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 How to Install & Use aWT's HQ Mod

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PostSubject: How to Install & Use aWT's HQ Mod   29/8/2012, 13:16


Hi everyone!

This is a quick run down of how the HQ Mod works, how it's installed, and how to use it once you have it in the right place.
It's slightly different to installing any other mod, which is why it can be confusing!

((This will be moved into the FAQ directory once I'm done organising it, for now it'll stay here))

So, here we go:

Explanation: What is the HQ Mod?

The 'mod' is better described as a 'Tool' or a 'Program' to be honest.

Put in very simple terms, it overwrites the file that controls how much texture detail the game can render - with it switched on, higher texture resolutions than the game normally handles are forced, and your graphics hardware pushes to display sim and texture detail much more sharply.

When the tool is switched off, the 'old' file comes back and your rendering will go back to normal.

That's pretty much the most simple way to explain how it actually works.

Warnings (please don't skip, all of this info is very important!)

This mod pushes your graphics hardware to work harder, which is going to increase the risk of heat damage.
Unless you have a graphics card with a dedicated fan or extra cooling, this mod is not recommended for every day game play.
Basically, this mod will absolutely batter your graphics hardware. Be careful.

Those of you with integrated graphics hardware (something like Intel HD graphics - or anything that is NOT a dedicated card) - I really would not recommend this mod at all. Your integrated graphics aren't even supposed to be able to run the game, never mind push for better display.
You'll do some serious damage, so just stay away.
(I can tell you from personal experience - machines with integrated graphics are NOT built for gaming and certainly will NOT be able to handle this.)

If you're not sure whether this mod is suitable, tell me your system specs and I'll tell you whether or not you can run it.
A good rule of thumb is that if your computer can handle high graphics settings in general, you're ok to use this mod.

With the mod installed, even with capable cards, you're increasing the risk of graphics glitches. Some textures may not display properly, and you might get some blurring of very low resolution textures (particularly on custom content items, where the low res textures aren't fixed, they're just being made even more noticeable by the mod).
Just be aware of that and don't complain when it happens, there's nothing you can do about it and it's nobody's fault.

The mod only works on LOD0 - which put simply, is the very closest camera distance setting in the game.
LOD stands for Level Of Detail, LOD zero is the closest distance and highest detail.
- Basically, you need to be really close to your sim to see a difference.

If it had been applied to all LODs, lets just say that unless your computer is kept frozen in a block of ice it would probably catch fire haha!

The mod will only work if you have your TEXTURE DETAIL graphics settings on HIGH
(those of you with computers that can't handle high graphics settings, this should be your indication that you can't use this mod.)

Set up Instructions:

Download the tool here
- after the adfly click 'skip ad' and you'll be taken to Sourceforge.
- click v1.0.0.0
- You need the second file in the list (s3hq v1.0.0.0.7z)

Save the file wherever you want (I just use my desktop or documents).
Extract the files - you're only going to need the actual application file, you can delete the others.

This is where this is different to installing a 'normal mod'

Ideally, it needs to go in your Game/Bin folder in Program Files.
It doesn't HAVE to go in there, you can run the tool from any location, this is just the location the original mod page gave.

So, for those of you who maybe already had it in there, or are just not sure of where to put it, you can use the Game/Bin folder explained below if you want to:

This location varies for those of you who installed directly via a disc, and those who installed a digital download.

For disc users on a 64 bit system (most common) it's C:\Program Files (x86) > Electronic Arts > The Sims 3 > Game > Bin

For download users, if you used Origin, it's C:\Program Files (x86) > Origin Games > The Sims 3 > Game > Bin

Similarly for other download users, it'll be in the folder of the download client.

I installed with Origin, so this is my Game/Bin folder:



Just shove it in there with all the other files.
You may need to give admin permission to add the file to the folder.

How to use it:

Run the application. You MUST run as administrator or it won't work.
(If you're not already set as admin, right click and choose 'run as administrator')

This is what the interface looks like:



Click the top button to turn on the mod.

The options shown in the picture are the highest possible settings.
You can adjust the slider lower if this resolution causes problems.

Click the button at the bottom to set the texture size limit, and that's it.
You'll get a message saying "Texture limit has been set successfully".

Close the tool and run the game. Zoom in on a sim to see the difference.

To turn it off, QUIT FIRST then just run the tool again, and click the big top button to turn it off.

Patching:

Because the mod has been made into a tool, it doesn't need updating with game patches.
When there's a new patch, just turn OFF the mod, then patch, then turn it back on. (bearing in mind it's not meant to be used for every day game play anyway)



This was taken with the mod switched on, so you can see what it does.
This is completely unedited. Nothing at all done to it, just cropped.



Tips to maximise effect:

- Stay zoomed in close. The closer you are, the better this is going to work.

This No Fade camera mod is very useful for getting in close.

- Work on your lighting. The HQ mod is amazing when you line up the lighting properly to maximise shadow and highlights.

- Because the mod increases the texture size limit, creators who understand this have begun to use bigger texture sizes to create their content

Things like facial custom content (eyes, make up etc) can be made with bigger texture sizes to maximise detail.

These items will look MUCH better with the HQ mod.

People like Elexis, Eternila (also at MTS), the creators at S-Club, Pralinesims, MissDaydreams
.... and more that I can't think of from the top of my head now (I'll add to the list as and when I remember)


I hope this is useful. I tried to be as simple but thorough as I could.

If there's anything that doesn't make sense, if you have more questions, or want me to check your hardware for compatibility with the mod, just let me know!

more love  more love


Last edited by isla87 on 29/8/2012, 17:48; edited 2 times in total
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PostSubject: Re: How to Install & Use aWT's HQ Mod   29/8/2012, 16:24

Fabulous tutorial Isla! more love Kim, flobo, Jorgha (i think) and I were discussing this mod a couple weekends ago. It really does make a difference! I took these shots to show them what the mod does. The main differences I see are to the makeup, eyelashes and eyebrows. There's so much more definition!

Before the mod


After the mod


I will add this though. I do not have this installed in my bin directory. It just sits on my desktop and I turn it on and off from there. The old mod was required to be put into the bin folder because it was just a file that replaced the Graphics Rules file (which is why it was recommended you make a backup). There was no turning it on/off. The new "no patch needed" mod automatically makes the changes to the GRF when you turn it on and off.
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PostSubject: Re: How to Install & Use aWT's HQ Mod   29/8/2012, 17:45

Thanks DV! It really does make everything so pretty Very Happy
.... I forgot to put in a 'before' picture doh

I didn't initially have it in the Game Bin either, but to save confusion, and just in case there were people reading the tutorial who had previously followed the instructions on the original mod download page to place it in there, I thought I'd just leave it. It's better to have uniform instructions than risk everyone doing different things and getting mixed up! Very Happy

I will adjust the guide to explain that it doesn't actually need to be in there if people would rather keep it somewhere else.

more love more love

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PostSubject: Re: How to Install & Use aWT's HQ Mod   30/8/2012, 01:19

thankyou This is so good Isla!!!! It did it so fast too! I know Glitt will be super happy this is up. I've tried to tell her how to do it before & how it was on my comp, but she didn't ever have enough time to work it out with her studies.

Thank you so much for explaining it so thoroughly! I will be sure to pass this link around now, because lots of people have said they've followed the steps on the site directly, but never got it to work.

you rock Your super, duper, in my book!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! cuddle luv u cuddle luv u






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PostSubject: Re: How to Install & Use aWT's HQ Mod   1/9/2012, 06:58

Thank you sooo much for putting this up!!!
it took me a very long time to learn how to use this properly thank you so much!!! Very Happy
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PostSubject: Re: How to Install & Use aWT's HQ Mod   1/9/2012, 08:48

thanks isla hunny, not sure i will use it though dont want my pc to burn more love more love more love


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PostSubject: Re: How to Install & Use aWT's HQ Mod   1/9/2012, 10:59

Thank for this info isla. i myself would not use it. i feel it's kind of cheating. making things look better than they real are. but then thats just how i feel about it. but it would be grate to use it for banners ect. :)
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PostSubject: Re: How to Install & Use aWT's HQ Mod   1/9/2012, 14:36

Aw, bummer. I can't run this mod. I have a Radeon HD graphics card. I do have an argument tho. My card is made for gaming, as it came with my pc. My pc is a gaming pc, built just for that and to handle most of the newer high graphic games. Still not taking any chances tho with this mod.
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PostSubject: Re: How to Install & Use aWT's HQ Mod   1/9/2012, 17:01

Thanks for the info.... I am thinking about it. Not sure if I want to risk graphic burnout though..... a new machine would cost me a fortune. (Although that would take one step closer to Alienware!)
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PostSubject: Re: How to Install & Use aWT's HQ Mod   3/9/2012, 01:13

@mamajanaynay - which Radeon HD are we talking here? Not all Radeon HD cards are integrated chips.
The only integrated Radeon HD's are the Xpress, x1200, x1250, x1270, 3200, 42xx, 6310/20, 'D' series (6370D,6410D,65xxD,7480D,75xxD,7660D)
Any other Radeon HD will be a dedicated card and will therefore be more capable of handling more demanding applications.

Any gaming PC will not have been built with an integrated chip. If you do have an integrated chip in a 'gaming computer' you've been seriously conned.
ANY sort of integrated chip is most definitely not built for gaming. That applies for all operating systems and all hardware! I really don't think you'll have an integrated chip in a pc built for gaming - give the mod a try! You'll be fine, haha! Very Happy

@Jack - that's why I don't use it while I'm taking screenshots of sims I'm going to upload. I always turn it off for things like that. Other screenshots for edits or just messing around I always have it on.

@Everyone
it might be worth looking up your graphics hardware in the MTS system requirements grid.
http://www.modthesims.info/wiki.php?title=Game_Help:TS3_System_Requirements
this is a really good grid to get an idea of how well you're supposed to be able to run the game with the hardware you have.
((Not necessarily anything to do with the HQ mod, just useful to look at!))


Maybe I've written this guide sounding a little too harsh - you're not going to burn up your machine or cause a huge amount of damage by having this installed and switched on every once in a while to take some screenshots, as long as you're not running an ancient system that's full of dust and overheats and crashes the second you switch it on or try to run the game.

Having the mod switched on will push your hardware to render more detail, and that is going to heat it up and make it work harder than usual, BUT if there's going to be damage, it'll damage come when you're running on a system that can't run the game with the texture detail setting on high in the first place, and when you're running with the mod switched on constantly while you're playing.
Heat damage doesn't happen instantly, it'll build up gradually. Once you notice things not working so well, it's pretty much irreversible - this is why integrated chips are such a huge problem. If you damage that, it's not like a dedicated, separate card that you can just remove and replace. You damage an integrated chip, and you'll have to replace your entire motherboard just to fix it. That's why I was so strong on the 'be really careful with integrated chips' thing.

((If you overheat to the point where it's crashing your game or turning off your computer, or you're getting graphics issues like missing textures, flashing, colouring or other rendering issues - quit, turn the mod off and don't use it again.))

I just had to be very very clear that it wasn't a good idea to run it on low spec systems. If you can run the game without crashing from overheating and without major graphics issues, try it, maybe lower the mod settings a little, but there's no reason why you can't try it and see how your system reacts.

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PostSubject: Re: How to Install & Use aWT's HQ Mod   3/9/2012, 01:17

Another thing that AWT also mentions is to "not be greedy". There is a texture size slider on the mod. If you're concerned about issues start with a lower setting and work your way up. Or do what I did and start at the highest end, pray your video card doesn't explode and boot up your game too funny
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PostSubject: Re: How to Install & Use aWT's HQ Mod   3/9/2012, 01:58

my graphics card is on the list. i have a GeForce GTX 550 Ti



the maybes are Pets, Showtime, Master Suite Stuff which i have.
and Katy Perry's Sweet Stuff and Diesel Stuff i don't have.

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PostSubject: Re: How to Install & Use aWT's HQ Mod   3/9/2012, 04:05

Isla- I looked up the type I have. You're right, it's not an integrated chip. But I'm still not going to install it, only because I'm cutting back on a lot of the mod's/CC that I use in my game. I'm down to only makeup (cuz the game produced suck), hair (again, cuz most of the game produced suck), a few clothing/accessories. I only have a couple slider hacks, got rid of a few of those too. Not that I need more memory (I have 7914 MB total available on my graphics,dedicated graphics memory is 2048 MB) my total RAM is 1745 GB (free). I have a Radeon HD 7770 graphics card. I just decided to do some "Fall cleaning". 8)
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PostSubject: Re: How to Install & Use aWT's HQ Mod   3/9/2012, 11:30

aaahaha DV that's exactly what I did! I do think everyone likes to cover their backs with this one and make sure warnings are clear, the last thing we want is people running the mod constantly on systems that can't handle it, burning out their GPU and coming back to complain xD
I watched my core temperatures very carefully while first running with the mod installed, there is a significant increase, but it's not to the point where I'm getting the fire extinguisher ready haha!
too funny I have my cooling plate now, so it doesn't make any difference at all.

Jack - I really wouldn't worry about it at all. That grid is just a guide, and the 'maybe's are just cards that have had some sort of issue reported with them running those expansions. I don't know how well researched it is, but I presume they've just marked them as maybe if there's been more than a handful of reports. It really depends on the rest of your system specs. Decent RAM and processor will make up for a graphics card that maybe isn't performing as well as it could be, which is why you're not having issues Very Happy

Mamajanaynay - haha! That's fair enough, but yeah, you'd be fine to run it if you wanted to give it a try. It's not like a normal mod that needs updating or anything like that, and it doesn't affect game loading speed like other 'mods' do. I really need to do some cleaning out haha! I have far too much CC!

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