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Skininator - a tool to make non-default and default custom skins - new version 1/10/2013

by CmarNYC Posted 5th Feb 2010 at 6:38 PM - Updated 10th Dec 2013 at 3:30 PM by CmarNYC
307 Comments / replies (Who?) - 4 Feedback Posts, 3 Thanks Posts
Non-default replacement skins for the Sims 3 are here. This is a small program to create the necessary support files and package them with your modified skins, all ready to be put in the game. It will also convert between default and non-default custom skins and allow you to combine or split up skin packages.

*** Please note that you need Skininator Version 4 and up to make skins that are compatible with the muscle definition slider in patch 1.17/Late Night!!! ***

A couple of sample screens are below. The process is pretty simple: give your new skin a name and decide if it's a non-standard/fantasy skin (like blue or green). If you're using a new color ramp (the color gradient applied over the skin), select it along with the corresponding png thumbnail ramp. Load up the skin files you've modifed. Anything you don't import into Skininator will use the game default. Then click the button to save your new skin package.

Since a new skin may involve dozens of files, you can save your project and reopen it later.

But where will anyone see my new skin in the game?? Rez Delnava's made the original CAS UI hack which expands the skin tone picker for more tones. Unfortunately Rez's CAS UI mod is NOT COMPATIBLE with the 1.17 game patch which came out when Late Night was released, and later patches/updates. You can still see custom skins by putting your mouse in the box with the skin tone buttons and using the wheel to scroll up and down.

You can also get an updated version of the CAS UI mod to make it easier to select skins --

Anach at MATY has a current version:,17647.0.html
- Anach_CASSkins6x4_1.17.package

And here on MTS I have a current version in "":
- cmar_SkinTonePanel.package for only the expanded skin tone panel
- cmar_SkinTonePanel_BodySliders.package for expanded skin tone panel and increased range for the body sliders

Tip: To make your new skin tone identifiable, add text to the png thumbnail ramp and rotate and stretch it as shown below. If all goes well you'll have that text showing in the color tone slider.

A huge amount of the credit for this goes to Rez Delnava. He made the discovery of the function of tone files that made custom non-replacement skins possible, and provided me with much of the data that went into Skininator. Therefore, this tool is officially also known as "Cmar and Rez' Acronymed Poly-Skin Hyper Original Output Tone".

Known Issues
When running Skininator on Windows 7 you'll probably find that the file selection buttons stop responding every several files that you select. You'll have to wait for the program to start responding again. This appears to be a problem with the compiler I use to build the application and I'm trying to make the vendor aware of it. With V4.2 of Skininator you should be able to select more files before it happens and the wait time should be less - an improvement but not a complete fix.

As noted above, you need Skininator V4 and above to create non-default skins that are compatible with the muscle definition slider.

And some additional notes:
The Skininator does not compress packaged files. Uncompressed packages will work just fine, but for skins it's an issue since image files are very large. If you want to compress your package after it's been created, just open it in s3pe, select the files, right-click and click 'compressed', and save.

Only runs on Windows.

To install, unzip both files into the same folder and run Skininator.exe.

And last but not least:
Also included for download is a full set of the game skin files, including the game tone ramps, so you creative skinners won't have to search for them. (Again, thanks to Rez for providing the files!)

Additional Credits:
Echo for Postal
P L Jones for S3PE Updates:

2/5: Minor cosmetic changes in screens.

2/7: Update to correct a bug causing some skins to have a greenish glow and odd shine and lighting. Many apologies for the inconvenience caused by this! If the 'Help/About' info in Skininator gives the version as 1.01, you have the fixed version.

2/28/10: Version 2.0 is uploaded. Changes/new features:
  • If the same skin file is loaded in more than once (as in scalps, which are all alike), only one copy of the DDS file will be added to the package, and it will be linked multiple times as appropriate.
  • Any combination of the six game skintones and/or up to four custom skintones can be added to one package and will use the same set of skin files.
  • The SkinSubSRamp file import has been removed, due to lack of space on the screen and (I suspect) lack of interest since it doesn't seem to do much of anything. But:
  • A TONE file editor has been added for advanced users who want to directly edit the links and the flags that affect brightness and shine. (Requires a screen resolution higher than 800x600.)
  • This version was built with an update of FTN95 Fortran with support for Windows 7.
Both Skininator.exe and the supporting dll, salflibc.dll, have been updated and should be replaced.

3/28/2010: Version 2.1 uploaded. Changes/features:
  • More better Windows 7 support
  • You can now resize the window if buttons, etc. are being cut off
  • Options to change the font size and default window size
  • An option to reset the color/shine adjustors to default in the TONE file editor
  • Correction to allow creation of tones with a ramp and no skin file.
To update, replace both Skininator.exe and salflibc.dll.

8/7/2010: Version 3.0 uploaded. Changes/features:
  • Ability to create default replacement skins added
  • Extractinator function added
Extractinator is a new function that takes a skin package (default or non-default), extracts the skins from it into a folder, and loads those skins into Skininator in the appropriate slots. Multiple packages can be extracted and loaded in this way, or you can remove textures for any age/gender you don't want to use them for. Then a new package can be created, again either default or non-default.

The purpose of Extractinator is to make it easy to combine skintone packages and to convert from default to non-default and vice-versa. Please remember to respect the skin creators - use this to tailor skins to your own personal taste, but don't mix and match skins and upload the result without permission unless the original creator's policy allows it, and certainly not without credit.

To update, replace both Skininator.exe and salflibc.dll.

11/20/2010: Version 4.0 uploaded. Changes/features:
  • Compatibility with the new format of skin TONE files introduced in the 1.17 patch that came out with Late Night.
  • Extractinator will now read the name of a non-default skin set.
As of game patch 1.17 which came out with the release of Late Night, the format of the skin definition (TONE) files was changed. Old-format skins will work, but the new muscle definition and cleavage sliders will not work with them.

If your favorite non-default skin has not been updated to the new format, you can convert it yourself.

You can extract the TONE file(s) from the package and use Skininator's TONE edit function to open it and save in the new format, then import it back to the package.

Or you can just rebuild the package:
  • Create a temporary folder for extracted files
  • Run Skininator and click Extractinator in the menu
  • Select the skin package you want to convert
  • Then select the folder you created for the files
  • DO NOT CHANGE ANYTHING or your sims already using the skin may wind up with a flat black skin
  • Click the button to make a non-default skin and save a new package with an appropriate name
  • Replace the skin package in your mods/packages folder
To update, replace both Skininator.exe and salflibc.dll.

11/24/2010: Version 4.1 uploaded. Changes/features:
Bugfix - using Extractinator and rebuilding for the new format did not work properly with packages made with the first version of Skininator. The Instance number would change and the game would see it as a new skin. With V4.1 this behavior has been corrected and the original Instance is retained as long as the user doesn't change the skin name or the tone tags.

3/17/2011: Version 4.2 uploaded. Changes/features:
The problem of the program repeatedly hanging while selecting files on Windows 7 should be better in this version. It's not fixed completely - you should be able to select about twice as many files before it freezes, and freeze time should be shorter. I also added an icon. I'd appreciate feedback on how this performs from other Windows 7 users.

5/28/2011: Version 4.3 uploaded. Changes/features:
The 'Edit TONE' function now includes adjustments for what I call 'shine focus'.

In the TONE edit window, at the top are the shine/reflections adjusters I used to make very shiny metallic skins. There's a set of numbers for five areas of the skin tone slider: Light, Medium Light, Medium, Medium Dark, and Dark. The B, G, and R numbers adjust shine for blue, green, and red - higher numbers for more shine, the range is 0-255. The Focus adjusters control the blending of the shine - from a two-toned/metallic effect (low numbers) to a plastic/wet effect (high numbers). The range is 0.0 - 99.0, you can use fractions, the normal number is 4.0.

To use these adjusters, extract a TONE file from your skin package, use the Edit TONE function to modify it, and import it back to your package.

9/8/2012: Version 4.31 uploaded.
This is an update only to the underlying platform - salflib.dll. It improves file selection performance when running on Windows 7 so that you should be able to select significantly more files before it freezes for a minute or so.

1/10/2013: Version 5.0 uploaded.
This is a completely new version of Skininator written with .NET 3.5. The interface is overhauled, and the capabilities are expanded. The slow startup and the file browsing delays under Windows 7 are gone. THIS SHOULD STILL BE CONSIDERED A BETA. Please report any problems.
The organization is pretty much completely different from the original:
  • Textures are organized by age/gender instead of body area (body, face, scalp).
  • Overlays can be added to the face and scalp as well as the body. This should mean custom skins can have custom eye-whites and teeth, and any other features suitable for an overlay.
  • EA tone ramps have been expanded to include the 1.38 (Supernatural) tones and the 1.42 (Seasons) alien tone.
  • There is no more saving of projects. Since a skintone package can be created and reopened later, the package essentially is the project.
There are three modes:
  • Basic non-default - the EA setup, with unisex textures for babies, toddlers, and children; and with teens using the YA faces and teens to elders using the adult bodies and scalps.
  • Advanced non-default - a full set of separate textures for all ages and genders.
  • Default replacement - default replacements for the EA textures.
You can load up a package/import textures and then change modes to convert from default to non-default and vice-versa. You can also open and convert old-format skintone packages.

There's a Tones Settings tab with adjustments for shine and reflection, and an option to write in the old skintone format. (Which at this point probably no one will use.)

There are two options for saving and two for Save As. The Compact option will eliminate duplicate textures - like if you use the same texture for males and females or for all the scalps or for adult and elder faces, or whatever. When you do a compact save the package will automatically be closed. If you need to work with it again you'll have to open it and the textures will automatically be duplicated to all the places where they're being used.

To install, extract the files to a folder and run Skininator.exe.

1/10/2013 - 7:00pm EST - Uploaded corrected version of V5. If you get an error that squishinterface_Win32.dll or squishinterface_x64.dll is missing, please re-download.

12/10/2013 - Uploaded a new set of game skintone/skin ramp files including Supernatural and the second Alien tones.

Operating System: Windows
Utility Type: CC Editors
Plugin Type: Not Applicable

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

Sims 3
Key: - File was updated after upload was posted
Filename - Tip: You can click the magnifying glass to see the archive contents Size Downloads Date
adult skins.rar | Adult face and body materials images

Size: 6.57 MB · Downloads: 19,416 · 5th Feb 2010
6.57 MB 19,416 5th Feb 2010
child skins.rar | Baby, toddler, and child face and body materials images

Size: 4.67 MB · Downloads: 11,011 · 5th Feb 2010
4.67 MB 11,011 5th Feb 2010
Specular Normal Skins.rar | All specular and normals images

Size: 4.37 MB · Downloads: 12,839 · 5th Feb 2010
4.37 MB 12,839 5th Feb 2010 | Skininator V4.31, improved file selection with Windows 7

Size: 854.7 KB · Downloads: 9,000 · 9th Sep 2012
854.7 KB 9,000 9th Sep 2012 | Skininator V5.0, completely new version with new interface built with .NET 3.5. Corrected to include omitted files.

Size: 256.5 KB · Downloads: 15,260 · 10th Jan 2013
256.5 KB 15,260 10th Jan 2013
Game skintoneramp | All EA skintone and color ramp files

Size: 123.1 KB · Downloads: 5,909 · 10th Dec 2013
123.1 KB 5,909 10th Dec 2013
Don't forget to Thank the creator after downloading! Use the Thanks button located above the screenshots above.
Quick Guide:

1. Click the file listed on the Files tab to download the file to your computer.
2. Extract the zip, rar, or 7z file. Now you will have either a .package or a .sims3pack file.

For Package files:

1. Cut and paste the file into your Documents\Electronic Arts\The Sims 3\Mods\Packages folder. If you do not already have this folder, you should read the full guide to Package files first: Sims 3:Installing Package Fileswiki, so you can make sure your game is fully patched and you have the correct Resource.cfg file.
2. Run the game, and find your content where the creator said it would be (build mode, buy mode, Create-a-Sim, etc.).

For Sims3Pack files:

1. Cut and paste it into your Documents\Electronic Arts\The Sims 3\Downloads folder. If you do not have this folder yet, it is recommended that you open the game and then close it again so that this folder will be automatically created. Then you can place the .sims3pack into your Downloads folder.
2. Load the game's Launcher, and click on the Downloads tab. Find the item in the list and tick the box beside it. Then press the Install button below the list.
3. Wait for the installer to load, and it will install the content to the game. You will get a message letting you know when it's done.
4. Run the game, and find your content where the creator said it would be (build mode, buy mode, Create-a-Sim, etc.).

Extracting from RAR, ZIP, or 7z: You will need a special program for this. For Windows, we recommend 7-Zip and for Mac OSX, we recommend Keka. Both are free and safe to use.

Need more help?

If you need more info, see:
307 Comments / Replies (Who?) - 241 Feedback Posts, 57 Thanks Posts
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Test Subject
#301 Old 25th Jun 2017 at 4:50 PM
Hi! I don't wanto to bother, but I'm a dumb... and I just was wondering if there is a way to have an... 'almost advanced' ND mode? xD Because with speculars and everything skins come out really heavy. I need to have elders bodies, but it isn't necessary to have also separated boy/girls babies, todds, and children! T^T Thanks in advance!
Ms. Byte
Original Poster
#302 Old 27th Jun 2017 at 8:38 AM
Originally Posted by sweden_mania
Hi, CmarNYC... thank you for this wonderful tool..i Just want to ask about skin overlays.. for face, scalp and body.. I notice that not many custom skin creators doesnt use overlay that much.. if im right overlays can be used as face and body marking without being affected by the skintone slider for lighter and darker skin right?... can you make a tutorial how to use overlays and specially for face? because you said it can be used for custom eye whites and teeth? so facial markings cant be done then?

I believe so - not absolutely sure if the overlay is over the skin color or under, but I think over. Yes, overlays could be used for facial markings. I'll think about doing a quickie tutorial but I don't really do stuff for TS3 anymore and have a pile of stuff for TS4 to work on so it probably wouldn't be soon.

Originally Posted by moonskin93
Hi! I don't wanto to bother, but I'm a dumb... and I just was wondering if there is a way to have an... 'almost advanced' ND mode? xD Because with speculars and everything skins come out really heavy. I need to have elders bodies, but it isn't necessary to have also separated boy/girls babies, todds, and children! T^T Thanks in advance!

I'm not sure I understand the problem - when you do a custom skin the package contains only the textures you actually replace, everything else is default.

Please do not PM me with mod, tutorial, or general modding questions or problems; post them in the thread for the mod or tutorial or post them in the appropriate forum.

Visit my blogs for other Sims content:
Online Sims - general mods for Sims 3
Offline Sims - adult mods for Sims 3 and Sims 4
Test Subject
#303 Old 2nd Jul 2017 at 5:33 PM
Sorry, I can't explain my self in english >.< I mean... in the advanced mode of ND there are elders with separated bodies from adults. In the basic one they use the adults bodies. But the advanced mode includes also babies, toddlers and children with different body textures per gender, that means more textures, speculars and stuff that will make the skin really heavy. I was wondering if there is a way to have separated elders bodies, in the same skin project, but unisex Bu-Cu like in the basic ND mode. Sorry for bothering damn me and my english!
Ms. Byte
Original Poster
#304 Old 3rd Jul 2017 at 2:08 AM Last edited by CmarNYC : 3rd Jul 2017 at 11:24 AM.
No problem! Only import the skins you want to replace - ONLY the elder bodies. Leave everything else empty and it will stay default with no extra textures in your package.

Please do not PM me with mod, tutorial, or general modding questions or problems; post them in the thread for the mod or tutorial or post them in the appropriate forum.

Visit my blogs for other Sims content:
Online Sims - general mods for Sims 3
Offline Sims - adult mods for Sims 3 and Sims 4
Field Researcher
18th Jan 2018 at 7:48 PM
This message has been deleted by ZeldaSpyroJak. Reason: Nevermind
Test Subject
#305 Old 31st May 2018 at 6:06 AM
Thank you Cmar for ALL your work you've made siming awesome. Just want to make sure I have this right as I am a paleolithic noob, If want to change a skin I have downloaded from non default to default no other changes all I do is:
1. Open downloaded package
2. Select default replacement
3. When the change skintone box pops up and asks "are you sure you want to switch to default mode? This will recalculate all texture links. I click ok.
4. I then click save as and use the same name of the package ie: Navetsea_F-In_TS3_Adult_Hairy_4nondefault only change it to default.
Is that correct?
Sorry to ask a silly question but I have read all 13 pages here and looked at countless youtube tutorials and read many other tutorials and am now very confused as they all seem to contradict each other. for eg: and then there's this guy who says you don't even need to use skininator Thanks in advance for the help.
Ms. Byte
Original Poster
#306 Old 1st Jun 2018 at 8:43 AM
I think the steps you describe are right - to be honest it's been so long since I worked on this program I don't remember details. Try it and see! BTW, it doesn't matter what you name the new package.

The same thing can be done manually using s3pe, Skininator just makes it easier.

If you run into problems I'll take a closer look and refresh my memory.

Please do not PM me with mod, tutorial, or general modding questions or problems; post them in the thread for the mod or tutorial or post them in the appropriate forum.

Visit my blogs for other Sims content:
Online Sims - general mods for Sims 3
Offline Sims - adult mods for Sims 3 and Sims 4
Test Subject
#307 Old 18th Aug 2018 at 2:13 AM
Thank you so much for this useful tool, is there a Mac version for it?
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