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Update 5/12/2022

Date Posted: 12th May 2022 at 8:37 PM

Haha school has been kicking my ass, I haven't touched any of my projects since my last update tbh, or really done much of anything recreational for that matter. I'm going to have to take a fifth year *dabs* and I'm getting that figured out right now, but I've got two weeks left of school including finals. Idk what I'm doing over the summer yet, so I'll probably (maybe?) post another update in a few weeks if I'm able to get back to working on this stuff.
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Update 12/1/2021

Date Posted: 1st Dec 2021 at 10:47 PM

Sooooo I've decided to remake the third set of alien eyes. After making the 39 original swatches, the first ones I made were not nearly as nice-looking as the last ones I made, and I wasn't satisfied with the color gradients. I've tweaked a few things, but the 'new' way of doing the coloring takes a little longer. I'm about a quarter of the way through, and then after that I am going to play around with specular mask effects. iirc there is a way to make a 'flashing' effect, and I think if it was done subtly, it could look really cool on one of the sets. I think a subtle glow effect would look good on one of them too, but I've heard that it's hard to get a subtle effect from people talking about modifying the vampire eyes, so we'll see how it goes.
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Update 11/20/2021

Date Posted: 21st Nov 2021 at 2:12 AM

Soooooo I'm redoing the third set of alien eyes from scratch lmao, but I'm officially done with finals and have a week off now. The redo's are taking a bit because the process is pretty involved and finding consistent references is difficult, but they're getting there. After I am finished making these swatches, I'm going to look into possibly adding special effects to at least one of the three sets, but we'll see how that goes when we get there. I can say now that there will be 42 different colors for each of the three sets, for a total of 126 alien eyes. I couldn't help myself
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Update 11/15/2021

Date Posted: 16th Nov 2021 at 3:52 AM

It's finals week for me (my school runs on trimesters instead of semesters) and I have thanksgiving break coming up this week. Not actually that busy right now other than studying since my profs piled everything on 10th week

Anyways, I've finally gotten the third set of alien eyes figured out. I was struggling to get the texture to look decent-quality and 'go with' the other alien eyes I've already made, but I'm over halfway through all of the swatches I want to make for the third set, and then it's on to vampire eyes! I think I'll get the alien eyes wrapped up tomorrow most likely since my next final isn't until wednesday and I've got a good idea of what I need to study.
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Update 11/9/2021

Date Posted: 9th Nov 2021 at 8:56 PM

So school has been super fucking busy, mainly thanks to ~physical chemistry~ and my prof teaching it like a calc class and not a chem class, but anywaysssss

I got hung up on how I was making the third set of alien eyes and was having trouble keeping them consistent with the references I was using. They're going to be insect-inspired eyes, and I had been basing the colors off of pictures of insect eyes. I got kind of burnt out on it between hitting that wall and everything going on with school, but I have a slightly different idea now and will try to go with that. I'm still planning on keeping the texture of the segmented eye, but in regards to how I will color it, my reference will be something different and not necessarily what any insect eye on earth looks exactly like. Hopefully I'll like the results a bit more that way.

I think I'm going to enjoy saying what all I used as references for different eye sets when these are eventually done. I don't want to give anything away quite yet though lol.
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Update 10/1/21

Date Posted: 1st Oct 2021 at 6:28 PM

The human eyes are almost done!

I've gotten all but one of the default replacement/add-on packages I wanted made, fixed the relevant swatches so that the ones that 'replace' the starlet default add-ons will actually have the correct instance ID to do so. I finished the 'big' package with all of the eyes, and when I looked at them in game, there were about a dozen that I want to try redoing to improve the quality a little bit, so after I do that I'll make the final package (happens to be all new default replacements + all new natural add-ons; all I'll have to do is duplicate the 'big' package and delete the extra unnatural colors)

I also need to make the contact/face paint versions of the packages, but might just do it at a later date so they can go in their own post. There's going to be 5 different package options just for the default replacements/add-ons, and I'm planning on at least three, maybe five contacts as well?

For defaults, there will be:
- default base game replacements only (18 swatches)
- default base game replacements + starlet natural add-ons replacements (for anyone who has the 'starlet default replacements with natural add-ons' who wants to 'update' to these--eye colors should stay relatively the same if you replace the starlet eyes with the new ones)
- default base game replacements + all starlet add-ons replacements (same as previous, but with the unnatural colors too)
- default base game replacements + (new) natural add-ons (bg defaults + all natural add-ons)
- default base game replacements + all add-ons (bg defaults + natural and unnatural add-ons)

iirc when I made the starlet eyes I made two contact options, one with naturals only and one with unnaturals only, and made it so you could have both. I think I'll do that again, but I don't know if I will bother doing 'starlet replacements' of these, and just throw them all in. Probably won't bother.

I also want to make 'odd-eye' contacts. I don't know if I want to include those with the other face-paint options, or make them into their own post? I feel like I'm going to have a lot of posts here because this all just 'human' eyes, so I'll figure it out once I've got some of the occult/animal eyes made I think.
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New DR Eyes Update

Date Posted: 16th Sep 2021 at 9:39 PM

Just figured I'd give an update on where I'm at with the new eyes! I am currently back in school (finally!) but have still been able to work on them here and there, and I've reached a big 'milestone'. (Link to preview comparing Starlet vs new eyes at the bottom)

I had gotten maybe 50-60 done or so, before deciding the irises felt too big and starting from scratch. I then finished all 131 of the colors (a lot, I know, more on that later), stuck the pngs into a SAI file each on their own layer so I could compare them, and then ended up re-doing somewhere between 40-50 of them for quality control. Having done all that, I am now finally finished creating the human eyes. Now it's down to the occult states, which I plan on releasing at the same time as the human eyes. I don't know how busy I'm going to be with school, so I don't know how long it will take me to get all of the occult eyes done. I don't really want to just release the human eyes and then have everyone waiting for the rest.

131 human eye swatches though. Yeah, this is how many I want to have in my game. I like having the variety, and as I've said before, if I'm making something for myself, I might as well share it. It would feel weird to make all these 'extra' swatches and then just keep them to myself. Like last time, I'll be offering multiple packages with different options for just default-replacing the base game eyes, including only 'natural' add-ons, or the whole banana (+ options for contacts).

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So what is different about these new eyes? Other than having an absurd number of swatches?

Improved Scleras:
I was not able to figure out the pixelation/crunching issue, but I have been able to mitigate it. It seems the game doesn't like small, sharp gradients/high-contrast textures, and isn't very good at averaging out the colors when compressing the png into rle2/lrle. Between that and wanting the eyes to look a little more natural, I lightened up the shadow/red coloring in the scleras and made it much more subtle. You can hardly tell there's pixelation/crunching there anymore.

Improved Irises:
Now that I have Sai2, I was able to utilize the rulers to get a proper shape instead of eyeballing it with an airbrush tool. Yes, I really did hand-draw the circle for the iris and pupil for the Starlet eyes. It's not bad considering, but they do look a little off. I also made the iris in the new eyes very slightly ovular (horizontally), and it looks cuter in my opinion. I also completely redid the shading/texture portion so that it is more subtle than the Starlet eyes to help with the pixelation/crunching. The result is that they look a little more maxis-match than the Starlet eyes. There's still enough 'texture' that there is visible variation in the iris (it doesn't look flat), so I would still call it maxis-mix, definitely leaning more towards mm than alpha.

Improved Pupils:
I made the pupils a little smaller so I could have more 'real estate' in the irises for the texture and for eyes with central heterochromia. They aren't tiny, but right in a happy medium. I think it makes them look a little more 'alert'.

Improved Highlight:
I got rid of the 'lowlight' reflect on the bottom of the iris, as it just looked washed-out most of the time. I also simplified the highlight and made it slightly larger.

Improved Colors:
There were some swatches in the Starlet eyes that I wasn't happy with even when I first posted them, but I couldn't really put my finger on what was off about them for a long time. This time around, I haven't settled for 'not really liking' some of the swatches, hence the quality control I did.
I was also really unhappy with how the albino eyes looked, especially the pink/red one. They looked half-assed and unrealistic compared to the rest. I put in a lot more attention making them this time, and also made five variations instead of two.
As for the rest of the colors, there's a lot more swatches all around. There's plenty of 'standard' or average eye colors, and lots of 'unique' or rare ones too. I may add a few more in, but no more than 4, as it would add in another row for those not using the more columns in cas mod, and the swatches already take up a lot of space. If I do (and if I'm being honest I probably will) they will likely all be greys, as I don't have that many compared to browns, hazels, greens, and blues and I feel kinda bad about it.

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I am geneticizing these the same way I did the Starlet eyes. After finally getting each one into a brand new package, I realized that anyone who is using the Starlet eyes (with additional swatches) who wants to 'upgrade' to the new ones will have to 'fix' the eye color on all of their sims who had non-default add-ons, because it being a new package and all will have completely different instance IDs. At best, they'll just have a different variation of eye in the same color (if the game properly keeps track of the eye color tag and doesn't just randomly select a new one). So, I will be fixing that before moving onto the occult eyes. I'll make sure that the colors in the new set that most closely resemble the add-ons in the Starlet eyes have the same instance IDs, so that no one has to worry about their sims' eyes changing dramatically.

Finally, here is the preview comparing a swatch from the Starlet eyes to the new ones:
https://imgur.com/a/6pk7pmb
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Another Small Update

Date Posted: 24th Jul 2021 at 8:37 PM

So, I mentioned in a previous post that I was having problems with my kidneys, possibly due to a medication I was on for intracranial hypertension. I had gone off the medication about two months ago (after the initial blood tests that got me referred to a nephrologist), and the most recent blood test I had came back good! For the first time in over two years I have a clean bill of health, and it feels damn good. Still haven't gotten a functional ADHD med, but I have figured out that the one I was on was in fact shitting the bed (no longer just a hunch), and I've got an appointment to sort things out in less than a week.

After working on the new eyes for a while now, I've finally reached a point where I don't feel like I have to finish every single detail in the new layer file before I make the basic eyes themselves, so I'm starting work on that, and not just the layer file lol. I still plan on holding off on releasing them until I get all the occult states done. I haven't planned out what I want to do for occult eyes yet, so that will probably be the biggest time sink. I also want to figure out the pixelation issue before that if I can, but I think I'm going to wait until the post-CoL patch is released and mods are updated for it to make sure I don't have to update again immediately if something breaks.

Simadream made dynamic eye shading that I'm thinking I will make my eyes specifically compatible with, both because it avoids super dark sclera shading looking freaky when your sim looks anywhere other than straight on, and because that type of sclera shading seems to make the aforementioned pixelation more obvious. It still affects the irises, but I think if I can at least minimize its appearance everywhere else it would still look way better. Unfortunately it doesn't look like the dynamic shading is updated for June patch, though I don't know if it needs to be. If it does, I'll just say how in my post since s4s has a really easy way to do it. That or maybe I'll ask if I can have permission to release an updated version fully integrated with my eyes (probably a long shot though, I'm not banking on it).
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CC Plans, Starlet Eyes

Date Posted: 20th Jul 2021 at 9:29 PM

If you want to know why I've been gone for so long, see the post below. If you just want cc updates, keep reading.

I no longer am planning on making occult/pet additions to my Starlet eyes. I'm no longer happy with how they look, but I will update them to LRLE format in the near future. I encountered a weird possible glitch with them (and discovered it happens in like, all cc default eyes) where some textures are pixelated/crunchy, and some appear fine until I put certain hairs, accessories, clothes on a sim. I've tested this with no cc in my game except the eyes themselves, and some EA CAS items still cause otherwise fine textures to pixelate/crunch. This does not appear to happen with 'contacts' in the face paint category, but I need to do more testing. Currently, I'm planning on releasing the update for the eyes after I figure out what's going on and if there's anything I can do about it, but if it proves to take a long time to figure out (or if there's nothing I can do), I'll go ahead and update the eyes.

As I said, I only plan to update the Starlet eyes to LRLE format, and am no longer going to make matching pet/occult versions. However, I am currently working on remaking the file I used to make the Starlet eyes. Anyone who downloaded the recolor resource zip for it may be familiar with the layer file I used to make them, which only had one sclera, one iris, one pupil, one highlight, and one lowlight. This structure is really only good for making that single eye, which isn't ideal for making add-ons/matching sets for other life states. Even if I did they'd probably not match very well because it's been so long.
Instead, I am making a stupidly complex new version with tons of different scleras, irises, pupils, highlights, and lowlights, each with different edge sharpness options (except sclera). I've already made some good progress. I have the scleras finished (unless I get more ideas lol). The irises were done, but that was before I decided to include different edge sharpness options, so they have to be redone. I've got all the 'normal' pupils done, save for some types of animal pupils I want to include, and I plan on making a few dozen more fun/fantasy pupils as well. Haven't really gotten to highlights/lowlights, or the shading for the irises. Once I am satisfied with the basics of this file, I plan on making a new set of eyes. It will be a lot easier to make eyes for different life states with this type of layer structure, at least for me.
Unfortunately, pixelation/crunching still happens with the LRLE (and even made one of my Starlet eyes that still worked in RLE2 format that was fine, start crunching when I converted it to LRLE).
Also, I will not be releasing the entire layer structure with any eyes I make with this new file. Currently I'm planning on only releasing relevant folders/layers with the eyes they go with. Maybe I'll release the whole thing after I make everything I want, but the file is already massive and complicated.

The other big project that is on the horizon is a skin tone overhaul. I was so excited when they announced they would be adding more to the game and making them adjustable, but then they came out and the cool tones all looked like corpse skin in lighter colors and ash city in darker colors. I don't think more than like, two or three of them looked like actual human skin, which is really irritating as a p i n k b i t c h with cool toned skin.
So, I'm planning on default replacements for most if not all of the EA skins (and replacing and expanding the occult colors). The bigger portion of this project will be the overlay system I want to develop for skin details. I'm going to try to make it as extensive as possible, and make it Kijiko-lashes compatible (I won't use the same CAS part as one of their CAS part options--iirc they offer two). I plan on making several versions of the overlays to make them work for all skin tones so that light skin tones do not look like strobe lights and dark skin tones do not look matte/flat. As of now, I want to make a full-body overlay (compatible with body morphs; undecided if this will be a default replacement or a skin detail), separate upper and lower lid overlays, nose overlays, cheek overlays, mouth corners/dimples, possibly some chin overlays, freckles, and moles.
I know there are already lots of good overlays and skinblends out there, but I struggle to use them because the things I like tend to be scattered between several creators who may or may not have compatible skin details (like having to choose between person A's eyelids and person B's nose because they are the same CAS part). This is something I am primarily going to make for myself and my own convenience, and it's going to be big enough that I might as well share it. The more options the merrier imo.

That's basically it for my current plans. I am not going to give any sort of timeline for when any of this will get done, because there is still a lot going on in my life right now that is up in the air. I don't know what I'll be doing or how I'll be feeling in a few weeks, so I don't want to have to keep announcing delays if shit happens.
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I'm Still Alive

Date Posted: 20th Jul 2021 at 8:39 PM

If you just want cc updates, see the post after this one. This is more of a life update to provide context for my absence and what can be expected moving forward. tl;dr at the bottom.

Well, it has been a very long time since I gave any kind of update, because the road to recovery from intracranial hypertension was...not what I thought it would be. I was originally told it would resolve in like, 3-4 months, but it took over a year and a half. I had to get two more spinal taps (last one landed me in the ER), and was put on two more medications that made me super tired and weak all the time. I got referred to a neurosurgeon, who referred me to a neuroophthamologist, who took me off of two of the three meds. The remaining medication ultimately made me lose 70 pounds over the year and a half I was on it.

Like, less than a month after feeling like I'd finally recovered from IH, my parents brought home covid, and despite being 23, I was far from being asymptomatic. Nothing hospital-worthy, but it put me through the ringer. After that I had a standard appointment with my GP, and he found that my kidney function was abnormal. Ultimately I got referred to a nephrologist, who has diagnosed me with stage 2 CKD and metabolic acidosis. Based off of the research I've read, it seems possible that it was caused by the final medication I was on (I was still on it when I did my labs), but ultimately it's up to the nephrologist to come to that conclusion, so it's a waiting game for now.

I'm not sharing all of this for pity, but as context as to why I didn't update or say anything for so long. This whole fiasco has been so much more draining and exhausting than I ever could have imagined it would be, and after updating a few times, the idea of further updating was just depressing when it would be a continuous stream of 'I'm still sick guys'. In hindsight, I wish I had just said I was going on an indefinite hiatus. I can't say I'm really back 'for good' yet, because I don't really know what to expect from this CKD shit over the next several months, and I'm still trying to figure out my ADHD meds. I'm really, really hoping to be able to return to school this fall, but I also have little idea of how that's going to go either.

tl;dr: recovering from intracranial hypertension took way longer than expected, and while I have recovered from it, I got covid and later diagnosed with stage 2 CKD and metabolic acidosis, possibly as a result of a medication I took for intracranial hypertension; the CKD symptoms don't disrupt my life, so I'm really hoping to go back to school this fall

This is already super long, so I think I"m just going to put cc updates into another entry.
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