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Lab Assistant
Original Poster
#1 Old 6th May 2015 at 11:23 PM Last edited by justJones : 6th May 2018 at 11:20 PM.
Default Default Replacement Skin Tones
After finding this post, and this post, I got the idea to make a default replacement skin color package. After screwing up a few times, I've figured out how to do it.
[Written using a fully patched game (May 4, 2015), and s4pe v0.3b.]

- S4PE
- An image editing program (I used Photoshop)

This process is not difficult, but it is time consuming, and you need to pay attention to what you’re doing. What we’re going to do is similar to Snaitf’s Non-Default Skin tutorial, but with a few less steps because we DON’T want to change any internal information.

I first extracted the RLE2 and UNKN files from Fullbuild6/7/8, and the TONE files from Deltabuild0, and merged everything together. After saving a copy elsewhere for screw-ups (of which there were many, haha), I managed to correctly import white skins with numbers on the forehead, partly to get the exact sort order of the skins, and partly to have something so obvious that it was clear it had finally worked.
Once that was done I matched up the R/T/Us of the untouched copy and separated them into individual skin packages. They have been named with the in-game sort number first so you know at a glance which one you’re replacing, and the instance number at the end to help match up the extracted files when importing them back in.
So within my .rar, you’ll see a folder with the separated packages, and a folder with those files already extracted for editing. I wrote the first five instance numbers into the names of the RLE2 and TONE files during extraction, but found that renaming any part of the UNKN files before the “.bnry” messed them up. So don’t do that!
Upon opening the extracted files folder, you’ll be slapped across the face with 54 scary looking items full of numbers and letters. But don’t worry; I’ll break them down as best I can for you.

  1. Image Files
    1. First, there are two types of image files, RLE2, and UNKN.
    2. The RLE2 is the image used for sims in-game. If you were to open the file (Default_SkinColor_S4 [01] 3275143DEC141D18.package) in S4PE, you can click on RLE2 and see the skin you’ll be working on.
    3. The UNKN is what is used in CAS. If you click on the UNKN file, you will see nothing.
    4. They’re mostly the same image, but coded a bit differently, and you will have to edit both. We’ll continue to use Skin 1 as an example.
  2. Editing the RLE2
    1. To edit the extracted RLE2 ([01] you can simply right-click on the file and select ‘Open with Photoshop’, and a pop-up will ask to Load Using Default Sizes. There are a few options, just click OK.
    2. You now have a weird smeary blob shaped like a sideways T, with green squares in the right-hand corners — that’s your sims’ current skin color. Edit that to your liking, and if you add any layers make sure to flatten it back down to one (using Layer > Flatten Image).
    3. When you’re all set, use ‘Save’ not ‘Save As’ to preserve the internal information; it'll prompt you for save settings, from the drop-down on the left I chose "DXT5 ARBG 8bpp I interpolated alpha."
  3. Editing the UNKN
    1. To edit the extracted UNKN file (S4_B6C8B6A0_00000000_3275143DEC141D18%%+UNKN.bnry), you will first have to rename it. Wait, didn’t I say not to do that? Am I forgetful and crazy? Yes! But you still have to change it. However, you are only changing the end from .bnry to .dds, you still shouldn’t touch the rest of it.
    2. Once you tell it ‘yes I know, changing filenames unusable blahblahblah do it anyway’, then you open it in Photoshop the same way. It will look just like your first image, but without the green squares. Hopefully you left the open so that you can control-a, control-c, flip over to your and control-v! V for voila!
    3. When you are done editing your UNKN, flatten and save it like the RLE2. Then close up your image in Photoshop because you need to rename it back to .bnry for importation into the main file.
    4. Follow steps two and three 17 more times. -_-
  4. Importing the Images
    1. Now that you have at least one RLE2/UNKN set done, go ahead and open the Default_SkinColor_S4 [01] 3275143DEC141D18.package in S4PE.
    2. Right-click on the package’s RLE2 file and select Import From DDS at the bottom of the drop-down menu; maneuver through the window pop-up to the folder with your skin projects, and select your edited [01] image. Commit changes; you should now see your image in place of the original.
    3. Right-click on the package’s UNKN file and partway down the menu select Import > From File, and find your edited UNKN image (which should now be a .bnry!). You will see a box titled Resource Details in the top corner, don’t change anything, just verify that the instance number is right (that means you saved correctly) and hit OK.
  5. Editing the TONE Files
    1. I have not yet tried to edit the TONE files to change the CAS swatch color, so we’ll skip that for now.
  6. Save and Test
    1. Save your Default_SkinColor_S4 [01] 3275143DEC141D18.package and close out of S4PE.
    2. Back up your game, just in case.
    3. Drop your file into your Mods folder, and perhaps load the game under a Test Save. If you see your changes in CAS, great!
    4. Next, load your Chester the Tester into the world and make sure your changes work there as well. If they do, you’re all set, go ahead and make the rest of your defaults however you’d like.

-Will update once I've sorted out the swatch thing. If anyone could share a few pointers that would be lovely.

Good luck, and have fun!

**I noticed that my skin choices were not showing up in CAS the way I'd expected, and replaced all my personal UNKNs with the exact same color (a tan/darktan floodfill). And it seems something else IS affecting the skins. I've included a picture of all 18 colors using one test color, to show the differences. Does anybody know where I can fix this? Is this a specular thing, like when editing the shine on a hair?
Download - please read all instructions before downloading any files!
File Type: rar EA-Default-SkinColor-Files.rar (16.99 MB, 334 downloads) - View custom content
Description: Updated to correct file names
Lab Assistant
Original Poster
#2 Old 12th May 2015 at 5:14 PM
I got it to work! [kermitflail] YAY!

*Will post update soon, with more information, and hopefully a template set to help people make their own.
Pettifogging Legalist!
retired moderator
#3 Old 12th May 2015 at 5:24 PM
Oh, that would be helpful. Thanks in advance! =)

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
#4 Old 12th May 2015 at 11:27 PM
Updated with starter files and a guide for those interested!
Pettifogging Legalist!
retired moderator
#5 Old 14th May 2015 at 7:57 AM Last edited by plasticbox : 14th May 2015 at 8:11 AM.
Thank you!

Two questions:

- Can you add which version of s4pe you were using? "The current one" won't be very informative when people read this half a year from now;

- You mention using S4S to merge packages -- did you have issues doing so with s4pe? (Normally one can simply drag + drop packages or copy + paste resources in s4pe .. no need to use another program just for that. I've heard that there are specific packages or resource types where this does not work but I've never seen an example.)

(Also, a recommendation: to make your post easier to read you could use some List formatting for those step-by-step instructions? That's the button to the left of "add picture" in the post editing thingy. )

I'm not moving this to Tutorials since you say you're going to re-post it yourself later. When you do so, can you either delete this thread (if there are no more useful/interesting replies to it), or alternatively PM me so that I can lock it? This is because I think it would be better to have one thread about this (preferrably in Tutorials where people would more likely look for it) that has all questions and comments etc and not two in parallel. Thank you =)

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
14th May 2015 at 4:48 PM Last edited by pentabet : 14th May 2015 at 8:51 PM.
This message has been deleted by pentabet.
Pettifogging Legalist!
retired moderator
#6 Old 15th May 2015 at 9:39 AM
Moving to Tutorials as per your PM.

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
#7 Old 15th May 2015 at 6:19 PM
Thank you plasticbox!
Test Subject
#8 Old 17th May 2015 at 6:00 AM
The basic difference between the RLE2 (for in-game) and the UNKN (for CAS), for those using other editors such as the GIMP, is while they should be the same .dds exported (saved) as DXT5, the RLE2 should have no mipmaps while the UNKN should have mipmaps. Just a bit of clarification.
Lab Assistant
Original Poster
#9 Old 18th May 2015 at 12:29 AM Last edited by pentabet : 18th May 2015 at 4:59 AM.
Ah, thank you afgw!

So in the window that brings up the extrapolated alpha stuff is where I also choose no mipmaps for RLE2 and yes with UNKN?
Why would CAS with relatively close views have mipmaps, but not the in-game skin?
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