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Scholar
Original Poster
#1 Old 24th May 2006 at 4:49 AM Last edited by tiggerypum : 8th Jun 2006 at 10:13 PM.
Default Questions about the UniMesh hair Meshing Tutorial
This thread is strictly for questions about the UniMesh hair mesh editing tutorial found here:

http://www.modthesims2.com/showthread.php?t=158048

Please keep the questions related to things covered in that tutorial.

Off-topic questions will be ignored, post them in their own threads.
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evil, creative, daredevil, hopeless romantic, genius
retired moderator
#2 Old 26th May 2006 at 4:43 PM
Absolutely excellent tutorial! I finally created my first mesh! I have only one question. How do I get the thumbnail in Bodyshop to show the mesh correctly? It shows a different in game mesh but when I select it my mesh appears on the mannequin. Thank you for this great tutorial!!
Scholar
Original Poster
#3 Old 26th May 2006 at 9:27 PM
If you are talking about the original BodyShop project you exported at the beginning, it probably will never work right.

That first project is a "throwaway", it is only to get the mesh to show up at all.

I always export it as a new project with a new name, even if I am making no changes at all to the hair color.

Then import it back into the game - it's thumbnail should be correct.

Then delete the first project with the bad thumbnail.
world renowned whogivesafuckologist
retired moderator
#4 Old 26th May 2006 at 11:15 PM
Actually, I believe you should be able to delete cigen.package and possibly the contents of the Thumbnails folder and it'll regenerate new thumbnails for your stuff - it may take longer to load Body Shop the first time as it'll have to make new ones. But Dr Pixel's way is probably easier and tells you you're able to make working recolours properly.

my simblr (sometimes nsfw)

“Dude, suckin’ at something is the first step to being sorta good at something.”
Panquecas, panquecas e mais panquecas.
Scholar
Original Poster
#5 Old 27th May 2006 at 9:33 AM
Yes, HP's suggestion would work too. I usually have made so many changes to the uv_mapping that the original "recolor" .pcakage doesn't look right anyway, so I'm in the habit of automatically re-doing it and throwing the first one away.
evil, creative, daredevil, hopeless romantic, genius
retired moderator
#6 Old 27th May 2006 at 9:14 PM
Thank you both for the help! It was so nice to be able to go through this tutorial, and actually create a WORKING mesh. Now I've really got the bug! Runs off to create more...
Lab Assistant
#7 Old 30th May 2006 at 5:16 PM
Quote:
First notice that there are two "alpha" groups for each part of the mesh. They form the inside and outside of each mesh part. The reason is because of the one-sided faces used in the Sims game. In order to show a texture on both sides of a mesh part, there are two exact duplicate groups for each mesh part - the only difference is that the faces are facing in opposite directions.

When doing any mesh editing, you will want to make sure that you are editing both of the matching groups at the same time. There will be obvious graphic glitches if you get them "disconnected" from each other.


is this the glitch you're talking about? (part of the hair shows through head)



if so, how can i fix it? i don't really get the alpha description... sorry. you talked of "two alpha groups for each part of the mesh" and how you should edit them simultaneously. i only have two groups in milkshape, hair and hair_alpha3 (pink and yellow respectively):



this is the male teen ponytail hanging down. i lifted the parts up, including the alpha group, rescaled, moved vertices, etc. nothing else, nothing added or deleted. and still, the glitch. anything i have missed?

thank you and i hope you can clarify this for me.
Admin of Randomness
retired moderator
#8 Old 30th May 2006 at 9:23 PM Last edited by tiggerypum : 30th May 2006 at 9:32 PM.
That looks like a bone assignment glitch.
http://www.modthesims2.com/article.php?t=131417

and the fix in detail is covered in the tutorial here in message 6:
Unimesh Vertex Assignments
Scholar
Original Poster
#9 Old 31st May 2006 at 1:18 AM
The whole "alpha" thing seems to be a difficult concept for people to understand.

Maybe it helps to think of each alpha layer as a transparent piece of plastic, on which the hair is drawn?

And yes, there are a few hair meshes that have only one alpha-group, and this will work because there is nothing layered over it. More complicated meshes, with more than one alpha layer, will have the paired alpha groups like in the tutorial.

Anyway, in this case it is not the problem.

It could be the vertex assignments, or it could be some vertices moved to the wrong place.

The original teen male ponytail has the hair all drawn to the back, nothing hanging over the forehead at all.

It looks like you may have moved vertices of the "hair" group down over the forehead - either accidentally or on purpose, in such a way that part of the mesh is now going inside the forehead and then sticking out in front of it.

If you are going to do that, you have to be very careful - the vertices all around the edges of the "hair" group are the points where the hair mesh meets up with the face mesh and they must never be moved or altered in any way.

For doing that sort of thing, you must move other vertices, or better yet create new parts or use parts from another hair mesh.

And it is a good idea to use one of the example face meshes found here http://www.modthesims2.com/article.php?t=135300
as a reference to make sure the parts aren't sticking through parts of the Sim's face. Also make sure to allow extra space because most parts of a Sim's face can be altered.
Lab Assistant
#10 Old 31st May 2006 at 11:20 AM
i think i sort of "get" what you're getting at. as for the alpha, i know about the black and white thing and how the white parts show the texture, per experience from bodyshop skinning.

anyway, a little experimentation won't hurt. i'm still familiarizing myself with all this, as this is my first hair mesh (and i'm glad it even showed up at all!). thanks.
Test Subject
#11 Old 6th Jun 2006 at 1:50 AM
This might be stupid, but I can't find the Geometric data container. The only things that show up are the things that were there originally such as the binary index, property text, ect.

Can you help?
Scholar
Original Poster
#12 Old 6th Jun 2006 at 2:10 AM
You are looking at the recolor .package that you made in BodyShop - there is no mesh in that, you must extract the mesh files from the game and create a new mesh .package just like you do for making a clothing mesh, then link it up to the recolor .package.

This is all explained in parts II, III, and IV, of the Body Meshing tutorial.

http://www.modthesims2.com/showthread.php?t=142305

If you haven't done a body mesh edit, you really should do a few of those first before attempting hair - hair meshes are more complicated, so it's best to have a few successful body mesh edits under your belt first.
Lab Assistant
#13 Old 7th Jun 2006 at 6:19 PM Last edited by ronyu02 : 7th Jun 2006 at 8:29 PM. Reason: found a workaround
First of all, thanks; I fixed my above problem. It had to do with bone assignment; I assigned the ponytail vertices to the head; I had no idea that causes problems. I successfully made my first few hair meshes now.

I have another question. Actually this is more of a Milkshape one, but it's still relevant. While doing this hair mesh, I realized too late (upon testing in-game) that I accidentally moved the bottommost vertex at the back of the neck. Meaning a hole is visible at certain angles (nothing to do with the 50-50 hair-neck assignment).

So I opened my edited mesh, imported the original over it, and returned the misplaced vertex by using the original as guide. I zoomed as close as possible, until I was sure they were really in the same position. Then deleted the original mesh. In the game, it still has the faintest trace of a thin hole near that vertex.

Sorry for the lengthy intro, but mine's a simple question actually. Is there a way in Milkshape to snap or place a vertex into the *exact* position of a second one? The "snap" command doesn't work as I want it to; it apparently just snaps the two points at the midpoint.

EDIT: Yeah so I've found "manual edit". A bit tedious but it did the job (I checked the original's coordinates), and neck looks fine now. Though I weren't able to change the values directly properly; I had to use the "move" command and move the appropriate tiny difference in distance (which I had to calculate). Is this a bug?
Admin of Randomness
retired moderator
#14 Old 7th Jun 2006 at 8:54 PM
Use demon's gmdc plugins - the extended manual edit. For the moment, assign a value of 100% head (or arm for that matter) to one of the 2 vertices, just so you can tell them apart.
Select both vertices
Do extended manual edit
Make sure you can see the x y z and bone assignments (there are various options to click on)
Find the one that is your reference (remember I told you to change the assignment of one of them)
Copy the x value, paste it into the one to be fixed
repeat for y and z.
Hit 'accept'

Dr Pixel uses this to realign the edges of a top - his mini tutorial for it is in the first page of demon's plugins thread.
Lab Assistant
#15 Old 8th Jun 2006 at 3:31 AM
Nice! Looks like the tool I need. And I was pleased with coming up with almost the same solution, that is, importing a non-edited mesh over your work for alignment reference. I'm thinking of using the same trick for making my hair compatible with all ages (rescaling first, moving, then manual vertex aligning of the edges).

P.S.
If it's not too much to ask, what are the U and V coordinates for, and what exactly are "normals"? I have no idea how they're used, and couldn't be bothered with them when I encounter them.
Admin of Randomness
retired moderator
#16 Old 8th Jun 2006 at 10:12 PM
Continuing this discussion here: http://www.modthesims2.com/showthread.php?t=164022

We're well beyond the _tutorial_ which is what this thread is for
Test Subject
#17 Old 23rd Jun 2006 at 3:56 AM
Here's a question about the "hair" group.

In the tutorial, you said that the transparent parts of the "hair" group "will show the Sim's flesh color". Does that mean that it will show a flat, uniform color or that it shows a bitmap texture of a bare scalp?

In other words, is it safe to alter the UV mapping of the "hair" group or do you need to keep it the same as the original mesh in places where there is transparency?
Scholar
Original Poster
#18 Old 23rd Jun 2006 at 9:20 AM
You can alter the uv mapping of the hair group any way you want.

The places where the alpha image of the hair group is black will show the Sim's skintone texture image which is just a solid color that matches the chosen skintone, it has no details at all.
Admin of Randomness
retired moderator
#19 Old 23rd Jun 2006 at 2:54 PM
Usually. The 'hair' group on the Maxis barrette hair mesh does NOT alpha to skin. It doesn't alpha at all, it just ignores it. Some other hair meshes also have this issue, at least that's what HP discovered, and she's done funkier hair mesh things than I have.
world renowned whogivesafuckologist
retired moderator
#20 Old 23rd Jun 2006 at 10:38 PM
Alpha-ing the "hair" group is USUALLY pretty straightforward... where it's black on your alpha, you get skin texture (btw, not ALL of the scalp textures are 100% solid - SimCribbling's scalp texture has a bit of a gradient - it gets darker toward the back of the neck - really not noticeable but if you re-map the scalp and have a lot of it showing, it may be a little odd). But yeah, the barrette hair and at least a couple others aren't set up to alpha... I think this may be due to the material definitions just not being set up right...

Although I have had weirdness occur with the alpha from bone assignments... For some reason, for a while in doing my Cherub hair, in trying to fix the back of the neck gap and get the assignments just right there, if I set up the assignments in a certain way (it's been a while so I can't remember the exact numbers, but it was probably close to a 50/50 neck/head or head/neck just along the gap) the "hair" group would completely forget it had an alpha - there would be no nice fuzzy hairline whatsoever, just my entire texture slapped on the "hair" group. Removing the multiple assignments and reassigning everything 100% to head would make the alpha start working again. One of the weirder problems I ran into in meshing. Just thought I'd share, in case any newbies are trying stuff with assignments and go, "Whaaa? This doesn't make sense!" No, it doesn't, but it happens.

my simblr (sometimes nsfw)

“Dude, suckin’ at something is the first step to being sorta good at something.”
Panquecas, panquecas e mais panquecas.
Scholar
Original Poster
#21 Old 24th Jun 2006 at 1:37 AM Last edited by Dr Pixel : 24th Jun 2006 at 1:46 AM.
The material definition files are in fact where you set how the alpha of each mesh group will be used. It is important to correct any errors in the original BodyShop color .package, once it is corrected all future recolors will be correct.

If you are having "skin" problems, like no flesh color showing on the "hair" group, or flesh color is showing on an alpha group, find the Material Definition file of that group in SimPE. Then check the "cMaterialDefinition" tab.

If it says : SimSkin then the flesh color will show on the black areas of your alpha image. If it says SimStandardMaterial, the black areas of the alpha will show as transparent.

If it is wrong, just change it and it should correct the problem.

As far as I know, these two are the only ones recognized by the game, so make sure the spelling is exactly correct.

================================

The other thing to check for hair mesh groups are these lines on the "Properties" tab:
stdMatAlphaBlendMode <- for hair mesh groups, always should be "blend"
stdMatAlpahTestEnabled <- for hair mesh groups, always should be "0"
Screenshots
Test Subject
#22 Old 5th Jul 2006 at 9:48 AM
Default SimPE
What version of SimPE did you required in this tutorial?
Scholar
Original Poster
#23 Old 5th Jul 2006 at 4:31 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by ScullyFan
What version of SimPE did you required in this tutorial?


I used version .58 of SimPE - but as far as the tutorial goes, any version of SimPE will work.

I would recommend using one of the more recent versions of SimPE because they have the "finder" which makes creating your mesh .package much easier.
Test Subject
#24 Old 6th Jul 2006 at 11:07 PM
On the first part. I was very confused. It seemed like you were leaving out parts of what to do in SimPE and you were just explaining other stuff. I don't understand what you're supposed to do in SimPE to get the picture up.
Test Subject
#25 Old 6th Jul 2006 at 11:11 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by Swat_Reaper
On the first part. I was very confused. It seemed like you were leaving out parts of what to do in SimPE and you were just explaining other stuff. I don't understand what you're supposed to do in SimPE to get the picture up.



Okay, What I was confused on wasn't really clear. I don't know what to do with the property set thing. Do you just click on it? (I'm guessing not) I don't know what to do with all of those things that appear when you click on it once. Please help.
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