Replies: 89 (Who?), Viewed: 82081 times.
Page 1 of 4
Ms. Byte
Original Poster
#1 Old 25th Jul 2012 at 3:36 PM Last edited by CmarNYC : 10th Dec 2013 at 3:21 PM.
Default Tutorial: Frankensteined Clothing in Seven (reasonably) Easy Steps
Tools Used

Milkshape: (US $35) Plugins for Sims 3:
--You can use Blender instead: (free) Plugins for Sims 3:
GIMP: (free) Plugins for DDS: (I recommend using the 32-bit version for both 32- and 64-bit installs - the 64-bit version seems not to do compression correctly.)
--Or Photoshop or any other compatible image editor with DDS capability and alpha channel editing.
Mesh Toolkit:

Frankensteining a mesh using s3oc, s3pe, Milkshape (or Blender), GIMP (or any image editor that handles DDS files and alpha layers), and Mesh Toolkit. This project will create a short cropped blouse by using the basegame off-shoulder blouse and replacing the torso with the torso of the nude top.

Audience: This is pretty much a beginner's tutorial, with the exception of clothing texturing which it's assumed you know how to do or will learn elsewhere. You should also have Milkshape or Blender set up and functioning correctly and have the appropriate DDS plugins installed for GIMP, Photoshop, or whatever image editor you use. The examples use Milkshape and GIMP but the steps are the same if using other tools. This is only one of the possible methods for combining pieces of meshes but IMO it's suitable for relative beginners while being flexible enough for some more advanced projects.

This tutorial will NOT teach you how to do texturing or the very, very basics of meshing.

1. Clone the two meshes you're going to combine using s3oc.

Run S3OC and click Cloning / (experimental) CAS Part. Wait while S3OC finds the game CAS items. Then search the list to find the items you want. (Click Name at the top of the name column to sort.) In this case, we're looking for afTopBlouseOffShoulder. When you find it, highlight it and on the right side of the window click the Clone or Fix button.

Change the Unique Name to something descriptive (in this case, I'll change BlouseOffShoulder to CroppedTop) and click the Start button, and choose a work folder to save your cloned package in. The clone may take a minute or so. When the clone is finished, repeat the same steps to clone the afTopNude - for this you don't have to change the Unique Name although you can if you want to. When that's done, you can close s3oc.

2. Extract the files you need to modify.

Use S3PE to open the two packages you created in Step 1 and extract the GEOM meshes and the BGEOs as files. If you're not doing a pregnant morph you don't need the Special BGEOs. In the BlouseOffShoulder package, also extract the _IMG files, which are the clothing textures and bumpmap.

Close s3pe.

3. Remove unneeded parts of each mesh.

Run Milkshape, click File / Import / Q-mesh Sims 3 GEOM Importer V0.16 - by Wesley Howe, and import the blouse lod1 GEOM. Repeat and import the nude top lod 1 GEOM. In the Groups tab you should see two GEOMs listed. Highlight each one and rename it so you can tell which is which by typing a new name into the space next to the Rename button and then clicking the Rename button.

Hide the Nude mesh by highlighting it and clicking the Hide button in the Groups tab. Now you can work with the blouse mesh without affecting the nude top. What we're going to do is remove the torso part of the blouse mesh.

In the Model tab, click the Select button so you're in Select mode. Make sure Select Options are set to Vertex. Drag the cursor to select the blouse from the mid-waistline down, leaving a row of vertices extending below the bottom of the breasts. Click Edit / Delete Selection or press the Delete key to remove those vertices.

Now select the very bottom row of vertices and click the Scale button. Under Scale Options, fill in .9 for X and for Z. When you click the Scale button next to those numbers, the ring of vertices will shrink in the X (left-right) and Z (front-back) dimensions. Leaving the vertices selected, now click the Move button and drag the ring of vertices up inside the blouse to form a sort of hem.

Go back to the Groups tab, hide the blouse, and unhide the nude top. Back in the Model tab, select and delete vertices until you have only the torso up to just above the bottom of the breasts. Don't forget to delete the arms. The remainder of the nude top mesh should fit under the bottom of the blouse mesh with a small amount of overlap, ideally just to about where the 'hem' row of vertices of the blouse are. You can unhide the blouse to check the fit. You should also scale down and/or move back the vertices at the bottoms of the breasts to be well inside the blouse to avoid them popping outside the blouse mesh in the fat morph and the breast morphs. You can also try scaling up the bottom of the blouse just a little for the same reason.

Note: For a really neat job, you can join up the edges of the two meshes to form a seam. There are some tools in the Vertex menu that are helpful for this: 1) Snap Together with two or more vertices selected will move them to the same position, midway between them. 2) Sims 2 Unimesh Vertex Data Merge, with two vertices in different meshes selected, will move the vertex in the mesh that's lower in the mesh group tab list to the position of the vertex in the mesh group that's higher in the mesh group list. And yes, it works on Sims 3 meshes. 3) Sims 2 Unimesh Normal Data Merge does the same thing with vertex normals instead of position - useful for making a seam appear smooth.

Do NOT use the Weld tools. They make two or more vertices into one vertex, messing up the numbering, combining mesh groups that shouldn't be combined, and often messing up the UV mapping and making the mesh impossible to export.

When you're satisfied that the two meshes look good together, click File / Export / Q-mesh Sims 3 GEOM Exporter V0.16 - by Wesley Howe, and export the two meshes, naming them something easily identifiable. Close Milkshape.

4. Combine the base meshes and update and combine the morphs.

Run Mesh Toolkit. In the GEOM tools tab, go to the FrankenMesh tab. For Base mesh 1, select your modified blouse mesh from the last step. For the Fat, Fit, and Thin morphs, select the BGEO files for the blouse mesh. For Base mesh 2, select the modified nude mesh from the last step, and for its morphs select the BGEOs for the nude mesh. For 'Vertex number to start renumbering with', fill in 5000. (The standard start number for tops.)

When ready, click 'Update Morphs, Renumber, Combine, and Save'. You'll get a popup asking you to select the lod number of the meshes you're working with. Save the resulting combined base and morph meshes with identifiable names including the lod number. Note that the morphs will be saved as meshes.

(You MUST put the blouse mesh as mesh 1 in the FrankenMesh screen. The reason is that the combined mesh will take the settings (shader and most importantly the bump map and other texture links) of the first mesh listed. In the last step you'll be using the cloned blouse package as your final mod, and you need the combined meshes to link to the same textures as the original cloned meshes from that package. Otherwise the combined mesh bumpmap link won't find a bumpmap and you'll get some weird - although oddly attractive - lighting effects.)

(Optional - to check your work, import the combined meshes into Milkshape - base mesh first, then the morphs. The fat morph in particular is likely to give you trouble - you can either go back to your separate modified parts meshes and change them, or modify the Frankensteined fat mesh. If you modify any of the Frankensteined meshes, export them with the changes.)

Repeat steps 3 and 4 for lods 2 and 3. Lod 3 in particular won't have enough vertices to do a neat job, but it won't be seen closely enough in the game for it to matter. Note that in Mesh Toolkit you'll use the same BGEO files for all three lods, and that the program will automatically update your vertex numbering start number for lod 2 and lod 3.

4a. If the clothing you're making shows a fair amount of skin, like this one does, you should recalculate your new base meshes' tangents to make them work correctly with the muscle definition slider. Run Mesh Toolkit and in the GEOM tools tab go to Mesh Tangent Fixer. Select your combined base mesh file, click the Modify Tangents button, and save the fixed mesh. Do this for lods 1 and 2 - lod 3 is optional. Don't forget that if you modify the base meshes in Milkshape later on you should again run them through this tool.

4b. If Mesh Toolkit tells you there are too many bones in your combined mesh, you'll have to make two meshes. See the section at the end on making more than one mesh for a LOD.

5. Still in Mesh Toolkit, go to the BGEO tools / Make Clothing/Hair BGEO tab. You have to make a new BGEO - Blend GEOmetry, a compressed form of the morph data - for each morph. Give your morph a descriptive name - in this case I'll put 'Cropped Top Fat'. (Using this method, you don't have to worry about a unique name. Using other methods it may be important and in that case you should include your creator name and a more descriptive item name.) Select your Frankensteined fat morph meshes for lod 1, lod 2, and lod 3. (Note that the blank spaces are for multipart meshes - lod1_1, lod1_2, etc. And LOD 0 is for hair - leave it blank.) Click the Make BGEO button and save your BGEO. Repeat for Fit and Thin, changing the morph name each time.

6. Open the clothing texture images you exported way back in Step 2. You can use GIMP, Photoshop, or whatever you're comfortable using as long as it can open and save DDS files and lets you edit the alpha channel. In all of the textures you want to remove the bottom part of the blouse - the part corresponding to the blouse mesh part you removed. I won't go into details since that's a whole other tutorial and this one isn't about texturing.

By the way, I find it's best when editing the bumpmap/mesh normal texture to save with DXT5 compression, or S3PE and CTU will pitch a fit with it.

Note that in this case all we have to do with the texture is to erase the lower parts of the blouse, in this case everything from near the top of the band around the midsection on down, so that the skin texture will show though. If Frankensteining other items, you may have to combine two or more clothing textures or make a new texture.

7. Now use S3PE to open the blouse clone package you created with S3OC back in Step 1. (You must use the same package.) Highlight the lod1 GEOM, right-click, and click Replace. Select the final combined lod 1 top base mesh from Step 4. Repeat for lod2 and lod3. Find the fat BGEO in the package and replace it with the fat BGEO you made in Step 5. Repeat for the fit and thin BGEOs. Find and replace the blouse texture images. Save and close the package.

And that's it! Install your modifed clone package in your game as usual, and it should show up in CAS as a short top.

To perfect it you can do a few things like setting preset patterns with CAS Texture Unitool (CTU), adding shadowing under the bottom edge in the textures, checking all the morphs and combinations of morphs in CAS, and tweaking the bone assignments under the breasts so the top fits better over the large breast morph, and you might find that the Mesh Toolkit Auto-morph function can make a better fat morph of the combined mesh. In other projects you may include a Special (pregnant) morph which you'd do exactly the same way as the other morphs. But at this point you've got all the basics.

Bonus information on making more than one mesh for a LOD:

If your combined mesh uses more than 60 bones, it will cause distortion in the game. More than 60 bones is most likely to happen in full body meshes, especially for skirts. In this case you've most likely cloned a full body skirt mesh for one of your parts, and it has more than one mesh for LOD 1 and maybe LOD 2 and LOD 3: named lod1 and lod1_1, lod2 and lod2_1, etc. When combining the meshes in step 4, what you need to end up with is two meshes for the same lods that have two meshes in the original clone. The lod1 mesh is usually pretty complete, but Lod1_1 is usually a small piece, maybe just a few fingers, and it's usually best to combine that with the part or parts you're using from other meshes. This will depend on what you're removing from each mesh for your particular project, however, and you may have to experiment. Use the FrankenMesh tool to create each part in order, even if you only have one mesh to load in it, so that the renumbering will be done correctly and your second mesh's numbers will start right after the first mesh's numbers. (Or use the mesh renumber function to renumber the two meshes in order. The important thing is that vertex numbers MUST run continuously without overlap within a lod - overlap is okay between different lods.) Then in step 5 make new BGEOs by loading lod1_1 under lod1 and lod2_1 (if any) under lod2, etc., and in step 7, replace the lod1 and lod1_1 with your two new meshes and again the same for lod 2 if necessary.

I hope this is useful to all you simmer Dr. Frankensteins out there!
22 users say thanks for this. (Who?)
Test Subject
#2 Old 26th Jul 2012 at 10:27 PM
Thanks! I plan to try this out!
#3 Old 27th Jul 2012 at 2:10 PM Last edited by Fawkes : 29th Jul 2012 at 5:16 AM. Reason: PIC!
LOVE IT Cmar! You have no idea how excited I am to use this SO much. Meshing will be so much less hassle. Thanks!! :D

Edit: First Trial! Cut the rolled portions off a (Showtime?) mesh and made some nice lowrise shorts! Thanks for the tut, its super easy to do!

(())Pass the ribbon around if you know someone that has
//\\survived, died, or is living with cancer.
Lab Assistant
#4 Old 31st Jul 2012 at 10:57 AM
Thanks for this very helpful tutorial!
is going to be a cat when she grows up.
retired moderator
#5 Old 2nd Aug 2012 at 8:03 PM
The tutorial (and your tools) are wonderful. I've managed to remove the waistband from the Maxis terrycloth shorts and make them into something I really like so far. But I'm running into issues, some of which I've encountered before, and one that's totally new to me.

1. Slight shift/gap between top and bottom at waist. Do I move the vertices on the top or bottom clothing mesh to resolve the seam?

2. Even all I did was remove the waistband from the shorts, with no scaling of any other vertices (that I know of), the hip bones are bleeding through in the back and there's tearing around the waist. I'm used to seeing this when I scale down a shirt to make it more fitting. I'm not sure why it happened this time though.

3. The stencil is ... really borked. I don't have the FIRST idea what I've done wrong.

Ms. Byte
Original Poster
#6 Old 3rd Aug 2012 at 12:41 AM
For the waistline gap, probably you should adjust the verts of the mesh you're modding, which I assume is the bottom. If you're modding both, IMO you should use a standard EA top or bottom and snap the verts of both your meshes to its waist verts, plus copy the bone assignments.

For the clipping through - do you have a body mesh under the shorts mesh or overlapping really close to each other? If so, clipping can be hard to avoid - you need verts to be right on top of each other with identical bone assignments. I'd try matching up the verts where the shorts meet the body and remove as much overlap as possible; make one mesh join right to the other if you can. The Auto-bone tool may also help by making the bone assignments the same or almost the same for verts close to each other.

Sorry, can't help with stencil problems - I'm not much on texturing.
Test Subject
#7 Old 5th Aug 2012 at 11:38 PM
First, let me say that I am very impressed with your tool. I find Sims 3 creating incredibly frustrating, and I believe your tool takes away much of the reason that this is so.

Originally Posted by CmarNYC
Tools Used

(You MUST put the blouse mesh as mesh 1 in the FrankenMesh screen. The reason is that the combined mesh will take the settings (shader and most importantly the bump map and other texture links) of the first mesh listed. In the last step you'll be using the cloned blouse package as your final mod, and you need the combined meshes to link to the same textures as the original cloned meshes from that package. Otherwise the combined mesh bumpmap link won't find a bumpmap and you'll get some weird - although oddly attractive - lighting effects.)

I am afraid this is where I went wrong, when I tried to follow your tutorial. Is there by any chance a way to fix this aside from starting from scratch? I had to make quite a few adjustments to the mesh and don't look forward to repeating it.
Ms. Byte
Original Poster
#8 Old 6th Aug 2012 at 12:59 AM
Originally Posted by Amaryll
I am afraid this is where I went wrong, when I tried to follow your tutorial. Is there by any chance a way to fix this aside from starting from scratch? I had to make quite a few adjustments to the mesh and don't look forward to repeating it.

I think you can fix it with Milkshape - import the mesh you should have put first in Frankenmesh, copy the comments in the Group tab, import your combo mesh and paste those comments to replace its Group comments, then export. Those comments contain all the shader and link info. Hopefully that'll fix it.
Test Subject
#9 Old 6th Aug 2012 at 9:48 AM
Yes, that did the trick! Thank you so much for your help.
world renowned whogivesafuckologist
retired moderator
#10 Old 6th Aug 2012 at 9:49 AM
Yay, I can't wait to try this! Thank you so much for this tutorial, your tools, and all you've done, Cmar. You are a wonder.

my simblr (sometimes nsfw)

“Dude, suckin’ at something is the first step to being sorta good at something.”
Panquecas, panquecas e mais panquecas.
Ms. Byte
Original Poster
#11 Old 6th Aug 2012 at 4:15 PM
So nice of you, HP! I'm blushing.
Test Subject
#12 Old 29th Aug 2012 at 10:25 PM Last edited by luluke0325 : 1st Sep 2012 at 7:10 PM.
CmarNYC, I do not know how to thank you, thanks to your efforts!You made ​​a great tool! !
Even though I do not really understand you wrote this tutorial (I could not speak English ... are using Google Translate view these tutorials very difficult, if there is the Chinese version of the how good ..... My idea is not too luxury, ha ha).
Please forgive my English is bad, I use Google translator to write these words, and just want to express my gratitude. : D
Field Researcher
#13 Old 14th Sep 2012 at 10:02 PM
Amazing! This'll let me TRY to do all of the things I've been wanting to do. I'm still fighting with the very basic stuff in Milkshape -- took me 2 hrs just to figure out how to deselect individual vertices. Didn't think of trying the RIGHT mouse button lol. My Frankensteins still look VERY Frankensteiney, but the smoothness will come with practice I suppose. Thanks so much for taking the time to put together the tuts that show us beginners where to begin with projects that make some not-so-basic looking stuff!
Test Subject
#14 Old 24th Sep 2012 at 10:36 PM
Thanks for making my life easier Cmar! :D
Field Researcher
#15 Old 2nd Oct 2012 at 10:06 PM Last edited by sciguy77 : 2nd Oct 2012 at 10:46 PM.
I can't get my new package to open once everything is put in it's place. The original package was made with TSRW (or at least I think so -- CTU won't open it). No matter how it was made the original opens fine in TSRW. I've re-meshed all 3 LOD's in Milkshape and replaced the original GEOM files inside the package using s3pe. The face and vertex counts were changed dramatically in LOD1 from splitting seams, moving things around, and making sure there were no visible backfaces where things were opened up. LOD2's face count is approximately 50% of LOD1, and LOD3's around 50% of LOD2. 4 morphs were made for each LOD. For some reason LOD1's morphs vary by 1-2 vertices each but the facecount is the same and they all open in MS with no problems. LOD 2 and 3 have (respectively) identical vertex and face counts. The BGEO's were made with Mesh Toolkit, one for the fat, fit, special, and thin morphs. The original package BGEO's were then replaced with my new ones. When I try to open the modded package in TSRW, I get an error saying 'Index was outside the bounds of the array' and end up staring at a blank screen. PLEASE tell me there's an easy fix for this. I'm really happy with how good these meshes look and am confident it's going to look great in-game once I get it to open and tweak the retextures.

EDIT: When I went back to close TSRW I found this in the work area. Oddly, the arms are an area of the mesh I didn't touch at all.
Ms. Byte
Original Poster
#16 Old 3rd Oct 2012 at 1:57 PM
That looks like a morph explosion, which is caused by the morphs not matching the base. How did you make the lod1 morphs? If their vertex counts don't match the base, that's a problem and without knowing exactly how TSRW works I imagine it could cause an 'out of bounds' error as well as the distortion. Are they GEOM morphs or a WSO?

How the devil do you open a package in TSRW anyway? I've tried to find this function several times with no luck.

You could try running your base and morphs through Toolkit Match Morphs function - that should get the morph vertex counts to match the base.
Forum Resident
#17 Old 3rd Oct 2012 at 3:16 PM
@Cmar - You have to start a new project then choose new import, just make sure to change the file type dropbox to .package.
Ms. Byte
Original Poster
#18 Old 3rd Oct 2012 at 5:40 PM
Originally Posted by omegastarr82
@Cmar - You have to start a new project then choose new import, just make sure to change the file type dropbox to .package.

The Import menu option under File does nothing - I click it and nothing happens. I have the latest version of TSRW and have also tried it in previous versions. If that option is supposed to work, something's wrong with my computer or TSRW installation, I guess. Also if I do Edit / Project Contents and try to import a .package, it says "Import of .package has not been implemented for this type of project yet." Maybe TSRW just doesn't like me...
Field Researcher
#19 Old 5th Oct 2012 at 4:36 AM Last edited by sciguy77 : 5th Oct 2012 at 5:14 AM.
Sorry to hear TSRW is being user hostile to ya -- the more I use it the more I like it, even though it has some design flaws. If 'Create New Project'>'New Import'>'Browse'> doesn't open up a window where the default 'TSR Workshop project (*.wrk)' is on a drop-down box where you can select either packages or Sims3packs, there's something wrong somewhere.
Anyway, I scrapped this project once AGAIN. Match morphs corrected the mangled mesh, but it was a modded version of another creator's work. I hope to share this when it's done so I started with an EA package extracted with S3OC this time (version 8 now I think!). When I opened up the front of this shirt, created all the interior faces, and welded in an oversized collar the new vertices were not very friendly to Frankebmesh when run through as a combined mesh. Separating the torso from the combined shirt and collar gave excellent results, but I'm a little unclear on how to handle lod1 and lod1_1. Here's what I've done so far. The lod1 parts were grouped together to make lod2 and 3, and then they were used to make their morphs. No worries there. I made lod1 and lod1_1's morphs with 'Auto-create Morphs'. That's where I'm at right now. I'm planning to make the BGEO's by running the 16 different morphs I have through 'Make clothing/hair BGEO' in Toolkit. I'm not really sure about the final step though. Will the package 'know' that lod1 is split into 2 pieces when I put everything together? The cloned package I dissected doesn't have lod1_1.
Ms. Byte
Original Poster
#20 Old 5th Oct 2012 at 2:21 PM
OMG, I can't believe I looked at that New Project screen a hundred times and never noticed the 'New Import' button. Call it a whole bunch of senior moments! Thanks for posting the screengrabs to show me where to look. (I was trying to use the File menu / Import option which was apparently put there just to confuse me. )
Field Researcher
#21 Old 5th Oct 2012 at 3:50 PM
Glad to hear you can get packages into TSRW now. There's no doubt they put that File Menu>import button on the initial screen with the sole intent of confusing you personally! I do still have a question tho. I want to remove some of lod1 and put it into the package as lod1_1. Will the package 'know' that lod1 is split into 2 pieces when I put everything together? The cloned package I dissected doesn't have lod1_1. Not a big rush here -- looks like I'm going to re-do lod2 and 3 once I get the whole normals issue worked out. Meshing ain't hard, but learning HOW to mesh is a pretty daunting task!
Ms. Byte
Original Poster
#22 Old 5th Oct 2012 at 6:47 PM
Ah, yes. At present there's no easy way to add a mesh part to a lod. Bloom did a tutorial on how to do it for lod3, and it's the identical process for lod1. It's easier to simply choose a different clothing to clone that has a lod1_1.

I'm putting this on my list of things to add to Toolkit.
#23 Old 5th Oct 2012 at 7:35 PM
The tutorial is a bit outdated, it is much easier to create a lower lod with direct x but assigne the boneweights with toolkit.
You wont have those exploded fingers then
It is a result of welding the high and lower lods together to transfer the boneweights

The lace dress on my site has 3 groups per lod, feel free to clone it
The first 2 meshgroups are shader simskin, the last CASsimhairsimple
Field Researcher
#24 Old 6th Oct 2012 at 4:19 AM
After reading the page you linked, I've decided to forget about making a split lod for this project. There's already enough things that could go wrong -- I'll advance to multi-part lod's once I get more comfortable with everything I've just learned. I'll definitely get some use out of that lace dress though -- I've seen some awesome skirts for TS2 I wanna try and make. I can't believe it -- I'm actually getting close to completion and feel kinda warm and fuzzy that I actually know how to finish up. Thanks so much to both of you for your help.
Scaling the lod's by 10000 to weld them really gives me problems. I don't know why, but MS has a lot of trouble working with that large a number. If I understand what you're telling me, I can use the bone tool in Toolkit instead of scaling up, welding, and then scaling back. I'll definitely try that the next time I need to make a reduced poly count lod.
Ms. Byte
Original Poster
#25 Old 6th Oct 2012 at 12:28 PM
I think I used a smaller multiplier when I used Bloom's lower lod creation procedure and it worked fine. Might have been as low as 100, I don't remember.
Page 1 of 4
Back to top