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angelyne
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Creating default skin replacement - simplified method.
« on: 2006 February 05, 18:57:59 »
THANKS THIS IS GREAT

Creating default skin replacement - simplified method.


Credits:  Many thanks to Sleepycat who patiently walked me through this method every step of the way.  I take no credit for this, as all I have done is write out the steps, in an hopefully clear and easy-to-follow way.

Tools required


SimPe
http://sims.ambertation.de/en/download/realdownload/

NVIDIA DDS Utilities
http://developer.nvidia.com/object/nv_texture_tools.html

Body Shop

A graphic program that allows you to save files using the png format, preferably one that will allow you to do batch conversion
I use Paint Shop Pro : http://www.corel.com/

An existing default skin replacement and the skin you wish to turn into a default.
You should find plenty of choice here : http://www.modthesims2.com/download.php?f=346


Preparation :

  • Obtain all the necessary software and files as indicated above. Don't forget the NVIDIA DDS Utilities
  • In SimPE Preferences enter the path of the Nvidia DDS Tool folder.  The default is C:\Program Files\NVIDIA Corporation\NVIDIA DDS Utilities. 
  • Put the file you wish to turn into a default replacement skin into your download folder. 
  • Create a new folder somewhere and name it something like PNG

Step one : Extracting the textures from your skin.

Launch Bodyshop, Create Parts, Start New Project, Create Genetics, Skin Tone.  Select the skin tone you want to turn into a default replacement.   Click on export selected textures.  Wait till the export process is done.  You can now cancel the project as it's no longer required.  Close Body Shop. 

You will find that Body Shop has created a new project folder in your data folder.  There you will find a whole slew of  bmp files.

Step two : Converting the texture files from bmp to png.

This step will be different for every graphic program.  What you want to do is convert each of the bmp file that was created in the previous step into a png file.  There are a lot of files, which is why a software that allows batch conversions is recommended!.  If you don't have that, you will have to open each file, one by one, and use the "save as" feature to save them with the PNG extension  Don't change the file names.  Put the new files in PNG folder you created earlier. 

This step is necessary to reduce the size of your default replacement skin.  By converting the bmp files to png, you are compressing them ~10:1.  If you skip this step your default replacement skin will be around 50 MB instead of the more usual 5MB

Step three : Importing the new textures

Now that you have your replacement textures, you are ready to begin the real work of creating your default skin replacement.
With SimPE open the default skin replacement file that will be the "host" for your new texture files.  In the right pane, under type, you should see a whole bunch of line beginning with Texture Image... Resize the column so that you can read the entire name of the file.  Click on Type to alphabetize the list.

Click on the first line.  It will show you an image.  That's the texture you need to replace with your own. You will need to do this for every single line.

Right click on the image.  Select Build DXT.  Click open Image ...Browse to your PNG folder.  Select the appropriate file and click on Build.  Commit the change.  Move on to the next line.  Rinse and repeat.

Now your next question will be.  Which file goes with which.  As you will quickly realize the naming convention isn't quite the same, but similar enough to be familiar.  The attached chart should help you.  Don't be surprised if not all the files you created are used.   Once you have finished importing all the files, save your work and you are done !. 



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« Last Edit: 2006 April 05, 16:11:15 by angelyne » Logged
Sleepycat
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Re: Creating default skin replacement - simplified method.
« Reply #1 on: 2006 February 05, 20:52:37 »
THANKS THIS IS GREAT

you did a great job writing this up!

I love the chart, it will help alot of people I believe!
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Syera
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Re: Creating default skin replacement - simplified method.
« Reply #2 on: 2006 February 10, 17:21:58 »
THANKS THIS IS GREAT

Now, I was under the impression that SimPe had a feature as of late that would automatically allow you to set any custom skintone to replace any default skin of your choice.  Was I mistaken?
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Sleepycat
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Re: Creating default skin replacement - simplified method.
« Reply #3 on: 2006 February 10, 20:14:56 »
THANKS THIS IS GREAT

the simpe "shortcut" for making default skins, makes default files that require the original file to be left in or it dosen't work  Sad 


This method makes default files that don't require the original file.
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angelyne
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Re: Creating default skin replacement - simplified method.
« Reply #4 on: 2006 February 10, 20:38:22 »
THANKS THIS IS GREAT

And I had weird results with it.  I replaced a zombie skin and when I went into the game, I noticed one of my sim kids had a green fringe around his hairline.  When I clicked on change appearance, all the hair choices had the zombie skin tone.  If I clicked on a hair style, my sim would get a zombie face.  It was very strange.  I shut down the game without saving and deleted the zombie replacement skin and the problem was fixed.

And I tried a different replacement and my sim had a weird, low-resolution face with some bits of texture missing on the head.  It was very bizarre.

So I redid the default replacement and they seemed to stick that time, but results were flaky for me.  And if you look at the file the SimPE process creates, it's not a regular skin file, it's much smaller or bigger. ( I can't remember)

So I just went with the tested and true method.  It's pretty quick once you get the hang of it.  And you can share the file without worrying about weird results.
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jrd
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Re: Creating default skin replacement - simplified method.
« Reply #5 on: 2006 February 12, 19:40:58 »
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Thanks for this. I use Irfanview's batch converter, works like a charm. Hopefully this method works better than the quirky SimPE "shortcut" method!
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angelyne
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Re: Creating default skin replacement - simplified method.
« Reply #6 on: 2006 February 12, 19:51:19 »
THANKS THIS IS GREAT

Garanteed to work or your money back Smiley

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Sleepycat
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Re: Creating default skin replacement - simplified method.
« Reply #7 on: 2006 February 12, 19:57:45 »
THANKS THIS IS GREAT

It works much better Jordi

and this method works for just about anything that deals with textures (inculding clothes but that only matters if you want to change clothes files that override maxis stuff)
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Re: Creating default skin replacement - simplified method.
« Reply #8 on: 2006 February 12, 21:49:06 »
THANKS THIS IS GREAT

Works great! One floating head in my 'hoods, but no further issues.
« Last Edit: 2006 February 19, 00:02:15 by Jordi » Logged
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Re: Creating default skin replacement - simplified method.
« Reply #9 on: 2006 February 18, 23:46:53 »
THANKS THIS IS GREAT

I am having an issue when I try to right click on the image and select Build DXT.  The option to Build DXT is grayed out no matter what file I try.  I have opened up numerous ones and it is always grayed out.

Any ideas on what the problem may be?

Thanks much.
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Sleepycat
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Re: Creating default skin replacement - simplified method.
« Reply #10 on: 2006 February 18, 23:52:03 »
THANKS THIS IS GREAT

Did you download and install the DXT files and point Simpe to where they are on your computer?
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Re: Creating default skin replacement - simplified method.
« Reply #11 on: 2006 February 19, 00:00:01 »
THANKS THIS IS GREAT

Did you download and install the DXT files and point Simpe to where they are on your computer?

You know what?  I need to have my lips ripped off right about now. I cannot believe what a moron I am for not paying better attention to the directions.  I totally neglected to download them.

Thank you for not pointing and laughing at me...actually feel free to point and laugh.  I definitely deserve it.   Grin

Thanks for such a quick response.  It's much appreciated.
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Sleepycat
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Re: Creating default skin replacement - simplified method.
« Reply #12 on: 2006 February 19, 00:04:08 »
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*giggles* your welcome  Smiley
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angelyne
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Re: Creating default skin replacement - simplified method.
« Reply #13 on: 2006 February 19, 23:54:06 »
THANKS THIS IS GREAT

I edited the tutorial to make it a little less easy to skip this step.  All comments are valuable Smiley
« Last Edit: 2006 February 20, 01:03:14 by angelyne » Logged
Tgdrysix
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Re: Creating default skin replacement - simplified method.
« Reply #14 on: 2006 February 25, 22:52:58 »
THANKS THIS IS GREAT

I'm having issues with downloading the free trial verson of the paint pro program.... any others which work the same that are less fussy to download Embarrassed Undecided....?  thanks, tgdrysix
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angelyne
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Re: Creating default skin replacement - simplified method.
« Reply #15 on: 2006 February 25, 23:24:04 »
THANKS THIS IS GREAT

Bunch of there here : http://www.tucows.com/Windows/DesignTools/Image/ImageEditors/

You can also try downloading paint pro from the same site : http://www.tucows.com/preview/194869
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angelyne
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Re: Creating default skin replacement - simplified method.
« Reply #16 on: 2006 February 26, 18:47:00 »
THANKS THIS IS GREAT

I found a small shareware that seems to do batch conversions.  http://www.batchconverter.com/download.shtml.  If you go into file, batch mode, you can select a whole bunch of files and convert them to PNG.



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Tgdrysix
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Re: Creating default skin replacement - simplified method.
« Reply #17 on: 2006 February 26, 20:00:35 »
THANKS THIS IS GREAT

I found a small shareware that seems to do batch conversions.  http://www.batchconverter.com/download.shtml.  If you go into file, batch mode, you can select a whole bunch of files and convert them to PNG.





Okay that one seemed to work.....will give it a go.....keeping fingers crossed and everything else.... Smiley tgdrysix
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Tgdrysix
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Re: Creating default skin replacement - simplified method.
« Reply #18 on: 2006 February 26, 20:08:44 »
THANKS THIS IS GREAT

Put the file you wish to turn into a default replacement skin into your download folder....I'm unclear on this step....by skin do you mean just the skin tone or the whole sim....I have the alien pt sitting on my desktop that I exported from bodyshop with all the cc that I want him to have ( it's the one I want to use as my default replacement)....would I use that and just move the whole sim to my downloads folder?  Sorry to be such a pain but I've never done quite this extensive stuff before.....thanks so much for your patience....tgdrysix
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angelyne
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Re: Creating default skin replacement - simplified method.
« Reply #19 on: 2006 February 26, 20:34:24 »
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let's backtrack a little.  This tutorial is to produce a default replacement skin.  Not a default PT.  Is that what you are trying to do?
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Tgdrysix
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Re: Creating default skin replacement - simplified method.
« Reply #20 on: 2006 February 26, 21:32:49 »
THANKS THIS IS GREAT

let's backtrack a little.  This tutorial is to produce a default replacement skin.  Not a default PT.  Is that what you are trying to do?

Yes that's what I'm trying to do....A replacement PT....not just the skin....sorry for the confusion....maybe that's why I'm having trouble? Embarrassed Undecided Huh....tgdrysix
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angelyne
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Re: Creating default skin replacement - simplified method.
« Reply #21 on: 2006 February 26, 22:31:05 »
THANKS THIS IS GREAT

Well that would make my instructions somewhat less clear  Tongue

Actually the process for creating (your own) replacement PT is much simpler. 

1) Get an existing replacement PT.  You can find one at http://laverwinklesims.com/index.php?topic=17.0. (He's a pretty handsome fellow, if you want to stick with him).  There are 3 files there.  One is the default alien skin; the other is the default alien eyes and lastly, the default PT.  Note that all 3 files are independent and control one aspect of your alien.  You do not need to install them all, but can pick and choose.  The default alien skin controls the color of your alien. If you download the default skin, then your aliens will be purple.  If you don't they will stay Maxis green.  If you want a different default color for your aliens, you can download any number of those default alien skins from MT2.  If you want you make your own, this is where the above procedure comes in. 

In this same way, the default alien eyes control the eye color of your aliens.  If you download and install the file, your aliens will have purple eyes, if you don't they will keep their Maxis eyes, or again, you can choose any of the available default alien eyes on MT2.

 Lastly, and this is the one you are interested in,  the last file controls the facial structure that is passed on to your alien babies.  If you download and install the file, your alien children have a chance of looking somewhat like the PT above.


2) Let's say you want to go one step further and have your own home-grown PT, you can also do that.  Download the file defaultPollinationTech.zip and open it with SimpPE.  You will see a line called facial stucture.  This is the line you will replace with a similar one extracted from the character, that you want to use as a PT.

Look at the excellent procedure here : http://www.modthesims2.com/showthread.php?t=56241

It shows you how to correct genetics after sims surgery. (you might even try to follow the procedure exactly as shown on a sims  on which you have done sim surgery).   The procedure for creating your own PT is exactly the same.  The only difference is instead of extracting the facial structure of the bottom line and replacing the top line with it, you extract the facial structure of the sim you want as a PT and replace it in DefaultPollinationTechnician file.

Hopefully this is sort of clear.  lol
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Tgdrysix
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Re: Creating default skin replacement - simplified method.
« Reply #22 on: 2006 February 27, 02:57:49 »
THANKS THIS IS GREAT

2) Let's say you want to go one step further and have your own home-grown PT, you can also do that.  Download the file defaultPollinationTech.zip and open it with SimpPE.  You will see a line called facial stucture.  This is the line you will replace with a similar one extracted from the character, that you want to use as a PT.

Look at the excellent procedure here : http://www.modthesims2.com/showthread.php?t=56241

It shows you how to correct genetics after sims surgery. (you might even try to follow the procedure exactly as shown on a sims  on which you have done sim surgery).   The procedure for creating your own PT is exactly the same.  The only difference is instead of extracting the facial structure of the bottom line and replacing the top line with it, you extract the facial structure of the sim you want as a PT and replace it in DefaultPollinationTechnician file.

Hopefully this is sort of clear.  lol


As clear as it will ever be for me ....lol....anyway I've downloaded the default pt from laverwinklesims and will try the extracting the facial structure and then maybe I can get the skintone next....I'm assuming I should do that first? or does it matter? cause I only want the pt to have a certain default skintone...and while I'm bothering you again....is there any tuitorials on sim surgery? I haven't quite figured out how to use that part of simpe....yet...anyway thanks again.....Tgdrysix
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Re: Creating default skin replacement - simplified method.
« Reply #23 on: 2006 February 27, 03:13:13 »
THANKS THIS IS GREAT

It dosen't matter what color skintone or hair color  your PT has, it will use only the default Maxis alien skintone, unless you also have a default alien skintone replacement file.
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Tgdrysix
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Re: Creating default skin replacement - simplified method.
« Reply #24 on: 2006 February 27, 13:45:53 »
THANKS THIS IS GREAT

It dosen't matter what color skintone or hair color  your PT has, it will use only the default Maxis alien skintone, unless you also have a default alien skintone replacement file.

Well I think I'm about to abandon ship on this project...for now anyway....at least till I figure out what the heck I'm doing....what I actually wanted to do is both.....a replacement pt with a replacement skintone....I think that's were the confusion came in....so I just downloaded the replacement from laverwinklesims for now and see what my babies look like and go from there.....I have a few waiting to be born....aliens that is...thanks so much for your help....

angelyne....where do I find...in simpe the DefaultPollinationTechnician file....would this be the orginal one or the one I downloaded from laverwrinklesims ( cause that one isn't showing up or at least a pic of him isn't showing up...and I just downloaded the pt not the skin or eyes)....I think I'm just not up to doing this cause the more I attempt this the more question I have and the more question I have the more complicated it seems to get for me....anyway thanks for all your wonderful help and time you spent....trying to get this to make sense to me....I really appreciate that.....so sorry to just not be able to get with this program Embarrassed Undecided
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