View Full Version : Accessory recoloring tutorial with GIMP

1st Jun 2015, 7:54 AM
Hello, since i was asked to make an accessory recoloring tutorial by StephSim (http://modthesims.info/member.php?u=656562) - after all that time - it's finally here.
This is not a beginner tutorial - you need basic knowledge of recoloring. View all the needed programs and try basic recoloring on clothing/hair etc. - here (http://simswiki.info/wiki.php?title=Tutorials:Body_Shop_Recolouring_Tutorials)

This tutorial is not that different from clothing recoloring,but we're going to do an alpha recolor here,which is a bit harder than normal recolors.

Note: Most of the accessory meshes do not have bump-maps,so the texture has to be clear and sharp to look good in-game.

What you need:
Here I’ll cover tutorial with GIMP (http://www.gimp.org/) – it’s easy graphic program that I use and it’s free(my version is in bulgarian,but no worries,I'll translate). You need to download the Test_Acc_ByL.rar at the bottom of this thread and install it in your "Downloads" folder. In that rar you'll find - the mesh and plain recolor,that we'll use. And one last thing,since we are going to recolor a necklace mesh by me - find some nice necklace picture over the internet :)

Step 1 – Open Bodyshop
Start a new project(name it something simple) by finding the plain recolor in Accessories -> Glasses -> "test by Lidiqnata" recolor. Open GIMP(or your painting program) and find the package in "Projects" folder. Take a look at both files - the alpha and the texture packages. If this is your first time recoloring an alpha mesh,read carefully - if not just skip some of the steps. Open "frame~stdMatBaseTextureName_alpha" in the paint program.

Note: The black part is where the texture won't show. The white is where the texture will show on 100%. The more the white gets darker - the more the texture will fade - this effect is usually used to make ruffled alphas(on hair mostly). This works best on alpha mesh. So in our case - the grey means transparency.
Put on a new transparent layer, the necklace image you found. If it's too big - make it smaller,but after you do that - use "sharp option" to make the blurriness go away.

Step 2 – Edit the necklace
Since the alpha and the mesh itself show the necklace from above - we need to edit the metal parts(chains) to go around the black hole(where the sims's neck is). I use my ultra-super-duper-mega paint skills,by copy pasting parts around the hole :D You might be luckier and find suitable mesh.

Tip:Make sure the necklace is the only thing you have on the layer, no additional images/parts etc. I use multiple layers - if you find it easy,do it as me as well.

Do it until you go around the hole - use as much chains as possible to smooth the edges. Delete the unnecessary parts

Tip: I make one of the sides and then flip horizontal to ease my work

Step 3 – Edit the alpha
After you have finished with the texture and you're satisfied with it, merge all of the textures on one transparent layer. Make a copy of that layer and then select one of the layers and use option to fill the selection with pure white. Make the other texture layer not visible.

After this action - make the grey background layer - pure black,so the only thing that stays visible is the pure white part of the necklace.

Tip: This is the time where i put a slight shading on the alpha,to make the blending with the body smoother,this is not required,but why not try it out?
Copy the pure white layer and use "Gaussian blur" option in filters with 5,0px. Make that layer 30% visible
Copy the texture layer and paste it on the texture package. Save the alpha package.

Step 4 – Edit the texture package
Open the texture package and paste the texture you copied from the alpha package onto a new transparent layer.

Then paint the yellow(background layer) pure black and save. Refresh in Bodyshop and see how it looks.

My game has seasons installed,so my models will show in outwear and I cannot see the necklace clearly,but you'll get the idea. Rotate to see how it looks on all sides.

Voila! This is a pretty basic tutorial and will cover the parts where most of the accessories meshes have alpha layers.

Note: The texture works all the same for all ages/genders available on the mesh. This means that this necklace will show in Young adults,adults and elders females only.

Final tips on future recoloring:

Tip: When recoloring new meshes,make sure you test the texture and mesh before recoloring it. This way you'll easily see whether the mesh or texture has problems or map issues.
Tip: This tutorial covers recoloring using photos, so if you feel experienced enough - try painting your own textures.
Tip: Keep both Bodyshop and your textures/alphas open and just refresh in Bodyshop to see the changes. This will ease your work
Tip: Do not close/exit your work,until you're really satisfied with it - because any changes made on a later date(or after closing) can cause seams, mismatches,color differences and so on. Just save -> refresh and do not close your textures/alphas in the paint program.

Hopefully this tutorial will be useful to some of you :) Good luck!

10th Jun 2015, 5:09 PM
Brillant! It's great to have a tutorial specifically for creating accessories. And yes, this is definitely useful to me, as it takes a different approach. I shall download and add this link to my list of useful tutorials! Thanks Lidiqnata!