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Lab Assistant
#101 Old 9th Mar 2005 at 11:07 PM
Thanks for youe help Miche. I manage to openthe smd in milkshape.
Nat
Lab Assistant
#102 Old 10th Mar 2005 at 6:11 AM Last edited by Saikatsu : 10th Mar 2005 at 6:30 AM.
Me again. Run while you still can XD

I was looking around other parts of the site and found how to make shiny clothing and stuff, found the adult female super chef (afbodysuperchef) files that uses a separate meshes, one for the normal texture on the body and another mesh for the clothing, which is shiny.

I have two meshes in this file. body and body_reflected.

I want to take a different, single mesh and use it to make shiny clothes for a faerie mesh I've been making. I use afbodysundress to do this.

I bring afbodysundress's GMDC into the Mesh Tool and extract it to a SMD file. Then I import that SMD to 3DS, duplicate the one mesh,delete the exposed body from one and the clothing from the other. Save them as separate SMD files.

Now, since I have NO idea how to edit the afbodysundress GMDC (which only has a "body" mesh) to include both body and body_reflected properly, I thought I'd take the afbodysuperchef GMDC and import my SMDs into that. I check the Using 3DS box, load the reflected SMD file, load the afbodysuperchef GMDC, select the existing body_reflected, change sub-group to 1, commit, save. Same process as with single mesh GMDC files. I only did it with that one to test before moving on to the other one.

But when I go into SimPE and do Replace... SimPE freaks out on me. Something about can't contain null values. After getting rid of that message, the Blocklist is blank. Completely blank. Can't do Fix Integrity, SimPE just errors on me again. Obviously, I'm doing something wrong.

What steps should I be doing to get this to work properly?
I've attached the package, GMDC and SMD files, in case you want to look at them. I have not included the bad import file because it flat out doesn't work, I tried it a few times over. Hopefully I'm not forgetting anything this time.

I would like to know exactly what I need to do, since I have not yet attached the wings to this mesh, I'd like to be able to correctly re-insert the body_reflected mesh once I do... X3;

Thanks again for your time and patience.
Download - please read all instructions before downloading any files!
File Type: rar rrnfafaerieshortdress.rar (205.8 KB, 29 downloads) - View custom content
Lab Assistant
#103 Old 11th Mar 2005 at 5:02 PM
Default Mesh Tool .9.46 .smd export problem
Hi Miche,

You probably saw that I had success with importing in this XSI question thread:
http://www.modthesims2.com/attachme...tid=40905&stc=1

There was one problem: the arms and hands were blocky (not smoothed):
http://forums.modthesims2.com/attac...tid=41503&stc=1
The arrows are showing the sharp edges. Some are due to the smoothing angle setting in XSI, and some are due to the normals as exported from the Mesh Tool. Note the line along the hip in the picture above: this is not due to XSI smoothing angle.

http://forums.modthesims2.com/attac...tid=41504&stc=1
Note the sharp crease in the cleavage in the picture above. This is due to the smoothing angle setting from XSI.

I changed the default Geometry Approximation settings in XSI for the smoothing angle:
http://forums.modthesims2.com/attac...tid=41509&stc=1
It defaulted to 'Automatic' on, and a setting of '60'. However, after changing it, the mesh still has problems as shown above. Note the dark and light areas (sun & moon). Also note that along the boundaries of the separate mesh pieces (boundaries are light blue lines in mesh), the normals (dark blue) are split. At a boundary, there are two points that are co-incident, so there are two vertex normals. Because the normals at the boundaries in this .smd file are not equal, the shading on each side of a boundary is different.

After importing this .smd mesh into the game, the creases due to XSI smoothing angle went away. But there is still another problem with the mesh:
http://forums.modthesims2.com/attac...tid=41505&stc=1 http://forums.modthesims2.com/attac...tid=41506&stc=1
The boundaries are shading differently on each side, but the non-boundary creasing went away (such as at the cleavage). The picture below shows the problem clearly:
http://forums.modthesims2.com/attac...tid=41507&stc=1

I decided to import an .obj to compare:
http://forums.modthesims2.com/attac...tid=41508&stc=1
In the picture above, the .smd is behind the .obj import. Both have the default XSI smoothing angle. However, the .obj is completely smooth, both at the boundaries and in the non-boundary areas, such as the cleavage.

Below is a picture of the .obj normals. Note that the normals of the two points along the boundaries are merged (co-incident). The circles highlight the boundary points. The normals from each of these points are co-incident, so that the two normals look like only one normal. This makes the surface of the .obj mesh render as if there were no boundary.
http://forums.modthesims2.com/attac...tid=41511&stc=1
The picture below shows how smooth it renders:
http://forums.modthesims2.com/attac...tid=41512&stc=1
I then discovered that there was a 'User Normal' added to the .obj mesh in XSI that was missing in the .smd mesh. In the picture below, I dragged and copied the User Normal folder in the XSI explorer from the .obj mesh to the .smd mesh. The result is that the .smd mesh was now smoothed correctly, but the normals on the entire mesh were now rotated 90-degrees. This is probably due to the fact that Mesh Tool is exporting the .smd in an 'upright' position, but the .obj is exported in a 'prone' position.
http://forums.modthesims2.com/attac...tid=41513&stc=1
The picture below shows that the normals are rotated 90-degrees on the .smd mesh:
http://forums.modthesims2.com/attac...tid=41510&stc=1

Miche, is there a way to fix the .smd export that would correct this?

Or at the least, how about leaving the .smd export rotated the same as the .obj export, so that the user normals from an .obj can be used on an .smd? It would be an extra step to export an .obj of the same mesh just for the User Normals, but it could be a quick fix until something else can be done.

Thanks,

- Jay
Lab Assistant
#104 Old 12th Mar 2005 at 4:09 AM Last edited by Mabelline : 12th Mar 2005 at 4:30 AM.
I have the similar problem with Jay but my situation is even worse.My dress is broken and semi-transparent.
http://www.modthesims2.com/attachme...tid=41681&stc=1
What I have done to the dress is just moving some of the vertices and then reassigning all its vertices.
When I import another smd file that I haven't reassign any vertices to bones, the problem is the same as Jay.
http://www.modthesims2.com/attachme...tid=41685&stc=1
I think maybe reassignment of vertices to bones (by setting envelope) causes the dress to be broken and semi-transparent.
Why it is so?

Jay,have you reassigned all the vertices by setting envelope?
Screenshots
Alchemist
#105 Old 12th Mar 2005 at 8:24 AM
Jaycephus:
Are the screenshots from the free XSI package or the full one?
<* Wes *>

If you like to say what you think, be sure you know which to do first.
Nearly alive
Original Poster
#106 Old 12th Mar 2005 at 1:43 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by wes_h
Jaycephus:
Are the screenshots from the free XSI package or the full one?
<* Wes *>


Wes,
I`m not sure but I think most of the features are in the free one that are in the foundation version, other than some of the saving of data and files being disabled.

Jaycephus,

I`ll try to have a look at this over the weekend, it has been a very busy week for me, as it was the first week back at work after the birth of my daughter. So I have a lot of catching up do to this weekend in regards to the mesh tool.
Lab Assistant
#107 Old 12th Mar 2005 at 7:38 PM Last edited by Jaycephus : 13th Mar 2005 at 12:39 AM.
Hi, guys, no big hurry or anything. I know you are providing free tools in your spare time. I just wanted to put the information up here. I know you all have been working on this stuff, and have a real life too. Congratulations on the new daughter. I have a one-year old son, and it is the greatest thing ever.

Wes, the screenshots are from one of the full versions (Foundation).

I own XSI Foundation, so using ModTool would be redundant. ModTool is Foundation with some things disabled, basically. I had considered installing ModTool on my system just to test how a procedure worked in ModTool, but after reading on Softimage.com about what exactly is different, I decided that it would be a waste of time. It is not a very big difference outside of disabling certain import/export capabilities.

The .smd import and export is exactly the same for all versions of XSI, because that is provided by the valve.addon, which is the same for any version of XSI. You can see that Mabelline's import has the same issues as mine, namely, the problem of the .smd file not having the User Normals (the normals as set by Maxis).

Mabelline, I never re-assigned the envelope. This would automatically reset the bone weights, and depending on how you set the envelope operator, and how XSI automatically assigns weights, a given point on the mesh might go from being assigned to three bones to being assigned to only one, for example. This would have a significant effect on how the mesh would look in a given pose, and how it would animate in-game. So if editing an existing mesh, it just makes more sense not to mess with the envelope. You 'could' tweak it. I've seen meshes in the game where there is ugly distortion in the chest area or other areas during certain animations that might be improved by tweaking the vertex-to-bone weights, but I wouldn't want to try it until we have the actual skeleton setup in XSI so that the edits could be tested in XSI as they are made.

So to answer your question, no, I don't reassign the envelope, and yes, reassigning the envelope is probably the reason your mesh becomes distorted, due to the fact that the vertexes may be assigned to entirely different bones than what Maxis had assigned them to originally.

On your question of modifying this dress to have frills (in the other thread), yes it is possible, and you are on the right track. The fashion police might get you, though. (just kidding) When you add the points that make up the frill, you will just have to manually edit their bone weights so that they are similar to the pre-existing points that are near them. If you add a point near the shoulder, set the weights of the new point to be the same as one of the pre-existing points in the shoulder. Then you will have to test it in-game to see how it works with various in-game animations. To see the current weighting on a few of the pre-existing points and your new points at the same time, go into point edit mode ('T'), select the new points and a few of the pre-existing points in the same area, and then press CNTL-E to open up the weight editor. To texture the new frills, view your mesh in the Texture Editor, and move the new points out to an open area on the texture. Open up the texture file in Photoshop. Paste in a lace texture in the same area in Photoshop and save it, and then when you switch back to XSI, it will update the texture to show the lace. Then you can edit the alpha map in Photoshop so that the lace is shown in the game.

It will be really cool if the MTS guys can extract the full skeletons and animations from the games and bring them into XSI. Then all of this can be edited and tested in XSI.

- Jay
Lab Assistant
#108 Old 12th Mar 2005 at 8:30 PM
There is a problem that people are currently having when they try to import an edited .obj file into a MESH package. I am having the same problem with various versions of both SimPE and Mesh Tool. Using the tutorial by Brianna, if I place the original GMDC back into the mesh package, there is no problem in the game. If I create an edited.obj GMDC created by Mesh Tool (.9.46, and the previous version as well), then the mesh is exploded in the game. I can then replace the original GMDC or an edited.smd GMDC back into the mesh package, and it is back to the un-exploded state in the game. I am wondering if the problem is actually in how Mesh Tool creates the edited.obj GMDC? (As always, I am using XSI to create the edited .obj, so that is also a factor in this case. Should I try importing/exporting the .obj trough Milkshape?)

Thanks,

- Jay
Lab Assistant
DELETED POST
12th Mar 2005 at 11:39 PM
This message has been deleted by atavera. Reason: problem solved
Alchemist
#109 Old 13th Mar 2005 at 5:47 AM
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jaycephus
It will be really cool if the MTS guys can extract the full skeletons and animations from the games and bring them into XSI. Then all of this can be edited and tested in XSI.


This MTS guy doesn't have XSI, and dreads the thought of that HUGE download on a hickuppy dialup connection.
Now that MTS guy (YOU) could get all the joint locations from MilkShape with the plugins. There are reasons I didn't connect the bones up during import (they aren't connected in the GMDC), but the locations are correct.
Prior research I did leads me to believe that the bone locations in the CRES file override the locations in the GMDC, anyway. You just need the bones to establish the assignments and the relative distances between the vertices and the joints.

If you like to say what you think, be sure you know which to do first.
Lab Assistant
#110 Old 13th Mar 2005 at 6:58 AM Last edited by Mabelline : 13th Mar 2005 at 7:34 AM.
Thx, Jay! So there is no need to remap or change (in XSI) the alpha and the normal map of the dress?
Wes, I am not clear about how to use the milkshape plugins. Of coz I know how to import and export gmdc with milkshape.I just don't know when to use it. When I want the meshes to be in smd format, how can i use it?
Lab Assistant
#111 Old 13th Mar 2005 at 9:44 PM Last edited by Jaycephus : 13th Mar 2005 at 9:59 PM.
Heh, Wes. Actually, the Mesh Tool gives us joint positions in the .smd export. Miche has talked about connecting up the bones at some point in the future, and that was that to which I was referring.

I discovered last night that the normals in the .smd as exported from the Mesh Tool seem to be correct, because I can reimport that .smd unedited back into a MESH package, and it renders correctly in SimPE & bs. But if I import it into XSI, it loses the original Maxis normals and defaults to plain normals at the time of import. I can then import an .obj, which will have a 'User Normal' folder created at import, and I can drag or copy that folder over to the .smd mesh and then have the smooth rendering on the .smd in XSI, SimPE, and bs. The only problem with that workaround currently is that the normals of the .obj are 90-degrees out of sync with the .smd mesh.

I don't know if the XSI .smd importer is just incapable of bringing in User Normals or not. I might be able to find a HalfLife2 mod site that could tell us.

Thanks,

- Jay
Alchemist
#112 Old 14th Mar 2005 at 4:37 AM
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mabelline
Thx, Jay! So there is no need to remap or change (in XSI) the alpha and the normal map of the dress?
Wes, I am not clear about how to use the milkshape plugins. Of coz I know how to import and export gmdc with milkshape.I just don't know when to use it. When I want the meshes to be in smd format, how can i use it?


Well, I was confused about what jaycephus was saying.
You could use the MilkShape GMDC Import plugin or you could use the .obj export from SimPE and the MilkShape .obj importer. Half of one, six dozen of the other. But that wasn't what I was meaning (see jaycephus message).
<* Wes *>

If you like to say what you think, be sure you know which to do first.
Lab Assistant
#113 Old 24th Mar 2005 at 4:55 AM
I added a long post to the Mesh Tool Help thread about issues with .obj import-export in most 3D packages:

http://forums.modthesims2.com/showt...?t=51143&page=3

I'm curious if anyone knows what is going on with XSI and other .obj exporters that create a lot of additional vertex normals and texture vertexes, and redefine the faces, compared to the original .obj import. I've found that different packages do the same things in this respect, though they all do things a little differently as well. Although I haven't checked it, I'm sure the issues with Max and Maya .obj exports having problems in-game are because of this as well.

Thanks,

- Jay
Test Subject
#114 Old 24th Mar 2005 at 6:14 AM
I'm sure that this will work as well as the previous MeshTool, which is easy for a beginner like me to understand!
Field Researcher
#115 Old 24th Mar 2005 at 6:26 PM Last edited by grykon : 24th Mar 2005 at 6:38 PM.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jaycephus
I added a long post to the Mesh Tool Help thread about issues with .obj import-export in most 3D packages:

http://forums.modthesims2.com/showt...?t=51143&page=3

I'm curious if anyone knows what is going on with XSI and other .obj exporters that create a lot of additional vertex normals and texture vertexes, and redefine the faces, compared to the original .obj import. I've found that different packages do the same things in this respect, though they all do things a little differently as well. Although I haven't checked it, I'm sure the issues with Max and Maya .obj exports having problems in-game are because of this as well.

Thanks,


Hey Jay....I was examining the output obj from simpe, milkshape and blender. SimPE and milkshape are very comparable...blender on the other hand...*wow* The sections start off the same, but become weird real quick! none of blender's sections end the same, and the triangle section is really messed up...I had hoped that the problem was maybe a simple problem that I could code my own program to take a blender obj, edit out what shouldn't be there and save it and have a viable obj file. After looking at it, there isn't a change...it duplicates a lot of the data, which isn't too big of a deal, the biggest problem is the triangle area...there isn't anyway I could see to write code to know what was or wasn't suppose to be there and fix it...Haven't looked at XSI yet...

I've tried following the tut here to get an smd file into the game, but it keeps defaulting to the original mesh...I know it shows up in the mesh tool correctly, but when I try replacing the gmdc file with it, it doesn't work.

EDIT: After reading your linked post there, I guess I won't...Sounds kinda like what I am seeng in Blender's output...There must be a couple of different standards for obj file formats...or maybe the milkshape/simpe format was an original and everyone else has moved on to another...Not sure what the answer here is.
Lab Assistant
#116 Old 25th Mar 2005 at 2:24 AM
I added an even longer reply to my post in the thread I link to above in post # 124.

Basically, XSI and other apps use a vertex normal per poly per vertex, so a model with 100 triangles will have 300 vertex normals (100 polys times 3 vertices per poly), but TS2 only expects 1 normal per vertex.

- Jay
Lab Assistant
#117 Old 26th Mar 2005 at 2:26 AM
Hi grykon, I read your last edit.

Basically, games don't want to work with un-needed, extra data. Maxis and others use one vertex normal per vertex, and have no way to handle more.

Some 3D apps don't store vertex normals in .obj exports, even if you imported a file that has them. When they export, the .obj file just has the vertex data, face data, and maybe the UV data (texture vertexes). Some 3D apps export normal data, but it is per-poly instead of per vertex. Custom plugins or helper utilities will have to handle this problem.

BTW, Milkshape is being used by some to massage the .obj. I need to do another test on XSI .obj files that are imported/exported by Milkshape, but I already know what happens if you import a file from an app that strips out all the normals. Milkshape just creates a dummy vertex normal (v 0 0 0), and then references this normal in the face data. The result is a model that is all black in a renderer. The resulting .obj will be accepted by the Mesh Tool, but you want to be sure to change the settings before creating a new GMDC. Everything except vertices needs to be unchecked so that only the vertex data is imported to the new GMDC. The 'original' GMDC provides the rest of the data. I'm pretty sure this technique can also be used with an XSI .obj, but I'll need to test it. It is an acceptable technique for many types of mesh edits, but for more extreme editing, the original normals will not look right on the new mesh. Shadows and highlights might show up in unusual areas.

- Jay
Field Researcher
#118 Old 26th Mar 2005 at 7:01 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jaycephus
Hi grykon, I read your last edit.

BTW, Milkshape is being used by some to massage the .obj. I need to do another test on XSI .obj files that are imported/exported by Milkshape, but I already know what happens if you import a file from an app that strips out all the normals. Milkshape just creates a dummy vertex normal (v 0 0 0), and then references this normal in the face data. The result is a model that is all black in a renderer. The resulting .obj will be accepted by the Mesh Tool, but you want to be sure to change the settings before creating a new GMDC. Everything except vertices needs to be unchecked so that only the vertex data is imported to the new GMDC. The 'original' GMDC provides the rest of the data. I'm pretty sure this technique can also be used with an XSI .obj, but I'll need to test it. It is an acceptable technique for many types of mesh edits, but for more extreme editing, the original normals will not look right on the new mesh. Shadows and highlights might show up in unusual areas.


Let's see if I can reply to this before the board goes down (again) and I lose what I say...I've not had any problems with MS other then that one mesh we discussed in the other thread more then a month ago...And as that isn't a problem with MS but the way Maxis created that mesh. Whenever I import a modified mesh, I only have the replace names unchecked...

I have been following Wes's thread, about the animation plug-ins and I am thinking now that I have MS registered, I may adventure a little and put them in...since with those Wes says we can actually add to or delete from the mesh. The one thing that bothers me about most of the meshes, is that the clothes looked painted on...what I would like to try is adding a small area around where I want the clothes to be to give the edge a raised look...Might help with the painted look.
Space Pony
#119 Old 29th Mar 2005 at 8:15 AM
Saikatsu,

I think I can help you a little bit because i have extensive knowledge of the SuperChef outfit LOL - it took me over a month to finally figure out how to get it to extract properly & be editable.

What you need to do is start with the SuperChef outfit to make any new mesh that you want to have reflectivity because it & the orange teen dress are the only meshs that have a body_reflected in the GMDC & we can't add or subtract from the GMDC. Whatever is in there to start with is what we have to work with. You can't use the sundress for reflectivity because the GMDC doesn't have a body_reflected listing & you can't add it, it has to be there to start with.

Morague
Lab Assistant
#120 Old 29th Mar 2005 at 8:41 PM Last edited by Jaycephus : 29th Mar 2005 at 8:44 PM.
Quote:
Originally Posted by grykon
...I've not had any problems with MS other then that one mesh we discussed in the other thread more then a month ago...And as that isn't a problem with MS but the way Maxis created that mesh. Whenever I import a modified mesh, I only have the replace names unchecked...

I have been following Wes's thread, about the animation plug-ins and I am thinking now that I have MS registered, I may adventure a little and put them in...since with those Wes says we can actually add to or delete from the mesh. The one thing that bothers me about most of the meshes, is that the clothes looked painted on...what I would like to try is adding a small area around where I want the clothes to be to give the edge a raised look...Might help with the painted look.


Right, if you are importing a SimPE .obj directly into MS and then back out, you should have few problems, though I did notice that it alters the data some. Checking the MS-altered file in a program that displayed the normals and the mesh boundaries with different colored line segments (XSI), I could not find a visual problem or defect, but the file actually had fewer normals than the original, and it had even fewer texture vertices than normals, so there is some data being deleted, and there 'could' be a slight problem or shading defect in-game. Or it could mean that the file was not optimized by Maxis, and MS automatically optimized it, creating a slightly leaner file.

And with Wes' plug-in, you are getting all of the mesh and bone data into MS, but I think there might still be an issue with that. In the dresses I've played with, it looks like the original TS2 data will weight individual vertices to 1-3 bones, whereas MS can only handle one bone per vertex. This means that for a vertex that was originally affected by three bones, Wes' plug-in has to choose one bone out of the three and assign a '100%' weight to that bone for that vertex. The resulting mesh, once imported back into the game, may have some rougher animation, but I'm not sure how noticeable this would be in actual practice.

In any case, the answer is yes, you will be able to add vertices, and therefore polys. See my most recent post in this thread for a bit of a technical explanation: http://www.modthesims2.com/showthread.php?t=53591

- Jay
Test Subject
#121 Old 2nd Apr 2005 at 12:40 PM
I'm a Thai people who lives in Thailand.Thailand is a country in the south-
east asia. Thai language is the native (formal) language of Thailand.
(so I'm sorry if I 've used any wrong words or grammar.)
I want to post a translated tutorial which is composed of your tutorial
and WDS BriAnna's tutorial and was translated into Thai by myself.
I also add some pics to your tutorial which I captured by myself.
I planned to post the translated (and mixed) at
Thai The Sims 2 Webboard. Do you allow me to post it?
(I've attached a zip file which contains this translated tutorial and some font
you will need to view it. In addition, it has "Note to Miche.txt" which
has more detail.)
Download - please read all instructions before downloading any files!
File Type: zip Thai Translated Mixed Tutorial (Miche).zip (3.02 MB, 43 downloads) - View custom content
Field Researcher
#122 Old 2nd Apr 2005 at 1:24 PM
Hi, this may be a stupid question but how do I import objects into the gmdc? I have a bed and I have imported the frame and that works fine but I also want to add an additional object into that gmdc instead of one overwriting something. How can I do this?
Test Subject
DELETED POST
4th Apr 2005 at 8:34 PM
Default Glasses
This message has been deleted by dvoid. Reason: Moved to Help Forum
Field Researcher
#123 Old 4th Apr 2005 at 9:22 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by TheSims2Master
Hi, this may be a stupid question but how do I import objects into the gmdc? I have a bed and I have imported the frame and that works fine but I also want to add an additional object into that gmdc instead of one overwriting something. How can I do this?


I have the same stupid question as TheSims2Master. Is it possible to add a mesh with its own name so its own material ?
Field Researcher
#124 Old 4th Apr 2005 at 10:28 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by psyckotic
I have the same stupid question as TheSims2Master. Is it possible to add a mesh with its own name so its own material ?


I don't know to add mesh in a gmdc with bones with the meshtool, but i know it works with a milkshape plugin 2.15 with milkshape 1.7.4. But you need to assign all your new meshes to a static bone. :smash:
Field Researcher
#125 Old 10th May 2005 at 12:49 AM
:clap: Thank you so much for explaining how to do this. I just usd the .obj method to import a barstool and an aquarium mesh. I am so happy to get them working right in my game.
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