View Full Version : Small changes - Search parameters, and retextures of high poly meshes

3rd Mar 2011, 5:05 PM
Evening MTSers. :)

We've made a couple of small changes over the past few days:

Search parameters
The careers (http://www.modthesims.info/browse.php?f=229&showType=1&gs=0) and university majors (http://www.modthesims.info/browse.php?f=253&showType=1&gs=1) sections both now have search/filter parameters to make it easier for downloaders to find what they're looking for.

If you're a creator with uploads in these areas, please update your uploads to use the new parameters! Hit the Edit button in the footer bar on the download thread, then scroll down to just past the keywords. It might take a few minutes for changes to show up on the download page once you've saved. Thanks. :)

If there are any search/filter parameters that you think should be there but aren't (or vice versa), please let us know, and we'll add any sensible suggestions. :)

Retextures of high poly meshes
There are a lot of beautiful meshes out there, and plenty of creators recolour or retexture them - which is great, but it also means that, often, a downloader might not think before downloading a required mesh, and may end up with a very high poly mesh and no idea they have it: although if this happens once or twice this isn't a problem, it could end up resulting in performance issues for some more prolific downloaders.

We considered requiring retexturers to note the poly count of the original mesh in the upload text, however that seemed excessive, especially since many sites just don't provide that info, and non-meshers may not know how to check it. So instead we've added an automatic banner to retextures which are likely to use a very high poly mesh, and we'll be adding the banner manually when we spot something we know is way OTT.

We're not trying to discourage people from downloading such retextures/meshes - some are happy with having high poly stuff in their games, or know that their computers can handle it, and in any case it's not our job to police other sites. It's just there to remind downloaders to keep poly count in mind, and check it if they can.

The system isn't 100% effective! We know it's not - sometimes it will miss things, sometimes it will flag up things it shouldn't. We'll do our best to fill the gaps, but if you spot something that you think is incorrectly flagged, point it out in Site Issues (http://www.modthesims.info/forumdisplay.php?f=24) or Creator Issues (http://www.modthesims.info/fd.php?f=492), and we'll be happy to fix it.

Since I'm now on holiday (:beer:) and have absolutely no grace...

Have a great weekend guys! ;)

3rd Mar 2011, 6:30 PM
Could Delphy script something so creators who don't bother adding search flags get a nag screen until they do? Or would that be too much trouble? I've flagged tons of stuff, and sometimes it was CC from active creators who just couldn't be bothered. Grumpy cat is grumpy. ;)

3rd Mar 2011, 8:57 PM
I've always found the poly limits on hairs to be a bit restrictive, according to MTS a S3 hair is "high-poly" if it goes beyond say 11,000ish, realistically though many many people are using hairs that go beyond 15,000-20,000 without a problem. EA hairs are quite under the poly limit in comparison to what most of our computers can handle. I think that anything over maybe 13-14,000 should be marked high-poly because 11,000 is pretty low.

You should add search terms to the shoes category. I was surprised to find that there are no age,gender,category flags or any other ones. Basically I think that shoes should have all the same flags as clothing.

4th Mar 2011, 11:46 AM
Well, our poly limits for TS3 hairs are in line with our poly limits for everything else - yes, EA's stuff is usually (not always, though...) on the low end, but at the same time, EA's stuff is what the engine is designed to handle. There is certainly some leeway for higher poly stuff yes: but it's pointless to have a hair mesh which is the same poly count as four or five (bald) sims, or two cars. Hell, there are hairs being distributed which don't have morphs, because the game can't morph such high poly models. That's as much a sign of a broken mesh as an invisible head is.

TS3 hair animations are much less complex than TS2 ones, and as I've mentioned, a hair doesn't need to be as detailed as a car, especially not with proper use of alphas and bumpmaps; there's no reason, in most cases, for counts to be so high. It's true that most people's computers can handle hair meshes in the 20k range, but that doesn't mean such meshes are good quality, just that they scrape by (Case in point - I've reduced a TTS hair from 26k to 5k, and the only difference ingame is that I stuffed up the normals along the way. Detail, animation, all perfect. Gorram normals).

Thanks for pointing out the shoes - they weren't given search params when we first introduced params, because TS2 shoes are really a modders' resource. I'll fix that up sometime today. :)

11th Mar 2011, 11:53 AM
Ok, so "sometime today" is Valve time. But the Shoe params are now done. :p .

I'll consider the nag screen Cat. It's technically possible, sure, but may not be entirely practical... query checking every single thread for search params, forumid and owner? Hmm... :P

14th Mar 2011, 4:51 PM
Game Help:Poly Counts

There's some information on what poly counts are, and why there needs to be a limit. It varies from TS2 to TS3, generally a bit higher with TS3. It's also different from item to item; a car will tend to have a lot more polys than, say, a chair. We don't have a specific hard limit (i.e. we don't say 6000 is fine but 6001 is not) but generally look at each item individually and its complexity and how many polys it should have for its shape, and judge from there. Sites that will have that yellow poly warning are ones that have high poly counts for many/most/all of their items, and will often be ones that don't post poly counts at all.

15th Apr 2011, 12:59 PM
This rocks. I'm on a lower-end system (AL is above my system specs even if I didn't have Vista), so the heads-up is most appreciated.