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Top Secret Researcher
Original Poster
#1 Old 13th Jan 2014 at 6:21 AM Last edited by billielith : 19th Feb 2014 at 10:37 AM.
Tutorial : How to make your own Custom Easel with its own Custom Paintings
How to make your own Custom Easel with its own Custom Paintings
Word and PDF versions of this tutorial are now available!

The point of this:
Goth sims could paint dark fantasy art, Grandpa could keep repeating the one same landscape he knows, and Kid Sims could paint fun kiddish art; while the creepy clowns and nightmarish tulips can be forgiven and forgotten.

My apologies for any english mistakes you may find in the spelling or grammar, I'm a French-Canadian and I did my best!

This is not a beginner's tutorial.
Before being able to do something like this, you need to be able to recolor objects, clone objects and play with BHAVs a little. If you're a complete beginner, it would be better to go through a few other tutorials first:

- CynicalChick's tutorial on how to recolor Maxis paintings
- Numenor's tutorial on how to recolor objects
- Moune's tutorial on how to clone objects (no need to actually make that table, skip the part about the mesh and Milkshape)
- Echo's two intro tutorials about BHAVs here and here

You should also be familiar with making, resizing/cropping and saving pictures with your favourite Image-Edition program (I use Photoshop, but there's also Gimp, Paint Shop Pro and some other programs).

If you already did all that, and you're averagely familiar with SimPE, you're ready to go.

Never follow any tutorial blindly.
This one especially. We'll juggle with BHAVs (Behaviour Functions in the Resource Tree), which are sensitive files regarding a game object we'll clone, and if you make mistakes or pick the wrong files to work with, you could mess up your game and have to reinstall Sims 2 entirely.

The way to avoid a catastrophe is to back-up:
- your EA GAMES folder (which includes your Downloads, in My Documents),
- your EA GAMES game folder (default is C:\program files\)
- your Work-in-progress folder (where you put your Sims 2 Creations)

I never do it :O
But I didn't have games other than test-games in over 5 years. If you don't want to lose a several-years sim population, take that 5 minutes, and make all the proper back-ups!

What you need to create your Custom Easel with its own Custom Paintings:

- SimPE + a registration to SimPE's website (for GUIDs)
- 2 custom GUIDs of your own (format 0x00000000)
- Notepad (or any regular Text editor)
- the 2 files joined to this tutorial (simple clones of the 2 Maxis objects we'll work on)
- Photoshop or another image editor
- 12 images (256 pixels wide x 442 pixels high, minimum resolution of 72 ppi).

I would suggest you to use your own creations for the 12 images if you're going to upload it on MTS. But of course, if you're going to keep it for your own personal use, it can contain any image you like. I'll have to make one with 12 pictures of Carmine Giovinazzo! Mmm! :P

Ok, back to business!

Step 1 - Making The Clones (Good, healthy, working clones of these two files are joined to this tutorial, but I'll tell you how to do it from scratch anyway, just in case)

First, we need clones of 2 game objects:

the Maxis Easel, and
the Maxis set of Paintings.

Start SimPE's Object Workshop. Give it some time to load. The Maxis Easel is the easiest one to find, it's the file called Independent Expressions Inc. Easel in the category Hobbies > Creative. The set of paintings is the file called Original Painting in the Unknown category.

Clone each file (make sure you don't just Recolor them, we need clones here). Once you have your clones in your WIP (work in progress) folder, open each of them. In the Object Data section of the Resource Tree, in the Plugin View tab, you should be able to find the default Maxis GUID for each. Note these GUIDs down, we'll need them later.

In case you lose track of these original Maxis GUIDs, here they are:

Maxis Easel Itself 0x0AAD5584
Maxis Easel Paintings 0x0216E432

Look at these GUIDs and try to remember them by heart if possible. You'll spot them quicker in your BHAVs if you remember them.

Step 2 - Getting Custom GUIDs
So now that your clones are ready, before you get any further you need your own GUIDs so your Custom Easel and its set of paintings are really custom and don't mix the wrong way with the original Maxis easel or paintings. You'll need two GUIDs for this.

Your Easel (Guid)
Your Paintings (Guid)

Open Notepad, write the two Maxis GUIDs and your own two GUIDs in it, save this as a txt in your WIP folder, we'll need these informations a lot.

Step 3 - Juggling with the GUIDs
Ok this is where you need to go make yourself a nice cup of coffee (or something else you like)

If there's any mess that has to occur with your Custom Easel or Paintings, it's at this step, so please, make all proper back-ups first, and make sure you give your maximum attention to every edit you make.

Open your clone of the Maxis Easel. We'll call it Easel.package for now, you can give it a better name later. In the Object Data section of the Resource Tree, in the Plugin View tab, put the Custom GUID of your Easel in place of the Maxis GUID. 0x0AAD5584 is the GUID to replace. Your Easel is now considered a Custom object by the game.

Open your clone of the Maxis Easel Paintings. We'll call it Paintings.package for now, you can give it a better name later. Change the GUID the same way as for the Easel. 0x0216E432 is the GUID to replace. Your set of Easel Paintings is now considered a Custom object by the game.

You are NOT done! :O

Each object is recognized by the game as Custom, but they don't interact properly with each other! They both call each other in 8 of their BHAVs (Behaviour Functions in the Resource Tree), but the GUIDs called are still the Maxis ones since you didn't replace them with your own yet.

I've made a list of the lines of the BHAVs where you need to make changes. Be careful! Look what GUID is demanded and update it with your own Custom GUID of the SAME object.

Be Painted - Find Good Spot, line 0x5 (Replace the Easel GUID)
Be Painted - Find Good Spot, line 0x6 (Replace the Easel GUID)
Function - On Reset, line 0x14 (Replace the Paintings GUID)
Interaction - DEBUG - Screen Capture, line 0x1 (Replace the Paintings GUID)
Paint - Create New Canvas, line 0x2 (Replace the Paintings GUID)
Painting - Recalculate Price, line 0xB (Replace the Paintings GUID)
Painting - Set Extra Attributes, line 0x2 (Replace the Paintings GUID)
Painting - Wait for Opaque Canvas, line 0x1 (Replace the Paintings GUID)

Function - Reset/Cleanup, line 0x1 (Replace the Easel GUID)
Function - User Place, line 0x9 (Replace the Easel GUID)
Interaction - Paint Abstract - TEST, line 0x3 (Replace the Easel GUID)
Interaction - Paint Portrait - TEST, line 0x2 (Replace the Easel GUID)
Interaction - Paint Still Life - TEST, line 0x2 (Replace the Easel GUID)
Interaction - Practice - TEST, line 0x2 (Replace the Easel GUID)
Interaction - Scrap the Painting - TEST, line 0x2 (Replace the Easel GUID)
Interaction - Sell for $ - TEST, line 0x3 (Replace the Easel GUID)

Be careful! In the BHAV 'Be Painted - Find Good Spot', the Easel isn't interacting with the Paintings but with itself!

In the BHAV lines listed above, edit only the GUID you recognize as the default Maxis GUID for the Easel or Paintings. Look at the Maxis GUIDs again and learn them by heart so you don't insert an Easel or Paintings GUID over a Want, a Memory or something else! 0x0AAD5584 for the Maxis Easel, and 0x0216E432 for the Maxis Paintings!

Inserting GUIDs in BHAVs is done semi-backwards! For example, if a GUID for an object is 0x12345678, it would be like this in the BHAV: 78 56 34 12. And this is what you need to do to replace each GUID in each BHAV.

I suggest you decompose the Maxis GUIDs and your own two custom GUIDs like this in advance in your txt so you have less chances to make a mistake!

Maxis Easel: 84 55 AD 0A
Maxis Paintings: 32 E4 16 02
Your Easel: (decompose your Easel's Custom GUID here)
Your Paintings: (decompose your Paintings Custom GUID here)

Once you are done with this and if everything is correct, congratulate yourself because you survived the toughest, longest part of this tutorial! lol.

Don't forget to Commit and save your files between each edits.

Step 4 - Inserting your Custom Paintings
Do you have your 12 images?
If you use Photoshop, you can easily compose awesome images with just a few special Brushes. There's millions of them on Deviant Art. There's also millions of awesome pictures there, but they are not yours!

For this project, each image needs to be 256 pixels wide x 442 pixels high to begin with, and PNG. The minimum resolution of your images should be 72 ppi. You can add a small irregular border of canvas all around the painting for more realism - I made one with the texture of the default Maxis Canvas and joined it to this post in case you'd like to use it. It's optional but it gives a neat little touch to it.

Your 12 images are ready? Now you have to resize each of them to 256 pixels wide x 256 pixels high in your favourite image editor. They will be distorted to your view but if you want them to look fine in-game you have to start from the proper format (256x442) and resize them to 256x256 with a proper program.

Now that your 12 images are at 256x256, you can do the next step.

In the Texture Image section of your Custom Paintings.package file, you'll find 20 files. Yet, the Maxis Easel only uses 12 paintings. What's this?

The files you really need to focus on are these 12:

(The 5 reveal layers usually show up here)

Edit just these 12. You can replace the textures by your own images the same way you would usually recolor an object.

And don't remove any of the 8 other textures! They are required for the set of Easel Paintings to work! 5 of them are the 5 reveal layers of the paintings (the different steps of what you see when your sim is half-way done). The 3 other files are (I think) the default texture, the texture of the other parts of the canvas, and the shadows.

Once you're done inserting your Custom Paintings in the 12 Texture Images mentioned above, you're done with this step. Don't forget to Commit and save your files between each edits.

Step 5 - Optional : Making the Final Edits for the Easel - Changing its Color, Price, Name and Description
Do you want your Custom Easel to look like an exact copy of the Maxis easel? If you do, skip this step, and it will work just fine.

But you may want to recolor it and make it poor-sim-friendly. Or wealthy-sim-only, and give it an inspiring new name and description.

You can usually recolor a cloned Maxis object the same way you would normally recolor that Maxis object.

Recoloring the Easel
In the Texture Image section of the Resource Tree of your Easel, you'll find 2 texture images. One of them is the shadow of the 3d mesh of the Easel, there's no real need to edit that. The other one is the easel itself. Export it, play with it in Photoshop, then reimport it as usual if you're familiar with recoloring objects. If not, you can try Numenor's tutorial for recoloring objects.

Don't forget to insert your Custom Easel's GUID in the Material Override (MMAT) line saying:

objectGUID (dtUInteger) = 0x0AAD5584 (Replace this GUID by your Easel's custom GUID)

If you don't insert your Custom Easel's GUID there, your recolor will not be specific to your Custom Easel and will inadvertantly add a new recolor to the Maxis easel instead. If you want to create more recolors for your Custom Easel (they would all use the same set of paintings), just recolor it like any Custom Object, and make sure the GUID in the MMAT of the Easel AND of each recolor is your Custom Easel's GUID, to tie them well together.

Changing the name and description of the Easel
In the Catalog Description section of the Resource Tree of your Easel, you'll find the name of the object and its description. Make any edit you want here.

Changing the Easel's price in the catalog
In the Object Data Section of the Resource Tree of your Easel, you'll find the RAW Data the game uses to classify and/or describe your item in the Catalog. The second section is 02. Catalog Price. At the first line there, it says:

0x0012: price | 0x015e

0x015e is Hexadecimal for 350. SimPE has the option to show the Decimal digits in this section, just use the appropriate radio button and edit the number; if your version of SimPE displays just the Hexadecimal numbers for some reason, your computer's calculator should do the switch for you.

Input the price you want here, and there you go.

You're done with the final edits to the Easel! Don't forget to Commit and save your files between each edits.

Conclusion - Wrapping it
Okay, you're almost finished! Congratulations! There's just a few details to adjust and we'll be done!

First, I suggest you rename your both files to something more personal, descriptive and inspiring than Easel.package and Paintings.package. Maybe something as simple as this:


for example, one of mine could look like:


All you need to do now is to test everything in-game, and voilà! You're done! If anything doesn't work, you can always try the tutorial again, and believe me, it's always easier the second time! :D

If your set does work, and you think it's so spiffy that you want to share it, check MTS' Guidelines for these kinds of objects. I believe you need a picture of the 12 paintings all put together, and a picture in-game of a sim using your new easel. Plus possibly a picture of the details of your recolor of the easel - if it's worth showing off, you show it off! :D

You can make different sets of Custom-Easel/Paintings by cloning the files you made today instead of starting from the Maxis ones. You'd have to juggle with the same BHAVs again but heck, you're an expert at it now!

I hope you enjoyed the tutorial
Have fun! :D
Download - please read all instructions before downloading any files!
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File Type: zip (97.7 KB, 35 downloads) - View custom content
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File Type: zip (28.3 KB, 34 downloads) - View custom content

I know I can't do it, but I'm still going to do it. - M. C. Escher
Field Researcher
#2 Old 9th Jun 2020 at 11:23 AM
Cool. I've made lots of custom paintings before, but never thought about editing the easel itself.


We have been stuck too long with "New Mesh" as the apex of creation.
_ WesHowe
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