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Test Subject
Original Poster
#1 Old 18th Jan 2021 at 3:27 PM
Default Clothing transparency map. What is it for?
Hello everyone!

I have been doing some minor adjustments to some store items (for private use); specifically, I'm adding a pregnancy morph to AF clothes.

I use S3PE to extract the mesh (All LODs), the mask, the multiplier, the normal map, specular and other items, such as overlays or stencils. Then, I "repack" everything using Milkshape, Mesh Toolkit and TSRW.

During this process, I have found a few items that contain a DDS called "transparency map".

I have read the tutorial to make CAS items transparent, and they require a 2nd group for the mesh, which is supposed to be the "naked" mesh.

Some of these store items that contain this "transparency map" file have the mesh in two "parts", which seems to coincide with the transparency feature, although, I don't know if it's exactly like that: one "group / part" contains the mesh for the item, and the other "group / part" contains the mesh that matches the parts that are supposed to be transparent.

In the tutorial it doesn't say anything about a map; so, I'm wondering... what is that transparency map for? What am I supposed to do with it? and... how am I supposed to use these meshes? which one should be the one with the modified shader?

Here I leave some images, uploaded to Imgur (I hope that's ok). They belong to the Store item "Backdraft Jacket", from the Show Stopping Style set:


Mesh for LOD1 - group 1

Mesh for LOD1 - group 2

Multiplier

Transparency Map



DISCLAIMERS:

1. English is not my first language, so I apologize for any strange phrasing.
2. I'm just learning. I have never made a mesh myself, and I don't know how to use meshing software; just the basics to do this particular task (adding pregnancy morph), and I have already done it successfully to almost 200 Store items (without any transparency).
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Mad Poster
#2 Old 18th Jan 2021 at 10:42 PM
Seems to be a fairly regular alpha map considering it only adds transparency to parts of the mesh where needed. The rest of the mesh can be fully opaque as the mesh geometry was sufficient to create the look and shape needed. Rather than actually modelling those flower things and the jacket's open back in full detail it's much easier on the game engine to just have a few more vertices and map extra detail onto the textures.

Then again it's not exactly a high quality piece of content so if it were made today, more detail would be modeled. You can see this in TS4 where many clothing items have accessoires and little tidbits like buttons and tears done in full 3D, despite the low level of detail in the rest of the game.

Hypocrisy is only okay if I do it.
( Join my dumb Discord server if you're into the whole procrastination thing. But like, maybe tomorrow. )
Test Subject
Original Poster
#3 Old 21st Jan 2021 at 12:13 AM
Thanks a lot for the help.

So I did every step, working with the two meshes. And when I was ready to "pack" everything up in TSRW, I encountered a silly issue that I couldn't solve: I can't find any tops to clone that have two groups!

Are there any EA tops that actually have two groups? Or should I just drop this whole thing and move on?

I read some tutorial on how to add a new group, which involves countless steps, several programs, and a couple of things I'm pretty sure I can't do, because my source material is a Store item,which is a nightmare. This is the same reason why I can't use this same package as base, either.
Instructor
#4 Old 24th Jan 2021 at 1:19 PM
Transparency maps allow you to make parts of your mesh invisible or partially transparent. In the case of your top, it's for the lacing on the back and the feathers. This way, the mesh can be simplified (fewer polygons) rather than having to mesh each individual lace. The other use would be if you wanted part of your mesh to be see-through like the green top with the mesh panel. On the alpha channel - pure white is fully opaque, pure black is fully invisible. Shades of gray allow for transparency - the darker it is the more see-through that area will be.

For your issue with multiple groups, you can try cloning a dress (high vertex count meshes are split into 2 pieces) and then change the clothing type to top. Most of the full length gowns will probably have 2 groups - the base game "goth" dress does (show in the images attached). If you do this, you will need to make sure to export the "Part Mask" texture from your original top and replace the one on the cloned dress.
Screenshots

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Test Subject
Original Poster
#5 Old 25th Jan 2021 at 2:32 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by k2m1too
Transparency maps allow you to make parts of your mesh invisible or partially transparent. In the case of your top, it's for the lacing on the back and the feathers. This way, the mesh can be simplified (fewer polygons) rather than having to mesh each individual lace. The other use would be if you wanted part of your mesh to be see-through like the green top with the mesh panel. On the alpha channel - pure white is fully opaque, pure black is fully invisible. Shades of gray allow for transparency - the darker it is the more see-through that area will be.

For your issue with multiple groups, you can try cloning a dress (high vertex count meshes are split into 2 pieces) and then change the clothing type to top. Most of the full length gowns will probably have 2 groups - the base game "goth" dress does (show in the images attached). If you do this, you will need to make sure to export the "Part Mask" texture from your original top and replace the one on the cloned dress.



OMG! I had no idea I could do this. I thought I had to stick to "top", "bottom, etc. I was afraid the item would be weird if I tried. But the way you've explained it... it makes sense!

I'll try this later today, and see if it works.

Thanks a lot for the suggestion!
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