Moon Sims

How to Make Skins for The Sims
Part 8: Adjust Details with the Smudge Tool

"Watch out for the sleight of hand; I just pulled a fast one on you. See that layer called black vest in the image below? I could have created it this way:

  1. Mask out the vest in Richard's Rogue skin
  2. Duplicate layer
  3. Pull down under Layer to Remove layer mask
  4. Say yes when Photoshop asks if I want to Apply the mask
  5. Pull down under Image to Adjust and then Desaturate to get a grayscale image
  6. Smudge and paint to eliminate the symbol on Rogue's right shoulder
  7. Adjust brightness and contrast to get the vest to look like black leather
Preserve Transparency

"That's how I could have done it; but I didn't. Instead, I just went to the biker skin that Maxis distributed with the original B013 and masked out the vest from that skin. Since all the details of the Maxis jacket match Richard's jacket, except for color and Rogue's emblem, I assume it was his original source artwork, too.

"So now I have a black vest all by itself on a layer. There just a couple of details I want to adjust right now -- the lapels. My toreador doesn't have lapels on her jacket, so I need to get rid of those. I'll use the smudge tool to do this.

"I don't want to mess up the outlines of the vest so the first thing I do is to turn on Preserve Transparency for this layer. That keeps me from smudging or painting outside the current boundaries of the vest.

Choose brush

"Next, I want to smudge with a fuzzy-edged brush so that I don't create distinct streaks.

"So I first select the smudge tool (the hand with one finger extended) and then go to the brushes pallette to pick a fuzzy brush.

"If you double-click on the smudge tool, you'll bring the smudge options pallette (see below) to the front. If Use All Layers is turned on, then the smudge tool can pull in colors from other visible layers while you are smudging.

All layers off

"That's a great technique when you are smoothing edges, but in this case I don't want to have any of the underlying skin showing up on the jacket. So I turned it off. Now only colors from the black vest layer will get smudged around.

"The note in Photoshop says 'Creates effect from composited data.' What they mean is that if you turn this gizmo on, it will use colors from all visible layers to do whatever you're doing.

Smudge out collar

"Getting on with goal here, I have smudged out the left lapel by stroking the smudge tool outward, toward the edge.

"Compare it the right lapel and you can see what I'm doing. I'll smudge away the right lapel the same way.

"The vest is starting to look more like my toreador's jacket! Next I want to start working on that gold trim."

Forward Back to Part 7 | Continue to Part 9 Forward

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