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world renowned whogivesafuckologist
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#1 Old 30th Mar 2006 at 1:32 AM Last edited by tiggerypum : 1st Jun 2007 at 3:18 AM.
Default Exporting UV Maps for Better Clothing Recolours
Clothing meshes may have strange texture mapping, and though the recolours of them you have may provide some clues to help in creating your own textures for those meshes, it is often helpful to have the uv map for that mesh, so that you can see exactly how the mesh is laid out, and get a much clearer picture of what distortion you may be dealing with.

It's also a great next step to take if you've been thinking about creating your own meshes at some point in the future, as you'll be looking in similar places in SimPE, and learning a little about uv maps, too.

You will need three free tools with to do this:
  • SimPE, to export the 3d model for the mesh.
  • The Managed Direct X Extensions, listed on the SimPE download page under "Needed Software to run SimPE" - this is different from the DirectX you've already installed for the game, and you will get an error when you try to open the mesh in SimPE if you haven't downloaded and installed this.
  • UV Mapper Classic, to view and export the uv map as an image.

You'll also need at least one recolour of the mesh you're recolouring.

This is an intermediate tutorial, written for people who are fairly comfortable with a computer, and have been successfully creating clothing recolours already; this should be considered yet another tool you can use to make your recolours that much better.

Note: many of the basic Maxis mesh uvmaps have already been extracted for you here
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world renowned whogivesafuckologist
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#2 Old 30th Mar 2006 at 1:33 AM Last edited by leefish : 23rd Dec 2013 at 12:06 PM. Reason: fix images
Default Exporting the 3d Model for a Maxis Mesh
Though most Maxis meshes have fairly intuitive mapping, if you're doing something tricky, it can be nice to be able to apply the UV map to the mesh and preview it in Body Shop, and/or overlay it as a multiply layer over your texture in Photoshop to see exactly what's going on.

If you're recolouring a Maxis mesh, check this thread to see if someone's already exported the UV map. May save you some time so you don't have to bother.

The way you'll find the 3d model to export differs if you're doing a Maxis mesh or a custom mesh.

To export the 3d model for a Maxis mesh, start by opening a recolour of that mesh in SimPE to find the name of the mesh it's recolouring.





A. Select the Property Set.

B. Look under the Plugin tab. You may have more or less tabs at the bottom of your SimPE than shown. If you don't have a Plugin tab there for some reason, you can bring it up through Window - Plugin View.

C. Select the line that starts with 'name (dtString)'

D. To the right, under Value, will be the name of the mesh for that recolour. Select and copy the name. Don't include the underscore or anything after it.



Now we need to locate the package file that holds the actual 3d model with that name.

Window - Resource Finder will bring up another docker that will allow you to search for models with that name. "In Namemaps" should already be selected for Find: and Match: should be already set to "Contains". Paste the name of the mesh we're looking for in the box below and click Start. If the Namemaps are not found for you then click on the little arrow (see redbox on picture) and select from the list.



It will take a few moments to search for a mesh with that name, and the search bar may run multiple times.

E. In the results, look under the list of resource names, and double-click the first Geometric Data container. Make sure you double-click the first one, not the one that includes 'LOD15' in the name.

If you need more room to see the names, you can always drag out the Resource Finder docker a little bit as shown.

SimPE will open the package file containing the 3d model for the mesh. The package files that hold the game's 3d models are very large files, containing many models, so it may take quite a while for it to open the file, and for SimPE to start responding again.

You can now close the Resource Finder by Xing the upper right corner on its docker. You can see the long list of 1500 geometric data containers (GMDCs) listed in the Sims03.package file now open, and we've got the particular GMDC we're looking for already selected.

F. Again, under the Plugin view, look under where it says Models. There should be only one item listed; this technique will only work properly if there is only one, but most body meshes only have one. You can still try it if the mesh has multiple groups, but the results are often not very useful (confusing overlapping, etc.)

G. Click Export to save your mesh as an .obj file. The name and where you save it don't matter much - put it somewhere you can find it easily, and name it something that makes sense to you. You can leave it the default filename if you want.

Screenshots
world renowned whogivesafuckologist
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#3 Old 30th Mar 2006 at 1:35 AM Last edited by lidiqnata : 23rd Dec 2013 at 11:35 AM.
Default Exporting the 3d Model for a Custom Mesh
I'm going to assume that you know what meshes you have downloaded, and what meshes are used for what recolours. If you're recolouring clothing for redistribution, you'd better! If you're just disorganized, check out Loverat's guide to subfolders and get organized first, then come back.

Why do you need to be organized? For custom meshes, you have to be able to find the mesh file itself; the names in the recolours won't be correct.

Open the .package for the mesh itself in SimPE. For demonstrative purposes, I'm using this mesh by me here.

A. Select the Geometric Data Container

B. Look under the Plugin tab. You may have more or less tabs at the bottom of your SimPE than shown. If you don't have a Plugin tab there for some reason, you can bring it up through Window - Plugin View. Look under where it says Groups. There should be only one item listed; this technique will only work properly if there is only one, but most body meshes only have one. You can still try it if the mesh has multiple groups, but the results are often not very useful (confusing overlapping, etc.)

C. Click Export to save your mesh as an .obj file. The name and where you save it don't matter much - put it somewhere you can find it easily, and name it something that makes sense to you. You can leave it the default filename if you want.
Screenshots
world renowned whogivesafuckologist
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Original Poster
#4 Old 30th Mar 2006 at 1:38 AM Last edited by lidiqnata : 23rd Dec 2013 at 12:00 PM.
Default Viewing and Exporting the UV Map
Open UV Mapper, and File - Import Load Model. Choose the .obj file you exported from SimPE. It will give you a screen with statistics about the model. Then, you may get a Warning that reads, "The model you have loaded contains out of range UV coordinate data. Would you like to correct this?" You may get this message if you try to import a mesh with multiple groups (which won't work for our purposes), or it may also occur with normal meshes with single groups. Telling it Yes should allow you to view the proper UV map.

File - Save Texture Map will allow you to export the uv map as a bitmap (.bmp) image, which you can then apply to your clothing mesh, and use as a guide for recolouring in your graphics program of choice. Most clothing textures export out of Body Shop at 1024x1024, so that's generally a good size to save your UV map at.

And this is the bitmap in Gimp:


If you try to apply this technique to meshes with more than one group, or some Maxis/custom meshes with strange mapping, you may get unexpected results... Seams may not match perfectly, things may be distorted. Why this occurs, I don't know. It doesn't happen with all meshes, but several come out weird. My apologies if this is the case with the mesh you're working with, but I do hope this will still be useful for most meshes, and will at least make some things easier for you.
Screenshots
Lab Assistant
#5 Old 30th Mar 2006 at 2:13 PM
Thanks a million times over this is exactly what i was looking for !
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Test Subject
#6 Old 17th May 2006 at 12:34 AM
Wow, that explains a lot. I was just guessing before. This should improve my recolours greatly!! Thankyou
PS How come you know so much about this stuff? LOL
Test Subject
#7 Old 20th May 2006 at 11:29 PM
Default You Are Awsomely Awsome
Thank you so much for this tutorial. You answered in 5 minutes what I spent three hours looking for. I like your tutorial because it is well written and very easy to unstand. Well thanks again. :D
Test Subject
#8 Old 1st Aug 2006 at 3:17 AM
Awesome Tutorial!
Thank you so much for the tutorial! You were very concise and straight forward. I'm pleased to report everything worked perfectly the very first time I tried it! (3 minutes ago... tee hee)

I read the "Beyond Photoskinning: Transformation and Displacement Mapping in Photoshop" first (Thanks Again!), and now I can't wait to apply the techniques from both tutes to a sundress recolor.

You are awesome, indeed!

Dara, aka Darsky



Quote:
Originally Posted by HystericalParoxysm
Clothing meshes may have strange texture mapping, and though the recolours of them you have may provide some clues to help in creating your own textures for those meshes, it is often helpful to have the uv map for that mesh, so that you can see exactly how the mesh is laid out, and get a much clearer picture of what distortion you may be dealing with...
Test Subject
#9 Old 1st Aug 2006 at 3:11 PM
I was good until "copy and paste" looking for the mesh. I am not able to copy unless there is a trick I am not aware of. (right click or using "file" doesn't work) I typed the name in and it would appear there was a search, but my results window comes up empty every time. I am assuming I am missing something that is staring me in the face.

Learning too soon our limitations, we never learn our powers. -- Mignon McLaughlin
Field Researcher
#10 Old 16th Aug 2006 at 9:38 PM Last edited by pixie : 16th Aug 2006 at 9:44 PM.
2Sim2Quit: try ctrl+c to copy, then ctrl+v to paste. That works

I tried to export UV map for one of Maxis's skirt meshes. Not that it's a major problem, but still weird - the mesh was called "afbottomcaprisneaks". And when I got the UV map, capris was what it displayed. How can it be? I mean, the mesh I chose has semi-high heels and it's skirt after all.
Admin of Randomness
retired moderator
#11 Old 17th Aug 2006 at 1:26 AM
Pixie,
I don't know how you determined the mesh was called 'afbottomcaprisneaks' -- because it sounds to me like you got the uvmap for exactly that. Maxis is odd, but their naming conventions are not that odd.

This is a Maxis skirt mesh? Not a user made mesh? Because a user made mesh will have the name of the Maxis mesh the creator originally used to build the recolor file with in the bodyshop file.

Assuming it is a USER MADE mesh, open the user made mesh package with simpe, click on the gmdc to make it show in the plugin view, then continue on with Step F.

"Undertake something that is difficult; it will do you good. Unless you try to do something beyond what you have already mastered, you will never grow." - Ronald E. Osborn

Please do NOT PM me with requests, creation questions, or game help questions. Click for help:
Game Help | Create | Content List | Where Can I Find?
Field Researcher
#12 Old 17th Aug 2006 at 3:00 AM Last edited by pixie : 17th Aug 2006 at 3:05 AM.
Ah, I think I know why this happened... The mesh was definitely Maxis's, I actually opened my own recolor of Maxis skirt (the one that is originally in plain red, slightly above knee). But back when I made the recolor, I also added a bump map to it - following Morague's tutorial - which Maxis skirt originally didn't have. I did it a while ago and can't recall exactly which mesh I used as source, but it could as well have been the capris mesh.
Field Researcher
#13 Old 27th Aug 2006 at 3:24 AM
Hysterical, I can't thank you enough for this tutorial!! I was having problems with a recolor right now, and the UV map that I did thanks to this tut is helping me a lot!! Maybe I can do a version of your tutorial in Word? it may be helpful if one is offline.

"Ride to live, live to ride...wheels of fire, forever!!!!!!!!!"
Origin ID: metalfenix_Raf
Test Subject
#14 Old 24th Oct 2006 at 11:39 PM
Thank you! It will really help me, and it was amazingly simple to do ^^
Lab Assistant
#15 Old 26th Oct 2006 at 12:43 PM
THANK YOU SO MUCHHH ... that's one of the most useful threads I've read about meshing and recolouring ...
Field Researcher
#16 Old 2nd Dec 2006 at 1:46 PM
Thanks alot for this tutorial. it is very useful. appreciate it alot.
Lab Assistant
#17 Old 19th Mar 2007 at 12:53 AM
thank you for think tutorial

but i have a questionrecently ive been making major and my first career i never know how to make mesh. well anyway i have done everything correct but i still dont understand what im suppose to do with this. what is it for once its in my paint net. assuming i can use paint net because it has shown up in it? please help

TASH

http://passionssims2com.page.tl/

my own website. check it out
world renowned whogivesafuckologist
retired moderator
Original Poster
#18 Old 19th Mar 2007 at 8:31 PM
tacos, this tutorial merely teaches you how to export the uv map to do your recolours in whatever program you choose - it's not about editing textures, and only uses SimPE and UV Mapper. You can then use the uv maps in Paint.NET if that's what you use.

my simblr (sometimes nsfw)

“Dude, suckin’ at something is the first step to being sorta good at something.”
Panquecas, panquecas e mais panquecas.
Lab Assistant
#19 Old 3rd May 2007 at 1:58 AM
Thanks A LOT! I just started making my own skins and this is exactly what I´ve been looking for!
Instructor
#20 Old 31st May 2007 at 1:39 PM
ThAnKs! thanks HP!
Test Subject
#21 Old 30th Jun 2007 at 8:42 AM
Hey thanks, this is very useful! But I tried to do this with H&M but it doesn't seem to find the base mesh.
world renowned whogivesafuckologist
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Original Poster
#22 Old 30th Jun 2007 at 8:51 AM
Yeah, it's not going to because your SimPE isn't set up for it. You have to go into the SimPE settings and under where you tell it where all your EPs are installed, you'll have no blank for H&M. However, what I did (as I'm working on an H&M mesh edit right now) is changed the entry for Celebration Stuff (which I don't have) to the directory for H&M Stuff and Resource Finder finds the stuff just fine. All that does is tell it "look in here for game files" - it doesn't care which they are.

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
#23 Old 30th Jun 2007 at 9:08 AM Last edited by everWinter : 30th Jun 2007 at 9:19 AM. Reason: to offer up my first born to the sim gods.
I found another work around - if I open the H&M folder up in SimPE first I can then search for the mesh that way. Its in the 3D folder in one of the sims packages.
I have Celebrations as well so I don't really want to overwrite the path to it, I'll forget if I do that and then I'll be scratching my head thinking "but it worked before *scratch scratch) LOL

Thanks for the quick reply, I can move onto the next step of your great tute :D



OH GOD !!! thankyou thankyou!!!!
It works! Now that I can make sense of whats what I can move on. LOL
Top Secret Researcher
#24 Old 10th Aug 2007 at 5:03 AM
I came here in order to do your "Beyond Photoskinning" tut, but I think this will be useful for many cases. Thank you again.

I know I can't do it, but I'm still going to do it. - M. C. Escher
Lab Assistant
#25 Old 13th Nov 2007 at 2:09 PM
THANK YOU SO MUCH!!
I've been looking so long for this and your tutorial is so easy to follow. You really helped me a lot thanks again
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