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Scooter: Beginner's Skin Recolour Tutorial
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bruja
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PostPosted: Sun Nov 12, 2006 1:52 pm    Post subject: Scooter: Beginner's Skin Recolour Tutorial Reply with quote

Easy Skinning Project: Scooter's Apron

This little tutorial will take you step by step through a very simple first skinning project.

It assumes that you have a basic knowledge of a graphics program that can make layers. Any one of PhotoShop, Paint Shop Pro, or the free program Gimp is fine. You can get Gimp here:

http://www.gimp.org/

The illustrations for the tutorial show Paint Shop Pro 8.

If any of the terms used is unfamiliar to you because you are using PhotoShop or Gimp, check out the Tool Equivalents thread here:
http://simblesseoblige.com/viewtopic.php?t=512


The tutorial also assumes that you understand common skinning terms like 'bmp' and 'skn', and that you can decipher a skin name like 'B1ermafitlgt_bboy'. If you find any of the terms like 'mesh' unfamiliar, Skinning Terminology and Skin Naming Conventions are explained here:

http://simblesseoblige.com/viewtopic.php?t=74


Last edited by bruja on Sun Nov 12, 2006 10:54 pm; edited 1 time in total
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bruja
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PostPosted: Sun Nov 12, 2006 1:56 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

This is Scooter, the Home Grocery Delivery Man.

You'll notice that he is wearing the Maxis busboy costume.



Scooter.jpg
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Scooter.jpg


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bruja
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PostPosted: Sun Nov 12, 2006 2:07 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

This tutorial will take you through the steps of customizing the apron worn by Scooter, who brings the Home Grocery Delivery (HGD). You can get this phone plug-in NPC here:

http://simblesseoblige.com/viewtopic.php?t=333

If you have the Home Grocery Delivery installed in your game, you will be able to have your own Scooter outfit, unique to your game.

If you are one of our members who can't install the HGD because it requires expansions that you don't have, you can still use this tutorial to create one or more playable skins.
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bruja
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PostPosted: Sun Nov 12, 2006 2:12 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The easiest way to give Scooter a distinct look of his own is to change the colour of his green apron, and add a picture to it.

Download the Scooter's Apron zip, and unzip the contents to a new 'Scooter' folder on your Desktop.



Scooter's Apron.zip
 Description:
This zip contains the bmp for the tutorial, plus the cmx and skn for use if you do not have the HGD installed, and for use in SimPose or SimShow previews.

Download
 Filename:  Scooter's Apron.zip
 Filesize:  52.41 KB
 Downloaded:  600 Time(s)

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bruja
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PostPosted: Sun Nov 12, 2006 2:15 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Open a new image, 256x256 pixels, with a transparent background, and name it B1ERmafitlgt_bboy.

The file type of the new image should be the native file type that your graphics program uses when you are working with layers.

In Paint Shop Pro, this will be a .psp file.

In PhotoShop, this will be a .psd file.

In Gimp, this will be a .xcf file.



New image with transparent background.jpg
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llustration shows PSP8 screen image
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New image with transparent background.jpg


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bruja
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PostPosted: Sun Nov 12, 2006 2:26 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Open the Scooter's Apron bmp in your graphics program.

Copy the Scooter's Apron bmp, and paste it as a new layer in the B1ERmafitlgt_bboy image. (Try to remember to name each layer as you make it, to save yourself time later.)

Then close the unchanged Scooter's Apron bmp.



Pasting new layer.jpg
 Description:
Scooter's Apron bmp, copied and pasted as new layer of working image
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Pasting new layer.jpg


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bruja
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PostPosted: Sun Nov 12, 2006 2:43 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Now we want to select just the apron to work on.

If you are using Paint Shop Pro, use the Magic Wand selection tool. You may have to adjust the settings from the default to pick up all the shades of green. I found that using the match mode of RGB and a tolerance setting of 40, picked up almost all the apron, with just a couple of very light and dark pixels to be added. Remember, to add to a selection, hold down the Shift key for each additional part.

If you are using Photoshop or Gimp, and you're not sure which of your tools is equivalent, Simblesse Oblige has provided a Tool Equivalents guide. You can find it here: http://simblesseoblige.com/viewtopic.php?t=512



Apron selection.jpg
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Apron Selected
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Apron selection.jpg


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bruja
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PostPosted: Sun Nov 12, 2006 2:45 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Note that the green apron is a more complicated selection than a simple rectangle.


Additional information: for the purposes of this tutorial, it is not necessary to save the selection. However, saving selections creates templates that save an incredible amount of time for both skinners and object makers.

So I suggest that you save the selection at this point, even if you have to stop working on this tutorial long enough to go to check the manual or help files of your graphics program.
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bruja
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PostPosted: Sun Nov 12, 2006 2:50 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I've copied this from the Simblesse Oblige Graphics Tools Equivalents, so that you'll know what tool you're going to use to recolour the apron.

Paintshop Pro: Adjust (or Adjustment Layer)/ Hue-Saturation
Photoshop: Image / Adjustment / Hue-Saturation
GIMP: Tools / Color Tools / Hue-Saturation
* Modifies Hue, Saturation, or Lightness



There are three ways to recolour the apron from this point:

A: Work right on the pasted layer. This is the lazy way to go, and usually ends up being more work in the long run, because if you don't like the results, you have to delete the layer, and paste a new copy of the Scooter's apron bmp into your image.

B: Duplicate the top layer. Now you can change the hue, saturation, or lightness on the duplicated layer. If you don't like the result, delete the duplicate layer, and make a new duplicate layer to play with.

Note: If you are using Gimp, Method B - Duplicate Layer is the only good choice available to you.



Duplicate Layer Method.jpg
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One possible hue adjustment
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Duplicate Layer Method.jpg


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bruja
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PostPosted: Sun Nov 12, 2006 2:54 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

C: Make a new Adjustment Layer. To recolour Scooter's Apron, adjust the HSL (hue, saturation, lightness) on the adjustment layer. This method can be used in either PSP or Photoshop. Adjustment Layers can be used to make changes like recolouring, without affecting the layers below, just as if you were working on a duplicate layer.

Adjustment layers are very powerful tools, and give you much more flexibility than simply recolouring a duplicate layer, since they can be stacked on top of each other to give you combinations, they can have varying degrees of opacity, and they can use the full range of blend modes.


I've shown a couple of the recolours I made this way.

(For this simple recolour, the duplicate layer method would be fine if you want to make only one new apron. An additional advantage to using Adjustment Layers is the ability to make many different recoloured bmp's from a single layered image very quickly.)



Olive.jpg
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Olive HSL
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Olive.jpg



Cherry.jpg
 Description:
Cherry HSL
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Cherry.jpg



Key Lime.jpg
 Description:
Lime HSL
 Filesize:  22.43 KB
 Viewed:  11348 Time(s)

Key Lime.jpg


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bruja
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PostPosted: Sun Nov 12, 2006 2:57 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Optional: Add a picture, logo, or even text.

(If you're happy just to have made a different colour apron, you can skip this step.)

A picture or a logo added to the apron will give you a thoroughly unique Scooter, and takes only a few more minutes.

Make a new layer, and paste your picture onto it.



vegetable basket picture.jpg
 Description:
Apron with picture added
 Filesize:  46.31 KB
 Viewed:  11346 Time(s)

vegetable basket picture.jpg


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PostPosted: Sun Nov 12, 2006 3:04 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Note: Whatever you paste onto the chest is going to appear in the game mirror-imaged, because that's how the Maxis busboy mesh was made. So if you're going to use text or a logo which will look wrong mirror-imaged, you'll have to make your logo a mirror of what you want to see in the game.

In tribute to 17mars/eradia, who hacked the Home Grocery Delivery, I chose as a logo the astrological symbol for mars.



mars logo.jpg
 Description:
mars logo, mirror imaged so it will be correct in game.
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mars logo.jpg



mars symbol.jpg
 Description:
Mars symbol, already mirror-imaged, ready to use
 Filesize:  2.27 KB
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mars symbol.jpg



Simblesse Oblige Monogram.jpg
 Description:
Simblesse Oblige monogram, already mirror-imaged, ready to use.
 Filesize:  1.82 KB
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Simblesse Oblige Monogram.jpg


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bruja
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PostPosted: Sun Nov 12, 2006 3:10 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

When you've found a combination of colour and picture that you like for Scooter's apron, save copy as a bmp in your working forlder. Saving as a bmp will flatten the image to one layer, if you are using PSP or Photoshop. If you are using Gimp, you must flatten the image first, save the copy, then remember to undo the flattening of your working image.

Now save your working image, with the layers intact, in the native file format of your graphics program (the one you've been using to make the layers), and close it.

Load the copy you saved as a bmp into your graphics program.

This bmp is still in 24 bit colour/RGB.

Reduce colour depth to 8 bit/indexed mode, so that it can be used by the game.


Last edited by bruja on Sun Nov 12, 2006 5:41 pm; edited 1 time in total
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PostPosted: Sun Nov 12, 2006 3:14 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Optional: Preview the new skin that you have made. The Scooter's Apron Mesh zip contains a duplicate of the skn and cmx file that are used by the Home Grocery Delivery phone plug in, for your convenience if you want to preview your skin in SimPose or Simshow.

For previewing in SimPose, place the skn file in SimPose/GameData/ObjM/Body. You don't need the cmx file. Now put a copy of your B1ERmafitlgt_bboy.bmp into SimPose/Gamedata/TexM/Body.


For previewing in SimShow, place the skn AND the cmx files in SimShow/GameData/cmx3. Put a copy of your B1ERmafitlgt_bboy.bmp into SimShow/Gamedata/Textures.



SimPose Preview.jpg
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SimPose Preview
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SimPose Preview.jpg



SimShow preview.jpg
 Description:
SimShow Preview
 Filesize:  7.82 KB
 Viewed:  11342 Time(s)

SimShow preview.jpg


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PostPosted: Sun Nov 12, 2006 3:21 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The bmp is now usable in the game.

If you move it into your Skins folder, it will overwrite the Maxis busboy skin that came with the Home Grocery Delivery phone plug-in. (If you want to keep the original busboy skin with the plain green apron as a playable skin, rename it to B1ermafitlgt_bboy2.bmp before you move your skin into the Skins folder.)

(If you don't have the phone plug-in installed, put the bmp you've made, and the cmx and skn files that came in the Scooter's Apron zip, into your Skins folder, and you will have a playable skin.)

Congratulations! You're a skinner!! clap


Last edited by bruja on Sat Jan 24, 2009 3:50 pm; edited 2 times in total
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