Moon Sims
Tech

How to Make Skins for The Sims
Part 10: Masking the Vest Trim

Using the UV map

"Here's where that UV map comes into play. I'm going to define the area of the gold trim along the edges of the toreador jacket, so I want to check carefully how this skin will lay over the body mesh.

"I opened the UV map that I created with Bodywarp, and then copied it and pasted it into my main Photoshop file as yet another layer. I have set the UV map's layer to Multiply and here I'm adjusting its transparency so that I can see what's going on in the layers underneath.

Merge vest layers

"Now I ready to put my vest colors all on one layer so I can edit the trim. I've turned off the visibility of the UV map for now so I can clearly see what I'm doing.

"By pulling down under Layers and selecting Merge Down I flatten the two color layers into one. Photoshop automatically applies the layer mask to the brown layer before it merges the two layers.

"You can't see it in this picture, but before I merged the two color layers I made copies of them and moved them lower in the stack. I'm a coward, so I like to be able to go back to where I was before if things don't turn out the way I want. Think of this as the Photoshop equivalent of saving your game before you do something potentially dangerous.

Add shoes

"I'm getting impatient to see what this skin looks like, so I decided to take a break from the vest and put in a little more clothing. Here I just made a copy of my own tour guide shoes -- the sparkly red ones -- and pasted into a new layer named black shoes. Then I turned on Preserve Transparency for that layer and filled with black.

"I'll want to tweak the shoes later, but these are enough to get started.

All layers off

"My toreador seems a bit immodest without pants, so I've added some. I pilfered these black pants from the skin that Maxis distributed with the B013 body mesh.

"For her cummerbund (the belt, y'know) I just copied a rectangular section from the vest and pasted into into another layer. Then I rotated it 90° and used the rectangular marquis tool to select and clear the parts I don't want. This is as large as I can imagine the cummberbund being so I just chopped away at it instead of using a layer mask to adjust its shape.

"Once I had the shape of the cummerbund right, I pulled down under Image to Adjust... and then Variations... and fooled around with it until the color looked pretty close to what I see in the Biba picture.

"Now that I've got some clothes on her, I'm feeling more brave. So I'm ready to tackle the first part of the vest trim.

Mask vest trim

"Here I go again with that layer mask trick. I'm not at all sure how the trim is going to look when I put this skin onto the mesh, so I want to keep all my options open.

"First I duplicated the vest color layer so I'd have another layer to work with later. Then I added a mask to the vest gold trim layer and started painting away with my paintbrush, filling most of the area of the vest's mask with black.

"Remember, the black you see is the black leather jacket showing through from underneath, not the black I'm painting onto the layer mask. And note that I left a little bit of gold trim at the back of the neck so that the collar will go all the way around her neck.

"While I was painting away all but the trim, I frequently turned on the UV map layer so I could see where I was on the body. I think the vest trim is looking pretty good! If I'm lucky it will be pretty close when I put it onto the B970 body mesh.

"The cummerbund has a nice pattern to it, but it looks a little flat. It needs some shading that matches the contours of the toreador's body. I'll fix that next."



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