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Semi-guide to make CC for The Sims 3, Part 4.2


JoshQ
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This isn't a detailed guide for that go to modthesims, thesimsresource, tumblr, youtube, etc. I'm just sharing whatever I've learned while making stuff.

  • Part 1 (Tools) here
  • Part 2 (How CC works) here
  • Part 3 (Textures) here
  • Part 4 (Meshing: General Info) here

If I omitted something or need more help let me know.

Part 4.2, Meshing: UV Maps

As I wrote in part 4.1 your clothes will share the same texture space with the rest of the body, for accessories like stockings, underwear, etc it’s not an issue, the same for collars, earrings, glasses, hats and whatnot; also thousands of custom clothes had been made with this “limitation” for years, the tricky part comes when you want to make sexy stuff like corsets with the chest exposed or a revealing mini-skirt. 

The UV map is divided on tops, bottoms and feet; each has a space dedicated for the body and an extra space for whatever you’re doing. The fast approach would be to just use the extra space by resizing your custom textures to this fit this area, the problem is that some patterns won’t look right, at all; also your textures will be stretched to hell and back.

GuideMeshing_UVmap_01.thumb.png.53c3a2ed702677b958f989dfe107fa49.png

Green: tops, blue: bottoms, red:feet (image is not “pixel perfect” but close enough)

One alternative is to make more space so you can accommodate your textures with little or none scaling. You can start by deleting the body sections that are going to be hidden behind your clothes, in the case of a corset you delete the navel and part of the back but even then this might be not enough. What I do is to delete one of the arms and duplicate the opposite, then on the clone I apply a “mirror” modifier; now both arms will share the same texture space and that leaves us with an extra area we can use. 

GuideMeshing_UVmap_02.thumb.PNG.c773258eb76d32e7ab0a9da916283565.PNG

This is how “Horror Mistress EDIT” works: I deleted the arm and cloned it and then deleted half of dress and cloned it too, thanks to this I just had to scale the textures 10% to fit without further modification

On general this can cause some shading problems specially on EVERY seam, I fix most of them using the “Align Normals”, “Extended Manual Edit” or “Wes H’s Merge Tools” plug-ins on Milkshape. Also when two meshes share the same UV map it causes some weirdness on CAS, once you get in-game everything should look OK. The same technique can also be applied on legs, torso and feet just be aware that if you use a detailed custom skin these body parts will look “oddly symmetric” or just weird so don’t go overboard. Clothes, shoes an accessories can also suffer from this but it’s not as evident. 

GuideMeshing_UVmap_03.thumb.PNG.ad45a05d51ebd0b5d3337481422e63b0.PNG

This is a fully functional MedBod Top but if you look at the UV map you can see it only has one arm and half the torso, you can use the unused space for your clothes textures

Even if you don’t use them is recommended to “align” your mesh to use patterns, this is one of TS3 biggest strengths (although poorly optimized) and gives you and whoever downloads your CC limitless customization (unlike TS4...). I ignore how it actually works but it seems the game duplicates a pattern, a 128x128 square, over your multiplier texture and according to the areas delimited by the mask texture. To more or less match that I made this image:

GuideMeshing_UVmap_05.thumb.png.0a64b2d7a10ff922e52b507653fab005.png

The black lines represent the size of a base pattern: 128x128, and to further help I also included yellow lines at every 64 pixels and light blue at 32. Below you can see how I use it to align patterns for the CC I make:

GuideMeshing_UVmap_04.thumb.PNG.6c94ce676297b8b50debc1f08876232b.PNG

What happens if you have to scale down your UV, but want it to show patterns properly? In TSRW, in the section when you select the colors for the mask there’s a cell called “Tilling” followed by two values separated by a comma: “4,4”, if you change it to 6,6 or 8,8 you will “scale down” the pattern (The Impossible Heels use 8,8) at 10, 10 and at least in my game patterns look blurry so YMMV.

Edited by JoshQ
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