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Lab Assistant
Original Poster
#1 Old 30th Jun 2009 at 7:51 AM Last edited by aikea guinea : 5th Jul 2009 at 7:58 PM.
Default Tutorial - Creating Default Replacement Skintones for TS3



This tutorial is for anyone interested in creating default replacement skintones for TS3. It assumes you have at least basic knowledge of either creating your own skintones from scratch, or blends of skintones; this is more of a technical guide than a creative guide. The basic principles of skin editing for TS2 can easily be applied to TS3.

Additionally, this isn't what I'd call a 'complete' tutorial; there are several 'effects' textures that can be changed in addition to the main texture, including spectral, ambient, and bump mapping. This is a great starting point, though, and will hopefully be of use to some people.

I originally had this posted on Garden of Shadows, and it seemed to go over well there, so I thought I'd put it here as well.

What You'll Need:

-Adobe Photoshop
-Nvidia DDS plugins for Adobe Photoshop
-S3PE to create the package file
-Extracted basic skintones. These are just the basic skintones from TS3, which I extracted for personal use and have uploaded to save you a step. The file also contains the uv map for adult male and female bodies.
-If you plan on making any brightness and/or tonal changes to the files, you'll want to download the scalps as well.

Step One:





Open the file you wish to edit in Photoshop. You'll get the following prompt; hit 'OK' and the file will open. Make sure you have 'Load MIP maps' unchecked, or you'll get an image with a bunch of repeating and progressively smaller versions of the same image.

Step Two:





Edit the skintone as you see fit. You only need to make one basic tone; use the 'match color' option under Image -- Adjustments to match the basic tone of the original EAxis file.

Step Three:





Save your file as a DXT3 ARGB 8 bpp, making sure you do not change the file name. I strongly suggest saving the edited files in a new folder, away from the originals.

Step Four:





Start up S3PE, and select 'New' from the drop down menu. This gives you a new .package file to work in.

Step Five:





Select 'Import' and navigate to your edited image file. Double-click, hit 'enter,' or 'OK' to import the image into the .package file.

Step Six:





You'll get the following window; you don't have to change anything here, so just hit 'OK.' Your file will now be included in the package. Select 'Save As,' and save your file with whatever name you want to give it in your Mods\Packages folder.

Step Seven:

Simply repeat steps 1-6 above until you've completely replaced the textures for both genders and all ages. Continue using the 'Import' option on your original saved .package file to include all the skintone textures in one easy-to-install file.

If you'd like to have separate face and body files for people who like to mix and match, simply create a new package for the face and body textures individually.

A Few Notes:

- Be sure to delete simCompositorCache.package from My Documents\Electronic Arts\The Sims 3 to get your edited skintones to show up. Don't worry, it'll respawn.

- EF, EM, YAM, YAF, TF, and TM all share the AF/AM body multiplier textures.

- TF and TM share the YAM/YAF face textures.

Bonus Tutorial: Creating 'Dark' Texture

You'll note that each set of skintones comes with a 'dark' version. Here's how to make those files in just a few quick steps:

Step One:





Open the original 'dark' file, and make a copy of the background layer.

Step Two:





Copy and paste your edited 'light' skintone under 'Layer 1.'

Step Three:





Change 'Layer 1's blend mode to 'Color.'

Step Four:





Voila! Flatten, save, and import into your replacement .package as per the main tutorial.

you stare at my shoulders
are you surprised to see one more devil 
where angel wings should be..?
15 users say thanks for this. (Who?)
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Scholar
#2 Old 30th Jun 2009 at 5:12 PM
This is really cool. If I go completely insane for a big project, I'll give it a shot. Thanks.

.:Kitty Klan:.
Visit for Sims 3 Hair, Tattoos, and other free custom content downloads.

.For website updates, subscribe to my RSS feed at.
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Lab Assistant
#3 Old 30th Jun 2009 at 6:44 PM
mhhh I' don't view my skin in the game... I don't know why

I've follow the tutorial...
Inventor
#4 Old 30th Jun 2009 at 7:32 PM
Great Tutorial Aikea_Guinea!! Thanks so much for writing this!

Curvalicious Sims 2 (My website, only sims 2 stuff currently)Curvalicious Sims2

For more great content check out PMBD

Lab Assistant
Original Poster
#5 Old 30th Jun 2009 at 7:52 PM
robokitty - Yeah, skintones are pretty big projects! Thankfully there's a lot less to do with TS3 skintones than there were in TS2, since you only need to do one basic 'tone' that works for all the color ranges, and a singular fitness state.

kihaad - Did you delete the simCompositorCache.package? Was your skintone package for sure saved in the correct place? Did you import the edited version of your skintone into the package? (I only ask this because I've done simliar things myself and been driven up the wall trying to figure out what I did wrong.) If not, try those and your skintone should show up. If you did, I don't know what the problem is.

you stare at my shoulders
are you surprised to see one more devil 
where angel wings should be..?
Lab Assistant
#6 Old 30th Jun 2009 at 8:19 PM
thank you so much aikea!

I did not delete the file simCompositorCache.package, sorry I'm italian, I've problem with the english :D
Eminence Grise
staff: moderator
#7 Old 30th Jun 2009 at 10:40 PM
I have a friend who's been bugging me to find him a mod that gives male sims a sixpack. Now I can point him to this tut and tell him to paint it himself Thanks!
Lab Assistant
#8 Old 1st Jul 2009 at 2:43 AM
Thank you Aikea!
Scholar
#9 Old 1st Jul 2009 at 7:45 AM
Quote:
Originally Posted by aikea guinea
robokitty - Yeah, skintones are pretty big projects! Thankfully there's a lot less to do with TS3 skintones than there were in TS2, since you only need to do one basic 'tone' that works for all the color ranges, and a singular fitness state.



Haha, I've never made a skintone before because I listened to all those warnings about them being a BIG project! So, sorry if this is a "duh" question, but does the one basic "tone" in TS3 have to be monotone? Does adding different hues have any effect on the appearance in the game? I ask because I noticed in the first picture it looks like there's some added purple/red around his eyes... and the lips too.


PS: Step Two, that man has one TIGHT butt!

.:Kitty Klan:.
Visit for Sims 3 Hair, Tattoos, and other free custom content downloads.

.For website updates, subscribe to my RSS feed at.
Dreamwidth Blog
Lab Assistant
Original Poster
#10 Old 1st Jul 2009 at 8:19 PM
Very welcome, everyone.

robokitty - Honestly, I never did a complete skintone set for TS2! I had enough issues making a skintone for a single age and gender, let alone both plus all the ages with three fitness states each. The fact that I managed to not get distracted/bored and make a complete set for TS3 speaks volumes.

As for your question, no, the basic 'tone' doesn't have to be monotone, and yes, different hues will have an effect on the appearance in the game. In fact, the purple/red you see around the eyes in that first picture is really just some darker shading on the face, but the lips are definitely pinker than the rest of the skintone.

Basically what happens is the game 'overlays' another color on top of your 'multiplier' layer, which are the files being edited in this tutorial. You can easily see the difference changing the the brightness and hue of the multiplier makes in this comparison shot. I edited the YA texture to be brighter and cooler, but haven't done the toddler age yet.

you stare at my shoulders
are you surprised to see one more devil 
where angel wings should be..?
Lab Assistant
#11 Old 1st Jul 2009 at 11:00 PM
I really love the way you made your tutorial for Skins - I was wondering if you could do one for eyes? I'm really just starting to learn this & would love to know how to do it in a simple kind of walk through, If there is one I haven't come across it yet.

REALLY LOVE YOUR TUTORIAL - Thank you!
*saves to favorites*
Lab Assistant
Original Poster
#12 Old 2nd Jul 2009 at 1:23 AM
I've actually been meaning to do one for eyes, but I've been totally caught up in playing. XD

Since I wanted to go through and experiment a bit more (now that I have a much better understanding of how things work in TS3), I'll gladly put together an eye tutorial over the next day or two.

you stare at my shoulders
are you surprised to see one more devil 
where angel wings should be..?
Lab Assistant
#13 Old 2nd Jul 2009 at 1:57 AM
Cool! Hug & Kiss... Muah...
Oh! I have some questions.
Can we make these package files smaller?
My package is about 20+ mb o_O"
Lab Assistant
Original Poster
#14 Old 2nd Jul 2009 at 4:11 AM
Quote:
Originally Posted by TummyZa
Cool! Hug & Kiss... Muah...
Oh! I have some questions.
Can we make these package files smaller?
My package is about 20+ mb o_O"


Run it through The Compressorizer Redux.

you stare at my shoulders
are you surprised to see one more devil 
where angel wings should be..?
Lab Assistant
#15 Old 2nd Jul 2009 at 5:28 AM
Didn't work :P
Maybe I should try saving as DXT1 instead.
Thanks again for the tutorial Q(*-* Q)~
Eminence Grise
staff: moderator
#16 Old 2nd Jul 2009 at 5:31 AM
Quote:
Originally Posted by TummyZa
Q(*-* Q)~


Wow, and I thought I was emoticon-literate. What's THAT?

Quote:
Originally Posted by TummyZa
My package is about 20+ mb o_O"


Somehow, in the context of this thread, that made me LOL. That's a big package!
Test Subject
#17 Old 2nd Jul 2009 at 8:56 AM
Do you use source pics? If so, where can I find some? If not, then do you have any further broken down info on how to create a skin tone?

Don't compare yourself to me... You'll make yourself feel bad...
Lab Assistant
#18 Old 2nd Jul 2009 at 8:12 PM
Finally got my hairy simmie.
Some part was blend from yours (especially the eyes and butt... really love that lol)
So I'm gonna ask if it's OK to share at my country site?
I'll link back to your site.




Quote:
Originally Posted by Srikandi
Wow, and I thought I was emoticon-literate. What's THAT?

It's called glisten eyes dance :D
Lab Assistant
#19 Old 2nd Jul 2009 at 9:36 PM
beautiful!
Lab Assistant
#20 Old 2nd Jul 2009 at 10:28 PM
Wow! Thanks for this great tutorial! I'll try this out soon!

♥ :) LJ
Lab Assistant
Original Poster
#21 Old 3rd Jul 2009 at 12:12 AM
t0b1a5, any TS2 skintone creation tutorial should work to create a TS3 skintone, since the theories are the same. I'm really lousy at writing artistic tutorials (I can 'do' better than I can explain).

TummyZa, that is seriously gorgeous! I'm especially impressed with the armhair. I don't mind if you share it.

you stare at my shoulders
are you surprised to see one more devil 
where angel wings should be..?
Test Subject
#22 Old 4th Jul 2009 at 5:59 PM
great tut! <3

I am having a problem, however. You say in your notes:

Quote:
YAM, YAF, TF, and TM share the AF/AM body multiplier textures. EF and EM can either have their own body textures, or also share with the AF/AM.


I created and replaced the AM base/dark textures, and that works fine. But replacing the EM textures doesn't seem to do anything. My EM's just use the AM texture(my edited one, if i have in in, or the default if i take it out). I double and triple checked the resource values, recleared the cache.

You say they "can share" the texture? Under what circumstances do they not?

Thanks again for the tutorial!
-derigo
Lab Assistant
Original Poster
#23 Old 5th Jul 2009 at 7:57 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by derigo
great tut! <3

I am having a problem, however. You say in your notes:



I created and replaced the AM base/dark textures, and that works fine. But replacing the EM textures doesn't seem to do anything. My EM's just use the AM texture(my edited one, if i have in in, or the default if i take it out). I double and triple checked the resource values, recleared the cache.

You say they "can share" the texture? Under what circumstances do they not?

Thanks again for the tutorial!
-derigo


Oops! Apparently I was wrong! There are Elder textures (which I found and extracted), but apparently they don't get used. I never had a chance to test them, and just assumed they were there for a reason. So sorry! I'll edit the tutorial and remove that portion, and if someone else finds differently, I'll edit as appropriate.

Again, really sorry for the confusion on that!

you stare at my shoulders
are you surprised to see one more devil 
where angel wings should be..?
Test Subject
#24 Old 5th Jul 2009 at 10:22 PM Last edited by Sluticorn : 5th Jul 2009 at 10:44 PM.
dude thanks for the badass tutorial!!!! it totally works n i just made my first mod!

i'm assuming that this skin will be on every sim of the same sex in the game, correct? (i.e. if i made a skin for an adult fem, the skin is on every adult fem in the game?) you mentioned something about mixing and matching heads n bodies though...is there a way to make different skins for different sims of the same age n sex?

my goal with skin textures is to give them tattoos, but i would love to give different sims different tats. any thoughts?

2nd question: how do you make different heads to mix n match? for example if i want to make crazy face makeup for only one sim in particular?

again, thanks for the killer tutorial!!! much appreciated!!!
Test Subject
#25 Old 6th Jul 2009 at 6:39 AM
aikea guinea: yea i thought something was fishy. It's not your fault they included elder skin textures in the game and didnt bother making them do anything. Is it possible they're applied as some kind of mask? If you look at the EM_dark texture, the color is a totally different dark brown. Completely different from all the other dark textures. That implies to me either 1) they aren't being used and the shadow map is outdated, or 2) they're used as some kind color mask.

On a different note I'm having a hard time finding the bumpmap, spectral, and ambient maps you mentioned, what are they called and/or what are their instance numbers?

Sluticorn: At the moment all skintone replacements are 100% global. Change one, change them all. By mix/matching parts, the op was referring to the fact that the face skintones are separate from the body skintones, so you can pick 1 facetone you like, and 1 body tone you like (for each sex). But that 1 facetone you pick is global, and affects every sim of that sex, same with bodytone.

lurania on the download's page has uploaded some tattoos which are accessories, and thus can be picked for individual sims. The armband ones I took a look at were an xml file + some image masks for the tattoos themselves. The process by which those were made is _completely_ different than changing skintones. Although if you wanted to you could probably replace those tattoos with your own, don't quote me on that. These tattoos also seem to be like, the holy grail, in that they don't replace any existing accessories, but are simply new. I don't know how that was done. I'm an XML nub.
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