Skinning Part 2 of 2:
Starting from Scratch
So far we have this:
|But we're going to turn it into
|Now it's time to put some pants on this skin. So many
choices! Do I want denim shorts, maroon flares, jeans or
What?! Well, since it's still summer and it's so hot the trees are
beggin' the dogs (don't ask--my father-in-law has some of the craziest
sayings and they rub off on me) I think I'll go with shorts. For the
sake of showing how I shade I'll go with the mint green color of the
leaves on the shirt. Here we go:
- I will take my dropper tool and hover it over the leaves until I
find a color that is suitable (and then I'll probably adjust it to get
it more green).
- Then I will create a new layer by going to Layers>New raster
layer. Name it if you wish.
- Make a new selection for the shorts (pants, skirt, whatever you're
making)--it's better to make it longer than you need as that's easier
to correct than making it too short.
- Now use the flood fill tool (don't forget to set it back to
"Solid color" if you're following this from Part 1 of 2) and
fill the area you selected for your shorts.
I tend to make the color a bit darker than what I want to end up with
due to the method I use for shading. This is a bit too short for
the b001fcchd mesh so I went back and added to it to make it a bit
longer. I checked it in SimShow first.
- To save for previewing at this point hit Ctl + Shft + 3 to bring up
the decrease colors dialogue box--say OK to the warning about layers
being merged. Save the file in your skin creation folder (I
suggest not saving directly to the Maxis folder first--you can move
the completed skin there later). Undo the color decrease so you
can get your layers back.
A neat and easy way to get your files into SimShow is to save the file
in your skin creating folder. Open up your browser
(File>Browse) and get to the folder where you saved the skin.
Right-click and select "Copy to" and browse to the proper
folder in your previewing program. When you go back to do it
again later (trust me, you will, I check my skins several times before
they're completed) the browser will be set on the folder you saved
your file in and when you select copy to, the same folder you copied
to earlier will be the first one to pop up. Very handy!
- Now for the shading. Don't
delete the selection. Okay, on the layers palette (hit 'L' on
your keyboard if you don't see it), click on the goggles for your
shirt layer to make it 'invisible'. Like this:
- Bring the slider for the shorts down to about 40-50. Enough to
where you still have color but you can also see a definite outline of
the base. This is part of my little "cheat" for adding
shading. =-) You don't Have to shade as The Sims adds some
to the skins but your skin will be all that much better if it is
- Now right click on one of the visible layers listed and select
- Copy and paste as a new layer (Ctl + L or Edit>Paste>As New
- Undo (Edit>Undo or Ctl + Z)
- Raise the opacity of the shorts back up to 100% by using the slider
- Use the layer tool to move the new layer on top of the shorts (it
should be selected automatically after pasting as a new layer)
- Deselect the shorts by right-clicking with the selection tool
anywhere on the image
- Leave the shirt invisible for now
- On the Layer Palette where you see "Normal" bring down the
menu and go to "Luminance." Adjust the opacity of the
"Luminance" layer until you get something that is shaded but
not overly so. Kind of like this:
- Make the Background layer invisible so that all you have showing are
the Shorts and the new layer. Right click on one of the visible
layer titles and select Merge>Merge Visible
- Now you can make all your layers visible again and you're ready to
put pockets or whatever else on the shorts. If you want to do
more shading, go for it. I do but it's pretty much up to
personal taste after this point so you're on your own. ;-)
- Another tip: Holding down Shft while 'painting' or
'retouching' will draw a straight line. Very useful for drawing
pockets, belts, collars, shoes, etc . . . .
- Oh! Shoes! Ugh, shoes. You'll have to experiment
with those. I put shoes on their own layer as well. Once I
get a pair that I like I will crop them, copy and paste them.
Then I save them as a .psp format file so I can use them later.
The .psp format preserves the transparency so you can paste them as a
new layer onto future skins. Heh heh. Take that
shoes! Also, you can use the Hue/Saturation/Lightness tool to
vary the colors. The shoes I used on this skin started out like
but a little H/S/L tweaking made them into this:
Colors>Adjust>Hue/Saturation/Lightness or Ctl + H will get you
to the H/S/L screen.
- When you are completely satisfied with your skin there is an easy
way to get it onto all skin tones. Aren't you happy to hear you
don't have to do all these steps for each tone, lol. Do
this: Make the background layer invisible. Right click on
a visible layer on the Layer Palette and Merge>Merge Visible and
Ctl + C to copy that merged layer.
- Open the other two skin tones, Shft + D to duplicate them so you
don't accidentally save over the original and close the originals
(it's always best to work on a copy!). Ctl + L or
Edit>Paste>As New Layer to get the outfit onto the other skin
tones. You may have to move them around a little with the layer
tool to get them into position. Then Ctl + Shft + 3, OK the
warning about merging layers and OK the color decrease. Now save
the file. Quick tip: Clicking on the name of the original
skin will put it in the save as field. All you have to do is
change lgt to drk (or whatever you used). It's one way to avoid
- All that's left to do is exporting the skins to your Maxis
folder. Go to your browser (File>Browse), select the three
skins by holding down Ctl while clicking on each skin, right-click on
the selection and Copy to your C:\Program Files\Maxis\GameData\Skins