In this Part of the SimPose Workshop we’re going to import a Sim-Model to our sweet little Posing Tool.
Wow, that’s exactly what you’ve been looking for since ages! But not so fast! It means a lot of work until you can see your wonderful sexy fashion diva in SimPose!
It’s a wide range of things we have to do and i want to be detailed. So i need to split this “Import a Sim-Model” workshop into 4 sub-parts.
In this first one i will explain something about 3D-Meshes, Textures, Files and typical SimPose Problems as well.
I think it’s relatively simple to understand what you have to do as long you have some fundamental skills!
But don’t worry if you are a bloody newbie, it isn’t hard to learn…
Check out your skills!
Next to SimPose you also need a good Graphic-Editor (Photoshop, The Gimp) and SimPe. If you don’t know what that is, read the whole first part of the MXM Master Class immediately.
In the upcoming parts i will tell you…
- how to extract Mesh-Files with SimPe and load them in SimPose (simple)
- how to extract Textures with SimPe and compose a final texture (moderate)
- how to put all files together in SimPose and save the Sim-Model (simple)
Understand how a Sim works!
A Sims consists of 3 Body-Parts:
- Body: Everything from feet to neck
- Head: The Face of a Sim
- Hair: The backside of a head and – the hair
So if you want to create a complete Sim-Model you need all these 3 Body-Parts (SimPose even has 4 slots).
Every Body-Part consists of 2 things by itself:
- 3D-Mesh: The physical shape of an object/sim
- Texture: The visible surface of an object/sim
I will give you a closer description in another workshop. For now it’s enough to know that those things exist.
Understand what you need to do!
It’s clear to see that you need both, the mesh- and the texture-files, for every of the 3 Body-Parts (Body, Head, Hair).
So you need 6 files to create a Sim-Model in SimPose!
- the Mesh of the Body
- the Texture of the Body
- the Mesh of the Head
- the Texture of the Head
- the Mesh of the Hair
- the Texture of the Hair
The single steps to get these files are:
- Export the 3D-Meshes of all Body-Parts with SimPe
- Export all required textures (can be lots) with SimPe
- Compose the final texture files with the Graphic-Editor
The file-types you will be working with:
- .5gd = This is the MESH that SimPose needs
- .png = Always export textures with SimPe this way!
- .bmp = This is the TEXTURE that SimPose needs
These are the 3 file-types that you will use most of the time. There can be exceptions, sometimes .6tx can work better for Hair-Textures, but usually you only need to handle .5gd, .png and .bmp.
Quicky for the advanced: Export single parts (eye-brews, make-up…) as .png, put them together in Photoshop and save the final texture as .bmp (24bit).
What about Alpha-Channels?
The more advanced Skin-Creators of you surely want to know how to integrate Alpha-Channels in a SimPose-Model. By using Alpha-Channels you can add transparency and invisibility to a skin/texture. But SimPose cannot handle Alpha-Channels!
That’s the reason we ALWAYS use .png when we export a texture with SimPe. Because .png can understand transparency!
Now the smart of you will scream out “but there are Texture Overlays in SimPose”…
Yes, but i told you in the post “SimPose 2 – how to prepare for a good start” that we won’t use SimPose’s Texture Overlay slots.
Even if they would work fine (and they don’t) there simply are not enough slots for all the required overlays…
For us, it makes no difference. The work is nearly the same, but our method will work very much better. You’ll see in sub-part 3 of this workshop.
Hair often makes problems!
A SimPose-Model will never look so perfectly beautiful like in the game. There are some ugly things that can happen in SimPose; some examples:
- no anti-alias. The edge of a model isn’t smooth. No big problem in most of the cases.
- background shine-through. Happens quite often with faces and hair. Can be a problem sometimes.
- totally strange hair. Can vary from file to file. It’s annoying, some hair works fine, the next does not.
Fortunately, there’s a long process of what i call “Post-Production” anyway, and most of those problems can be resolved during that phase.
The “Post-Production” is the time when i take the photo of the finished pose and load it into Photoshop to repair all the ugliness and compose the final picture you later will see in my stories.
You can see by the length of the last sentence that “Post-Production” easily will fill further more workshop pages. So i only give you some small hints now…
How to resolve those probs (short version)!
I only take care of the missing anti-alias when it really looks ugly. Then i try to smooth the edges during the Post-Production. But most of the time i don’t care.
When the background shines through it’s no question that it can destroy the photo. Try to find another camera angle to reduce the effect. And change the background color and lighting of the scene – it can help a lot.
I recommend to use hair from xmsims.com, it works best in SimPose. I have made bad experiences with almost every other hair – even the original Maxis Hair-Styles. So don’t waste time and have a drink on xmsims!
Quicky for the advanced: Some Hair-Texture .bmp won’t open in SimPose. Then they are in wrong 32bit. First open them in Photoshop and just “save as…” with 24bit.
Take a deep breath!
You see it’s pretty much to talk about so far. Perhaps you understand a few more thing now. But that’s not all, take a deep breath and look forward to “How to import a Sim-Model / Part 2“.
Then i will show you how you can use the ultimate Sims-Tool SimPe to extract the required Mesh-Files (.5gd, remember?) of the different Body-Parts.
And please, girls! Don’t scream so loud because you will need to use SimPe! I promise you that it is absolutely easy to extract meshes!
So if you feel kind of cute, stop weeping, go and install SimPe.
See you next time…