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|13th Jul 2020, 11:09 PM||Object Creation Reference Guide project - seeking expert partner(s)! #1|
Hi there! I'm a professional technical writer whose focus is on writing educational instruction guides / reference / training materials (for the oil and gas industry specifically, but the skills are transferable :P). I have planned, written, edited and designed materials ranging from single-page quick reference guides to 300+ page textbooks on natural gas compression equipment, industrial engines, and all of the associated systems.
For years I have struggled with trying to learn how to make custom objects for The Sims 3. I know that there are thousands of tutorials and tips and guides floating around on the internet, but as some others on this forum have expressed, many of them have major issues, such as being outdated in regard to the software / processes, or the links & images are broken or no longer available, and, perhaps most importantly, they are not written for an audience who have no serious experience in modeling / 3D object creation or Sims 3 object specifications.
I want to fix that. I want to write and design the ultimate how-to guide and reference book for creating objects for TS3. I want to write it for me, and for the many other players like me who spend hours and hours stumbling across the internet trying to figure out how to make something for their game, only to get frustrated and give up.
One thing I have learned from my professional work is that it is often best for someone with no knowledge of the topic to write a guide like this, as they will instinctively know the questions other novices will have and answer them in a way that is approachable and comprehensible. When subject matter experts write guides, it's challenging for them to even fathom what questions an absolute beginner might have, or they assume preexisting knowledge of terms, concepts, etc. It's akin to a PhD in mathematics trying to explain arithmetic to a first grader.
But, here's where you come in: I'm not an SME in object creation. I've been playing The Sims 3 since it came out (and every previous iteration of the game), but I've only just recently figured out how to retexture existing objects. I'm looking for someone (or several people) who is well-versed in current processes and best-practices for creating objects (specifically objects - not hair or clothes or skins) and all that it involves and who would be willing to work with me by being my subject matter expert. It will only require of you time, patience, and either a lot of talking or typing. I will do all the work of writing, editing, taking screenshots, and designing the layout.
If you are interested, or would like to ask questions, please feel free to contact me here, or by email at [email protected]. I'm in the US - central time zone.
|13th Jul 2020, 11:38 PM||#2|
I actually found the same thing when I starting learning object creation about a year ago, and even thought about writing an updated beginner tutorial myself.
I'm still not at the stage where I'm super confident about object creation, and there's a lot I've not even attempted, but perhaps I could help from that perspective¬* making a tutorial from a beginner's view ¬*
|14th Jul 2020, 12:28 AM||#3|
Yay! Well I'll certainly welcome all of the input and help I can get! One thing I could definitely use some help with is starting to formulate a high-level outline and determining "beginner" concepts to understand. Everyone always starts with what software / tools you'll need, and that's important, yes; however, I believe that's what more important is giving readers a crash course in what makes up a 3D object (aside from the obvious mesh). Like a front-end glossary of all of the technical terms and references that they will see throughout the guide, such as speculars and multipliers and UV maps and all of that kind of stuff. Experienced CC creators start talking about those things assuming that I know what those are or how they work or anything, and I feel like I'm reading a foreign language. I envision having that section bookmarked and have cross-references throughout the rest of the guide so users can just click on a term and hop back to the glossary to refresh on what it is.
|14th Jul 2020, 1:26 AM||#4|
I definitely agree with that, I would be good to have an outline at the beginning of all the parts that make up the object, and in fact could probably work as a sort of contents page.
How I see it, is a kind of work-flow with the different parts, which is going to be mostly the same no matter what process you use. So,¬*
1. Would be the sims 3 format itself, which is how your object is actually sims 3 suited. This is basically using to clone a similar package which is going to be the skeleton of your item, or by using TSRW which does it for you, and then produces the package at the end. This also introduces the split of making objects the "old" way and the "new" way, as well as what tools might be needed (as TSRW requires milkshape) .
But both ways involve having an existing sims 3 object, where you will eventually swap out all the assets with your own.¬*
2. Meshing of course
3. uv mapping
5. Bones/joints and assigning them¬*
6. Putting it all together with whatever programs are being used
So that's probably how I would summerise all the components of object creation (but with more of an explanation :P), and also the order of a work flow, so it could work as how the guide is split up maybe?¬*
|17th Jul 2020, 5:52 AM||#5|
Hey I'm sorry - I haven't fallen off the planet... I just got busy with RL stuff and planning for our son's birthday coming up. Will be back and eager to start digging into this after next week!