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Field Researcher
Original Poster
#1 Old 9th Jan 2011 at 9:58 PM Last edited by -Mallow- : 26th Aug 2011 at 4:24 PM.
Default Tutorial: Creating accessories
What This tutorial is about:
This tutorial will instruct you on how to make accessories for your Sims. The First part shows the basics of accessory creation. The second part is more advanced which will teach you how to create morph states for accessories - Morphs are not a must for accessories, but if you want to avoid certain slights such as necklaces that sink into the neck or float above the chest when changing the sim's body weight, morphs are needed.

This tutorial will not teach you:
- How to mesh objects
- How to UVmap your mesh.
- How to install any plugin
- How to use CTU Programs and plugins you are required to have:

GEOM plugins
Unimesh plugins
msAlignNormals Plugin for Milkshape

Step 1:

*You will need to get EA's accessory to work with. Open CTU and find any accessory you want (example: if you're making earrings then you probably want to choose that) and extract the meshes to your work folder

* Launch Milkshape, find the folder you extracted your meshes to, and import the first LOD (you should have Milkshape Geom plugins installed or you'll be stuck in this step)

*Now you should see your imported accessory and it's time to edit it however you like. Don't forget to fix the UVmap after editing or else your textures may end up stretched

- You can also create any accessory from scratch in MS (or in other 3Dprogram you prefer and then import it back into MS as an obj. file), but remember that you still need EA's accessory since we do need the skeleton and the comments for your creation.

Hint: When creating an accessory or basically any mesh, it's good to have a decent polycount. Keep in mind more polys doesn't always mean better - the least amount of polys you have while still being able to make it look great, the better it is for the game and the users.

Note: If you create the mesh yourself, make sure there are no mesh parts that share the same texture in the UVmap. If you have mapped some parts on each other, the mesh will look pretty bad in CAS. Unless of course you don't care how it looks in CAS then go ahead.

Step 2: By now, you should be done with your accessory, so it's time to make bone assignments and copy the comments

*Select the groups tab, select the GEOM00, click the comments button, copy all of its comments, select your mesh, and paste the comments to your accessory (your accessory's comments should originally be empty. If it's not, then remove anything in it before you paste the comments you just copied)

*Next the bone assignments. Since the mesh I created is a left earring, I'll have to simply assign it to the b_Left_ear. You can always assign it to b_head_new, but I find more sense in assigning earrings to ears like when you edit ear size or shape in CAS, the earring will move along with the ear, unlike if you just assigned it to the head.

(If your accessory is a bracelet, then select b_L_Wrist - or b_R_Wrist, depending which side you want it. If the accessory goes on the head, then assign it to b_head_new and so forth)

*To assign a mesh to a bone, you first select your mesh (groups tab). Then go to joint tab, find the bone from the list, and hit assign. To test if the bone assignments are okay, check the little box "Draw vertices with bone color" and you'll see if your mesh changes its color. If it's white, you didn't do it right so try again.

*Go back to group tab, select the GEOM00 (the original EA's accessory). We don't need it anymore so you can delete it.

*Now we have the first LOD ready (save your file in case you haven't yet).

*It's time to export. Save it with a reasonable name, I call mine StarEarringLOD0 (accessories usually need 4LODs).

Step 3: Now let's make LOD 2. I usually use same mesh for LOD0 and 1, so you can do the same

*Lower your mesh's poly count -> Tools, Direct X mesh tool. Drag the slider over to the left to see how the number changes. Click the disk icon to apply changes. Your mesh will turn black which means you'll have to align the normals. Select the mesh again, -> vertex -> Align normals.

And your less prettier accessory is almost done.

*If you lost your skeleton (as I always do when using DirectX mesh tool), you have to just import EA's accessory back to get that skeleton.

*Copy the comments again.

* Save this, but don't overwrite the LOD0-1 .ms3d files. It's good to keep separate save files for all your LODs.

*Then export your second LOD as GEOM.

*Lastly, do the same to get your last LOD done (LOD3 should be under 250 polys).

Step 4:

*Open CTU, Adult -> Male/female -> Accessory. Select one of them that's similar to your acessory. -> Designs -> Add new design -> Meshes -> Name your mesh -> Commit-> Load your LODs -> Commit ->Save as (make a good name that won't be similar to Ea's or anyone else's) -> close CTU (to prevent possible glitches) -> open CTU -> Designs (you'll see your mesh in 3D preview) -> textures -> Change your texture files (make sure your texture files are in right formats) -> Commit -> make any changes to cathegory, or patterns (remember always hit commit after any change) -> Save your package to your Mods folder

*Launch the sims and test your accessory. (you might want to delete your cache files incase)

And you're done


Accessories with morph states

Next lets learn how to make your Accessory suitable for Fit, Fat, and thin states (special -pregnant morph- is optional). For this tutorial, I'll be using my collar mesh since you can clearly see how the neck changes in each state. So we'll now go step by step for how to accomplish a shape-changing accessory.

Step 1: At first, you of course need to be done with your base accessory that has comments and boneassigments. Then let’s make sure you have all your LODs done and saved as separate .ms3d files. For example, I call mine: HeartCollarLOD0-1, HeartCollarLOD2, and HeartCollarLOD3. Then open the LOD0-1.ms3d file and let's begin the creation of morph states for the first LOD.

*Name your mesh with something called BASE, I call mine "HeartCollarBASE"

*Open the comments and change the number of "FVFItems" to 7

*Import Obj. file body Guides (wavefront OBJ). I'll be using Afbody FAT, FIT and THIN. You can get the obj. meshes uploaded by Whiterider from here

*Rename all the Guides - FATguide, ThinGuide, FITguide

*Hide Fit and Fat Guide

*Duplicate your Base mesh (select it from groups, -> Edit -> duplicate selection)

*Rename your duplicated mesh - I call mine HeartCollarThinMorph

*Hide your Base accessory mesh so you only have your Thin Guide and your accessory thin morph shown

Step 2:

*Now with my collar looking like it's floating around the neck of the Thin body, my task is to edit it so it looks good for thin too. Using the scale tool, move vertices and so forth until you're satisfied with how it looks - DO NOT remove any vertices, faces or detach any parts or the mesh won't work as morph.

HINT: so you won’t get frustrated by moving the wrong vertices (ThinGuide's vertices), do this: first hide your thin accessory morph then select all vertices of ThinGuide -> Edit -> hide selection. After that unhide the thin accessory morph again.

*Now when you're done, copy these comments for the thin morph mesh (remove anything else that is written in the comments, it has to have only these comments):
FVFItems: 3
TableType: 0
References: 1
TGIRef00: 00000000 00000000 00000000 00000000

*Now you're done with Thin morph for your accessory, so hide ThinGuide and Thin morph and bring up the base mesh and FatGuide

*Duplicate your base accessory mesh again and name it - I call mine HeartCollarFATMorph

*Hide base mesh.

*This time, my mesh has sunk into the neck, so I’ll scale it bigger, move it and so forth. When you're done, copy the same morph comments for the Fat morph accessory.

*Hide the FatGuide and your Fat accessory mesh, unhide base mesh, duplicate it and rename your duplication, I call mine HeartCollarFitMorph, and hide basemesh again.

*Repeat the same steps: edit your accessory so it suits the fit body and copy the morph comments.

*Now you should have one Base accessory and the Fit, fat, and thin morph states for your accessories done. Delete all your guides and you are left with only 4 meshes (5 if you include special too). Make sure you have your boneassigment in the base mesh and check the vertices bone color to see if you're not sure

(save your document if you still haven't)

Step 3:

* We have to give new vertex ID's for the morphs. Go to - > Vertex -> Sims 3 vertex ID AutoNum V0-16 - by wesley Howe

*Starting vertex ID for Accessory starts from 40000 or higher. Input it and you should get something like Autonum completed successfully - and write down the next starting number it gives you. You'll be using it for your next LOD.

NOTE: Morphed accessories are trickier than for example a morphed hair or clothing, because you can't use two hairs or two tops at the same time while you are able to use two morphed accessories together. For instance, a necklace and bracelet - If these two morphed accessories' Vertex ID number will conflict while wearing both, you might get really wacky problems and the accessory could end up crashing your game that same moment. So DO NOT use the starting value 40000 for all the morphed accessories, but use different ranges each time for a different category's accessories (no, not 40001 then 40002 but something as 70000, 90000 and higher). Example: for all necklaces you could use 40000, while for something in bracelet's category, use 80000 and so on.

*Lastly, export all meshes - Base, and the morphs. Name them well so you recognize your files. And save your document.

Step 4:

*It's time to make LOD 2. Sorry, you won't get away easily with this job - you have to make all the morph states the same way you did for LOD0-1. If you use DirectX mesh tool on your morphs, you will end up with different vertext count. So stay away from this tool.

*So next, open the LOD2 .ms3d file you had to save in the very beginning.
*Open the comments and change the number of "FVFItems" to 7
*Import all the obj.Guides
*Make your Fat,Fit,thin morphs (duplicate the base mesh, rename, edit, copy the morph comments - all the same things you went through in the step 2.)

Step 5:

*Now that you have your LOD2 and its morph states ready, it's time to use autonum tool again. This time, input the starting number you wrote down. It will give you another note of success and write down the number it gives you.

*Save, then Export your LOD2 meshes- base and morphs

Step 6: Make your LOD3. (Just follow the previous steps)

Step 7:

*We finally have all the Base LODs and all the morph states for all LODs. Open CTU, Load your base meshes on the LODs slots, make your edits, and save the package.

*Time to add Morph states to your package.
*Run CmarNYC's Morphmaker (BMM) (Lets make thin BGEO. at first)
*Give a name to your project (I'll name mine afAccessoryHeartCollarTHIN)
*Hit the arrow next to it to get your Instance ID.
*Choose the category you are making your morphs to
*Find all the GEOM files of your accessory that you edited for thin state
*Make morphs -> Clothing -> Create BGEO -> another window pops up, save your BGEO into your work folder
*Then create your two other BEOS as well
*After you’ve gotten your 3 (4- special) BGEO files done, choose -> Make morphs -> Clothing -> Add morphs to package.
-> First, find the package you saved in CTU, then another window pops up, so find all the BGEOs you just created and save this as new package. I call mine afAccessoryHeartCollar. This is your final package which you can put into your Mods Folder
*Launch your game to see if your accessory works. Change body weight etc. If everything looks fine, you're done! Now if you have issues ask away.

At first, this might be difficult, but after you do this enough, it will be a piece of cake. As they say: Practice makes perfect
13 users say thanks for this. (Who?)
#2 Old 10th Jan 2011 at 1:38 AM
Very nice job!
Field Researcher
Original Poster
#3 Old 10th Jan 2011 at 2:09 AM Last edited by -Mallow- : 10th Aug 2011 at 10:08 AM.
Thanks, hopefully this is helpfull enough for future accessory creators
˙uʍop ǝpᴉsdn ǝɹ,noʎ 'oN
#4 Old 10th Jan 2011 at 4:54 AM
A well done and much needed tutorial. Awesome work!

"Part of being a mesher is being persistent through your own confusedness" - HystericalParoxysm
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Mother Function
retired moderator
#5 Old 3rd Jun 2011 at 4:47 AM
Thanks for this! I was about to tear my hair out with CTU

"Holy Shift! Check out the asymptotes on that mother function!"
Test Subject
26th Aug 2011 at 11:27 PM
This message has been deleted by wazzup. Reason: i was wrong i got it working
Test Subject
#6 Old 22nd Dec 2011 at 4:32 PM
nice tutorial but...
how am I supposed to locate where i need to place the mesh?
because I want to make 3 earrings that are in a custom place, please help me.
#7 Old 22nd Dec 2011 at 5:23 PM
Originally Posted by mepwn12
nice tutorial but...
how am I supposed to locate where i need to place the mesh?
because I want to make 3 earrings that are in a custom place, please help me.

You can export/extract the face meshes and import those as reference, when you have positioned your accesoire you can delete those meshes.
Lab Assistant
#8 Old 20th Dec 2013 at 7:11 AM
Could you make this tutorial simpler? I can't really understand. I'm trying to make a square head that covers the head for spongebob.
Also a cone shaped head for Patrick. I've already made the other characters by using master controller to extend the slider ranges. And I can't make spongebob and Patrick with just a normal sim head... I 've tried alot of times.
Test Subject
#9 Old 5th Jan 2014 at 1:46 AM
Hello, I am creating a pearl necklace and wonder if it is required to uv map every pearl in a separate location?
Née whiterider
retired moderator
#10 Old 5th Jan 2014 at 2:14 AM
Yes and no. If you map them in the same place, they'll work fine in-game, but they will have weird reflections on them in CAS - you can see an example here:
It's up to you whether or not you're willing to put up with the weird CAS reflections in order to save yourself lots of work and get better texture quality. Personally, I would be.

What I lack in decorum, I make up for with an absence of tact.
Test Subject
#11 Old 5th Jan 2014 at 4:10 AM
I kind of wish I had seen your post earlier...

Originally Posted by Nysha
Yes and no. If you map them in the same place, they'll work fine in-game, but they will have weird reflections on them in CAS - you can see an example here:
It's up to you whether or not you're willing to put up with the weird CAS reflections in order to save yourself lots of work and get better texture quality. Personally, I would be.
Forum Resident
#12 Old 17th May 2014 at 10:47 PM Last edited by shmovese : 22nd May 2014 at 11:42 AM.
i cant see most pics - anyway great tutorial! would be nice if the missing pics would be updated

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