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Wiki Wizard
Original Poster
#1 Old 14th Aug 2009 at 3:43 PM Last edited by HugeLunatic : 15th Jul 2010 at 4:11 PM. Reason: Tutorial Outdated
Default Tutorial: Meshing Objects in TS3 [OUTDATED]
THIS TUTORIAL IS OUTDATED. Tools and methods have changed since the mini-tutorial was written. Please see Tutorials:TS3_Basic_HowTo_Mesh_Guidewiki.


Comprehensive, in-depth tutorial Includes resource explanations, meshing, and mapping by elleacharm3d

Basic Tutorial with a general overview by flabaliki




Tutorial: Meshing Objects in TS3

Ok well SO many people have asked me how to mesh, i am not kidding you, literally dozens of people have asked me, so i thought i should just write the damn thing up in full instead of repeating myself to every single person on the face of the earth (no dramatisation there). So i give you a tutorial on how to Mesh in TS3, please read the ENTIRE thing, don't be Mr. Smarty Pants and try to guess, because you WILL fail... anyway, ENJOY!

What you need:

*S3PE
*S3OC
*Object Tool by WesH
*Milkshape 3D
*UV Mapper

These programs are being updated all the time, well not milkshape or UV mapper, but the other 3, so you need to make sure you have the most updated version or you will not be able to follow this, i will try to update this as tools move along.

Before you begin:

*Ok before you begin, this is a very basic tutorial, it is an outline of how to mesh so that you can follow along hopefully without any problems, so if you know nothing about meshing at all, in any Sims game, then it is very likely you will have no idea what this tutorial it talking about and you will get very lost, this should be rated intermediate – advanced; some basic steps may be missed out with the assumption you know what to do.

*Make sure you have all of the above programs installed and the subsequent programs that they require. Please note that you need to put the DLL file from WesH’s Object tool into your Milkshape main folder so you can import and export .mcfg files.

*Things not to clone: the decorative globe and clutter object, they have funny texture maps and it is best to avoid them. Also i would advise against making something ridiculous like a car for your first mesh because it will go horribly wrong, do a chair or a table.

Step 1: Cloning

Start up the S3OC, click “file>new(clone)” or if you are doing an experimental or modular object then select cloning experimental>subsequent category”. Wait for the list to load then select an item to clone.
*NOTE: cloning clutter objects is advised against*
Once you have chosen the item you want, do not change ANY of the items to the right of the window, leave the tick boxes and descriptions alone, just press “start”, when it has compiled the list to the right press “save” and type in a file name in the popup. Wait for the program to save the clone then close it.

Step 2: Extracting the files

Now load s3pe, when it is open click “file>open” and find the file you just saved in S3OC. In the row of tick boxes at the bottom of the window select “Sort”, then go back to the top left window and click the “Tag” button to sort your files in order of their tag names. Now most file will have 3 MLOD files and 1 MODL file, if you look across to their groups they should all be something like 0x000010001; now the main mesh file will be the MLOD file that has no 1’s in the group name, it should be 0x00000000, the other 2 MLOD files and the MODL control the shadow of your object. Export all of these files into their own folder and minimise S3PE.

Step 3: Readying for Milkshape

Now go to your documents and find the folder with your just exported files in; you need to right click on them one by and choose “open with” then click “browse”, you now need to locate the modld application extracted from WesH’s Object Tools. When you do this a LOT more file should appear, the only one you are interested in is the .mcfg file, there should be one .mcfg per MLOD or MODL, these are your meshes that need to go into milkshape.
*NOTE: it is a good idea to put each MLOD and MODL file into their own folder before running them through modld so you don’t have too many confusing mixed up files.

Step 4: Milkshape bit

Ok now open milkshape and select “file>import” and scroll down to “Sims 3 Object Import by Wesley Howe”, locate your .mcfg file that you want to edit and then select “open”, now make sure that the main mesh you make is labelled “group00” in the groups tab, in every file. Now do your meshing stuff until you are finished up (you also need to map your object before exporting it back to an mcfg).

Once you are done, and your object is mapped, click “file>export” and select “Sims 3 Object Export by Wesley Howe”, when you go to save it make sure you use the SAME FILE NAME! I cannot stress that enough, it must be the same file name as the .mcfg that you imported. Once that is done you can close Milkshape and move on.

Step 5: Preparing for import

Now you have edited all of your MODL and MLOD files you need to make them ready to go back into S3PE; you need to locate each .mcfg file and right click on it and select “open with” and then choose “browse”, now you need to locate the modlc application from WesH’s Object Tools, once you run each file through it the MOLD and MLOD files should sort themselves out.
*NOTE: if you are getting an error you are probably trying to open it with modld not modlc!”

Step 6: S3PE-ing them

Ok now you want to maximise S3PE again, you need to choose “file>import” and import each of the MODL and MLOD files back into your package, now it is important they have the same file name so they overwrite the existing ones, now you can save.

Step 7: Texture maps and all that jazz”

Ok now you need to use S3PE and sort the tags and find all the “_IMG” files, there are 2 files in there that are relevant to your, you will need to export them all and sort through them unfortunately. Now the 2 files you want are the following:
*Part Mask, this is what makes the object CASTable, it should look like big blobs of Red and Green, or it will be just Red or Red, Green and Blue, you get the picture.
*NOTE: it is NOT the file with a TINY red square, it is the big one*
*Texture Map, you should find a texture map made up of grey scale, now I am not going to explain how it looks because if you are reading this you should know what a texture map looks like for a mesh.

Once you have found the 2 files you want, edit them to fit your texture map, with the part mask, the red is the first colourable area, the green is the second, blue the third and the alpha is the fourth, most objects have only red or red and green; you CANNOT add CASTable parts to your mesh, you can only use the amount the cloned item had. The texture map of yours should look similar to the one you cloned, it does NOT have to be the same size but should be greyscale. Once you have edited these 2 files with your new texture map then save them with the SAME name.

Step 8: S3PE-ing them... again
Ok now you want to maximise S3PE again, you need to choose “file>import” and import each of the _IMG files back into your package, now it is important they have the same file name so they overwrite the existing ones, now you can save and close S3PE.

Step 9: The “fixing” stage

You have finally finished all your meshing and mapping and you’re good to finish up, so open up S3OC again. Choose “file>open(fix)” and locate your file that you have been editing in S3PE. Now you can change the “Price”, “Catalog Name” and “Catalog Desc” to whatever you wish, but don’t edit the “Object Name and Desc”. Finally you can choose to replace the thumbnail with a picture of your mesh, but you won’t have one yet so you can just do that later on whenever you feel like it. Now press “Start” and enter a unique name in the popup and click “ok” and finally press “save”, if you get a blue “I” and an ok then press “ok” and you are finished.

Step 10: Testing

You have now completed your new mesh which should be non replacing and CASTable (note: some objects aren’t castable, like fences and clutter objects). You should have a .package file which you can install into your game however you like to, personally I use Delphy’s Install Helper Monkey but you can do it by your own means. Now load your game and you should see your new shiny mesh! Well done!

Step 11: I have issues...

That’s nice, whatever issues you have you can keep to yourself, can we stick to Sims please! (my amazing humour had to come in somewhere) If you have any issues or problems then it is advised that you do not post them here because there is limited help, any issues you have should be posted in the Sims 3 Meshing forum, thank you.

Well I hope this helped everyone create the meshes they so eagerly want, I know a few of you cannot wait to get stuck in, so now you have the knowledge and opportunity to do so! I would just like to take this opportunity to extend a great thanks to Leesester who taught me how to mesh, so I am able to teach you, and all of the people in the MOD chat on the IRC who have helped me learn too.

DD


It's ok, we all laugh-snort occasionally!
Check out some of my other stuff here.
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Typical
#2 Old 14th Aug 2009 at 6:14 PM
I would sudgest adding some pics. Other than that
Wiki Wizard
Original Poster
#3 Old 14th Aug 2009 at 6:16 PM
All the tools are beta at the moment, so i would have to keep updating them, plus the tutorial is pretty well explained, you shouldn't need pictures to understand it.


It's ok, we all laugh-snort occasionally!
Check out some of my other stuff here.
Test Subject
#4 Old 14th Aug 2009 at 7:28 PM
This is a quite detailed tutorial.
However,still have some problems not fixed such as how to change the default partten sets of the old object to create new partten sets of new object. (They are in the .objd )
And in the 10000 and 10001 mlod,the mesh is not the same place and -Z length is different to make the shadow looks correctly.

To make the whole work more simple, not edting the gray DDS is okay,just paint full gray and the objects will looks correct in the game,but with no texture rise and fall shadows..( I don't know how to say it in English )
Captain Louie
retired moderator
#5 Old 14th Aug 2009 at 9:59 PM
*cough* pictures But like lew said, this is an awesome tutorial!

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Wiki Wizard
Original Poster
#6 Old 14th Aug 2009 at 10:17 PM
pictures vs. new beta releases every week....


It's ok, we all laugh-snort occasionally!
Check out some of my other stuff here.
Sesquipedalian Pisciform
retired moderator
#7 Old 14th Aug 2009 at 10:51 PM
An excellent tutorial - thank you very much. I hope that once the tools are less beta you will work your wiki magic on it.

More downloads by Leesester, BoilingOil and others at Leefish.nl | My Stuff at Leefish.nl | LeeFish RSS | Sims4 News Blog | TumblinLeefish
Lab Assistant
#8 Old 14th Aug 2009 at 11:26 PM
Thank you so much! I'll try this out later...

Awesome tutorial!

If you love something, let it go. If it comes back to you, it's yours. If it's run over by a car, you don't want it.
Wiki Wizard
Original Poster
#9 Old 15th Aug 2009 at 12:26 AM
Well lee, I might be needing a hand haha


It's ok, we all laugh-snort occasionally!
Check out some of my other stuff here.
Test Subject
#10 Old 15th Aug 2009 at 2:12 AM
Thank you very much! Can you please give us some pictures with an example? These long strings are always confusing ~~~

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Instructor
#11 Old 15th Aug 2009 at 2:20 AM
Great tut, but since I don't use Milkshape for meshing, I'm a bit lost here.
Can I still do my mesh in Wings3D and then export it into Milkshape?
If so...does it still need to be exported in .obj format or a different one?

You can find more of my stuff here: http://www.blackpearlsims.com/downloads.php
Scholar
#12 Old 15th Aug 2009 at 2:27 AM
Quote:
Originally Posted by ~Dee~
Great tut, but since I don't use Milkshape for meshing, I'm a bit lost here.
Can I still do my mesh in Wings3D and then export it into Milkshape?
If so...does it still need to be exported in .obj format or a different one?


Hey Dee, I think (not positive) that you need to have milkshape to do this, because the exporting and importing tools are for milkshape. So you can use Wings3D to mesh, but you have to use Milkshape to export it to the game.
Lab Assistant
#13 Old 15th Aug 2009 at 2:41 AM
Can you tell me where I find "Sims 3 Object Export by Wesley Howe"?
Alchemist
#14 Old 15th Aug 2009 at 3:16 AM
Quote:
Originally Posted by ~Dee~
Can I still do my mesh in Wings3D and then export it into Milkshape?
If so...does it still need to be exported in .obj format or a different one?


Yes. .obj format works well, although you have to make the bone assignments in MilkShape (since .obj format does not support joints). Most objects, except the beds and cars, have one of just a few joints, so this is not burdensome.

I looked again at Wings just yesterday, making plugins for it appears too difficult for me.

<* Wes *>

If you like to say what you think, be sure you know which to do first.
Instructor
#15 Old 15th Aug 2009 at 10:31 AM
Fresh-Prince and Wes, thank you so much that's all I wanted to know.

You can find more of my stuff here: http://www.blackpearlsims.com/downloads.php
Wiki Wizard
Original Poster
#16 Old 15th Aug 2009 at 11:08 AM
Quote:
Originally Posted by kihaad
Can you tell me where I find "Sims 3 Object Export by Wesley Howe"?


It is in the Object Tools by WesH, found in the link at the top of the thread, you need to extract the files from that download and copy and paste the two DLL files from there to your milkshape main folder, then you should see the options inside milkshape


It's ok, we all laugh-snort occasionally!
Check out some of my other stuff here.
Lab Assistant
#17 Old 16th Aug 2009 at 4:34 AM
Thank you so much! I was having such trouble, I really appreciate this
Inventor
#18 Old 16th Aug 2009 at 5:08 AM
Thank you! I just haven't had time to try and puzzle it out on my own - with this, I might be able to get something converted by winter O.o I need more time.

Reyn Silversong-Sim Architect

Terms of Use-All of my stuff is available for use anywhere that is free. All I ask is credit and a link back to the objects in question, or the house they are featured with. DO NOT POST ON THE EXCHANGE!
Wiki Wizard
Original Poster
#19 Old 16th Aug 2009 at 10:11 AM
Well i hope to see something from you Reyn! Good luck


It's ok, we all laugh-snort occasionally!
Check out some of my other stuff here.
Lab Assistant
#20 Old 16th Aug 2009 at 6:56 PM
Thank you very much for this tutorial!

I have no background in game meshing, but I still succeeded in getting a new table into my game in couple of hours (well... let's say one day). Did not change but the primary LOD yet and did not manage to get all the UVMapping right yet, but the parts I got mapped are shown correctly in the game too. Oh joy

I used Sketchup for modeling and imported the mesh as 3ds over the original imported one. Then I combined the groups and deleted the original mesh. That way the joint information was left intact (lost the bones, though).

Are there some good basic tutorials for learning about the bones and joints? And UVMapping? I had some hard time selecting the map (UVMapper has tons of options there) and getting it shown properly in Milkshape. I always felt that there were some extra left-over parts in the map that I could not set to the region without getting the already mapped parts to distort. But that is probably very basic stuff that is already handled in some existing tutorial.

Also, the new table is all super-shiny. But I guess it takes the material definition from the Milkshape material settings, which I did not touch yet...
Wiki Wizard
Original Poster
#21 Old 16th Aug 2009 at 7:31 PM
Yeah the super shinyness will either be the material definition, line hardness or the normals I am so glad it helped you!


It's ok, we all laugh-snort occasionally!
Check out some of my other stuff here.
Lab Assistant
#22 Old 17th Aug 2009 at 9:16 AM
Quote:
Are there some good basic tutorials for learning about the bones and joints? And UVMapping?

It seems that Wes already anticipated this, the links to the tutorials can be found in wiki:

http://www.sims2wiki.info/wiki.php?...shing_Tutorials

Thanks!
Test Subject
#23 Old 17th Aug 2009 at 6:16 PM
Thank you very much for the tutorial, just had a couple of questions, however.


Quote:
2 MLOD files and the MODL control the shadow of your object.

How, exactly do these affect the shadow, and how do I know what needs to be done to them to get the correct shadow? If I just use the same mesh for all four files would the object still look and act right but just have a funky shadow, or do they affect anything else as well?
Wiki Wizard
Original Poster
#24 Old 17th Aug 2009 at 11:01 PM
Well if you open up each of those mesh files you will see that they are all in different palces, some are above the grid, to the left, to the right, below the grid, etc. so use the same mesh but it needs to be moved to the correct place for each mesh file if you correct all those you should have the correct shadow in game


It's ok, we all laugh-snort occasionally!
Check out some of my other stuff here.
Lab Assistant
#25 Old 18th Aug 2009 at 2:44 AM
Quote:
Originally Posted by WesHowe
Yes. .obj format works well, although you have to make the bone assignments in MilkShape (since .obj format does not support joints). Most objects, except the beds and cars, have one of just a few joints, so this is not burdensome.

I looked again at Wings just yesterday, making plugins for it appears too difficult for me.

<* Wes *>


Hi, Wes-- could you be bribed into making import/export plugins for Blender?
(free, open-source, http://www.blender.org)

It seems a shame that people are going to be required to buy Milkshape if they're hoping to mod for TS3. :/
Locked thread | Locked by: HugeLunatic Reason: Outdated ... Please see wiki for more up-to-date tutorial
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