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How skins are named (naming convention)

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PostPosted: Mon Aug 28, 2006 8:08 am    Post subject: How skins are named (naming convention) Reply with quote

Sims' Skins are made of of three parts:
    Texture (BMP) - An 8-bit (256 colors) bitmap. While the game will allow textures with a smaller palette to be used File Cop will flag them as "bad" unless they are exactly 256 colors. Textures that are at a higher color depth than 8-bit/256 colors/Index will not display properly and show as a blank white textureless texture. This file is modified in any paint/graphics program that can handle BMPs (which is all of them, I believe) This is the visual part of your sim.
    3D Model (SKN) - this file is the actual 3D model/mesh that makes the Sim. These files are modified with 3D modeling programs (you may need to convert them to another file type first) but can also be edited in a simple text editor (like Window's own Notepad) If you open the SKN file in a simple text editor you will find the first line has the SKN file's own name (without the extension listed) and the second line has the name of the texture that should be used with it. For heads and bodies this is normally just an X (which is why, when something is wrong with the texture it's trying to load it'll load the x.bmp file instead. This graphic is a medium-dark grey background with light grey on it forming an X. If this is what you are seeing n your sims then you are missing your textures). On non-head and non-body meshes, however, you'll find a specific texture IS listed (again without the extension)
    Mesh Assembly Instructions (CMX) - The CMX acts as a "master" file for the mesh. All of the meshes (SKN) that need to be assembled to make the whole body or whole head are listed in the cmx file. Usually it's just the single body mesh or head mesh but occasionally "accessories" (also called props) are added such as glasses, hats, elf ears, butterfly wings, and so on. Cassandra Goth, for instance is a little girl's head mesh plus a glasses mesh- One CMX but two SKN files make up that single head "mesh". Like the SKN file the CMX can be opened and edited with a simple text editor

The game matches the texture to the mesh by matching file names up. It matches the BMP file name to the CMX filename so any 8-bit BMP file starting with "B001FAFIT" will be be shown on any (and every) cmx file that begins the same way.


First thing you'll notice is that the BMP has a longer file name - it's got "LGT" before the underscore where the CMX does not. That's the skin tone listed. 3D models have no visual representation so they don't have a skin tone listed. Any skin tone can go on that shape. Second thing you'll notice is that after the underscore it does not much matter what's listed.

The file names break down like this:
B stands for body (heads use C for cranium. Note more alternatives below)
001 is the mesh identifier. Always 3 characters.
F stands for female (M for male)
A stands for adult (C for child)
FIT is the body type (SKN and FAT being the others. People sometimes make a custom body type. Always 3 characters.)
LGT is the skin tone (MED and DRK being the others.)

Alternatives to B for body we have buyable skins:
F for Formalwear (hotdate and up)
L for Lingerie/Pajamas (hotdate and up)
S for swimwear (hotdate and up)
W for Winterwear (introduced with Vacation EP)
H for High Fashion (/Haute Couture introduced with Superstar)
The rest of the file name for those clothing types follow the normal naming convention.

NUDES (and pre-hotdate defaults)
In addition to those wardrobes types we have the Nudes. We also have a few pre-hotdate defaults lying about left over. Formalwear, pajamas and swimwear were simply "default" skins (the way the nude is now) rather than clothing you could assign to individual sims and so followed the same naming convention as the nudes.

NFfitlgt_01 breaks down into
N for nude
F for female (m for male)
fit for body type (others being SKN and FAT)
lgt for skin tone (bmps only; others being MED and DRK)

Before hotdate the other clothing styles used that naming convention but the N (for nude) was changed to
F for formal (so a formalwear would be FFfitlgt_01)
U for swimwear (assumed to stand for undies. This would be UFfitlgt_01)
Pajamas for sleepwear (Sometimes it was PJs instead of pajamas but some expansion changed that)

"Laws control the lesser man... Right conduct controls the greater one." -Mark Twain
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Joined: 16 Aug 2006
Posts: 2858
Location: Monon, Indiana

PostPosted: Thu Aug 31, 2006 6:52 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Bmps also need to be in the correct size-in multiples of 16, a common size for a body bmp is 256x256, and a head is 128x128; but there are some double sizes: 256x512 or 128x256. The smallest I've come across was for a prop: 16x16, and the largest was 512x512 for a really detailed dress.

If your bmp is not the correct size, like 255x256, you will have problems with it showing up correctly, it may be a pinkish color.
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