Adding an alpha part to a body mesh
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Tutorials by Grizzelda added Sep 25, 2006, read 1271 times
Please note that this is an intermediate to advancedlevel in body meshing. These techniques assume you have already mastered basicbody meshing and know your way around simpe and milkshape using the Wes H Plug-insfairly well. I have compiled this method from extensive reading of threads atTSR, MTS2 and various other websites—and a healthy dose of experimentation! Youwill need the following tools to complete this tutorial:
Wes H’s unimesh plugins. ~~make sure to download thelatest version from the 1st post of the unimesh thread at MTS2
Body Shop (to test the mesh)
I will not be covering texturing the mesh, but will coverUV mapping, but only as it pertains to laying out new parts. There are somefine tutorials at all of the main websites for UV mapping if you would like tolearn more and can easily be found by searching.
The method covered in this tutorial is for brand newparts. Look for Part II of this process!
Create a mesh file from the hula girl in theusual way and name it what you wish. This mesh already has an alpha part, so wewon’t need to add one to the MATD on the texture file. (That would increase thedifficulty somewhat.) Consider this file the container—you won’t be editing thegmdc but replacing it later.
Now, find and extract the gmdc that you want to add thepart to.
Open Milkshapeand import the gmdc using the Sims2 Unimesh Importer.
You now have an unedited mesh in milk shape. For ourtrain we need to start by adding a plane.
Shape yourplane and position it as you like. Don’t worry about editing the body part, youare just using it as a guide for now. I am pretty satisfied with the shape andposition of my train, so I’ll move to the next step.
Now, I will check UV Map. First, add a new material, thenchoose a bmp for it, I usually use any bmp from a project folder. Some peopleare more particular, but this is just for a guide so I just want something thatwill allow me to lay it out. Also, some people edit the UV Map as they go, thismight be preferable and will not change the rest of the process:
Open the texture coordinator editor and lay your part outas you like. When your finished, close the editor and proceed.
Steps 8-10 isoptional if you like. If you don’t do this step your mesh will be invisiblefrom the inside or back of the mesh. If you do, it will be visible from bothsides. Select the part you have created. Duplicate the part from the editmenu.
With the duplicate part selected, reverse vertex order.
With the duplicate still selected, make sure to reduce orexpand the scale very slightly, depending on which way your plane is facing.Experiment!
Now you need to select both the plane and the duplicatepart, then you need to regroup and rename the newly combined part tobody_alpha, then “smooth all” If you didn’t duplicate the part, then simplyrename and smooth all.
Now delete all parts EXCEPT the body_alpha part. Thisreally needs to be done because by smoothing the new part, the body and morphswill look really bad! Delete all materials added for UVMapping.
Now export thebody_alpha part as body_alpha.obj Make sure that body_alpha is the name youassign the .obj
Now, start anew milkshape project and import the original GMDC that you want to add yourbody_alpha to! Then import the body_alpha.obj you just saved!
Do any editing you like at this point. To make thingssimpler, I am deleting the morph groups so that the alpha part fit better
Now we need to assign the vertices on the mesh. This canget pretty time consuming, but take your time with it. SO that we can makesmooth animations, we’re going to cheat a little and copy the comment from thebody_alpha of the hula mesh! Delete the reference to the morph in the comment.I do this so that I can assign multiple vertices to the mesh.
Using thejoint tab, assign the unassigned vertices from your body_alpha part to thecorresponding bones.
For the center vertices down the back, I like to assignto both sides using the bonetool: to do this Select the vertices of the newpart a few at a time, with the vertices selected, open the unimesh bone toolfrom the vertex menu and assign 50/50 to the correct bones.
Select all vertices and from the vertex menu, choose “fixall under weighted bones.”
Okay, we’re ready to export this mesh!
Open your meshfile in Simpe: replace the GMDC in the usual way, making sure to copy the filename from the plug in view, etc….
Now you need to assign a texture to the mesh in the usualway! Now, we used the hula girl because it has the alpha part already. There are methods of changing the MATD if you have chosen another texture. Theyexplained quite well by Sunair at MTS2, but it is very complicated and I won’tgo into them here.
After you have assigned your texture, go into the MATD ofthat texture. You will need to make 2 changes to that file. First, change thestdMatAlphaBlendMode: none to stdMatAlphaBlendMode: blend. Second, changestdMatAlphaTestEnabled: 1 to stdMatAlphaTestEnabled: 0
This changes the alpha part from being “On” or “off” tobeing sheer by using grays. If you don’t do this, it will be a cut-away mesh,not a sheer mesh.
Now just open up your body shop and make sure everythingworked. Now you can export this very messy texture and redesign it, as youlike.
And we’re done!
WDS Brianna, Sunair, Wes H, Dr. Pixel, Windkeeper, &PAF from MTS2 and about a jillion other people who were generous with theirknowledge!