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Author Topic: Sims 2 Bodyshop Meshing with Blender 3D v2.49b: Tutorials #1 & 2 (9/11/12)  (Read 29458 times)
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Tenshii~Akari
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« Reply #15 on: October 15, 2008, 08:05:51 am »

To be honest, I'm not sure if it's safe to do since from what I'm reading around places everything else plugin wise seems to be updated for SimPE... except that .smd importer/exporter skankyboy made.  It's a risky move, but if you're one that's daring to try it, it's up to you, tomyang.  Just make sure you make backups of your stuff beforehand.  

Not suggesting that everyone with the AL SimPE do this for the sake of being able to use this tutorial... I wouldn't want you to mess up anything.  Hopefully there will be an update on the matter soon.  

ETA:  Attaching the .zip file off the SMD importer/exporter here now that it's been confirmed that it's okay to do so... (if I edit my tutorial post, I'll loose over half of the tutorial in the process because of the new forum format allows only 2000 words each post.)  Tongue  Be sure to install it into your C:\Program Files\SimPE\Plugins folder in order for it to work properly.  Wink

* skankyboy.smd.importer.exporter.zip (15.72 KB - downloaded 268 times.)
« Last Edit: December 09, 2008, 07:50:09 pm by Tenshii~Akari » Logged

Tenshii~Akari
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« Reply #16 on: October 15, 2008, 08:47:11 am »

:shock:  Oh no!  I hope you didn't take my comment like that...  :lol: I was in no way trying to knock you for suggesting it.  To be truthful I was going to try it myself to see what happens, but then again I don't have any EP higher than Seasons, and the latest SimPE I have is really for up to BV.  Wink  It's just that there are people who are bound to go ahead and do it at the mere suggestion of it and I was letting them know it's probably not wise to do so...  that's what I meant.  Sorry for the confusion in my previous statement.  :smile bi:

It's good to hear that you were able to get a successful mesh out of the mix.  :angel:  Hope all continues to go well in the learning experience!
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jmtmom
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« Reply #17 on: October 24, 2008, 05:31:41 pm »

What I want to be able to do is: chop meshes in half so some body types (werewolf, snake) can have shower-proof skintones and attach detailed feet to various body types that don't have them yet.

Would you be willing to give some pointers on how to do that? I'm working through this tutorial and I'm almost done.

I'd also like to know how to resize adult meshes to fit teens.

Luckily, I still have only BV and Simpe version .68
« Last Edit: October 24, 2008, 07:30:01 pm by jmtmom » Logged
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« Reply #18 on: October 24, 2008, 11:30:16 pm »

I'll be touching on those points mostly in Part 2, but sure I can give you some tips now.  Wink

Basically it's the exact same method as if you were following the related Milkshape tutorial on MTS2... only with different tools.  You gather the meshes that you want to take parts from and export their smd files, then import the meshes (and their skeletons) into Blender3D and delete the unneeded parts of the meshes, along with the excess skeletons as you'll only be needing the main skeleton of the base mesh.  (the mesh you intend on replacing after making a new mesh file in SimPE after PSJE extraction).  If you happened to have accidentally deleted that exact skeleton, you can always re-import it into the Blender3D mesh file using the respective .smd file it was exported with, and simply deselect the "Mesh" button when it asks you which parts you want to import.  (the button should be light green to signify it's been unselected)

Once you have those mesh parts properly "chopped" and the extra skeletons removed, you're going to want to make sure you're in Object Mode for this next part.  After you've done that, select (right-click) any mesh part, then select (Shift + right-click) the skeleton in that order.  The selected mesh part should be a dark fuchsia/pink and the skeleton itself should also be highlighted in a lighter shade.  Press Ctrl + P to bring up the "Make Parent to..." menu and select Armature.  Another menu should pop up entitled  "Create Vertex Groups?".  Select the middle option, Name Groups.  The specific mesh part selected should now be properly assigned to the skeleton.  Repeat this for all other mesh parts in the Blender project view.

Afterwards, when all mesh parts have been properly parented, you're going to want to select all of the mesh parts.  (either by pressing the "A" key until everything is selected, or pressing the "B" key and left-click dragging the "selector" cursor over the meshes).  Make sure that one of the mesh parts is highlighted as the main mesh (light pink)... otherwise, if your skeleton is still selected as the main highlighted item, you'll get the "join selected armatures" option instead.  When all the required parts are selected, press Ctrl + J to bring up yet another menu, which asks if you want to join all selected meshes.  Select "yes", and all mesh parts will be joined together into one mesh group.

Now that your meshes are joined together, you can pretty much follow the Unimesh/Milkshape Tutorial Pt3 when it comes to moving the vertices to where you need them to be.  For a better calculation on getting vertices aligned, you can always press the "N" key to bring up a little box in the upper left-hand corner of the 3D View screen.  Whatever vertex is selected, the corresponding coordinates will show up in that box.  :angel:

One more thing needed would be the UV mapping screen and how to use it.  Here's how you do it:



   ::smilieiforgetwhi::  See the dark line right in between the main 3D view window and the bottom panel? (right in between the words "View" and "Panel")  Hover your mouse over it until you get the "resize" cursor.  Once that appears, right-click and select the "split screen" option.  A gray vertical line should appear, so make sure it's positioned in the 3D view window.  Once you get it to a reasonable place, left click, and you should have a "double screen" appear. (usually suggested is the middle of the screen, but depending on which side you'll be working on the most, it's really up to you which side gets more space and what not).  

::smilieiforgetwhi::  Choose the "grid-lined" icon in the bottom left-hand corner of either of the top two windows (entitled 3D View) and click on it for more window options.  Find the UV/Image Editor and click on that.  One of your screens should now have a darker gray grid box... that will be where your mesh's UV map will appear when selected in UV Face Select mode (under the same menu as Object Mode and Edit Mode)

The UV Map function in Blender3D is pretty similar to the one in Milkshape when it comes to moving related UV vertices.  It also has similar selecting and vertex movement functions as on the main 3D view of Blender3D.  (right-click: select single, Shift + right click:  select multiple, etc.)  So if you've gotten acquainted with a little of both, it shouldn't be too hard to get once you fiddle around with it a couple of times.  Wink

Back to the mesh editing itself:  There are a couple of noted problems that I have run across when editing or combining certain meshes, especially when it comes to merging vertices together, etc.:

   ::smilieiforgetwhi::  Normals:  Every mesh I've done so far has a slight issue with the normal mapping on the actual mesh itself, mainly noticeable near the sims' necks.  (when you look at a newly imported Blender Mesh in either Bodyshop or the actual game, there's a slight issue of the bottom half of the sims' neck being lighter than the top half, which is connected to the head.  Something that continues to stump me even now...)   For some odd reason, if your meshes aren't "connected" to each other through merged vertices, Blender does a sort of "auto reset" on the original normals, causing some strange seams to show up in places.  I still have yet to figure out a possible solution for this problem, and if you look closely at some of my meshes, it's pretty apparent that those seams are gleaming... :?

::smilieiforgetwhi::  Vertex merging:  When you have two or more vertices selected, you can choose to merge them together by pressing Alt + M and selecting whether to merge them at the first selected, last selected, center-most point, or collapse all selected vertices.  This can be an easy way to get rid of those pesky normal issues if you make a seamless mesh this way... however, in doing this you sacrifice any chance of a sane morph in the process.  (meaning any fat or pregnancy morph you make or merge vertices on will have a guaranteed chance of exploding in-game.)  

There are some possible ways around the issues... I just have to search for them, or anyone who may come up with any viable solution involving ways around those pesky problems are welcome to share them.  :smile bi:

It may be a little hard to get without some visuals, but I'll be sure to get on to Part 2 of this tutorial when I get the chance.  Hope this helps you, jmtmom.  :angel:
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jmtmom
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« Reply #19 on: October 25, 2008, 09:49:48 am »

Thanks so much tenshii! Cheesy My first attempt was quite bizarre. Somehow I managed to turn the mesh so it was lying down. :rabbit: I'll try it again. The biggest learning curve is working with the meshing program itself. I found some great blender tutorials on you-tube by super3boy here:

http://www.youtube.com/profile_video_blog?user=super3boy&page=6

I'll keep plugging at it. Thanks so much for your helpful tutorials.
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Tenshii~Akari
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« Reply #20 on: October 25, 2008, 10:59:05 am »

No problem!  Glad they and the link helped you.  :smile bi:
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buubaby29
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« Reply #21 on: October 29, 2008, 02:22:21 pm »

I know how to mesh using Blender...been practicing for some time now....but I want to know how to combine meshes using blender. If you know of any tutorials that will help me, that would be great.

Awesome tutorial though. This is the one that got me meshing. Smiley

ETA: Is this how you combine meshes? cause if it is....your my new best friend! i really hope so. i'm gonna try it and see if it works! if it does then you get 1 GAZILLION hugs!!! I'll let you know if you get those hugs.

ETA2:  Tenshii~Akari

You have Recieved 100 Gazillion Hugs from Me!

Congrats.

Thank you for the combing meshes mini tutorial for blender. It worked great!!
« Last Edit: October 29, 2008, 02:43:51 pm by Tenshii~Akari » Logged
Tenshii~Akari
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« Reply #22 on: October 29, 2008, 02:41:34 pm »

:lol:  Glad it all worked out!  Wink  I'll be sure to clean it up a bit and add pictures in the near future.  :angel:

Also, merging your post together.  Most of the time it's best to edit and add on to an existing post than to double/triple post.  :smile bi:
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carenmrose
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« Reply #23 on: November 04, 2008, 05:57:19 am »

Ok, HELP!!  When I try to import my edited mesh, I get this error:



Yes, I have added some vertices.  I only subdivided some faces ...  I didn't have any clue that would be a problem ... but now what do I do?  Do I have to make do with the original number or is there a way I can get it to accept the extras?

(I probably sound desparate ... Tongue)

Edit:  When I try to re-import the original mesh (that I have changed nothing on), it gives me the same message.  

Ok, in case you need to know, SimPE v. 0.64, Blender 2.47. Since I'm editing the afbodycop mesh (ok, or whatever it's called), I had to do the extracting the 4 parts by hand, like you have to do using Milkshape tutorials ... but no big deal there ...
« Last Edit: November 04, 2008, 06:53:32 am by carenmrose » Logged

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Tenshii~Akari
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« Reply #24 on: November 04, 2008, 09:39:35 am »

(I know you might have figured it out already, but just for reference for others.  :lol:)


See the box in the lower left with the check-mark boxes? (entitled Models) Depending on which type of mesh you're using, there will either be just one "part", or multiple parts listed in that box.  If you have more than one mesh part selected via those check-boxes, that message will appear.  Make sure that you uncheck the boxes of the parts you don't want to export, and check the box next to the mesh part that you want to export only.  It should work properly after that.  You'll have to do that for each check-box if you want to export any more mesh parts.  Wink
« Last Edit: November 04, 2008, 09:42:52 am by Tenshii~Akari » Logged

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« Reply #25 on: November 05, 2008, 11:37:54 am »

I am 99% sure that wasn't the problem.  I will definitely check once I can open SimPE again ... (I had Bodyshop open last time I posted, I just closed it, forgot to open SimPE to check the checks, and opened my game. Tongue  If I didn't have such long loading times, I would do it now ...)

All that to say, I'm almost positive I would have taken notice if there was more than one there, even if I didn't know what to do with it ... but I don't remember anything different about it ...

I will come back with an update when I can actually check, but in the meantime, is there anything else it might be???  Cheesy

ps - thank you for the quick reply!

edit: yes, I was sure, that wasn't the problem
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Tenshii~Akari
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« Reply #26 on: November 05, 2008, 12:55:56 pm »

Ah... now that I have a clearer head, I know that's not the message box I was thinking of at first.  ("Warning: More than one mesh selected.")  :lol:

I'm not quite sure if it has anything to do with the version of SimPE you have.  (I updated mine up to 0.68, and I haven't had any sort of pop-up with that exact message come up that I recall).  It's most likely because there's far too many faces on that mesh for SimPE to count correctly.  (Just a guess, though) The sub-dividing method is the best way to overcome that issue and bypass having a polycount that even SimPE refuses to acknowledge.  Wink  

The only problem you'll come across with doing it in Blender though, like I mentioned above in the post at the top of this page, there will be some "normal/seam" issues that will show up, and I have absolutely no idea how to work around that yet... the Normals option in Blender is quite limited to either recalculating or inverting/flipping them, and even saving or exporting the mesh seems to reset the ending "seams" on a particular part of a mesh, therefore ending up with a bunch of nonsense "lines" in the subdivided mesh.  :?  Still seeing if it's possible to fix that in anyway, but I'm not having too much good fortune to find a way to prevent all that from happening... Sad
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xTERRIx
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« Reply #27 on: November 07, 2008, 08:41:52 pm »

heya tenshii :wave:
 
i found a thread here that explains the problem with the SMD exporter/importer :wink: hope that solves the problem (i had it too)
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Tenshii~Akari
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« Reply #28 on: November 08, 2008, 11:55:50 am »

:notworth:  Thanks a lot, Terri! This will be immediately posted on the "front page news" of this thread.  :lol:
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carenmrose
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« Reply #29 on: November 10, 2008, 04:30:27 am »

Ok, yeah, that was the problem, it had too many vertices.  The max SimPE wanted to handle was 2000, this was more Cheesy.  But, that's fixable, running SimPE in "advanced mode."  

I will possibly try to reduce that later.  For now I'll just work with it as it is Cheesy

I discovered this because on that message, I clicked "more details."  Maybe I should have figured that out before!  Duh!
What it told me:
This is just a Warning. It is supposed to keep you informed about a Problem. Most of the time this is not a Bug!

If SimPE is not running in Advanced Mode, the maximum Number of Vertices is set to 2000 and the maximum amount of Faces to 5000.

If you want to Import this Mesh, you have to turn on Advanced Mode. However, Objects with big Meshes will slow down the Game!

Windows Version
Vista

.NET Version:
2.0.50727.312

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Faces-2618 Vertices-2174
(Not much more than the Maxis count I started with!)
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Ok, another question, how can I add pieces to a mesh and have them correctly assigned to bones, etc.?
« Last Edit: November 10, 2008, 05:51:22 am by carenmrose » Logged

Check out my website
and my story "Picking Up the Pieces"
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