I wasn't really sure what category this fell in. As far as i could tell it could easily fall into the help section, general section or creation section of the forum. So i settled on here. I want to know how to extract custom sims, made in create a sim, with all their settings like facial shape and details and body shape, to import into blender. If the solution is really complicated or difficult that is fine. I assumed there would be no easy answer.
10th Oct 2017 at 9:36 PM
Last edited by ameenah.n.y : 10th Oct 2017 at 9:50 PM.
The solution sounds more complicated than it actually is.
You need to use screen ripping software. Before you get started, I should mention that it is imperative that you are below patch 1.69. This patch made some changes to the game launcher, but it also prevents several 3rd party applications (like the aforementioned ripping software) from working.
If you are using Windows 10, you *may* have to run 3DRipper in compatibility mode for Windows 7/8, you may also have to set both 3DRipper and ts3.exe to always run as an administrator. YMMV on this.
If you use Reshade, you need to remove it before running 3DRipper. They will conflict.
Boot the game through 3DRipper. Make sure not to alt+tab! Once you are in Create a Sim and have selected the sim you would like to capture, hit the capture key. By default, it should be set to F1. A message should display in the upper left hand corner of the screen when your rip is complete. 3DRipper will save all on-screen meshes, textures and shaders visible when you took your capture. Unless you plan to edit a shader, you can delete these. Your sim's mesh will be included with the rest of the scene in an .obj file. In addition to your actual sim, the program also captures ALL geometry in the scene including your sim's reflection - make sure to delete these items.
Unfortunately, 3DRipper captures Field of View distortion on the mesh itself, damages all of the UV maps and strips all bone assignments. You will need to fix these issues before your sim is usable. For example, if you took the capture while your sim was facing front, it will be completely flattened along the Z-axis (you'll need to increase this by 1200-1800x to match the default proportions, if you're scaling a whole sim at once and not just the head). Regardless of what angle you take the capture from, you'll typically always need to scale down the entire rip (about .0009), rotate it 180 degrees, mirror the mesh from left to right, and finally align the normals. To fix the UV maps, import .pngs of the UV layout and assign them as materials to each part respectively, then just resize the UV islands to fit the image. It's important you really take your time to make sure you match the UV islands exactly.
It's kind of a pain in the butt to do, but if you're looking to make custom textures for a character, it really is worth it! I do this every time I make a sim.
It's not doable. Sims have a main "rig" for each gender, a model of a Sim in its default state, and with sliders the game modifies the geometry through bones and weights. You can import a Sim rig into blender, and you can edit it as normal, but to replicate a Sim in Blender you'd need to find a way to export each slider value from the game, into a format that Blender can be made to recognize. That would require writing an entire new plugin and there's a number of reasons that make it unlikely that that'll happen. Of course you can export all the other meshes and textures that are used on their body and import them into Blender just fine, but sliders are a long and complicated story.
But it IS doable. I wrote that explanation, because I have completed this process myself dozens upon dozens of times. Ripping from CAS with an appropriate DX9 compatible program maintains all slider adjustments - whether applied from bone-based or geom-based sliders. I'm not talking about opening the default sim geoms in Blender - I'm specifically describing how to extract the altered meshes from CAS that result from applying slider adjustments. If you need to re-rig the exported mesh, you can re-assign bones with toolkit relatively easily. Bone-based sliders can also be translated into Blender, but that's a different question, and, yes, a lot more complicated to do.