Setting the Scene – The Classroom

Posted: February 15, 2012 in Setting the Scene
Tags: , , , ,

The opening chapter of Innocence primarily serves to introduce the main character and how he interacts with those around him.  To do this, I thought it would be a lovely idea to show Damien’s life as a teacher, and how much he loves his job.  I wanted to create a friendly, welcoming atmosphere, partly inspired by the classrooms I had as a kid.  I put the desks into groups rather than rows so the students could be seen working together with friends and just generally enjoying each others company.  The students in the story are seven year olds in Grade 2 and they have all learned to love their caring, sympathetic teacher who plays a role model, fatherly figure for some.  There were 22 desks, intended for 22 students, however leaving room for absentees, and to cut short on filming time, I only created 15 of these students.

For the first and last time, I had created and personalised a family of eight, to which I then added random sims via the Tombstone of Life and Death.  I continued to customise these, but was disappointed to find unreplaceable Maxis eyes on all of these extra students.  They didn’t look so bad, but I avoided filming close ups of them.  Never the less, it’s still all a part of the learning curve and from this point on, I’ll be customising every sim that appears in the story.  I also had the problem of the “flashing blue” custom objects each time I loaded the lot, so I had the pleasure of rechanging the appearance of 9 or 10 students each time it loaded.

The walls were from Maxis, with childish cats and dogs bordering the tops, which I thought were simple and effective.  The teacher desk sat in the left hand corner, with phone and laptop ready for work.  There were also letters the children had gievn him for whatever reason.  And a fisk tank.  Perhaps they were learning about fish on the cirriculum.  Or responsibility.

There was an additional work area at the back of the classroom,

and a play area on the other side which featured some of the children’s paintings.

These were barely glimpsed in the video, but I still wanted it all there.  There were windows only down one side of the room, as I imaged it to be one classroom inside a block of four so there would be uncreated classrooms on either side, and a little hallway area to which they exited.  This is something I, er, forgot, when filming the children’s exit out of the door, but not something I was too worried about.  For my first chapter, and my first film, I was quite happy with the result.  That said, it wasn’t until Chapter 2 that I learnt some omore of the vital cheats required of film-making that would make the process of controling a bunch of sim children much easier – setaspiration, lockaspiration and motivedecay.  There I was using the maxmotives cheat constantly, trying to make the kids happy while they still complained about aspiring to talk and be friends with children across the other side of the room… but it all worked out in the end.  They even agreed to posing for photos at the end. 😛 Enjoy the class of 2B.

B to F, L to R: Riley, Andrew, Damion, Jack, Josh, Alec, Waylon.

Mr Briggs

B to F, L to R: Gabby, Sharlene, Kenya, Sharon, Natalie, Danielle, Kay, Kate.

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