Tutorial:Creating Custom Sliders
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|This article is written for The Sims 2. For the equivalent Sims 3 article, click here.|
This tutorial will explain how to make custom face sliders for use in Bodyshop and CAS. The sliders created with this tutorial create inheritable facial features, and can be used on uploaded sims without downloaders needing to download the slider in order for the sim to display properly.
This method was developed by Nopke, who also provided invaluable help in writing this tutorial, and created the template resources. Thankyou!
This tutorial is divided into two parts. The first part covers the basic process of making a simple, working slider: follow this part! The second part contains additional instructions on adding more advanced features to your slider, such as having different settings for different ages and genders. If you feel a bit out of your depth, you may want to ignore the advanced section until you feel more comfortable with the basic process. Otherwise, by all means, dive in and break things!
You Will Need
- A 3D editor which you are comfortable using (this tutorial uses Milkshape)
- A graphics editor such as Photoshop or GIMP
- Nopke's slider template set
Creating a Slider Mesh
In this section you're going to modify a default face mesh, to create the features that you want your slider to give a sim when the slider is pulled all the way to the left (down). When the slider is pulled to the right (up), the game will automatically mirror all the changes you've made to your mesh.
--IMAGE - afface mesh--
In nopke's slider templates, you'll find the default adult female face mesh, as either an OBJ or an MS3D file. Luckily for us, TS2 only needs one mesh for a slider - the changes you make to the adult female face will be automatically adjusted, by the game, to work on sims of other ages and genders.
Although the adult female mesh is a good base to use, it's not mandatory - if you want to use a different one, see #Using a Different Compare Mesh in the advanced section. Make sure to use the mesh from the slider templates; you may have other copies of the mesh lying around, but they do not necessarily have the right vertex numbering, and using them can cause problems with your slider.
There are no explicit instructions for this section, since you can whatever you like to the mesh. Do remember that you can only move vertices around. Don't delete or create any vertices or faces, as this will cause your sim's head to explode (literally).
Understanding Morph Mirroring
The mesh you are creating represents the sim's face when your slider is pulled left (down): but since the right (up) effect is also based on your mesh, you need to think about that when you're working on the mesh.
Every change that you make to the mesh will be done in reverse when your slider is pulled right (up). If you've moved the tops of the sim's ears up in the mesh, they'll be moved down when the slider is pulled right. If you've moved the sim's nose right and forward in the mesh, it will be moved left and backwards when the slider is pulled right. Here are some examples:
As you can see, this kind of mirroring can cause some unexpected effects. An elf ears slider will make the sim's ears pointy when pulled left, but will make them dented when pulled right. My broken nose mesh worked fine if you look at it from the front, but from the side you can see that, if the mesh puts a big lump in the sim's nose, that lump will also turn into a dent when the slider is pulled right. It's a good idea to consider how your slider will look mirrored while you're meshing, to avoid nasty surprises when you try it out on a sim.
Finishing the Mesh
When working on your mesh, you should aim to create the effect you want when your slider is all the way over (100%). That said, you can tweak how extreme the slider's effect is later, so you don't need to spend loads of time tweaking your mesh, unless you're truly a perfectionist.
Once you've finished creating your mesh, export it using the UniMesh Exporter (or the equivalent plugin for your chosen mesh editor).
Creating the Package File
Setting Up the XFMD
- Family value
- Limits and scales (basic)
- Alignment... (I might be able to come up with a clever way of making this easy for people, maybe by adding guide lines)
- Instances & linking
- Different ages and genders
- CAS and Bodyshop