Sims blogs to follow/shoutouts/faves PART 1

I want to say this out loud but it really annoys me when people complain their dash is empty. There’s so many simblrs out there to follow who post every day! Not everyone posts edited photos, some put up content, do streams/videos, tutorials, have projects, every day story telling and so on. This post will be divided in many parts because i cannot put too many links on a tumblr post. If you don’t want to see this post simply block the tag #simfollow

Don’t forget something! You all start from the bottom so (picture) quality isn’t always what should define your simblr :P

This is why i’ll be doing a kind of follow forever thing with so so many blogs you can follow! This list is not in order by any way and if i miss out anyone i will simply update it. Also to mention, these categories are made up by me and criteria does not certainly define the person’t blog. It’s just a small organization plan i made for them so you can browse them easier.

These people are supposedly active as i see while browsing through my follower list. Also they are mixed between sims 2 3 and 4 but mostly s3 simmers. They usually post sims related stuff as i barely see personal/inspo stuff on my dash :p There will be multiple parts since i follow about 1k people so!

I really hope after making these type of posts that i won’t see people complaining about their dash being empty as i am going to make as many parts of these as i can ^_^

Also please feel free to check out ALL of my masterposts HERE and if you feel like i’m missing out on any feel free to suggest me ideas for new masterposts!

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So someone asked me to share a couple houses, including this one. I did this one for personal use, and it’s the house my legacy family currently lives in, so there’s quite a lot of CC, particularly patterns from @simlicious

I’m just not sure how to share this one. I don’t necessarily mind going through and listing every piece of custom content, but if people want to redecorate anyway that seems a waste of time. I could also share it unfurnished. Or getting rid of all CC except the patterns would at least shorten the list. I thought I’d just take a straw poll before I do anything. 

If you would be interested in this house, how would you prefer I share it?



I loved the kimono jacket that came with TS4 Movie Hangout, so I decided to cut it up and have it in my TS3 game :) 

It’s available for young adult and adult males and has three channels (the edging and a gradient body). Set to show for Everyday, Sleepwear and Athletic.

I pretty much created this for @titosims‘ Jaime. He is one of my favourite sims by another simmer by far and the TS4 version seemed like it was made for him. Now it is!

Credit: @simlicious and her tutorials, for without them, neck gaps would be a thing!

A big post of people I’ll admire from afar behind that big tree you see over there and giggling about all the pretty pictures *-* Yea, I’ll be that kind of creep. I’ll be one with the tree. lol jkjk now being serious,

I’ve been here for three years now for the sims and still am loving it. Not only the game, but the community too. The people I’ve met are all kinds of awesomeness and I couldn’t have wish for anything better to have met such gorgeous people. I’m still talking with people who’ve I met from the beginning, to meeting amazing new people. Thank you for all your kindness ^.^

Yea, there’s many who have been on hiatus and I didn’t do any better with disappearing every now and then. I hope my wishes still reach all of you who are not as often on here as they used to. Be well is all I can hope you’re right now.

To all my followers, I thank you for being there for me and liking my content. It’s a joy to see you all and seeing replies makes my day all perfect. ^^ I hope to be able to make you smile too!

I wish everyone a wholesome 2017 and to everyone important to you as well.

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Edited version of the Longterm inVESTment store outfit.

This was a request by @existentialsim​ :)

It’s a simple edit: I removed the leggings, made the belt buckle recolorable   and reduced the specular shine. Mesh is completely unchanged.
This is a default replacement, so place it in your overrides folder.
You do not need the original for this to work.
I also added a custom thumbnail for your convenience :)

Download from simfileshare

Don’t claim as your own, don’t reupload, don’t make money off of my creations. Enjoy :)


Meshing Tutorial: How to create a UVmap in Blender that looks good with patterns

UV-maps - there is no easy formula for them, because every shape has different needs. Rectangular mesh shapes are pretty easy, but organic shapes and bended shapes can cause headaches. Automatic mapping methods often do not produce satisfying results. Don’t be afraid to go in and pull those UV’s into shape yourself! Here’s a bit of guidance to do this. I used my cute Owl Earrings as an example project to show you what I mean :)
I highly recommend to work with different UV background textures. the built-in UV Grid texture of Blender is a good start. To help you understand how pieces need to be mapped in order for the pattern to follow the shape, I created an arrow texture. You can simply imitate this and make a texture with arrows in your favorite image editing program ( the arrows should all point in one direction, straight down from top to bottom). It should tile seamlessly. Try 1024x1024px as a size for your texture  (that’s the size of clothing textures in Sims 3) but it can also be smaller or bigger, as it is just a guide for you.

Step-by-Step explanations along with the pictures

Image 1: The first picture shows how the finished earring looks in Blender. You can see the mapping and a preview texture so you’ll have an idea of how it will look in-game.
Image 2: To check your mapping, use the built-in UV-grid texture that Blender offers.

Image 3: If the grid texture looks rectangular/elongated or squished on your mesh, then the uv-mapping is not ideal, but stretched.

Image 4: Look at the vertex rows and faces of the mesh. How are they structured? What are their dimensions, their ? Try to keep the shape/ geometry of thems on the uv-map.

Image 5: Use the arrow texture you hopefully created by now as a guide to see the pattern flow (how the patterns will be tiling and showing up) on your mesh. You can load it in the uv-map window. Click on Image -> open image and load your arrow texture.

Image 6: Let’s show you how to modify a uv-piece that you created automatically. Here, I automatically remapped the metal earpiece of the earring to be able to show you the process of manual adjustment.

Image 7: As you can see, the automatically mapped piece does not offer a natural pattern flow.

Image 8: By grabbing, rotating ad moving areas on the uvmap, you can put them into a shape that fits the pattern flow.

I hope you are now motivated to try it out yourself on your own meshes. It is not that hard! :) If you screw up completely, you can always remap the piece and start again.

Polygon counts and Sims CC

… that old hat :) but it is still an important topic.
Nothing divides the community like the question about acceptable polycounts. I was inspired by this discussion to have another go, trying to shed light on the question of polygon counts and game performance from different angles and perspectives.

We have individual conditions regarding the choices of CC we can make for our sims games.
People have a broad range of computers they use to play the sims games on. Some play on old laptops, some have state-of-the-art destop pc’s, others play on macbooks, some have something in-between…
And every computer handles the game differently on different settings. Some simmers need to use really low game settings and low poly meshes for the game to be playable at all, some don’t need to pay attention at all because no matter how many high-poly creations they install, the game just runs fluently. Some might put their settings higher than suggested for their hardware, because they want to take pretty pictures and don’t care about performance.

Why the finger-pointing?
It is also no use to wanting to find a scapegoat for performance problems. It is not just a single factor that we can rule out when it comes to performance. I’m sure creators of high poly meshes are annoyed by all the accusations, of people telling them that they create inappropriate meshes for the game. Fact is, everyone can do what they want, we play a moddable game, there are endless possibilities. So creators can and will also create high-poly meshes, for people with systems that can handle them to enjoy.

With sharing comes responsibility
That is a common reason for sharing a piece of CC - hoping that other simmers will enjoy it :)
But as a creator that shares her own CC, I know that sharing CC also comes with a responsibility… the responsibility to educate people about what they are going to install in their games.
Installing CC always comes with a risk. Sometimes, another mod causes a game to crash, sometimes there are conflicts. Sometimes a mesh is more than the user’s system can handle.
One could argue that downloaders need to educate themselves and find out what their game can handle.
But IMO, creators can’t just push away all responsibility.
They do have a certain responsibility to educate their downloaders who don’t know what polygons are all about.

It is all a question of perspective
So, what potential risk comes from a high-poly mesh?
Before talking about high poly meshes, there has to be a common ground on the definition of high poly.  
My definition is: “A high polygon mesh is a mesh which exceeds the game’s usual/average polygon range for that specific mesh type.”
There is always room for interpretation on the “exceeding” part.
My rule of thumb is that everything that’s 50% higher than a comparable game mesh should be considered high-poly.
It is what it is, a rule of thumb. Some may be stricter and argue that everything that is above the average poly in the comparable game category has to be considered high-poly. This rule is especially important for simmers with low performance-computers. If you are concerned that your computer can’t handle stuff, then try to stay within the base-ranges when looking for CC.
If you think that your computer can handle a little extra, take the 50% rule or even a 100% above average rule if you think that’s okay. But if you are a creator who wants to cater to the low spec groups, you have to set your bar pretty low.

Which polygon numbers are “the average”?
If you want to figure out what the average polys are for a certain mesh type, then take a look at the specific meshes that are in the original game you are creating for/downloading for. If your'e looking for the average polygon count of a hair, you should look at polygon counts for other hairs in the game. If you want to compare full body outfits, compare them to other fullbody outfits. Comparing a hair to a shoe, for example, won’t be very helpful in finding out average polygon counts for the game. Original game meshes have a certain polygon limit and every category has different regulations. A sims 3 basegame hair usually has a higher polygon count than a sims 3 basegane shoe, for example.
Game meshes also have different polygon counts, depending on the game itself. Sims 2 has lower polygons than sims 3, sims 4 has slightly higher polygon counts than sims 3. And inside every game, there are fluctuations -
some CAS outfits have a higher polygon count than others, depending on their detail. If you want to figure out an average in numbers, take five meshes out of the same game category (for example, 5 top meshes) add up the polygon counts, then divide by the number of meshes you added up. This is a number you can work with as a reference (and you still have a bit of room to go up on), if you want to work within the games’ polygon regulations.

But what risks are there when using high-poly meshes on lower end machines?

Let’s say a sims 3 sim is given a custom hair that has 20k polys, but otherwise uses EA outfits, and this is the only high poly CC in the game. The risk of game performance loss would be very slim.

But let’s add a pair of 15k shoes, a 15k outfit to that and a 10k necklace, 5k earrings, 3k lashes… Let’s say these meshes are also valid for random. What happens then is that townies are going to potentially roll these meshes for their outfits as well.
The sims game meshes use a system of LODs (lower detail meshes). There are up to four different polygon-reduced meshes for hairs and accessories and up to three different meshes for everything else in the CAS department. Most of the time, there are three meshes, a high detail mesh, which is the mesh that you see when you are close to your sim, then a medium detail mesh which is used when you are further away or when you have very low game settings, and a low detail mesh that gets used when the camera is really far away from the sim. The exact distances that have to be reached to enable the switching to those lower level meshes are dependent on your game settings. If your game settings (especially sim-detail) are low, they will show up much sooner. If your game is on the highest settings, you might not see those lower level meshes at all, because the lower LODs are designed to accomodate low-performance computers (for example, older laptops).

Do we really need LODs?
So you could argue that you don’t need LODs, because you don’t see them/have the game on the highest settings. Congratulations on having a computer that can handle the game on the highest settings! And in your case, your computer probably can handle not having proper LODs.
But what about other simmers that aren’t as fortunate?
The game, as it was designed by EA, aims to to accomodate to all players. That’s why there are polygon limits by EA. And they wanted to prevent getting sued by thousands whose graphics cards have been fried
As a custom content creator, I personally want to make sure that my meshes can be potentially used by all players, even those who play on crappy laptops and will see my medium or low LODs.
This is how I see it, but of course, there are creators who don’t want to have to limit themselves like that; they only cater to one specific audience: Those with good system specs that can easily handle more polygons than those that the game meshes have, or those that just want to take stunning pictures and are not concerned with actual game performance.
And that’s fine, everyone should create for and play their sims games the way they want. But that doesn’t mean that sharing your CC- creations doesn’t come with responsibilities.

Simply state the facts
I have made this plea in the past: Creators which do create high-poly meshes should definitely state that their meshes are not in the games’ usual polygon range and that this could lead to performance issues.
If a creator happens to use their high-poly mesh for the medium and low LODs as well, this also means that this mesh isn’t appropriate for lower-end machines.
Things like this should be spelled out clearly so that those who don’t have systems that can handle them know about this.
Of course, It is not a creator’s responsibility to make sure the downloaders read the message. If they don’t, that’s on them, but at least the creators are in the clear.
How about a mesage saying something like: “This is a high-poly mesh. On lower end machines, this could significantly reduce game performance and put stress on your hardware. Use at your own risk”.
I don’t see many see warnings like those on high-poly creations.
Some creators do state their polygon counts, which is a good start.
Still, there are a lot of CC downloaders who find a note like: “New shoes. Polygon count: 10k” and still don’t know what that means for their games. They need a bit more of an education.

Why should I care?
Some creators seem to have a “don’t care” attitude or may think that because a large number of creators are creating high poly meshes, it’s okay to neglect putting up a warning that high-poly meshes can impact game performance and, in worst case, damage hardware - because “everyone’s doing it like that”.
Sure, you are not bound to. You can carry on like always, and you might never have a complaint ever.
But, I can’t stress this enough, there will always be people who download high-poly meshes who don’t know anything about polys, and there are people who might be devastated because their games don’t work anymore or they have lost hardware because of overheating graphics. This might not happen often, or ever, but it is a possibility, a risk that is still real.

This is my opinion and I’m sure that there are a lot of creators who might say: “Well, if those simmers don’t even know about polys, they should just stop downloading my CC.”
You are right, that would be the reasonable thing to do…
But we all know that’s not going to happen.
You can’t force people to read anything you write next to your creations. Yes, people might not even bother to read anything and just hit the download button.
But you know what, if you do take the time to write a warning, you have done your part and show that you know your responsibilities.
As a creator, I want to make sure I do everything I can to educate people and to reduce the risk of people doing damage to their systems using my CC. Don’t you?

Creators, just a simple message/disclaimer regarding the polygon count and the possible impact on game performance is enough to be in the clear!
Please, do your share to educate your downloaders.
You’ll feel calmer. You’ll feel better :) Okay, maybe not, but seriously. It’s a really nice thing you’re doing for the community.

ikarisims  asked:

Hey simlicious :D. I'm trying to convert some SL stuff for sims 3. I need to re map SL objects, cause they have many textures and the uv map is a mess, all the textures are overlapped. I know it is possible with Blender but I don't know which tools I can use, so if you can help me will be great, thanks in advance ^^

Hello! I suspect that there are a lot of people out there wondering how this works. I am toying with the idea of making some video tutorials for blender, but I’d have to find time for that first, but I think it would help a lot!

Let’s see what I can gather right now.

Learn the basics.
I don’t have the time right now to explain every tool in Blender (and I don’t know them all, either), there are a lot of useful shortcuts such as r for rotate, g for grabbing/moving stuff around, s for scaling, e for extruding and these can be used in conjunction with the axes (x,y,z), so you can type rx to rotate something on the x-axis, or you can make it even more precise by typing rx180 - that would move the mesh piece you have selected by 180 degrees on the x-axis.
There is a search function for the different tools, if you hit the spacebar it opens up. You can type in anything and it will look for it and you can click/use the tool directly.

Getting familiar with zooming, panning/moving around in the 3d space and learning basic shortcuts by heart is the first step.

I recommend checking out the merge tools, the snap to cursor/snap cursor to selection tools, the remove doubles and edge split tools.
As for modifiers, check out the mirror modifier, the decimate modifier and the solidify modifier, these are the ones I regularly use to mesh.

There are some really great blender tutorials from Neil Hirsig (just google him) that explain certain tools in detail. They are really helpful and they are in a chronological order, too so you start with easy stuff and go on to harder stuff. I highly recommend those video tutorials! He has his own website, but his videos are also on vimeo. Definitely check out the two videos on unwrapping a mesh, they are really insightful :)

Now some short tips (I copied them out of many messages that I have sent, saves a lot of time instead of typing everything anew, sorry for any typos):

Setting up blender for Sims 3 meshing:

Make sure you setup the workspace so that you have the meshing window and the uv/image editor both visible. I don’t have the pm anymore where I explained this in detail, I might cover this in another tutorial, but there is atutorial by Cmomoney at MTS explaining how to change the viewports like that, too (“setting up blender” or something like that). You don’t need to do all the steps in the tutorial by Cmomoney, mainly the steps where you will get the two parallel windows with 3d viewport and uvmap. The others aren’t necessary and some tips are obsolete.

Remapping Parts in Blender:

In blender, you can select those polys that you want mapped separately, then press u und choose “unwrap”. the unwrapping function uses seams to determine how to unwrap. You can add manual seams for the uv-map with the “mark seam” options in the toolbar on the left (creating regular seams in the mesh works as well, just select the edges you want to split apart and press spacebar and type in “edge split”). With the edge select tool, select the edges you want and then press “mark seam”. If you want to delete a seam, use “clear seam.” The seam-tool won’t create a seam in the mesh itself, it just adds a “guide” for the unwrapping tool. To determine where the vertex- seams of a mesh are located,  just select one or more vertices from your mesh area in the 3d-viewport and press ctrl+L. This selects all linked faces. That comes in really handy for all sorts of things :) Once you have unwrapped a part, you can scale, rotate and change the position on the uvmap pretty easily using the same commands you use for the 3d-viewport (except there’s no z-dimension)

Untangling UVmaps in Blender:

In blender, you can select the uv areas pretty easily in the following way: right click on the mesh area directly on the mesh you want so select and select one vertex with a right-click (or select more, if you want to grab more uv areas at once. Selecting one vertex is to make sure you don’t grab more areas accidentally). With one or more vertices selected, press strg+L. this selects the entire mesh area. This will also select the corresponding piece of the uvmap. Now just move your mouse cursor into the uvmap window and press g to grab that uvmap piece and move it out of the way :) There is also a sync mode that lets you only see and edit the uvmap of the mesh piece that you have currently selected. It is a small button in the toolbar of the uvmap window, next to where you can change the selection methods. It’s called “Keep UV and edit mode selection in Sync”. Sometimes this helps as well :) Happy untangling!

Using the Decimate Modifier to reduce Polycounts

Especiall mesh conversions often have high polycounts and need to be reduced. As to how much, it is best to load a similar EA mesh and check their polycounts. Remember, if you check the polycount in TSR Workshop, divide the Polygon count by 3! For some reason, it shows triple the amount of the actual polys (vertex count is normal, though).
There is a modifier function called “decimate” that reduces polys. The modifiers are represented by that wrench symbol on the tabs to the right. Just click on it and choose “add modifier”, then click on “decimate”. You’ll get a new set of tools specifically for the decimate function. Simply drag/change the “ratio” bar to the left. It shows a percentage of the polycount below. The more you drag the slider to the left, the fewer polys your object will have. You can only see it’s work in object mode. Below the ratio is also a polycount so you can see how much polys the object would have. If you’re satisfied, just hit “apply” and the changes will be permanent. You can also leave it un-applied to be able to make changes; then it will be applied when you export the object. BTW, the modifiers “solidify” and “miror” are modifiers I love to use as well. “Solidify” creates backfaces automatically for you and mirror mirrors the mesh and/or uv coordinates.

Baking textures and using images as a reference for mapping

In the scene tab (the little icon with the camera underneath the tree structure where all meshes are shown), there is a “bake” button. Chose “ambient occlusion” and hit “bake”. If there is an error “no images found to bake to”, try loading a new texture: Go to the uvmap editor, hit the image button, chose new, type in the texture size and hit ok. This gives you a completely black texture (good for baking). For reference purposes, you can also chose to get a checkered map (change the generated type from blank to uv grid) before hitting the ok button). With that, the baking process should work (highlight the mesh just in case). If it still doesn’t work, you can try to save the texture first (in the uv editor, chose image ->save as image). Sometimes, it won’t bake at all, then exporting the mesh, closing the program and importing it back again helps sometimes, but I hope you won’t have those troubles :) The blender tools by cmomoney at MTS have a baking function as well, you might check that out, too. The image function is pretty nifty by itself as well. As said, you can use the checkered uvmap for reference purposes and even load your own textures (for example, the multiplier, like you do in milkshape). The cool thing is, you can easily switch between loaded textures with one click without importing allover again. To do that, click on the longish button that displays the name of your texture in the uvmap editor and you get a list of textures (if you first added them, of course). To make sure the textures are displayed on the mesh, chose “textured” instead of shaded in the 3d viewport and make sure that in the panel that pops up if you hit “N” in the 3d viewport, the shading method (look for the display menu) is “multitexture”. BTW, there is also a function called “backface culling” there. With that enabled, the backfaces will be transparent and you can more easily see where you might need to turn or add backfaces.

Also recommended:

Splitting Groups in Blender to make sure the normals are correct (preventing dark spots on meshes): Read Tutorial Here