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Picked upload! TS4 Skininator - update 6/23/2020

by CmarNYC Posted 8th Dec 2015 at 11:19 PM - Updated 23rd Jun 2020 at 10:34 PM by CmarNYC : New version upload
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Picked Upload! This is a picked upload! It showcases some of the best talent and creativity available on MTS and in the community.
The TS4 skintone system has a lot of potential, and I've been working on a tool to make it easier to work with, similar to Skininator for TS3.

Definition of Terms: (These are the terms I'm using - they're not 'official'.)
TONE : A game file which defines a skintone. It links to the color images, the overlays, and contains various settings.
Skintone : The skin you click on in CAS, which is defined by a TONE file.
Body details : A texture with shading, contouring, and details such as muscles and belly buttons. (Yes, I know there's a separate 'skin details' in CAS. Couldn't think of a better term.) There are separate textures for each age/gender/bodytype.
Skin color image : A texture which applies color and some shading composited with the skin details. There is one skin color texture which is applied to all age/genders.
Overlay : A texture which is layered on top of the skin details and skin color. The ages and genders it applies to can be specified.
Burn Mask: (New with 6/2019 patch) An overlay giving burned skin pale areas around the eyes, neck, etc. Does not look good with dark skins.

Tool Overview:

Create/Edit Custom Skin Colors
  • Cloning Tool : Clones game skintones and creates a package with the TONE files.
  • Clone Package Editor : Open and modify cloned packages.
    • TONE Manager : Add/Delete TONEs, modify flags defining the type and usage, modify the swatch color and various other settings, import and export the skin color images.
    • Overlay Manager : Add/Delete overlays, define which ages/genders each overlay applies to, import and export overlay images.
    • Previewer : Preview skintones.
    • Manage Flags for All : Add or remove property flags/tags for all skintones in a package.
Create/Edit Default Replacement Skin Details
  • Make New Default Replacement Package : Select which skin details you want to replace and clone them to a new package.
  • Edit/Test Default Replacement Package : Import/Export textures and preview the skin details.
Notes: (Please read these!!!)
  • While the preview is reasonably accurate for game skintones, if you modify the overlaid color - especially if you increase the saturation level beyond 40 or so - you probably will not get the same color in-game. If you go over around 100-150 for the overlaid color saturation, you're likely to get weird effects in the game that don't show up in the previewer. EA uses some compositing method I don't understand and can't completely duplicate despite a lot of effort. CAS and the game are the only true test.
  • If it seems like there's a million body skin details textures, that's because THERE ARE. There's a separate texture for every age and every body type. For many purposes you're better off using an overlay. As far as I know there can be only one set of body skin detail textures, no non-defaults.
  • Speaking of overlays, only one will be used for each age/gender.
  • Speaking again of overlays, since the 6/2019 Island Living patch overlays look terrible on dark skins. It's probably best to avoid them for dark skin colors unless/until EA fixes it.
  • There are two skin color textures; one (a DDS image) is used in CAS and the other (an RLE2 image) in the game. You should import a single uncompressed DDS or a PNG and the program will make a copy and convert it to RLE2 for you.
Moar notes:
  • Randomization: Skins are chosen randomly based on the archetypes defined in their flags. The more archetypes a skin has, the more often it gets chosen. If it has no archetypes it will get chosen randomly only if there are no other skins that do have archetypes. The game skins for humans all have archetypes; the game skins for aliens don't have any. Edit: The latest version of the skin TONE resource includes tuning, which appears to determine for which sims a skin gets randomized. Example: skins with 'Human' tuning are randomized for human sims, with 'Vampire' tuning are randomized for vampire sims, etc. Skins with 'Fantasy' tuning don't seem to get randomized at all.
  • The 'Occult' flag(s) determines if a skin shows up for humans, aliens, vampires, etc. Future occult types will probably have their own skins too. A skin must have an Occult / Human tag to show up for humans, an Occult / Alien tag to show up for aliens, an Occult / Mermaid tag for mermaids, etc.
I've also attached a set of templates showing how the body is mapped to the textures.

Face textures: There are about a billion of them and I haven't even tried to identify them and include them in the tool. I've uploaded two packages with all the face textures I could find, so anyone wanting to work with them can use that as a starting point.

Extract the attached zip, open the folder, and run TS4Skininator.exe. Please report any problems/suggestions/comments about the tool here. Please post problems and questions about creating specific content in the TS4 / Create / CAS Parts forum.


Additional Credits:
With thanks to Peter and Inge Jones, Kuree, and everyone else who's contributed to s4pi and s4pe, and to Snaitf for figuring out how to make non-default skintones.

Skininator uses the s4pi library for image and package handling. The latest s4pi source code can be found here:

The latest s4pe download which includes the image and package dlls used in Skininator can be found here:

Updated 6/23/2020, version
-- Now supports HQ textures and overlays.
-- Now runs in 64-bit.
-- Will correct for missing mipmaps.

Notes: I had to modify some of the DDS file code because HQ textures were causing out of memory errors. It seems to be working reliably now but please report problems. Since this is kind of beta-ish I'm leaving the previous version up for now.

Updated Property Tags, 12/15/2019
The property tags definition file has been updated to support Witches. Download "TS4 PropertyTags" and extract to the folder where your TS4Skininator files are located, overwriting the old version. Then run Skininator as usual. If you're using version you do NOT need this file.

Updated 7/9/2019, version
-- Many changes to support tanning and burning.
----- There are now three sets of skin textures for the normal, tanned, and burned states.
----- Burn masks are optional but can be imported for all three sets. EA only uses them for the burned state in lighter skins. They appear not to be used at all in the normal skin state.
----- I've removed the ability to import separate CAS textures and game textures since there are so many textures to deal with now and I don't know of any skintone creator actually using that feature.
----- The new burn mask multiplier magnifies the effect of a burn mask.
-- Changes to property tags and tuning can now be applied from the main skintone editor tab.
-- Property tags updated.
-- This is sort of an interim version - I probably missed some bugs and the preview needs work.

Updated 8/6/2018, version
Added ability to import/export PNG image files.
'Manage Flags for All' is now 'Manage Properties for Selected / Update Version':
-- Property tags can now be changed for selected skintones instead of all
-- All skintones in the package can be updated to the latest version, enabling the Randomization Tuning. The conversion code will make an educated guess of which tuning to select based on property tags.
Updated properties/tags.

Updated the body UV templates to include toddlers.

Updated 11/6/2017, version
Bugfix for program exit when unable to find game package files.
Some fiddling with preview skin color which probably won't make any visible difference.
Updated properties/tags.

Updated 6/27/2017, version
Bugfix for errors when editing old format skintones. Again I didn't test adequately, sigh.
Added proper scaling for different screen resolutions, so hopefully this will help with appearance and resizing issues.
Updated properties/tags.

Updated 3/22/2017, version
Updated for new version of TONE file. I'm not sure when the new version happened, but I probably didn't test adequately after the February patch, so apologies.
The new TONE format links to a data resource that's identified as skintone tuning. I don't see that it makes any difference but have included changing it as an option in Skininator. (Edit - the tuning seems to determine which if any sim type can get the skintone randomly.)

Updated 2/9/2017, version
Sorry this took so long - RL travel, family commitments, and illness.
Added full support for toddlers.
Will now recognize the Occult / Vampire tag so skins can be enabled for vampires.

Updated 11/30/16, version
New feature: A new "Manage Flags for All" tab has been added to the Clone Package Editor in the "Create/Edit Custom Skin Colors" tab. This new function allows you to add or remove property flags/tags from all the skintones in a package.

Updated 9/3/16, version
Updated for compatibility with male chest overlays, which seem to have been implemented in a patch sometime in July or August.
Bugfix: The program will now export textures with mipmaps intact.
New feature: In the "Create/Edit Default Replacement Skin Details" tab there's now an added "Convert Outdated Package to New Instance IDs" tab. This will convert a pre-June patch default replacement skin to work with the current game.

Updated 6/28/16, version
This update is to make the program compatible with the June game patch, which made some changes to the skin details textures:
-- The male and female adult instance IDs have changed and are updated in the program.
-- The new female breast overlay images are now included.
-- Note that the adult females do NOT have breast overlays. Teen, YA, and Elders do.
-- Note that the old male adult textures for the muscle/bony/fat/thin morphs are being overlaid by the new textures. They show through faintly but I dropped them from the program since there's already a million billion textures to deal with and I don't think they're visible enough to matter.

Updated 1/31/16, version
Fixed bug causing new content clones to replace game skin textures.
Moved property tags to external files which can be easily updated without making a new version of the program.

Updated 12/12/15, version
Fixed overlay manager to update the overlay list when changes are committed. Added selection of ages teen to elder to previewer.

Download files

Filename Size Downloads Date | Source code, not needed to use program

Size: 3.88 MB · Downloads: 707 · 23rd Jun 2020
3.88 MB 707 23rd Jun 2020 | Unzip and run TS4Skininator.exe

Size: 4.74 MB · Downloads: 2,411 · 23rd Jun 2020
4.74 MB 2,411 23rd Jun 2020
TS4 PropertyTags | Download and install ONLY if you're using version

Size: 31.3 KB · Downloads: 2,015 · 15th Dec 2019
31.3 KB 2,015 15th Dec 2019 | Source code, not needed to use program

Size: 155.4 KB · Downloads: 1,134 · 9th Jul 2019
155.4 KB 1,134 9th Jul 2019 | Source code, not needed to use program

Size: 3.87 MB · Downloads: 1,230 · 9th Jul 2019
3.87 MB 1,230 9th Jul 2019 | Unzip and run TS4Skininator.exe

Size: 4.69 MB · Downloads: 5,338 · 9th Jul 2019
4.69 MB 5,338 9th Jul 2019

Size: 2.23 MB · Downloads: 4,728 · 18th Jun 2018
2.23 MB 4,728 18th Jun 2018 | Face texture images

Size: 14.06 MB · Downloads: 12,436 · 8th Dec 2015
14.06 MB 12,436 8th Dec 2015

Key: - File was updated after upload was posted
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Expansion/Stuff packs required:
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Operating System: Windows
Utility Type: CC Editors
Plugin Type: Not Applicable

Tags: #custom, #default, #replacement, #skin, #skintone