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Testers Wanted: Color Binning Tool

by Theo Posted 28th Apr 2006 at 7:14 PM - Updated 27th Nov 2013 at 10:20 PM by Nysha
216 Comments / replies (Who?) - 24 Feedback Posts
This is a featured upload! It showcases the best talent and creativity available on MTS and in the community.
Color Binning Tool

The color binning tool is a custom plugin for SimPE 0.63+

Its purpose is to change custom hair packages so that custom hair recolors appear in the standard color bins.

It was designed to be easy to use: on each standard color tab, you can load a hair package file; after you load the four packages into their respective bins, you can save the result.

There is no need to edit any PropertySet, as the binning logic is already done for you.

More information and some tutorials can be found in the plugin's website:

- Extract the file theos.gbct.plugin.dll
- Copy it into SimPE's Plugins folder, which in a default installation is at C:\Program Files\SimPE\Plugins
- Run SimPE and verify that you have a menu item named "Color Binning Tool" under SimPE's Tools menu.

Basic Usage
After the plugin is installed, start SimPE.

On the Tools menu, click on the "Color Binning Tool" item, and the plugin's main window should appear. Initially, the "Black" color tab is selected by default.

Use the "Package" menu or the context menu to load a package file into the selected tab. Repeat this process for the other tabs (Brown, Blond and Red).

You can select which age groups you wish to keep or remove on each color tab. You must pay special attention to the fact that a properly binned hair should have only one elder (grey) recolor, so you must choose carefully one elder recolor out of the four available.

On most cases you can ignore the Grey and Custom tabs, so you may proceed to review the package options (available in the menu Package->Options), and finally save the resulting package files.

I would like to thank to everyone that contributed to this project, and in particular to Motoki, for giving the momentum that started this project; Pinhead, whose invaluable knowledge put the code right on track again; and of course all the folks at MATY that were willing to test the plugin on its early stages.
Operating System:
      Windows: Windows XP, Windows Vista, Windows 7, etc
Utility Type:
      CC Editors: Tools for modifying .package files, sims*pack files, and resources contained within those files.
Plugin Type:
      SimPE: Plugins for SimPE

You must have the expansion or stuff packs listed below installed to use this custom content. Please see the post text for any exceptions.

Key: - File was updated after upload was posted
Filename - Tip: You can click the magnifying glass to see the archive contents Size Downloads Date

Size: 39.9 KB · Downloads: 12,681 · 27th Dec 2007
39.9 KB 12,681 27th Dec 2007
Don't forget to Thank the creator after downloading! Use the Thanks button located above the screenshots above.
Basic Download and Install Instructions:

1. Download: Click the download link to save the .rar or .zip file(s) to your computer.

2. Extract the zip, rar, or 7z file.

3. Place in Downloads Folder: Cut and paste the .package file(s) into your Downloads folder:
  • Origin (Ultimate Collection): Users\(Current User Account)\Documents\EA Games\The Sims™ 2 Ultimate Collection\Downloads\
  • Non-Origin, Windows Vista/7/8/10: Users\(Current User Account)\Documents\EA Games\The Sims 2\Downloads\
  • Non-Origin, Windows XP: Documents and Settings\(Current User Account)\My Documents\EA Games\The Sims 2\Downloads\
  • Mac: Users\(Current User Account)\Documents\EA Games\The Sims 2\Downloads
  • Mac x64: /Library/Containers/com.aspyr.sims2.appstore/Data/Library/Application Support/Aspyr/The Sims 2/Downloads
Need more information?
216 Comments / Replies (Who?) - 198 Feedback Posts, 7 Thanks Posts
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Test Subject
Original Poster
#101 Old 19th Nov 2006 at 12:27 AM
Forgot to upload the new version :P

If you use SimPE 0.60 then you should install
Field Researcher
#102 Old 19th Nov 2006 at 12:39 AM
Originally Posted by Theo
Forgot to upload the new version :P

If you use SimPE 0.60 then you should install

Ah Hah!
Lab Assistant
#103 Old 20th Nov 2006 at 10:34 PM Last edited by sarasayshi : 20th Nov 2006 at 10:39 PM.
Hmm, I am still having problems with it freezing up when trying to open a hair file. This is after installing the updated file for SimPE 0.60 too.
Test Subject
Original Poster
#104 Old 21st Nov 2006 at 1:17 AM
Hi, does that happen with every hair package?
Be aware that when the tool starts, it begins to load SimPe's File Table, so it may take a while until the program responds again, especially if you have a large number of files being referenced.
Test Subject
#105 Old 23rd Nov 2006 at 6:44 PM
This is AWESOME! So easy to use, thank you!!!
Field Researcher
#106 Old 1st Dec 2006 at 7:57 PM Last edited by magicmoon : 1st Dec 2006 at 8:42 PM. Reason: Attachments didn't upload
I have binned around 100 sets of hair using this tool. It saves some time over doing it by hand in SimPE mostly because I can right click to copy or paste when using the tool. I still have twice that amount of hair sets to finish yet.

I understand that you wanted oddities reported. Since this one glitch has happened three times, I thought I should let you know. Sometimes a package file is saved but is empty. I bin the colors, then save. But when I check the hair in body shop, one of the colors is missing. Upon further investigation, that particular package will show empty in Clean Installer. If I then redo the binning process using the original color package, the process will work correctly the 2nd time around. I noticed a few others commenting about the tool "eating" some color files. Well, its not eating them, just saving them empty.

Example: I have a set of hair with 4 colors. After color binning, the black color doesn't show in the game or body shop. The black color package shows up as empty in clean installer. So I discard the "bad" file and rebin the set using the original black package, and all is well.

I said this happened 3 times. Twice it was the black package that was damaged, and once a brown color.

There is only one hair that I am having "permanent" difficulty with. By permanent, I mean that I can't find a way to fix it. This particular hair shows in the game and body shop. But when I load it into the color bin tool, the textures listed on the bottom say that they are missing from the file. Can I assume that the maker did something different with this particular file? I didn't try to bin it since no textures were showing, but it really confuses me why it works in the game.

I might try to bin it anyway, just to see what happens. I might just throw it out to be on the safe side.

Just in case you want to see what I am talking about, I have 2 files here. One is an example of hair that I binned that now contains an empty package (before and after folders). The other is the hair that shows in the game but shows no textures in the tool.

Oh, one last observation. Whenever I have to redo a hair set, I cannot reuse the same names and let it overwrite them because I get an error message and sometimes SimPE crashes. Instead, I have to use a new name then manually delete the files I don't want. (Example: I have a hair that I named "afro" when I got done binning and saved. But now need to redo them because I forgot to remove an age group. So I reload the packages-which are now named afro-black, etc. I cannot reuse the name "afro" or I get the crash. I must name it afro-male or some other variation of the name then manually delete the previous packages.)

All in all, this is a fantastic tool with very few kinks in it. Thank you for your time in making and supporting this product.

I am using the Pets version of SimPe.

EDIT: I attempted to use the tool to bin the Rasta hair that was showing no textures with the tool. It produced an unusable package. So I used SimPE to change the color manually and the package works. I don't have an explanation, just results to report.
Download - please read all instructions before downloading any files!
File Type: rar Hair.rar (2.89 MB, 22 downloads)

Running: Sims2, Uni, NL, OFB, Pets, Seasons, BV, FT & AL. Patched.
Test Subject
Original Poster
#107 Old 3rd Dec 2006 at 9:50 PM
Thanks for the report magicmoon, I'll review the code for the tool, and I think it's probably a file-locking issue when saving the packages.
I will post a fix for it sometime this week.

Field Researcher
#108 Old 3rd Dec 2006 at 11:11 PM Last edited by magicmoon : 8th Dec 2006 at 7:12 PM. Reason: Add a question

Is it possible to put in an additional error catching routine for when I click on jpg's instead of package files? SimPE does catch the error most of the time, but for some reason it "freezes" for 20-30 seconds before the error pops up. I get an error message about the tool crashing, but it actually crashes all of SimPe, not just the tool. Other times it crashes SimPE without getting to the error message.

On the other hand, If I click on a mesh instead of a texture file, I get an appropriate error message stating that it is not a texture file. This message is quick and allows me to resume working.

I know that it would be easier to tell me to stop clicking on inappropriate files, but I work fast, have bad eyes and fat fingers, so I will continue to make these types of mistakes.

I binned around another 50 sets of hair yesterday and again ran into both of the problems that I described in my last post. Several more empty packages were saved and another 5 hair sets were not able to be read by the tool (missing textures report). Again these sets were able to be binned using just SimPE and work fine in the game.

EDIT: After binning over 300 hair sets, I'm checking to make sure all is correct. But I can't find a way to see if I have the hat attribute set or not. Where can I look to find out?

Running: Sims2, Uni, NL, OFB, Pets, Seasons, BV, FT & AL. Patched.
Test Subject
#109 Old 21st Dec 2006 at 7:42 PM
Hello Theo,

I am still having a problem in the files not saving correctly. The disabled package and the new package are both in my downloads folder, but new packages still show up in custom in bodyshop. I know I emailed you about this a while back but I figured you're tied up with all the holiday festivities and I thought would post here as well...hopefully someone here can assist until you can get back to me.

Thanks again!
Test Subject
#110 Old 22nd Dec 2006 at 11:04 PM Last edited by nortonsapple : 28th Dec 2006 at 3:20 PM. Reason: Clarity & update
I have changed the title of my downloads folder to "Downloads hair binning attempts", it is still located within C:\Documents and Settings\Chwanda\My Documents\EA Games\The Sims 2. And changed my original downloads folder back to "downloads".

Okay, they are visible in game, but not the bodyshop even though they are not located in the "downloads" folder....wierd, I know. I suppose this is okay....since they are binning properly in game. Any ideas why or how, I didn't think the game could pull from someplace other than the downloads folder?

I now have 3 files for the hairs I was experiementing with: The original, the renamed, and the disabled package file. The original is in the downloads folder and the other two in the "downloads hair binning attempts" folder. Can I delete the original and disabled package and move the renamed one into the downloads folder?

I see that there is a patch for bodyshop. I will download this and see if it makes a difference. I think my problem my lie with bodyshop itself.
#111 Old 28th Dec 2006 at 1:45 PM
This is what seems to happen when I colourbin hairs:
I always do all 4 colours together, and pick one for grey, and it seems the texture of the file I select for grey (usually blonde) disappear entirely, and the package for the grey hair is completely empty. The result is usually that my grey hairs show up as those maxis missing texture pattern with blue and red numbers on white. Looks really bad.
If I do the Adult>= hairs first, and then do elder seperately and fix the family name manually, it works.

"Even the computer industry failed to see the importance of the Internet, but that's not saying much. Let's face it, the computer industry failed to see that the century would end." - Douglas Adams
Test Subject
#112 Old 26th Jan 2007 at 8:05 PM
I just wanted to say that this is a wonderful program. I have all these custom hairs that I've downloaded over the last couple of years, and I like my hair binned. This truly is the best program I've found. You've idiot-proofed it for me. Thank you!!!!

It's like the same...only different
#113 Old 28th Jan 2007 at 2:45 PM
Great tool, thanks!

"Deep down I'm pretty superficial"

Lab Assistant
#114 Old 15th Feb 2007 at 6:31 AM
Hello, I just downloaded this wonderful plug in and I think I get it. (I printed the tutorial) but I don't get what the neighborhoods tab is for under option? Especially this "fix missing DNA" What exactly does this do? thanks
Field Researcher
#115 Old 16th Feb 2007 at 1:08 AM
Originally Posted by TheSimSariah
Hello, I just downloaded this wonderful plug in and I think I get it. (I printed the tutorial) but I don't get what the neighborhoods tab is for under option? Especially this "fix missing DNA" What exactly does this do? thanks

The way I understand it...

This is so that Sims that are currently in your neighborhood wearing this hairstyle (chosen originally from the custom bin) will be wearing the same hairstyle of the correct color after you get done binning the hair. Otherwise they end up wearing the correct hair, but the wrong color or they end up defaulting to a Maxis hairstyle. You can of course fix this in game by taking them to a mirror, but you would have to do it with every Sim in the hood that had their hairstyle binned. This should fix most problems with an already populated neighborhood.

Running: Sims2, Uni, NL, OFB, Pets, Seasons, BV, FT & AL. Patched.
#116 Old 28th Feb 2007 at 7:52 AM
I am having a problem with this plugin at the moment... whenever I try to load a hair I get an error message saying "method not found." I tried installing it again but I am also getting an error when I try to extract it into the SimPE plugins folder. This is weird because it worked perfectly fine before.
Test Subject
#117 Old 4th Mar 2007 at 7:45 PM
Hi i need help with this plugin. i've read through the tutorial on "" but i seems to do something wrong some where.
here's how i did it

1. i load the package in bodyshop, check to see which age group is using a maxis hair rather than the downloaded hair

2. open it up in the color binning tool (red in red tab, black in black tab... etc)
in this case the hair comes in only one recolor

3. i uncheck the age that i do not need

4. options, under the output tab i check - "rename files" and "generate single package"

5. save as

but the stuff turns out like this:

the textures disappeared

is it something i've not done which i'm suppose to?

please help!
thank you!!!

ps: sorry if my English is weird
Forum Resident
#118 Old 4th Apr 2007 at 11:08 AM
Test Subject
#119 Old 20th Apr 2007 at 5:56 AM
Thank you for making such a useful plugin, the other way of binning looked very complicated. The only problem I've had so far is that sometimes there isn't a thumbnail for a hairstyle. The odd thing is that it's happening with a hairstyle that has thumbnails until I use the binning tool to change it from the custom bin to the four colors. Then only the grey hair has its own thumbnail, all four of the adult colors show as the short Maxis hairstyle in the catalog. The thumbnails do show up correctly in Bodyshop, but not in CAS or the mirrors.

I have all the expansions and mini-packs and am using version .60 of the binning tool.
Test Subject
#120 Old 2nd May 2007 at 3:00 AM
No pressure or anything. *sits back and waits patiently*
Lab Assistant
#121 Old 2nd May 2007 at 7:12 PM
Hello. I just installed Sim PE 0.62 and want to know if the plug-in is compatible with this version and if not then I would like to know if there are any plans for an updated version. Thanks.
#122 Old 3rd May 2007 at 8:56 PM
I love this tool, thank you so much Theo!! It works great except for one problem I have found, for some reason it just won't work with Peggys older hairs...does anybody know what the problem may be? I have binned a bunch of other hairs and it works perfect, but when I go to bin Peggys hair, they don't show up in the seperate colors and they stay in the custom bin still...It's so frustrating me!! Has anybody else had this problem and know of any fixes? Thanks!

Curvalicious Sims 2 (My website, only sims 2 stuff currently)Curvalicious Sims2

For more great content check out PMBD

Test Subject
10th May 2007 at 5:49 PM
This message has been deleted by nick12x3. Reason: 2B91655f
Test Subject
#123 Old 10th May 2007 at 5:55 PM
Thank you Theo! This tool has helped me save lot of time. I have a question though, is it possible to have more than one custom hair colour? I have lots of hair styles which have different custom colours (e.g. purple, green, blue, etc.) and I want them to all to be grouped to one GUID, is that possible? Thanks a lot!
Test Subject
#124 Old 16th May 2007 at 9:33 PM
Regarding part 3 of your instructions:

"- Run SimPE and verify that you have a menu item named "Color Binning Tool" under SimPE's Tools menu."

What if I don't?
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