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Eminence Grise
Original Poster
#1 Old 9th Aug 2009 at 7:24 AM Last edited by Srikandi : 9th Aug 2009 at 8:02 AM.
Default Mini-Tutorial: linking stairs, railings, and fences
The current version of Inge and Peter's Object Cloner supports cloning object types earlier versions didn't, including stairs, railings and fences. Get your current S3PE and S3OC versions in their new home here:

Stairs, railings and fences aren't CaSt-able in-game, so it's great to be able to recolor them using the Cloner. The process is basically the same as making any other type of object recolor, as described in Xanathon's painting tut, except that you'll start from the "Cloning" menu instead of the "File" menu.

The one tricky thing about stairs and railings is that they have a special relationship with one another. If you have the auto-railing button clicked when you place a stair in-game, it will add its own default associated railing. So if you clone and recolor a stair, you want to make sure there's a suitable railing for it (that will generally involve cloning a railing as well, though you could re-use a pre-existing one), and link the stair to the railing. You can also link a stair to a matching fence; as far as I know this has no in-game consequences though.

So how do you do this? Basically, you modify the stair's CSTR resource to point to the railing's Instance ID. The method described here was explained to me by Inge Jones.

1. Assuming you already have the stair and the railing created and working separately in-game, first look up the instance ID of the railing. I find the easiest way to do this is to open the railing in S3PE, choose the CRAL resource (that's the base object resource for railings, similar to OBJD for most objects), and click Export. In the Export dialog, you'll be able to see the filename of the exported object; for my white railing, it's S3_04C58103_00000000_03FCD7B5D6466F92_StaircaseMissionInterior_Railing%%+CRAL.railing . Now I can select the Instance ID part of this filename (03FCD7B5D6466F92) and CTRL-C to copy it to the clipboard. Don't need to actually export the railing, so I click "Cancel". You might want to paste this ID to notepad or somewhere for safe-keeping till you need it again.

2. Now open the stair package in S3PE, and select its base resource, which is CSTR in the case of stairs.

3. Then click the "Grid" button in the bottom row of the middle panel in S3PE. You should see this:

You're interested in the number in the Catalog Railing Index row, which is 3 (I think it's always 3, but I haven't looked at every stair).

4. Now you need to look at the TGIBlocks, which is a collection of pointers to other resources. Click that row in the grid; a button with "..." on it will appear to the right. Click the button. You will get another window, like this:

5. Since the railing index was 3, click on the line starting with [3] in the left pane of this grid. Then in the right pane select the instance ID (leaving the 0x at the beginning of that number), and click ctrl-V to paste over it the railing instance ID that should still be on the clipboard (or copy and paste it from wherever you saved it).

6. Click "close" to close this window, and "commit" to save the change you made in the TGIBlocks window.

7. Then save your modified package in S3PE.

That's it! Now when you place the stair in the game with autorailings on, the railing you specified should be the one that appears.

You can use the same method to associate your railing with a fence, and apparently you can also specify a wall object and pattern as the default for the walls the game adds around interior stairs. I haven't tried changing the walls yet; if anybody decides to play with that, please let us know how it went

If you try this, please post comments and questions here; I'll add the tut to the wiki after getting some feedback.
The Attack Cat
retired moderator
#2 Old 9th Aug 2009 at 7:01 PM
Thanks for the Tutorial Sri!
#3 Old 10th Aug 2009 at 7:48 PM
Worked like a charm! Absolutely no issues at all!

Thank You Srikandi and Inge! You Rock!
In the Arena
retired moderator
#4 Old 11th Sep 2009 at 9:36 PM Last edited by ellacharm3d : 11th Sep 2009 at 11:03 PM. Reason: new pic
woot! my first recolor...still back to the drawingboard for me. I must screwed something up on the railing linkage cos it reverts to the default, I think.

Anyways, thank you for sharing your findings on this! And thanks to Xanathon, Inge & Peter, too!

eta: success! that cement railing is not shown in the catalog by default, so it had to be enabled. doh!
now I'm on the hunt for that speckle paint, so I can use that fence as my half-wall (or rather 3/4 wall) and rework the steps' texture (still not satisfied with how it turns out in-game)
#5 Old 15th Sep 2009 at 6:02 AM Last edited by Yogi-Tea : 18th Sep 2009 at 10:49 PM. Reason: added some additional information and a screenshot (also removed some typos)
Thank you for this wonderful Mini-Tutorial, Srikandi. I've extensively tested this for the last 4-5 days and it just workes fine.

I've been using the "Homestyle Ascension Device from NanoTech Crafters" with matching railings and fences for making about a dozen different recolours. I also recoloured walls and floors and tried to link them to the stairs, following your instructions.

I'm not sure what the TGIBlock 0, 1 and 2 is for (in the wiki entry Sims3 Packed File Types it's described as "Visual Proxy. Model links") - #3 indeed seems to be for the railings. TGIBlock 4 and 5 seem to be for the wall and floor and #6 is for the fence.

We also need to replace the instance ID for fences because this one is used if the stairs (in the garden) turn left or right (with autorailings on) - the fence is used for the corner and if we don't replace it with our own the default fence will be added.

For my recolours everything worked fine except the walls and floors. I still have to do some more tests on those today (and probably tomorrow, too) - I've got some strange patterns underlaying my own wall patterns. Even though I've always been using the same base for cloning the walls, each end result had a different pattern displayed under my own recoloured pattern. (Sorry, I'm not sure how to explain that in english). I'll do some screenshots today so that you can see what I mean (can't do that now because I have to go to work).

I just wanted to point out that the mentioned list above (for packed file types) is pretty good to find out what TGIBlock is for which part of the staircase - because the Resource Type ID is always the same, I believe.

Yay... more staircases with matching railings and fences... (I'm so excited) - thanks again, Srikandi.

EDIT#1: ... back again.

Please see the enclosed screenshots for the walls - maybe I mixed something up to have the pattern look so strange - the walls should look like plain blue and black.

Anyway, there's a new S3PE out now (ver. 0909-12-1009) - in this version the TGIBlocks are no longer displayed in numbers. You now can find them sorted by Tags, which makes it much easier to find out what needs to be replaced. Thanks to Inge and Peter Jones for this great improvement of S3PE.

I'll do some more tests with my recolours now. I'll let you know if there are any news regarding linking stairs.


Okay, my fault - I missed deleting the previous pattern of the walls before saving the file so the recoloured walls showed up like that (see picture).

Finally I finished recolouring the stairs and linking them to the railings, walls, floors and fences just worked fine.

Please note that in the new S3PE (ver. 0909-12-1009) the first CWAL (in the TGIBlock list of the stair's CSTR is for the wall and the second CWAL in this list is for the floor (the old S3PE lists them as #4 and #5).

Thanks again, Srikandi. I wouldn't have been able to get this working if you hadn't written this wonderful and easy to understand Mini-Tutorial.
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