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Author Topic: How to Manage Custom Sized Clothing  (Read 11318 times)
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Sophie-David
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« on: June 18, 2007, 12:06:33 am »

Introduction

I initially installed portions of Warlokk's first Bodyshape series soon after it came out. But I found myself frustrated in using it because when buying new clothing from a shop it was quite difficult to find and correctly match up custom sizes, resulting in Sims filling their wardrobes with ill-chosen clothing. So I uninstalled the various Bodyshapes and left it at that.

But in recent months the named Bodyshapes began to be released. I downloaded the sample Classic Pinup family and I was hooked again. Then The Dark Project was issued, with period Sims in both Bodybuilder (BB) and Renaissance Gal (RenGal) sizes, and I had more custom sizes to deal with. Then I discovered that jwilson5 had made linked skintone sets between the Warlokk and Marvine series - and she was kind of enough to build such a link between RenGal and Body Builder.

Pretty soon I found myself drawn to jwilson5's linked sets for Slim Bodybuilder (SBB) and Classic Pinup (CPU), and male Athlete (Ath) and Fashion Model (FM), so I installed those. Then I resurrected an old favourite - the Mr.Bill series - and found a compatible size in Warlokk's new 34Denh-36 as described here.

There I was, back to a big confusing mess whenever I sent a Sim shopping for clothes! But this time I was determined that there had to be a way to manage it, instead of just giving up.

First I tried renaming the clothing files to have standard prefixes according to body size, but that did not affect the strange ordering of clothing within either CAS or the in-game clothing rack selectors. I did notice that when new clothing is added to the Downloads folder it often appeared at the beginning of the clothing selection. But then these additions jumped around to seemingly random locations as I installed yet newer clothing.

So I temporarily removed all my clothing recolours, deleted all the game's cache files from My Documents\EA Games\The Sims 2 (Accessory.cache, cigen.package and Groups.cache), and then added the clothing back in order, starting with folders for RenGal and Bodybuilder, then Classic Pinup and Slim Bodybuilder, and so on. But the game somehow remembered the order it had first received the clothing in - including the same quirky jumps to random positions - so perhaps there was another database that had not being cleared.

Indeed, there may be a better and more fundamental way to reorganize clothing than the method I am about to describe. But from extensive online research I have to say that if someone knows it, they are keeping it well hidden. So until that better system may be revealed, here is the workaround that I have come up with, and it seems to me to be a fairly realistic approach in terms of the game itself.
« Last Edit: June 20, 2007, 09:07:52 am by Sophie-David » Logged

Know that you are - already - the Christ, the Bodhisattva. By your great love the One became Many, as with delight and joy you assumed the cloak of duality. Form is made of but three things: energy, change, and love.
Sophie-David
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« Reply #1 on: June 18, 2007, 12:08:10 am »

The first phase of this method is the most crucial, and certainly the most tedious. I would strongly encourage you use Windows Explorer to make a complete backup of the Download folder before beginning. There is a lot of detail in the following procedure, but it is quite a bit easier to do than it is to explain. The goal is to ensure that all custom sized clothing is placed in its own separate master folders from all standard sized clothing. Related to this, all standard sized clothing must also be moved to sub-folders within one master folder

The first consideration in organizing custom sized clothing into separate master folders is to keep whatever linked body sizes you are using together. For example, in my case RenGal goes with Bodybuilder. The appropriate teen feeder size should also be present as a sub-folder under that master - for example the Teen C-XL sized clothing that goes with the RenGal adult size. See Skintone and Teens for all the current teen to adult correspondences.

Secondly, other custom sizes that are very obviously different from those already there may be grouped with them. This will become significant later, for each master folder of custom sized clothing will ultimately have to have its own special shop within any given neighbourhood system. So in my case, I also moved the Athlete and Fashion Model linked pair into the same master folder as RenGal and Bodybuilder. I arbitrarily called this master folder "ClothesB". Note that these sizes do not have a special teen feeder group, so there will not be a conflict with the Teen C-XL size that is already there.

Next, my second master folder of custom sizes, "ClothesD", was arranged to contain the Classic Pinup and Slim Bodybuilder pair, with Pinup's teen feeder size C-Lg. Teen C-Lg also supplies another adult size I was interested in, De34-36, together with its approximate equivalent, the Mr.Bill mini. Fortunately there is enough difference between De34-36 and Classic Pinup that I do not have trouble selecting between the two, especially when there are no other sizes present to confuse the issue.

Finally, notice that Teen C tops are common to both the ClothesB and ClothesD groupings. Therefore they have to be available to both equally, and the easiest way to do this was to give them their own master folder, "ClothesC".

The clothing folder structure for this example is illustrated in the Windows Explorer window below:



Having separated the custom sized clothing from the rest, the folder structure of the Download directory must be organized so that all normal sized add-on clothing is in its own master folder - I called this folder "ClothesA" on my system. After the first - hopefully - obvious moves are made with Windows Explorer, it is essential that an intelligent file manager such as Delphy's Download Organiser (DDD) be used to comb through the Download folders. Every piece of standard sized clothing must be rounded up and placed in a subfolder within the ClothesA master folder, without exception.

After conducting a full scan with DDO, use the "Download Type" filter to select "ClothingRecolour", then press the Sub-Folder tab to sort by folder path, as shown below:



This display will make it obvious if there is any clothing that is neither in the custom sized folders nor in ClothesA. Very likely any extra clothing will be standard sized and DDO can be used to move it to an appropriate sub-folder under ClothesA. If in doubt whether some particular clothing is custom sized or not, it is better to put it with ClothesA for now. If after some investigation you are absolutely sure that some particular clothing is custom sized then it can be added to the appropriate custom sized folder later - in this case it is much easier to add than to try to take away.

In my Downloads, I found quite a bit of additional clothing located in the folders where I had installed complete Sims from the Internet. You might also find clothing associated with large theme projects, or certain careers. The criterion is that whatever may show up as clothing when using CAS or an in-game clothing rack must be grouped under either ClothesA or one of the custom sized folders. Any nude "clothing" that you may have must also be categorized. For this purpose, nakedness is clothing.

You may well see some hair or accessories that are incorrectly identified by DDO as Clothing Recolours, but these may be left where they are since they will not show up when browsing for clothing.

For the purpose of this exercise, it is irrelevant where the clothing meshes are kept. They may by grouped within the appropriate master folder, such as ClothesA, or they can be contained in subfolders under a master "Mesh" folder as I have done.

Having accomplished this perhaps monumental task, the rest becomes easy. Even if you don't find this particularly method of clothing access useful, chances are good that a thorough organization of your Downloads folders will be very helpful in the long run. And as you add new clothing, it is easy to maintain the file structure that you have built by storing each item in its proper place.


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« Last Edit: June 19, 2007, 10:59:49 am by Sophie-David » Logged

Know that you are - already - the Christ, the Bodhisattva. By your great love the One became Many, as with delight and joy you assumed the cloak of duality. Form is made of but three things: energy, change, and love.
Sophie-David
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« Reply #2 on: June 18, 2007, 12:10:25 am »

Now the fun begins! Create at least one custom sized Sim in CAS and have her or him start a clothing shop as a home business. In the long term, it is important that any children that he or she has be of the same custom size as the parent. Although the Sim could avoid having children, or use a cloning technique, in most cases it is simply easier to create a matched couple within CAS, for example a Classic Pinup and Slim Bodybuilder pair. This will ensure that any children that they do have will remain true to type, since both the dominant and recessive skintone genetics will be identical.

In no circumstance should any Sim that is not of the same custom size group be allowed to move in or marry within the shopkeeper family. This would likely introduce incompatible clothing into the home business lot's common wardrobe, making this method impractical or useless. If a spouse or grown child were to develop an interest in someone outside of the lot's size group then they would have to move out if he or she wanted to live with the love interest. Theoretically a standard sized Sim could live in the same household, but one would have to take pains to ensure that he or she never acquired anything but the EA clothing that is built into the game. This is certainly possible, and could be taken up as a challenge, but personally I would find it rather boring.

I dislike the fact that I may be coming across as preaching "clan purity" here, but for the purpose of this game method it is essential. Note however that skintone colour within the given set, facial features, hair colour and type are completely irrelevant.

In my example I used CAS to create Lara and Dmitri Molotoff, RenGal and Bodybuilder respectively, and moved them into a version of Plasticbox's beautiful Backdoor Lane 11 that I converted into a clothing shop:



Dmitri became a fulfilled and physically impressive fortune Sim on the Sports track, and popularity Sim Lara set about running a successful clothing business.

Because of this couple's size group, Lara runs a shop that sells custom clothing from the ClothesB and ClothesC master folders, as defined in the previous post. This includes RenGal, Bodybuilder, Athlete, Fashion Model, and Teen C-Lg (including Teen C tops from ClothesC). So prior to running the Sims 2 to setup Lara's shop, I used Windows Explorer to temporarily move ClothesA and ClothesD to a location outside of the Downloads folder - I use a folder called "EA Games Backup" for this purpose. Now, when the program starts, the only custom clothing available will be from Lara's custom size group.

Since I see the overhead of stocking a clothing shop as already including the cost of custom sized clothing, and also because I do not want the addition of new custom sized clothing to be dependent of the business's cash flow, I use MaryLou & Numenor's Shop-at-home Hacked Coathook so that the shopkeeper acquires the clothing for free.

In the picture below, Lara is stocking her wardrobe with all available custom clothing, i.e. clothing that is marked with an asterisk or star. She will methodically go through each clothing type from Casual through to Outerwear (in the case of Seasons), not forgetting to check for Tops and Bottoms in the Casual section. Once she has finished with Female Adult, she will continue with Male Adult, and then Female Teen.



Theoretically the only clothing she will see, apart from the EA built-in clothing that she is not interested in, will be within the defined ClothesB range. But it is possible that some non-appropriate clothing has somehow snuck in, so it pays to be careful even at this stage. In the illustration, she will check off the three new RenGal costumes from Plaidedbra's checkerboard trim set that are located in the top row, and the one that is at the beginning of the bottom row.

However there are two new costumes in the bottom row that seem to be neither RenGal nor Fashion Model compatible. In any event I am in doubt about them, so Lara leaves them out and I will double-check with DDO later. I do not remember adding any standard size clothing, but sure enough there were some separate costumes packed with the latest career I downloaded, FennShysa's wonderful new Wizardry Career. It definitely pays to be safe and not sorry, for I do not know of any way to delete unwanted clothing from a home wardrobe once it is in there.

While running the game with only a subset of your Downloads clothing, in this case only ClothesB and ClothesC, any Sims that show up in the game who had been wearing other downloaded clothing will have it changed to some EA built-in default - including any Sims who happen to visit the shop. This is not serious, since their proper clothing will still be in their home wardrobe and they can change back into it when you next run their household. However, to avoid this inconvenience as much as possible, you should start the game and go directly to the shopkeeper's lot, have your shopkeeper acquire the new clothing right away, and then save and exit.

Once you have properly seeded or updated your shopkeeper's personal wardrobe with custom sizes, you can use Windows Explorer to restore the remainder of your clothing collection - in this case ClothesA and ClothesD - back into Downloads.


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« Last Edit: June 20, 2007, 08:12:44 am by Sophie-David » Logged

Know that you are - already - the Christ, the Bodhisattva. By your great love the One became Many, as with delight and joy you assumed the cloak of duality. Form is made of but three things: energy, change, and love.
Sophie-David
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« Reply #3 on: June 18, 2007, 12:11:05 am »

Now all our hard work pays off, and going to the shops for non-standard sized Sim clothing becomes a pleasure instead of an exercise in frustration!

Unfortunately, with the Sims 2 as it currently is, it is impossible for a Sim to go to a home business that they do not own, when played from their own home lot. I have not found any hacks that would overcome this limitation, so I run the shopkeeper's lot and have Lara pull in a new customer, as if by magic. In fact, Inge's and Jordi's Teleporter Painting is ideal for this purpose. But use "Summon" to bring in the customer, not the "Move In" option which can cause complications - particularly if the Sim you are invoking is living by themselves, for there would be no easy way for them to get back home!

In this case Lara has summoned Beatrice Portinari, a fortune Sim with a Warlokk Fashion Model body type. By some chance or unknown inner working of the game, it so happens that her twin brother, a family minded Sim called Felice, enters the shop at almost the same time, wearing the blue shirt in the foreground:



Using Christianlov's hacked clothing rack (previously freely available at MTS2, but now located at the Sims 2 Graveyard as Christianlov_SimBoutique_ClothingRack.rar), Lara uses the "Neighbor Change Clothes" option to select an appropriate new costume for Beatrice, a nice long black gown that can be used as either casual or formal wear. Note that there are two built-in EA fashions at the beginning of the wardrobe display, unisex work outfits that Dmitri had picked up earlier in his athletic career. But our rule is that we always ignore anything that does not have an asterisk, so these extras are of no consequence:



Beatrice now wears her new outfit but seems rather stunned by the whole affair, which perhaps is not too surprising considering her unconventional method of arrival. We also see Felice observing the results of his sister's shopping addiction with some concern:



Now Lara goes over and wishes both Beatrice and Felice a polite farewell and the twins leave the shop together. Beatrice has successfully added a new outfit to her home wardrobe.

Ah, but what about payment? Lara cannot run her shop on charity - although it is true that the townies who buy their conventional clothing are the ones who pay most of the bills - so Beatrice will have to make sure she sends money. I know of two ways to do this, either using Monique's Hacked Computer or Pescado's Money Order. In this case Beatrice goes to a public library and logs onto Monique's computer and sends 200 Simoleons directly to Lara's account:



But it so happens that Beatrice has spent the last of her and Felice's common funds on that nice new dress, so she works at the library for a few hours using Monique's "Work at Home" option to pay it off.

If you use a money order instead, the customer and shopkeeper must have actually met for the transfer to be possible. This is a realistic politeness in any event, and it was accomplished when Lara said goodbye to Beatrice and Felice. Additionally, the recipient must have a landline telephone - a cellphone will not do - but it would be an unusual shopkeeper who did not have a regular phone.

For reference, I have included a list of all clothing types at standard community lot prices ("Maternity" is included because I am using Squinge's wardrobe hack, which is not needed for this project). Your Sim may not be able to send the exact amount required, but in that case I would suggest rounding up to reflect the fact that plus size and high fashion clothing usually is priced higher in the non-Sim world. Also, it could be considered that all the clothes from Lara's special wardrobe are "custom ordered".

   
Quote
Everyday: §200
Formal: §400
PJs: §75
Swimwear: §150
Undies: §50
Gym Clothes: §100
Outerwear: §300
Maternity: §100


Incidentally, I would suggest that it is a good idea to use Pescado's No Playable Shoppers hack to ensure that custom sized Sims do not pick up inappropriate clothing - or anything else - autonomously if they happen to wander into any of the game's clothing outlets.

Although it works very realistically in most cases, Christianlov's clothing rack was never updated for Seasons, so it cannot be used to buy clothing that is exclusively outerwear. For this reason it may be best to use SimPE to tag all your custom sized outerwear as everyday also.

Once you have a successful shop, it can be packaged to a file and distributed to your other neighbourhoods. And of course, not only can you develop a shop for each body size group - a total of two special shops in my case - but the same method could be applied to any other special purpose clothing, such as period costume or sci-fi attire.

* * *


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« Last Edit: June 19, 2007, 03:17:29 pm by Sophie-David » Logged

Know that you are - already - the Christ, the Bodhisattva. By your great love the One became Many, as with delight and joy you assumed the cloak of duality. Form is made of but three things: energy, change, and love.
Sophie-David
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« Reply #4 on: June 18, 2007, 12:11:58 am »

To review, the five basic components of this system are:

Delphy's Download Organiser
MaryLou & Numenor's Shop-at-home Hacked Coathook
the Inge and Jordi Teleporter Painting
the Christianlov_SimBoutique_ClothingRack.rar from The Sims 2 Graveyard
either Monique's Hacked Computer or Pescado's Money Order

Now for the models:

The lovely Lara Molotoff is actually Pamela Anderson as Barb Wire from Wicked Sims but converted from Classic Pinup to RenGal using Jwilson5's modified Louis skintone. Lara is wearing one of Plaidedbra's RenGal conversions of Pestix's corsets in "pink leo".

Dmitri Molotoff is a more or less random Sim from CAS, again using Jwilson5's RenGal/Bodybuilder linked Louis skintones like Lara. Because it was not essential to the story, I had to resist the temptation to include a gorgeous picture of Dmitri working out on a treadmill. Dmitri is wearing Beosboxboy's Bulging Loose-Tee & Pyjamas for the Bodybuilder.

Breathtaking Beatrice Portinari is Sims2Trek's Teri Hatcher as Bronwyn Gail Robinson in uniform, but with a change of hair and her skintone set to Jwilson5's modified Louis Fashion Model/Athlete. Beatrice is initially wearing Roxxy's Fashion Model plaid skirt, and then buys Roxxy's FM loungewear in black.

Her twin brother Felice is actually a gender switched version of Beatrice, with makeup removed and facial hair added. Like her, he is using the Jwilson5 Fashion Model/Athlete combo skintone. Felice is wearing Wirelessguy's tropical themed open shirt in light blue.

Credits on the Properties:

The Wuthering Heights downtown neighbourhood is Maskeysims' Simstoney Crator, stocked with many examples from Plasticbox's realistic Backdoor Lane series besides #11. The library that Beatrice goes to is Gethane's, but restored from a residence to its original function.

And the Meshes:

Of course maximum credit goes to Warlokk and the Marvine/Beosboxboy team for creating and releasing these diverse body sizes for us to use, which enrich the game tremendously. Without these meshes I would not have the luxury of fretting about all these in-game choices, nor of writing this tutorial. Even if there is some inconvenience involved because of limitations in the current Sims 2 clothing selectors, it is well worth the organizational effort required to bring some added realism and beauty into the game.

* * *
« Last Edit: June 20, 2007, 02:31:04 pm by Sophie-David » Logged

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themysticalone
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« Reply #5 on: June 20, 2007, 03:43:58 pm »

If you open the clothing file in simpe, and then go to the binary index file within, one of the fields is sortindex.  This is a hexidecimal number that represents where bodyshop and the game actually sorts the pieces of clothing. when you import to the game, bodyshop always takes the highest sort index, adds one, and then uses that for the sort index of the clothing you just exported.  There's also a sort index for anything else you can do custom in bodyshop (though skintones are tracked seperately, etc).

If you have a lot of patience you can manually edit all your clothing into the correct sort order.
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« Reply #6 on: June 20, 2007, 05:12:52 pm »

Wow... impressive amount of work here.  I feel this is one of the major flaws in the way the Sims handles custom clothing and meshes, and is a serious drawback to anyone wanting to use them.  There really is just no easy way to sort them, and the fact that the pop-up notes do not appear when shopping or using the wardrobe function is just plain stupid.  

TMO-- I didn't know that, I wonder how useful that would be... I'll have to look at it, at the very least it might help me keep stuff together.
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Sophie-David
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« Reply #7 on: June 20, 2007, 07:06:12 pm »

Quote from: themysticalone;784499
If you open the clothing file in simpe, and then go to the binary index file within, one of the fields is sortindex.  This is a hexidecimal number that represents where bodyshop and the game actually sorts the pieces of clothing. when you import to the game, bodyshop always takes the highest sort index, adds one, and then uses that for the sort index of the clothing you just exported.  There's also a sort index for anything else you can do custom in bodyshop (though skintones are tracked seperately, etc).
This is interesting, because it opens up the possibility that someone could write a program that would set the clothing into order automatically. If it could just sort by folder I would be very happy!

However, there must be something wrong with the algorhythm as it operates in the Sims 2, because although it often does put new clothing additions in order at the beginning, quite often it does not. And clothing that was added earlier doesn't progress down the list in an orderly fashion as it should, but jumps around unpredictably.

Also, I don't understand why, after taking away all the clothing folders and adding them back one at a time I actually ended up with the same order as before. You would think that the program would just keeping adding on to the sort index and re-ordering the clothing. There must be something more to it than just the sort index being incremented.

Or do you mean its the sort index system on the clothing creator's computer? But wouldn't that automatically cause conflicts with other creator's clothing?

Quote from: themysticalone
If you have a lot of patience you can manually edit all your clothing into the correct sort order.
Ha! If someone wants to go through my 5000+ clothing recolours - well I would feel very sorry for them! :smt120
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« Reply #8 on: June 22, 2007, 04:02:11 pm »

Sophie: Keep in mind that if I make a 300th piece of clothing and then send it to you, it still has a sort value of 300, so that if you already have a sort that is in the 600s, my clothing would appear earlier.  The sort index only gets updated when the file is first created (imported to the game by bodyshop).  I create my bodyshape additions in a strictly rigid order for this reason, so that at least it's always in the order I want it, even if other things might occasionally interrupt them.

I'm making the transition to visual studio 2005 and C# and all the .NET stuff soon, so I've been debating learning how to write plugins for simpe or the like. Or, if the package information is avalaible, I could make a satand-alone.  A clothing sorter is something I would like to try.

If I can figure out how to modify in-game messages, I'd try to make the clothing selection menu (via the  clothing rack) report clothing tooltips instead of the price (because the price is mostly usless and can be found by simply adding something to the shopping cart). I put in a mod request for it here, but so far there have been no takers.
« Last Edit: June 22, 2007, 04:04:37 pm by themysticalone » Logged

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« Reply #9 on: June 23, 2007, 11:28:20 am »

Thank you for getting back to me on this, themysticalone, I appreciate that. At this point a standalone sorter sounds more practical - and that would be truly wonderful!

Do you think the sort order of the meshes has any affect? I was beginning to wonder that.

Incidentally, the picture above showing Lara selecting new RenGal clothing is a perfect example of what you are suggesting, that the creation order is what counts, not the order in which I added them to the game. Those four new checkerboard trim outfits by Plaidedbra were brand new to my game, but would have been made earlier than the Fashion Model long dress and another page or two of other clothing that precedes them.
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« Reply #10 on: June 23, 2007, 01:37:25 pm »

The actual meshes don't have a sort file.  The clothing just references the meshes, so the meshes have no need for a sort index.
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« Reply #11 on: June 25, 2007, 06:55:52 pm »

Thank you for the additional information, themysticalone!

Just a quick note to say that Jwilson5 has been kind enough to make two new skintone combinations which fit into my ClothesD category since they are both linked to Teen C-Lg. 34Denhanced-36 was already in that group, but it is now genetically linked to Marvine's Slim Bodybuilder, which was also in that group: see the 34De-36/Slim Bodybuilder Combo.

Similarly, Rio, the other size besides Classic Pinup that links to Teen C-Lg - and is therefore categorized in ClothesD - is now also available in a combo with Slim Bodybuilder, located here.
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Know that you are - already - the Christ, the Bodhisattva. By your great love the One became Many, as with delight and joy you assumed the cloak of duality. Form is made of but three things: energy, change, and love.
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« Reply #12 on: July 05, 2007, 12:51:41 pm »

In further confirmation of Themysticalone's findings, I notice that if you type CTRL-SHIFT-C, then boolProp testingCheatsEnabled true, followed by CTRL-N while in CAS, the sortindex value is clearly displayed as you hover the mouse over each clothing item.

As you work your way through the catalogue from front to back, the sortindex can be seen to go progressively lower with each item. Remember to exit testing mode by entering boolProp testingCheatsEnabled false when you are done.
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« Reply #13 on: September 15, 2008, 05:36:45 am »

Appreciate all the detailed info. But God I wish there was an easier way. I started working through the thousands of downloads I've got and then passed out. Woke up an hour later, and decided to forget about it. LOL.
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