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Instructor
Original Poster
#1 Old 9th Oct 2011 at 9:08 PM Last edited by grimreefer24601 : 15th Oct 2011 at 7:08 PM.
Default Grim’s Medieval Custom Clothing Tutorial
  1. Index
  2. Overview
  3. Setup Grim’s CAS Part Cloner
  4. Clone a CASP Clothing Object
  5. Create Blend Geometry
  6. Import into S3PE
  7. Edit a Thumbnail (optional)
  8. Edit a Texture (optional)
  9. Update the CASP Preset (necessary for texture changes)
  10. Edit Geometry (optional)
  11. Reserved for Advanced Geometry (optional)
  12. Reserved for CAS Presets (optional)
  13. Reserved Extra
  14. Reserved Extra
  15. Epilogue

Please pardon the multiple posts and the reserved space. This will help insure the overall planned structure for the tutorial, and should help make it easier to find what your looking for. Each number in the list corresponds with a post number.

Please do not reproduce this tutorial without permission.

This tutorial is a work in progress, so check back for updates.

Special thanks to WesHowe and BloomsBase for their help with GEOM files in MilkShape.

Change Log
October 15, 2011
Tested Blender, and it isn't working for TSM. Removed places where it's listed as an alternative.

October 9, 2011
Initial Release.
Download - please read all instructions before downloading any files!
File Type: zip GrimsCustomClothingTutorialFiles.zip (4.14 MB, 471 downloads) - View custom content
Description: This ZIP contains the final edited files from this tutorial.
File Type: zip GrimsCustomClothingTutorialPackage.zip (3.13 MB, 430 downloads) - View custom content
Description: This ZIP contains the final edited Package from this tutorial.
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Instructor
Original Poster
#2 Old 9th Oct 2011 at 9:09 PM Last edited by grimreefer24601 : 15th Oct 2011 at 7:00 PM.
Default Overview
Overview
This tutorial will show you how to clone a CAS clothing part with my CAS Part Cloner. It will then show how to reassemble the output files in S3PE. This will create a package file that can be added to the mods folder, which will give us an entirely new clothing object. Once we’ve covered the requirements of custom clothing, I will discuss how to make some different edits to Thumbnails, Textures, and Geometry, and how to bring those elements into S3PE.

The tutorial will convert this outfit for male monarchs

into this outfit

While I will go over how to do certain things in other programs, this tutorial is not meant to teach you how to use S3PE, MilkShape, Photoshop, or any of the additional programs used in this tutorial.

Parts of this tutorial are very advanced. Some of the parts may be skipped, and I will tell you when or if they can. Other of the more advanced parts I intend to add to the tool as I am able, so check back for updates on both the tool and this tutorial.

Software Used in this Tutorial
Grim’s CAS Part Cloner: Of course.

S3PE & velocitygrass‘s CASP Wrapper: We will use this to create our final package, and to edit our CASP presets.

Notepad++: I like the tools available in this free program, so I use it, but any text editor will work.

Photoshop & NVIDIA DDS Plugin: I’m using 7, but any version should do. Also note that any image editing software that supports DDS files will work, including GIMP, but the methods may differ slightly.

MilkShape 1.8.5 (Requires Registered Version ($35)): So far the best tool I’ve found for working with TSM geometry is MilkShape. There is a free trial version of the product, but unfortunately only the registered version allows use of the Q-Mesh importer and exporter. Blender GEOM plugins don't seem to work for TSM models, and it is also very limited with what it can do for TS3. Also note that a 3D modeling program is only needed if you wish to edit meshes.

MorphMaker: This neat program will create the Blend Geometry that the game actually uses. Even if the geometry isn’t changed these files need to be created. Also note that this program was created for TS3 so several of the features will not work for TSM.

HxD: Helpful in discovering bone names among other things.

Let's get started!
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Instructor
Original Poster
#3 Old 9th Oct 2011 at 9:09 PM Last edited by grimreefer24601 : 9th Oct 2011 at 9:37 PM.
Default Setup Grim’s CAS Part Cloner
Setup Grim’s CAS Part Cloner

Extract the Cloner
It doesn’t have any fancy install program yet. Simply extract to a folder and use.

Set the Install Directory for the Cloner
Using the CAS Part Cloner first requires making sure it knows where to find The Sims Medieval packages. By default it uses the directory C:/Program Files/Electronic Arts/The Sims Medieval. If this is not your actual install directory you will need to edit the options.cfg file in the Cloner folder.
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Instructor
Original Poster
#4 Old 9th Oct 2011 at 9:10 PM Last edited by grimreefer24601 : 9th Oct 2011 at 10:03 PM.
Default Clone a CASP Clothing Object
Clone a CASP Clothing Object

This process is very simple. Open the Cloner. Select the clothing object you would like to clone. For this tutorial select amBodyKingCapeSword. Enter a new name in the edit box, I will only be adding Tutorial to the name, making it amBodyKingCapeSwordTutorial. The name can be anything you want, but it may be easier to follow this tutorial if you use the same name as me.



Now click Clone. The Cloner will create a folder with several files needed to clone a CAS Part.



When you get a message stating the clone is created you can close the Cloner.



This is all the Cloner does at the moment, but more features will be added as I am able.
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Instructor
Original Poster
#5 Old 9th Oct 2011 at 9:10 PM Last edited by grimreefer24601 : 9th Oct 2011 at 10:11 PM.
Default Create Blend Geometry
Create Blend Geometry

TSM doesn’t really use the Geometry files we exported, it uses a compressed form of all the meshes known as a Blend Geometry. Because of the way the CAS Part exporter works at the moment, new Blend Geometry files need to be created for each new object.

This process is fairly simple with MorphMaker.

MorphMaker was designed for TS3 so many of it’s features don’t work. However, we can still use it to make BGEO (Blend Geometry) files for us.

Open MorphMaker. We need to make a new Blend Geometry file for each of the different morphs. It seems like only fat, fit, special, and thin are used, but I will describe elder as every other edit is the same, and it may be used eventually.

First we need to name our project. This is important because this is how the game finds our BGEOs. The name must be the same as the extracted Body Blend files. This is usually the new CASP name, an underscore, and the morph name. In this tutorial for elder it becomes, amBodyKingCapeSwordTutorial_elder. Place this in the project name box.

Click next on the Adult Male tab. Remember that TSM doesn’t have all the Age/Gender tags of TS3 when working with MorphMaker. You will see four sections in which you can add lod files. These files have been created for you, or edited by you. For this tutorial you are using a clothing object so we start importing in lod1. If you are working with a project that has a lod0 you should start there.



You’ll see the first three lods have three slots, and the fourth has only two. These slots are for objects with multiple meshes. Our current object has two meshes, so we need to use two slots for each lod. Begin with the first lod, lod1. Click the first Select File button and choose your ‘S3_015A1849_00000000_E554319759BB9B04_amBodyKingCapeSwordTutorial_LOD1_elder.simgeom’, then with the second Select File button choose ‘S3_015A1849_00000000_705E854838F862B1_amBodyKingCapeSwordTutorial_LOD1-2_elder.simgeom’. Repeat this process for lod2 and lod3.

When you have all of your LODs loaded click on the Clothing button. Note: If you are modding other parts you may need to use the Slider button.



Click on the arrow beside your project name to create an instance ID. Click Create BGEO, and tell it where to save the file. I create a Blend Geometry folder within my clone directory and save it there.

Tip: When you have your BGEO all set up in MorphMaker save the project file. That way if you decide to edit your meshes all you have to do to create the new blends open a project and click Create BGEO.

This process needs to be repeated for each of the six morphs.
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Instructor
Original Poster
#6 Old 9th Oct 2011 at 9:11 PM Last edited by grimreefer24601 : 9th Oct 2011 at 10:12 PM.
Default Import into S3PE
Import into S3PE Once all of the necessary files are created the process is simple to import them into S3PE.

Open S3PE and create a new package. I recommend adding a _KEY file before other files so that filenames will be retained. Right click and choose Import-From File…. Then select the CASP file from your clone directory. Make sure that Replace Duplicates, and Use Resource Name are both checked. Then click Import. You must also add every file from all the sub folders and the Blend Geometry files you created earlier. The files are named so each should import with the correct TGI into S3PE.

After all this you should be able to save your package to your mods folder, and use it in the game. At this point in the tutorial we get two identical clothing objects. It’s hard to know which one is ours, but we definitely added one.

This ends the part of the tutorial that is required for all cloned clothing. The rest of this tutorial goes over editing different parts.
Instructor
Original Poster
#7 Old 9th Oct 2011 at 9:12 PM Last edited by grimreefer24601 : 9th Oct 2011 at 10:19 PM.
Default Edit a Thumbnail (optional)
Edit a Thumbnail (optional)
This optional step changes the Thumbnail shown in CAS. We will simply be adding some text to one set of thumbnails, but any image changes can be made.

Look inside your cloned objects Thumbnails folder. You will see several PNG files. CAS seems to use only the largest Thumbnails. These will all be 256x256, and their filenames will all begin with S3_626F60CE.

Open up Photoshop (or your preferred image editor), and open all of the 256x256 PNG files. I will just be adding the text Tutorial to the top of my Thumbnails to make the new clothing easier to find in CAS.

Adding text in Photoshop creates a new layer, and this won’t work in our little PNG file. We have to collapse the layers into one layer, but we must make sure that the transparent areas remain transparent. In Photoshop the background should show the little gray squares, not plain white. If you select Layer->Flatten Image it will make the background opaque which is not what we want. Instead choose Layer->Merge Visible, and the transparency will stay. Merge the layers in all of the files, and save them, overwriting the original.



Now open the package we created before, and Import only the Thumbnails we edited. In the S3PE importer we can’t see the image size, remember the filenames will all also begin with S3_626F60CE. Save the package, and try it out. Now we can tell which object is the one we created. Although it seems my Tutorial texts is too big for CAS.

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Instructor
Original Poster
#8 Old 9th Oct 2011 at 9:12 PM Last edited by grimreefer24601 : 9th Oct 2011 at 10:35 PM.
Default Edit a Texture (optional)
Edit a Texture (optional)
If you want to edit a texture you will need to follow this part of the tutorial and the Update the CASP Preset section.

Look inside you Images directory. Inside are several DDS files. We will edit a couple of them, but first lets take a look at them, and what each of them does.

Open up Photoshop, and open all of the DDS files with it. Make sure to tell it to load default sizes, and to not load MIP Maps. Note: Photoshop will not open DDS file by default, you must download the NVIDIA DDS Plugin.

The filenames themselves contain data needed to import into S3PE, but the name is based off of the original name. The final portion of the name helps identify what the texture does, so it has been kept in the new filename.

Texture Types
So far I have seen six main texture types, but I think there are more. I’ll go over the ones I know, and add more as I find them. Note some of these seem similar to TS3 image types, but there are some deference’s.

_m (Multiplier):
The Multiplier seems multi functional. In the RGB portion of the file adds texture detail (wrinkles, folds, etc..), while the alpha channel masks out parts of the texture that the mesh can’t use. You can see in the image, the black and white sections are the texture detail, and the red sections are the alpha mask.



_mask (Pattern Mask):
This image controls recolorable parts of a mesh. Looking at the image you can see Red, Green, Blue, and Yellow areas.



If you open the channels tab you can see what is really going on. There are four channels Red, Blue, Green, and Alpha. Each of these channels maps to one of four recolorable areas.



Red being the first, and alpha the fourth. What about Yellow? Yellow is an area where Red and Green overlap. This adds an effect of blending areas together.

_o (Overlay):
The overlay image is one we will edit in this tutorial. This has the effect of adding static colors to the image. We will use this to change the color of the medallion on the cape, so keep it open.



_s (Clothing Secular):
Controls how shiny areas on a clothing object are.



_sta (Stencil A):
We will also edit the stencil in this tutorial. The stencil is the image of the lion applied to the front of this outfit. The stencil location is controlled by the alpha channel, and the stencil color seems to be controlled by the RGB colors.



Notice, when you show the alpha layer you can see the lion image in the stencil.



_t (Transparency?):
This has not been tested yet, but I believe this controls transparent sections of the textures. I will try to test this soon. The CASP used in this tutorial simply shows plain white with twelve black boxes in the lower right corner.

Editing Textures

I explained briefly the texture types I know of. Now we will actually edit a couple of them. Editing different textures is similar, so when you know how to do one it should be easy to figure out how to do another.

First we’ll start with the Overlay file. Find the file in your cloned Images directory that ends with _o.dds, and open it in Photoshop. You can see parts of this image are black and white, and parts of it are colored. This image will allow you to add static color to an object. For this tutorial we will change the color of the medallion in the image. Feel free to mess with other parts, but unexpected results may occur if you add a static color to recolorable areas. If you turn on the alpha channel you can see areas to avoid.

In Photoshop you can easily change the hue and saturation of an area of an image by selecting it, and choosing Image->Adjustments->Hue/Saturation. You can then move the sliders to make any color you choose.




Now we just need to save the file. Make sure the image is only on one layer by collapsing layers as necessary. Also, I get an error if I try to save a DDS with anything selected, so deselect everything. Click File->Save. A new dialog should show up for the DDS properties. Sorry my software isn’t getting a screen shot at the moment for this dialog. You need to select DXT5 ARGB 8 bpp | interpolated alpha from the drop down menu, and you must make sure Generate MIP Maps is selected. Click save.

Next we’re also going to edit the Stencil file in your Image folder with the name that ends in _sta.dds. This file is one of several possible Stencil’s, A-F.

The first thing to notice is in the alpha channel. Make it visible and you can see the lion image. First we will change this image, then we will change it’s color.

You’ll notice this image is similar to the overlay image. This is important because this image will align with the overlay image. When you show the alpha channel you can see where the image is placed, and what it looks like. White areas in the alpha channel are stenciled, and black areas are not. You can see this in the image.



I’m going to change the lion to a yinyang symbol. First I need to get rid of the lion. There are several ways to do this in Photoshop, but the easiest is to set the background color to black, make sure the alpha channel is selected, click Ctrl-A, and click Delete. Now the alpha channel should be completely black. It’s time to add our new symbol. For ease I’m going to use the yinyang symbol from the Wingdings font, [. Select the text tool, select the Wingdings font, make sure the font color is white, click inside the yellow box, and type ‘[‘. Now you can select the text and resize it or move it as you wish. When you’re happy with it move on.

Now I want to edit the stencil color. In the RGB channel select the yellow box. This is the color that will be used for the stencil. It must align correctly with the stencil. I’m filling mine with a multi-color gradient, but feel free to do as you wish. When you are ready make sure the image is on one layer, and nothing is selected. Save the file just as you saved the first one.



Once again open the package we created before, and Import only the Images we edited. Before you save the package we need to tell the CAS Presets to use our new textures, otherwise the defaults will still be used. Continue on to the next post Update the CASP Preset (necessary for texture changes) for detailed instructions.
Instructor
Original Poster
#9 Old 9th Oct 2011 at 9:13 PM Last edited by grimreefer24601 : 9th Oct 2011 at 10:39 PM.
Default Update the CASP Preset (necessary for texture changes)
Update the CASP Preset (necessary for texture changes)

If you’ve changed a texture, now is the time to update the presets with the new texture. Presets are the different styles for clothing objects you see in CAS.

This portion is advanced, and will probably be integrated into the tool.

We have to change a couple of references inside of the CASP. Don’t worry, the edit takes place in an XML like environment.

With your new package open in S3PE, select your CASP file and click on the Grid button. Under XmlEntries there are four sub items 0-3. These are the presets for the new cloned object. These files are very useful, and will probably be added to the tool, but for now we need to export them from S3PE to text files. If you click the plus sign beside each entry you will have an Import/Export/Edit… option. Click on this and select export. I add a folder called Presets in my clone folder and save them there as 0.txt-3.txt.

These preset files control many aspects of the preset CAS objects. For our edit however we only care about two entries in each file. We edited the Overlay and Stencil A textures. If you altered other textures the changes needed are similar. Also please look deeper into these files as they control a lot of things.

Open up your exported preset and search for Overlay. It will bring you to a section of text that looks like this, ‘<value key="Overlay" value="key:00B2D882:00000000:383892D281C29318" />‘. We need to change the ‘383892D281C29318’ to the id of our new overlay texture. If you look into the Images folder you can find our Overlay texture, ‘S3_00B2D882_00000000_CF515F4925AA07DE_amBodyKingCapeSwordTutorial_o.dds’. From looking at the filename, the ID we need is ‘CF515F4925AA07DE’. Simply replace ‘383892D281C29318’ with ‘CF515F4925AA07DE’.

The second example is similar. This time we edited Stencil A. If you search for ‘Stencil A’ it will bring you to a section of text that looks like this, ‘<value key="Stencil A" value="key:00B2D882:00000000:9084B44B768DF5C9" />‘. We need to change the ‘9084B44B768DF5C9’ to the id of our new stencil texture. If you look into the Images folder you can find our Stencil A texture, ‘S3_00B2D882_00000000_F075E270DCA08EB7_amBodyKingCapeSwordTutorial_sta.dds‘. From looking at the filename, the ID we need is ‘F075E270DCA08EB7’. Simply replace ‘9084B44B768DF5C9’ with ‘F075E270DCA08EB7’.

Save the file, and repeat the change on all other preset files.

Now the files changed need to be updated in the CASP. In S3PE select your CASP, and click on the Grid button. Once again go through the XmlEntries, but this time import the files you edited. Click Commit, and save your package.

Now that we have edited the Images, and updated the presets our new textures should work. Go ahead a give it a try.

Screenshots
Instructor
Original Poster
#10 Old 9th Oct 2011 at 9:14 PM Last edited by grimreefer24601 : 15th Oct 2011 at 7:06 PM.
Default Edit Geometry (optional)
Edit Geometry (optional)
In this step we’re going to change the clothing geometry slightly. We are going to make the cape longer. This object is more advanced, because the bones do need to be edited, however other objects do not need this step. I chose this object because of the problems I had working with it. I may add an easier object tutorial later.

Take a look inside your Geometry folder. You’ll see the Cloner has created three folders, lod1, lod2, and lod3. Actually if you tried cloning a face or hair part you will also have lod0. These are the meshes for the object, however TSM doesn’t really use any of these files except for the Base meshes in each folder. Morph meshes must be converted to work with the game. I guess we’re lucky that EA included them in the packages. In reality we need to create Body Blend files based off of these morph meshes, and these Body Blends are what the game actually uses. We have already gone over how to create Body Blends, and if you saved those projects updating them will be easy..

Open up MilkShape 1.8.5. Select File->Import->Q-Mesh Sims 3 GEOM Importer V0.16 - by Wesley Howe. In the Open File dialog navigate to your Geometry/lod1 folder. There should be several simgeom files.

I want to take a moment to go over these files. The names, besides the data for S3PE, give a clue as to what each file is for. Let’s use this “S3_015A1849_00000000_A9731D353F509F39_amBodyKingCapeSwordTutorial_LOD1-2_fat.simgeom” as an example.

S3_015A1849_00000000_A9731D353F509F39_: S3 means Sims 3, the 015A1849 is the type of GEOM, the 00000000 is the group, and the A9731D353F509F39 the instance id. This text is used to help S3PE import the files correctly and should only be changed by advanced modders.

amBodyKingCapeSwordTutorial: This is simply the new name of the object.

LOD or lod: These correspond to Level of Detail. Basically, in TSM the closer to an object you are the more detail an object has. The lower the level the higher the detail. LOD0 is the highest detail and LOD3 is the lowest detail. In this case you also see some LOD’s with two numbers, this means this object uses two meshes. It’s actually possible to have three meshes on all but LOD3. The name scheme changes here.

If the name is a base mesh it is labeled lod1, lod1_1, and lod1_2.

If it is a morph mesh it will be labeled lod1_(morph title), lod1-2_(morph title), and lod1-3_(morph title).

There are six morph states, but it seems the game only uses four. The used four are fat, fit, special (pregnant), and thin. The other two are elder and teen, but seem unused.

We need to load the base meshes before we can load any of the morphs associated with it.

So, if we look at the filenames we see that this object has two base meshes, S3_015A1849_00000000_2372D6C769E3D665_amBodyKingCapeSwordTutorial_lod1.simgeom, and S3_015A1849_00000000_7A016B9CA9631D71_amBodyKingCapeSwordTutorial_lod1_1.simgeom. Let’s start by loading S3_015A1849_00000000_2372D6C769E3D665_amBodyKingCapeSwordTutorial_lod1.simgeom.




What happened?

Well, the importer first says it can’t find the skeleton file, so it loads the default Sims 3 skeleton. Then it says it can’t find several bones listed within the mesh. Most of the time this is fine, but I can guarantee with this model it won’t work. In fact, if we export this model right now without changing anything, this is how it will look in the game.



You can clearly see the Cape is messed up, but if you look closely you will see that the Sword, Tassels, and Knees are missing.

What’s going on here? Let’s see if we can figure it out. In MilkShape, click on the Joints tab, and Click on a button called SelUnAssigned. This selects all the vertices that aren‘t assigned to any bone.



Looking at the image we can see it’s only certain sections that are affected. These are the Sword, the Cape, the Tassels, and the Knees. Look familiar? Basically, any vertices which aren’t assigned to a bone seem to get messed up. We need to fix this to make the mesh look correct.

Advanced Section
I advise you to try other models out without using this section. If you find that there are errors in your geometry, and several bones are missing follow these steps.

We can shut up the importer by adding the skeleton to the geometry lod folders. Open S3PE and open the The Sims Medieval\GameData\Shared\Packages\SASFullBuild2.package. To make this easier on us we need to sort by Name then Tag by clicking on the tab titles. Scroll down to the BONE tags and look for amBodyKingCapeSword (or whatever file you’re cloning). In this instance you’ll see three files. amBodyKingCapeSword_LOD1Shape-morph-skin_0xc34142450b573e73, amBodyKingCapeSword_LOD2Shape-morph-skin_0x85ea584628e79474, and
amBodyKingCapeSword_LOD3Shape-morph-skin.

Since our edit will only be for lod1that is the only file we need, but it is best to extract the other files to their lod folder.

Select amBodyKingCapeSword_LOD1Shape-morph-skin_0xc34142450b573e73. The filename tells us it’s for lod1. Right click it, select Export->To File, and save it without renaming it to your lod1 folder. You can repeat this process to extract the other two lod skeletons to their appropriate lod folder.

Let’s try importing our model again.



What? Didn’t we fix this? If not then why did I just waste your time? Believe me, there is a reason for it.

When the importer loads the skeleton it uses the file we extracted to move and resize bones in the default skeleton. It does not actually load our skeleton. This is a limitation of the importer that I may try to fix later, but for now it must be bypassed.

So, why did we extract it? For two reasons.

First, if the mesh has significant size differences (ie a Child mesh) the adult default skeleton will cause size problems.

The second reason is we can open the bone file in a hex editor and try to make some sense of it. It’s possible to re-add the bone, and re-assign vertices to it. The importer only gives us hex id’s. The exporter can work with these hex values, but what vertices go to the missing bones?

We can use a program called HxD, and then Notepad++ (or other text editor) to make some sense of it.

Open your lod1 .skcon file with HxD. It should look like this. S3PE will allow you to look at the hex version of this file, but doesn’t allow selecting only the output. In HxD, on the left you see the hexadecimal view of the file. On the right you see a pseudo translated version of the file. Actually, it looks weirder because its Unicode.



Scroll down until the right side of the screen looks like junk again. This somewhat readable section is the bone names. With HxD, we can select the somewhat readable text on the right side, copy it, and paste it into Notepad++ where with a few tricks we’ll have a list of bones for the original file. From the last somewhat readable section, including the final underscore ‘_’, select up to the beginning of the file to the very first ‘b’. Copy the text output, and paste it into a new Notepad++ document. Then under Search->Replace…, put ‘.’ in Find What, and delete everything in Replace With. The click Replace All. It should give you a message about replacing the instances. Next, in the Replace dialog put ‘b__’ (two underscores) in Find What, and ‘\nb__’ (two underscores) in the Replace With box. Make sure the Search Mode is set to Extended (\n,\r,\t,\0,\x…), and click Replace All. Afterwards your text file should look like this



You can see more of the bone names clearly. Now we can make an educated guess to replace the missing bones.

Looking at the unassigned vertices in MilkShape we can see it’s only certain sections that are affected. These are the Sword, the Cape, the Tassels, and the Knees. Well, lets look at the bone list we just made, and see if we can guess which bones these vertices should be assigned to. b__L_Sword, b__R_Sword, b__R_Cape, and b__L_Cape stand out to me. In fact if you fnv32 hash these names you will see that they are some of the missing bones. We could find all the bones, but I think we can do alright with just these.

Alright, before we add any bone we should load S3_015A1849_00000000_7A016B9CA9631D71_amBodyKingCapeSwordTutorial_lod1_1.simgeom. This is the second mesh for this object. If we load it after adding the bone we’ll get errors, so we load it before.

It’s also a good idea to give each group a descriptive name. Click on the groups tab. Beside the Rename button is an edit box. Type a new name for each of the base models. I will name the first mesh Base1 and the second mesh Base2.

Under the Model tab click the Joint button to select the joint creation tool. Then click three times in the view port to create three new joints. Click again on the joint tool to deselect it.

Open the Joints tab. You should have three new joints, joint122, joint123, and joint124. To fix our model we only need three of the missing bones, and some creativity.

Select joint122. In the box beside the Rename button we will type ‘b__L_Sword’ and click Rename. The other two joints we will rename ‘b__R_Cape’, and ‘b__L_Cape’.

Now we’ve added the bones we need, but we need to re-assign the vertices to them. Select only the sword vertices. I find it easiest to click SelUnAssigned under the Joints tab, then with the Select tool from the Model tab I Shift-Right-Drag away any unwanted vertices. When you have only the Sword selected, select ‘b__L_Sword’ on the joints tab and click assign. Repeat the process with the left and right side of the cape to their respective cape bones.

We also have to set the knees, which I chose to add to the thigh bone, and the tassels, which can be added to the sword bone. When all the vertices have found a bone we are ready to continue. At this point after fixing the bones the model will once again look correct in the game.

Editing the Geometry
Wow, all this, and we haven’t changed anything! I assure you, I use this as a teaching device only, most meshes shouldn’t be this complicated.

Ok, so we have our base meshes loaded, and we have fixed the bone issue. Now we need to load our morphs. These are all those files that end with _fat, _fit, _special, etc… We need to load all of the morphs for the first base mesh. Then in order to load the second meshes morphs we need to move the second base mesh to the top of the Groups list. Once it’s there we can load all of the second base morphs. We should continue the name pattern. I’m naming my morphs Base1_fat, Base1_fit, Base2_special, Base2_thin, etc….

Once we have all the morphs loaded we can make our edit. In this tutorial I only lengthened the cape, and made it slightly wider. This is a simple process with the move and scale tools. As long as you don’t add or remove any polygons you should be safe to do as you please.

After making your edit you must export the files back to their GEOM files. Select File->Export->Q-Mesh Sims 3 GEOM Exporter V0.16 - by Wesley Howe. It will give you a warning. Click ok. You will be asked if you want to export each individual file. These however have to be done in different groups depending on which base model is used. To export Base1 morphs, the Base1 mesh must be first in the list, and to export Base2 morphs, the Base2 mesh must be first in the list. While editing the cape we have only modified the Base1 mesh morphs so it is the only one that needs to be exported. If you modified Base2 morphs you will need to export those also.

Export the files over their original files. Now we need to update the Blend Geometry. The process is the same as before, but if you saved each morph project you should be able to just load each project and click Create BGEO.

Now Import your GEOMs and BGEOs S3PE and save. If everything was done correctly you will get something that looks like this.

Screenshots
Attached Images
 
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#11 Old 9th Oct 2011 at 9:15 PM
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#12 Old 9th Oct 2011 at 9:16 PM
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#13 Old 9th Oct 2011 at 9:16 PM
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#14 Old 9th Oct 2011 at 9:18 PM
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#15 Old 9th Oct 2011 at 9:19 PM Last edited by grimreefer24601 : 9th Oct 2011 at 10:52 PM.
Default Epilogue
Epilogue
We’ve come a long way to get here. I’m sure the hours I’ve spent writing this tutorial will equal the hours you spend trying to understand it all. I have tried to provide enough information to get you going on your own projects.

I am planning already to add a couple of optional posts to this tutorial. The first will be about Advanced Geometry (Adding Polygons, UV maps, and such), the second will probably go over CAS presets in detail. The last two reserved are uncertain, perhaps a basic meshing section (because I know the current one is pretty complicated), or a Pattern section.

Following this post, this thread is open for clothing modding questions. Please keep bug reports and feature requests in the CAS Part Cloner thread.
Scholar
#16 Old 10th Oct 2011 at 12:22 PM
Firstly, thank you so much for all the effort you have put into this, and considering the amount of time you must have poured into this, thank you does not seem enough.
I don't have milkshape yet, since it sounds like it needs paid for, I'm working on fitting it in to my budget, but I've followed the parts for retexturing, (more to see if I could get it to show in game than a serious effort for my first attempt.)



For anyone who wants to give this a go but who might be put off by terms they don't fully understand this tutorial is wonderfully written and simple enough to follow even with a limited grasp of some of the terms used, so I urge everyone who might be interested to give it a go.

And since this space was for questions, I have one of those also
On the consort's outfit, the solid colored leg bothers me. It doesn't look like anything has been done to the leg mesh, so to get rid of it, and have the leg bare, does the color just need to be deleted to have the transparent background in it's place? Is this enough to have it show the skintone instead, or is it more involved than that?
Sorry my question isn't of a higher technical standard, I just really, really wanted to let you know how much your work on this is appreciated.
I will probably inundate you with questions after I get milkshape.
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Original Poster
#17 Old 11th Oct 2011 at 4:17 AM
Why is your consort wounded?

The model seems to be amBodyWoundedPajamas. With a color change. Did you do this?

"Sorry my question isn't of a higher technical standard"
Actually, this question is about something I'll have to look in deeper.

Quote from Sims 3:CTU Guide Designing
"The base texture--sometimes called the multiplier---maps out what parts of the mesh are used (via the alpha layer) and it adds texture (wrinkles and folds) to the CAS part."

In some models the alpha channel in this file which will end in _m.dds will be transparent in place where skin is shown. However this seems to only be for certain things, and this particular model uses a default multiplier.

My part cloner only actually exports two textures from this model. An _s and an _o. If you look at the _o with the alpha channel shown it looks like this



Now if we take a look at the amBody _o with the same alpha we can see that the areas of the model which show skin are those in the alpha channel.



I will have to test it, but I believe just editing the alpha channel in the _o file can make the bandages transparent.
Screenshots
Scholar
#18 Old 11th Oct 2011 at 2:26 PM
Ah lol no, this was my first go at getting something to show in the game. I figured this one wouldn't have that many files to deal with. The guy is the one I normally use as Monarch.
Yes the color change is mine. I think he suits the outfit, and it annoys me you can't change the color of this in game. It's not a serious attempt at recoloring, I just wanted to see if I could get it to show, I do plan to do something properly with the 'wounded pajama' though, and this morning I was wondering what I could do with the bandages on the feet, never thought to remove them *face palm* so thank you for that =)
Sorry it was the outfit the consort wears I was asking about, can't remember what it's called off the top of my head, bandita's *something*, but your instructions for the bandaged one should cover my question on the consorts leg too.

I'm so glad my question wasn't too silly =)
And thank you for your reply.

Oh love the longer cloak from your tutorial, it looks so much better than the original.
Scholar
#19 Old 11th Oct 2011 at 10:36 PM Last edited by ChickieTeeta : 11th Oct 2011 at 10:36 PM. Reason: update
Quote:
Originally Posted by grimreefer24601
I will have to test it, but I believe just editing the alpha channel in the _o file can make the bandages transparent.


Well I don't know what to say lol. I removed the bandages and got this in game (see screenshot) I have nothing in game that looks like this, the outline of the bandages I understand, but the mental hair on one leg I'm at a loss to explain. I use tummyza's overlay but that looks nothing like this.

Update
I removed tummyza's Hairy male skin overlay and tried again, and the leg now looks fine. So I opened up Tummyzas file in SimPE and can see by looking at the bottom left hand corner of the skintones where the problem with the mental hair lies. I'll say no more, if you have the file I'm sure you'll look for yourself.

I don't really want to go back to 'plastic' guys, so I may just edit tummyza's overlay for personal use, but I think most people play with this file in which opens up another problem....unless you can see a way round it?
I'm sure there must be something I've missed that will fix this.

(Oh the shadow of the bandage isn't as bad with the overlay removed either, there's just faint silvery outlines where the bandage should be, which could just be parts I missed)
Screenshots
Instructor
Original Poster
#20 Old 12th Oct 2011 at 1:35 AM Last edited by grimreefer24601 : 12th Oct 2011 at 6:29 AM.
Well, ChickieTeeta, I don't think it has to do with the "thing" at the lower left of the image, but you should still see if editing it may help . Honestly, by looking at the image it's clear that the bandages are only partially removed, so it must lie within an image that contains bandages.

Truely, it seems there is more to transparency than meets the eye. I wrote this tutorial to help get the ball rolling, but I'd be lying if I said I knew everything about modding every part. That said, I love a challenge, so I'll be trying to figure out exactly how this all works. I know right now parts of my tutorial aren't exactly accurate, but they're close enough to get people going in the right direction.

I encourage you to do what I'm doing, which is looking through info on TS3. Most of this stuff is the same. I know from looking at some threads there that transparency may depend on multiple textures, but this doesn't seem the case with your wounded mesh (however, I wonder if the default multiplier may be the issue). Can you post the alpha edit you made? Perhaps it's something with that.

Otherwise I'll let you know when I've figured out more.
Scholar
#21 Old 12th Oct 2011 at 4:13 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by grimreefer24601
Well, ChickieTeeta, I don't think it has to do with the "thing" at the lower left of the image, but you should still see if editing it may help . Honestly, by looking at the image it's clear that the bandages are only partially removed, so it must lie within an image that contains bandages.


Well I edited just the tummyza skin tone that my monarch uses and it did fix the problem (see screenshot).
On the skintones I left unmodified, the hair and, indeed part of the ......'texturing' can still be seen. If you take another look at the odd picture I included in my previous post you'll see what I mean...it's definitely there. Don't know if I should remove the pic now that I can see it?

I've looked at the nude skin tones and what counts as the bottom of the leg in terms of retexturing is at the bottom of the leg, not off to the sides as this bandaged one is.
So the hair on the bottom of the legs in tummyza's files would have to be cloned over to the sides to make this consistent with the nude skin, don't know how easy it'll be to match up but I'll give it a try, and that'll only work for any clothing modification assuming all the clothing alphas have their parts consistently in the same place, which I don't think they do.

So it seems the nude files don't match up with the clothing files. Most noticable on tummyza's, but even the original game skintone is more plastic looking than usual with the bottom of the leg showing since it's a flat color (no texturing or shading) where the corresponding part of the clothing lies, which you can see if you take another look at the nude alpha you posted.

I also layered the rogue outfit for guys over the nude alpha, and the hand and arm on the right match perfectly with the nude, but the hand on the left doesn't, it falls over an untextured part, also the top of the trousers are down by the feet, whereas the bandaged one is matched perfectly with the nude one, which helps prove parts aren't consistently in the same place, so editing tummyza's file any further is probably a waste of time since it may only be useful for this one edited clothing.
I agree there is more involved to transparency than just removing any offending article of clothing.

I think the outlines of the bandages are probably bits I missed, the rest looks like it belongs to the arm bandages though, I'll (hopefully) take another look when I get in tonight, and if they're still there after my attempt I'll post the alpha.
I'll also try to look round at the TS3 tutorials before the end of the week and see what they have to say about transparency etc.
Screenshots
Scholar
#22 Old 12th Oct 2011 at 10:30 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by ChickieTeeta
I think the outlines of the bandages are probably bits I missed, the rest looks like it belongs to the arm bandages though, I'll (hopefully) take another look when I get in tonight, and if they're still there after my attempt I'll post the alpha.
I'll also try to look round at the TS3 tutorials before the end of the week and see what they have to say about transparency etc.


I removed anything to do with bandages in the end, arm ones and all, and the outline is still there.
Would you like me to upload the dds file (_o)?
Instructor
Original Poster
#23 Old 13th Oct 2011 at 1:15 AM
It does seem that the transparency lies either within that _o file, or in the uv mapping of the mesh. Take a look at this image from MilkShape.



This is after assigning the _o texture to the mesh. The mesh includes all areas of the arms and legs, but when the texture is applied parts dissappear.

I am still trying to figure out uv mapping with MilkShape (I wish I could use 3DSMax).

However, since the models vertices aren't arranged in the shape of the bandages, I don't think it has anything to do with texture coordinates, so I believe the solution must be in that texture. It may be helpful if you upload your modified _o.dds.
Screenshots
Lab Assistant
#24 Old 13th Oct 2011 at 2:56 AM
Great tutorial Grim.

You mentioned that Blender can also be used for the mesh editing. Have you worked with v. 2.59? I haven't been able to find a way to import/export simgeom files.
Scholar
#25 Old 13th Oct 2011 at 12:55 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by grimreefer24601
However, since the models vertices aren't arranged in the shape of the bandages, I don't think it has anything to do with texture coordinates, so I believe the solution must be in that texture. It may be helpful if you upload your modified _o.dds.


I don't know if it's worth mentioning....I use psp7 and can't view dds directly in it.
I use a converter to change the dds file to a png, edit it and reconvert it to dds.
Maybe the problem has something to do with that?
The dds is in the rar, and I've included the png too, just incase.
Download - please read all instructions before downloading any files!
File Type: rar ForGrimDDS+Png.rar (1.07 MB, 41 downloads) - View custom content
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