Locked thread | Replies: 1347 (Who?), Viewed: 417725 times. | Locked by: tiggerypum Reason: Outdated, replacement tutorial posted
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Lab Assistant
#1176 Old 23rd Nov 2005 at 4:05 AM
Default Claiming insanity....
Okay, my turn to claim insanity. I've been working on creating custom meshes and skins for meshes for a number of weeks. I've been using this tutorial and a couple of others.

I have had limited success. I have been able to create a package file with the Maxis geometry file defaults, replace the mesh, and by doing so replace the default mesh in the game with mine. Cool.

I have been able to take a new mesh that a different artist made, replace their mesh with one I modified, and have my new mesh show up in the game (with the default texture that came with the mesh). Still cool.

I've been able to create a package file with Maxis defaults, use "Fix Integrity" to rename the files, take a skin package someone else made, point it to my mesh package, and have my mesh with their skin show up in my game. Nicely cool.

What I can NOT do, after weeks duration and many hours of applied time, is get a #&[email protected]#$ skin package *I* create to point to one of my meshes. :mad:

It might be because of this:
I have used a number of tools to create a skin package: BodyShop, DatGen's Clothing Cloner, and SimPE's Skin tool, and every package shows me the following in SimPE for the 3DID Referencing file:

Resource Node

For every package file that someone else created, and I've been able to modify successfully, SimPE shows for the 3DID Referencing file:

Resource Node
UI Data
Text Lists
Property Sets

No tool I've used yet to create the skin package file creates it with the 3DID Referencing file having the above list. I can't help but think this is the reason my attempts have failed.

SO...why don't the tools I use create the same package files that I see in the downloads I get?

Could this be the reason my attempts at creating my own files has failed?
#1177 Old 23rd Nov 2005 at 5:03 AM
Once you have made your mesh use bodyshop to export it again.Then you should be able to make a skin however you want.If this is not the problem then I am not sure because that is how I have always done it.
Forum Resident
#1178 Old 23rd Nov 2005 at 12:25 PM
Argh... This is crazy!

Okay, I followed the instructions, but I did it for the afshortskirtshoes mesh instead. After I inserted the Milkshape-edited .obj back into the .package file, it looked totally botched in Bodyshop. Jagged lines sticking out everywhere.

Okay. I figured I must have made a mistake in Milkshape. But... JUST FOR FUN, I followed the directions for replacing the mesh using the same .obj that I created before and was to use as the starter to Milkshape. Unchanged from the SimPE Export. It should be like it was never changed, right?

No, I got THIS! This is strange. In the photo, if you can make it out (kinda dark, I know), the skirt and legs of the figure are laying flat down and horizontal on floor of the Bodyshop screen, almost perfect, except for it's strange, disembodied horizontal position.

Again, this is the original .obj I exported, before Milkshape. I assume that I messed up somewhere in the importing or exporting steps.

Please advise if this has a simple explanation or if it has been seen. This is a very long thread to plow through.
#1179 Old 23rd Nov 2005 at 2:26 PM
Read post#1161 on page 147 of this thread.
Lab Assistant
#1180 Old 23rd Nov 2005 at 5:24 PM Last edited by LiquidFire : 23rd Nov 2005 at 10:00 PM.
I try and try and try but I just get stuck

I'm not slacking off. My code's compiling.
Forum Resident
#1181 Old 24th Nov 2005 at 2:44 AM
Paf, thanks for explaining that! My problem is that somehow I exported it as XZY rather than XYZ. (Either that was the default or I clicked something I shouldn't have.)

I tried exporting the starting mesh from scratch, again, as XYZ, and reimporting, and it looks normal now.

HOWEVER... My problem now is this: I have put a lot of effort into making my edited mesh using Milkshape on the first XZY export. Is there a way using Milkshape or Delphy's tool or SimPE to import that much-edited .OBJ file back into my Mesh file as XYZ? Is there any way to flip the axes?
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#1182 Old 24th Nov 2005 at 3:09 AM
Ah... Nevermind. I was able to flip the axes using Rotate in Milkshape. (Took a little diddling around, but it basically worked).

However, when I view it now in Bodyshop, it ALMOST looks perfect. Rather than post a pic, I'll just describe it. Almost perfect... Except for jagged planes stretching out into eternity at a few places. I was trying to improve the heels on the shoes. I'll go back and work on that some more.
#1183 Old 24th Nov 2005 at 3:56 AM
The easiest way to fix a mistake in rotation is reexport the mistake XZY again then put it back through meshtool again and then it will be right.
Lab Assistant
#1184 Old 24th Nov 2005 at 6:53 AM Last edited by Astymma : 24th Nov 2005 at 6:58 AM. Reason: info about export requirement (XZY)
Default using AoI
Managed to complete this tutorial successfully using Art of Illusion as the 3D editor. After exporting the mesh to an obj (use XZY), you need to define a dummy material definition file (MTL) for the mesh. In a plain text file put the following (change top or bottom for body in the file if it is a top or bottom being designed instead of an outfit for the whole body).

newmtl body
Kd 1 1 1
map_Kd body.jpg
Ks 1 1 1
Ka 0 0 0
illum 2
Ns 100

Save this file as body.mtl (or top.mtl or bottom.mtl depending). The JPEG image file referenced should be the same size as the actual texture the mesh uses. You can use any image file, I prefer grabbing the actual texture image from the projects/project_name directory exported by bodyshop. Obviously you need to convert it to a format AoI understands (most ubiquitous being JPEG).

Once you have the image file (named body.jpg, top.jpg, or bottom.jpg depending), you'll have to also edit the obj file to reference the new MTL file and use the texture. Most obj files begin like so:

g body
v -0.921 0.06285 1.52598
v -0.91751 0.0731 1.52638
v -0.92347 0.06908 1.52212
v -0.88385 0.06756 1.52977

Edit the file to look like so (change top or bottom for body in the file if it is a top or bottom being designed instead of an outfit for the whole body):

mtllib body.mtl
usemtl body
g body
v -0.921 0.06285 1.52598
v -0.91751 0.0731 1.52638
v -0.92347 0.06908 1.52212
v -0.88385 0.06756 1.52977

Now you can open the OBJ file in AoI and it will import the UV definitions and the texture along with the mesh. When exporting your OBJ file back out from AoI, choose the option to export the material definitions to an MTL file and choose the export texture dimensions to be the same size as the texture that will be used in the package file.

At this point you can delete all the files (AoI exported MTL and JPG, MTL and JPG used to import to AoI) except for the mesh exported from AoI which should now include all the UV definitions required. You can also edit the obj file to remove any "mtllib" and "usemtl" lines to clean up the file if you want but I've yet to see this adversely affect importing using the mesh tool.

Without doing these steps, an obj *with* UV definitions imported into AoI and then immediately exported will contain no UV information. You could, of course, assign a texture and UV mapping while in AoI and export that but this is much simpler and retains the original UV mappings from the game.
Forum Resident
#1185 Old 24th Nov 2005 at 8:12 AM
Ah I got it to work! Finally!

It's not easy stuff, and there are very minor glitches in the instructions, but it got me through the process, with a little help from PAF, above.

Next question:

I modified the afbottomshortskirtshoes mesh in my new mesh so it has higher heels. (I did a good job on it, too, if I say so, myself.) It looks fine on the skin I created and any new ones I base on it.

HOWEVER... Let's say I want to replace the DEFAULT mesh for "afbottomshortskirtshoes" that the game pulls out of the Sims3D folder at runtime. But I don't want to tamper with the Sims3D folder. And I don't want to manually go through and create new projects for all the default skins that use that mesh. Is there a way to do that? What I am asking is, is there a way to replace the default mesh for all default skins using that mesh without tampering with the big package files?

One advantage of doing it this way is that all the hundreds of Sims and townies that are using the Maxis mesh could be changed instantly to use my mesh. That would be pretty damn cool.

Please advise if there is a way to do this.

I took at a shot at it just now by following all the same steps as in the tutorial, but skipping the "Fix Integrity" step. The default skins in Bodyshop appear unchanged. So no luck with that idea.
Lab Assistant
#1186 Old 24th Nov 2005 at 10:15 AM
Default whats wrong with my mesh?
i modified a few in this mesh...but i dont get it..somethings wrong with the sims hand..i had to redo 3 times...but i still get this result.i did other meshes..but no problem xcept for this.anybody care to tell me how to fix this?i did everhting exactly in the tutorial..
Admin of Randomness
retired moderator
#1187 Old 24th Nov 2005 at 6:39 PM
Curious. My suggestion is that you do your edits in small steps. Start again with the fresh obj, edit it and move *1* point, like an obvious one on your skirt, then save it with a numbered name (like dress1) and use meshtool and SimPE and then go look at the results. Assuming that it is still fine, make a small amount of edits, save as dress2, dress3, and so on, and test after each set - so that you can back up to your previous version if something goes wrong.

Are you deleting or adding any points to this mesh? You may not do that with meshtool, you may only move them.
#1188 Old 24th Nov 2005 at 8:33 PM
Doc I haven't tried to do that but I think there are some tutorials on replaceing the defaults.
Test Subject
#1189 Old 25th Nov 2005 at 6:48 AM
Can anybody explain how to edit meshes with multiple groups?(example: the pj shortdress, the polenesian skirt) I don't have any problems with meshes with only one group but everytime i edit meshes with multiple groups, i get meshes that fly all over the place. Any other tutorials that covers this? thanks
Forum Resident
#1190 Old 25th Nov 2005 at 6:41 PM
PAF, it worked!

I found a little tutorial on it on MTS2 here. Unfortunately, I had to find it through Google, and the actual post on MTS2 was gone. Fortunately, Google still had it in the cache.

Okay, the trick to replacing a game default mesh is to 1) Leave all names alone. and 2) Don't use Fix Integrity. I thought I had done part 2, but apparently I hadn't. Redoing it from scratch without running Fix Integrity allowed me to change all the afbottomshortskirtshoes skins that come with the game.

I'm going to tweak the mesh a little before uploading pics.
Test Subject
#1191 Old 26th Nov 2005 at 7:28 AM
Ok i don't want to come across as rude or annoying but, i don't want to go through 48 pages of comments looking to see if my question has already been answered. I figure the answer to it is pretty simple but i don't know it as i'm only new to this. Everything has been working fine btw your tutorial is great. But when i go to save my file at the end of step 25. It says it won't save due to the file being write protected. I have no idea what that means or how to change it. Please if it's not too much trouble, let me know
Admin of Randomness
retired moderator
#1192 Old 26th Nov 2005 at 10:05 AM
Uhm, no this is not a usual question. My guess is that you were running The Sims or Bodyshop at the same time? You should only be at any given moment running either Simpe, The Sims *or* Bodyshop.
Forum Resident
#1193 Old 26th Nov 2005 at 12:56 PM
Need advice... This is probably a milkshape problem, but I'm not sure.

I followed the instructions. I have a very, very nice mesh, now! The only problem is that it seems kind of angular and sharp-edged. There are no pixels out of place, no weird things jutting out. But if you look at the two before, and the two after pictures at the bottom, you'll see what I'm talking about.

The legs of the original mesh, on the left, look smooth. The legs of the modified mesh, on the right, seem to have a straight creases down the sides. The angle of the light is important, so it's not that obvious in Bodyshop, but this "creased" look is noticeable from other angles as well.

The only pixels changed were of the feet and the ankles, up to about half-way down from the knees. Yet the crease effect goes up to the thighs.

I looked at the original mesh again in Milkshape. It's hard to tell in Milkshape's half-shade mode, but the leg meshes (above the ankels) appear to be identical before and after.

Is it something to do with a setting perhaps? Perhaps something is telling it not to smooth out the angularity of the faces during rendering of this mesh? Please advise.
#1194 Old 26th Nov 2005 at 2:25 PM
Doc I'm sorry but I don't have an easy fix for this one.You need to make sure that you don't have auto smooth checked before you do anything.An unweld all then weld all would fix it but that messes up meshtool for some reason.
Forum Resident
#1195 Old 26th Nov 2005 at 2:59 PM
Ahhhh... Okay, okay...

I read the instruction about unchecking autosmooth, but I couldn't find it anywhere. I looked all over for it, and it was checked all right. Under one of the other tabs. Not very easy to find unless you really hunt for it or already know where it is.

Jeez... Okay... I will start over again from scratch. It should be easier now, having done everything twice so far.

I also tried the unweld/weld idea of yours. Meshtool and SimPE imported it fine, but it looked totally botched in bodyshop. So you were right about that not working.
#1196 Old 27th Nov 2005 at 12:40 AM
hi, I'm new to this things, and i have followed this tutorial and i had no problems at at doind it, but i still have a doubt... this tutorial teaches how to "change" an existing mesh, but what happends if want to make my own mesh? my own polygons? what do i have to do? because with this (i didn't test it yet) most probably the animations would be gone right? for example can i make my own mesh and assign the existing animations in sims to it? or do i have to make my own animations?

where do i start? any tutorials out there? cause i didn't find anything yet...

thx in advance
#1197 Old 27th Nov 2005 at 1:29 AM Last edited by PAF : 27th Nov 2005 at 1:37 AM.
No you won't lose any animations with the meshtool it rebuilds the GMDC based on the original that is why you can't add or delete any vertices or faces.
#1198 Old 27th Nov 2005 at 1:43 AM
sorry.. but i didn't understand..

is it or is not possible to make my own vertices?, because i've seen meshes of some people here (not in sims though, just hair) that had custom faces.. are you trying to say to me that even if i try to change the mesh, nothing will happend?

i just want to know if its possible to create a custom mesh, assign the bones and uvmap to it, and run it... and if yes, what do i need...

btw i'm not english, so be easy with me

[edit]nevermind, i saw you pm now, thx[/edit]
Forum Resident
#1199 Old 27th Nov 2005 at 8:12 AM
I (THINK) you can add new vertices and faces. However, you can't delete old vertices, because some of them are key to the animations working. You can move them around as you please, but if a vertex would normally go to a shoulder, you probably want to leave it in the shoulder vicinity so taht when your Sim shrugs, you don't see his foot move up and down.
Admin of Randomness
retired moderator
#1200 Old 28th Nov 2005 at 5:03 AM
You cannot, using the simple procedure outlined here with Meshtool, add or delete vertices or faces to a mesh. This is the first and simplest form of mesh modifying software, and that is how it works.

You can use Meshtool's 3-d options as outlined in the meshtool thread itself and use smd files (and edit them with modtool or the other supported program, I forget what it is) and then you can add and delete points and assign the bone weights to them.

You can also use Wes' milkshape plugins and with them you can add and delete vertices and do the bone assignments.
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