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Question about making counters


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#1 SimPeopleRampage

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Posted 18 May 2017 - 09:53 PM

Not sure if this is the right place to post this...

 

I'm converting some counters from Sims 2 to Sims 3 and I'm unsure how it works. In Sims 4 you actually have to make 7 versions of each counter. Do you have to do something similar for Sims 3? What I mean is, when you place a counter in Sims 3 the game will automatically make a corner counter if you are trying to make a U-shape or L-shape kitchen -- I hope that makes sense. Do I need to make the corner counter? Or do I make the normal counter and the game automatically alters the mesh for corners? 

 

Thanks in advance



#2 sim_man123

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Posted 20 May 2017 - 04:21 PM

You will have to make each version of the counter - there are not quite as many as for TS4, but there is a straight version, a corner version, a countertop-only version - I'm not sure what else off hand. But yes, you are correct, you need to make the corner. The game does not make them for you, it only knows when to display which mesh. If you do not update all of the meshes, the game will just display the original.

Also note that you have to go into the Modular Objects section of the catalog in order for Workshop to be able to pull and link all of the parts together. If you clone a counter out of surfaces, you'll only get the straight version and the corner etc won't work properly. :)



#3 SimPeopleRampage

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Posted 20 May 2017 - 06:26 PM

You will have to make each version of the counter - there are not quite as many as for TS4, but there is a straight version, a corner version, a countertop-only version - I'm not sure what else off hand. But yes, you are correct, you need to make the corner. The game does not make them for you, it only knows when to display which mesh. If you do not update all of the meshes, the game will just display the original.

Also note that you have to go into the Modular Objects section of the catalog in order for Workshop to be able to pull and link all of the parts together. If you clone a counter out of surfaces, you'll only get the straight version and the corner etc won't work properly. :)

 Okay. I'll clone the counters from the modular section. I thought I needed to make the corner mesh, at least -- like you said, the game can't display the mesh if the mesh doesn't exist -- I just wasn't sure what mesh to clone. Thanks for the help!



#4 SimPeopleRampage

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Posted 24 May 2017 - 09:04 AM

Okay, no surprise, but I'm lost. I cloned a modular counter and took a look at the .obj file in Blender. It appears to be one solid mesh. I can't see where, or how, I clone the other meshes. In Sims 4, using Sims4Studio, there are 7 separate meshes that you clone; I can't see anything like that in TSR Workshop. What am I supposed to do here? 



#5 SimPeopleRampage

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Posted 24 May 2017 - 09:51 AM

I went into Project Contents and noticed that I could export the MLODs as .obj files. There are nine altogether, and I took a look at each one in Blender. There are the regular cabinet, the corner cabinet, and the counter, all in high, medium, and low LODs. This confuses me a bit because the cabinet I cloned has only high and medium LODs -- but maybe that doesn't matter. I'm guessing that I'm supposed to export the MLODs from Project Contents, do my thing with them, and import the new counters back into Project Contents. Am I right on this? 



#6 sim_man123

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Posted 24 May 2017 - 02:59 PM

TS2 was a simpler time, so I'm not surprised that it only has high and low. TS3 and TS4 are both more visually demanding and thus require higher quality with more aggressive performance conservation, and thus use three LODs instead of just two. 

 

Best practices would be to make a medium LOD if the new clone requires it, although you could also use the low detail mesh as both medium and low in the TS3 clone.

 

Also, no, you don't do anything from within Project Contents. (Although maybe you COULD, I've never heard of anyone doing it that way.) Under the main Project tab, there should be a drop down menu at the top that lists all of the sub-parts of the counter. Each one functions as it's own object in Workshop - when you pick one, the mesh/materials/swatches/etc all update to match the version of the counter you have selected. By default Workshop will be set to the base straight cabinet, and you'll only see the meshes and textures for that. Change the drop down menu to the corner version, and everything will change to the corner, etc. They are all in the same file - but for our sanity, Workshop keeps them separated so that we only work on one at a time.  :) 

Also, not sure how familiar with counters and cabinets you are, but if I recall correctly, TS3 does not like it if you touch the countertop - no changing the mesh, no touching the UV map, etc. You can't do anything to it other than changing the patterns. As soon as the countertop gets changed from the original (for example, if you imported a countertop from TS2) then all of the countertop sinks will stop working. It's been a while since I made a kitchen for TS3, though, so I'm not sure if that was ever "fixed" or not.  :wacko:



#7 SimPeopleRampage

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Posted 24 May 2017 - 10:43 PM

I'm not seeing any other mesh in TSR Workshop than the main counter. Where do I find the corner and countertop meshes? I can't see where I'm supposed to import the corner and countertop meshes. That's the main problem I'm having. 

 

Never mind. The drop-down menu is under the Projects tab, not the meshes tab where I was expecting to find it. I found it about 10 seconds after I made this post, lol. 



#8 SimPeopleRampage

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Posted 25 May 2017 - 12:35 AM

One last question: Is there a way to import the dirty textures? Or should I just not bother with them?



#9 sim_man123

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Posted 25 May 2017 - 03:58 AM

Are the dirty textures from the TS2 version a full texture? For TS3 it's just a dirt overlay on a transparent background, that I believe should be found under the textures tab with all of the other textures. 

I believe that EA's dirt overlays are specific to the mesh, so the original TS3 overlay applied to your TS2 mesh probably won't look right. If the TS2 version is a full diffuse map style texture, and not just an overlay, then you won't be able to use it, and you'll probably have to just make a new generic one to match the TS3 style texture. 



#10 SimPeopleRampage

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Posted 25 May 2017 - 06:13 AM

Yeah, it's a full texture. I might not even bother with it, to be honest--I'm tired of this project already :P

 

If I did want to add it, where would I import the texture? I'm seeing only the overlay, mask, multiplier, and specular in the textures tab. 



#11 sim_man123

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Posted 25 May 2017 - 04:34 PM

Ah, in that case it would most likely be under the Mesh tab, under the cabinet mesh group if you click on the "Default Material" entry and then click on the "..." that comes up next to it, you can probably import it in there. (I don't have TS3 installed on either of my computers anymore, so I'm just trying to go by memory :unsure: )



#12 SimPeopleRampage

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Posted 05 June 2017 - 11:07 AM

Thank you, sim_man123. 

 

I have another issue, though. I've been importing the various overlays for the counters and the variations aren't showing up -- they show up in the texture tab but aren't showing up on the counter in the preview pane. Each preset is showing the first overlay in the preview pane but not the actual overlay. I hope that makes sense. I'm clicking no when it asks if I want to replace the current texture with the new texture; I can't think of anything else I can do to fix the problem.

 

For that matter, the preview pane is lit weird and I'm having trouble seeing the counter. It's all in shadow. Do you know what could be the problem with all this? Or is TSR Workshop just having a bad day? :D



#13 SimPeopleRampage

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Posted 05 June 2017 - 12:04 PM

I just checked the counter in-game. Argh, it's a mess! It's only showing the first overlay/diffuse/whatever preset; none of the other preset varieties are showing up. They're all identical. And I think you're right about the fussy counter problem. Sinks don't want to sit in the counter like they should. There's no opening for the sink, it just sort of "sinks" into the counter top (see what I did there? Lol). 

 

I'm not too worried about the countertop issue. I'll just use an EA countertop. But, this preset issue has got me stumped. 



#14 sim_man123

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Posted 05 June 2017 - 03:33 PM

How long have you have that particular file open? Workshop sessions tend to "expire" for lack of a better term. I was working on a sink yesterday, and in the course of importing my meshes and textures at one point I was told I was out of memory (on a PC that has 48GB), at another point the 3D viewport stopped working all together, and on a third occasion, my textures ended up getting all kinds of wonky (4 groups across 3 LODs) - things were appearing everywhere they shouldn't. Sometimes simply restarting Workshop can fix all of that :D 



#15 SimPeopleRampage

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Posted 05 June 2017 - 08:12 PM

Yeah, I've had the out of memory problem. Usually, it's because I have Photoshop open, too. I save after each overlay import, just in case. It couldn't be because I had TSR Workshop open too long (I don't think so, anyway. I could be wrong.) because I didn't have it open very long. Possibly it's because of too many overlays? There are 12 presets for each part of the counter: countertop, corner counter, and the basic counter--36 altogether. I'm wondering if it's a file size problem with all those presets. I'm going to work on the meshes and get them ready, then start over with a new cabinet clone and import everything all at once. If that doesn't work then I'll have to get rid of some of the presets. I don't want to do that, however. I'm doing this because it was requested by someone and I want the counters to be complete for that person. I'll let you know if either of those plans work. 



#16 SimPeopleRampage

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Posted 06 June 2017 - 10:51 AM

I'm done. I'M DONE. 

 

It looks like crap and I don't know what went wrong -- never made counters before and I don't know if I'll do it again, to be honest. Importing the textures was a nightmare. I could import them for the main counter just fine, but when it came to the countertop and the corner counter... nope. The textures didn't show up in the 3D preview pane and they aren't showing up in-game. Plus, the sink isn't looking right, either. Here's a screenshot:

 

http://s1219.photobu...ml?t=1496659592

 

Sorry for the external link. The forum won't let me post the pic. 



#17 SimPeopleRampage

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Posted 07 June 2017 - 01:51 AM

This is how it looks in the preview pane:

 

http://s1219.photobu...ture_1.jpg.html



#18 SimPeopleRampage

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Posted 07 June 2017 - 02:23 AM

Okay. It's black because the normals are getting flipped when I import the file into Milkshape. Ctrl + N fixed that. Now, I just need to find out what's the deal with the textures and the sink issue. 



#19 sim_man123

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Posted 07 June 2017 - 01:53 PM

The sink issue looks to be the countertop problem - is that an untouched EA mesh? You literally can't do *anything* to the countertop - even moving one UV coordinate will break it. 

 

WIth the textures for the countertop, it's easiest to make whatever you want as a pattern and them apply them "properly" to the EA countertop than trying to use a texture overlay. If you use EA countertops, you won't have any texture issues - the patterns will still work exactly the way the default counters do. Are you having problems with the cabinet/base textures as well? (Since I'm not making them, I don't know what they are "supposed" to look like or what you are considering a problem)



#20 SimPeopleRampage

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Posted 07 June 2017 - 08:19 PM

Yeah. I changed the UV map on the counters to match the texture. Either I have to change the texture to match the countertop's UV map or I've got to figure out how to turn the texture into a pattern, like you suggested. I've been importing the textures as stencils instead, and I've narrowed the presets down to just four -- none of which are recolorable. If I have a recolorable preset TSR Workshop wants to apply my overlay/stencil to it. It's driving me batty. I like the pattern idea; I've just got to figure out how to do that. The weird purple color issue is solved, like I said, because Milkshape was flipping the normals. Glad that's been resolved. Getting closer to finishing this project. :D 






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