Moon Sims
Tech

How to Make a Zip Archive for Moon Sims
Part 5: Character Portraits

Caddy says, "I need two pictures that show the character wearing the clothes you're distributing with the archive:"

Archive character portrait
Archive portrait
171x256
On-line character portrait
On-line portrait
166x249

"Put the 171x256 archive portrait into the zip archive. This picture makes it easy for the user to see the completed character after download. People can end up downloading hundreds of skins for The Sims, so we make it easy for them to figure out what these skins look like, where they got it, and who claims ownership of it."

"Oh, and don't worry about the line that says it's copyrighted by Artemis Society International. The Society advertises the copyright as its publisher, but does not claim any rights to your work other than the right to publish what you have submitted for publication. You retain all other rights, and you can put your name in the copyright line if your prefer. If you want to know more about the Society's policy regarding intellectual property rights, follow the copyright link at the bottom of any web page on the Moon Sims web site."

"(You will end up in the Artemis Data Book if you follow that link, so hurry back! I'll miss you!)"

Moon Sims Portrait Template
Click on image to download the
Photoshop file used to create
this portrait. (288 K)

"The archive portrait does not have to be strictly 171x256. In fact, Carla makes them from a larger Photoshop file. But it's nice to be consistent if we can because users might collect these portraits."

"Here is a zip archive of a Photoshop file that she used to make the portraits of <*sigh*> Bruce McIntyre. Click on the image to download it. If you use this file to start with, it will be a lot easier to add the nice MOON SIMS signature and other decorations."

"Carla created the original picture using screen shots from SimShow. That's easy because SimShow gives you a solid-color background to work with. Just crop the screen shot, one shot with the magic wand, select inverse, copy, and then paste the image into the master file. The only tricky part is if the character's image happens to have pixels that match the SimShow background color. If that happens, then you have to pick them up with the lasso tool."

"See the little pictures showing Bruce in his swimsuit and his pajamas? (He really does wear black silk pajamas!) When we are distributing an archive that includes more than one skin, I like to include pictures of all the skins -- or at least most of them -- in the portrait, so Carla makes little ones to go with the big ones. She made the little pictures the same way as the big one. Here's her procedure:"

  1. Merge visible layers
  2. Select all and copy the result
  3. In your master file, immediately go to the history window and select the step just before you merged visible layers so you get all your layers back
  4. In the new window, paste the stuff you've copied
  5. Reduce the size of the new window, select all, and copy
  6. Paste the little image back into a new layer in the master file

"Don't forget to edit the text of the character's name. When it's all ready, just turn on all the layers you want and do something like Carla's procedure above to create the final archive image. The difference is that you reduce the size of the new window to 171x256 and save it as the final file. Use a file name like charactername.jpg where 'charactername' matches the name of the files in your archive. She says compression level 6 works pretty good."

"Now, for the on-line portrait, go back to the master file and turn off all the layers with the lettering except the character's name. This time, squish it exactly 166 x 249. That width and height need to be exact. Otherwise, your image won't work on the page where we link to your work."

"Give the on-line portrait file a name like 'charactername-ol.jpg'. Here's it's really important that the image file have exactly the same 'charactername' as the zip archive you're going to create because the web team is working on an automated indexing program to make it easier to maintain the site."

"When you have the two portraits ready, you're almost done! All that remains is to put together the 'readme' file and zip it up."

Forward Back to Part 4 | Continue to Part 6 Forward

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