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Featured upload! Testers Wanted: Color Binning Tool 0.2.30.1

by Theo Posted 28th Apr 2006 at 7:14 PM - Updated 27th Nov 2013 at 9:20 PM by Nysha
213 Comments / replies (Who?) - 25 Feedback Posts
This is a featured upload! It showcases the best talent and creativity available on MTS and in the community.
Color Binning Tool

The color binning tool is a custom plugin for SimPE 0.63+

Its purpose is to change custom hair packages so that custom hair recolors appear in the standard color bins.

It was designed to be easy to use: on each standard color tab, you can load a hair package file; after you load the four packages into their respective bins, you can save the result.

There is no need to edit any PropertySet, as the binning logic is already done for you.

More information and some tutorials can be found in the plugin's website: http://theos.chewbakkas.net/tools/c...nning-tool.html


Installation
- Extract the file theos.gbct.plugin.dll
- Copy it into SimPE's Plugins folder, which in a default installation is at C:\Program Files\SimPE\Plugins
- Run SimPE and verify that you have a menu item named "Color Binning Tool" under SimPE's Tools menu.


Basic Usage
After the plugin is installed, start SimPE.

On the Tools menu, click on the "Color Binning Tool" item, and the plugin's main window should appear. Initially, the "Black" color tab is selected by default.

Use the "Package" menu or the context menu to load a package file into the selected tab. Repeat this process for the other tabs (Brown, Blond and Red).

You can select which age groups you wish to keep or remove on each color tab. You must pay special attention to the fact that a properly binned hair should have only one elder (grey) recolor, so you must choose carefully one elder recolor out of the four available.

On most cases you can ignore the Grey and Custom tabs, so you may proceed to review the package options (available in the menu Package->Options), and finally save the resulting package files.


Credits
I would like to thank to everyone that contributed to this project, and in particular to Motoki, for giving the momentum that started this project; Pinhead, whose invaluable knowledge put the code right on track again; and of course all the folks at MATY that were willing to test the plugin on its early stages.
Operating System: Windows
Utility Type: CC Editors
Plugin Type: SimPE

You must have the expansion or stuff packs listed below installed to use this custom content. Please see the post text for any exceptions.

Sims 2
Key: - File was updated after upload was posted
Filename - Tip: You can click the magnifying glass to see the archive contents Size Downloads Date
ColorBinningTool_2301.zip 39.9 KB 11,645 27th Dec 2007
Don't forget to Thank the creator after downloading! Use the Thanks button located above the screenshots above.
Basic Download and Install Instructions:

1. Download: Click the download link to save the .rar or .zip file(s) to your computer.

2. Extract: Use WinRAR (Windows) or Stuffit (Mac) to extract the .package file(s) from the .rar or .zip file(s).

3. Place in Downloads Folder: Cut and paste the .package file(s) into your Downloads folder:
  • Windows XP: Documents and Settings\(Current User Account)\My Documents\EA Games\The Sims 2\Downloads\
  • Windows Vista/7/8: Users\(Current User Account)\Documents\EA Games\The Sims 2\Downloads\
  • Mac: Users\(Current User Account)\Documents\EA Games\The Sims 2\Downloads\

-or-

4. Place in Program Files: Cut and paste the .package file(s) into your appropriate Install folder:
  • Windows XP: C:\Program Files\EA GAMES\The Sims 2 (Your Latest EP)\TSData\Res\Catalog\Bins
  • Windows Vista/7/8: C:\Program Files\EA GAMES\The Sims 2 (Your Latest EP)\TSData\Res\Catalog\Bins
  • Windows Vista/7/8: C:\Program Files(x86)\EA GAMES\The Sims 2 (Your Latest EP)\TSData\Res\Catalog\Bins
  • Origin: C:\Program Files (x86)\Origin Games\The Sims 2 Ultimate Collection\Fun with Pets\SP9\TSData\Res\Catalog\Bins
  • Mac: APPLICATIONS FOLDER -> THE SIMS 2 -> TSDATA -> RES -> CATALOG


Need more information?
 
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213 Comments / Replies (Who?) - 197 Feedback Posts, 6 Thanks Posts
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Field Researcher
#51 Old 18th Jul 2006 at 2:13 AM
Hey Theo,

Thanks for getting back to me. I'll try to do it again with screenshots, but I won't have time to put that together until this weekend. Will it be OK if I wait until then?
Test Subject
#52 Old 19th Jul 2006 at 2:38 AM
Now that I've finally figured out how to bin hair, this makes things so much faster. Thanks a lot!

It always makes me wonder when someone nearly rips my hair out with carpenter tape and then laughs their little head off as I yelp in pain.
Instructor
#53 Old 19th Jul 2006 at 7:19 PM
Thanks for this :D

Unauthorized incoming post!
Test Subject
#54 Old 23rd Jul 2006 at 10:31 PM
Theo,

I really love this tool, I fire it up as soon as I downloaded some hair. But I have ran into one problem, I was using it for clothes as well but it seems my renaming or modifying somehow altered the thumbprint pic in bodyshop. Strangely the mesh still works just it has that pantsuit pic for thumbnail. Anyways I was wondering if you ever do an upgrade if it would be possible to make a plain save feature that saves the package ya loaded as is with no hair color attachments?

Right now your the best tool in town, I've found using Clean Installer to scan the folder sort by names, then go thru til I find a problem piece then use your file to change it. But now Im scared to do much more as I dont want all my thumbnails to show that. Of course it wouldnt surprise me if I screwed up something else.
Test Subject
Original Poster
#55 Old 24th Jul 2006 at 4:56 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lochar67
Theo,

I really love this tool, I fire it up as soon as I downloaded some hair. But I have ran into one problem, I was using it for clothes as well but it seems my renaming or modifying somehow altered the thumbprint pic in bodyshop. Strangely the mesh still works just it has that pantsuit pic for thumbnail. Anyways I was wondering if you ever do an upgrade if it would be possible to make a plain save feature that saves the package ya loaded as is with no hair color attachments?

Right now your the best tool in town, I've found using Clean Installer to scan the folder sort by names, then go thru til I find a problem piece then use your file to change it. But now Im scared to do much more as I dont want all my thumbnails to show that. Of course it wouldnt surprise me if I screwed up something else.


The thumbnail problems may be solved by deleting the thumbnail cache file, as you report that the mesh is still working.

Nevertheless, you must take into account that this plugin was designed at first to just automate the color binning procedures, and later suggestions gradually made it into a unmanageable mess

What I'm trying to say is that although it may be used for categorizing clothes, it becomes a bit cumbersome when you try to do it on a large scale.
For that purpose, you can use SimPE's Scan Folders tool that can for example, change the categories on multiple packages at once, and without having to create additional files.
Test Subject
#56 Old 24th Jul 2006 at 9:14 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by Theo
The thumbnail problems may be solved by deleting the thumbnail cache file, as you report that the mesh is still working.

Nevertheless, you must take into account that this plugin was designed at first to just automate the color binning procedures, and later suggestions gradually made it into a unmanageable mess

What I'm trying to say is that although it may be used for categorizing clothes, it becomes a bit cumbersome when you try to do it on a large scale.
For that purpose, you can use SimPE's Scan Folders tool that can for example, change the categories on multiple packages at once, and without having to create additional files.


Yeah it was a thumbnail issue, and I am really sorry to pester ya but if you have a moment, could ya PM or reply here on how to use that scan folder feature? I tried doing it once but it seemed I couldnt get the changes to stick and not sure what doing wrong.

I do really apologize tho as your tool is working great for what it was intended to do and I am asking for help with non related feature.
Field Researcher
#57 Old 25th Jul 2006 at 5:39 AM
This tool is very usefull Theo. Thanks alot! but I have a proposition. Could you extend this tool for beards too? They are very difficult to assign the correct color, and the elder color on 3-D ones are very difficult too, since they dont appear on the correct color when I build them. If you can extend this plug-in I would be very pleased to you.

Have a nice day.

Necrodog.
Test Subject
#58 Old 25th Jul 2006 at 6:53 AM
Quote:
Originally Posted by Theo
I recommend organizing your downloads folder for that matter. It will be a daunting task and especially time consuming, but in the end it will save you a lot of time when you want to find a particular package.

To give you a hint, here is the folder structure of my downloads folder:

Code:
Downloads
- Genetics
- Brows
- FacialHair
- Hair
- Meshes
- Skins
- Clothing
- Accessories
- Meshes
- BuildMode
- Furnishing
- Appliances
- etc, etc...

This way you can drop all your downloaded hairs into the "Hair" folder, so that you can find it later when using this tool.

Edit: BTW, it helps a lot if you sort the files by creation date


How do you get the downloads to even show up? I've tried to add subfolders to my Downlaods folder like your example, but NONE of them will show up unless I drag them all back into the Downloads folder and delete all the subfolders!
Test Subject
Original Poster
#59 Old 25th Jul 2006 at 11:43 AM
Necrodog: the tool can already process the TextureOverlay resources, so you can load facial hair/eye brow packages into the tabs.

And from version 0.2.21 onwards, it can process MeshOverlay resources as well (because I needed to color-bin the Shavo beard! )

BTW: To create a grey color I had to BodyShop-clone the blond color into a new package, then extract the image, grayscale it in Paint, and re-import it with the DXT builder in SimPe. After that, the resulting package was loaded into the tool's "Grey" tab (I knew it would be used for something )


Mollipie: I think that sub-foldering of clothing and hairs is only possible with the Nightlife expansion pack, but I can't be sure on that. Does anyone know what EP is needed for sub-foldering?
Field Researcher
#60 Old 25th Jul 2006 at 4:47 PM
Thank you Theo. Wow! I did'nt notice this. If you want, you can use the shavo beard (when I finish to color-bin it) on your tutorials.

Good day!

Necrodog.
Field Researcher
#61 Old 26th Jul 2006 at 1:42 AM
Oh no! I have to report a little problem here.

I was categorizing the shavo beard, and a glitch appears. All the adults and young adults colors appear correctly. But when I categorize the white/gray recolor, the result was a dirty brown color. Even if I use a good texture color on it, the problem persist. If you want, I can upload the problematic binned pack for study. But can you help me how to attach a zip file to a post?

Note: I'm recategorizing my beards, and this glitch only display on 3-D beards, they appear with the same dirty brown texture color on elders, but the other colors are correctly and fine.

Thank you in advantage.

Necrodog.
Test Subject
Original Poster
#62 Old 26th Jul 2006 at 11:08 AM
Hi,

You can post that package here, just click the "Manage Attachments" button on the Additional Options section below the post area, and a popup window will appear.

As for the problem, I can't guess what could go wrong, because I even used the Shavo beard when testing the tool some time ago, and I was able to create the grey recolor the way I explained in the previous post.

I should really make a tutorial concerning the grey recolors, and I would gladly use the Shavo beard as an example .

The only hint I can give now is that if you're using the "Grey" tab, you must check only the elder PropertySet item on that tab. And of course, the elder PropertySets must be unchecked on all the other tabs.

In my game I have the recolors working without problems (and thanks for that great mesh )

So anyway, leave the zipped package file in this thread, and I'll check it out as soon as I can.

cheers
Test Subject
Original Poster
#63 Old 26th Jul 2006 at 8:35 PM
Necrodog: It may happen that the textures aren't being assigned, and that would cause the skin color to show up instead of the normail hair color.

Other possible cause could be the texture compression, try unchecking that option.

Can you upload the original packages as well? If you can't, you can send them to my email address.
Field Researcher
#64 Old 27th Jul 2006 at 1:13 AM
Thanks Theo.

Here they are the packages of the colors. I'm including a mesh and recolors from a new beard, and displays the same problem. Hope you find the glitch, and tell me how to fix it, or where is the wrong part.

Here is a picture of the strange texture:




Special note: If I make a correct color for the gray ones and put on the binning tool, this color displays correctly on the plug-in, but the game reads the gray color from the brown package (if you see the gray colors from the four packages, they are clone textures from the A and YA textures. I try to edit these gray colors, but the elder textures from the brown, red and black package dont appear on SimPe)

Hope you find a good solution on this.

Necrodog
Screenshots
Download - please read all instructions before downloading any files!
File Type: rar Binned-SOAD-Shavo-beard-colors.rar (229.1 KB, 27 downloads)
File Type: rar binned-Wayne-static-beard&mesh.rar (397.4 KB, 26 downloads)
Test Subject
Original Poster
#65 Old 27th Jul 2006 at 3:08 AM Last edited by Theo : 27th Jul 2006 at 3:14 AM.
After examining the packages, I think the grey recolor problem may be due to the fact that you have chosen not to remove the unused recolors from the packages.

When that option is made, the tool only changes the value of the flags property on the PropertySets that are marked for removal (unchecked).

Unfortunately, there isn't enough available information on the allowed values, and the values being used by the tool are the ones listed on the Clothing and hair flags notes thread.

The values listed there are working with hair packages, and when I made the code for the tool, I thought that those values would also apply to the facial hair, but it seems they aren't

Therefore, the only way to make it work is to select the "Remove unchecked recolors" option. This way, the PropertySets you mark for removal are actually excluded from the output packages.

I used that option with the same packages you uploaded, and the correct color appeared for the elders.

I hope this helps
Field Researcher
#66 Old 27th Jul 2006 at 5:31 AM
Thanks Theo!

Now the beards appears on the correct colors for all ages. Only one situation happen sometimes. When a sim turn from adult to elder in game, the beard dissapear from his face, but only a "change look" option in the mirror, fix it.

Over these weeks I will update all of my beards. Have a nice day!

Necrodog.
Test Subject
#67 Old 28th Jul 2006 at 1:52 PM Last edited by kellys26 : 28th Jul 2006 at 1:57 PM. Reason: Add Image
Default Elders Hair
Will this tool let me copy all of my adult hair into the custom elder hair category?
I have alot of 'white' vampires with black hair. When they turn into elders, the platinum color is awful. I want them to keep their black hair. So, I would want to move the adult black color so that it shows up in the customer grey (or even the regular grey) category.

I tried this last night, but I couldn't seem to figure out how to do it.
Any ideas?
TIA!
K
Edited to try to add image of my character.
Screenshots
Test Subject
Original Poster
#68 Old 28th Jul 2006 at 3:18 PM Last edited by Theo : 13th Dec 2006 at 5:27 PM. Reason: Updated image url's
Hi,

It's certainly possible to do that, but I haven't made any tutorial on the subject, so I'll try to explain it here

Basically you will have to copy the adult hair texture references to the elder hair, layer-wise.
To show you how this is done, I've chosen a hair with many layers, but the same can be done with just one layer.

Start the tool and load the hair package that has the color you want to apply for the elders, and select the Adult age PropertySet:

This hair has seven layers, and by looking at the Texture ID column in the bottom panel, you can see there's only two textures being used by those layers.


Next, we're going to copy the texture of the first layer to the elder's age first layer. The tool has a rudimentary copy/paste option, but that's all we need
Select the first item in the Materials list, and right-click so that a context menu appears. Click the "Copy texture reference" option:



Now select the Elder PropertySet above, and select its first Material item. On the context menu, click the "Use texture reference":

You may have noticed that the next two layers also have the same texture, so we can apply this texture to those items as well.
The tool allows you to select multiple Material items, so you can apply the texture to many layers at once:



Now we can do the same thing with the other texture,
Copy (from adult):

And paste (into elder):

The last layer has the same texture as the first ones, and should be replaced as well (not shown).

Don't forget that all this was done in the "Black" color tab, and on the other tabs you should uncheck the Elder PropertySet, so that only one hair color appears in the elder hair catalog.

Sorry if this is a bit confusing, I hope it makes sense to you

cheers
Test Subject
#69 Old 28th Jul 2006 at 3:45 PM
Thank you so much for replying so quickly! I'm going to print this out now and go try it. I was just hating the look of white skin and platinum hair!!! I actually wasn't going to have my vampires die, but some of them are in the 4th generation now, and I have to reduce the size of my neighborhoods. So, I guess vampires just live a long time, but they do eventually have to go!
K
Lab Assistant
#70 Old 28th Jul 2006 at 6:08 PM
Thanks so much for this awesome tool but one silly question:

Can I delete the disabled packages once I have the new renamed ones saved?
Test Subject
Original Poster
#71 Old 28th Jul 2006 at 6:48 PM Last edited by Theo : 28th Jul 2006 at 8:12 PM.
You can, but in all cases you should verify that the new packages are working without problems before deleting the original packages.

This tool depends on SimPE to work, which is itself in alpha stages. Although it has been tested and can normally do the color binning correctly, there's always a chance that something might go wrong in the process.

For that reason alone the tool doesn't delete or modify the original packages.

cheers

Edit: "them" meant the original packages :D
Test Subject
#72 Old 28th Jul 2006 at 6:57 PM
Omg this is awesome, but damnit I just spent two whole days of my summer vacation binning my hair manually. Unnngh. Wish I found this sooner.
Lab Assistant
#73 Old 28th Jul 2006 at 7:02 PM
This tool is the best! It really saves a lot of frustration!

I have a question, though. I am having trouble combining my new-mesh packages into a single package that contains all the age groups. I was hoping this tool would make the process easier by allowing you to load several packages at the same time, then ticking which age from which package you wanted to use. This may be too much for one tool to handle. Since the color binning tool turned out to be such a success, do you think you could make a tool that organizes the age groups from different packages into one package? It could have a similar format.

So for instance if you wanted the "Brandi Broke" hair to have a different toddler hairstyle, you could change that. (I hate that really short unisex hairstyle they give to most of the toddler girls!) I realize that the difficulty comes when Maxis puts the age groups in a different order. I'm no programmer, so I don't know if this is impossible to work around or not. It was just wishful thinking because right now I'm about to throw my mouse through the window and stomp a hole through my floor because I can't get my ages to all come together into one package. Grrrr.

But I LOVE the color binning tool. Just found it last week, and it is GREAT! It's really easy to use! You are very talented. Thank you for your hard work.

Amy

If it weren't for ADD I'd be forgetful, lazy, absentminded, clumsy, always late, disorganized, messy, and annoying.................for no apparant reason.
Test Subject
#74 Old 28th Jul 2006 at 8:14 PM
Default The Elder Hair Instructions
Theo,
Sorry to bug you again but I've tried this 3 times now, and James black hair still doesn't show up for Elders. I'm not sure if it's supposed to show in the Grey or Custom tab, but it's not in either.

I do have all of the textures correctly copied from the adult version to the elder version. When I click the check box for elders, it shows the black hair in the thumbnail.

Whenever I go back into the tool, the elder box is unchecked. I cannot seem to keep it checked. Is it supposed to be checked?

The package only shows up under the Black tab. When I click on the other tabs, nothing is listed.

I have been doing a 'save as' and saving the changes. I'm not sure if I needed to do that, you're instructions didn't say to do that, but I wonder how things are saved.

Is my problem that the Elder tab won't stay checked?

If needed I will send pictures of all the steps I'm taking, or if you are willing, we can do that offline. I would really like to get this to work.
Thanks again!
K
Test Subject
Original Poster
#75 Old 28th Jul 2006 at 9:05 PM Last edited by Theo : 13th Dec 2006 at 6:52 PM. Reason: Updated url
Amy:
Assigning a new mesh to a PropertySet is already possible, and it has a brief tutorial here. You don't even have to read it fully, just check the screenshots
The example shows how to do it for a skin package, but it works the same way for hair packages.

Currently is has a few limitations, and one of them is that it doesn't check if a mesh is valid for the selected PropertySet.
That means you can accidentally assign a mesh to a PropertySet that has a different number of layers (materials) than the mesh's layers.


kellys26:
I don't really know what could be missing, can you PM/email me with some screenshots?
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