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Guidelines/Rubrics Changes - posted on 16th Jun 2017 at 6:09 PM
Replies: 14 (Who?), Viewed: 1820 times.
Test Subject
Original Poster
#1 Old 16th May 2017 at 10:41 AM Last edited by _Anora_ : 19th May 2017 at 6:20 AM.
Default I call it the "Wrought Pillar Fence"
Wrought Pillar Fence



This is my first attempt at object creation for ts3. I wanted a fence that would fit with my town's park. It needed to be something tall, but open. I didn't want it to shut everything out. I just wanted a superficial barrier. This is sized to the concrete privacy fence in the game. The bars are wrought iron, and the posts are brick and sandstone. I'm open to opinions and advice. Thanks in advance!
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Inventor
#2 Old 17th May 2017 at 6:19 AM
I really like it - especially the pattern of the wrought iron bars! I do wonder about the bricks on the top portion though. I don't think they could actually be constructed that way. Maybe leave the bricks on the tops of the posts and use more wrought iron or sandstone for the top portion. Or, you could consider wood. Great start!
Space Pony
#3 Old 17th May 2017 at 7:09 AM
The multiplier looks flat. Might want to adjust the AO settings when baking.

The iron bars are in groups of three in the straight portion, whereas the diagonal portion is a single group of five bars, making the two portions look mismatched. For a more unified appearance, consider grouping the iron bars in threes as well on the diagonal or making adjustments to the straight portion.

For added realism, consider the purpose and actual function of such a fence in real life. I assume from your OP that the goal is to have a tall fence that doesn't obstruct the view beyond or into the park. But you probably still want to shut out people. As it is, the gaps between the iron bar triplets are large enough to permit a sim to pass through. Of course, the sims will be kept out in-game because of how routing works with regard to fences, regardless of the actual geometry of the fence mesh, but people would be able to slip through in real life, so a real fence would most likely not be built quite this way. Players pick up this kind of discrepancies subconsciously and this affects how realistic an environment feels even if it's sometimes difficult to articulate.

Hope this helps.

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Test Subject
Original Poster
#4 Old 17th May 2017 at 7:30 AM
Thanks. That's a good point about the bricks. I'll need to think about that. I've decided to go with a different kind of aesthetic. The one above was my first attempt, and there's just something about the mesh that bugs me (probably the brick on top - lol). So, I was looking around online for inspiration, and I found this photo:



I love the darker tones. So, I found some textures, tweaked them a bit, and recolored one of the low brick mortar fences to see what I could come up with. This is the result:



As you can see, the texture doesn't lay quite right. But, anyway, I thought I'd take those colors along with the wrought iron texture, and make two more fences. I thought a slightly taller one as a border for trees and shrubs and the like, and one about door height. I'm meshing the border fence at the moment using the picture and the lines of the low fence above as inspiration. I'll post pictures of the result.
Screenshots
Test Subject
Original Poster
#5 Old 17th May 2017 at 7:41 AM
@Butterbot - I'm still new at this. When you say the texture looks flat, I agree. I'd like to get a normal map on my texture to add the depth, but I'm not sure how to do that at this point. I generated one with Photoshop last night, but then I realized I had no idea what to do with it. In Unreal Engine, I'd open the material blueprint and plug it in. I wish I could do that with TSR.
Space Pony
#6 Old 17th May 2017 at 8:25 AM Last edited by Butterbot : 17th May 2017 at 10:39 AM. Reason: Typo
AFAIK, normal maps are not supported for most objects for TS3. Exceptions include walls and CAS parts, and some world objects (don't quote me on this...) To my knowledge, normal maps are not used for fences, but I haven't worked with fences much and so might be wrong about this. Hopefully, someone more knowledgeable about fences will chime in. Regardless of bump mapping, if you observe EA's multipliers, they tend to have some subtle AO baked in, including from the ground plane, so that might be useful to emulate.

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Test Subject
Original Poster
#7 Old 17th May 2017 at 8:51 AM
@Butterbot - Now I feel silly. I always just painted in shadows on my objects for sims with photoshop like the low fence above. Which I obviously didn't do with the first fence as you can see. I tried with the second one. It didn't turn out quite right. You can see how the brick and the concrete both look just out of focus. I've since realized I manipulated my texture too much trying to fit the maxi's texture map as the shrubbery skirt fence I'm meshing right now (based on that low fence) is rendering the textures with much more clarity (at least in 3ds - that could always go sideways once I import back to tsrw).
Space Pony
#8 Old 17th May 2017 at 9:22 AM
The multiplier can be painted by hand as well, of course. But since you know how to wrangle 3DS, why not let it do the work?

Baking AO shouldn't lead to blurred textures. In my experience, that usually happens when MaskWidth/Maskheight entries do not match the images sizes (see http://www.modthesims.info/showthread.php?t=374335 for more details). These can be edited in S3PE if they're indeed the problem (barring issues with the UV map, etc).

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Test Subject
Original Poster
#9 Old 17th May 2017 at 9:34 AM
@Butterbot - I'm not quite so experienced with 3ds as that. lol I'm two months in with it. I've learned a lot about meshing techniques and mapping uvs, but I have never baked a texture. The shadows on the low fence are just a photoshop darken with a gaussian blur over a flat texture. I'm finding that applying what I've learned with UE4, it's the meshing and uv-mapping that translate well (with some caveats). Applying textures is handled quite differently. I'm doing a LOT of googling. lol
Space Pony
#10 Old 17th May 2017 at 10:44 AM
Can't help with baking in 3DS since I use Blender, but this is what made me understand how textures work in TS3: http://simswiki.info/wiki.php?title=Sims_3:0x00B2D882

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Test Subject
Original Poster
#11 Old 19th May 2017 at 6:51 AM
Default Update!
I finished this just a little while ago. It's the second size to what I'm planning to make as a 4-piece set here. The blue fairytale fence (shown in the comparison photo) has always been too short for me as a skirt for trees and such, but a regular fence is too tall. And I had a specific shape in mind anyway, thus I decided to tackle fence-meshing (aka. banging my head against a brick wall). This is the result. Again, I am open to thoughts and critiques from any and all.

Screenshots
Theorist
#12 Old 19th May 2017 at 3:21 PM
I don't want to be the one to break it, but Flabaliki already made a wrought Iron fence almost exactly like this one: http://www.modthesims.info/download.php?t=374380

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Test Subject
Original Poster
#13 Old 19th May 2017 at 8:16 PM Last edited by _Anora_ : 19th May 2017 at 8:43 PM.
@Johnny_Bravo Yep. I actually ran across that one early yesterday, and was struck by the glaring similarities. Then I decided to plunge ahead. There are two more fences I plan to make besides the two that are done (and they are not similar to his in design). I'd like the third fence to pick up on the bottom of this one, but be without the wrought iron bars (I want them for this one since shrubbery skirts look very nice with wrought iron). The fourth will again have the wrought iron and be the tallest in design (I'm waffling between privacy fence height and full height floor to ceiling). It's design will retain the base of the fourth and the bars of this one, and will essentially look alot like the real-world fence in the photo above (without the awful pillar caps, thank goodness).
Inventor
#14 Old 21st May 2017 at 2:17 AM
Looks good! As far as realism, if that is a concern, I think you might want to widen the bricks a bit and/or put more space between the balusters as the balusters would probably be placed in the mortar in between bricks (either the vertical mortar or the horizontal mortar). However, I know little or nothing about masonry so might be completely wrong. Great job!
Test Subject
Original Poster
#15 Old 21st May 2017 at 5:18 AM
@simmyRN - Thank you! This is my first attempt at changing the shape of game objects and messing with their meshes, and I tried hard to get it exactly the way I envisioned. I actually never even thought about the placement of the balusters over the bricking, but I've done some looking, and they seem to just drill straight into the bricks themselves to insert the balusters. I never even noticed that! There are so many little details. The third height fence won't have any balusters at all actually, so that won't be an issue with that one. It'll be the height of that stone fence in the comparison photo, and I've decided to do a very simple design on the concrete where the balusters would normally be. I want a sense of cohesion to all the fences, but I don't want them to be mere copies, if that makes any sense. I should have a basic shape to show sometime tomorrow or the day after without the design. The basic shape is really just a matter of copying and elongating some parts and doing a new uv map. The stencil on the texture will probably drive me crazy, though. We'll see what happens!
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