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Admin of Randomness
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Original Poster
#26 Old 13th Apr 2006 at 9:37 AM
Ghanima Atreides, Unimesh and Meshtool are two different tools that allow us to edit sim meshes. They use different approaches, and one is much more limited.

Meshtool - you can move vertices but not delete or add. It uses obj format, which means several different 3d editors can be used to edit the meshes. It has limitations but it's still useful for small changes.

Unimesh - you can add or delete parts of the mesh. Works with milkshape only. It is the more flexible of the two, but also more complex because of that - because when you start really changing the mesh you need to learn about bone assignments and more.
Alchemist
#27 Old 13th Apr 2006 at 10:50 AM
I see, thank you for your response One last question I have is:

Is there a way to mirror the changes you made to a mesh normal body size to the fat and pregnant sizes with precision? I mean, deleting a dangly thing was easy enough to do in all three but I'm thinking, when changes get more complex, one won't be able to retrace the same steps 3 times...I hope that made sense lol!

If wishes were fishes we'd all cast nets
Test Subject
#28 Old 13th Apr 2006 at 2:43 PM
I just try to match it as closely as I can, at least that's what I did when I tried creating meshes, hiding and unhiding worked just fine. I might try again with 3d studio max 7, because when you get around to the whole uv map thing... everything else seems like a walk in the park.

No amount of modifying the uv map managed to fix my mesh, it's still stretched no matter what I do, so I'll just wait til someone writes a working tutorial.
Admin of Randomness
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Original Poster
#29 Old 13th Apr 2006 at 3:09 PM
Ghanima Atreides, you could leave your morphs all visible at the same time, and select the vertices for all of them at the same time. Or you could copy the morph's comments to a safe place, duplicate the main body mesh after you're done editing it, and then copy the morph's comment to the new group. then just adjust the areas to make it fat (or preg, if it has preg), and then rename that morph to the same name as the other, and delete the other. It's both complicated and simple.

atrgirl, I'm sorry you've not figured out the uvmapping yet. If you stretched the hem down, you will need to move the leg/arm whatever uvmaps first to compress them more and get them out of the way, so that you can actually move the bottom hem of your uvmap lower. Then move the next row down, and keep fiddling with things, moving a row at a time (grab the front and back at the same time, and use a grid like I do so you can see how things are matching up/even or not).
Test Subject
#30 Old 13th Apr 2006 at 6:01 PM
that's what I did, I made a red grid pattern with photoshop, just made a square then reduced the selection by a couple of pixels and used that as a pattern to fill a 1024 X 1024 area, I basically made it so the -new- UV map looked like the new mesh, pulling down line by line so that the squares are as even as I could get them, even made sure the front and back squares matched, I spent almost two hours on that alone, but when I went back to bodyshop after tying the new mesh to the packages... it was still stretched, as if I had not made any changes, I looked the the 3d studio max tutorial that someone posted and it looks like it's actually easier to edit that way, I might try that this weekend if I have time, I wish I could try it right now, but I'm at work and I'm on linux. This is utterly frustrating when you watch two hours of work amount to absolutely nothing, if it least it had changed a little, Id know I'm on the right track, but there was no change at all, I tried putting a camo pattern on the skirt just to test it out and the same part as before was stretched. I even created a new alpha, with lithunwrap and i ended up having to cut it out because it was showing up on the legs of the sim below the skirt...I'm so disappointed, I finally manage to modify a mesh and have it actually show up, but all the work is unusable because of that UV map.
Alchemist
#31 Old 14th Apr 2006 at 12:15 PM
Thanks, tig, I'll give it a try

Good luck with your uvmapping atrgirl, I haven't even tried that yet. lol

If wishes were fishes we'd all cast nets
Admin of Randomness
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Original Poster
#32 Old 14th Apr 2006 at 6:36 PM
atrgirl - you need to modify that uvmap using milkshape - if you take the mesh out into some other program, all the bone information and so on will be *lost*, and you can't bring it back into milkshape to save your new gdmc.
Lab Assistant
#33 Old 14th Apr 2006 at 11:28 PM
I seem to have a severe problem using the Unimesh plugin. ANYTHING that I bring back in to SimPE from it doesn't display properly anywhere but the mannequin Sim in Body Shop. When viewed from the front, it typically looks okay... but if the model is rotated to a side view, things go horribly wrong. The arm closest to the camera is suddenly obscured by the body in some cases. Places where sleeves are near where the exposed arm is get obscured. Hair hanging over the Sim's back gets obscured. The sim's hand appears to be partially inside the body.
I thought at first I did something wrong before exporting it back out of MilkShape, so I tried importing the unedited GMDC again, immediately exported it again without editing anything, and it's still messed up... has anyone else had this problem? I've noticed that MilkShape crashes whenever I close it, so I don't know if it's maybe a bad install or what that's causing it...

EDIT: Forgot to mention that the display problem occurs both in Body Shop and the game itself.
Screenshots
Admin of Randomness
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Original Poster
#34 Old 14th Apr 2006 at 11:39 PM
Underweight bones. See step 46. Not having the bone assignments adding up to exactly 100% will cause display problems as shown.
Lab Assistant
#35 Old 14th Apr 2006 at 11:50 PM
Ahh, I see, I missed that step. I didn't actually read the whole thing since I'm already familiar with body mesh editing, I see that's managed to foil me. I'll give that a try, thank you!
Test Subject
#36 Old 15th Apr 2006 at 1:32 AM Last edited by atrgirl77 : 15th Apr 2006 at 2:06 AM.
I had a similar problem earlier, I gave editing the UV map another shot, I edited the black skirt with boots, just to make the skirt flare a little, when I went back to body shop, if I put any top with it, the texture reflexes itself on the skirt... the rest is white, it's really weird, I'll try and post a screenshot, it's under another user i use for meshing only (bodyshop loads faster that way), I thought I had figured out the UV map... but that's seriously freaky
Screenshots
Lab Assistant
#37 Old 15th Apr 2006 at 2:41 AM Last edited by Saikatsu : 15th Apr 2006 at 2:50 AM.
Okay... apparently I don't have the menu option mentioned, all I have is "Sims 2 UniMesh Bone Tool V4.00" and that's it. Nothing about fixing bone weights. It edits them, sure, but I don't think that's what I'm looking for.
EDIT: Apparently it also freaks Milkshape out really badly and makes it crash...
Admin of Randomness
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Original Poster
#38 Old 15th Apr 2006 at 11:11 AM
You need the most recent milkshape *and* the most recent unimesh, we're beyond 4.0. Then you'll have that extra option, and it also probably won't crash, there was some crashing reported near the beginning.
Test Subject
#39 Old 15th Apr 2006 at 1:18 PM
So this is a lost cause?
Lab Assistant
#40 Old 15th Apr 2006 at 8:12 PM
Ah, okay, perhaps you should remove the part about 1.77 minimum then? I could swear I saw that you needed just 1.77 for the plugin. I don't usually make this many mistakes with reading directions, honest. That fixed the problem right up, thank you!
Admin of Randomness
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Original Poster
#41 Old 15th Apr 2006 at 10:34 PM
Saikatsu the bigger problem was that your Unimesh plugin was way out of date. The first one had crashing problems.... Now the latest milkshape (which was only just released) has some fixes that let us use more commands w/o losing the bone assignments. I'll update both to reflect that people should have the newest.

atrgirl... I don't know too much about how seperates are built in the game, but it seems to me that it's likely that when using tops and bottoms, that the game *combines* the two graphics together in order to wrap them around the mesh, and if you slid your skirt's uvmap way up the graphic (not where it was at first) that indeed it might then pick up the shirt instead. Why don't you make a new thread in the main area and post the project and someone can take a quick look at it. Post a folder with your mesh and your saved sims file.
Test Subject
#42 Old 16th Apr 2006 at 12:14 AM
In step #10 when you have to search for Sims04.package, it wont give me any results. could you help?
world renowned whogivesafuckologist
retired moderator
#43 Old 16th Apr 2006 at 12:22 AM
halo1freak3, make sure you didn't get any part of the name with an underscore in it, i.e. in the example the name is "afbodydresslongloose_grayline" and you only need "afbodydresslongloose" - you won't get the right results if you have the "_grayline" part in it.

Also make sure that the settings on your resource finder match exactly what's shown in the screenshots - if the settings are different, you'll get no results.

Also also, make sure your SimPE has been set up properly... all of the directories correct under System Folders in your SimPE preferences... SimPE will need to know where to search, so if that's incorrect you might not get any results.

Also also also, (and I'll bet this is the problem) make sure you don't have Body Shop, Homecrafter, File Maid, or any program that might otherwise access the game's files still running. CTRL-ALT-DELETE and make sure they're not still running but not showing, too. I've had trouble with the resource finder getting results if I forget and leave Body Shop running after making a recolour package.

my simblr (sometimes nsfw)

“Dude, suckin’ at something is the first step to being sorta good at something.”
Panquecas, panquecas e mais panquecas.
Test Subject
#44 Old 16th Apr 2006 at 1:23 AM
OH thx, that bodyshop was it i bet im going to test it right now=)
Test Subject
#45 Old 16th Apr 2006 at 1:34 AM
well well well.... i still dident get any results but i scrolled down and found it.....will it still work?
Test Subject
#46 Old 16th Apr 2006 at 3:06 AM
Default very good but what you do about unsined bones
every thing whent as planed but untill the export
it not faces or anything
Admin of Randomness
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Original Poster
#47 Old 16th Apr 2006 at 3:51 AM
Halofreak, as long as you find the parts (and don't take the LOD versions) you can save them out. There's a long version of how to find parts in the original tutorial here: http://www.modthesims2.com/showthread.php?t=43092

Master101, I'm sorry but I'm not sure exactly what you're describing. You need to give more details, including what step you were on, and *exactly* what happens.
Test Subject
#48 Old 16th Apr 2006 at 12:44 PM
Thank you very much for this thorough tutorial!

Now this isn't gonna be a particularly useful post but, is anyone else new to this, looking at this tutorial and freaking out thinking 'Am I SURE I wanna learn this?' lol. I mean I really do, but.... I hoped it wouldn't have to be so darn complicated and many steps before you even get into the 3D program! I was hoping they could just have a single simple option in BodyShop or SimPE where you click 'export MESH' and then select your file type to convert it to (for the type of file type your 3D program of choice uses), and then you just open up whatever program you use press 'import', find the file, and there it is! and that it would be just as easy to load it into the game >.<

No offense, because the tut itself looks quite complete and excellent, I really appreciate it! But I'm just rather sad that it has to be this messy to do it! I just wanna get straight to the creative/artistic part of it! lol They should really think of making it more user friendly!

Well another question I have about this is, is it possible to do this in Maya too? A tutorial for Maya users? Or for Sims 2 creations am I better off just getting Milkshape?

In the meantime, thanks so much for this tut! I've bookmarked it for now. :salute:
Admin of Randomness
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Original Poster
#49 Old 16th Apr 2006 at 5:41 PM
Well, SimPE is a multi-purpose tool - and you can be glad that you're not having to do decode everything in the Maxis datafiles by hand
You're right, it's complex, but it's getting easier all the time.

Maxis did not give us any tools to 'mod' any of their files, so yes, it's a bit complex. Actually, even for them, some of this is probably a bit complex. These sorts of games have complex underpinnings.

As for Maya.... the people who develop the tools (such as unimesh, which pulls apart the gdmc for us into editable parts) chose to put their energies into free or inexpensive options, because this is a hobby. Wes doesn't own Maya (nor do I unfortunately).

There are multiple tools/paths to editing (although all share the same SimPE base instructions). This one uses Milkshape based plugins, and is very flexible in what you can do with the mesh. Meshtool (obj format) has been reported to work with Maya (look at the InfoCenter for more info) by WDS Brianna, but the editing options are limited.

If Maya can read and write SMD files, you might look at the new smd import/export, which functions similarly to these unimesh tools, and gives you the most editing flexibility. Also covered in the infocenter.

As a start, to get the SimPE aspect down, I'd say try either tutorial (you can do the meshtool one if you want to use maya instead). Once you've got the 'omg it's so many steps' part down, then you can look at learning more about the actual mesh editing issues with smd (there are morphs and bone assignments that we barely touch on here that make it so much more... interesting... fun... ok, challenging)
Test Subject
#50 Old 17th Apr 2006 at 3:17 AM
Thanks very much for that advice. Yeah I was just wondering, and that makes sense actually. Maya is expensive and not something anyone can get. I have a copy because I got a special price for it through my college, which was a good idea for me because then I could work on assignments and practice at home. But then I had some.... issues, and I had to stop college until further notice. So I still have Maya and now after not using it for so long, I'm rather rusty again. I figured I could kill 2 birds with one stone by learning how to create for Sims 2 (which I really wish to do) and get accustomed to Maya better at the same time. However, I then may not be able to follow some of these tutorials so well.

Well, what do you suggest then? Is Milkshape easy to use? Perhaps I can follow these tuts just the way they are exactly meant, because I am really not technical and I don't want to get lost and ruin any Sim files in the process, and then after I get used to doing it this way for a while, I can then try and see which steps I could follow through with Maya as well and eventually use it that way to do it from then on (if I get to that point, I would probably create a Maya tutorial to help out others).

This is pretty overwhelming a bit right now, but thank you everyone involved in these tutorials! It is so much appreciated, and this is a way that more and more people will be well on their way to a promising 3D modelling career, or even just supplying more excellent Sims 2 downloads for the community!

Oh and Happy Easter to those who celebrate! :wave:
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