View Full Version : Body Overlay Tattoo Tutorial

14th Jul 2007, 4:52 AM
Tutorial updated July 15, 2007. Numenor figured out how to get around using the Maxis global group for the TXTR & TXMT files, which simplifies things immesnsly. I have rewritten the tutorial to eflect these changes. Please, also download the updated package files.

Making your own Body Overlays

What you’ll need to make your own versions. You must have Seasons. The primitive that is needed for this didn’t exist until Pets & the sunburn overlays that this is based on didn’t come until Seasons. It simply can’t work with earlier expansions.

1) SimPe. Get the latest version here (http://sims.ambertation.de/)
2) A good paint program that does layers & transparency
3) A working knowledge of SimPe!


If you simply want to change the textures for your own personal game, then all you have to do is open up MoraguesTattooSkins.package in SimPe & replace the existing textures with your textures. Be sure you use Build DTX.

The rest of this document is intended for creators & as such, will not go into a great deal of detail because you shouldn’t attempt this if you are not comfortable with SimPe.


You will need to clone both of my package files to use as your template. All I require is that you give me credit when you make clones, no posting at the exchange & preferably not at pay sites.

If you are interested in how the files link together, I recommend this thread (http://www.modthesims2.com/showthread.php?t=208775) by Wes.

It is necessary to use the Maxis global Collection group 0x4F184AA9 for the collection you will create. You need to be check this against existing Maxis instance numbers to make sure there are no duplicates. I have attached a spreadsheet with all of the currently existing collecting numbers in it to make this easy to check. Provided you follow the instructions, then chances of a duplicate is extremely unlikely.

The Skins Package

1) Grab a sheet of paper & write down the existing instance numbers for the material Definitions & what they represent. For example ufbody is currently instance number 0xFFB8585A


2) Replace my textures with your textures. Use Build DTX & preferably use DTX5


3) Rename my textures with your distinctive name & my Material Definitions with your names. Textures use a dash in the name while material definitions use the underscore.. I would suggest just changing the part of the names that comes after the dash or underscore. You must do Fix TGI on every single TXTR & TXMT. Don’t forget to Commit.

4) Now, rename the property sets & the texture overlay (XTOL) with your distinctive name


5) Edit each 3IDR so it points to your Material Definition rather than mine. Grab your sheet of paper & note your new instance numbers beside the old instance numbers. Please note – you are replacing the last Material Definition line which is the fourth line. Don’t change anything else in here. The easiest way to do this is to drag your Material Reference down & then delete mine. Make sure you commit!


6) Click on each Property set. You need to generate a long hash value for the Family string. Make it distinctive – like Moragues First Body tattoo skins 07072007, then click the GUID button. Copy that GUID into the Family (dtString). Use the same number for all of the body Property Sets, generate a new one for the hair & another one for the face. So, you need to generate 3 Family strings. The reason you are doing this is so the sims age transition with the correct tattoos.


7) Select the Text List, then change the string from “Moragues Tattoo Overlay 07072007” to your name, description and date. Commit & copy this string to the Clipboard


8) Now you need to generate a hash value for the Collection Use SimPe’s Hash Generator to generate a number. Paste from the Clipboard & SimPe will generate the hash value. Click on CRC 32 then copy that number. Switch to Resource View & paste it into the Collection Instance Number. Commit.

9) Find the 3IDR that corresponds to the Collection – it’s group number is 0x4F184AA9 – change it’s instance number to the same Instance Number as the Collection. Commit.


10) Now check to make sure this is not a duplicate Collection number! If it is, you need a different hash. Use the spreadsheet – it has all of the collections listed in it.

11) Back to the Text List. Change all of the text strings to your text strings. Keep the order here the same – just change the stuff after the underscore. Commit!


12) Edit each 3IDR & change the Collection Instance number to your collection instance number. Don’t forget to commit each time.


13) Copy/write down the Collection’s Instance number & save your file!

Provided that you did not add or delete any entries, everything should work without any other changes.

The Object Package

1) Open up your clone of MoraguesTattooObject, then click on the BCON. You need to change the numbers here to show your Collection’s instance number. Split your number in half – the second half goes in line 0 & the first half goes in line 1. Commit


2) Change the Catalog Description, the Object Data & the Name Reference to your liking.

3) Edit the Pie menu Strings to change the text to show that it’s your tattoo. I simply named mine Morague’s Tattoo however, if you are going to create several you’ll need to be more descriptive because there isn’t any way for people to choose these other than by the text description! There simply isn’t any way to choose overlays in the game. Provide pictures so people will know what the tattoos look like.


4) Get your own GUID if you are going to release this..


5) Save your package.

That’s it – now test it out to make sure it works J Don’t forget to check your Collection’s instance number!

You can add extra tattoos to your object. Clone your “skins” package & repeat all of the above steps relating to the skins package. Add the new collection number to the BCON as I have done. Edit you Pie Menu strings. If you are adding a third set, you’ll have to make a new BHAV for it – just clone an existing one & change the BCON numbers that get called.


Ps – I have posted a Collections spreadsheet that has all currently existing collections listed.

14th Jul 2007, 5:06 AM
Looks great Morague! Moving it to the Tutorials forum so it can have a "thanks" button...

14th Jul 2007, 5:05 AM
LOL - thank you :)

I can't wait to see what people do with this! BTW - how to I fix the text so it fits in the screen? I don;t know why it seems to just keep going & going...

14th Jul 2007, 6:03 AM
It looks fine to me, but if you're running at a lower resolution it might be an issue. The text will wrap to the width of the widest image you've got in your post, so if it's an issue for you, you can try shrinking some of your images slightly.

17th Jul 2007, 4:02 PM
Great work Morague! I was looking for such a tutorial and thought I'd look under your name and there it was. Just trying to get my head around where everything links up so I can manipulate my own objects :D

17th Jul 2007, 10:07 PM
is there a way to do this with a single file?

18th Jul 2007, 8:21 AM
I'm not sure that it will work as a single file, although it might, I didn't try it because one is an actual object & the other is the skins.

23rd Jul 2007, 12:40 AM
This is great... I actually sat down today to make some tattoos for my sims and noticed this... Dunno if I'll be patient enough to work through the tutorial, though. I don't think I've ever used SimPE on an object before but there's a first for everything I suppose. We'll try it out and see where I get with it.

24th Jul 2007, 12:16 AM
So, probably a dumb question, but if we have the anatomy bits, do we need to make a second object for custom skintones? Or would it just be easier to add relevant texture bits to the female skins?

24th Jul 2007, 7:01 PM
It's a long time I'm waiting for it !!!


24th Jul 2007, 11:03 PM

The easiest way is to just make the custom skin tones as you normally would but without the anatomy bits & the apply the bits to the sim. The skin doesn't need to be an overlay.

25th Jul 2007, 12:46 AM
Well, the reason I asked it I have a single custom skin right now - it did the fuzzy bits, but the chest was still barbie. I thought it was because that part was based on skin tone, while the other is on hair colour.

I'm guessing I'm confused?

2nd Aug 2007, 6:40 AM
Reyn, i have yet to try this new mod..but it seems if you have custom skins then once it finds them the bits will change to match as closely as possibly. I admit I could be extremely wrong but this is the only solution i can think of to your question.

6th Aug 2007, 5:41 AM
Hey, I've thanked you in the other threads, but I thought I would put my questions here. I am definitely going to be making some tattoo overlays, starting with the maxis tattoos. Thanks again for your wonderful mod!

Now my new questions. I have made 5 overlay packages, but cannot figure out how to "clone" the existing BHAV's, as you mentioned in the tutorial, to include the three new ones. I have never worked with BHAV's before, so, although I know how to add a new resource, and change it to a BHAV, the rest looks greek to me! If you could point me in the right direction with a link, or give me some brief instructions, I would really appreciate it!

15th Aug 2007, 1:24 PM

Just right click on one of the existing BHAVs & choose clone. Then change it's instance number (they have to all be different). Just have a look at the package I did with the 2 sets of tattoos in there & basically just duplicate what I did as far as the BHAVs go.

I am sorry I have been realy busy these past few weeks. I will ty & write up something more specific as soon as i can!

16th Aug 2007, 8:25 AM
That's alright, I completely understand. I have just finished a big final project, and am gearing up for the new semester of school. So I am not really working on this for a few days, at least. But I have had problems with my original packages not working yet, so I won't be worrying about this step, yet. If you could help with my non-working objects, maybe take a peek at my thread in the Object Repair Center. Thanks!
Edit: I am finally finished. Everything works! Thanks for your help. :giggler:

3rd Nov 2007, 8:25 AM
Would it be possible to link the overlays with clothes type? How?

Since Seasons came out I have been annoyed by the fact that most of the outerwear doesn't have cloves. At least in my part of world snow is cold, but my sims (and apparently EA and most sims creators) seem to make snowmen with their bare hands all the time.

(Yeah, I know that I could modify all textures (and all meshes) that I have, but I'm not really that annoyed. :) )

8th Apr 2008, 7:45 PM
FreeTime feedback:

The tattoo overlay is saved while the game is still running but when you exit the game and launch it again the tattoo overlay isn't loaded.

Well I think the problem is 0xffffffff group number used by 3IDR from the 0x00000011 to 0x0000001A instance numbers, so I replace the group number by 0x4F184AA9 and the instance numbers from 0x539BC250 to 0x539BC259 (0x539BC24F +0x1 to +0xA the 10 entries from Text lists STR#).

I adjust the group and instance numbers of the linked BINX.

Now when I load the game the tattoo overlay is still applied, so I can keep on my tattoo chair mod project.

If you want to see what I've done, see the skin 1 package below.

10th Apr 2008, 9:45 AM
Hello Kabuto,

Thank you for letting me know about this. I will have a look at it next week (once tax season is finished). I am just going by memory here but I believe the reason I didn't use the maxis group numbers was to avoid conflicts with maxis content. However I will look at this again & see - perhaps the chace is very small - maybe worth the risk.

12th Apr 2008, 4:25 PM
Morague with anatomy bits is it necessary to keep all the textures and stuff or it is okay to delete them along with the property sets, 3idr, etc? Like is done with custom accessories to get rid of excessive age groups.

For example I want to create a set of hair for females, but don't want to create the male hair since Crammyboy's mod and others have hair, nor do I want to have the upper parts (don't know if we can still say the other thing here still or not, but you know what I mean), since most of my custom skintones and default replacements already have them. Is it alright to get rid of all the stuff pertaining to male parts and female tops, or is it absolutely necessary to have some of the textures in there even if they're not used and are just blank textures?

I'm just thinking it'll be far less confusing with the stuff I don't want to edit gone since I intend to make a few more texture packs for females to allow for more hair variety but it's a headache trying to figure out what's what when I only really want to be working with 5 textures.

14th Apr 2008, 4:20 AM
Hello thomas,

It should be ok to delete the parts you do not need. I put all of them in to be thorough - it is must easier to delete the stuff you don't need than it is to add stuff you want but isn't there :)

2nd May 2008, 3:36 AM
Hello Kabuto,

Finally I have had a chance to look into this. LOL - what you did was go back to the way I had the packages when they were first released. Numenor discovered a way to prevent the conflicts with Maxis stuff, so I changed everything & re-released them. I know what you did works - it's how I had them to start with, but, the consensus was that due to the possibility of conflicting with Maxis stuff it was determined that I should change the packaged to only use the custom group, not the Maxis group.

I think I will take a deeper look into this. I know the chance of conflict is fairly low, but now that a few more EPs have been released I think I can judge this better. It would be better to have them remain as permanent rather than having to reapply them, but I need to satisfy myself that the chance of conflict really is as low as I think it is. I really don't want to cause harm to anyone's game. Additionally I wanted to add the tan feature :)

2nd May 2008, 8:50 AM
Hi Morague,

I understand and I will try to see if the 0x1c050000 as group number will works.

12th May 2008, 3:09 PM
Finally it's the same problem when I use 0x1c050000 as group number, the game isn't able to reload the applied tattoo !

18th Jul 2008, 5:31 AM
I appear to be having some difficulty getting the tattoo overlay to work,
I followed the directions, but I must have messed something up along the way.

Darth Maul's Tattoo Overlay (http://freya.modthesims2.com/getfile.php?file=787601)

13th Aug 2008, 4:31 PM
I've got another problem about the tattoo overlay,

Each time you install a new EP, SP or patch, the sims are reset and lose their tattoos !

So body overlay needs further research !

J. M. Pescado
14th Aug 2008, 1:18 PM
It works fine for me, and I've been using this since the idea was first batted around. However, some of the old directions are flawed and create an effect that doesn't stick. Also, removing the files from your game without first de-overlaying the affected sims can crash.

25th Aug 2008, 4:44 AM
I'm trying to render the tattoo that came with the Maxis hidden green trench coat. I completed the design in Body Shop:


and then followed the instructions in the tutorial to make it a true tattoo. I've had some success: "My" tattoo overlay object shows up in the game, and the pie menu works, except for the four "Remove/ ...Siren's tattoo" options in the pie menu, only one of which works.

But my real problem is that when I try to add my tattoo, I get Morague's tattoos instead (male 2, to be specific). Could you tell me what I did wrong to get that result? I'm baffled.

Also, I was wondering if it's possible to make tattoos applicable to children, toddlers, and perhaps even (gasp) babies. I'm thinking yes for children and toddlers at least, since children can sunburn (I think) and toddlers can be Plant Sims. But I thought I should ask before I attempt it. I'm going for a birthmark kind of thing, but it's passed down through several generations of the family in question, and it would be an absolute pain to try to edit it into all those skin tones instead. So right now, the tattoo looks like a simpler option.


P.S. I've attached the most recent version of my files, if anyone wants to poke around in them.

P.S.S. Is there any way to import alpha channels besides the standard "Import Alpha Channels" option? Because I've noticed my alphas get edited when I import them this way. The change is slight, but any deviation from the original bothers me. Is there any way to bypass this auto-editing? Thanks again, guys!

13th Dec 2008, 6:30 PM
Hi Morague.

I was just following HystericalParoxysm's tutorial for simming real life people and have successfully created my first custom skintone :) . Then I remembered that the person I'm trying to Sim has a couple of tattoos. I've decided that it would be better to not have them as part of the skintone, since I don't want the tattoos to be genetic, rather it does indeed make more sense to create them as a removable accessory that can be worn with other accessories at the same time. Is this the same thing as your tutorial here? Are "body overlay"s and "accessories" the same?

I'm afraid I don't really understand all the SimPE stuff that you've written above, I just want to know how to do this in my graphics program. What files do I copy/export from body shop, and step-by-step how do I create a tattoo in a graphics program? Like HystericalParoxysm's step-by-step how to create a real life person's face/skin in a graphics program? What do I need to know?

13th Dec 2008, 7:01 PM
Recently, Morague has updated the "Real Body Overlay" mod, it's under testing phase but if all is good, this tutorial will be totally updated in order to explain this new body overlay.

So please wait !


21st Dec 2008, 7:31 AM

I am fairly certain you could add tattoos to the children & probably toddlers. All you need to do is find the correct TXMT for the overlays, then locate the corresponding GZPS & all of the 3IDR & their BINX files. The only problem is actually finding the 3IDR & BINX files as there isn't any way to locate them other than looking through the globalcatbin.bundle packages to find the right ones. I nearly went battly getting the adult, elder & teen ones which is why I decided that was enough. It took almost a week to locate them. Start with the TXMT & GZPS then load up the globalcatbin.bundle package & have a lot of patience. Start with M&G & work your way backwards through the releases until you find the right ones.

28th Jun 2009, 1:39 PM
I keep on working on my tattoo chair project.

I understand what you changed in the dec2008 version, you've remplaced the local group ID (0xFFFFFFFF) by a global unique group ID (for example 0x5F4F9CE2) for all files excluded the COL and the collection 3IDR.

Each tattoos got its own group ID.

1st Oct 2010, 9:11 AM
great work.http://greenrent.de/smileynormal.ico

15th Jan 2011, 2:02 PM
Would it be possible if someone could make more tattoo's for example: stars, marilyn monroe, mum, i love my girlfriend, chinese symbols, peace symbol things like that.

8th May 2011, 6:30 PM
I just want to make some tattoo's for personal use. But can you describe what place in the texture goes to which bodypart?

8th May 2011, 7:54 PM
I just want to make some tattoo's for personal use. But can you describe what place in the texture goes to which bodypart?

Looking at the UV maps helps a lot with placement. Use the naked one to determine where to put your tattoos. You can find the basic UV maps already extracted for you here (http://www.modthesims.info/showthread.php?t=214890).

8th May 2011, 8:21 PM
So I guess I compare this file UV-afbodynaked with the existing textures in the package MoraguesTattooSkins.package?

23rd Aug 2013, 8:58 AM
This tutorial is very explicit, it's difficult to do something better.

Thank to Morague, I did my own tattoos.

20th Sep 2013, 10:42 PM
Well...unfortunately, in terms of complexity, this type of project is a doozy. I've written my own tutorial (http://rikkulidea.livejournal.com/69169.html) on the matter, which may or may not be easier to comprehend and follow, but, outside of some enterprising modder writing a tool specifically to construct overlay boxes, you will be spending ages in SimPE to construct one of these properly. This is not where I'd suggest someone wet their feet with SimPE. To get familiar with basic usage, it's much better to try something simpler, like geneticizing and/or townifying skins and eyes.