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Author Topic: Converting Bodyshapes Using Meshtool and Poser Magnets  (Read 18551 times)
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themysticalone
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« on: July 07, 2007, 02:05:00 pm »

This tutorial will show you how to use Poser Magnets to quickly convert existing meshes into different bodyshapes (such as Warlokk's) using Poser Magnets.

What you will need.
Sets of Poser Magnets: Either magnets you've created yourself, or magnets provide to you by bodyshape creators.
SimPE: Needed for extracting the base mesh pieces, exporting the mesh obj file, assembling the new mesh, and assigning it to a piece of custom clothing.  Get that here.
Poser:  I believe Poser 4 and later can use the magnets. I use Poser 7, and that's what will be seen in the screenshots.  Some functions may have moved from version to version, so keep aware of this.  Poser is created by e-frontier, and has a high price, so this tutorial won't be for everyone.

Experience Needed
I am assuming that you already have followed a tutorial on how to make new meshes using meshtool, and thus already know how to search for and find the parts of the mesh that you will need to extract: the gmdc, gmnd, cres, and shape.  If you have already created a mesh and assigned it to a piece of clothing, you are ready for this tutorial.  I will leave certain steps (such as actually replacing the gmdc data at the end) out because you should already know them.

Getting Started
First, we will need to extract the body obj from the gmdc component of the mesh.  Open up the mesh file you created (or just add the gmdc file to a new package) and select the gmdc, as shown below in Figure 1.  Pay attention to the model name.  I am converting afBodySweats, which is a full body outfit, and uses 'body' as the model name.  If there is more than one model name, Mesh Tool cannot be used and you should move on to a different mesh (you need milkshape/unimesh to convert those.. I'll do that tutorial later).

In Figure 1, I highlight the model name, as well as the Order.  Make sure the Order is XYZ, or this will not work properly.  Once the Order is XYZ, click the export button.  You want to save the .obj as the same name as the model name.  If the model name is body, save it as body.obj, if it is top, save it as top.obj, etc.  Poser uses the filename as the internal name of the object and you cannot change this in Poser.  If the internal name is wrong, MeshTool won't correctly build the gmdc at the end.


Figure 1

Importing to Poser and Applying the Magnets
Now that you have you body.obj saved, we can move on to Poser.  If you are new to Poser, you will need to delete the figure that is loaded by default.  After doing so, you should go to Edit..General Preferences and set this empty view as your preferred state (see Figure 2).  This will allow Poser to load with a blank view every time.  Later, once you've adjusted the camera to fit a Sims 2 obj, you may want to set that camera angle as your preferred state.


Figure 2

Now that we have a blank view, go to File...Import...Wavefront Object and uncheck all options that appear, as shown in Figure 3, then click OK.


Figure 3

Select the body.obj file you exported from SimPE (or top.obj, or bottom.obj) and you should end up with a viewport that looks something like Figure 4 (you may have to zoom out and adjust the camera to see it.


Figure 4

We definitely don't want our figure lying down, since our magnet sets will be based on models that are standing up.  Open up the joint editor window by going to Window..Joint Editor.  In the joint editor window make the center point values all equal zero.  Then, in the body parameters window (which should already be open), set the Y-Rotate to 180degrees (manually type this in--do not use the slider) and the X-Rotate to 90degrees (again, manually type this in).  See Figure 5.


Figure 5

Now that you've done this, your viewport should have your Sims 2 body object standing up:


Figure 6

We are ready to apply magnets!  On the right side of the screen should be the libraries sidebar. If it's not there, click the fancy thing in the middle right edge, or go to Windows..Libraries to make it appear.  Click where it says Figures, then go down and click props.  You can navigate from there to where you stored your magnets.  Poser 7 stores its magnets here: C:\Program Files\e frontier\Poser 7\Runtime\Libraries\Props (you can use subdirectories in Props... I made a Sims 2 Magnets directory in there to store mine.

Once you have the sims 2 magnets showing up in the library, scroll down to the one(s) you want and double click on it to add it to the view port.  I'm going to be converting afBodySweats into the 5 C-natural sizes from Warlokk's Hi-Red Female Bodyshape Project, so I scroll down to 34C Nat Body and double click on it.  Then I scroll down to Body 32 Hips. I have now added all the magnets needed for the 34Cn-32 bodyshape.  By default, Poser won't show all the magnets in the viewport.  Simply go to Display..Deformers..Show All and all the magnets will be visible. (Figure 7)


Figure 7

At this point, we want to spawn a morph for the body.  Select the body by clicking on the viewport's current object name, and then selecting body (or top, or bottom). See Figure 8


Figure 8

Click on Object..Spawn Morph Target, then type in a descriptive (and short) name for this morph.  I typed in Cn-32 for this one.  If you are only converting to one body shape, you can use the default name, but I like to type in things so as to maintain sanity.

Now select each magnet and delete them.  You should have all the magnets deleted before you export the body.  At this point, I'll only delete the hip magnets so that I can spawn a Cn-34, then add the 36 Hip magnets and spawn a Cn-36, etc.  This way I can convert to several body types at once.

Once you've spawned all the morphs you need, and once you've deleted all the magnets, select the body object again.  In the parameters window, you should see all the morphs, under the category of Morph (you may have to scroll the parameter window down), as shown in Figure 9 (I've highlighted the important bits).


Figure 9

If we were exporting this object for use in Milkshape, we would export it standing up like this.  However, since we are exporting for use with MeshTool, we need to get it to lay down again.  Go to the body parameters window and make the Y-Rotate and X-Rotate both equal zero again.  Type the numbers in to ensure they are zeroed.

At this point, I like to rotate the camera, so I can see the body from above.  Once you do so, go down to the morph you want to export, and set it to 1 to activate the morph. (Figure 10)


Figure 10

Once you've activated the morph, go to File...Export..Wavefront Object. Single Frame should be selected, so click okay.  Uncheck the ground on the next screen. Only body should be checked, or you'll export the ground as part of the object. (See Figure 11)


Figure 11

You want to check only the four boxes shown in Figure 12. (The last one, Include existing groups in polygon groups can possibly be left unchecked, but I always check it).


Figure 12

Save this object as whatever you'd like, since Poser will keep body (or top, or bottom) as the internal name.  I saved mine as Cn-32 (and Cn-34, Cn-36, etc).

Repeat this process for any other morphs, first deactivating the previous, by setting it to 0 (always type in the numbers), and setting the next to 1 until you have them all saved.

Building the New Meshes
Open up MeshTool, and load the object file you exported.  Then load the base mesh you extracted with SimPE earlied (should be a .5gd file).  Then click on settings and use the settings shown in Figure 13.  Unchecking Import UVs and Import Normals will use the UVs and Normals of the base mesh, and will get rid of the seams that Poser causes.


Figure 13

In the top left box, you should see the model name. It it's something other than what it originally was, you made a mistake somewhere along the process, and Mesh Tool will not properly generate the mesh (it won't tell you this, however).  Save the new mesh file as something descriptive, like Cn-32_newmesh1.simpe and then you can put this into your new mesh package like you've been doing all along.

Hope this helps!

Enjoy!


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« Last Edit: July 07, 2007, 04:58:33 pm by themysticalone » Logged

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Warlokk
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« Reply #1 on: July 07, 2007, 04:22:20 pm »

Excellent, just excellent... thanks so much for putting this together, it will be an invaluable resource.
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franciele
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« Reply #2 on: July 16, 2007, 10:55:34 am »

Thank you very much! It sure is a lot simpler now to figure out what I was doing wrong. :lol: *Hugs freshly printed copy of tutorial and head to Poser* Thank you!
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BlooM
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« Reply #3 on: July 17, 2007, 05:49:19 am »

Nice TUT!!!
As i never worked with meshtool i find it easier working with the obj file from Milkshape.
I dont have the issue then with the body laying down on the floor.
However the info bout the morph's was very helpfull, thnx
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themysticalone
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« Reply #4 on: July 31, 2007, 07:26:01 am »

The tutorial assumes that you have and know how to use meshtool.  That section is there only to show which settings I use when I build the mesh.

I'm not really sure how else to explain.  While extracting the pieces of the base mesh using simpe, you should end up with a .5gd file that is the geometry data container.  In mesh tool, the first buttons loads the object you exported from Poser, and the second button loads that .5gd file.  The settings button brings up the settings that I show up there, where you have to uncheck the import uvs and import normals.  Then you just save the resulting file with the last button (it'll save as a .simpe).
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Alasdair
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« Reply #5 on: August 01, 2007, 04:53:03 pm »

This looks very easy to follow and I would really like to try my hand at it. I was just wondering if you could suggest a good tutorial for using meshtool? I've used Poser for several years, I need to update it but I was reluctant to do that since I wasn't using it any longer, but then I started seeing references to modifying the meshes for Sims2 with Poser and suddenly I was dusting it off. to see what was up.

I would really appreciate it if you could point me in the direction of a good Tutorial for meshtool, the ones I have seen deal more with objects.

Thanks in advance,

Alasdair
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themysticalone
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« Reply #6 on: August 02, 2007, 07:06:09 am »

This is the tutorial I used.  I compress a few of the steps now that I've gotten used to it and do things in a slightly different order because it's more convenient for me, but that's a matter of personal preference.  If you follow that tute you should be fine.
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Alasdair
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« Reply #7 on: August 02, 2007, 07:09:01 am »

Thank you so much. Now I'll have to finish getting everything set up and read it , and then give it a try.

Thanks again,

Alasdair
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Bakajin
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« Reply #8 on: August 06, 2007, 06:21:27 pm »

Well, I gave this a shot. I tried modifying a skin to fit the RIO mesh and most of the window with the model in it went black! As I started deleting magnets per the tutorial, the black parts started to disappear. I spawned a morph that was "clean" however after importing it into bodyshape the mesh was lying on the ground . . . I probably skipped a step, so that's my bad. However, I'm curious about the area around all the magnets turning black. Has anyone ever seen this?
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themysticalone
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« Reply #9 on: August 07, 2007, 07:10:25 am »

I've seen things like that in various programs that have just turned out to be a rendering/video card issue with the specific program I was working on.

Sounds like you forgot to rotate the model so that it was lying on its back in poser before you exported it and ran it through meshtool.
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Alasdair
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« Reply #10 on: August 07, 2007, 07:13:23 am »

I've had poser do that when the magnet was in front of the camera.
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Bakajin
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« Reply #11 on: August 07, 2007, 09:56:35 am »

Thanks for the tips guys. I'll get back to it.
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Bakajin
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« Reply #12 on: August 07, 2007, 02:27:31 pm »

I think it might have been the magnet set. I tried a couple of other sets and didn't have the distortion. I'll reproduce the error and get up a screenshot. Maybe this is something for Warlokk to look at.
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Warlokk
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« Reply #13 on: August 07, 2007, 05:28:48 pm »

If it's an explosion when applying the magnets, I get it too, all the time... believe me I wish I knew how to fix it, I think it's a program glitch, 'cause if you delete and re-apply the magnets a few times, eventually it will work fine.
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Bakajin
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« Reply #14 on: August 07, 2007, 07:02:19 pm »

Another question while I'm getting used to this (the process is easy once you get going, getting the results are another matter Smiley: When working on a dress with added high heels, the end product is a dress with default Maxis heels. Is there a step you have to add while working with Simpe to get the heels that came with the mesh? Do you have to add heels with another program?

Sorry to be an annoyance.
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