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Milkshape tutorial on joining shoes to a body mesh
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ruthml
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PostPosted: Fri Mar 13, 2009 4:04 pm    Post subject: Milkshape tutorial on joining shoes to a body mesh Reply with quote

In this tutorial we are going to join some a shoe mesh by Al onto a Maxis mesh. It will assume that you have a little working knowledge of Milkshape3D.

You'll also need the following programs:
Lithunwrap
Simpose
Bodywarp

More information about these programs can be obtained here:
http://www.simblesseoblige.com/viewtopic.php?t=123

You'll also need a graphic program to make the bmp for the new mesh such as Gimp, PaintShopPro or Photoshop.

Unfortunately these programs are for PC users only.

Crediting Mesh Makers

Al's shoe meshes can be attached to a mesh and distributed with credit.
The shoes are no longer available from SimSkins but you can chop them off any mesh that uses them and build up a library of shoe meshes. Chop them off at the knee or ankles. There is a credit note from Al that should be included in your mesh if you plan to distribute it. I've included this in the zip file for this tutorial.

You need to also check whether the body mesh you intend to add the shoes permits editing. Maxis meshes of course are ok and some meshers who have left the simming community have given a broad permission for their meshes to be edited eg SimAccents and BNJxLVR.


Mesh Naming
As you are making a new mesh you will need to consider what to name the mesh. Take some care to find a mesh identifier that is not already in use, as it will potentially cause conflicts in player's games.

Information about naming skins can be found here:
http://www.simblesseoblige.com/viewtopic.php?t=74

An incomplete but still useful list of mesh identifiers used by other skinners can be found here:
http://forum.simfreaks.com/index.php?showtopic=542&hl=mesh+identifier

You do not need to register with the Simfreaks forum to see this post.


Last edited by ruthml on Wed Mar 25, 2009 2:49 pm; edited 6 times in total
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PostPosted: Fri Mar 13, 2009 4:12 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

We are going to join some pointy stilletto shoes made by Al onto the Maxis B428 Mesh. This mesh was extracted from Expansion 3 far file using FarOut. The shoes were chopped off a SimSkins mesh.

The zip file has the 2 skn files plus the Maxis bmp for the B428 skin and a handy horizontal stripe bmp made by Mtaman. Check out this thread for other handy aids when creating objects or skins. http://www.simblesseoblige.com/viewtopic.php?t=410

The image with the blue background is what the 2 meshes look like in Milkshape. For ease of importing and exporting skn files in Milkshape, have the skn files in the relevant folders in Simpose. That way you can check how the skin looks in Simpose as you work on it.

When you import the skn files in Milkshape if one of them is unnamed in Groups tab, you can rename it. Simply select the unamed mesh, type in the name in the blank field next to Rename and click Rename. Labelling the meshes makes it easier to keep track of the different meshes.



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Maxis mesh before editing (pic taken in Simpose)
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The 2 skn files have been imported into Milkshape.
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Maxis B428 & Al's stiletto shoe mesh.zip
 Description:
Tutorial pack - 2 meshes, the credit for Al and Mtaman's horizontal bmp.

Download
 Filename:  Maxis B428 & Al's stiletto shoe mesh.zip
 Filesize:  66.96 KB
 Downloaded:  643 Time(s)



Last edited by ruthml on Thu Mar 19, 2009 12:53 pm; edited 6 times in total
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PostPosted: Fri Mar 13, 2009 4:28 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The image below shows both the shoe mesh and the body mesh together. Now the decision to be made is where to join the meshes together?

Do we chop the Al Shoe mesh at the ankles, deleting the legs, and then chop the feet off the Maxis mesh so the stilettos can be joined at the ankles?

Or do we chop off the Maxis legs and feet at the knees, and join the Al shoe mesh at this point?

Both ways are feasible, however because the Maxis mesh has an asymmetrical hemline it was decided to leave the Maxis legs intact but chop off the feet at the ankles. We then need to chop the Al shoe mesh down to the ankles and join them at this point.

Tip: if you are putting a shoe mesh on a trousers mesh, you can leave the legs on the shoe mesh. They will be hidden by the trousers.



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The vertices at the knee or ankles are the easiest place to join meshes together.
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Last edited by ruthml on Sat Mar 14, 2009 6:45 pm; edited 2 times in total
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PostPosted: Fri Mar 13, 2009 4:35 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

So, on the Maxis mesh select and delete the vertices below the green line in the diagram below. This removes the feet.

On the Al shoe mesh select and delete the vertices above the green line. This will remove the upper legs.

Do this by hiding one of the meshes - on the Group tab in Milkshape select a mesh and click on Hide. Clicking on Hide a 2nd time will unhide the mesh.

Select vertices by clicking on the Model tab. Click on Select and make sure Vertex is selected. Now you can draw a square around the vertices you want to select.



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Last edited by ruthml on Sat Mar 14, 2009 6:31 pm; edited 1 time in total
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PostPosted: Fri Mar 13, 2009 4:53 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Let's have a look at the meshes up close. As you can see the ankle verts on the Maxis mesh are lower than the corresponding ankle verts on the Al shoe mesh. The ankle on the Al shoe mesh is also narrower.

On the Group tab, click on the Maxis mesh, then click on Hide to hide the Maxis mesh. Then switch to the Model tab and click on Select and draw a square around the Al shoe mesh, and then press Ctrl + H to hide the vertices. The vertices disappear but the outline of the mesh is still visible.

Now switch back to the Group tab, click on the Maxis mesh and click on Hide to unhide the Maxis mesh. Select the bottom vertices and then switch to Model tab and click on Move. Now move the selected vertices in the top left window up a little so they are aligned with the Al shoe mesh. Click on Select again and select the vertices on the side of the ankle and move them inwards so they are closer to the Al shoe mesh.

Tip: In the Model tab, if you click on Auto Tool, it will toggle back and forth between what functions you are doing. Eg if you are selecting and moving, it will toggle back and forth between those tools. It can be useful or not depending on how comfortable you are with Milkshape.



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Last edited by ruthml on Sat Mar 14, 2009 6:47 pm; edited 2 times in total
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PostPosted: Fri Mar 13, 2009 5:19 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Now that the vertices are lined up we can start snapping them together.

Shift + Ctrl + H to unhide all the vertices. You will now see the vertices on Al's shoes re-appear as well as the hidden Maxis mesh. Now select 2 vertices on the Maxis and Al's meshes and Ctrl + N to snap them together. Do this for all the verts at the ankle joint. There will be 10 vertices in total to join up - making 5 vertices at the ankle joint. If you are not sure you have selected the correct vertices, check all the views in the 4 windows. Ctrl + Z will undo any mistakes.

Tip: The default Milkshape screen has 4 windows showing 4 different views of the mesh. It's usually: Top left - front view; top right - left view; bottom left - top view and the 3d model in the bottom right window. You can change these by right mouse clicking any window and choosing a different view. You can also change how many windows display by going to Window on the Toolbar and selecting Viewports.

Another tip: If you are joining the shoe meshes onto a trousers mesh there is no need to snap the vertices together.



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Last edited by ruthml on Sun Mar 15, 2009 10:19 pm; edited 2 times in total
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PostPosted: Fri Mar 13, 2009 5:33 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I've noticed some extra bits sticking out on the shoe meshes. Lets have a closer look at these and maybe clean up the mesh a little. Hide the Maxis mesh and zoom in on the shoes in the 3d window (the 4th panel).

To zoom in, hold down shift key and left mouse click making a forward motion away from you. To zoom out hold down the shift key and left mouse click making a pulling towards you motion. Holding down the Ctrl key and dragging with the left mouse button allows you to move the mesh around the screen within its window. If you get completely lost, right mouse click and choose Reset View. You then have to zoom right back in again. (Note, I use a trackpad on a laptop. If you are using a mouse, experiment to see how the scroll wheel works.)

If you don't see the wire mesh outline on the 3d model, right mouse click in that window and choose Wireframe Overlay.

Once we are zoomed in there are what appears to be extra vertices on the shoe mesh - probably leftover bits of mesh from when the original SimSkins mesh was made with the Al Shoes. While they are probably not that visible in the game, we can still clean these up to get a more finished mesh.

Select one vert at a time, checking in the 4th panel (the 3D model view) that you've selected the correct one. If you delete the wrong vert, Ctrl + Z to undo.

You have to select the vertices in the 3 windows showing top, left or front views. You can't select in the 3D model view unfortunately, as that's the easiest one to use! Think of the 3D model view as your checking window.



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Last edited by ruthml on Thu Mar 19, 2009 12:57 pm; edited 3 times in total
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PostPosted: Fri Mar 13, 2009 5:57 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Now we need to think about texture mapping.

The texture for Al's shoes always appears in the bottom left corner of the bmp.

The UV mapping for the arms needs to be moved so that room is made for the shoe texture. Otherwise if we don't do this, the shoes will pick up the arm texture on the bmp and the shoes will be flesh coloured.

If you haven't saved your work by now, do so and save as a *.msd3 file. Close Milkshape.

Open Lithunwrap. Go to File/ Model/ Open and navigate to the Milkshape file. It will open up and look a bit strange - because we are seeing both the Maxis mesh and the Al's shoe mesh in the lower left corner. The shoe mesh is overlapping on a part of the arm mesh.



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Last edited by ruthml on Thu Mar 19, 2009 12:58 pm; edited 2 times in total
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PostPosted: Fri Mar 13, 2009 6:06 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

On the toolbar go to Groups/ Hide and select the shoe mesh and then click on Apply. The shoe mesh is now hidden. Select the lower arms by drawing a box around it - the selected mesh will be red.


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Last edited by ruthml on Thu Mar 19, 2009 5:52 pm; edited 2 times in total
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PostPosted: Fri Mar 13, 2009 6:11 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Now Flip the selected mesh vertically and drag it so it is aligned over the upper arms.

Draw a box around both pieces of arm mesh and weld together. Let it weld using the default settings.

Go to Groups/Unhide and select the shoe mesh then click on Apply. This will show the shoe mesh again. Now there is room for the shoe to have it's own texture on the bmp.

Finally, optimise the mesh to remove any duplicate verts - Tools/ Optimise Model and leave all the 3 checkboxes ticked.

Save by File/ Model/ Save and remember to save it as a *.msd3 file, not the default Lithunwrap file.



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Showing the lower arms flipped vertically and moved to sit over the upper arms.
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What the mesh looks like once the UV mapping edit has finished.
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Last edited by ruthml on Thu Mar 19, 2009 5:52 pm; edited 4 times in total
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PostPosted: Fri Mar 13, 2009 6:20 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Now open up Milkshape again and open the mesh file. This time we are going to look at the texture mapping.

On the Material tab, select both meshes, then click on New and then the <none> button. Navigate to the stripe bmp. (Hint, have this in your Simpose folders).

If you right mouse click in the 4th panel (the 3D model window) and choose Maximise it will open up that 4th panel full screen. As shown in the picture below the stripes on the legs around the knees and shins are crooked. We can tweak it so the texture mapping is better. While this wouldn't matter so much if the legs are bare (ie no stockings) if you wanted to have a patterned stocking for eg, then it would be noticeable.



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The stripey bmp shows if the texture mapping is even. It is crooked on the front of the legs.
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Last edited by ruthml on Sat Mar 14, 2009 8:21 pm; edited 2 times in total
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PostPosted: Fri Mar 13, 2009 6:40 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

In the Group tab, click a mesh, then click on Select, the entire mesh will turn red. Select the 2nd mesh the same way. When both meshes are selected Ctrl + T to open up the Texture Editing window.

You can choose whether you look at the shoe mesh or the Maxis mesh by the drop down menu on the right in the Texture Editing window.

Select the Maxis mesh in the drop down menu. Then drag out the Texture Editing window by the corner until it is bigger. Click on Resize and the bmp will scale up to fit better in the window space.

Click on the Select button, then click anywhere on the bmp (which deselects the mesh) and then click on the vertice to be moved. Click on the Move button and move the vertice up a little. You can lock the X axis by ticking the Lock X tickbox so the vertice only moves vertically.

Click on the X in the top right corner of the Texture Editing window to close it and return to the main Milkshape screen. In the 3D model window check how the bmp looks on the mesh. If you are having trouble identifying what you have changed Ctrl + Z to undo and Ctrl + R to redo helps you see the change.

If you like you can try to adjust the same vertice on the other leg but it's a little tricky because of that asymmetrical hemline. It is not so noticeable on that leg anyway so could be left as is.



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Showing the vert to adjust in the Texture Editing Window.
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Texture mapping for the leg now fixed.
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Last edited by ruthml on Thu Mar 19, 2009 1:02 pm; edited 2 times in total
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PostPosted: Fri Mar 13, 2009 7:17 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

One last step before exporting as a skn file is to weld the mesh. Do this when you have finished making any changes to the texture mapping. With the 2 meshes selected go to the toolbar and select Edit/ Weld Together.

Now save the file as the Milkshape file and then export it as a skn file for Sims 1. (File/ Export / The SIMS Skn..)

If you know what the final mesh name will be, name it now, otherwise you'll have to rename it before you make the cmx file before testing in game.

Now we can think about what the final bmp for this mesh is going to look like. If we were to look at it in Simpose with the original Maxis B428 mesh it would have flesh coloured shoes. (Go on, try it!)

Copy the new mesh into your Bodywarp folder, open Bodywarp, select the mesh and the default white bmp (Skinblank). On the toolbar go to Edit/ Copy UV Map to clipboard. You can choose whether you want to work in the bmp size of 256x256 or 512x512. Paste as new file in your graphics program. If you have given the new mesh its final name, before closing Bodywarp, make the cmx file as well.

Now you will be working in the graphics program. Obviously you should save the working file and put in the different skin tones as separate layers.

If you are new to skinning, on the UV Map background, select the background and delete it, so only the UV Map remains. Have the skin tone layers underneath the UV Map. Make a new layer on top of the UV Map and paint in the heel and sole - for this tutorial I used black.

Make a new layer for the upper part of the shoe and paint that in your desired colour, following the UV Map outline of the shoe. You can go outside the UV Map by 1 or 2 pixels - it doesn't have to be exact. For this tutorial I picked up the green of the sash on the Maxis dress for the shoe upper.

Your shoe will look very flat. This is easily fixed by using the burn tool to darken areas and the dodge tool to make highlights. Have the settings for each tool quite low (less than 10) and gradually build up to get the effect you like.

If you're having trouble, then try copying and pasting in the shoe texture from a SimSkins bmp that used this shoe mesh. As shown in the image below the white stiletto was used as a guide for where to put the shading and highlights. This bit of SimSkins texture was not saved in the final bmp.

Check your progress in Simpose. If you are working with a bmp that's 512x512 then remember to resize it back down to 256x256 for the final skin to test in game. This will save file size.



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What the UV Map looks like. Delete the pink background when making your new bmp.
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Shoe in progress. Keeping the heel/sole and shoe upper on 2 separate layers allows more flexibility if I want to change colours.
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Last edited by ruthml on Thu Mar 19, 2009 5:53 pm; edited 6 times in total
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PostPosted: Fri Mar 13, 2009 7:35 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Let's have a look at the new bmp. Not bad! But I noticed on one shoe heel, there's a little split. It wasn't noticed in Simpose until the new bmp was used.

Back in Milkshape, open up the working mesh file and on the Materials tab, delete the previous material, then assign the new bmp as the new material. Zoom in on the heel to find the problem.

It looks like we need to move a vertice a little bit on the heel. Select the other foot and hide it (Ctrl + H) so we don't get confused over which vertice to move. Then select a few verts in the area, checking in the 4th window on the 3d Model until we can isolate the vertice that needs to be moved. A tiny adjustment was all that was needed to close up that split.

You will need to save the Milkshape file and export it as a skn file again to update the mesh.



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Last edited by ruthml on Sat Mar 14, 2009 8:56 pm; edited 1 time in total
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PostPosted: Fri Mar 13, 2009 7:37 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

To finish off the tutorial I decided to recolour the green dress and shoes a deep purple. The new mesh now looks so much better than the original Maxis flat foot!


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