Locked thread | Replies: 687 (Who?), Viewed: 328610 times. | Locked by: HystericalParoxysm Reason: New, updated tutorial available.
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Admin of Randomness
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Original Poster
#1 Old 21st Mar 2006 at 8:15 AM Last edited by HystericalParoxysm : 11th Aug 2008 at 3:39 PM.
Default Beginning Clothing/Body Meshing Tutorial - Using Unimesh/Milkshape
There is now a new, updated version of this tutorial using new plugins and tools that teaches a little bit more.


Please use the updated tutorial instead!

Beginner Clothing Mesh Tutorial – Using Unimesh/Milkshape

This tutorial is inspired by the meshing tutorial first created by WDS BriAnna over a year ago. This version focuses on using the new Unimesh Plugin. The SimPE sections were created by Tiggerypum, and the Unimesh Plugin sections created by HystericalParoxysm.

Meshing is DIFFICULT. There are a lot of steps. Even experienced meshers sometimes have meshes not show up right, explode, or do other fun things. This is a very complete tutorial, don't rate it poorly just because it didn't work the first time you tried. Unless you really don't want to see any more tutorials on site.

This tutorial will guide you through all the steps involved in modifying a body mesh for Sims 2. You must always start with a game mesh as your base.

The Unimesh plugin does allow for adding and deleting of vertices of the mesh, although this tutorial uses those features *in a very limited way*. Once you complete this tutorial as written, then you can go delve into the Unimesh manual (or complete the Unimesh Tutorial #2 and #3) because important features like uvmaps and bone assignments are not actually covered in this tutorial. There's still a LOT to cover, as you will see.

To follow this tutorial you will need:

(make sure you've got the latest!)
Milkshape 1.78 or higher http://chumbalum.swissquake.ch/ (this is not a free program, after 1 month it costs $25 to register it)

Unimesh Plugin 4.05 or higher http://www.modthesims2.com/showthread.php?t=122399 SimPE (.58) or higher http://sims.ambertation.de/ Note that SimPE is regularly updated/improved, so please always get the newest one, unless otherwise indicated here. SimPE .58 actually had a fix for body meshes.

If this is your first time getting SimPE, make sure you download and install all the stuff they list at: "Needed Software to run SimPE". If you don't, you'll get errors or blank screens when you try to do parts of this tutorial and be unable to complete your project!

Basic knowledge of Bodyshop (tutorials for that can be found here: http://www.modthesims2.com/forumdisplay.php?f=249 and of Milkshape, although we'll try to guide you through (basic tutorials for that can be found on the web)

And you will need time and patience. There are a lot of steps to modifying a body mesh. Even experienced meshers sometimes have to redo part of their work, so take your time and relax.

Modify the women’s long gown to no longer have the hanging decoration on the back. And learn all the steps needed to make your own mesh file and get it working in the game.

Part I – Create a Temporary Texture for Testing

NOTE: You must use a MAXIS GAME MESH as your starting point for this procedure. I suggest first time through to do the tutorial as written, even though the gown is already on site. It's good practice and will make it easier to follow along.

1) Run Bodyshop and choose an outfit you’d like to modify.
(Create Parts/Start a New Project/Create Clothing/Formal) In this example, we’re going to use the formal woman’s gown, and take that odd hanging thing off the back of it. We’re going to pick a name we can find, and as this is only a temporary texture we’ll be using, let’s name it “MeshTutorialTemp”. Import it into your game, use any tooltip and category you wish, I’m going to leave it as a formal. Close Bodyshop.

Part II – Finding the Parts of the Mesh

2) Run SimPE.

3) Open the texture you just exported in Step 1. It will be in your Saved Sims folder (My Documents/EA Games/The Sims 2/Saved Sims) and will be named with a set of numbers at the beginning, and then the filename you gave it. For example: 7f61a2a4_MeshTutorialTemp.package

4) Look for the property set (it will be dim, in the second column). There you will see the name of the mesh. In this case afbodydresslongloose_grayline. The important part of this is the ‘afbodydresslongloose’, you can ignore the ‘grayline’ part.

5) Go to your desktop and make a new folder for your project. For example, My Documents/TutorialDress

6) Go to SimPE and use the menu File – New

7) Use the Finder Tab (it should be on the right edge or the bottom of the screen, if you can’t see it, try the menu Window – Resource Finder) and put in the name “afbodydresslongloose” and hit the Start button. SimPE will chew on this for a while, there will be a green bar updating at the bottom of the screen. This was really slow on my system, now might be a time to get up and stretch or grab a glass of water.

8) We’re going to look for our mesh parts in 4 files; The GMDC from the Sims03.package, the GMND from the Sims04.package, the SHPE from the Sims05.package, the CRES from the Sims06.package.

Scroll down until you see the Sims03.package file. Choose the GMDC by double clicking on Geometric Data Container: afbodydresslongloose _tslocator_gmdc. You do not want the LOD version. Wait for a bit (the gmdc is slowest to load) and the green bar will do it’s thing twice.

9) Now you should see the Sims03.package open, with the gmdc we clicked highlighted. Right click on it and choose ‘Extract’ and save it to the folder you made (TutorialDress)

10) Click on the ‘Finder’ tab again, and look for Sims04.package, and find the Geometric Node: afbodydresslongloose _tslocator_gmnd. Double click on it.

11) Now the Sims04.package will open. Right click on the highlighted gmnd, and extract it to the folder you made (TutorialDress)

12) Repeat steps 10 and 11 two more times looking for Sims05.package with Shape: afbodydresslongloose_untagged0_shpe, and Sims06.package with Resource Node: afbodydresslongloose_cres. Extract them to the same directory.

Part III – Building Your New Mesh Package

13) In SimPE make a new package using menu File – New

14) Right click on the empty window with the heading ‘Type’ and select ‘Add’. Select one of your files, then right click and add again, until all 4 files are shown.

15) Save the file. Use menu - File - Save As
Leave the filetype at the first selection (DBPF Package (*.package;*.cache;*.template))
Name your mesh file something like:“MESH_yournick_agesexmeshname_date”
for example: MESH_Tig_afgown_mar2006
Save this file into your “My Documents/EA Games/Sims 2/Downloads” folder.

16) Fix Integrity – it’s in menu Tools – Object Tools – Fix Integrity

17) A box will pop up. Type in a unique name for your mesh, for example, the filename. Click on Update. Then click on OK.

18) Save your mesh file. (menu File - Save)

19) Save your new Resource Node (CRES) and Shape (SHPE) files to your project folder by Right Clicking on each and choosing 'Extract'. Give them the name ‘modifiedcres’ and ‘modifiedshape’, so you can tell them from the originals.

Part IV – Attaching Your New Mesh to the Temp Skin

20) Open your bodyshop package from your saved Sims folder. (see step 3, it’ll be named something like 7f61a2a4_MeshTutorialTemp.package)

21) Right click on the packed files window and use ADD, and add your modifiedcres file. Right click again and use ADD and add your modifiedshape file.

22) Go to the 3D ID Referencing File (3IDR).
Click on it in the left window, click on it again in the right window.
In the plugin view tab, you will see a button that says Package. Click on the Package button. A window will pop up.

If you don't see any information at the bottom half of the screen (and thus no Package button) look for the 'plugin' tab at the very bottom or right side of the screen and click on it. If you can't find it still, go the the Menu 'Windows' and select 'plugin'.

23) Drag your shape and resource node from the popup window into the list on the left. You will now have two shapes and two resource nodes. Close the pop up window.

24) Click on the resource node at the top of the list and delete it by clicking delete. Click on the shape at the top list and delete it.

25) Move your new shape and resource node from the bottom of the list up to the top by clicking on the name, then clicking the UP button. When you’re done, the Resource Node should be the first entry, and Shape the second.

26) Click the Commit Button

27) Delete the Resource and Shape from the Packed Files list by right clicking on them and choosing delete. A line will go through them. Then SAVE.

28) Now is the time to test to see if you still have a working package. Start up Bodyshop. Click on Create Parts - Create New Clothing. Look for the dress in the category you chose (most likely formal). Your recolor will have a ‘*’ in the corner. Click on it. If the dress shows up on the mannequin, then so far so good. If you see nothing, or it changes to a different outfit, you might need to try repeating Part III or Part IV over again. You should now quit bodyshop, all you needed to do was click and see the texture on your mesh. Without any changes to the mesh, it’s hard to know for sure if you’re viewing your new mesh, but so far it looks good.

In the future when you check your mesh this way, your new shape will show up on the mannequin, although the thumbnail (the small picture) will be unchanged. So you’ll be looking for this same thumbnail.

Next it's time to edit your mesh. Go to the next message for the rest of this tutorial.
world renowned whogivesafuckologist
retired moderator
#2 Old 22nd Mar 2006 at 2:51 AM Last edited by tiggerypum : 28th Dec 2007 at 11:08 PM.
Default Beginning Unimesh Tutorial - Part 2
(this is the second part of the body mesh editing tutorial by Tiggerypum and HystericalParoxysm)

Part V – Editing Your Mesh (finally!)

29) Opening Milkshape should give you something like this:

30) If you have the keyframer present along the bottom, get rid of it; we won't be using it. Window - Show Keyframer.

31) And then make sure Auto Smooth is turned off under the Groups tab:

32) File - Import - Sims 2 UniMesh Importer V4.05. You'll probably have to scroll down in the very long list of filetypes.

33) Choose the GMDC you exported from your mesh package. It will have a long funky name, like AC4F8687-1356E054-1C0532FA-FF300D1E.5gd. It will be the only 5gd file you have in your working folder.

34) You'll get a popup that asks if you want to create blend groups. Tell it "Yes."

35) Oh noes! What are all these blue circles and lines doing here? Milkshape has a huge default size for the skeleton, so let's shrink those down. File - Preferences is where we'll find that setting.

36) Change Joint Size from 1.000000 to 0.01 and click OK.

37) Then under the Joints tab, uncheck Show Skeleton.

38) Right-click in the bottom right window and make sure Wireframe Overlay is checked. This is helpful, as it lets you see what vertices or faces you have selected on your 3d view.

39) Under the Groups tab, click ~00MORPHMOD.0 (fat) and then click hide. Click ~00MORPHMOD.1 (pregnant) and then click hide. This will leave just the body (normal) body visible. (depending on the version, it might be .1 and .2 - just hide them)

40) Under the Model tab, click the Select tool, then drag a box around the dangly-thing along the back of the model in the upper right viewport. Don't worry about an exact selection here. Right-click in the upper right viewport and choose "Frame Selection" to zoom in on that area.

(If nothing selects - make sure the 'select' button, and then the 'vertex' button is selected, and 'ignore backfaces' is NOT checked - and try again)

41) Repeat this for each of the viewports, so you have the dangly-thing framed in each of the viewports. If you need to re-center the view, ctrl-click and drag within the viewport. If you need to zoom in or out, click the Select tool again so you don't have any tool selected and shift-click and drag within the viewport. If you get lost, you can always right-click within the viewport, Frame All, and try again.

NOTE: Milkshape appears to have a bug that will sometimes make moving within the 3d view or viewports near impossible (it still moves, but in uselessly tiny increments). If you find this is happening, right-click within that pane and choose "Reset View" and you should be able to move normally again.

Select the dangly-thing in the top right viewport, and then right-click in the 3d view and choose "Frame Selection" so you can see what you're doing there. You may have to click and drag to rotate to see it properly. When you've got everything aligned, your screen should look something like this:

42) Click and drag in the top right viewport to select the dangly-thing as shown.

43) In the process, you'll also grab some of the vertices along the back. Shift-right-click those vertices to deselect them.

44) Press the DELETE key on your keyboard to delete the dangly-thing. It should just disappear and leave the back of the dress smooth in the 3d view. If you have a hole in your mesh after deleting, you still had some vertices selected in the back; Edit - Undo and select again.

Now go back to the Groups tab. Select body and then click Hide. Select ~00MORPHMOD.0 and then click Hide. (or .1 if you don't have a .0)

45) We now have the fat body mesh showing. Select and delete the dangly-thing the same way you did for the regular body mesh. Then hide ~00MORPHMOD.0, make ~00MORPHMOD.1 (pregnant) visible, remove the dangly-thing from it, too. (again, or .2 - at any rate the pregnant morph)

Once you have all the dangly-things deleted, make all of your groups visible again.

46) We're almost there. We need to make sure all the bone weights add up to exactly 100%. (sorry no pic)

Go to the VERTEX menu and select "Sims 2 Unimesh Fix Underweighted Bones" (be sure to choose the correct command, there are 2 similar commands on that menu)

If there were underweight bones, a popup will display saying how many were fixed. Click OK.

If you skip step 46, your mesh will exhibit strange display behaviors in game, going transparent in odd places!

47) If everything looks good, you can now export your finished mesh. File - Export - Sims2 UniMesh Exporter V4.05a.

48) Give it a new name and choose Save. Give it a name like ‘newmesh1’ (this way you if you make further changes, you can use newmesh2, etc).

If all goes well, your mesh should save and be ready for re-importing to SimPE. If you messed up, you'll get an error message. The error shown is explaining that the pregnant body mesh doesn't have the same number of faces as the others; either something that shouldn't have been deleted was deleted, or something that should have been deleted wasn't. Go back and see if you can find out where you went wrong. You may be able to undo your changes, or it may just be easier to File - New and start over.

Part VI – Putting Your New Shape Into Your Mesh Package

49) Start SimPE and open your mesh file. (for example Downloads/MESH_Tig_afgown_mar2006)

50) Right click on the Geometric Data Container and select REPLACE. Choose your new gmdc (named ‘newmesh1.simpe)

SimPE will pop up a box saying ‘Resource Changed, should SimPE reload it’. Click Yes.

51) Now SAVE your new mesh file. Quit SimPE.

52) Now test if your new mesh works in bodyshop and in the game!

If your work did not show up in bodyshop, or does not look like you expected - there is a Frequently Asked Questions / InfoCenter forum here at MtS2 that you should check, many of the basics are covered there. You might also try the tutorial again, and can ask for help (be as specific as possible) here in this forum.

Part VII - You're done! You rock!

Now you can go back to body shop and create new outfits for your modified mesh. Simply start a new project and recolor the 'temp' outfit, and it will use your new mesh. Once you've made a new recolor, you can delete the original (numbers)MeshTutorialTemp.package.

You can further refine your mesh (and it might be necessary, for other kinds of mesh edits) by adjusting the UV Map for your outfit. You can learn more about that, and find links to tutorials here

You can share your new mesh by putting your mesh file (from your Downloads folder) and at least one recolor file (from your Saved Sims folder) together and zipping them. (for example, MESH_Tig_afgown_mar2006.package and 7f61a2a4_MeshTutorialTemp.package)

If you wish to share your new mesh here at MtS2, please look at the creator guidelines in the downloads area, take the time to make a nice recolor for your new mesh, and get some good in game screenshots of your work to show it off.

If you want to REALLY learn how to mesh, YOU ARE NOT DONE. This tutorial is the 'baby steps' to get you started. You must go DO the next two unimesh tutorials and make some meshes with similiar changes of your own - THEN you can take over the universe! Look for them here

You also might want to invest time in learning how to make totally new parts in milkshape - to do that go look with google for milkshape tutorials - any tutorial that teaches you how to make something in milkshape will show you some things you can apply to your sims meshes. Don't bother with animation, just focus on building shapes you want.

We hope you enjoyed this, and have fun making your own creations. It does get easier each time you do it! Scrolling up and hitting that 'thank you' button would be nice, btw.
Test Subject
#3 Old 25th Mar 2006 at 4:31 PM Last edited by tiggerypum : 25th Mar 2006 at 5:55 PM. Reason: removed long quote
thank you so much
Originally Posted by HystericalParoxysm
Part V – Editing Your Mesh (finally!)

... quoted material edited out....

Thank you so much

I have opened the devils gate
I have doomed the world..............
I can stop him at any time ....
but.........I chose Not
I am all MightyI am KING
#4 Old 27th Mar 2006 at 8:59 AM
Thanks, it's a very clear tutorial and very easy but still I must've done something wrong because my 'creation' shows up like this:

She's invisible =)
Admin of Randomness
retired moderator
Original Poster
#5 Old 27th Mar 2006 at 11:18 AM
Hmm, try repeating part I and then Part IV - be sure to find your newest recolor (maybe give it a slightly different name) and see if that does it.
Test Subject
27th Mar 2006 at 8:48 PM
This message has been deleted by XsnowdropX.
Test Subject
#6 Old 28th Mar 2006 at 4:45 PM Last edited by scionxbabe : 28th Mar 2006 at 7:27 PM.
I was haveing an issue after #28 when trying to check the dress in bodyshop the dress turned out as a different base game dress from when i started BUT after reinstaling my games it works great VERY helpful tutorial! Thanks :nod:

()_()Probable Cause "oink"
('(")') ~
Lab Assistant
#7 Old 29th Mar 2006 at 9:08 AM
Thank you so much! I have always wanted to make my own meshes and I'm very surprised but it works! :O Thank you!
Test Subject
#8 Old 31st Mar 2006 at 6:00 PM
Default Error when I try to export from Milkshape...
I finally got the dangly thing deleted, but when I try to export the file from Milkshape, I get an error stating: "Unassigned bone(s) exist" - what does this mean?
world renowned whogivesafuckologist
retired moderator
#9 Old 31st Mar 2006 at 11:15 PM
kmm0219, try going back and redoing it from step 29. I'm not sure what you would have done to get that, as no bone assignments should change at all if you follow the steps exactly as pictured.

my simblr (sometimes nsfw)

Dude, suckin at something is the first step to being sorta good at something.
Panquecas, panquecas e mais panquecas.
Test Subject
#10 Old 3rd Apr 2006 at 2:44 PM
First and foremost, I wanted to say what a great job you did on this tutorial. I'd never attempted to do meshes before because of how complicated it seemed. But, I've been able to start working on a couple since I came across your tutorial. I'm just having a minor problem. I follow your instructions step by step and everything seems perfect until I tried to put the mesh on a Sim. That's when I realized that something funny was happening. My Sim's hair was disappearing in certain spots, right around her shoulders. My mesh alterations were concentrated on the lower half of the body, so I don't see why this should be happening. I was hoping you could give me some suggestions to figure out what the problem is.
Admin of Randomness
retired moderator
Original Poster
#11 Old 3rd Apr 2006 at 3:06 PM Last edited by tiggerypum : 5th Apr 2006 at 8:26 AM.
OOPS - Unimesh is new, and I believe we did miss a step!
For perfect display in the game, all the bone weights must be 100%
We did not touch any bone weights, because we were trying to keep this tutorial to a very simple minimum, but I forgot that there is a rounding errror such that they might not be exactly that. We'll need to update the tutorial.

Load you mesh into Unimesh.
Go to the Vertex Menu
Select the Automatic Re-weighting Tool
If there are any boxes that pop up, click okay
Now export your mesh

Sorry! Let me know if that fixes this minor display issue, it should.

Edit: Step now added to the Tutorial, so this shouldn't happen again - go back and check step 46
Test Subject
#12 Old 3rd Apr 2006 at 3:44 PM
If I want to do this with a mesh I'm just altering for the first time, at what point should I do this?
Admin of Randomness
retired moderator
Original Poster
#13 Old 3rd Apr 2006 at 4:52 PM Last edited by tiggerypum : 3rd Apr 2006 at 9:21 PM.
It doesn't matter exactly when you do it, you just need to do it and save it. When the plugin translates the data from the original gdmc, it rounds that data up or down to the nearest whole number, thus some vertices end up with totals of 98, 99, and 101, although *most* are 100%. Once you've fixed it once for that mesh, you are set. Doesn't matter if it's before or after some edits. If you do it more than once, no harm will be done.

(although if you ADD parts to the mesh, you will also need to make *new* bone assignments, which is beyond the scope of this tutorial - there's stuff to explain and only so much that can be covered in one session.)

There is a level of explanation in the Unimesh Manual regarding sim bodies and the bone assignments. It's not a tutorial, but it can probably take you to the next level.
Test Subject
#14 Old 3rd Apr 2006 at 6:38 PM
I'll give it a try. Thanks a lot. :D
Test Subject
#15 Old 4th Apr 2006 at 4:01 AM
thankyou veri much ^^,
Test Subject
#16 Old 5th Apr 2006 at 1:55 PM
Tiggerypum, you refered to added parts and bone assignment, mabye you or somebody else could help me

I made a mesh, with complete new bones(all sizes) and now I have to re'weight' them, but my Milkshape allway crashes on doing this. Got an idea how I could get this mesh working for my sims
Reinstalling is no good, tried it allready
Admin of Randomness
retired moderator
Original Poster
#17 Old 5th Apr 2006 at 2:18 PM
Nocturnus, please start an entirely new thread in the main bodyshop-meshing area, because whatever you're doing is far beyond the scope of this tutorial.
Please include the tools used (unimesh), and what steps you took to build this new mesh, maybe a screenshot of it in milkshape and people will have some suggestions. I assume you did use a gmdc to start with, so that you have a skeleton in there... anyway, do explain in a new thread. Over here http://www.modthesims2.com/forumdisplay.php?f=34
Test Subject
#18 Old 8th Apr 2006 at 10:19 PM
Ohhh... I am always so tired of the limited hairs out there, so this will be awsome making my own!
Test Subject
8th Apr 2006 at 10:22 PM
This message has been deleted by kipthebooty. Reason: i figured out my own problem
Test Subject
#19 Old 9th Apr 2006 at 6:59 PM
This is so great, I've tried to make meshes with other tutorials before, but it'd never work, I just grabbed a pair of capris as a test, just to make them a bit longer and it worked! wooohoooo!
Test Subject
#20 Old 10th Apr 2006 at 10:40 PM
Is there a way to make it so that the alpha isn't just stretched? like... I went and made a skirt longer, the part of the mesh that I modified (bottom part of the skirt) just stretches the alpha. So if I want to have the skirt with a pattern, it looks really awful, it just stretches the bottom part to fit the mesh.
world renowned whogivesafuckologist
retired moderator
#21 Old 10th Apr 2006 at 11:43 PM
atrgirl77, you'll probably need to adjust the uv mapping of your mesh to fix the proportion of the area mapped to the skirt... Tig's done some great instructions on how to edit UV maps in Milkshape here: http://www.modthesims2.com/showthread.php?t=135136

my simblr (sometimes nsfw)

Dude, suckin at something is the first step to being sorta good at something.
Panquecas, panquecas e mais panquecas.
#22 Old 12th Apr 2006 at 11:26 AM
This is great, it was the first time -ever- I did anything in a 3D program, but following this tutorial step by step, not rushing it (lol) worked! Dangly thing is gone, and hopefully I'll be able to figure out more complex things now too.

Thank you!

One question though: what is the difference between using the "Unimesh plugin" and the other Meshtool...?

If wishes were fishes we'd all cast nets
Forum Resident
#23 Old 12th Apr 2006 at 9:11 PM
I followed every step of this tutorial, and everything was going fine until it got to the bit where I had to delete the vertices. I can't get just those little dots like in the Screenshot, Theres lines with dots and it wont fully delete the dangly thing. Can anyone help?

Can't install .rar files? I recommend: Sim File Maid 2

Imma Scene_Core_Dinosawr_x
#24 Old 12th Apr 2006 at 10:10 PM
Angelcookie, I had that problem too until I tried some other options in the program When you have the Select button active, on the bottom there are : Vertex, Face, Group, Joint. Click on the first one to connect the dots only. I hope that helped!

If wishes were fishes we'd all cast nets
Forum Resident
#25 Old 12th Apr 2006 at 10:12 PM
Thanks so much Ghanima Atreides! I'll try that tomorrow, bit tired to do it now, lol. But thank you so much! I'll let you know if it works tomorrow :D

Can't install .rar files? I recommend: Sim File Maid 2

Imma Scene_Core_Dinosawr_x
Locked thread | Locked by: HystericalParoxysm Reason: New, updated tutorial available.
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