Sunday, October 21, 2012

Making Poses With Blender Part IV - For more complex poses & tips

I do not pretend to know everything about making poses, I am still learning to create and use Blender. This is intended for the people who have done simple poses successfully and want to go further.
If you see something that you would like to correct, please do so politely. I can take criticism but I dislike arrogant people who 'know more'. If you don't want to explain, then don't bother posting, thank you~

Menu 

A - How to use accessories/furniture for your pose
B - How to make a pose with two rigs
C - How to make a pose with multiple rigs
D - Tips
1) Use those animation clips
2) 'Save as...'
3) Links to other tips posted at the Poses Realm - Creative Garden group on Facebook


 Because this fourth part will already be long enough as it is, and that some steps have been covered in the previous parts, I will not explain again how to load your rig and import your animation file, which was shown in part II. Explanations on how to make the pose itself can be found in part III, along with how to set the keyframe and all the final steps to create your pose.

 Note: I updated the first part of the tutorial with two new rigs I found, one being for pregnancy.

A - How to use accessories/furniture for your pose

A lot of CC creators out there are making new items that can or not be used as acessories in game, but they make some pretty good bases for interesting poses. My favorites probably are ATS3 & Severinka but you can find many others. Be creative :)
As for me, the dumbbells Severinka just uploaded make me want to do some work out poses :p

- Load the rig you want to use
- Import the animation file related to it
- Look at the bottom right part of Blender, you might have to scroll down to see the options related to S3PY Rig Tools. It is located right below the S3PY Animation Tools.


Click on the arrow if the menu doesn't show like this:


Press the 'Load Prop' option if you want to make a pose based on some furniture. It could be a chair, a bed, a car, or any kind of decorative item. Keep in mind that you can use Tipsy OMSP in game to place the item, though if you do so you probably should indicate it for users.
To load an accessory use the 'Load CAS' option.

In my pose making folder I created another folder where I placed objects/accessories I want to use for poses. If you are going to have a lot you probably should make two different subfolders. For this example I decided to load as accessory NataliS' guitar.


They can only be .package files. If you use .Sims3Packs for your game usually, you can still use Delphy's S3P multi extracter. Even though the tool can be used to extract as many as you wish at the same time, you still need to know which item you are loading, so extract them one at a time, this way the packages will keep the original names.
If you create items yourself using TSRW,  you can save it as .package file by pressing
Edit > Project Contents > Export > To .package

Press the 'Import Sims 3 Prop' button on the top right of the screen.



 So my sim is now holding her guitar. You will notice that the joints appear orange and at the bottom of the screen it says you are in Object Mode. Just right-click any joint on the rig to select it will put you back into Pose Mode.

 I can spend hours working on a pose, but in the interest of this tutorial I made this in two minutes. It would need to be worked on a lot to look more natural or even 'unique', but the point is only to show that the accessory is attached to the hand. Moving the hand will move the guitar around.


- Create your pose
- Set the keyframe
- Export the animation, package it and test it in game

B - How to make a pose with two rigs

I have not tested this way much yet as I actually preferred the other one, but it is good for couple poses. Remember that a2a means adult to adult, do not use it if you want to make a pose with a child, toddler or pet.

- Open the rigs folder but chose a2a_soc.blend file this time


Note: From what I understand of OrangeMittens tutorial, the first steps she gives are to make the joints appear but they are here for me. If it's also the case for you then just keep reading, else go read her tutorial to see how to check the X-Ray's box.

The screen will be slightly different from what you are used to for a simple pose. You actually start from the right side, the number 3 view on the keypad.


The female rig seems to always be in Pose Mode, however whenever I select the male rig it turns orange and is in Object Mode.


 Switch it to Pose Mode and the joints will show in black again. You can now create your poses and change both rigs position as you keep on, switching between them. The 4 & 6 keys will help a lot to move around the rigs and select the joints.

The first time I tried to work on two poses at once I had trouble with one of them not working in game. I finally understood that you need to import the animation file for each of your rigs.
What I do is that when I want to test a pose in game, I make sure one of the joints of the rig is selected (shows in blue), I import the animation and then I set the keyframe. You can then do the same for the other rig, this way you are sure you won't have missed it and the pose should show in game.

Export the animation, package it and test it in game.

C - How to make a pose with multiple rigs

 I like this method more than the previous because you are not limited to an adult male/female pose. You can use it to work on 2 to 5+ poses at once if you want to work on a group pose, just make sure you can still access all joints. Adult & child(s)/toddler(s)/pet(s) poses can 'easily' be done this way.

 Open the first rig you want to work on, preferably the one that will be the 'base' to your pose. For example for a mother/child pose you would chose the mother if the child sits on her lap, but you would start with the child if he/she is crying or doing anything and the mother is reacting to it. But then again this is how you feel the most comfortable with. For this tutorial I will start by opening a female adult rig.

Once you have done so, in order to open any other rig you have to open File > Append


The rigs folder will open again and you will notice that there is a file size next to the rig you have opened.


I have tried to open the same rig but you cannot use the first rig twice. You will get an error message on the top right part of your screen when you try, and nothing will happen.


However, and if you were a bit curious you might have noticed that in my rigs list:


It's a simple trick actually, but it is rarely mentioned. Go to your rigs folder, right click the rig you want to 'duplicate', select copy and then paste it in the same folder (CTRL+C & CTRL+V). You will then see a file named Copy of afRig (if you cloned the female rig). Rename it as you wish, as long as you can find it easily. You actually only need one copy as this one can be reused without problem.

When you click on a rig it will directly take you to the next screen. If it wasn't the one you wanted, click the arrow back, else select the Object folder.


Keep the shift key pressed and select all the items that start with the same letters that your rig, in my case all that starts with af (adult female) and then click the Link/Append from Library button.


I moved the first one a bit to the side before adding the second so you can see better. The new rig has its joints in orange, meaning it's in Object Mode. It says Pose Mode on my picture, but if you look you will see it's still the first rig that is selected.


Select the new rig and switch it to Pose Mode.
You can keep adding as many rigs as your final pose will need...
Each time you will use the Append  function to add rigs, the previous one opened will be the first screen you will see. You can reuse the same rig (copy of the original & all others) as many times as you want.



Start working on all poses and when you think you are ready to test your poses in game, I suggest you save your work, see below in the tips.

Like I described earlier for the previous method, make sure you import the animation before you set the keyframe. Export the animation clip, package it with S3PE and then test it in game.

D - Tips

1) Use those animation clips

 You can delete the backup clips, but you should keep the animation clip, even after you are done with your poses.

First reason is because unless you want to add the tags manually, Cmomoney's Pose Pack Creator uses them to create the package, making it list compatible. It makes your life a LOT easier. Personally I rather not use the list when I do a photoshoot. I enter the names as I have way too many poses installed, but I know people prefer to have it so I offer download with ot without.

Second reason is that you can actually import it in Blender instead of the copy of the a_xevt_701 or
a_xevt_702 file. It will then bring your pose as you worked it before. You can then either modify your pose if you feel like making any final change to it before releasing it, or if you want to make a variation (such as hands moved further from the body for more 'fuller' sims, looking in another direction, sitting/standing, ...).


2) 'Save as...'

This part actually I have never seen in a tutorial while I was trying to learn. I decided to give it a try and I found this to be very helpful. Highly recommended if you work on several rigs at once.
Warning: it will save as a .blend file, so avoid to save over your rig

If you keep a backup of the file you downloaded then you will be fine, but it's still a lot better to use the 'Save as...' function and save it in the folder of the pose(s) you are working on. It saved my ass while I was working on my group poses as one of them ended somehow in my game without the animation: I loaded this saved file, imported the animation into the missbehaving rig, set the keyframe again and this time it worked in game.

What I do is that I save a file in my working folder before setting the keyframe, renaming it to something I will clearly remember what it refers to. Package your pose(s), test them in game. If it needs to be worked on again, you can double click the file and it will start Blender on its own.


3) Links to other tips posted at the Poses Realm - Creative Garden group on Facebook
Blender: About enabling animation plugin or rig deformed
Making poses: Naming your poses
Making poses: Making your poses 'snap' together

                                                               ---------------------

I think this is all! If you have any question, feel free to ask me, either here or on Facebook. I try to check the Sims 3: Pose Maker group regularly and I do try to help if I can. You can also pose pictures and ask if someone is willing to make it as a pose for you. Not all the requests are accepted but most of the time you will find someone interested.

Lastly, I would like to thank my wonderful boyfriend. For pushing me to create, for being patient with me when I do so and work for hours on a project, for giving me his opinion on my work (and believe me, when he doesn't like it he say so :p).

35 comments:

  1. Excellent tutorial :) It is detailed and explains the process in a very understandable way.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you my friend! I tried hard to had as much details as I could x.x

      Delete
  2. Thanks again, Kilhian!
    That bit with the multiple rigs was a big help. I'd been curious how to do that, but not quite curious enough to try and figure it out on my own. Now I know! :)

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    Replies
    1. Seeing your poses I realized you figured the part about accessories and couple poses, I am glad I still got something that did help you in there :)

      Delete
  3. Thanks so much for this! I wondered how you get the accessories to show. This tutorial is so clear and easy to follow.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I tried my best to make it as basic as possible without skipping any step :) I find making poses with accessories is actually like giving another use to an object that was created, plus it opens limitless possibilies. Have fun!

      Delete
  4. Very great tutorials. I wanted to write this but I'm very lazy lol.
    The load CAS function is easy to use. I always import them from geom and it's time consuming... but this one is much more convenient.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you :) And yes, just this one part took me about 8h to write so overall... I don't even want to think about it :p
      Importing CAS that way is very fast and easy indeed. Glad I helped even if just about that one part~

      Delete
  5. Merci Kilhian pour ce tutoriel, j'en cherchais justement un où il y a plus de 2 rigs. Je vais pouvoir retravailler certaines poses.

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    Replies
    1. Pas de problème :) Oh je vais attendre tes prochains packs avec impatience :p

      Delete
  6. Thanks for the tutorial!, but I don't have the S3PY Rig Tools, would you tell me where I can download it, please?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You are welcome :)

      All the links are in the top of the first part of this tutorial:
      http://kilhian.blogspot.co.uk/2012/07/making-poses-with-blender-part-i.html

      'A' made the plugin you are looking for, along with the rigs.

      Delete
    2. Thank you so much!! I have an old version of the s3py animation plugin -.- but now I have all updated and it works fine!!

      Delete
    3. It works a lot better with the updated file ;)
      Have fun!

      Delete
  7. This is easily the best tutorial i've ever read, thank you SO much for making it easy for me! :')

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Comments like this make it worth the 'pain' of writing it ^_^
      I am glad I helped you understand and hope you will have fun making poses!

      Delete
  8. Hi,
    I have problem: I've installed import tools, have latest blender (2.65) installed, but when I try to open any *soc* file (for two rig poses) blender opens something containing two markers - no rigs and no geometry at all. Any advices?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hello,
      First there is no animation plugin for Blender 2.65 yet, so my first advice would be to install 2.63, along with the 1.52 plugin. Links are in the first part of the tutorial:
      http://kilhian.blogspot.co.uk/2012/07/making-poses-with-blender-part-i.html

      And second, for two rigs poses it's better to use append and add a secnd rig, this way the poses snap into place, which doesn't happen with the way you are trying.

      Hope this helps :)

      Delete
  9. Thanks alot, that is really great help.
    And one more question, please: in second part of this tutorial you suggest to import some animation file trough simpe, or to use some blank animations from package, while the author of this (http://www.den.simlogical.com/denforum/index.php?PHPSESSID=4sju5hcrhu2l1ruf0nqdcft204&topic=916.0) tutorial says nothing about digging sims packages. I will be honest - I am a programmer myself and hoped to add some new poses, since it is not as hard, but if damn thing requires digging sims packages, that is beyond my limits. So, if there is no way to create "clear" poses without importing and tweaking some animation files, it is not worth time (IMHO, of course). So, how important, using third party animation file is?
    Thanks in advance.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You are welcome.

      I do not suggest, I gave two different ways to do. Personally I use Kaleeko's files, it's way less work. I have extracted the animations once and I am using them now as they are, which is WAY faster than going to 'dig' into EA's files using S3PE.

      I hope that just exporting them once is not 'beyond your limits', because I know that OrangeMittens doesn't talk about importing the animation, but if you don't then the pose simply won't work in game. You can give it a try, I did forget to import it while working on group poses, your sim will just stand.

      Making poses is less hard than meshing. But it will still take a lot of your time to make something that looks decent, at least when you start.

      Delete
  10. A question: how to lock the accs if we moved it (in object mode)? Thanks

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I had this problem once, and when I tried the object in game it wasn't actually working there at all. It was an old handbag from Lorandia Sim I think. Normally accessories will follow the hand movement.

      Delete
  11. This is so helpful! Thank you! Is there an easier way to create poses for non-average sims (sims that are not of the average body-part proportions due to sliders). If you create a couple's pose the normal way, they may not look very well in game if used on non-average sims.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You are welcome, I am glad it helped :)

      I have not tried to create poses for sims whose height has been changed through custom sliders. I know Kiddo did a few of those pose, and I have seen some others.
      I think they have been stretching the rig, but you could ask them what they did exactly.

      You can find Kiddo here:
      http://kiddosims.blogspot.com/
      or ask her and other pose makers on the Facebook group here:
      http://www.facebook.com/groups/234634559983066/

      Delete
    2. Thank you!! I'll check out her space and see if she can give me some tips. :)

      Delete
    3. She is a good friend of mine, and she is always ready to help :)

      Delete
  12. Well just because I'm excited and I want to show you that all your work making this tutorial has paid off, I'll show you my second pose! :D http://imgur.com/a/x88yn#0

    Thank you again!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. So second pose and you try a two rigs pose... not the easiest thing to do, but I really like the result! It would have to be reworked (fixed) on some parts but the emotions on the faces is really good! Especially the boy...

      There is a 'flaw' on her left knee, it goes through the top and you would need to change the angle of the leg a bit to fix that. I usually drag the knee a bit lower before changing the angle (by rotating the knee) so it fits the position.
      And there is something that bothers me somehow with her left hand, but it's maybe the angle.

      So yes, overall you did great! Amazing work for a start! Keep enjoying it and I look forward to see more of your stuff! If you have a blog/FB page where you publish don't hesitate to drop me a link and I will check on it ;) There is only Tumblr I don't really like so I don't have an account there :3

      Delete
    2. Thanks again! :D I'll try remaking the pose at some point and I'll definitely employ your advice; I appreciate it! I'm working on getting a site running so I'll let you know whenever that happens! :)

      Delete
    3. You will see when you remake them that it will come to you more easily than the first time you tried it ;)
      I look forward to see your site and what poses (or other kind of downloads) you come up with!

      Delete
  13. Just ran into a problem, actually. :( I'm trying to use objects/props now but I don't have the S3PY Rig Tools. I installed the S3PY Animation tools (and it shows up when I search my user settings for it) but that doesn't show up in that lower right list either; the list only goes up to Custom Properties. Any ideas?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I see that you are now attacking objects/accessories :p

      S3PY Rig Tools comes with A's animation tool, which you say you have installed. So normally you have it (someone else before you didn't have it, but it was because it was an old version, so you could check that).
      Would you mind taking a screenshot of what you see in Blender for me please? (The print screen button + paste in Paint works great)

      Delete
    2. Is there anyway to edit/remake a downloaded or already made pose/animation?

      Delete
  14. I'm using blender 2.67 and I'm pulling my hair out trying to figure out how to make the poses snap into place I saw the facebook post that you linked but I'm not quite sure what they meant by "Set them back as they are still facing different directions." do they mean like back to back or can they both face forward? I'm a little confused sorry if this sounds really stupid. ahaha I hope someone can help me out with this. thank you. :)

    ReplyDelete
  15. I am so happy and proud of you to provide such amazing stuff, I’m truly thankful to you! Fb-Vertrieb.de

    ReplyDelete

How to install

Most of the time when possible I give you the possibility to install as either Sims3Pack or Package.
Pick up a format you rather use (poses can only be installed as Packages), and install it in your game:

If you use EA Launcher:

Sims3Packs
Place the .sims3pack file in your folder My Documents/Electronic Arts/The Sims 3/Downloads
Run the Launcher, click the Download panel on the left and select the files you want to install before pressing the Install button.
Note: You do not need to keep the file in this folder, it can be removed safely once installed and the Launcher/game is closed.

Packages
Place the .package file in your folder My Documents/Electronic Arts/The Sims 3/Mods/Packages
If you do not have or do not know how to set up the Mods folder, I wrote a tutorial here.
Note: If you have too many files in this folder you should consider merging them or it will make your game load and render slower. Aikea Guinea wrote a tutorial about it, see here.

If you use CC Magic:

This launcher manages both types, so you can place any .sims3pack and .package files you want in
My Documents/Electronic Arts/The Sims 3/Downloads
For those who don't know about it, you can find the installation here and a tutorial there.
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