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:tutorial: Technicolor Sims (A Tutorial for Photoshop)
Greg
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Post Posted: Sun Apr 17, 2005 5:03 pm
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Warning: Of necessity, this thread contains images of naked and immodestly clad sims which,
while not being very educational for youngsters, could seriously mess with your mind.



The Immodest Technicolor Family: Terrence, Purplina, and Colorada

It all started when one of the folks in the M and M Needful Things 2 Yahoo group asked where to find colorful skin tones for her sims.
Warning: M and M Needful Things 2 is in the adults-only Section of Yahoo, and appropriately so.

At first I wasn't tempted to even try this because editing 39 image files just to make one skin can be a serious exercise in time-consuming tedium, especially when it's not a skin tone I'd be interested in having in my hame. Then Hestas, one of the guys in the DMA Sims forum, mentioned that Photoshop was scriptable. That was a challenge I couldn't resist!

Hence were born the Technicolor Sims. You can download the results of my efforts from the Files section of the Ultimate Sims X Group. Look in the folder named The Pearl.

Next, I'll tell you how I did it. In addition to the amusement of the silly skin tones, this might be an interesting lesson in efficient use of Photoshop to make new skin tones for The Sims 2.

Events in this thread take place in the city of Bonnyview Shores.


Last edited by Greg on Wed Jun 01, 2005 12:26 am; edited 3 times in total

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Post Posted: Sun Apr 17, 2005 5:13 pm
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Colorada Learns that She Can Get Pregnant from Playing Kicky Bag

Once I created the new skin tones I wanted to test them in the game to make sure they worked property for both sexes of all ages. The best way to do that is to make babies, so the moment that the Technicolor family moved into their new house, both Colorada and Purplina mysteriously became pregnant by their husband Terrence.

They blame it on playing Kicky Bag, but in truth the Tombstone of Life and Death played a significant role in their immaculate conception.

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Post Posted: Sun Apr 17, 2005 5:29 pm
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Colorada Checks to Make Sure Her Skin Works Even When She's Pregnant

Another important thing to check was whether the skin tone still works as the sims' body shapes morph. Pregnancy is the ultimate test, and you can see that it stretches nicely. Sims are lucky in that they don't get stretch marks.


Colorada and Purplina Each Had a Baby With Her Own Skin Tone

The pregnancy was mercifully short, and the ladies gave birth just three hours later. (Can you say "TOLAD"? I knew you could.)

As luck would have it, each of the baby boys--named Clut and Pixel--inherited his mother's skin tone. Note that young Clut (or is it Pixel?) has not yet developed the warm hand coloration typical of adult sims of his species. This is a defensive mechanism on their home planet. It provides camouflage that protects inquisitive babies from having their hands nibbled by voracious fingerniverous predators.

In contrast, baby Pixel (or is it Clut?) inherited his mother's solid purple skin. While this provides perfect camouflage in her home, it makes them stand out like beacons among the greenery and brownery of Sim Earth.


Last edited by Greg on Mon Apr 18, 2005 4:20 am; edited 1 time in total

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Post Posted: Sun Apr 17, 2005 5:53 pm
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With that introduction, it's time to explain how I made these things. It started with the purple skin tone.

How I Made the Purple Skin
    1. Exported the skin from Body Shop.

    2. In Photoshop, I edited the first skin file manually and recorded an Action as I went:
      2a. Set background to layer
      2b. Desaturate
      2c. Add Layer Style for Color Overlay (Multiply + Choose Purple Color)
      2d. Flatten Image
      2e. Save

    3. Went to Windows Explorer, selected ALL the .bmp files in my
    ...\Projects\PSSknPurpleAuto folder, and chose "Edit With Photoshop".
    (I think there are 40 files in there.)

    4. Applied the same action to each file and closed the files as I went.

That's it! Once the Action was defined in Photoshop, it only took a few seconds to apply the exact same transformation to all the other files. I spent more time making the preview portrait than I did making the skin tone.

This procedure will make quick work of creating a new skin tone, and the skin tone works in the game, but unfortunately, there's a bug. Stay tuned!

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Post Posted: Sun Apr 17, 2005 6:05 pm
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Terrence is Pleased With, Albeit Somewhat Mystified By, His Progeny

The first thing I noticed was that the coloring on Clut's (or is it Pixel's?) skull didn't line up properly with the same colors on his face. This is also true of his mother, Colorada, but her hair covers the anomaly. That seemed to be a minor bug so I haven't bothered to fix it yet. Here you can also see that the infant hasn't yet developed the purple shoulders characteristic of the adults of his species.

It took me a while to notice the serious aberrration because I was busy with having the parents get to know their babies. Neighbors stopped by to welcome them and politely failed to notice the peculiar heritage of the majority of the Technicolor family.

A lot of artistry involves attempting to do something, seeing what you get, and then developing a back story to explain that that's what you wanted all along! Goya didn't really mean to put clothes on the Maja, but after after he leaned over his canvas while copying the original painting, it seemed like a good way to rescue the work.

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Post Posted: Sun Apr 17, 2005 6:38 pm
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Here We Go Again!

In addition to a incredibly short gestation period and very high fertility rate (racial imperatives which developed soon after a mishap involving the importation of the voraciously fingernivorous Ravenous Bugblatter Beast of Baal*), one of the unique characteristics of the natives of planet Uberchroma is that with a certain amount of intervention from a male**, the females of the species can breed with each other.

And so, later that same day, with the neighbors coaching and Terrence frantically gadding about to no useful purpose, Purplina gave birth to Colorada's baby, and Colorada had Purplina's.

Now if you look very closely at Purplina you can see the major anomaly in my attempts to reproduce the Uberchromic skin tones--purple teeth!

You can't see it in these pictures, but tragically Colorada was also afflicted with a similarly severe dental problem.


*Most Uberchromic historians agree that the first voraciously fingernivorous Ravenous Bugblatter Beast of Baal to arrive on the planet was a pregnant female which escaped from the holds of a great transport ship, the Hitchhiker, while the ship's master--an odd fellow named Uglass Daddums--was distracted by his scientific investigations into the question of whether Colorada's multi-great grandmother was wearing blue body paint in certain regions of her anatomy or if that was, indeed, her natural skin tone. Other historians, including Uglass Daddums, who especially takes humbrage at being referred to as odd in these footnotes, insist that this is utter hogwash.

**You really don't want to know.

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Post Posted: Sun Apr 17, 2005 6:54 pm
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Bedtime for Babies at the Technicolor House

With the tragedy of the purple teeth identified, we finally come to explaining how I created Colorada's skin tone and what I did to correct the oral anomaly. So let's put the babies to bed for the night and get on with the tutorial.

The basic procedure was the same: Do the first of the 39 skin files while recording a new Action in Photoshop, and then replay the Action for each of the other files.

I started by creating the rainbow gradient with the same dimensions as the body skin and saving it in a separate file.

Automating this procedure was more of an adventure because the Action went to the "Previous" file to pick up the rainbow gradient. I had to make sure that the previous file was the one I wanted so that it copied the gradient instead of ending up multiplying a skin by a different skin.

There's a tremendous advantage to doing it this way. You get exactly the same transformations applied to the faces as you do to the bodies, so there's not a visible line on the neck. I was lucky with Colorada's skin because the red color at the base of her neck touches precisely the same color on the body skin, so that her skin appears to be seamless in that region. You can still spot some discontinuities around her armpits, though.

The fundamental flaw in this procedure is that in the face files, it recolors the eyes and teeth as well as the skin.

Purple teeth really bothered me, so I wanted to go back and correct the face files. That turned out to be relatively easy. I opened a set of original face files and discovered that the eyes and teeth are identical and in exactly the same location in all face files. So I masked out the eyes and teeth, added a dot in each lower corner to define the file size, and then wenth through the face files and pasted the correct eyes and teeth over the existing skin. Flatten the layers and save, and I was back in business!

Well, except for one thing. I wanted to fix the Technicolor family. That was more of an adventure.


Last edited by Greg on Thu Jun 02, 2005 6:37 am; edited 2 times in total

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Post Posted: Sun Apr 17, 2005 7:31 pm
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Introducing the Chromatics Family

I knew of only one good solution. I created a set of archetypes sims, each with the age, sex, and skin tone of an existing member of the Technicolor family. (Except for Terrence, of course. He's my control normal.)

There are two sisters, each of whom has one male and one female toddler with her skin tones. I didn't even give them normal names, thinking that I would just get them in the game long enough to use them as archetypes. They have names like "XM Rainbow Toddler."

Ah, silly me! I should know better! I become attached to any sim I create!


Teaching the Chromatics Babies to Talk

So of course I hastily built a little house for them and spent some quality time with the toddlers. I can't help it! Even technicolor toddlers are adorable!

Then, once the Chromatics family were in the game, I reluctantly quit the game and fired up SimPE. SimPE has a feature called Sim Surgery. It allows you to give any sim the exact appearance of any other sim.

The Sim Surgery plugin has a feature that says "only skintone" but every time I have tried it, SimPE has crashed. So for these sims, the two Chromatics ladies are clones from the same parent sim whom I used for Purplina and Colorada. I selected each member of the Technicolor family in turn as the patient and selected the appropriate member of the Chromatics family as the archetype, and finally all my sims have the skin tone I want without the purple teeth!

So now in this neighborhood I have four technicolor ladies who are identical except for their individually strange skin tones, and eight similarly weird toddlers who no doubt will eventually grow to adulthood and inflict bizarre things upton the unsupecting residents.


Last edited by Greg on Thu Jun 02, 2005 6:39 am; edited 1 time in total

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Marmy
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Post Posted: Tue Apr 19, 2005 6:29 pm
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Greg, that is just SCARY.

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miros1
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Post Posted: Tue Apr 19, 2005 10:04 pm
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I have one stupid question... why did you make 4 new toddlers? Couldn't the 2 purple toddlers copy the genetics from 1 new purple toddler, and the same for the Chromatics?

Or do you just like masses of babies?

Rose/Miros

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Greg
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Post Posted: Tue Apr 19, 2005 10:57 pm
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All of the above. I like to make new babies, but I needed a boy and a girl with each skin tone. If I had copied both sexes from the same archetype, they both would have had the sex of the archetype.

I really only needed three, but by the time I got to the create-a-sim screen, I'd forgotten which three I needed!

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Post Posted: Tue Apr 19, 2005 10:59 pm
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Marmy wrote:
Greg, that is just SCARY.


They're actually fun to play! It could be really amusing to create some variations on this theme, although the only place I'd play them would be in Bonnyview Shores or Strangetown.

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Post Posted: Sat Apr 23, 2005 5:13 am
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Chromatics Babies

The babies turned out pretty cute, but you can clearly see where the hair texture doesn't line up with the face texture. You can also see where the arms don't line up with mom's back. That's something to keep in mind when making any skin that has a feature that wraps around in those areas.

Methinks we need a template for aligning skin textures.

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miros1
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Post Posted: Sat Apr 23, 2005 9:21 am
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Greg wrote:
All of the above. I like to make new babies, but I needed a boy and a girl with each skin tone. If I had copied both sexes from the same archetype, they both would have had the sex of the archetype.

I really only needed three, but by the time I got to the create-a-sim screen, I'd forgotten which three I needed!


And you wanted to test the 8 babies socializing thing!

Rose/Miros

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:tutorial: Technicolor Sims (A Tutorial for Photoshop)
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