How to make skin sets

How to make skin sets

Content of this tutorial:

1. What is a skin set?
2. Making a skin set with default meshes
3. Making a skin set with costum meshes
4. Assigning hands
5. Examples
6. Set Naming Guide
7. Testing
8. Credit

1. What is a skin set?

What is a skin set?:
Your sim can wear any outfit you choose in the ‘make a family’ screen or from the dresser. However, the formal wear, pajama, swimsuit and even nude is controlled by the game – boring…
A skin set is an outfit that comes with it’s own formal, pajama and swimsuit, thus overriding the default outfits.
IMPORTANT: Skin sets do NOT work with Hot Date, Vacation or any other expansion pack that has buyable formal, night and swim wear. See the tutorial on how to do buyable wear instead.

There are two ways of doing skin sets: using the default meshes and using costum meshes. Using the default meshes that comes with the game is easier, plus you don’t have to enclose the mesh in the zip file if you upload the skin to a web site. Using a costum mesh will allow more variation, but it is a LOT more complicated and you end up with bigger zip files for download.

2. Making a skin set with default meshes

This is the easiest way to do skin sets.
Make a skin that fits any mesh (see skin tutorial) for the normal wear. Then make skins that match the meshes for formal, pajama and swim suit.
Once you’ve made the skins, name them like this:

Formal wear: FFfitlgt_skinname.bmp (=FormalFemaleFitLight)
Pajama: PajamaFlgt_skinname.bmp (=PajamaFemaleLight)
Swimsuit: UFfitlgt_skinname.bmp (=UndiesFemaleFitLight)
Nude: NFfitlgt_skinname.bmp (=NudeFemaleFitLight)

(If you want to make sets in other skintones, replace the ‘lgt’ with ‘med’ or ‘drk’. If you’re doing a male set, replace the first ‘F’ with an ‘M’)
It’s important that the name after the ‘_’ is exactly the same as the normal wear bmp, or the set won’t work.
If you don’t make a nude, the game will just use the default nude. Costumizing nude is useful for pale skins and skins with tattoos. If you’re making a pale skin set, remember to read the bit on hands too.

 

You can download the default meshes and matching textures for fit light skinned sims here – that makes is easier to make a skin that fit the meshes.
Note: these meshes will NOT show up in SimShow because of the way they are named. Use SimPose to preview your skins instead. (The meshes are NOT named like in the game – don’t let this confuse you, the meshes are only ment for preview purposes. The formal mesh is called F100, the swimsuit mesh is called S100 and the pajama mesh is called L100. These are NOT the names you have to use for the skin set!)
And remember, you DON’T have to inclose the meshes if you put the skin up for download; they are already in the game.

3. Making a skin set with costum meshes

You can only override the custom meshes by creating a new body type. This means you will have to do skins and meshes for ALL parts of the set, including the nude. You will have to rename the mesh for the normal wear too.

Make a skin that fits any mesh (see skin tutorial) for the normal wear. Then make skins for formal, pajama and swim suit using what ever meshes you’d like.
Start out with renaming the meshes. This part is a bit tricky, as you will need to change the name of the original mesh radically.
First of all you will need to change the code for bodytype ‘fit’ to something else (three letters/numbers, like XX1), thus creating a new bodytype (you will have to make a new body type code for each set). Secondly you will have to change the mesh names to fit the codes for formal, night, swim and nude.
Remember that you have to make renamed meshes for all parts of the set, including the nude and the normalwear.
The mesh is made up of two files; a .cmx and a .skn file. You will have to rename the .cmx file and edit it in note pad, but leave the .skn file as it is. The mesh will work anyway, and you will keep the number of mesh files in the game down. Just remember to enclose both the .cmx and the .skn file if you put the outfit up for download.

Here’s how to rename the mesh:
Take any mesh. Right-click on the .cmx file and rename it using the names from the list below.
Now open the .cmx file using notepad. (You will have to browse for ‘all files’ instead of just a text file.) The file will look like this:

 

Edit the 5th line, replacing the original name with the one from the list (the same one you used when right-clicking and renaming). The file should look like this now:

 

Save the file choosing ‘save’ NOT ‘save as…’ as that will mess up the file.

Here’s what to name the meshes (in this case I’m using a B200fafit_BWar mesh for the normal wear, but it could be any mesh). Replace the ‘xxx’ with your own bodytype code and ‘skinname’ with your own skin name.

Mesh names:
Normal: B200FAxxx_skinname
Formal: FFxxx_skinname
Nude: NFxxx_skinname
PJ: PajamaFxxx_skinname
Swim: UFxxx_skinname

Name the bitmaps after the meshes, the names will be like this (Replace the ‘xxx’ with your own bodytype code and ‘skinname’ with your own skin name):

Bitmap names:
Normal: B200FAxxxlgt_skinname.bmp
Formal: FFxxxlgt_skinname.bmp
Nude: NFxxxlgt_skinname.bmp
PJ: PajamaFlgt_skinname.bmp
Swim: UFxxxlgt_skinname.bmp

(If you want to make sets in other skintones, replace the ‘lgt’ with ‘med’ or ‘drk’. If you’re doing a male set, replace the first ‘F’ with an ‘M’)
Save all files (.bmp, .cmx and .skn) into Maxis/The Sims/GameData/Skins and your skin set should be ready. Remember to test the skin before uploading to a website as faulty mesh files could cause game crashes.
Note: You will need both mesh files (CMX and SKN) for the mesh to work, but there is no need to change the SKN file, just put it in the ZIP as it is.

4. Assigning hands

You don’t have to assign hands (unless you’re doing a pale skinned set) – if you don’t, the game will just use the default ones for each skintone. However, the default hands for formal wear are white, because the default formal wear has white gloves. So it might be a good idea to at least add costum formal hands to the set (unless of course your formal wear has white gloves too 😉 )

Get the light, medium and dark toned hands here. The pale hands are included in the pale bases zip.
Name the hands after your body skin – be sure to avoid typing errors or your hands won’t work.
There are different ways of assigning hands. First of all you need all three different hand bitmaps – they are open (normal) hands [HUAOlgt in the zip], closed hands [HUAClgt in the zip] and pointing hands [HUAPlgt in the zip]. You can either use the same texture for both left and right hand or do one for the left and one for the right (in that case you will need to copy the hand bitmaps so you end up with 6 hand bitmaps).

Here’s how to name them:

Female hands with same texture on left and right:
HFAOlgt_skinname.bmp (=HandFemaleAllOpenLight)
HFAClgt_skinname.bmp (=HandFemaleAllClosedLight)
HFAPlgt_skinname.bmp (=HandFemaleAllPointingLight)
Female formal hands with same texture on left and right:
GFAOlgt_skinname.bmp (=GlovesFemaleAllOpenLight)

Female hands with different texture on left and right:
HFLOlgt_skinname.bmp (=HandFemaleLeftOpenLight)
HFROlgt_skinname.bmp (=HandFemaleRightOpenLight)
HFLClgt_skinname.bmp (=HandFemaleLeftClosedLight)
HFRClgt_skinname.bmp (=HandFemaleRightClosedLight)
HFLPlgt_skinname.bmp (=HandFemaleLeftPointingLight)
HFRPlgt_skinname.bmp (=HandFemaleLeftPointingLight)
Female formal hands with different texture on left and right:
GFLOlgt_skinname.bmp (=GlovesFemaleLeftOpenLight)
GFROlgt_skinname.bmp (=GlovesFemaleRightOpenLight)

(If you want to make sets in other skintones, replace the ‘lgt’ with ‘med’ or ‘drk’. If you’re doing a male set, replace the first ‘F’ with an ‘M’. NOTE: Male sets don’t need special formal hands, as the default formal wear uses normal hands.)

5. Examples

If you’re still a bit confused, maybe these examples will help 🙂

This is a set I did for fit females using the default meshes: (yeah, I know the PJ doesn’t fit the mesh – small mistake…)

normal: B251FAFitlgt_desdChinaOutfit.bmp
formal: FFfitlgt_desdChinaOutfit.bmp
pajama: PajamaFlgt_desdChinaOutfit.bmp
swim: UFfitlgt_desdChinaOutfit.bmp
hands: GFAOlgt_desdChinaOutfit.bmp

This is a pale set I did for fit females using the default meshes:

normal: Bj75FAFitlgt_desdFlowerDressP.bmp
formal: FFfitlgt_desdFlowerDressP.bmp
pajama: PajamaFlgt_desdFlowerDressP.bmp
swim: UFfitlgt_desdFlowerDressP.bmp
nude: NFfitlgt_desdFlowerDressP.bmp
hands: HFAOlgt_desdFlowerDressP.bmp
HFAClgt_desdFlowerDressP.bmp
HFAPlgt_desdFlowerDressP.bmp
GFAOlgt_desdFlowerDressP.bmp

This is a set I did for fit females using costum meshes:

normal: B398FAde1lgt_desdBlackNWhite.bmp
formal: FFde1lgt_desdBlackNWhite.bmp
pajama: PajamaFlgt_desdBlackNWhite.bmp
swim: UFde1lgt_desdBlackNWhite.bmp
nude: NFde1lgt_desdBlackNWhite.bmp
hands: GFAOlgt_desdBlackNWhite.bmp
MESHES:
normal: B398FAde1_desdBlackNWhite.cmx + xskin-b398fafit_BTSSnkHW-BODY.skn
formal: FFde1_desdBlackNWhite.cmx + xskin-B336FAFit_WDSunderknee-PELVIS-BODY.skn
pajama: PajamaFde1_desdBlackNWhite.cmx + XSKIN-B300FAFIT_01-PELVIS-MBODY.SKN
swim: UFde1_desdBlackNWhite.cmx + …uses same skn file as above…
nude: NFde1_desdBlackNWhite.cmx + …uses same skn file as above…

6. Set naming guide

As you’ve probably realized by now, doing skin sets can get rather complicated – especially if you’re doing a set with costum meshes in all 3 skin tones…
I’ve made a text file for myself, that I use when I make sets – this help me from getting too confused and messing things up. You can use my guide if you want to (get it here), but it’s not necesary. To me it’s a great tool, but if you think it makes thing even more complicated, don’t bother 😉

7. Testing

Testing your skin set is very important. It’s so easy to make a typing error without noticing, so do check if everything works in your game before uploading the skin to a website.
You need to test the hands and nude, as well as night, swim and formal wear.
The nude can be tested by making your sim take a shower/bath.

8. Credit

If you put any renamed meshes up for download, remember that you still have to give credit to the original mesh maker.
And remember to put in the read-me file that the skinset does NOT work with Hot Date or Vacation.