«Creating Clothing with Body Shop and Adobe Photoshop CS2 This article will cover the basics of creating clothing using Body Shop and Photoshop CS2 ...»
Creating Clothing with photoshop CS2
by Rockinrobin, 26 March 2007
Creating Clothing with Body Shop and Adobe Photoshop CS2
This article will cover the basics of creating clothing using Body Shop and Photoshop CS2 and
assumes that you have a basic knowledge of these two programs. I will however, try to go step by
step, so that if you follow along, you should be able to create your own clothing in just a little while!
Don’t worry though if your first creations don’t turn out so great. It does take time, patience, and lots of practice to get the clothes to look fabulous in the game.
Please keep in mind, this is just the way I do things and I’m sure there are several other ways of achieving the same objective. But once you have a good understanding of how things work, you can branch out and begin to develop your own style and ways of creating your clothing.
What you will need.
Body Shop that comes with the Sims 2 game and expansion packs.
Adobe Photoshop CS2. (some other versions of Photoshop will work also, but there may be some tricks that I use that are only available in the CS2 version) First things first!
The first thing you need to do is to create a folder somewhere on your computer to store all your fabrics and other clothing items that you will use. You can name it anything you like, but I call mine “Fabrics”. Then within that folder, I have a couple of sub-folders named “Clothing Trimmings” and “Clothing Items”. Once you get further along in this tutorial, you’ll understand why you need these folders.
Next, you need to begin looking for some things to store in your Fabrics folder that you think might work nice for clothing. You can Google “fabrics” online and get tons of websites with fabric swatches to use. Once you see some that you like, simply right click them and save them into your Fabrics folder. *Hint* Be sure to get the largest image of the swatch as possible. Sometimes, you may have to click on the individual swatch to get the enlarged view. This enables you to manipulate it more when you are making clothes.
Once you get several fabrics that you like stored in your fabrics folder, it’s a good idea to begin looking for actual clothing pictures that you can use. This can be a bit tricky, but you will learn with trial and error which images will work and which ones won’t. When looking at clothing images, be sure the model is facing head-on and you need a fairly large image for it to work properly. Also, try to make sure there aren’t any extraneous things on the image that could cause problems….such as the models hands across the outfit….or a purse blocking the image. The cleaner the image you start with, the better your results will be. I personally love to get images from Ebay because you can often find very large images and the sellers are going to try and display the clothing in the best way possible to get people to buy it. Plus, it’s always a bonus if you can get a front AND back view of the item you are planning to save.
First things first! Cont.
The image below is an example of what NOT to use. As you can see, the model is not facing head-on and her hands are in the way.
The two images below will work great. You have a front AND back view and both are facing headon. Also, with jean images, make sure the zipper is zipped and the buttons are fastened. I like using jeans that are on a model so the folds in the fabric look more natural.
First things first! Cont.
The first shirt below would be very difficult to use for a few reasons. First of all, it’s not facing forward. Secondly, the image is too small and it’s blurry. The second shirt is a larger image, but still wouldn’t work because it’s not facing forward. When you get really good at editing items in Photoshop, it is possible to use less than ideal images and still get nice results. But when you’re first starting out, it’s a good idea to use the best possible images to work from.
Here are a couple of examples on shirts that would work nicely.
Now that you have a good idea of the types of images that will work best, hopefully you’ve gathered a few things and saved them in your folder. *Hint* One other thing to keep in mind when selecting images to use…keep them as simple as possible when first starting out. Try to stick with common shapes and designs. You will wind up getting frustrated if you try to do a really complicated item before you get the hang of things.
Open your Bodyshop If you are not familiar with where Body Shop is located, go to your Start Menu EA Games The Sims 2 Body Shop. It takes awhile to load, so be patient.
Once it opens completely, click on Create Parts and then Start New Project. Then you click on Create Clothing.
When you get to this screen, familiarize yourself with all the controls. You will recognize them from your Create-A-Sim menu in the game. First choose if you want to make male or female clothes and then choose the age group. Across the top, you will see the different categories, everyday, formal, undies, pajamas, swimwear, and athletic.
We’re going to start with female adult everyday clothes, so go ahead and click on the first category at the top. When you click on that, all the clothing that you currently have available in your game, will come up. You can scroll through the different outfits and choose which one would be a good base for your own outfit.
Open your Bodyshop Cont.
**A note about meshes** If you have downloaded custom content from TSR or anywhere else, those outfits will also show in your Body Shop. You need to be sure and have the permission of the original artist to recolor their clothes. If you are using an outfit from the base game, then you can do whatever you want. The custom content outfits will have an asterisk (*) next to them, so you will know which ones are custom. If you want to use a custom mesh from another site, be sure to read their terms and abide by them. Most will allow you to recolor as long as you give credit and provide a link back.
For this tutorial, we’re going to use an outfit from the base game just to keep it simple. Once you get comfortable with recoloring clothes, then you can branch out to more complicated items and do whatever you like. Scroll almost to the end and find the ugly orange sweater with blue jeans and sandals.
Open your Bodyshop Cont.
See that little file folder with an arrow on it? Click on that and it will bring up the box that asks you to name your file. You can name it whatever you like, but for this tutorial, let’s just call it “jeansandshirt” and then click the “check” mark.
This is will bring up the screen below. It will show you which category your clothing will appear in and you can check as many of these categories as you like. Where it says “tool tips”….you can enter whatever you like there too. I always enter my name so that when people download my creations, they will be able to know who created it.
At this point, do not click any more buttons in Body Shop. It’s time to open up your Adobe Photoshop and begin to edit the outfit. This is where the FUN really starts!
Open your Bodyshop Cont.
Go ahead and open up your Photoshop but also keep Body Shop open. You’ll need it open to preview your outfit several times and then finally to import it into your game when you’re satisfied with the results.
At this point, I wanted to once again stress the importance of patience. Getting the clothes to look exactly right is often very time consuming. If I am doing a complicated outfit, it can sometimes take me several hours to get it just like I want it. So don’t get frustrated if your first try isn’t perfect. This is a learning exercise and if you practice, you will get better.
On we go!
In photoshop, click on File Open and look for the file you just exported from Body Shop. It will be located in My Documents EA Games The Sims 2 Projects jeansandshirt.
You will see 4 files there. The first one is the main file that we will edit, so go ahead and open that one. The second file is called the “alpha” file, the third is the “texture” file, and the fourth is the package file. We will talk about all of these later on.
You should now see this in your photoshop.
On we go! Cont.
The VERY first thing I always do and highly recommend, is to go ahead and duplicate this layer.
This serves a couple of purposes…first, it allows you to edit the layer without ever messing up your original. That way, if you make a mistake or you just don’t like it, you can always trash it and start over. Secondly, there will be times when you may want to adjust the color of one section, (for example the shirt) and you can do this and then use a layer mask to bring back the underneath layer with the original color. If this isn’t making sense to you yet, please bare with me and it should become clear.
To duplicate the layer, click on Layer Duplicate Layer and then click OK. You don’t need to change anything in the background or destination fields. Also, you need for your layers to be visible as you work on them, so click on Window and click on Layers. This will bring up your Layers box showing you the two identical layers that we have so far.
Now it’s time to choose what images we will use to create the clothing. I’m going to use those blue jeans that I showed you in the beginning of this tutorial. After I get the jeans like I want them, I’ll choose a shirt.
Open your image of the jeans you want to use. You should have these saved in your Fabrics folder or whatever you named it. This is what you should have open in photoshop now.
At this point, I like to try and clean up the images before I copy/paste them onto my original. The easiest way to do this is to use the Magic Eraser Tool. Be sure to use the one with the star on it.
Click on the background of the image and it will begin to erase the background. If you have additional background stuff that needs to be cleaned up, you can always use the regular eraser to clean up.
On we go! Cont.
Here’s what I have so far.
Now it’s time to use your rectangular marquee to select the first image. Once you get your image selected, click on Edit Copy Merged. Then go to your original project image and click on Edit Paste.
On we go! Cont.
This is what you should have so far. Don’t worry that the jeans look too small right now because we’re going to fix that. Go ahead and repeat the process for the back of the jeans. You should now have 4 individual layers showing up in your layers box.
With layer 1 highlighted, click on Edit Free Transform and a box will appear around the jeans. Grab a corner and drag the image to make it larger or smaller depending on what you need. You can also rotate the image by placing the arrow at a corner until it becomes a curved arrow. Try to line up the jeans as closely as possible with the original jeans. It sometimes helps to adjust the opacity on this layer while you are sizing it so that you can see the underlying image better. With jeans, it’s pretty easy because you just try to line up the button on the waist line.
You can see with my image below, I had to slightly rotate the jeans to the left to make them line up properly with the underlying image. I’ll have to do the same with the back of the jeans because they are slightly slanted also. Go ahead and repeat this process with your Layer 2. You have to be careful with the back of the jeans not to stretch them out too much or the pockets won’t end up on the butt and they will look weird. You want your sims to have to a nice looking butt don’t you?
Don’t worry if the jeans do not completely cover the underlying image just yet…we will fix that.
On we go! Cont.
Now we will further adjust the size of our jeans images to more closely match the original image.
This is the fun part! With your Layer 1 highlighted, adjust the opacity down to about 50% so you can see the underlying image but still see your Layer image too. Click on Edit Transform Warp.
You will get a grid over your image that you can pull on anywhere to adjust the size and position of your image. You might want to experiment here just to get a feel for what the warp tool does. You can always click on Edit Undo if you make a mistake. For jeans, the first thing I like to do is to pull on the upper corners to straighten out the waist line to match the underlying image. I also like to straighten the legs a bit by pulling them down and outward.
When you get the jeans as straight as possible, you can adjust the opacity back to 100%. Then repeat the process on Layer 2. **Remember not to stretch out the butt too much** I like using the Transform tools to adjust the size and shape of the layers because it doesn’t compromise the clarity of the image as long as you don’t go too far with it. You want your image to stay as sharp as possible so that it won’t look blurry in the game.
On we go! Cont.
At this point, I usually like to Preview what I’ve got so far in Body Shop to see if I need to make further adjustments. Click on Layers Flatten Image and then click on File Save. Go to your Body Shop and click on the curved arrow and refresh your preview sim.
Things look pretty good so far! The pockets are in the correct position on the butt and the front is lined up well. But as you can see, we still have work to do.
Go back to photoshop and click on Edit Step Backward so that you will have your layers back.
*Hint* When I am creating clothes, I will flatten my image and save it several times throughout the process so that I can preview my progress. Then I always go back and undo the flatten image so that I can continue working on my project. This is very helpful so you can what adjustments need to be made. Be sure to rotate your sim and look at it from all angles to make sure you don’t miss anything.