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Old 16th Oct 2005, 11:58 AM DefaultShort tutorial: how to create NightLife cars #1
willem81
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Here is a short description about making a custom car for The Sims 2 NightLife. To understand this you will probably need basic knowledge of: Simpe, Milkshape or an other 3D-editor, and uv-mapping.

1. You need to pick a “reference object”, this is one of the cars Maxis made. The “reference object” its shape needs to be somewhat similar to the you are creating because you are going to use the animations of this “reference object”. Especially the size of the doors and the driver’s position are important. The sim will get in the car using the position of the “reference object”. So when you are making a car that is lower than the “reference object”, your sim will step in the vehicle like it is a higher car, resulting in its head going through the roof for example. I will use the supersportscar as the “reference object” in the rest of this tutorial.

2. You need to import the GMDC of the supersportscar in Milkshape 3D using “The Sims 2 GMDC importer V2.16” by wes_h. First thing you need to do is making a cloned object of the supersportscar using “Object Workshop” in Simpe. From this cloned object you extract the GMDC (by right-clicking on the GMDC!), only the one with the actual mesh (you can leave the shadow alone), which you need to import in Milkshape.

3. The best thing to do is watch the imported supersportscar in Milkshape very closely. (To get rid of the big blue cirkels (the bones/joints) you need to change the value for “joint size” to 0.007500 on the tab “misc” in the preferences of Milkshape.) Very important is the tab “joints” at the right. For example select [email protected] Then click the button “SelAssigned”. Doing this Milkshape will show you which vertexes are assigned to this joint. As you can see it is the right rear wheel. You will need to assign the vertexes of your car in a similar way. I will talk about this later (step 5).

4. Next step is to modify your carmesh to make it compatible with The Sims. For most cars found on the web this means: creating the interior, reducing the vertex- and polycount, separating doors from the main body, reversing vertex order of faces, etc. It is very important to make the wheels and doors in separate groups (see the groups tab in Milkshape), so you can easily select them when you are assigning them to the joints (see step 5). The best is to give your car as much different groups as possible, this makes the uv-mapping much easier. In step 7 you can regroup all this groups to the ones that were in the original cloned car (the uv-mapping is still working after regrouping).

5. When you are finished with your mesh you need to import it in the project you are already running: the imported GMDC of the supersportscar. You will probably have to scale your model to the size of the supersportscar. After that you are going to assign the joints. For example: select [email protected] We have already noticed it is the joint for the right rear wheel. So select al the vertices of your right rear wheel and click on the button “assign” (see the pic above). When you select [email protected] again and you press the button “SelAssigned” you will notice the vertices from the right rear wheel of your car and of the supersportscar are assigned. Once you have assigned al the necessary parts to the joints you can delete the parts of the supersportscar. They are not needed anymore.
Edit: one more thing: you need to move the joints for the wheels to the center of the wheel (in de side view and front/back view). Otherwise the wheels will rotate in a strange way when the car is driving. When the joints for the doors are inside or outside your vehicle, you need to move them (in de front or back view) exactly at the edge (or border) of your model. DON'T move any of the other joints.

6. Next step is the uv-mapping. You need to export your model using the “The Sims 2 GMDC exporter V2.16” to a SimPE file. After that you need to save the model as *.ms3d. This *.ms3d file you need to open in LithUnWrap. In LithUnWrap you create your uv-map. Once you have opened this uv-mapped *.ms3d in Milkshape you need to copy and past the comments belonging to each joint from the model you saved as a SimPE file. LithUnWrap is losing this comments for some reason.
I'm not going to explain this, there is a tutorial here: http://www.modthesims2.com/showthread.php?t=79954. (It's for UVMapper Classic, but the basics are the same.)

7. When you are finished with the comments you need to regroup al your parts in a way you get the same parts as the supersportscar had. You will need a “vehiclesupersportscar_matte”, a “vehiclesupersportscar_chrome”, a “surface”, etc. You can use the cloned object from step 2 as a reference for the names. Once you have done this you can export again using the “The Sims 2 GMDC exporter V2.16”. I recommend saving to a new file so you don’t need to start over again when you screw something up.

8. Then you need to make a new cloned object from the supersportscar using the “Object Workshop” in Simpe. Then you are going to make all the necessary steps for creating a custom object. I recommend this tutorial: http://www.modthesims2.com/showthread.php?t=104795

9. Start The Sims to watch your model in-game. You will notice strange positions of the wheels, the doors and the lights. This can be solved in the Resouce Node in Simpe. See Cevic’s post in this thread for more information http://www.modthesims2.com/showthread.php?t=93510


I hope I have made it more clear to you (English isn't my native language).
Please post any questions in this thread, don’t PM me.

Willem


Credits to the creators of the modding tools, to Numeror for his uv-mapping tutorial, to JWoods for his custom object tutorial, to Cevic for his post about the CRES and Dr. Pixel for his solution for the comments.





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Tutorials:Short_how_to_create_NightLife_carswiki
Last edited by Echo : 11th Sep 2008 at 12:21 PM.
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Old 16th Oct 2005, 5:34 PM #2
collandmichelle
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Thank you This will help decrease my trial and error period. Your english is fine.

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Old 16th Oct 2005, 5:45 PM #3
oreogreeneyez
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Are you supposed to import both GMDC files? (from the supersportscar)
Old 16th Oct 2005, 7:18 PM #4
willem81
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Quote:
Originally Posted by oreogreeneyez
Are you supposed to import both GMDC files? (from the supersportscar)


No, only the one with the mesh. You can leave the shadow alone.
Old 16th Oct 2005, 7:58 PM #5
mb4566
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Thanks for the information.
Old 16th Oct 2005, 11:50 PM #6
simfantastic2
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is it possible to reduce the vertices, and faces in milkshape without deleting anything?
Old 17th Oct 2005, 4:41 PM #7
willem81
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Quote:
Originally Posted by simfantastic2
is it possible to reduce the vertices, and faces in milkshape without deleting anything?


No, you have to delete vertices and faces to reduce the amount of them.

I've done this several times:
I deleted let's say 8 faces connected to each other and made sure the 4 vertices at the edge of these 8 faces were still there. With this "edge-vertices" I created 2 new faces. This reduced the amount of vertices with 6.
See the pic below: Step 1 is with the 8 faces, step 2 is with only 2, but is is still the same mesh. The 4 vertices in step 2 are the "edge-vertices".
Screenshots
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Old 18th Oct 2005, 8:11 AM #8
Skyline-X
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Do you know how to do this in Wings 3D? My Milkshape program refuses to start, so I can't use that...

Remember...traffic lights that are timed for 35 MPH are ALSO timed for 70 MPH....
Old 18th Oct 2005, 12:17 PM #9
Numenor
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Wings3D doesn't support bones (joints), and therefore you can't use it to edit animated meshes...

I've finally started my Journal. Information only, no questions.

My latest activity: CEP 9.2.0! - AnyGameStarter 2.1.1 (UPD) - Scriptorium v.2.2f - Photo & Plaques hide with walls - Magazine Rack (UPD) - Animated Windows Hack (UPD) - Custom Instrument Hack (UPD) - Drivable Cars Without Nightlife (UPD) - Courtesy Lights (FIX) - Custom Fence-Arches - Painting-TV - Smarter Lights (UPD)


I *DON'T* accept requests, sorry.
Old 18th Oct 2005, 12:22 PM #10
pinhead
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In fact milkshape has a tool to reduce vertices and faces.
It's under Tools/Direct X Mesh Tools...

This will bring a window with a slider bar and some options in the toolbar.
Anyway, you have to make sure that the model is triagulated to take a more deep effect.
Last edited by pinhead : 18th Oct 2005 at 12:35 PM.
Old 20th Oct 2005, 10:14 AM #11
bienchen83
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Thanks so much for this tutorial. :nod: I´ll have to try this out for a request I got.

Sorry for the stupid question, but where do I get the Plugin from Wes_h? :sorry:
Old 20th Oct 2005, 1:23 PM #12
willem81
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bienchen83
Thanks so much for this tutorial. :nod: I´ll have to try this out for a request I got.

Sorry for the stupid question, but where do I get the Plugin from Wes_h? :sorry:


You're welcome.

You can get the plugin in one of the sticky's in this forum. Here: http://www.modthesims2.com/showthread.php?t=43503
Old 20th Oct 2005, 4:15 PM #13
Numenor
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(Moving this thread to the Tutorial / Mesh creation Forum).

Thank you Willem81 for the info you are sharing with the other members!

I've finally started my Journal. Information only, no questions.

My latest activity: CEP 9.2.0! - AnyGameStarter 2.1.1 (UPD) - Scriptorium v.2.2f - Photo & Plaques hide with walls - Magazine Rack (UPD) - Animated Windows Hack (UPD) - Custom Instrument Hack (UPD) - Drivable Cars Without Nightlife (UPD) - Courtesy Lights (FIX) - Custom Fence-Arches - Painting-TV - Smarter Lights (UPD)


I *DON'T* accept requests, sorry.
Old 21st Oct 2005, 12:37 AM #14
Grave
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Quote:
Originally Posted by willem81
Very important is the tab “joints” at the right. For example select [email protected] Then click the button “SelAssigned”. Doing this Milkshape will show you which vertexes are assigned to this joint. As you can see it is the right rear wheel. You will need to assign the vertexes of your car in a similar way. I will talk about this later.



What do you mean by this? It's very confusing. I looked at the Joints tab, and see nothing about [email protected] When I click on joints on the mesh, it just names them "Joint1" "Joint 2", etc....
Old 21st Oct 2005, 2:26 AM #15
Grave
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Grave
What do you mean by this? It's very confusing. I looked at the Joints tab, and see nothing about [email protected] When I click on joints on the mesh, it just names them "Joint1" "Joint 2", etc....



Nevermind... I figured it out. You need to right click on the GMDC and "extract" it instead of selecting the "export" under the 3D mesh tab in SimPE.


Still a little confusing, but I'm trying to learn it!
Old 21st Oct 2005, 2:33 AM #16
Grave
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Quote:
Originally Posted by willem81
4. Next step is to modify your carmesh to make it compatible with The Sims. It is very important to make the wheels and doors in separate groups, so you can easily select them when you are assigning them to the joints. The best is to give your car as much different groups as possible, this makes the uv-mapping much easier. In step 7 you can regroup all this groups to the ones needed (the uv-mapping is still working after regrouping).


Can you elaborate on this more? It's confusing. :sorry:
Last edited by Grave : 21st Oct 2005 at 4:14 AM.
Old 21st Oct 2005, 1:16 PM #17
willem81
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Grave
Can you elaborate on this more? It's confusing. :sorry:


I've added some things to step 4. Did this help you? I'm not quite sure what part is confusing?
Old 21st Oct 2005, 10:32 PM #18
Grave
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Maybe it was just the verbage you used... I just couldn't get the gist of what you were trying to say.

This is my first mesh attempt EVER, so maybe I'm just not understanding because of that.


I got somewhat of a car made. But for some reason the "surface" skin flickers on and off, and you can only see it at certain angles. When my Sim got into the car to take it for a spin, the surface skin completely dissapeared, and all you saw was the floor pan and the tires! Kinda funny looking, especially since the wheels were wobbling all over the place!

Just more trial and error and I think I'll eventually get it.
Old 22nd Oct 2005, 2:18 AM #19
JWoods
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Willem: A fine contribution indeed!!! Very well done...

Reading is the key to all knowledge, math is the key to everything.
Old 22nd Oct 2005, 9:49 AM #20
willem81
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Grave
Maybe it was just the verbage you used... I just couldn't get the gist of what you were trying to say.

This is my first mesh attempt EVER, so maybe I'm just not understanding because of that.


I got somewhat of a car made. But for some reason the "surface" skin flickers on and off, and you can only see it at certain angles. When my Sim got into the car to take it for a spin, the surface skin completely dissapeared, and all you saw was the floor pan and the tires! Kinda funny looking, especially since the wheels were wobbling all over the place!

Just more trial and error and I think I'll eventually get it.


The flickering surface sounds like a Material Defenition problem. When cloning the supersportscar you will get this problem with the "matte" and "chrome", because SimPE isn't including these TXMT's in the cloned package. The surface should be fine. Did you change the GUID in the surface TXMT?
Old 22nd Oct 2005, 2:53 PM #21
Grave
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Quote:
Originally Posted by willem81
The flickering surface sounds like a Material Defenition problem. When cloning the supersportscar you will get this problem with the "matte" and "chrome", because SimPE isn't including these TXMT's in the cloned package. The surface should be fine. Did you change the GUID in the surface TXMT?



No man, I didn't even mess with them. Just following your tutorial verbatim.

Should I of changed the TXMT? And if so, what should I do?
Old 22nd Oct 2005, 2:59 PM #22
Grave
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Quote:
Originally Posted by willem81
6. Next step is the uv-mapping. You need to export your model using the “The Sims 2 GMDC exporter V2.16” to a SimPE file. After that you need to save the model as *.ms3d. This *.ms3d file you need to open in LithUnWrap. In LithUnWrap you create your uv-map. Once you have opened this uv-mapped *.ms3d in Milkshape you need to copy and past the comments belonging to each joint from the model you saved as a SimPE file. LithUnWrap is losing this comments for some reason.
I'm not going to explain this, there is a tutorial here: http://www.modthesims2.com/showthread.php?t=79954. (It's for UVMapper Classic, but the basics are the same.)


Ok, I think I'm at this point in the creation of my vehicle....

How do we create the UV-map in LithUnWrap? It seems like you really don't explain this part in step 6 up above?
Last edited by Grave : 22nd Oct 2005 at 10:59 PM.
Old 23rd Oct 2005, 10:28 AM #23
willem81
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Quote:
Originally Posted by willem81
I'm not going to explain this


Quote:
Originally Posted by Grave
How do we create the UV-map in LithUnWrap? It seems like you really don't explain this part in step 6 up above?


What can I say? :moose:
Old 23rd Oct 2005, 4:03 PM #24
Grave
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Ahhhh.... I've been so busy meshing and stuff I guess I overlooked the link at the end of the step! Sorry! LOL
Old 23rd Oct 2005, 8:30 PM #25
cwirsing
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I really like this tutorial, but my milkshape 3d when I start it says you seem to have registered this copy before it expired. Please run ms3d for at least 2 min. I leave the program running for atleast 2 hours and I try to save my work. Then it says this copy has expired. Could someone tell me waht to do. I really want to fininsh my car.

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