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What will I need for mesh making?

 
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Thalia
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PostPosted: Wed Nov 10, 2010 3:40 am    Post subject: What will I need for mesh making? Reply with quote

Okay, I didn't see a topic here addressing this, though I could have sworn there was something on it here.

I may very well be able to get my hands on a PC shortly so that I can start to make my own meshes. I've worked with a PC before (and hated it; I'm never going to be anything other than a diehard Mac person), but it has been a while.

My question is, what are the programs I will need for that?

I know I will need Milkshape, obviously. There is also a cmx maker program, right? Is that all I will need, or are there more?

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Aaron_of_Mpls
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PostPosted: Wed Nov 10, 2010 5:39 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

You're right about needing MilkShape.

As for CMXs, strictly speaking, you don't need a CMX maker, just something that can edit plain text files (such as Windows Notepad or Mac TextEdit) and save them with any extension. You may also want to use Notepad (or TextEdit) on SKNs in a few minor ways. (There are a few tutorials out there on editing the files, such as Sistergirl's.)

Also, I've created a small tutorial on CMX and SKN files, if you need it. Questions and comments are welcome.

And one last thing -- you'll want to make filename extensions visible in Windows, if they aren't already.

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ruthml
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PostPosted: Thu Nov 11, 2010 2:59 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi Thalia, you'll also need SimPose. It's a handy program for viewing skins outside the game.

Lithunwrap is another useful program - it does enable editing of meshes to some degree - but as far as I know it's used in conjunction with Milkshape for when you are changing the UV map to allow for props etc to be included on the bmp. Lithunwrap is free.

Milkshape is definitely worth the money and it's available as a 30 day trial.

Bodywarp is another handy program - it again allows you look at skins on meshes outside the game. It also saves cmx files very easily. I also use it to create the UV map of a mesh as a bmp. This is also free.

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Thalia
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PostPosted: Wed Dec 22, 2010 3:48 am    Post subject: Best operating system? Reply with quote

Thanks all.

Okay, so this is still coming along (slowly); the Sibling wants to know what OS I'll need on the thing. I figured the programs I'll want are:

Milkshape
SimPose
Lithunwrap
Bodywarp
Homecrafter

and some kind of internet browser thing so I can access my email. I figured the easiest way to get files from the PC to the Mac would be to just zip them up and email them to myself since it's going to be a laptop anyway and I don't want to worry about networking things together, nor will I have the game itself on the PC.

From what I can tell (and bless me, but I really do know nothing about PCs) those programs will run on anything from Windows 98 to NT (whatever that is). What I'd like to know is which of those is the best, meaning the most stable. Which OS would you all recommend I get, just for those few and specific programs?

Thank you all. And thank you Aaron for the little tutorials. I haven't gotten as far as to need them yet, but I promise I will. :)

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ruthml
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PostPosted: Wed Dec 22, 2010 4:41 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

As far as an operating system goes - if it's a new (or new-ish) computer then it will be Windows 7 or Vista. Ok I haven't used Windows 7 so can't say what it's like (apart from the really annoying ads, lol). All those programs run under Vista ok. If you get hold of Windows XP, they'll also run on that. Anything older than XP - don't bother.

I have to say Vista is quite stable to use. It has a few initial quirks but honestly I have to say I've had far less crashing problems with Vista then with XP.

As for email - well you can skip the Outlook (if you don't have MS Office). There maybe a cut down version of Outlook called Outlook Express which is a basic email program. This is usually not immediately visible (ie it's stored somewhere and you'll have to go searching for it). But honestly, I'd skip Microsoft stuff and just use a web based email like yahoo or gmail.

Or what about Dropbox? That is an web based file storage program (free). You sign up, and once it's set up on both your pc and Mac, you simply upload the files you want to copy across into Dropbox, then access them on the other computer via Dropbox. www.dropbox.com to get you started. I have a dropbox account and if I send you an invite by email, and you accept then we'll both get an extra 250mb of storage space free. The way Dropbox works is that if you upload something, then access Dropbox on your other computer, it will update on your computer (within a special folder) - kind of like downloading it automatically.

Or what about a memory stick to transfer files across?

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Last edited by ruthml on Wed Dec 22, 2010 4:47 pm; edited 1 time in total
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PostPosted: Wed Dec 22, 2010 4:45 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Just a thought - what about Tmog as well?

Other useful programs are : Far Out (extracts individual files out of the game FAR files). Far Out is one of the Sim Paladin programs - he has other useful ones for categorizing objects and some skins maintenance. (SimCat and Sim Wardrobe) I use Far Out a lot because I'm always digging out skin files out of the game.

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socrstchik
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PostPosted: Wed Dec 22, 2010 8:43 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thalia, I have Windows 7, and it's not bad. I don't have major issues with it. I actually really like Win7.

BUT - here are the problems I run into (and my additional recommeded programs):

Some programs won't run on it's default color mode, like Homecrafter. But there's an easy fix for that - I just change my display settings while I'm running Homecrafter. When I'm done, I switch back. The only reason I flip between the two is that I like the Windows "Aero" mode, which make certain things, like the taskbar, semi-transparent. It's purely visual. This issue only seems to occur with Maxis programs.

Also, Bodywarp would run okay, but the color would be waaaay off. I'm not much of a skinner, so I never investigated a fix for that.

If you use SimWardrobe, etc. from Paladin, you will need dr3m.dll (I think that's right - I will make sure when I get home tonight) and Tabctl32.ocx copied into the same folder as the program you're using. Also, re: CMXs - I use CMX Maker from Paladin. It uses the SKN file to create a CMX for you. Like Aaron said, you can make CMXs rather easily, but I'm lazy, so there you go. laugh

I use not only SimCategorizer, but also SimOrganizer (available at TSR). It will categorize ANYTHING. (i.e. SimCat won't categorize things that have a built-in controller, like punchbowls and dance floors, when the controller appears first in the IFF. Or some multiple-in-1 IFFs. SimOrg will.)

SimExplorer is also nice to have, but not wholly necessary.

Don't forget Skin Doctor! (which I'm sure you knew)

Ruth recommended a flash drive to transfer the files - I don't know if you can do that. Something about different formatting on Mac and PC - one computer, or both, will want to format the memory stick. You can certainly try it, since I've only attempted to transfer between the 2 once.

I guess that's all. Only 2 skinning programs, which is what you asked for. smile And a bunch more you didn't. whistle

PS - If you decide to go with Win7, I'll be happy to help if/when you run into issues.

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Aaron_of_Mpls
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PostPosted: Wed Dec 22, 2010 10:40 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

socrstchik wrote:
Ruth recommended a flash drive to transfer the files - I don't know if you can do that. Something about different formatting on Mac and PC - one computer, or both, will want to format the memory stick. You can certainly try it, since I've only attempted to transfer between the 2 once.

Actually, you might be able to if it's formatted correctly (FAT16 or FAT32, rather than NTFS). From what I can Google, both Windows and OS X have an option to do this. Also, many flash drives come FAT32-formatted already (all 3 of mine did), so you probably won't have to worry about any of this.

As for web browsing and email, you're probably better off using Mozilla Firefox and Mozilla Thunderbird, instead of Internet Explorer and Outlook Express.

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PostPosted: Thu Dec 23, 2010 2:31 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

More than likely. Like I said, I've only tried it once, and it was a few years ago. And a video file. wink
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Thalia
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PostPosted: Thu Dec 23, 2010 3:52 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Wow thanks for all the info, though it's making me a little cross-eyed just now. jfade's psycho I really do probably need to start with like the Wikipedia article on the history of Windows or something, ha.

Now Ruth, why on earth would I need TMog when I've got IffSnooper? :) Also, FarOut wouldn't do me any good since my game is on my Mac and I'm not planning on buying a PC version.

I talked to my sister today (who, though she is my IT go-to gal and quite knowledgeable about Macs, also knows next to nothing about PCs) and she said that the laptop she has has Windows 98, which is about the last OS I'm familiar with on the things, since it's been that long since some job or other where we used that. (Actually when I first started working at that animation place we were doing some of it in DOS, yikes.) But that sounds like that's too old to make work.

I would like to keep this fairly bare-bones and on the low end of expense. I don't need this to be for anything other than mesh-making (and Homecrafter, since IffSnooper tends to do odd crunchy things with graphics sometimes). So for instance I'd rather not get a flash drive just for this if it'll work to email it to myself fairly painlessly. Also I'd like to (try to) keep this as simple as can be as I'm not only going to be learning a batch of programs, but the basics of the operating system too.

But again, thanks. And hmmm...

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ruthml
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PostPosted: Thu Dec 23, 2010 4:58 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thalia wrote:

Now Ruth, why on earth would I need TMog when I've got IffSnooper? :) Also, FarOut wouldn't do me any good since my game is on my Mac and I'm not planning on buying a PC version.


Ah I had the feeling you'd say something like that - in various ways Iffsnooper is superior to Tmog, but hey aren't you curious to check it out? laugh

But...I had completely forgotten that Sims for Mac and Sims for Windows are different - my bad! Sorry!! blush

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socrstchik
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PostPosted: Thu Dec 23, 2010 7:50 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Windows 98 was outdated in... '99. Ha!

XP isn't being manufactured or supported (by Microsoft) anymore, but I'm sure you can still find a copy somewhere.

Whatever you do, DON'T get Windows ME. Oof, that was an AWFUL version. And Mojave was just a supposed 'fixed' version of Vista.

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