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Theme Catchup2018 - posted on 1st May 2018 at 1:50 PM
Replies: 11 (Who?), Viewed: 1318 times.
Field Researcher
Original Poster
#1 Old 3rd Dec 2017 at 5:13 AM
Default Clothing too pixelated?
As I've mentioned in the Help area I'm having trouble with clothing looking too pixelated. I've done the GraphicsRules.sgr edits and tried importing into SimPE, but I'm still getting what I consider to be too much pixel noise. That pretty much leaves out the first clothing project I was working on until I can find a solution, but I honestly can't tell if my second project is up to par or not...

I'm trying some recolours of the H&M dudes' hoodies. They have pixel blur. However, the original also has pixel blur. Less than mine, but I've been staring at pixels too much these last couple of days. Do my recolours look acceptable, compared to the originals, or do I need to solve my blur-ination issues before I continue?
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The Great AntiJen
staff: moderator
#2 Old 3rd Dec 2017 at 11:23 AM
They do look somewhat blurry - how about you post one of your textures (and maybe the file too) and we could see if it's something about your set up that's causing the issue? Lovely colours.

Polgannon: Who Murdered Blaise Penhaligan?
(3rd ed. neighbourhood now available with corrections). Poll: http://strawpoll.me/6689876

Polls: length of neighbourhood play: http://www.strawpoll.me/10908815 & http://www.strawpoll.me/10908842

Thread for yakking about making TS2 stuff
Field Researcher
Original Poster
#3 Old 3rd Dec 2017 at 11:51 PM
Thank you very much, maxon. I've only done a few very basic recolours because of this jacked up pixelation thing -- I'd love to try at least a few more ideas, but I keep running up against this same brick wall... >_<

Okay, I'm attaching one of my recolours, the original for comparison, and my recolour's .package. Any light y'all can shed will be hugely, enormously appreciated.
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The Great AntiJen
staff: moderator
#4 Old 4th Dec 2017 at 10:42 AM
OK - I'll try and have a look at that today. I can see the definition is much better in your original textures.

Polgannon: Who Murdered Blaise Penhaligan?
(3rd ed. neighbourhood now available with corrections). Poll: http://strawpoll.me/6689876

Polls: length of neighbourhood play: http://www.strawpoll.me/10908815 & http://www.strawpoll.me/10908842

Thread for yakking about making TS2 stuff
Forum Resident
#5 Old 9th Dec 2017 at 5:34 AM
Assuming your textured versions are saved as .bmp files (since you're exporting the clothing from SimPE and not from the body shop), do you save them using the best depth quality? I found that saving these textures as 32-bit really brings out higher quality than the 24-bit.

Check out my profile for homes and community lots ready for download: My Homes and Stuff
The Great AntiJen
staff: moderator
#6 Old 9th Dec 2017 at 6:20 PM
@Liz - sorry I meant to post back sooner. I had a look at your texture and tried importing it and fiddling about in various ways myself and so on. I don't think there's anything you're doing wrong with it since I got similar, perhaps marginally better, results but that might just be my graphics card (which is pretty good). I think kamoodle's suggestion is a good one so maybe look into that?

Sorry I didn't post sooner - I tested it on Monday then got stuck into my work week and I tend to not come here so much mid-week and forget stuff that isn't about students and their problems.

Polgannon: Who Murdered Blaise Penhaligan?
(3rd ed. neighbourhood now available with corrections). Poll: http://strawpoll.me/6689876

Polls: length of neighbourhood play: http://www.strawpoll.me/10908815 & http://www.strawpoll.me/10908842

Thread for yakking about making TS2 stuff
Field Researcher
Original Poster
#7 Old 10th Dec 2017 at 1:45 AM Last edited by Liz : 20th Dec 2017 at 2:14 PM. Reason: continued efforts
Default Ten days later...
@kamoodle5 - I can't believe I never noticed that! I have been saving at 24, will give 32 a try and see if it helps.
@maxon - Please, no apologies needed at all, you're so generous to take the time, and I really appreciate it.

Thank you so much, both of you!


EDIT: Ten days later, other item off my to-do slate, and looking at these one more time. Saving at 32 might have made a small improvement, but the bigger improvement came from further editing. 1) I repainted the t-shirt, which was looking all crusty (and gave it more subtle shadows). The edge of the hoodie looked smoother w/ the darker shirt shadow, but I think the shirt looks much better without it. May add a bit more shadow in there again but not that chunky line of the original. 2) I edited the neckline of the alpha. Less of what is supposed to be "clothing shadow" but was instead just being "clothing bleed". That cleaned the neckline up substantially. Going to keep at this, no telling how long it'll end up taking, but I wanna say thanks again so much, @kamoodle5 and @maxon , for taking the time to help!
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Scholar
#8 Old 20th Dec 2017 at 7:10 AM
I may be able to provide some clues on how to eliminate the problem of textures appearing blurry, although the method I'm employing may be complicated, and you'll need to be comfortable using SimPE.

So, the problem is that whether the texture is crisp at 512x512, 1024x1024, 2048x2048, etc. the game will display the textures as if it were compressed. Even if you increase the bit amount, or use fewer colors, or avoid mixing certain colors (e.g. red and black don't mix well with the game's compression), the result may still look pixellated.

I've found a way to make the textures I use for a Superman uniform I've improved on to practically eliminate the pixellation that occurs from blending different colors or textures. Here's some examples circled:


In those circled examples, no pixellation. And some textures, such as the emblem and belt, have great detail when shown close up.

Clue #1 (Texture Non-Pixellation):
When you recolor clothing, there's a Material Definition (TXMT) resource in SimPE. When you click on that, check that you're in Plugin View. Then select the cMaterialDefiniton tab. In the Settings section, the Type listed is "SimSkin".

That is the typical type used for clothing, and mainly used to display the skin textures of the Sim (which are 1024x1024 pixels) when your clothing has an alpha channel. Using "SimSkin" helps to stretch your texture (or reduce it) to a 1024x1024 resolution to match the skin texture's size. By stretching or shrinking the size, my guess is that the game has to recompress the texture, which would result in more pixellation.

So, the solution I found to insure that the game doesn't touch the texture, and instead displays it from the same resolution that was uploaded in the Texture Image (TXTR), would be the following:

In the cMaterialDefiniton tab, then in the Settings section, change the Type to "SimStandardMaterial".

I found this out when recoloring a Maxis clothing for adult males, a tuxedo with cape. The cape used "SimStandardMaterial", instead of "SimSkin".

By doing this, you can insure that the only pixellation that would occur is due to the size of the texture being enlarged by zooming in, rather than pixellation due the game's compression mechanism.

The problem, however, is that if you use an alpha channel to display where the skin shows up (as you would usually do when recoloring clothing), the under layer is plain white (as if it's a blank canvas that needs to be filled with something). This brings me to the following clue.

Clue #2 (Use 2 TXMTs, 2 TXTRs, 2 Model Entries for GMDC):
To solve this issue of not displaying skin when using the alpha channel, I decided to omit alpha usage on the clothing texture. Instead, I created another TXTR, another TXMT, and a separate model entry in the Geometric Node (GMDC) so that it refers specifically to a Sim's skin.

So for example, TXTR #1 will be for the clothing, you can make it any size (let's say it's square at 2048x2048 pixels). In the GMDC, TXTR #1 is being used on the "body" entry under the cGeometryDataContainer --> Models (Faces=####, Vertices=####) section. As well, its material properties is defined by TXMT #1.

The solution I propose is to split the "body" mesh from the GMDC into two parts. One part is for clothing only, and other other part will display skin only. This will involve using a meshing program (e.g. MilkShape 3D, Blender, etc.) to split the mesh, and name them separately.

Let's say as an example "body" and "skin". After exporting the new mesh (using The Sims 2 UniMesh Exporter), then placing it into SimPE (by overwriting the GMDC resource), you'll have two model entries listed.

You'll need to go through different resources to account for the new model entry. This is the complex and difficult part.

You'll need to clone the resources for TXTR, TXMT. Then give them new names, fix their TGI. Then you have to add the "skin" model entry in the Shape (SHPE) resource's Content --> Parts list, along with the name of its TXMT.

Then in the Geometric Node (GMND) resource, click the Content tab. Find in the Blocklist some line related to "tsDesignModeEnabled", and click it. In the cExtension tab, then Items list, add the "skin" model by adding an "Array" from the drop-down list to the bottom-right, and giving it a name called "skin".

Then you have to added the TXMT of the "skin" in the list from the 3D ID Referencing File (3IDR) resource list. You'd have to find out the file properties of the new TXMT resource you made (e.g. values for File Type=49596978, SubType/Class ID=Instance (high), Group=Group, Instance=Instance), then add a line for Material Definition. Then move that new line to right below the existing Material Definition on the list (it's important to note the position of where each line from the list is located, and changes may be needed so the game to read the file from top to bottom properly).

Then you have to go to the Binary Index (BINX) resource, and change the stringsetidx (dtUInteger), binidx (dtUInteger), objectidx (dtUInteger) by adding 1 to created a hex number that is 1 high to account for the extra TXMT added in. For example, if the hex number is 0x00000007, adding 1 would make it 0x00000008. If the hex number is 0x00000009, adding 1 would make it 0x0000000A. Since the basis for hex numbers is 16 instead of 10 like our natural numbers system, insure you're not assuming 9 + 1 = 10.

THEN (it's not over yet), you have to go to the Property Set (GZPS) and add a set of 3 override lines. So, you might see override0shape (dtUInteger), override0subset (dtUInteger), override0resourcekeyidx (dtUInteger). You'll need to add 3 lines, name them the same way, except instead of 0, use 1. In override1shape (dtUInteger), put a value of 0. In override1subset (dtUInteger), the value is "skin". In override1resourcekeyidx (dtUInteger), put a value equal to 1 higher than the value found in the override0resourcekeyidx (dtUInteger).

After doing all this, you'll have the skin part and clothing part separated.

However, the PROBLEM with this complex/difficult method is that it assumes you can split the mesh into two parts cleanly. If you have a round neckline on the the shirt, and the current mesh is blocky without edges that follow that division between the skin and shirt, you'd have to edit the mesh to have that curved part. I have not found any other solution to avoid having to edit the mesh into two (or multiple) parts.
_______________________________________________________

I realize that this may be too much information to digest, due to the lack of images and heavy terminology usage of SimPE's features. I can try to compose a tutorial one day, but right now these are just notes from what I can recall.

Until someone can figure out how to turn off the game's insistence on recompressing the textures/being able to display more than just a 1024x1024 pixel resolution, I don't think there's gonna be an easy way to get the non-pixellated results you seek.

Check out "The Adventures of Superman" Digital Comic Books for fun with Superman in The Sims 2.
See what images I have posted on DeviantArt as well related to The Sims 2 and designs.
Check out My Website to see my superhero uniform creations for The Sims 2. THANKS!!!
The Great AntiJen
staff: moderator
#9 Old 20th Dec 2017 at 2:58 PM
That's fascinating @d_dgjdhh and I can see potential and possibilities there. As you say, a bit complex but really useful info. Can I suggest you post this in the tutorial section - or if you can't I could probably split the post and put it there for you?

Polgannon: Who Murdered Blaise Penhaligan?
(3rd ed. neighbourhood now available with corrections). Poll: http://strawpoll.me/6689876

Polls: length of neighbourhood play: http://www.strawpoll.me/10908815 & http://www.strawpoll.me/10908842

Thread for yakking about making TS2 stuff
Field Researcher
Original Poster
#10 Old 20th Dec 2017 at 11:52 PM
Wow. @d_dgjdhh I agree, that's an incredibly helpful and intriguing method, and I can't argue with your results -- the crisp details on Superman's costume are stunning! Unfortunately, while I'm comfortable enough with SimPE to follow Clue 1, I've never even touched a mesh. I've only just stepped up my game to tweaking light settings in TXMT. Sad that your great suggestions are beyond my reach, but I'm so grateful that you'd take the time and effort to offer such detailed help. Thank you very much! ^_^
Scholar
#11 Old 21st Dec 2017 at 12:30 AM
Thank you for the compliments. I think I'll write up a formal tutorial. That way, I can listed out the steps with pictures, and formally link the places I learned bits and pieces from. And once I do, hopefully it can be researched even more by others who could find better methods.

Check out "The Adventures of Superman" Digital Comic Books for fun with Superman in The Sims 2.
See what images I have posted on DeviantArt as well related to The Sims 2 and designs.
Check out My Website to see my superhero uniform creations for The Sims 2. THANKS!!!
Scholar
#12 Old 24th Dec 2017 at 9:29 PM Last edited by d_dgjdhh : 27th Dec 2017 at 5:58 AM.
I've transcribed the method on ModTheSims, located here:


*** I'd like my sticker, please ***

Check out "The Adventures of Superman" Digital Comic Books for fun with Superman in The Sims 2.
See what images I have posted on DeviantArt as well related to The Sims 2 and designs.
Check out My Website to see my superhero uniform creations for The Sims 2. THANKS!!!
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