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Lab Assistant
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#1 Old 21st Feb 2010 at 7:49 PM Last edited by leroy157 : 21st Feb 2010 at 7:51 PM. Reason: Spelling
Default Changing object footprint
I have read HugeLunatic's article on modifying footprints ( It helped me immensely), and have done so successfully. My project shows the proper dimensions in Footprint, It works fine in the program as far as footprint size, and placement. But when I zoom in on it, it disappears unless I am in the original 1X2 sq footprint of the object, which originally was the Bale of hay cloned, and footprint adjusted to 1 X 8. This is not an immediate project, just a search for further knowledge to help me understand the theory for designing items. I have studied all the files in the package with PE, and searched the forum for more information but I need some help in determining which files I still need to alter, and any recommended articles for reading. Thank You.
(PS) Years ago I programmed games in C. Then they had just started using images packed in a file instead of sprites. I believe it was Allegro that had soft ware for mapping these then. Are the Sims mapping features similar.
Pettifogging Legalist!
retired moderator
#2 Old 21st Feb 2010 at 8:06 PM
Originally Posted by leroy157
But when I zoom in on it, it disappears unless I am in the original 1X2 sq footprint

What is disappearing here, the footprint or the object? Not sure if I understand ..

Stuff for TS2 · TS3 · TS4 | Please do not PM me with technical questions – we have Create forums for that.

In the kingdom of the blind, do as the Romans do.
Lab Assistant
Original Poster
#3 Old 21st Feb 2010 at 9:22 PM
Default Object disapearing
It is the object. I have a rail that is 8 sq long X 1/2 wide, and 1 1/2 squares high. I can lay it down in build mode but when I zoom in on it, it vanishes unless I move my view within the original footprint of the cloned object which 1X2 in the center, I used the program footprint to check it and it shows my modified footprint correctly. I have also used it in game and all is well within the footprint, but it is the image that disappears. If I zoom in and move away from the center two sq it disappears as if even though my footprint is correct, the program draw does not realize that it should still be displaying the image until I move completely off the footprint. I believe that I missed something in my S3PE files that tells the program I am still in the viewing area
#4 Old 23rd Feb 2010 at 12:47 AM
Leroy, I have to confess that I'm still confused even after you've provided more explanation. My suggestion to you is to take some in-game pictures of the problem you're having and post the pictures, along with the question, in HL's tutorial thread.

That's probably the best way to bring your question to her attention and providing visual explanation will definitely help.
In the Arena
retired moderator
#5 Old 23rd Feb 2010 at 3:14 AM
Would help if you post a pic?

You have the footprint indicator but no visible object?
Does the cloned object appear in-game correctly before you mess about with the footprints?
Do you get the object's thumbnail in the catalog?

I remember referencing invisible objects issues in my tutorial's FAQ and the solution was the suggested cause was something to do with the instance IDs.
see post#7 answer by Wes.

Another cause for invisibility was that the groups got mixed up and in Milkshape.
see post#9 answer by Udderbelly.

Dunno if you had checked for those things to rule them out...

If an object disappears and reappears on zooming in and out, that is to do with the other LODs - the meshes for the other MLOD/MODL were either not UVmapped correctly or the meshes had not been changed yet (a lot of references for these problems, common issue).
Lab Assistant
Original Poster
#6 Old 23rd Feb 2010 at 6:34 AM
Default Image dissapering
I am sorry if I did not explain it well. The Item I have cloned was originally the bale of hay with a footprint of 1 X 2, I modified its footprint to 1 X 10 and cloned it beam.package. When I go into town edit mode, Build, then select my beam, It can be selected and laid down properly and you can see, it as long as you are zoomed out to a wider viewing angle the whole beam is visible. However if you zoom in on the beam to view a 4X4 area it disappears unless you keep part of the center 2 squares in your viewing area. If you pan beyond the original two square left or right it vanishes until you pan back to include that part of the original footprint. I have verified that my new footprint is correct in the build mode by trying to lay it down on property edge or next to another object. I have verified that the footprint wont let me lay the item into another item or closer than 5 sq to property edge. I believe that although I have changed the footprint there is another code that tells the program when you are in or out of that items viewing area, thus shutting off the rendering of that item. I have completely rebuilt it 6 or 7 times three times from scratch. I have had 2 instances of S3PE going comparing it with other packages for many hours with no luck. I have partially succeeded in modify a package that could only be used in create a world to now be used in standard game build mode. That I will complete later, but now I must solve this problem. I hope I have clarified my problem. and again thank you very much for responding. LeRoy157.
Me? Sarcastic? Never.
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#7 Old 23rd Feb 2010 at 3:08 PM
You cloned the bale of hay? Doe the bale of hay also disappear when you change your zooming? There are items in game that will fade when you zoom in. There was a camera hack for this in TS2, so hopefully someone finds a way around that in TS3.

If it's not that then I would say double check your meshes as Ella pointed out above.
Lab Assistant
Original Poster
#8 Old 23rd Feb 2010 at 7:31 PM
Thank you HugeLunatic, I suspected something like that, and have been trying to find where this is done with no luck. I know in 3D gaming there is simply put an area assigned for each item on a grid or array that tells the game when to and when not to render that object. I suspect that it may be in the image.DDS file. But I know little of how the games graphic rendering works. I started into modding the Sims thinking man this should be easy. Every day I learn more which makes me realize how little I know about this game. By the way thank you for taking the time and effort to write the article on changing footprint. Thank You LeRoy157
#9 Old 24th Feb 2010 at 2:55 AM
"I started into modding the Sims thinking man this should be easy. Every day I learn more which makes me realize how little I know about this game" and lots of other people who came to Sims 3 thinkin' it would be easy. This game is purposefully designed, among other things, to be a black box too tough to mod IMO. EA has this thing wrapped so tight they're even borking their own store stuff for many downloaders from what I hear. I think they're trying on a model of gaming where they get to be the premier download site and, of course, you get to pay for their (generica) downloads. As far as the community goes they couldn't care less...we're the competition.

I sometimes wonder if EA didn't hold their little pre-release modder jamboree to find out what people find helpful, familiar, and easy just so they could deliberately make Sims 3 exactly the opposite.

Anyway, you're not alone in finding this game hard. Channel your inner mule and dig in your heels...that's what it

Rant over.
Lab Assistant
Original Poster
#10 Old 24th Feb 2010 at 6:08 AM
Well Orangemittens I got into this when I reinstalled the Sims 3 after not using it for a while. I then installed the World Builder, and started creating. That is when I realized how little there was to work with, just enough to keep your interest but lacking so much. Then they offered World Adventure with more but still deliberately just enough to keep you interested, but no more. They know exactly what they are doing. Look at the in game shopping mode. A button in game, and your credit card number. They made money selling the game but I bet the profits from the Sims store are equal or greater then the sales of the game. I am retired now and enjoy the challenge of modding. I will keep on studying this game and if I learn anything I will share it. After all a mental test in Face Book ranked me as a hopeless Schizophrenic, maybe one of the voices I hear might know something. Thank you, and the others for your responses. LeRoy157
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