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world renowned whogivesafuckologist
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Original Poster
#1 Old 3rd Jun 2009 at 3:26 PM
Default Creating Sims 3 Custom Patterns: Tutorial Q&A Thread
This is the Q&A thread relating to the tutorial on creating custom patterns.


You can ask questions about the tutorial and get help on it here. Please note that this thread is ONLY for questions -directly- relating to that tutorial. If you have questions on something else (trouble with a specific pattern you're working on, for instance), please post them in the main Patterns Forum thread, so they don't clutter up this one.

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Wiki Wizard
#2 Old 3rd Jun 2009 at 4:44 PM
I am using PDN to edit my images, when i go to save them with the DDS format i get no popup like you displayed, i get the usual PDN popup which gives me odd and coded options, i tried using the:
A8R8G8B8
option, do i need to use a different vector program like photoshop or gimp?


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Site Helper
#3 Old 3rd Jun 2009 at 8:02 PM
A question - if you are only doing a two colour texture, would it still be four channels or only 2? I've never messed with this sort of stuff before, r if I have, its been a long, long time.

Reyn Silversong-Sim Architect

Terms of Use-All of my stuff is available for use anywhere that is free. All I ask is credit and a link back to the objects in question, or the house they are featured with. DO NOT POST ON THE EXCHANGE!
Test Subject
#4 Old 3rd Jun 2009 at 8:58 PM
Just a superquick Illustrator note here - if you're using Illustrator to vectorize bitmap graphics, there is an option called "LiveTrace" that will allow you to trace a raster image to varying degrees of faithfulness. For a pattern like in the tutorial, it's actually probably faster and nicer to do it by hand (as the author did), but for more textural items (such as pebbles and the like) LiveTrace is probably a speedier option.

And as an aside: absolutely brilliant, and so fast.
world renowned whogivesafuckologist
staff: retired moderator
Original Poster
#5 Old 3rd Jun 2009 at 9:09 PM
Deluxe Designs - I have no idea what the proper save item on PDN is - that sounds about right. Your images should be 341 kb when saved at the 8.8.8.8 ARGB

Reyn - Yep, it'd be 2 colours. You can just fill in the red and green and ignore the rest.

yggdrasil - I tried LiveTrace for mine (for those patterns that were based on real wallpapers) and it all looked terrible, but you're right, textural items would probably work a lot better with LiveTrace.

my simblr (sometimes nsfw)

“Dude, suckin’ at something is the first step to being sorta good at something.”
Panquecas, panquecas e mais panquecas.
Field Researcher
#6 Old 3rd Jun 2009 at 9:46 PM Last edited by JaneSamborski : 4th Jun 2009 at 6:42 AM.
I think I know how to do the color separation without vectorizing. It wouldn't give you as clean a line, but might be easier for people not familiar with a vector program.

Edit: Tutorial is here.
world renowned whogivesafuckologist
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Original Poster
#7 Old 3rd Jun 2009 at 9:50 PM
JaneSamborski - Go right ahead. The main thing is getting the colours all channel-separated - however you do that, by whatever technique, is fine.

my simblr (sometimes nsfw)

“Dude, suckin’ at something is the first step to being sorta good at something.”
Panquecas, panquecas e mais panquecas.
Forum Resident
#8 Old 3rd Jun 2009 at 11:16 PM
HP, have you tried greyscale gradients? How do they fair? Muddy or no?
Test Subject
#9 Old 3rd Jun 2009 at 11:45 PM
I need to know some things. We need to vectorize a picture just to get a picture with not more than 4 colours? If so, we can use Photoshop pen-tool to draw by lines whole picture. Just in case i've found very good tutorial for Illustrator, how to draw seemless swirls.
http://www.gomediazine.com/design-t...eamless-swirls/
Lab Assistant
#10 Old 4th Jun 2009 at 1:44 AM
I haven't tried out the tutorial yet, but if you're creating your pattern in Illustrator (I use CS3, so I can only speak for that) - and you create your pattern on layers - can you use the feature to export your Illustrator file as a layered PSD, rather than go through all the copy and pasting in Photoshop?

Surely having it exported to layers already would make that part of the process easier. I was gonna try it out after work today, but I thought I'd mention it just in case someone else wanted to try it and see if it worked.

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Instructor
#11 Old 4th Jun 2009 at 3:22 AM
I'm sorry if this is a noob question. Can I start making custom patterns for Sims 3 before I get the game? I didn't really get into making cc for Sims 2, but the pattern feature in Sims 3 is soooo cool and appealing to me I just cant wait. Doe anyone know if Paint Shop Pro will be good enough of a program to do this, it doe handle raster layers?
Thanks so much!!
world renowned whogivesafuckologist
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Original Poster
#12 Old 4th Jun 2009 at 3:27 AM
sweetswami77 - There is support for greyscale and gradients probably work fine, since individual steps work okay - it might look weird saved as a DXT due to compression but saving as an uncompressed 8.8.8.8 (about 3x the size but I'm a texture snob) looks beautiful.

feyona - It may not be necessary to vectorize - as long as you can do a very good, precise colour-separated version of the image, you can do it however you want. Vectorizing is merely the method which seemed the most efficient to get the results I wanted for the patterns I was doing.

i saw drones - You probably can - I'm just used to print screen + paste. Illustrator and I are on uneasy terms - it's sort of a love/hate thing.

Sookielee - You can, yes, though you really need the game to test how they work. You can always start working on getting your textures basically ready. Paint Shop Pro is a raster program - it may have limited vector support as Photoshop does, but it can probably do what you need to. I'm not aware of DDS plugins for it though, which would be the limiting factor.

my simblr (sometimes nsfw)

“Dude, suckin’ at something is the first step to being sorta good at something.”
Panquecas, panquecas e mais panquecas.
Instructor
#13 Old 4th Jun 2009 at 3:39 AM
I found a site that explains how to use the DDS plug-in for Photoshop in Paint Shop Pro, so I think I will be okay there. Have to at least try as PSP is the paint program I've been using for over 10 years lol. Thanks for the quick response. I am so happy, first time since sims 1 that I have been excited about creating my own cc.
Lab Assistant
#14 Old 4th Jun 2009 at 3:40 AM
LOL HP, I totally understand. Its taken me several years to whip it into submission!

Free downloads by me at AweSims | www.sixty-ten.net
Site Helper
#15 Old 4th Jun 2009 at 3:55 AM
Oh, so in theory I could do the whole thing in GIMP and not have to try and figure out inksplat or whatever it is called.

I'll try it and share the results then. And thanks! I like all the base textures and I'm enjoying yours but more is better.

Reyn Silversong-Sim Architect

Terms of Use-All of my stuff is available for use anywhere that is free. All I ask is credit and a link back to the objects in question, or the house they are featured with. DO NOT POST ON THE EXCHANGE!
Test Subject
#16 Old 4th Jun 2009 at 4:05 AM
HystericalParoxysm, oh thank you. I guess i became to understand a principle of doing patterns for Sims 3. We just need 4 clear colours in pattern (without square JPEG-compression or 1000 hints of one colour) to create without problem 4 masks for them. Right? Pattern for Sims 3 is not the same as for Sims 2. For Sims 2 we were using different raster pictures and for Sims 3 we use a pattern just to create 4 so-called alpha-channels which will be filled by different colours in a game.
I am asking because as i need to put an end to be sure that i've totally understood .
Thank you very much!
Field Researcher
#17 Old 4th Jun 2009 at 7:04 AM
Something you might want to note in the tutorial: if you are using less than four colors you do not eliminate the lowest channel layer, but the highest. For example if your pattern has 3 colors you get rid of the alpha channel, if the pattern only has 2 colors you only need to use the red and green channels. I figured it out once I got to the packager, but it meant back tracking.
Lab Assistant
#18 Old 4th Jun 2009 at 10:25 AM
I followed the tutorial pretty easily up to the point that said to save the image as a DDS file.

I'm making a four-color pattern (I uploaded it here, if it helps) in Adobe Photoshop 7.
When I attempt to save it as a DDS file, it gives me the following error: "Error: Too many channels to export (5)".
Obviously, the issue is that it considers five layers to be too many. Yet in the tutorial, this doesn't come up.
It seems to export well enough with four channels (Red + Blue + Green + RGB channels), but when I add the alpha channel, it gives this error. I tried naming the channel both "alpha1" and "Alpha 1", but there was no difference.

Is this because I'm using an older version of Photoshop? I can just try to make some three-color patterns for now, and I can probably just temporarily export this pattern using black as a background color, but I'd really like to find a way around this problem for future reference.

Edited to Add: If it makes a difference, I made the base image in Photoshop instead of Illustrator. I took a simple pattern my friend asked me to use, flood filled over the colors on separate layers, and then used Edit Brightness/Contrast and Edit Levels to make each layer white. Then I created a black layer behind them, and used Copy All Layers on each layer with just one layer plus the black background layer showing.
I assumed that since the end result appeared to be the same, it wouldn't make a difference. Could that be the source of my problem?
Lab Assistant
#19 Old 4th Jun 2009 at 11:52 AM Last edited by i saw drones : 4th Jun 2009 at 12:10 PM.
So I'm just wondering if anyone can help me. I have followed the tutorial and managed to get some patterns in game.

The problem I'm having is that when you select the texture in the swatch list and apply it to the object, it looks fine, but when you tick ok and leave CAST, it looks pretty crummy. Here are a couple of screenies to illustrate my point.


While picking the pattern


After leaving CAST

I have done another pattern which does it also, but you don't notice it to the same extent, and I'm quite okay with that pattern.
I guess I just really want smooth crisp lines.. Is that possible?

*Edit.

It seems to be fine if I remove the alpha channel, and in the pattern packager set the background to the colour I want as that channel. But then... I can't change that colour if I want (obviously). I will keep playing with that channel.

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world renowned whogivesafuckologist
staff: retired moderator
Original Poster
#20 Old 4th Jun 2009 at 12:00 PM
Huh, that's weird. I haven't noticed that happening in mine.

A couple things. First, what's your game settings on? Do you have everything cranked way up?

And you're saving as an 8.8.8.8 ARGB, right? Not a DXT5 or DXT3 or whatever?

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
#21 Old 4th Jun 2009 at 12:11 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by HystericalParoxysm
Huh, that's weird. I haven't noticed that happening in mine.

A couple things. First, what's your game settings on? Do you have everything cranked way up?

And you're saving as an 8.8.8.8 ARGB, right? Not a DXT5 or DXT3 or whatever?


Yep all settings high, and yep, saving as 8.8.8.8 ARGB. It is weird :P

ETA. I always speak too soon. I rejigged my alpha layer and now it is fine. It looks great. *sigh*

*needs to just spend a little more time on these things before bothering people Thanks HP

Free downloads by me at AweSims | www.sixty-ten.net
Test Subject
#22 Old 4th Jun 2009 at 2:06 PM Last edited by Andu Samar : 4th Jun 2009 at 2:29 PM.
I've followed the tutorial and get some pattern int the game, but the pattern didn't had the default colors I've chosen in the pattern packager. I've tried serveral times, but I can't find out, what I did wrong.

edit: Oh, I just realised there is now version 1.1 of the pattern packager available which resolves my problem.
Lab Assistant
#23 Old 4th Jun 2009 at 7:35 PM
Hi hi ^_^; Okay hope this isnt a silly question.... how to ask..... say i have a pattern with "5 colors" and I cannot take out a color without losing what i'm trying to make....

is it possible to continue with this pattern, follow your steps on 4 of the colors, to make them changeable, but just have 1 color that isnt? i.e. a black outline of something...?

hope i asked that right....
Lab Assistant
#24 Old 4th Jun 2009 at 8:27 PM
I was fine until I got to:

"Next, take each layer from your 4-layer tiled document and copy it, and paste the contents into a different channel in the new document. Remember the layering if it's important to your pattern - red on bottom, alpha on top."

The instructions are simple enough, but when I paste the layers into the channels, nothing appears and the entire image is selected. I am selecting the individual chanels, and pasting in the correct order, but it's not working. I'm not sure what I'm doing wrong. Should I attach the PSDs?

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#25 Old 4th Jun 2009 at 9:07 PM
kawaiimiyo: Yes, thats possible. Cut out the red layer for the areas you want to fill with the background colour, in black. That'll then get filled in by the game in the "Background Colour" - default black.

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