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Mother Function
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#1 Old 23rd Jun 2009 at 12:31 PM Last edited by daluved1 : 20th Jul 2009 at 10:53 PM. Reason: Final
Tutorial: Creating Clothing Stencils
Creating Custom Stencils Tutorial

If you have any questions or feedback, leave a post here.

Also, editing/improvements are greatly appreciated ;)

"Holy Shift! Check out the asymptotes on that mother function!"
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Warrior Gryphon
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#2 Old 23rd Jun 2009 at 1:33 PM
Nice tutorial, but instead of / in addition to a PDF version, why not try putting it on the wiki? This way people can view it only in a browser and wont need Acrobat.

If you need help doing this, we'd be happy to help.

Story books are full of fairy tales, of Kings and Queens, and the bluest skies.
Lab Assistant
#3 Old 23rd Jun 2009 at 5:31 PM
hmm another tutorial. thanks! at least i have a hard copy of mee game. i can reinstall if i screw it up har har
Mother Function
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23rd Jun 2009 at 9:02 PM
This message has been deleted by daluved1.
Field Researcher
#4 Old 24th Jun 2009 at 5:30 AM
Thank you for the tute. ;D
Lab Assistant
#5 Old 24th Jun 2009 at 5:41 AM
I wish people would start doing tutorials in something other that photoshop. Where are all you people stealing your copy from anyway? I refuse to believe everyone but me can afford to buy such an expensive program every year when they release a newer version.

I am really frustrated at this point because everytime I try to follow a tutorial I find some function of photoshop that doesn't seem to be replicated by Gimp or Paint.net. Then I'm just stuck. I'm getting sick and tired of all the half finished projects I have sitting around on my PC.
Mother Function
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#6 Old 24th Jun 2009 at 6:37 AM
Ah, I understand where you're coming from Janette. I was actually considering going back and doing a Gimp version for those who don't have photoshop. But, I don't know much about how to use it =/

I wrote this assuming that you knew how to do basic operations with your image editor. Usually the same functions are there, but they're under different paths and/or called something else. However, If you need help try posting your question on a forum, I'm sure someone out there uses Gimp faithfully.

So I'll play around with Gimp and see if I can figure it out.
Until then, best of luck! :D
Instructor
#7 Old 24th Jun 2009 at 6:47 AM
I love the PDF version. Wiki should provide the PDF version too.

Since my connection is slow, when loading a long page, it takes forever and some pictures many times fail to load or stop in the middle.

For several pages of tutorial, I also can't back or forward between pages freely and fast, since the browser will redownload again the pages and pictures.

Thanks for the tutorial.
Eminence Grise
#8 Old 24th Jun 2009 at 7:41 AM
Quote:
Originally Posted by JanetteRaven
Where are all you people stealing your copy from anyway? I refuse to believe everyone but me can afford to buy such an expensive program every year when they release a newer version.


a) it's not that expensive if you can get an educational discount from a university, and b) who says everybody's using the latest version?
Lab Assistant
#9 Old 24th Jun 2009 at 7:59 AM
Quote:
Originally Posted by Srikandi
a) it's not that expensive if you can get an educational discount from a university, and b) who says everybody's using the latest version?

Ditto on both. Been using 6 (not CS6!) for years and years now.
Test Subject
#10 Old 24th Jun 2009 at 9:35 AM
ok, ifollowed the tutorial to a T, and everything was going great , everything looked like the screenshots until I opened The Sims 3 to see if it worked, and all I get is an empty shirt. There is an extra one shirt in the shirt section, I guess it's supposed to be the custom one but the shirt is empty, nada. Please Help!!!
Mother Function
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#11 Old 24th Jun 2009 at 10:14 AM
Quote:
Originally Posted by phatboi2017
ok, ifollowed the tutorial to a T, and everything was going great , everything looked like the screenshots until I opened The Sims 3 to see if it worked, and all I get is an empty shirt. There is an extra one shirt in the shirt section, I guess it's supposed to be the custom one but the shirt is empty, nada. Please Help!!!


Hmm, can you post some screenshots....although that won't be much help...

This may sound ridiculous but did you commit the DDS and save the package? Not to insult your intelligence but sometimes it's simple steps like that people miss.

Let's see, if that's not it then check to make sure that the Alpha layer is done right, usually that's what'll mess you up.

I'm trying to think back at all of the mistakes I made at first, but nothing is coming to mind at the moment. Then again, I haven't slept in forever...

While I ponder over this, go back over the tutorial again and see if maybe you missed something.

I'm gonna need some more coffee -__________-
Mother Function
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#12 Old 24th Jun 2009 at 10:28 AM
Quote:
Originally Posted by JanetteRaven
I wish people would start doing tutorials in something other that photoshop. Where are all you people stealing your copy from anyway? I refuse to believe everyone but me can afford to buy such an expensive program every year when they release a newer version.

I am really frustrated at this point because everytime I try to follow a tutorial I find some function of photoshop that doesn't seem to be replicated by Gimp or Paint.net. Then I'm just stuck. I'm getting sick and tired of all the half finished projects I have sitting around on my PC.


Okay lovely, I decided to forgo sleep and make a version using only GIMP. It wasn't as easy as I thought it'd be =/ I never really knew how different they really are.
Mother Function
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#13 Old 24th Jun 2009 at 11:16 AM
Quote:
Originally Posted by phatboi2017
ok, ifollowed the tutorial to a T, and everything was going great , everything looked like the screenshots until I opened The Sims 3 to see if it worked, and all I get is an empty shirt. There is an extra one shirt in the shirt section, I guess it's supposed to be the custom one but the shirt is empty, nada. Please Help!!!


I just followed my tutorial from start to finish and I ended up with a working shirt =/

Maybe you should try editing directly on the extracted mesh texture. Like, instead of making the blank canvas, just paste the stencil directly onto the texture then go about the rest of the steps. Just remember change the alpha.

I don't see how that (^) will make a difference but you never know...
Screenshots
Theorist
#14 Old 24th Jun 2009 at 7:22 PM
Congratulations, the tutorial is fantastic.
Thanks!
Lab Assistant
#15 Old 24th Jun 2009 at 8:09 PM Last edited by Saikatsu : 24th Jun 2009 at 8:11 PM. Reason: Grammar
A minor suggestion for improvement...

In part IV (alpha channel), there is a much simpler way to do this with Photoshop. Hold the Ctrl key and click on the layer (in the layers palette) containing your decal to select the decal itself. Select the alpha channel, make sure your background color is set to white, then hit Ctrl+Del. (Alternatively, if your foreground color is white, you can use Alt+Del instead of swapping your colors.)
Lab Assistant
#16 Old 24th Jun 2009 at 8:42 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by phatboi2017
ok, ifollowed the tutorial to a T, and everything was going great , everything looked like the screenshots until I opened The Sims 3 to see if it worked, and all I get is an empty shirt. There is an extra one shirt in the shirt section, I guess it's supposed to be the custom one but the shirt is empty, nada. Please Help!!!

That's the exact same problem I'm having.

Personally, I'm using PSP, but what I'm doing should be doing the exact same thing she's doing in PS. I mean, it's worked this far for making patterns. :P
Mother Function
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#17 Old 24th Jun 2009 at 9:47 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by Syera
That's the exact same problem I'm having.

Personally, I'm using PSP, but what I'm doing should be doing the exact same thing she's doing in PS. I mean, it's worked this far for making patterns. :P


I know you don't want to hear this, but try starting over from scratch =/
And by sratch, I mean delete everything...the extracted files, the clean stencil image, everything. Use the updated tutorial, preferably the Wiki version if you can, and follow the steps. It's rewritten and some of the steps have been modified and switched up to make it easier to follow. Also, I added some short cuts and alternative methods to use.

A few tips:
*Instead of creating the new blank canvas, you can paste the stencil directly on the shirt texture. Just hide the extra layers when you finish aligning the stencil, then flatten it. Make sure to hit Save As, not Save...and give the DDS a name
*Make sure that "Export MIPmaps" is selected when you export the DDS
*Make sure that you saved the DDS file in the right format. This may seem redundant, but sometimes it turns out that you picked the wrong one. "Signed" and "Unsigned" make a difference, as well as the number of 8s.

Anyhoos, I'm sorry for all the constant changes but the more I work with Photoshop/GIMP, the more short cuts and easier routes I learn.

Bear with me please :D
Sir Not Appearing In This Film
#18 Old 24th Jun 2009 at 10:07 PM
There also seems to be an issue with some Adult Female Tops, paticularly the t-shirts, if this is where you are having a problem, try doing a different shirt, or on a male t-shirt, see if this helps.
Mother Function
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#19 Old 24th Jun 2009 at 10:12 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by Snaitf
There also seems to be an issue with some Adult Female Tops, paticularly the t-shirts, if this is where you are having a problem, try doing a different shirt, or on a male t-shirt, see if this helps.


ah ha! So it wasn't just me! I kept running into road blocks with the Adult Female mesh, but I thought I was just tired and probably missed something somewhere.

So instead this morning, I went back over the tutorial using a Teen Female mesh and I got it to work.

I wonder what's up with the Adult meshes...
Lab Assistant
#20 Old 25th Jun 2009 at 2:08 AM Last edited by kookiekween99 : 25th Jun 2009 at 2:38 AM.
I feel really stupid right now, but I'm not sure how to get the DDS plugin to work on Photoshop. I clicked the link, downloaded it, and ran the exe, but it's not letting me open DDS files in Photoshop. Was there something else I was supposed to do first?

EDIT: Never mind, I'm an idiot. XD
I realized that I had Photoshop loaded when I ran the .exe. I just had the brilliant idea of restarting Photoshop. Everything's fine now.

EDIT2: Okay, another problem. When I try to save the file at the beginning of Part V, it gives me the error message "Too many channels to export (5)." Please help!
Lab Assistant
#21 Old 25th Jun 2009 at 5:15 AM
Quote:
Originally Posted by kookiekween99
EDIT2: Okay, another problem. When I try to save the file at the beginning of Part V, it gives me the error message "Too many channels to export (5)." Please help!

I had the same problem, the error made no sense. I got around it by saving it as a TGA (select 32 bit when it asks), closing the file, reopening it, then saving as a DDS.
Test Subject
#22 Old 25th Jun 2009 at 5:25 AM
Is there any chance that someone has tried this in paint.net and would be willing to post a tutorial? (Or to tell me there is no way to make this work with paint.net, and I really do have to go learn the Gimp; I will if I have to, but I'm impatient.)

And I should add a huge thank you for the tutorial, Daluved1, and the tool, Delphy, since they make me feel like I *can* learn how to do mods.
Lab Assistant
#23 Old 25th Jun 2009 at 5:54 AM
Quote:
Originally Posted by Saikatsu
I had the same problem, the error made no sense. I got around it by saving it as a TGA (select 32 bit when it asks), closing the file, reopening it, then saving as a DDS.


Thanks, I was able to save it that way. :3

But now, I'm getting another error, this time in CTU.

I was doing Part V Step 5, and I clicked find, and this popped up:



I wonder if this has anything to do with the workaround I had to use to save it...

Also, I agree with JigsawAnalogy. Thank you both for the tool and tutorial. I feel so much less stupid now. ^^:
Mother Function
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#24 Old 25th Jun 2009 at 6:52 AM Last edited by daluved1 : 26th Jun 2009 at 12:12 AM.
Quote:
Originally Posted by kookiekween99
Thanks, I was able to save it that way. :3

But now, I'm getting another error, this time in CTU.

I was doing Part V Step 5, and I clicked find, and this popped up:



I wonder if this has anything to do with the workaround I had to use to save it...

Also, I agree with JigsawAnalogy. Thank you both for the tool and tutorial. I feel so much less stupid now. ^^:


Okay, I think I see why you're getting the "too many channels" error, that means you probably need to flatten the image before exporting it to a DDS.

Flattened simply means that there is only one layer in the image. In Photoshop, from what I can tell from my own experience, any transparency in the image is seen as another layer, even if it shows that you only have one background layer.

In part 4, step 7 when you delete the duplicated background layer, the image should automatically be flattened. However, if the canvas color is set to transparency for some wonky reason, then simply try reflattening the image again. This should give you an all white background with your stencil somewhere in the middle. In short: If you see the grey/white checkerboard when you try to save it as a DDS, then you need to flatten the image to turn the background white. This should solve that error...I hope...

Now, GIMP is another story, I believe that you indeed can export a DDS with the transparency showing. So that shouldn't throw you off, however I'll go check that out and verify if it's true.

-------------------------------------------------

Now, this funny business about the unsupported DDS error might mean that you saved it as the wrong file type. I've never tried to save it as a Targa first, so it might be that saving it as a targa then exporting it as a DDS is doing something weird to the file.

First, go back and look at the DDS file you saved. Make sure the file size isn't 0kb, if it is, then that mean something went wrong while saving.

Hopefully you saved your psd (if using photoshop) or your xcf (if using GIMP).
Re-open your psd/xcf and try saving it as a DDS again. (Make sure all 4 channels are there correctly and that the image is flattened).

If using the NVIDIA plug-in make sure you selected "DXT3 ARGB 8bpp | explict alpha" -OR- "DXT5 ARGB 8bpp | interpolated alpha", and MIPmaps were generated.

If using the plug-in for GIMP make sure the "BC2/DXT3" -OR- the "BC3/DXT5" format was selected and the the Generate MIPmaps box was ticked.


I really hope that helped, but if it doesn't...let me know and I'll ponder over this some more.

And, I also wanted to say thanks for all the lovely compliments! Although I haven't slept much since I first made the tutorial, staying up late to answer questions for you guys is worth the insomnia If it wasn't for MTS/TSR tutorials, I wouldn't know how to do much of anything for the Sims 2 or Sims 3. So I figured that I should give back to the community.

Much love!
-Alaina

&&Amber, I love your deviantArt You should check out mine.

"Holy Shift! Check out the asymptotes on that mother function!"
Mother Function
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Original Poster
#25 Old 25th Jun 2009 at 7:13 AM
Quote:
Originally Posted by JigsawAnalogy
Is there any chance that someone has tried this in paint.net and would be willing to post a tutorial? (Or to tell me there is no way to make this work with paint.net, and I really do have to go learn the Gimp; I will if I have to, but I'm impatient.)

And I should add a huge thank you for the tutorial, Daluved1, and the tool, Delphy, since they make me feel like I *can* learn how to do mods.


I'll toy around with Paint.net and see if I can figure it out. But it won't be anytime soon, I need to get some sleep :P

"Holy Shift! Check out the asymptotes on that mother function!"
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