Creating a waterfall in The Sims 3 can be a challenge, but the view they add to a property makes the time and effort well worthwhile.
First of all, I like to start with a level lot. Open the build menu and select the shovel icon/terrain tool. Level the entire lot, including the land beneath the mailbox and trashcan. If you choose, paint the lot with ground cover.
(I like to play with a waterfall that obeys the natural laws of gravity, i.e. water flows down, not to the side or up. At this point, I build a small pond, just to look at the water in motion. I make note of which direction the water’s current is flowing, in order to build the waterfall with that orientation in mind. I then delete the “test” pond and begin to create my actual waterfall.)
Next, open the raise terrain tool and use it to create your hummocks, hills and mountains. This is when you decide where you would like your waterfall to be placed, and the way in which the height of the lot will look in general during play.
Open the soften terrain tool and smooth out any sharp corners on your hills, try to make them look weather-worn and natural.
Now it’s time to add the water. Open the water tool and place a pond at the bottom of your hills. Think of real ponds. Try to avoid too many sharp corners.
The key is to make sure that wherever you decide to place the waterfall, the “base” of the waterfall is where the pond is the deepest.
Return to the build menu and purchase one or two columns. (I find that more than a couple of columns can be difficult to find and retrieve later.)
Simultaneously press and hold the Control, Shift, C keys to open the cheat menu and type: moveobjects on Pick up one of the columns and place it in the water at the “bottom” of the waterfall. The land will fall away to reveal water. Just remember: Always turn off the cheat code before exiting the lot.
You can also hold down the Alt key for more precise control during the positioning of your columns.
As the columns are placed, more water will appear to “cascade” down the slopes. Don’t worry if there is a bit of land exposed at the bottom of the waterfall. That can be camouflaged later.
Continue to place your columns until you have a waterfall you’re happy with.
Be patient. Don’t rush. Take the time to be “picky.”
Retrieve the columns and delete them.
Open the paint terrain tool and use it to paint the bottom of the pond, sides of the cliffs and the shoreline, if you wish.
The only thing the waterfall needs now is a bit of flora and other natural elements added. Open the landscaping/rocks tool and cover any jagged spikes at the base of the waterfall with rocks.
Using different sizes of rocks, and varying their rotation, hide the vertical terrain at the top of the waterfall.
Stack the rocks however you like, even overlap them.
Stagger their height, color, shape, and angle. Be creative and have some fun with it.
Zoom in often and make sure you don’t have any empty holes, if so, use more rocks to fill them in.
Add plants and flowers, if desired.
Perhaps a tree or two…
For an extra touch/Easter egg, only seen in build/buy mode, I open the buy menu and purchase a sprinkler or two. I then place them at the base of the waterfall, where the spray would normally occur in nature. (I suppose if you have a tinkering Sim to automate them prior to submersion, the sprinklers would go off on their own every night.)
Step 20 – Final
Now that your waterfall is complete, it’s time to turn off the cheat code. Simultaneously press and hold the Control, Shift, C keys and type: moveobjects off
Build your home or whatever you like on the lot at this point. When finishing off the property, be careful. I built a property called Kahana Falls. It was intended to have second story balconies reaching out over the waterfalls.
When I tried to extend those balconies out over the water, the waterfall, well, it back-flowed into the home and flooded the entire first story of the house. It was funny, but completely unplayable. On that note: SAVE. SAVE OFTEN. Overhanging balconies and such can be built. They just require advance planning. Build everything on the lot that you want (hills, pond, houses, etc.), saving your waterfall until last.
In closing, I wish you much enjoyment creating these lovely aquatic features!