Author Topic: Photo values and appreciation  (Read 252 times)

Offline hazelnut

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Photo values and appreciation
« on: October 29, 2020, 03:42:06 PM »
When I was planning my recent Immortal Dynasty I looked around for a guide to photography similar to the SimsWiki article on painting and Chuckles_82's post about sculpture values.  I couldn't find any accurate information online, although there are a lot of myths: it varies in different people's games (something I believed for years, since I'd never seen an increase in value apart from the death bonus), panoramas don't appreciate but large portraits do, etc. etc.  So I decided to investigate for myself, looking into the coding and experimenting in-game.

Base value

Every photo has a base value given in the code.  @Ricalynn compiled them in a spreadsheet here.  All of the photos also have a 'scale' number but I can't find any reference to it elsewhere in the code.


Various multipliers are applied to the base value.
Size multiplier
  • Tiny (base-game phone): 0.2
  • Small portrait: 0.6
  • Smart phone (portrait or landscape): 0.75
  • Medium landscape: 1
  • Large portrait: 1.5
  • Panorama: 2.3
Filter multiplier
  • Colour: 1
  • Black and white: 1.1
  • Sepia: 1.25
  • Vignette: 1.4
Photography skill multiplier
  • Level 0: 0.3
  • Level 1: 0.3
  • Level 2: 0.4
  • Level 3: 0.5
  • Level 4: 0.8
  • Level 5: 1
  • Level 6: 1.1
  • Level 7: 1.25
  • Level 8: 1.45
  • Level 9: 1.5
  • Level 10: 2
Trait effects

The photographer's personality can also affect the value.  The obvious one is Photographer's Eye, with a multiplier of 1.25 but, according to the code, Hates the Outdoors adds 10 to the value of indoor subjects and Loves the Outdoors does the same for outdoor subjects.  Inappropriate gives a +10 boost to 'inappropriate subjects'.  From the names in the code, I think these would be 'Skinny Dipping' and 'Get a Room'.

I haven't tested any of these apart from Photographer's Eye.


Completing the Photog challenge multiplies all photo values by 1.25, while Architectural Eye doubles the value of photos of buildings.


All photos in the Travel collection have an additional multiplier of 1.1.

The last photo of a collection has another multiplier applied, assuming the game registers the collection as complete.  This is usually 1.25 but is 1.3 for Travel and 1.35 for Everyday Moments (although the code lists two photos in Everyday Moments that don't appear in the game, which may make it impossible to get that bonus).

Miscellaneous multipliers

A completely new subject is supposed to have a multiplier of 20, with 5 for a new subject that day.  Looking at the in-game values, I'm pretty sure that these must be modified somewhere else in the coding, since the effect isn't that large in practice – and a multiplier of 20 would give insanely high values.

There is also supposed to be a random multiplier of 1 to 3 and an experience factor of 5n, where n is the number of times that particular photo has been taken.  These are clearly copied across from the painting code and don't actually seem to apply to the final photo value, which is absolutely consistent when taken under the same conditions.


This is where things get really weird.  It took a lot of testing before I worked out what was going on and even longer to believe it.  There is no appreciation until the Sim reaches level 5 of photography but after that it depends on painting, not photography, skill.  This is presumably because a lot of the photography coding is taken from painting (photos are even referred to as paintings a few times) and someone forgot to change the wording.  Photos appreciate at 5x Simoleons per day, where x is the painting level.  This doubles after the artist's death.  As with paintings, there is a death bonus of §930.

Offline Deklitch

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Re: Photo values and appreciation
« Reply #1 on: October 29, 2020, 05:40:56 PM »
Thank you for this information, Hazlenut, very useful and appreciated. Interesting what you found out about painting and photography ... I wonder if some of the great painters of history would have been good as photographers and whether or not great photographers would have been good as painters. :)

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