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world renowned whogivesafuckologist
retired moderator
Original Poster
#1 Old 3rd Dec 2006 at 9:22 PM
Default How to 3D Edit Faces (Yes, Really!)
Please note that the following is INCREDIBLY experimental, just discovered, and may break your game, asplode your computer, kick your cat, and throw you down the stairs. It is not for beginners - if you do not understand what I am talking about, do not try this. However it is also FRACKING SWEET as well.



1. Create a default replacement package using a GMDC from the facial default templates. If you've never done this before, you'll find them in Program Files\EA GAMES\The Sims 2\TSData\Res\Sims3D in CASFace.package - there are a lot of them, for each of the facial templates in game. I'm not quite sure which ones are which - I edited afarchelf, the female elf face. You should be able to find more info on this by looking up facial templates, or just by previewing each face and comparing them to what you see in Body Shop. Anyway. Make your default replacement package using the main GMDC. LOD15 version not needed unless you feel like running on low detail like some kind of animal.

2. Export the 3d model from the GMDC as an .obj, making sure you're set to XYZ.

3. Edit that 3d model in any editor that use the .obj format. I have not yet discovered the limits of editing but as you can see from my quick proof concept above (with modified nose, brow, cheek, top lip, and ears) you can do subtle or extreme, and it appears you can do quite a bit of editing without terrible results. Save your edited .obj

4. Use Meshtool to import your modified mesh into a new GMDC. Under the settings, make sure you uncheck UVs and Normals. This is important.

5. Replace the GMDC in your default replacement package with your new one that meshtool gives you.

6. Commit, save, and move that package to Downloads.

7. Now create your sim using that facial template.



That... is it. It's that easy. Animations are retained, my sim appears to have made it onto a lot with no ill effects (no flashing blue face in Pets for example), and it's totally groovy.

You are probably better off doing as much sculpting as possible in Body Shop, saving that sim, and then using their face as your .obj that you edit to import into Meshtool, combining your new edited .obj with the default replacement GMDC.

Please experiment, test, and report any issues that arise - I'm still playing with this, but I was so excited, and as this had been deemed Entirely Impossible by others and myself up until this point, I could not wait to share.



Tutorial and more info/reports on experimentation coming soon, after I calm down and quit hyperventilating at how awesome this is.

my simblr (sometimes nsfw)

“Dude, suckin’ at something is the first step to being sorta good at something.”
Panquecas, panquecas e mais panquecas.
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Forum Resident
#2 Old 3rd Dec 2006 at 10:44 PM
I luff you HP!!! I'll test this for you! Thank you so much!
-.-- -.-- --..
retired moderator
#3 Old 3rd Dec 2006 at 10:59 PM
Wow, that was quick HP! I only saw the post where someone suggested this to you earlier today. Amazing, this is very interesting and I'm sure it opens a lot of possibilites. Great work!
world renowned whogivesafuckologist
retired moderator
Original Poster
#4 Old 3rd Dec 2006 at 11:03 PM
Actually, Simsample, I still haven't figured out how to change the default bodyshop mannequin face - this only changes the facial templates you can use when creating an actual sim, not the mannequin that displays when working on a project. I can't find that face anywhere - but I stumbled across the default faces in trying to find the mannequin ones, and it struck me while working on that problem that this just might work... And for some strange reason... it did!

You shoulda seen the look on my face when the sim animated properly my first try in-game.

Those mannequin faces... golly, dunno, they could be anywhere. That'd be cool to do but I think in the grand scheme of things, this stumbled-upon thing is way cooler.

my simblr (sometimes nsfw)

“Dude, suckin’ at something is the first step to being sorta good at something.”
Panquecas, panquecas e mais panquecas.
-.-- -.-- --..
retired moderator
#5 Old 3rd Dec 2006 at 11:08 PM
Yup, but I knew that post was where you got the idea for this from- you work fast girl!
Instructor
#6 Old 3rd Dec 2006 at 11:06 PM
You can skip step #1 by grabbing AllenABQ's base face replacement templates here. Also, it might not be a bad idea to include the LOD versions anyway if there's any chance the templates might be shared in the future, since there are still some people limping along with PC's that can't handle the higher graphics settings.

Looking forward to seeing what kinds of new templates people come up with!
Alchemist
#7 Old 4th Dec 2006 at 2:52 AM
Quote:
Originally Posted by HystericalParoxysm
Actually, Simsample, I still haven't figured out how to change the default bodyshop mannequin face


I am not sure about the mannequin face, but there are a bunch of face meshes that bodyshop uses to make Sims from in the res\Catalog\bins\globalcatbin.bundle.package file.

<* Wes *>

If you like to say what you think, be sure you know which to do first.
Instructor
#8 Old 4th Dec 2006 at 5:19 AM Last edited by Khaibit : 4th Dec 2006 at 5:28 AM.
Great, HP! This offers the chance to let the Simmies look like real people, including the shape of ears and other things which Maxis just forgot to enable being adjustable.
Just trying (also wanted to try copying the new face into globalcatbin.bundle.package, thanks Wes!) but 1 question: do I have to reimport with the Meshtool, mean: did you already try if Unimesh or SMD export doesn't support it or is it worth a try? Don't know the difference of Meshtool to other importers so maybe it's a stupid question again :D
Anyway, great

Yes, I am serious though I'm not serious at all. I'm serious about this!
Even the joker can be deadly serious...
Wichtig ist, was hinten raus kommt!
Entscheidend daran ist, wie?
Alchemist
#9 Old 4th Dec 2006 at 6:24 AM
Earlier versions of UniMesh disliked the face meshes because they had 27 morph headers, but only four (the current maximum) or less were actually used.
I think I made improvements to help manage this in the updates.
UniMesh and MeshTool work quite differently. In the original MeshTool implementation, as long as you didn't delete or add faces/vertices it worked well because it could go back to the original file and pull all the morphs and stick them in your output package. I know more was done later using SMD files, but I don't know if there remain any limitations on changes.
In UniMesh, I approached the problem from a different tack, one where I would bring in all the necessary data, park it in MilkShape, allow additions and deletions, and then recreate all the Maxis structures to hold the edited data (including all coordinate system changes and reformatting) for export. Alas, I still don't have the layer needed for bumpmapping working.
If your on a roll here, give it a try.
If you have problems, go to the UniMesh thread in BodyShop Meshing and post the proken GMDC and please leave me the name or group/instance of the original so I can try to figure it out.
<* Wes*>

If you like to say what you think, be sure you know which to do first.
Instructor
#10 Old 4th Dec 2006 at 6:42 AM Last edited by Khaibit : 4th Dec 2006 at 7:52 AM.
I'm somehow never really on a roll - but I give it a try
Thanks for your explanation and in doubt I'll post in the UniMesh thread - still changing the shape, among others :D

Edit:
Do you know the Jeanette Biederman face appearing in CAS/BS when installed? It only works for females but it is an additional face for woman and men (ok, made by the Maxoids) so might there be a way to get additional working faces instead of replacements?

Yes, I am serious though I'm not serious at all. I'm serious about this!
Even the joker can be deadly serious...
Wichtig ist, was hinten raus kommt!
Entscheidend daran ist, wie?
Alchemist
#11 Old 4th Dec 2006 at 8:56 AM
Right now I am trying to add a new Pet collar to CAS.
I now know how to add the new collar, without overwriting any existing ones.... but I am dropping something here because it is invisible in the icon and on the dog.
I think the same general method is used to make entries appear in CAS in the other bins. After I get this collar thing licked (is that a freudean slip?) I will look at the general way to add stuff to CAS.
<* Wes *>

If you like to say what you think, be sure you know which to do first.
Instructor
#12 Old 4th Dec 2006 at 9:15 AM
Because of the collar discussion I thought of this possibility so it would be great when you manage the general way

Yes, I am serious though I'm not serious at all. I'm serious about this!
Even the joker can be deadly serious...
Wichtig ist, was hinten raus kommt!
Entscheidend daran ist, wie?
Warrior Gryphon
site owner
#13 Old 4th Dec 2006 at 9:35 AM
This actually makes use of the very very first thing I ever added into MeshTool for Sims 2 meshes - which is basically the ability to change where the vertex placement is, without altering the rest of the file (as Wes says, it pulls in the data from the original GMDC as opposed to recreating it - quick and dirty perhaps, but useful for working out file formats)

I'm kind of suprised this hadn't been done before, and I figured MeshTool was superseeded in every way, but kudos for this HP.

Story books are full of fairy tales, of Kings and Queens, and the bluest skies.
Instructor
#14 Old 4th Dec 2006 at 9:49 AM
In this case it shouldn't be necessary to try and find another way, thanks for mentioning

Yes, I am serious though I'm not serious at all. I'm serious about this!
Even the joker can be deadly serious...
Wichtig ist, was hinten raus kommt!
Entscheidend daran ist, wie?
Forum Resident
#15 Old 4th Dec 2006 at 2:12 PM
omg AWESOME!! great discovery hp
world renowned whogivesafuckologist
retired moderator
Original Poster
#16 Old 4th Dec 2006 at 4:01 PM
From my experiments, it appears that facial templates made in this way behave like normal facial default templates: that is, freaking complicated, but there is some sort of underlying logic to it. I've just spent the past half hour reading this year-old thread over at MATY where they were exploring facial defaults: http://www.moreawesomethanyou.com/s...pic,1250.0.html

Basically, it all seems to come down to this: if you want a sim's new default facial features to breed true, to all ages and both genders, you need to create proper facial defaults for all ages and both genders for that facial default set.

You would want to make a sim as darn close as you possibly could to whatever you are doing in Body Shop, save them male and female (they're advising a child toddler and teen male in that thread, I think) and then use those two sims to extract facial defaults from. Then make your edits to the meshes for all the ages and genders. You can use the same for adult and elder if you don't care about slightly sagging jowls and stuff.

Sims also do appear to breed true, assuming one has done the above full replacement, after the defaults are taken out. So you could distribute a celebrity sim created with a full set of new facial templates that would properly breed true and would not require that downloaders use that same set of facial templates.

It would be an incredibly complex process for most applications, but me, I want pointier-eared and better looking elves that bear some resemblance to the early Amarna-period style art from Egypt (think Akhenaten's elongated and exagerrated features) and I think that's doable using this method, if tedious.

my simblr (sometimes nsfw)

“Dude, suckin’ at something is the first step to being sorta good at something.”
Panquecas, panquecas e mais panquecas.
Instructor
#17 Old 4th Dec 2006 at 4:50 PM
I already assumed that it would be required to replace all files. Great that my assumption is proved, thanks HP

Something strange happened, don't know if I found a "limit" or if I just did a stupid mistake (I definately moved vertex from both eyes at the same time) so take a look at her Wanted to change the shape to get a (Schlupflid; English word for this kind of lid is missing - like Schiffer's eyes, hopefully you know which shape I mean) and this was the result

Of course the mesh didn't look like that - just my own fault?
Screenshots

Yes, I am serious though I'm not serious at all. I'm serious about this!
Even the joker can be deadly serious...
Wichtig ist, was hinten raus kommt!
Entscheidend daran ist, wie?
Alchemist
#18 Old 4th Dec 2006 at 5:42 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by Delphy
quick and dirty perhaps, but useful for working out file formats


It is a nice piece of work, and we both know how much work went into getting it going. After most of two years, there are still limitations on my approach (disassembly/reassembly).

<* Wes *>

If you like to say what you think, be sure you know which to do first.
One horse disagreer of the Apocalypse
#19 Old 4th Dec 2006 at 5:46 PM
Is this the beginning of being able to get Sims that look like human beings instead of cartoons? Hmm is there any way to do this and *disable* the facial animations? I prefer my sims to keep their faces grumpy if I make them grumpy, and sad if I make them sad. They're not meant to keep going through the gamut of expressions, not in my game anyway.

I did some experiments with face meshing a while back, and it did stop them pulling faces, but they also tended to wear their new faces on their chests, leaving a big empty hole in their head.

"You can do refraction by raymarching through the depth buffer" (c. Reddeyfish 2017)
world renowned whogivesafuckologist
retired moderator
Original Poster
#20 Old 4th Dec 2006 at 6:41 PM Last edited by HystericalParoxysm : 5th Dec 2006 at 9:09 AM.
Khaibit - Your edit is probably fine, you just need to make sure to uncheck UVs and normals when you import your modified mesh into Meshtool - you'll get that eye weirdness otherwise. I'd successfully edited eye shape a little earlier, creating a beautiful squinty almond-shaped thing that animated perfectly.

I got that strange eye streak my first test in Body Shop till I changed my Meshtool settings. I always get a completely corrupted uv map when importing a face .obj into Milkshape for editing, and I think that may be related to that problem - something's not translating right with the mapping on the way in or out or both.

I wonder if it wouldn't be possible to do more accurate or easier edits by importing the GMDC using Unimesh instead of an .obj into Milkshape, as that retains the original uv mapping. A texture can then be applied to the 3d model, which would make specific tweaking one hell of a lot easier to accomplish, rather than looking at flat grey where you will have a full sim texture - and also make it easier to, say, get that celebrity sim just right, if that's what you were applying it to. Then export as an .obj instead of a GMDC and Meshtool the same way.

Imma give it a try, it sounds like it might actually work.

Edit - I end up with an XYZ/XZY problem trying to do it this way... Unimesh to obj. I tried running it through twice to fix that but I just got the default elf face, not my edited version when I tested it. I find that just tragic, as I desperately want to get this face in-game:



Continued fiddling seems required. Meh.

Inge - If it's possible to edit them with the smd format it may be possible to change the bone assignments on the various vertices, to either remove the assignments to the facial animation bones and just assign everything to head, or reduce the weighting to make for less extreme animations. I don't really use the smd import/export at all... I hear it's quirky, but further experimentation is probably needed.

my simblr (sometimes nsfw)

“Dude, suckin’ at something is the first step to being sorta good at something.”
Panquecas, panquecas e mais panquecas.
Instructor
#21 Old 5th Dec 2006 at 9:43 AM
Will try again later on but I definately unchecked UVs and normals, checked it before posting the picture already twice. That's why I was so confused... maybe I was just addlepated again, I'm a champ in being addlepated
Anyway, because of that I can fidding so I'll go on trying - maybe I even might find something out...

BTW, your elf face is cool, a lot nicer than Maxis default and more 'elfish'

Yes, I am serious though I'm not serious at all. I'm serious about this!
Even the joker can be deadly serious...
Wichtig ist, was hinten raus kommt!
Entscheidend daran ist, wie?
One horse disagreer of the Apocalypse
#22 Old 5th Dec 2006 at 10:28 AM
Well if a template face can be made where the corners of the mouth don't go zooming off to do their own thing, and the eyebrows don't keep shooting up into a rollercoaster, that will be a start.

"You can do refraction by raymarching through the depth buffer" (c. Reddeyfish 2017)
Instructor
#23 Old 5th Dec 2006 at 8:22 PM
First, congratulations for figuring this out, you're my hero again

I just did tests using only the Unimesh plugins and it works just fine (replaced the gmdc with the edited .simpe file), this should work as well with your elf face - and I hope it does, this would be a gorgeous replacement.

Now of course I tried adding faces, using the divide edge method on the forehead and then pulling out the new vertices to form rough horns - the forehead showed perfectly smooth in CAS even though my other edits were there... Looks like the game totally ignored the new parts - well except that it crashed when trying to put a sim using that face on a lot
Mmm I still need to test edits on the uv-map.

Now, there is no bone information at all in the GMDC... So my guess is that it's stored in the same mysterious place as the real body skeletons - and I have no idea how to make it apply to new parts.
Screenshots
Scholar
#24 Old 7th Dec 2006 at 12:53 AM
Oh wow!! WOW WOW WOWWW!! I love this discovery!

And HP, your elf is extremely attractive!

Please visit WickedNoukFamily Forum for my creations.
Can't take requests, I'm completely swamped with unfinished projects! :O
Alchemist
#25 Old 7th Dec 2006 at 12:56 AM
Wow such a neat discovery! It makes possibilities endless! Kudos, HP!

If wishes were fishes we'd all cast nets
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