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Quick and dirty trick to reduce contrast on textures for Sims 3
Why reduce contrast? Because DDS compression (DXT1 – DXT3 – DXT5) absolutely sucks when compressing pixels that go from near black / white to neutral gray:
It might look like no big deal on a 3D editor but once in the game these artifacts and other DDS-attributed defects (like ringing) can be easy to detect.
So besides modifying the lighting, material, UV size and baking settings inside Blender you can easily just use an image editor that allows modifying levels using curves (in my case PaintNet). Just be careful because, as you can see below, reducing contrast also washes away detail, a small adjustment is enough: