems to be somewhat random, but the value does 
   consistently rise on average as you make more paintings (unless you somehow 
   lost creativity points).


Q: Will the value of paintings go up even after I maxed out creativity?

A: Oddly enough, yes. I’m not sure if this is a bug or not. I'm also not sure 
   if it will continue indefinitely.


Q: How long does it take to make a painting?

A: About 6 ½ hours (in sim time).


Q: Is there anyway to take paintings with you if you move to a different lot?

A: I don't think so, though I hope they add that feature in later 
   patches/expansions.


Q: Can the price of a painting a sim made actually rise in value like normal 
   artwork does?

A: Yes


Q: What is considered a "Masterpiece"

A: A masterpiece is a painting that one of your sims made that is worth over
   $500 when selling off the easel.


Q: Can I sell a painting in Buy Mode to fulfill the "Sell a Masterpiece" 
   Want?

A: No, you can only fufill that when you make your sim sell the painting 
   directly off the easel.


Q: Once I take a painting off the easel, is there anyway to put it back on?

A: Not to my knowledge

	
Q: What happens if I delete snapshot.bmp during the "implementing your own
   picture" process and resume the game without a snapshot.bmp at all?

A: The canvas will disappear and the action will be cancelled. Your sim will 
   just stand there.


Q: When implementing your own picture, why must the game stay paused?
 
A: When your sim STARTS painting (by "starts", I mean as soon as you unpause 
   after taking the screenshot), he will paint what snapshot.bmp is at that 
   time. Changing/Modifying snapshot.bmp after he beings painting will have no 
   effect whatsoever.


Q: Why should I keep the resolution of snapshot.bmp fixed? Won't I just make 
   the picture bigger or smaller if I adjust it?

A: That's not how it works. Whenever you adjust the default resolution, 
   instead of getting a bigger/smaller picture your painting will become 
   stretched/shrinked in the dimension adjusted. For example, if the default 
   resolution of snapshot.bmp is 177X307, and I made a picture with a 
   resolution of 177X614, then the vertical aspect of the  painting would 
   have to be crammed into a 307 resolution spot, making the object in the 
   picture appears 2 times fatter than originally intended. 

   The exception to this is if you multiply the pictures resultion equally. 
   For example, the resolutions 354X614 (2X);531X921 (3X);and 708X1228 (4X) 
   would all work since they are equal multiples of 177X307. When painted the 
   picture will be squished equally vertically and horizontally, which makes 
   the picture still look normal.



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IX. Contact Me
---------------------------------------


Contact me at comazon@earthlink.net if you have any tips, suggestions 
corrections, or compliments (hehe) for this guide.

I will give full credit to anyone who gives a tip or suggestion that I find 
appropriate to put up on this FAQ (which hasn't been already mentioned).


---------------------------------------
X. Copyright Information
---------------------------------------


Feel free to tell people how to do specific tasks that are stated in this 
guide (such as implementing your own picture bug). However, please DO NOT 
simply copy or quote what I wrote and claim it as your own.

This may be not be reproduced under any circumstances except for personal, 
private use. It may not be placed on any web site or otherwise distributed 
publicly without giving Comazon full credit for his work. Use of this guide on 
any other web site or as a part of any public display is strictly prohibited, 
and a violation of copyright.


Copyright 2004 Nicholas Comendant.