The purpose of this tutorial is to take an image with 4 layers and create a viable The Sims 3 pattern having each layer representing each of the 4 recolorable colors by their opacity. This is designed to be an in-depth tutorial giving precise step-by-step instructions.
For this tutorial, I am using my wavy-grid-illusion pattern which I have posted on thesimsresoruce.com. I have taken my blue channel and changed the color in the original to black so that you can see that this will work no matter what color the original layers are as the tutorial is based on the opacity and not the color or brightness. Note: Using this tutorial, each layer represents a single color in the final package based on the opacity of the layer. The actual color/hue/brightness/etc. of the layer is irrelevant, only the opacity is used.
You will need the same things to follow this tutorial as you needed following Pegasussims's wonderful tutorial; nothing more, nothing less. Before starting, you should visit that tutorial and take the time to install the DDS plugin from Nvidia which will be required near the end of this tutorial.
The first thing we need to do is to extract the layers each into their own image file so that we can convert them to a luminance map. Begin by creating 4 images that are 256x256 with a black background.
Additionally, make sure you have also opened your original image with 4 layers. Again, for this example, I am using wavy-grid-illusion.pspimage.
In the image above, I have selected the whole image, but the selected layer extends past the canvas, so you do not see the selection border.
You can see the results below in Image3 and Image 4. Image 3 appears totally black because the content of that layer are black and the background is also black, you can see later that this layer will become visible to you. (Image1 and Image2 in the image below are results after steps 9-11.)
After copying each layer to its own image, we need to make the color of that layer white (in the image above, this has been done already for 2 of the images). I investigated a number of ways to do this and the one here seems to be the easiest.
In the images above and below, you can see that this has been done for two and note the difference in the third where the previously black layer has been converted to white.
When finished, all layers should appear in black and white as shown below.
Now, all of our layers have been converted to luminance maps. For 3 of them, we can combine using the Combine from RGB function. The fourth we will force into the Alpha channel of the image.
The lowest three layers of the image are going to be put into the red, green and blue channels of our final image. Red is the bottom most color, green on top of that and blue over green.
In the example above, you an see that mine are Red => Image1, Green => Image2 and Blue => Image 3. This very likely may not be the numbers as they appear in yours, so pay attention that you map your lowest layer to red, next up to green and above that to blue. The top layer will be mapped to the alpha channel later.
Above you can see results do not look like the original image. This is okay. Additionally, you can see that the top-most layer is not represented visually at all. It won't be visible in this image, but rest assured, we'll get it in there. We're not trying to get it to look good in PSP (you should have done that before starting), we're trying to get it into a format that the DDS exporter will understand.
Now, for the final layer, we are going to create a map and assign that map to the alpha channel of the final image.
A new mask layer should appear and be selected. With that mask selected...
I found this perticular step a little tricky when I was coming up with it, so pay attention.
The options in this menu above are the default options. I do not know of any reason to change these options and am not familiar enough with any of them to give further input on them. I would ignore them if I were you.
Open the DDS file in The Sims Workshop. (I see no need to replicate the manual instructions on importing DDS files into TSW as they are already clear there.) Below, you can see this pattern with colors assigned.
For those curious in the effectiveness of the layering ability provided by this tutorial, I recommend you check out these images: bottom layer, bottom 2 layers, bottom 3 layers, all 4 layers (I used yellow for the alpha layer).
I would like to thank the following people/groups without whom this tutorial would not be possible.
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