MTS2:Creator Guidelines/Sims 3 Walls Floors Templates
Sims 3 Custom Walls and Floors
Have you created some wall templates that have some really awesome details? Here's MTS's guidelines for sharing custom walls!
|Time and effort|
|Most good creators spend hours upon hours on even simple creations. We understand that not everything has to be that difficult, but we do expect you to not just slap together something in 15 minutes and upload it and expect it to get accepted. Really try to put some serious effort into what you create, and it will show through in the quality.
This is probably the hardest one to quantify, but it's something that is obvious whenever upload moderators look at an upload: have you really expended some serious time and effort on a creation? You can't just crank out a bunch of stuff in a short amount of time and expect it to be good. Nor can you spend a while just fiddling with something but not really trying and expect a good result either.
|Is the wall you've created useful? Does it look nice? Is it significantly different than the walls that came with the game? Have you created a new wall set with really nice baseboards and crown moulding?|
|Your walls should always be fully seamless, able to tile in multiple pieces without the edges of your baseboard or moudling being visible.|
Textures and Shadows
|Good shading (*)|
Your textures should have some detail to them - not just a flat single-colour bucket fill, but with highlights and shadows in the right places. Even for flat, smooth items, you should have some detail. This is especially important on cloth items such as couches or bedding, but it applies to all items. Texture shading in TS3 is done using the multiplier.
For more information on making textures, see: TS3 Meshing FAQ: Textures
|Not too bright/dark/shiny/shadowed (*)|
|In TS3 the contents of an objects Multiplier or Specular Channel will affect how the object looks in game. A high contrast on your multiplier will result in heavy shadowing, whereas a too bright specular will give your object a milky glow.
If you're showing your object in a colour, try not to use too bright colours. Even if you're making something you want bright lime green, you don't have to use the brightest, most saturated colour possible in the game.
For more information on setting up proper multipliers and speculars, see: TS3 Meshing FAQ: My Mesh is Shiny!
|Crisp, unpixellated textures|
|You need to make sure, also, that your textures are crisp and clear. There shouldn't be any blurriness or pixellation to your textures. They should look as clear and crisp as textures from the game (or better!). If you're using an image for texturing (photoskinning or otherwise), make sure you're not scaling up your image - if it's a logo or design, you should have to shrink it to fit on your texture, not make it bigger.|
|Good material options/CAStability (*)|
|In TS3, you can colour different parts separately in Create-a-Style (CASt). Walls and floors must offer at least one recolourable channel, but the more channels available the more versatile the walls and floors will be.
Bear in mind that "fixed" textures (that is textures which are not CAStable) could be offered as an additional option, and not as the only option. CAStable items are one of the main features of TS3.
People want to see what they're downloading! Your screenshots sell your upload - if people don't like the look of your screenshots, they're not going to download - and if your screenshots are too bad, you won't get your upload approved.
|The larger your pics, the better! Tiny pics won't show enough detail to see what you've made.
Please don't just take a small pic and size it up in your graphics program to get bigger pics - this only makes the dimensions larger but doesn't add any detail and just gives you a blurry, pixellated larger pic, not a nice clear one.
At the same time, make sure you don't use too much light: if you put light-coloured item under a bright light, it can wash out and lose a lot of the detail of what you've made.
|Show the whole thing|
You CAN use cropped or closer pictures to show detail and/or for your thumbnail shot, but make sure you have at least one pic that shows everything.
|Maximum Number of Inline/attached screenshots|
Please do not post more than 4 inline screenshots. Having a lot of images that have to load on the thread makes browsing downloads very slow and can make the thread jump around as they keep loading.
You may host your inline screenshots elsewhere like Photobucket, Tinypic, or Flickr - however, these screenshots hosted elsewhere must be additional "bonus" screenshots. All of the screenshots we actually require for your upload need to be attached to the thread itself. If your Photobucket account runs out of bandwidth or you delete the pics, people still need to be able to get the required screenshots on your thread.
You can attach up to 12 screenshots to the thread itself, with the 4 additional inline screenshots hosted elsewhere for a total of 16 possible screenshots. This should be plenty to show what you've made, even for fairly large sets. Remember, you can always collage several different images together into one image if you have a bunch of stuff to show off, or want to show multiple angles of an item.
|No pay content in screenshots|
|Do not use pay content in your screenshots! Do not use pay hair in your screenshots!
You MUST use free or EA/Maxis items in your screenshots! MTS promotes and supports free content, and using pay content in screenshots is basically like free advertisement for paysites. This includes pay content you found elsewhere for free - if it was pay originally, it's still promoting pay content. We strongly recommend taking pics with neutral backgrounds, just showing off what you've made and nothing more. Not only does this look nicer for uploads, it also eliminates any possibility that you may inadvertently include pay items in your screenshots.
As per the news item of November 2010, do not use pay items in your upload. A pay item is an item that you'd have to donate money to access if you went to the original creator's website. It doesn't matter if you can get it for free through a file sharing site - it's still a pay item. Don't use pay items in your screenshots either, even if they are not included. Links for "optional" or "recommended" content may be included as long as they are free sites only.
If you need free hair for a model in your pics, MTS has an extensive collection of free hairstyles in our Downloads section. You can also look in the TS2 Hair Gallery or TS3 Hair Gallery for more free hairstyles to find something you'll like.
We STRONGLY recommend that you credit the hair (and other content) used in your screenshots in the text of your upload post. With hundreds of hairstyles out there, it's very difficult for our upload moderators to know every hairstyle on sight, and if we have to hunt down where the hair is from to see if it's pay or free, it may take longer for your upload to be approved. Make it easy on us and at least say something like, "Hair from XM Sims (free)" in the text of your post under a little section for model credits.
|Screenshot Tips: Camera controls, Windowed mode, C key vs. Print Screen, Screenshot programs, Editing/Optimizing|
Take some time to just play around with the camera. It can take a while to get used to the camera controls, and even once you are experienced in their use, it may be challenging to get the shot you want with the constraints on the controls.
If you haven't taken many sim pictures before, here is a list of camera controls:
Using Print Screen: If you have enough RAM to run Photoshop or another graphics editing program at the same time as TS2/TS3, you may want to take screenshots yourself, without the use of a program to store them for you.
To do that, simply press the Print Screen or PrntScn key on your keyboard - it's usually off toward the right, over the arrow keys, above Insert and Delete. This will copy your current screen to your Windows clipboard, as if you had selected and copied it as an image.
Then open any graphics editing program, create a new document the size of your monitor's resolution, and paste into that document. Your screenshot should appear in the document.
There are many programs available, free and pay, that will take screenshots for you by using a hotkey, and save them to a folder - just like The Sims 2 with the C key, but with options for much better quality settings.
A quick Google search for 'free screenshot program' will also bring up many other options, which may have other features that are of interest to you.
Many simmers struggle with getting their images to be clear, crisp and under the 250kb file size while keeping the image size larger than 800px by 600px. After getting your images from the in game camera or using a print screen program you will need to resize them and compress them into a jpeg image. Many graphics programs have a built in optimizing feature. Here are a few common ones:
|Show Everything (*)|
|Multiple Colors (*)|
|You will need to show your wall/floor in the DEFAULT colours and at least one OTHER set of colours. This should be a pattern that shows the tiling of your wall/floor. The recommended pattern is one from the base game so that the downloaders and the moderators can judge your wall/floor with a familiar pattern. If you use a poorly made cc pattern we won't know if the issue is your wall/floor or the cc pattern!.|
Once you have your creation made and screenshots taken, you need to make sure you have all the fiddly bits in order when uploading.
|Package format only - no sims3packs|
|On MTS the preferred format is .package files. We do not accept uploads with .sims2packs/.sims3packs except in those areas where it is absolutely necessary (worlds and lots).
Please do not also include a .sims3pack version of your files attached to your upload here at MTS. You may, however, upload .sims3pack versions elsewhere and link to them in your upload... i.e. "If you would like a sims3pack version of this item, you can get it here: (link)" - this is not meant to advertise your creations elsewhere, just allow those who may want a sims3pack version to get it.
|Zip, Rar, or 7z|
|To upload your file(s) to MTS, you will need to compress them into an archive file, which makes them smaller and allows you to include many files in one download. The archive file formats we currently accept are .zip, .rar, and .7z.
For instructions on compressing your files into an archive, please see: Creator Guidelines: Creating Archive Files.
Please do not include multiple archives with the same contents - that is, please don't put your files in both a .zip as well as a .rar because some people only want .zip files - please just choose one.
Also, please do not double-compress your files... a .rar file inside another .rar file (or any other archive inside another) doesn't compress it anymore, and it makes it so we can't see the contents without downloading, and also just makes an extra step for the people downloading.
|Upload in sets|
|If you have created several items in a set, or similar items in the same sort of theme at the same time, please upload these together in a single set, all on one thread (instead of all separately, one by one, on different threads). This is easier for everyone: on our upload moderators, as they only have one thread to review rather than several... on you, as submitting a single thread is much quicker and easier than several... and on downloaders, as they can get everything they want all in one place rather than having to hunt around.
If you are doing a huge set, you can always break the set up into pieces, posting more screenshots along with the downloads as comments in the thread, as is done here and here. To do that, create a new thread in the Creator Issues Forum and arrange your thread there, using the first post as an introduction, and attach your uploads and images to subsequent posts in the thread. When you're done, PM a moderator to have it moved to the upload queue. For more information, read the message that displays when you go to post in Creator Issues.
|You'll need a good title for your upload which describes what it is, and interests people in downloading it.
|In the main text of your upload, you'll need to write a good description of what you have made. The description must be about what you have made - what it is, what its features are, etc... You don't have to write a novel here, just a few sentences to get people interested. Please make sure this description is in English, don't over-use smileys/emoticons, and if necessary, run it through spellcheck and proofread for typos.
|In-game Description/Price (*)|
- If your upload is rejected or marked as changes required and you're not sure why, ask in Creator Issues.
- If you're not sure whether your lot is ready for uploading, use the Creator Feedback Forum to get feedback on it.