MTS2:Creator Guidelines/Sims 3 Body Shop
This page was last modified 19:49, 21st March 2010.
Creator Guidelines - TS3 CAS
Uploading sim content? This guide will walk you through every step of what we require on MTS. Please make sure you read these guidelines carefully, as our standards have changed over the years, and there may be some items you weren't aware of before.
At the end of the guidelines after full explanations of each item is a checklist, so you can make sure you've done everything you need to.
If you've uploaded TS2 Bodyshop content, then many of these standards are the same; however please pay particular attention to requirements regarding recolourable channels.
The first thing moderators look for when moderating uploads is quality - simply, is the item good or not?
Time and Effort
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.
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.
If you are making a custom skintone: We no longer accept simple replacement colour sliders. That is, mods which add a red skintone colour slider in CAS, or a blue one, or a purple one, or a rainbow one, or or... These are simple mods, and there are already tonnes of them available in every colour you can think of. As neat as they are, there's no need for more than a handful of them to exist.
Uploads based around clothes with logos on them should demonstrate a reasonable amount of planning and effort. As a general rule, logo items should be sets - don't just slap a nike logo on a shirt; do a hoodie, some shoes, maybe a hat or bag etc; or, upload a set of shirts with related logos. Stencils should be used as little as is reasonable - stencils are useful if you are using an image which is complex and has too many colours to be done using mask channels, however if your logo is just one or two blocks of solid colour, then it should be recolourable.
Always remember to state, if applicable, the brand or band your logo is for in the title or keywords of your upload - otherwise downloaders can't find it by searching.
Not Too Bright
- For a good example of bright textures done well, not too bright (the one used in the example pic to the right), see: Overall dress for childs (Oepu).
Black and White
- For tips on making black and white clothing look right in-game (including suggested settings), see: Tiptorial: Making Black and White Clothing the Right Way This tiptorial is written for TS2, however the same tips apply.
- If your textures are nice and crisp in your graphics program, but they look blurry in-game (and everything else does too) that's probably your game's graphics settings. In the game, under options (...), in graphic options (monitor icon) turn Texture Detail up to High and click the tick.
- For a good example of clear, pretty, crisp textures (the one used in the example pic to the right), see: Carnival masks (Anubis360).
No Simple Slider Changes
If you're going to make something for sims, don't just grab a Maxis item and change the colour on it - making a slightly paler Maxis skin, for instance, or making a blue shirt green, or inverting the colours on a texture. This is something that anyone can do, especially with TS3's Create-A-Style tools, and really isn't worth uploading. Take the time to create a unique texture, add some new details, and make it something worth uploading (and downloading).
- For tutorials on adding textures, logos, and doing more than just a simple slider change, see: Tutorials:TS3 CAS Tutorials.
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.
All of the screenshot images below can be clicked for larger versions. You wouldn't want to upload them with as small of pics as are displaying here anyway - we're just using smaller pics so this page loads quickly and is easy to read.
For instructions on:
- Taking large, clear pictures (bigger than the game will allow)
- Changing your in-game settings for best graphics quality
- Camera controls
See: Screenshot Basics - this is written for TS2, but5 much of the information is useful for TS3 as well.
You need to make sure you have nice big, clear pictures that show off what you've made. They can't be too blurry or pixellated, and you need to know how to use the game's camera controls properly, so make sure you review the information on that link thoroughly before continuing.
Your pics should be large enough to see the detail of what you've made. Remember, MTS allows images up to 1280x1024 pixels and 195 kilobytes so you should be able to upload nice big pictures. See the information above under "Screenshot Basics" for info on taking larger pics than the game will normally allow.
And please don't take smaller pics and just make them larger in your graphics program - this just gives you a blurry pic that's bigger in dimensions with no additional detail.
In order to see what your creation looks like in-game, we require in-game screenshots. You must actually load the game and take your screenshots there. We do not accept texture pics, CTU, 3D program pics, etc., without the required in-game pics too. Please don't try to cut out backgrounds or fake in-game pics. We can definitely tell the difference.
For best results, put your item on a sim on a lot. Create-a-Sim screenshots are acceptable, but the lighting in CAS is pretty bright and you may not be able to get detail pics and that sort of thing, too.
All Items in Set
It may be tempting to have your sim doing something amusing or silly, or to show your bathingsuit-ed sim jumping into a pool, and that's fine - but make sure that whatever pose you choose, it shows off your creation first and foremost.
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.
- For a good example of pictures showing the details of an upload (the one used in the example pic to the right), see: High Sneakers (Sims2Time).
For things like makeup and eyes, this is especially important! You want to make sure people have a very clear idea of what they're getting, so you can't take your pics from too far away or your creation simply won't be visible.
If your screenshots are consistently coming out dark and you don't know why, then you are probably using an external screenshot program (such as FRAPS) while playing in fullscreen mode. This always causes dark pics, for no apparent reason. To get round this, either use the ingame camera (C key), or use windowed mode (Options -> Graphics options).
Cut That Hair!
Show Recolourable Channels
This means you need to cover the female breasts, the crotches on both genders, and the butt crack of both genders. You may do this by putting your sims in skimpy underwear, by covering those areas in a black bar, or, probably the best way to do so without your obscuring getting in the way of your texturing, selecting those areas in your graphics program of choice and applying a blur or pixellation filter to them.
Try Neutral Backgrounds
For best results, use a simple plain backdrop for your screenshots. While it may be tempting to do a really complex set, what you're showing in your screenshots is what you're uploading, and something simple and plain is the best way to show off what you've made. If you're uploading something mostly dark-coloured, make sure to use a light backdrop (and vice versa - darker backdrop for light stuff) so it doesn't get lost in the background.
This is not an absolute -requirement- and for some things like historical clothing and the like you may do better with a simple basic set that matches your theme, and a nice garden scene can look nice too - just make sure that what you're doing in the background doesn't detract or distract from what you're actually uploading.
Please do not post more than 4 inline screenshots (images that appear in the text of the thread). 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.com - however, these screenshots hosted elsewhere must be additional screenshots, and you must make sure to actually attach your required screenshots 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 8 screenshots to the thread itself, with the 4 additional inline screenshots hosted elsewhere (or attached) for a total of 12 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 outfit, or the like.
No Pay Content
Do not use pay content in your screenshots! Do not use pay hair in your screenshots!
You MUST use free or EA hair 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.
As of 21 July 2007, MTS no longer allows the use of pay content in screenshots. For sim content uploads, this includes (but is not limited to) hairstyles. You must use free or EA hairstyles on your models! Do not use pay or donation hairstyles on your models when uploading here. For more information, please see the Site News article on the subject.
MTS has an extensive collection of free hairstyles in our Downloads section and Finds. You'll be able to find something you 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.
You may use Sims 3 Store items in your screenshots, or required for your uploads. If your upload requires a Store mesh, you must state what specific Store item(s) you have used and link directly to the item on the Sims 3 Store so users may choose to buy it if they like. While we realize this may seem a contradiction to the "what you see is what you can get without having to pay for it" concept, Store content is not considered "pay" because it is official content, similar to what you get as part of expansion/stuff packs (after all, you have to pay for those, too). You may NOT include the actual Store item in your upload as this is a violation of intellectual property laws, nor can you link to where it can be downloaded elsewhere for free.
MTS is not an adult site. We do have an adult site affiliated with MTS, Sexy Sims 2 where adult content may be uploaded. But because MTS is a PG-13 site, no adult content may be uploaded to MTS2 itself.
Skintones uploaded to MTS must be completely "barbie" below the waist. That is, you cannot include genitals or pubic hair for either gender. Skintones uploaded to MTS may include female nipples, or you may leave them off if you prefer, for a Maxis-like skintone that is completely "barbie."
You must obscure your skintones even if they are completely "barbie." Please see the section above under Screenshots, ("Obscured Skintones") for exact details on what you must obscure, and how to do so.
Other Adult Content
Content with swear/curse words or sexually suggestive themes may not be uploaded to MTS. Please upload these items to the adult site instead.
Items relating to illegal drugs do not belong on MTS. You -may- post items relating to prescription and over-the-counter drugs, as well as alcohol and tobacco on MTS, but items related to illegal drugs should go on our adult site.
"Nude clothing" uploads are not allowed on MTS, with the exception of male nude tops - that sort of thing needs to go on the adult site.
For more information and a further list of items we do not allow on MTS, see: Uploads Not Allowed on MTS2.
What is Not Adult Content
We do not consider transgender/crossdressing items to be adult unless they are too revealing (i.e. show the genitals or butt crack).
Sexy items such as skimpy lingerie, miniskirts, low-cut tops, nighties, corsets, bustiers, etc., are also not considered adult content unless they reveal the genitals, butt crack, or female nipples.
Right Info/Right Files
Once you have your creation made and screenshots taken, you need to make sure you have all the fiddly bits in order.
All CAS content must be uploaded as a package file. If for whatever reason your content is currently a .sims3pack, there are instructions on converting it to .package here: Convert Sims3Pack to Package
Please do not include any thumbs.db files (Windows thumbnail database files, which can cause folders to crash if they become corrupted) or DS_Store files (Mac system file, also not needed).
While it may in some cases be appropriate to include a readme file, this is only really necessary if there is important information which downloaders may need to know in the future about your item works differently from expected - for 99% of uploads, a readme is just extra clutter in people's Mods/Packages folder. Similarly, you shouldn't need to include .jpgs or other images in your uploaded file.
ZIP or RAR
You will need to put your .package file(s) into a RAR or ZIP file to upload here. Please see here for instructions on doing so. Please do not include both a ZIP and RAR with the same contents - just choose one.
Please do not double-compress your files - you should not have a ZIP inside a ZIP or a RAR inside a RAR. This does not compress the files any more and just makes an extra step for downloaders.
Please also don't put files into a folder within the ZIP/RAR - nothing terrible happens if you do, it just makes it harder for people to keep their custom content organised.
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.
Do you need a mesh? If you are recolouring a hair, clothing, or accessory, downloaders may need a custom mesh for your content to work right. If you don't know whether a custom mesh is required, it's very easy to check: cut and paste the contents of your Mods/Packages folder somewhere else temporarily. Then put in only your creation, and load the game. If it shows up correctly, you don't need a custom mesh. If it doesn't show up correctly, you do need a custom mesh, and you'll need to figure out what one it is. This can be tricky if you have a lot of meshes - best way is to make sure you know what mesh you're recolouring before you ever start!
Including Meshes: If your creation does require a custom mesh, you may wish to include it in your upload so that downloaders can just get what you've uploaded and not have to go anywhere else.
Once you've identified what mesh it is, you need to check back with the original creator on their site or forum and see what they say about that - look for a FAQ or policies page to see what they have to say about including their meshes. They may not want you to include their mesh, or they may only be okay with it if you include their readme file as well.
Please do not include meshes that are uploaded on MTS, even if the creator says it's okay - this creates redundant uploads.
Do not include meshes that the creator says not to include, or if the creator doesn't say. If you get special permission to include a mesh that normally cannot be included (or the creator's policies don't say anything) please say in the text of your upload post that you have permission - we can't read your mind!
If you do include the mesh, make sure you include a credit and link in the text of your post - and make sure you state that the mesh is included! Also, please do not include any of the creator's other recolour files - you only need your recolour and the actual mesh itself.
Linking to Meshes: If you cannot include a mesh, or the mesh is hosted on MTS, link to the mesh in the appropriate spot when uploading - when you mark your upload as a New Mesh Recolour you will get a screen asking you to link to the mesh. Please give as direct a link as possible - to the page where the mesh is, if you can. If you cannot give a direct link, or if there are a lot of meshes on the page, please give directions in the text of your post, as clear as possible... i.e. "Look under Female, Adult, Everyday, then go to Page 4, and download the black dress with the blue belt outfit - the mesh is included with it." Please do not hotlink the mesh - i.e. you want to link to the page it can be downloaded from, not the actual rar or zip file with the mesh in it - hotlinking is bad manners.
If you are not starting completely from scratch or editing EA items, you MUST give credit for what you use made by other people. This means if you use someone else's mesh, textures, specular maps, or anything else (in whole or in part) you must credit them. You can't just edit whatever you like. In addition, you'll need to check the original creator's policies to make sure they allow you to do so - if they say you can't, or they don't say one way or the other, you will have to ask permission and wait for a "yes" reply before you post your work. If they say "no" or don't reply, you can't post it!
Make sure that you post a credit and a link back to the original creator, and if you got permission, you need to mention it! (i.e. "Thanks to Soandso from http://www.randomsimsite.com for giving me permission to edit their original textures.") We know many creators require permission but can't know you've gotten it if you don't say so.
You can and will be warned for stealing content if you use someone else's work without permission/credit, so if you don't remember where you got something or can't get permission, go the safe route and make it yourself or find something you can edit.
You'll need a good title for your upload - something descriptive... like, "Long Gold Dress" or "Realistic Skintone - 4 Colours!" is good. Something non-descriptive like, "My First Upload!" is not.
You'll need to write up a little basic description of what your upload is... you don't have to get too fancy, but you do need to write something to get people interested. For instance, "This long gold dress with gold bracelet and high heels is perfect for a night out on the town." Something like, "This is my first upload... I don't know what to put here..." really doesn't make it sound like you've put any effort into it - and will reflect poorly on your creation. You don't have to write a novel, just something that makes it sound like it's worth taking a closer look at.
Make sure your upload text contains at least the following information:
- The ages for which your upload is available
- The gender(s) for which your upload is available
- The category your upload appears in in CAS
- The recolourable channels of your creation
- Poly counts should be for LOD1 (or LOD0 if you're uploading a hair)
- If you are uploading a skintone, you should show it in a variety of colours from light to dark, as well as mentioning which colour dots your skintone uses.
This is a checklist of everything gone over above so you can be sure you've done everything you need to do to ensure your submission is correct. This is just for your own use - checking these boxes doesn't actually -do- anything, just is an easy way to keep yourself organized.
Photoskinning - If textures are from a photo, care has been taken to choose the right source images, and adjust it so the details are in the right place.
Not Too Bright - If the creation is brightly-coloured or neon, the colours aren't truly neon in colour, but still look nice and bright in-game.
Black and White - If any part of the creation is black or white, those areas are not true, pure black or white, but shades of light or dark grey.
Crisp/Unpixellated - All textures look crisp and clear, with no blurriness or pixellation.
Time and Effort - Have you spent a substantial amount of time and really tried to create something nice that is worth putting your name on?
Big Enough - Your screenshots are large enough to clearly see what you have made - limits are 1280x1024 pixels and 195 kbs.
In-Game - Your screenshots are taken from within the game, and are not just pictures of your textures or taken from within Milkshape or CTU.
All Items in Set - If you are uploading a multi-item set, you have in-game screenshots of every item in the set - not just texture swatches.
Poses - You have posed your models in a way that best shows off what you have created - simple walking/standing poses work best.
Show the Whole Thing - Your screenshots show the entirety of what you have made - for clothing you haven't cropped out arms or feet but show the whole sim, head-to-toe.
Detail Pics - If your textures have interesting details, you've zoomed in nice and close to show off those details with additional screenshots.
Close Enough - You've shown your creation nice and close, so it fills pretty much the whole picture and can be clearly seen.
Multiple Angles - For clothing, hair, and skintones, you have made sure to show the back and sides as well as the front.
Enough Light - Screenshots taken outside are taken during daytime, with the sim facing the sun - or screenshots taken inside have the lights on, and enough of them so your creation is clearly visible.
Cut that Hair! - The hairstyles used on your models are short styles which allow your creation to be seen - not long hair that covers up what you have made.
Recolourable Channels - The recolourable channels of your upload are clearly shown in the screenshots, and described in the upload text.
No Over-Photoshopping - Your screenshots show the item as it appears in-game, with no additional filters applied which change the look of the image, and any added text does not cover your creation.
Obscured Skintones - If you are uploading skintones, the crotches, breasts, and butt cracks are blurred or otherwise obscured.
Try Neutral Backgrounds - The backgrounds in your shots are neutral, or do not detract from the appearance of the content you've created.
Inline/Attached Screenshots - Your inline screenshots are no more than 800x600 pixels, you don't have more than 4 of them, your required screenshots are actually attached to the thread, and you don't have more than 8 screenshots attached.
No Pay Content - You do not have any pay content in your screenshots, and your models are wearing free or EA hair. You have also included credits for the hair on your models in the text of your post.
Skintones - If you are uploading skintones, they are "barbie" below the waist - with no hair or anatomical details.
No Adult Content - Your content doesn't have any swear words, nudity, or illegal drugs.
Right Info/Right Files
Right Files - Your files are the correct .package files, and any .Sims3Packs have been properly converted.
ZIP or RAR - You have compressed your files into a zip or rar archive (but not both).
Upload in Sets - If you have created a set or several similar/related items, you have uploaded them all together in one thread, rather than on separate threads.
Meshes Needed/Included - You have checked to see if any meshes are needed, and if they are, you have either included them in accordance with the creator's policies (along with any needed readme) or linked to where the mesh can be found, with sufficient instructions so downloaders know which one to get. If you have included the mesh, you have stated that you have, and you have also provided a link and credit to the creator in the text of your post. If it's a mesh hosted on MTS, you have linked to it rather than including it, regardless of the creator's policies which may allow you to include it.
Permission/Credit - If you are editing someone else's creation, you have checked their policies to see if you can, and gotten permission (and stated you have permission) if needed. You have also provided credit and a link to the original creator in your post.
Good Title - You have given your creation a good, descriptive title.
Good Description - You have given your creation a nice description that makes people want to download it.
Basic Info - You have provided all the basic info about your creation that downloaders need to see.