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Instructor
Original Poster
#1 Old 3rd Aug 2010 at 2:42 PM Last edited by emhpb : 5th Aug 2010 at 7:12 AM.
Default Tutorial - Fun With Alpha Accessories
This is a two part tutorial that will teach you how to make alpha accessories for Sims 3.

A short disclaimer before we begin, this tutorial DOES require TSRW, but Whiterider has kindly volunteered to write a CTU/s3pe version as well. To speed things along, I have attached a package file with all of the necessary textures linked, as well as helpfully labeled on the image.

The first part will deal only with retexturing/recoloring alpha accessories, making them is slightly more experimental, and therefore may require more research.

Fun With Alpha Accessories - Retexturing

This tutorial will walk you through retexturing my alpha wings mesh, this being the only publically available alpha mesh so far.

What this tutorial does:
-Teach you how to make proper textures for alpha accessories

-What this tutorial does not do:
-Teach you basic image editing
-Teach you basic texture creation
-Anything else

What you will need
-The Sims Resource Workshop
-An image editing program that supports DDS, such as GIMP or photoshop, and needed DDS plugins.
-Attached tutwings WRK.zip
-Basic knowledge of textures for TS3

Step 1
Download the attached tutwings WRK.zip, and IMPORT into TSRW. Why import? Because if everyone simply opened the WRK file and replaced the textures, any CC made with that WRK file would be replaced by any other CC made with that WRK file. So import.

How to import?

-Open TSRW
-Create Project
-New Import
-Browse
-Find wrk file
-Give new Project Title and Description
-Click Next
-Click OK

Done! you should see a sim with a bunch of random text behind her. This is because I conveniently labeled the DDSs for you, so ignore the preview for now.

Step 2

View the textures by clicking edit next to them in the textures tab. The backgrounds of the textures should be what the backgrounds of your textures will look like. The text on the textures will instead be wings or wings shapes on yours.

You can also download My recolors of the mesh and look at the positioning of the wings. plus get a more precise example of what your textures should look like. Do NOT retexture the mesh included in this download. Why? because the mesh in the attached tutwings.wrk file is slightly updated, and works better for males.

Step 3 - A brief overview of the textures

All textures except for the overlay should have no alpha and be saved as DXT1.

Overlay
The overlay is the first texture you should see, if you don't want an overlay, click the edit button, and then the make empty button in the window. Otherwise, your overlay should be a colored image on a transparent background, saved as DXT5 or DXT3.

Mask
The mask should be the recolor channels you want to use, make it as usual and save as DXT1. if you are disabling all patterns, and just using an overlay for the color, don't even bother changing the mask, or use any mask.

Transparency Map
Most of the time, the transparency map is completely black and white. The white part is the shape of your wings, anything that's white is something you want to show up in game, and anything that is black is something you want to be invisible. If your transparency map is all black, you will see the wings as invisible. If your transparency map is all white, you will see a big square behind the sim. So don't make it all black or all white.

To easily get a transparency map in GIMP, hide/delete the background of your multiplier, so only the shape of the wings on a transparency background is visible. Then zoom out so you can see the entire image, go to the channels tab, and drag the alpha channel onto the image. Then save this layer as your transparency map, DXT1.

Multiplier
The multiplier should be a medium grey image of your wings as usual, but with a black background, saved as DXT1.

Specular
The specular should be the multiplier, but slightly darker. Just make it how you usually make a specular, and save as DXT1.

Other Textures
Ignore the other textures, unless you actually do know what to do with them. The only other texture you should be touching is the bumpmap, but only if you've done bumpmaps before.

Step 4

Import your textures to the right places.

-Click on edit next to the texture you want to replace
-Click Import, and select your texture from your computer
-Click done, and select Yes, you want to replace the texture. Do not select No, as this will create a new texture, and make your package bigger, plus the new textures will not be linked to the mesh.

You can check that you've done this correctly by going to the mesh tab, and clicking on the "..." next to materials. Your textures should show up as linked, instead of the labeled ones. Note the TSRW fails, and so the alpha map is in there twice instead of the multiplier. Ignore this.

Step 5
Recategorize as you wish.

Step 6
File>export as a sims3pack, and then if you like, convert to a package using Delphy's Multi Installer.

OR

Edit>Project Contents>Export>As Package, to get a package immediately, but the package will be larger then usual. Good lazy testing though.

Uploading
When you upload, be sure to credit me for the mesh conversion with a link to this thread, and Lord Dragonstone for the original Sims 2 mesh. (see Here for details) Also, for god's sake, do NOT make 400 crappy wings retextures and upload them all. That would just be spam.

Also, note the texture issues pointed out Here when/if you upload.

Uploads are not restricted to MTS, as long as credit is given.

And I'd love a link if you retexture, but it's not required.

Comments/Questions/Feedback/Suggestions/Problems/Virgin Sacrifices/Pictures of your home-made Alpha Panties:

Post 'em here.

Stay tuned for part 2 on how to make your own. :D

Also if I forgot anything, let me know.
Download - please read all instructions before downloading any files!
File Type: zip tutwings WRK.zip (213.1 KB, 100 downloads) - View custom content
Description: WRK file for TSRW users
File Type: zip tutwings.zip (225.5 KB, 62 downloads) - View custom content
Description: Package file for those who want to try with S3PE
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Theorist
#2 Old 6th Aug 2010 at 6:44 PM
I'm having a problem, when I try to make a new "design" it doesn't retain its transparency, it's pink with the wedding ring textures on it

Does that make any sense at all?

Hi I'm Paul!
Instructor
Original Poster
#3 Old 6th Aug 2010 at 8:48 PM
I answered Roblod in chat, but for everyone's reference, there are some extra steps ya gotta do if you're making a new mesh
Test Subject
#4 Old 23rd Oct 2010 at 12:30 AM Last edited by JET73L : 23rd Oct 2010 at 7:15 AM. Reason: New information arose
My original post:
Quote:
I am unable to make the

Alpha/
Transparency
Mask

go away. I have tried:
  • Messing with the Alpha layers in both GIMP and TSRW (including turning them back off after turning them on in TSRW, of course)
    -Making a new GIMP window the same size (one opaque and one transparent, separately), copying and pasting only the white of the wings into the new window (for the opaque one I bucket-filled the white black and pasted the wings in, for the transparent i pasted the wings in and bucket-filled black around them).
    -Variously using the "Make Empty" button and answering "Yes" to "Do you want to replace the texture?"
    -Made the "Mask" texture empty

At first I accidentally left the old texture in and gotthe "Alpha/Transparency Mask" text in addition to the wings, then that plus another set of wings when I tried again (again forgetting to remove the original texture) but then remembered to replace or erase it and started over in a new Import.

The current state of my textures is as follows:
Overlay: Solid purple all over, one layer (as a test for changing the overlay and to make it easier to see), no alpha
Mask: Blank transparent (those grey and dark grey checkerboard squares)
Transparency Map: White wings, black everywhere else, one layer, no alpha
Multiplier: White wings, black everywhere else, one layer, no alpha
Skin specular: Untouched (T-shape with two small squares missing from the top)
Skin ambient: Untouched (T-shape with two small squares missing from the top)
Clothing specular: White wings, black everywhere else, one layer, no alpha
Clothing ambient: Untouched (solid white-looking block, though there is something around the right and bottom edge that could be transparency or shadow)
Logo: Untouched (Black square with rounded corners)
Part mask: Untouched (solid red block, though there is something around the right and bottom edge that could be transparency or shadow)

...and i haven't touched Patterns, Stencils, etc.

There are two things that I don't think are related to my problem, but should be mentioned in the interest of full disclosure.
-The second time I uploaded a project I got a male sim in khaki slacks and a polo shirt, and the third and fourth times (possibly the fifth time, I accidentally put the default name of the new project instead of the in-progress name while opening, then closed the project and imported it again and don't remember if it happened two times or three).
-Some supposedly-transparent parts of the wings appear opaque white from certain angles. They are transparent from most angles, and the opaque areas did sometimes happen in The Sims 2 and possibly TS3, so it's probably nothing unusual. I can't tell much more because the background of the 3-D preview area is white.

If you need any more specific information that I did not know was relevant, go ahead and ask.

In short, where is the visual information for the "Alpha/Transparency Mask"-text stored, and how do I make it invisible or no longer there?


Never mind, it seems to have spontaneously fixed itself while I wasn't looking, sometime in the ten hours or so since I had the problem. If anyone else has this problem, try waiting a while and not messing with TSRW for that time. If not, it was probably just something weird with my edition, project, and/or computer.
Fus Ro Dah!
retired moderator DELETED POST
4th Feb 2011 at 3:22 PM
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Née whiterider
retired moderator
#5 Old 11th Feb 2012 at 1:59 PM
Hmm. The file includes a TGI ref to the part mask of a full body outfit. Is that how you avoided the texture layering problem?

What I lack in decorum, I make up for with an absence of tact.
Lab Assistant
#6 Old 7th Mar 2012 at 2:32 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by emhpb
I answered Roblod in chat, but for everyone's reference, there are some extra steps ya gotta do if you're making a new mesh
Could you tell what those steps are? I'm having the same problem.

There is a transparency tutorial for .packages , but I'd like to learn to do that in TSRW.
Sockpuppet
#7 Old 7th Mar 2012 at 3:02 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by misukisu
Could you tell what those steps are? I'm having the same problem.

There is a transparency tutorial for .packages , but I'd like to learn to do that in TSRW.


Unfortunate TSRW doesn't allow you to change the CAS shaders so you can not make CAS stuff transparant with TSRW.

The Egyptian necklace(and the Store Hula skirt) does allow you to make edits on the mesh with the use of the transparancy map but that map(and shader used) will never give you transparancy, it only supports cut outs.

If you want transparancy in a sims3pack you best export as package, edit the GEOMs(Cmar's tutorial) and then reclone with TSRW.
Still is possible you get errors as not all TSRW versions accept that shader(simhairsimple)
Lab Assistant
#8 Old 7th Mar 2012 at 3:54 PM
Thanks Blooms! It worked perfectly.
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