There has been an abundant amount of questions regarding thumbnails and how to do them. While it is not overly difficult, it can be tedious for some and not worth the effort. Since it doesn't sound as if creating a global thumbnail is possible, the only way to mark custom content as non-EA content is custom thumbnails.
This small tutorial is aimed at users of S3OC and S3PE since TSRW adds its own icon resource in the package. However, if you want to add your own custom icons to a .package file after creating it in TSRW then this tutorial will also work for you.
This will only show the custom thumb if you are using .package files. It does not work for patterns! If you have sims3packs then you will already have the launcher icon and/or the TSRW icon. This tutorial will not show you how to create or clone objects.
I have no idea if this applies to CAS items. I know nothing about it so please don't ask me how to do it for those items.
The Short Explanation
Add three THUM resources with custom images, change the Instance number to match the OBJD/OBJK.
The Long Explanation Preparation and tools required
s3oc - if you need to obtain the thumb resources
You will need a .package file with thumb resources, this can happen if you cloned your object and ticked the box to include Thumbnails.
Clone any object and export the three thumb resources, then throw out the general clone as we only wanted the thumbs. I have three generic thumb resources saved in my pictures folder to reuse for objects. Some might find it easier to use the add resource feature for the three thumbs, and that will work too. I personally use the generic thumbs because it is quicker for me than adding the three resources since I already have generic thumbs to work with.
If you want to do that then add THUM 0x0580A2B4, THUM 0x0580A2B5, THUM 0x0580A2B6 with a group of 0x000000 and the Instance number the same as the OBJD and OBJK (covered later).
Create a custom overlay image
Like so. You can create any type of custom stamp or icon here that you like, it will be an overlay onto the thumbs (either game generated or custom).
Adding your custom thumb to a package
Open your .package file, either already with the thumb resource or without.
If you have a thumb resource then highlight all three, right click and choose export.
Open your three thumbs in your graphics editor, either the three generic ones you exported or the three from your package. These don't need to be transparent, but if you want them to match EA stuff then keep the transparency. Fiddle with these for a while and save. What your doing here is creating the thumb you will see in game. You can either get the game generated one (see below) or create your own in your graphics editor.
Import your three saved thumbs into S3PE by right clicking/Import/From File
Double click your OBJD or OBJK, highlight and copy the Instance number
Double click your newly added thumb and paste the Instance number from your OBJD or OBJK. Repeat for the other two thumbs.
You can create your own thumb in your graphics program using the mesh view in your 3d editor, it can have transparency or not, or you could use one generated by the game.
Game generated is my preferred method since it then matches EA. To get the game generated thumb your package cannot already have any thumb resources. So delete them if you have them, then start your game and make sure to select the object with the default colors. Once you do this the game will have generated the thumb in the Thumbnails package.
Open the ObjectThumbnails.package in s3pe, scroll through the THUM resources until you find the largest one of your new object. It should be near the top. Right click and export it and then open in your graphics editor. This is the game generated thumbnail and we just need to add our own overly with our signature on it. Edit this image and save as the thumb png you exported from your package earlier.
Thumb extracted from ObjectThumbnails:
Thumb after adding custom overlay:
Ok, so I got a bit wordy. If something doesn't make sense please ask.
I don't really know what I'm doing. I attached a screenshot of what I've done so far. I cloned the Single Mission Bed to get the 3 Thum resources. I got rid of the bed pics so I have blank Thums. What I want is, I guess, a layered psd to put my name at the bottom of my Thum, and maybe one with a little CC in the bottom corner that I can add to identify content that I download. So what do I do now?
The largest thumb is 128x128. When I created my icon I started with around 256x256 so the shading and text would be easy to see and not distorted. I created my icon, I didn't use any type of frame around it but you certainly could. Then I re sized to 128x128. If you are going to always use the same image for your thumbs you don't really need a layered psd, I have one since I have other projects in progress that I don't want to be transparent. And I do everything layered in case I want to change some shading or something.
The part about creating a frame or round button is the creative part, that really only you can do. You have deleted the mission thumb and now have a blank palette. You could create a frame around the outside, or add a round button, or just your initials. Here is a tutorial that shows how to create a frame in photoshop.
If I understand right I only need use the biggest thum? OK, I made my icon, cut and pasted into largest thum. When I save it looks like it's no longer transparent. See screenshots. I'm working with Paint.net. I also have Gimp but am even less familiar with it than I am with Paint.net.
That looks good. I'm not sure how to handle transparency in Paint.net. In photoshop you have to make sure to not flatten it and to save as png. I noticed that yours is a png but the background becomes white, which means there is no transparency.
Here is a thread I found about Paint.net, hopefully it helps.
I have been playing with this all day and it works great! I see now what had me confused. In your short explanation you said OBJD and OBJK instead of or. Once I got that figured out it was soooo easy. Thank you again.
I have some questions. I made a thum from scratch for an object, a cardboard box, with a new mesh. The object was showing up in the game just fine. I took a screenshot of it in the game and cut it down to the right size. I got thum resources and put the picture in them. I made all the numbers match. The object doesn't show up in the game. So to be sure it isn't the thum I put it on my tent. The tent shows up with the cardboard box thum. Can you think of any reason it would work on the tent but not on the cardboard box?
Originally Posted by aapezzuto
It also seems that there is a similar / parallel method with CAS content. when/if I get along to that, I'll post what I find back here.
For the CAS thumbs I would recommend reading in that forum, since I know there has already been discussion of it and I think noted as to how it is done.
As for the object not showing because of the thum resource, I'm not sure. When I had instance numbers incorrect for a packages thumbs it only prevented it from showing the custom thumb. Delete the thumbs from the package and see if it helps?
I am about 70% done tagging all of the catalog content from the base game, World Adv, and HEL Stuff. I am taking the tumbnail packages apart that came with them, and adding a small icon in the lower right corner for all of the build mode stuff, and in the bottom center for the CAS stuff. It seems that most of the CAS stuff uses the 256x256 size images, the major exception being the predefined facial points (you know, the eyebrows, face shapes, noses, to quick adjust your sliders to something kinda like what you want,) those use a 128x128 in the catalog. Once I am further along (like 99%) I will have a list of all the different types of items, and what thumbnail they use to display in game. At this point there is just a lot of trial and error as I track down the missing 1 or 2 in the sections I do know, and finding the stragglers in the sections that are a little more strange.
once I have these done to my satisfaction I will have about 600mb of files, that if dropped into your game would tag all your files with where they were from (ideal for say, creating lots 100% compatible with the base game) how the heck to I make them available to people, i cant imagine MTS would like a file that size.
I have finished tracking down all the stuff in the base game, and ep1 and sp1. Feel free to go to my site, and download them, or I will soon get around to posting them here.. you can find my site though my profile, or signature, if i get it working :-)
We both had the same idea. I spent the last 3 weeks doing just that. I posted it for upload approval today.
I just went to your site. My files are much smaller. I found that you only need to alter the middle sized thumbnail. I haven't done CAS items yet. I only marked base game content as everything else already has a mark. I also used different color icon for different furniture styles. I haven't done walls and floors yet either. Do you know where pattern thumbnails are stored i the game? that's what I would really like to identify.
I just tried out your files. The bad news is they don't work. The good news they are easily fixed. While I was making my files I discovered that the game will not automatically recognize the changed thumbnails. What I had to do was export any thumb to file, make a change save it, import it back to the package then save the package. Then export that same thumb remove the change you just made, import back to the package, and save the package again. It seems really dumb that you have to do that since you just changed all those thumbs. At least you only need to do 1 thumb to get them all to show up.
I did that to your CAS Thumbnail package and it works fine. I'm going to do the same for the Build and Buy package to see what it looks like. I like your little S3 icon. Mine is just a little green dot. It's less intrusive but people may like yours better.
I am a bit confused as to why you would need to tag WA since WA, and presumably HELS, did have icons in game. I am glad this was useful to you for creating icons, but it seems like a better option to tag custom content instead of game content. Why add an additional file that is, as you say, 600mb to the game?
I agree about WA and HELS stuff, but if I tried to do thumbnails for all the unmarked custom content I download I wouldn't have time for anything else. That's why I only marked base game content so I know anything with no mark is custom.
I took a few months off of the sims to get my wifes garden in.
The idea in tagging absolutely everything is partially for style continuity, but also to make sure I 100% know where everything is coming from. I find it easier to make sure everything has my S3 icon on it as i am using it, rather than risking unmarked custom content. As far as making them work, the shortest path to making them work for me was deleting all my cache files. I have re-installed windows and the sims sense i was last working on this, so i will be able to test my environment a little more throughly. I am also looking for my notes on what each resource was labeled.
The only thing unmarked by an icon in game is base and cc, unless you get the new patch. The new patch now changes your install location of cc and adds a cc icon to any package in that folder. So really there isn't a need to mark anything since now if it's unmarked its base game stuff, unless you want a personalized mark on cc.
The icon the game adds is the same as the one for EAstore downloaded content. So my question would be, is it possible to alter the icon added by the game for cc ?
Is that thumb resource stored somewhere and can it be customized/replaced with the tools we have ? I'd be very interested in being able to do that.