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Author Topic: Car tutorial / not finished but alot info ;)  (Read 44044 times)
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BlooM
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« on: September 24, 2009, 06:47:30 am »

I wrote this a long time ago because there is not a tutorial from the ground up.
The tut's i have seen are missing alot info.

However, i was far from finished....but decided to upload it anyway.


I decided to make this Tutorial in chapters because its time consuming.
I will try to explain how to get a custom car working in the sims2.

At first, this is wat you will need before we even are going to start:
*simpe:
http://sims.ambertation.de/en/download/realdownload/
Also make sure that you install the 2 proggy's Simpe needs!!
*Microsoft.net Framework:
http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/details.aspx?familyid=0856eacb-4362-4b0d-8edd-aab15c5e04f5&displaylang=en
*Direct x 9.0C:
Also install DDS Utilities from Nvidia and link Simpe to it in its preferences.
http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/details.aspx?familyid=2da43d38-db71-4c1b-bc6a-9b6652cd92a3&displaylang=en
*Milkshape:
http://chumbalum.swissquake.ch/
*Milkshape plugins by Wes H:
http://www.modthesims.info/showthread.php?t=122399
I have no experience with other 3d programs, i do have zmodeler/Blender and Poser but only use these to convert 3d models to other formats.
*Photoshop or a similar program to edit or make new textures


And another important thing.......The custom car 3d model.
When looking for a custom car model:

--make sure the model is in a format that you can import into Milkshape like a obj, 3ds or lightwave file(there are more but these are the ones i use)
So before you start check if you can import the desired 3d model into Milkshape.
When the model shows up:
-Look if the doors are seperated from the mesh and even more important if those doors are completly build with a inside/sides and bottom.
Do not use a model that doesn't have complete doors(for beginners that is!!)
-Use a model that doesn't have to many polygons, i personal dont use models that exceeds the 20.000 polygons as they give trouble on heavier lots/garages with 10 of those cars etc etc.
That doesn't mean a 30.000 polygon or higher will work, it definatly will on smaller lots and such.
-Also look if the model is build in a way that understand the parts, in other words:
Dont use a car with 40 to 60 carparts, keep it simple(for now) Look if the body is one part, the chrome one part, the doors seperated, windows seperated and that the details(interieur,seats/lights) are seperated.
-Important!!!!
There are hundreds of free meshes arround but unfortunatly arround 80% of those meshes are build very bad.
So if you finally found a decent mesh, check it first for errors
*alot 3d models i have seen had reversed faces(the triangles faced insideout) and altho this is fixable it will take you a huge ammount of time.
another fix for this is to texture both the inside and outside of the car but this can cause some lag ingame(we use this method only for the windows)



Chapter 1, clone a excisting car

The first thing we are going to do is to clone a excisting Maxis car that we can use for our own custom project:

*Open Simpe
*Start object workshop(this will take a while before all files are loaded)
*Open General/Cars
*Pick a car
This is important, you need to pick one of the five maxis cars that comes close to your mesh!!!!
-the lenght of the car isn't that important but the width is!!!
-choose the height that comes close to your 3d model
-Pick either a four or two seater, dont use a four seater on a sportscar unless it has backdoors Wink

*When you picked a car click next.(sometimes, (depending wat screenresulotion you using) the next button isn't visible, then pull up the object workshop window a little)
On the next tab you have some options, i always tick all the boxes except the''reference original mesh''
*choose clone(not recolor)
*click next
*On this tab you can change the description/prize etc etc, change this to your liking
*click finish(Simpe will now get all the files and make a new package, this will take a sec.)
*A popup will appear, change the name of the package to your name, part of the cars name or watver you like and click update
*Tick the university ready box when it is there(bottom popup window)
*click ok
* a second popup will allow you to save the package, save it somewhere in your downloadfolder!
Give it a proper name so you always know wat car it is/who made it etc etc.
* If you did it all correct your now viewing the complete carpackage with all its files in Simpe.
One important thing:
This package is build from all the game files wich means that it will overwrite the car i cloned it from, we have to give it a new Guide to make sure it works as a standalone custom object.
*Click Object Data in the left windwon(resource tree)
*Click it again in the right window(resource list)
*Click plugin view
Your now viewing the Object data editor were you can change the Guide for the car
*Click Get Guide
A popup appears, its smart you register with Simpe so you get your own personal ID wich is very easy to use on future Objects/projects.
*If you have registred click Register Object
*The guide will automaticly change in your personal one
*Tick the box ''update all MT's''
*click Update
*click commit
*Save your File

You now have made a standalone package with its own guide that you can use for your own custom car





Chapter 2, The Mesh/es and UVmapping


This is prolly the hardest part of it all, making the mesh ready to use for sims2
I am assuming you have a mesh that you can import into milkshape and that this mesh has its complete doors seperated!!
We first have to split/join all those groups in 8 new understandeble groups:
*The windows(front/rear/left/right)
*The chrome, all parts that you want chrome and reflective ingame(bumpers/handles/rims/moldings, you name it)
*The surface wich is the body and is reflective ingame.
*The matte, the chassis/some bodyparts/interieur/cockpit etc that have matte look ingame)
*The headlights, the glass of the headlights

The windows,(and your first uvmapping practice)
Speaks for itself, find them and give them a correct name so you can find them back easy and know wat it is Wink
Some 3d models have a inside mirror or door mirrors(Glass, not the frame) you can name those like the windows if you like.
all will look like this:
Wfront
Wrear
Wright
Wleft
Winsidemirror
Wdoormirror

Now the most difficult part(in my opinion) UVmappin your parts
You want every part to be textured ingame right? So you have to fold out the mesh parts on the uvmap so you be able to texture them.
If you do not uvmap your parts that part will get assigned to exactly one pixel wich is ok for solid colored parts like the body or windows and also the chrome will work that way.
But if you are also going to use the reflection i strongly recomment to uvmap all your parts as they will look much better ingame.

Uvmapping

*Select everything
*hide everything
*bring up the Wfront
*select it
You will see something like this:

*assigne a material to it
-click the material tab
-click new
-click none
-a popup will appear, surf to the file i incluced(templatecheckpattern1024x512) and open it
-click assigne
Now right click in your main 3d window and choose textured(make sure colored groups is unchecked.)
You will see something like this:

If it turns out black or as a dark solid color it means the part isn't uvmapped so you have to do it yourself:
Make sure the Wfornt is selected and assigned to a material(like we just did)

*Open your texture coordinate editor(windows tab)
*Look up the Wfront in the first box
*choose front in the second box
*click region
*Draw a big rectangular on the map
*choose remap
If you did it ok you will now see the front window folded out on the uvmap.
close the editor and look in your 3d window, your window should now have the pattern of the uvmap drawn on to it.


Try to map all the other windows yourself using the same method.
The only diffrence is the direction option you choose in the texture coordinate editor when mapping the other windows.
So if you have to map the left window you choose Wleft in the first box and left in the second box.
I am aware(before i get some comment on this) that if you want to uvmap the windows perfect you have to rotate the window itself first so that it stands up straight and then uvmap it.(and when done you rotate it back.)
But in this case its not that important(unless you want to see the sims reflection in the car windows, but maybe i write that down in a advanched tut lol.) Wink
The windows will work fine this way, even without uvmapping.

When you have done all the windows, you will see something like this:


















« Last Edit: September 24, 2009, 08:37:22 am by BlooM » Logged

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cylais
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« Reply #1 on: March 08, 2010, 01:57:38 pm »

I'm wondering about the separated doors. I have two complete doors exterior interior sides and glass all separated and they fit well. What I'm wondering is do I delete the faces from the surface where the doors would go?
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BlooM
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« Reply #2 on: March 08, 2010, 07:33:34 pm »

I am not sure i understand wat your asking, srry.
But the body and doors should be build the same way as a real car so if you would select one door and pull it out completly you will leave a hole just like in real life Cheesy
When you assigne diffrent bones to both doors and body they will be able to animate independent.
I usual scale the door a bit smaller to make it more realistic, but that is up to you.

Import a maxis car and go to the bones tab and select the door bones.
All verts will light up and you be able to pull the door out with the move command.
You then have the idea on how to build yours.
Hope this makes sence Smiley
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cylais
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« Reply #3 on: March 09, 2010, 03:34:52 am »

Well what I was saying was the original surface had the doors included and then the mesh had fully built separate doors as well. I ended up cutting out the door on the surface layer and then fitting the separate doors in that space. I think I may have screwed up by regrouping them again. I'll probably have to do that over. Yawn! I've been burning the midnight oil on this. This is what I've got so far.




Getting there. UV mapping and textures next if I don't have to do the doors over that is.
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BlooM
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« Reply #4 on: March 09, 2010, 04:48:13 am »

Looking good! Smiley

When you are at the point of uvmapping:
*It doesn't matter how you remap the glass or chrome, just map it.
No need to fit it on a texture file and such
*Map one rim and one tire and copy it then for the other wheels.
Mapping the tire is a pain, look how it is mapped now and you might can move/scale it to fit a existing tireprofile texture.
*the body doesn't need specific mapping either unless you want stripes and such on it.
*Use already mapped seatmeshes from a maxis car to save yourself some work.

The material settings have a option to texture meshparts on both sides, no need to copy the glass and reverse the faces.
You could use one of my meshes as base, those often have modded meshnames and extra groups for the chrome.
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cylais
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« Reply #5 on: March 10, 2010, 09:33:42 pm »

Well I got the model looking pretty good. I managed to set the bones too. (I think) But UV mapping is proving to be better than I. I get the glass and the lights ok but when I get to the rest I'm lost. I've got the tires and the interior grouped together, the chrome is grouped together, the lights are grouped together and the surface makes up the last group. I see what you mean when you say that UV mapping is the hardest part of this whole process.
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BlooM
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« Reply #6 on: March 10, 2010, 10:24:50 pm »

I often make my texture file first(or make both at the same time) and import it in Milkshape.
The i move the parts till they fit the textures.
The meshgroups are not that important as there is a possibility to add more to the file.
The thunderbird i once did has a few more meshgroups as planned.

But im afriad there is more to come Wink
You need to fix the skeleton when your satisfied with the car, in the meshfile but also in the cres file of the car your going to clone.
dont be afraid to ask, i love making cars for the sims Smiley
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cylais
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« Reply #7 on: March 11, 2010, 12:34:39 am »

Well I'd be happy to pass it on to you if you want to work on it. I don't think it will ever get done if I keep fumbling around. Send me an email and I'll YOUSEND the model file back to you I've got the textures from the conversion too. WOuld you please make this Mustang for me?
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sunni9676
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« Reply #8 on: March 11, 2010, 04:24:55 am »

Hi Bloom!

Does your tutorial apply to making NPC replacement vehicles too? The reason I asked is because Hexameter did a series of NPC carriages for themed neighborhoods (as seen here: http://www.modthesims.info/member.php?u=75890).

But several important NPC vehicles were neglected: Police, Fire, Repoman, Exterminator and Delivery. I tried to use his carriages to complete the set, but I just don't know enough about changing meshes, etc. on an object - I usually just do recolors. I cloned the Repotruck and then attempted to insert the carriage mesh/texture but leave the rest alone. The result was that the truck was invisible, the repoman just floated there and never got out of his vehicle, lol. Clearly Im in over my head.

Any advice or help on this project?

Thanks!
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BlooM
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« Reply #9 on: March 11, 2010, 09:25:13 am »

Well I'd be happy to pass it on to you if you want to work on it. I don't think it will ever get done if I keep fumbling around. Send me an email and I'll YOUSEND the model file back to you I've got the textures from the conversion too. WOuld you please make this Mustang for me?

You can send the files(all) to info@bloomsbase.net
Not promising anything, need to see wat needs to be done.


Hi Bloom!

Does your tutorial apply to making NPC replacement vehicles too? The reason I asked is because Hexameter did a series of NPC carriages for themed neighborhoods (as seen here: http://www.modthesims.info/member.php?u=75890).

But several important NPC vehicles were neglected: Police, Fire, Repoman, Exterminator and Delivery. I tried to use his carriages to complete the set, but I just don't know enough about changing meshes, etc. on an object - I usually just do recolors. I cloned the Repotruck and then attempted to insert the carriage mesh/texture but leave the rest alone. The result was that the truck was invisible, the repoman just floated there and never got out of his vehicle, lol. Clearly Im in over my head.

Any advice or help on this project?

Thanks!

It works the same as with normal cars
You clone the default car you want to replace and change indeed its mesh and textures.
Wat you prolly forgot is to check the names of the meshgroups, thos you prolly need to change in the ones the original car used.
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cylais
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« Reply #10 on: March 11, 2010, 09:46:31 pm »

Sorry I was feeling alittle frustrated but I'm not quite ready to give up yet. I can be such a wus sometimes. I managed to get the UV maps of the original model but they don't fit with the regroups I've got going so I'm starting over (ARRRGH!) from the beginning. Should be easier this time though since I understand the files better now. I'll still send the files but I'll delete the damages first and get the doors out of the middle of the model. Yeah I know you probably have no idea what I'm talking about so I'll send you the original too just for sh**s and grins.
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cylais
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« Reply #11 on: March 15, 2010, 10:22:24 pm »

OK. So I started over and got all the parts textured as you can see.



But I've got a couple of questions.

I'm wondering how to go about copying the wheel so I can have 4 wheels. I tried duplicating and mirroring but the textures got mixed up somehow.

The other question is about the windows. Now you see them...



Now you don't.



It seems that the texture that is on the windows shows up on the carpet inside. There is a matte under the windows that I thought was there to catch that vanishing texture but it doesn't seem to be working.



Any ideas? Thanks in advance.
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cylais
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« Reply #12 on: March 16, 2010, 04:42:40 pm »

I got the wheels acting right. I duplicated them by group and mirrored them left to right. I made sure the texture was right and I had to move them a bit to make them fit where they were supposed to be. I selected both sides, duplicated again and mirrored front to back then moved them back into the proper position. So the wheels are now in place but the windows still aren't acting right. Maybe it's a comment thing? 
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BlooM
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« Reply #13 on: March 16, 2010, 08:10:41 pm »

strange, cant remember i had something similar.
But if you already have set the comments try changing the opacity.
Glass is set to 0 while all other are -1 if i remember correct.
But i shouldn't worry about it anyway, glass is normally not done by texturing.
Hmm, if you want to keep the matte edges you should assigne a texture to the glass instead of the game settings.
using
The car is looking pretty cool!!

dont regroup the wheels with other parts before you assigned boneassignements to them.
Regroup as less as possible so its easier to update parts if needed.
If the wheels are going to be part of the interior textures then dont regroup them but name them the same.
Do this also with the doors and other parts, just name parts that belong together the same. Wink
« Last Edit: March 16, 2010, 08:41:53 pm by BlooM » Logged

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BlooM
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« Reply #14 on: March 16, 2010, 08:38:08 pm »

Lol, i was looking and found a few unfinished projects.
Check em out if you like http://www.megaupload.com/?d=1YTY0LYI
I have tons of unfinished stuff...
If your done ill have a little present for ya Wink

If you cant figure it out send it to info@bloomsbase.net
And ill have a quick look
« Last Edit: March 16, 2010, 08:43:44 pm by BlooM » Logged

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