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How To Make Your Own Sims 3 Objects | Part 1: Meshing

Updated on February 13, 2011
A desk mesh open in TSR Workshop.
A desk mesh open in TSR Workshop.

There are two programs needed in making your own Sims 3 objects, one is TSR Workshop, a free tool developed by The Sims Resource that allows you to create your own custom Sim clothing, furniture and other build / buy objects. If you're new to the world of modding, but want to make your own modified objects, the TSR Workshop is a great place to start.

The site does require registration, but most decent Sims 3 modding communities do and to be honest I'd say its worth the tedious email inputting task to gain access to the vast array of resources that the site makes available to the modding community at large.

TSR Workshop isn't the only tool you'll need to create new object and clothing however, you'll also need another tool known as MilkShape 3D, a program capable of 3D mapping compatible with TSR Workshop and The Sims 3. MilkShape is not free, it costs either USD 35 or Euro 25, but there is a free 30 day trial that you can use. If you like the tool enough to keep it after 30 days and you want to keep making your own TS3 meshes, the investment is worth it.

There are additional programs needed to do things like UV Mapping, but I will be coming to those later. If you want to be prepared, you can download free UV Mapping tool, UV Mapper Classic.

Getting Started

There are several stages to creating a new object. The first stage is in creating the 3D model, or mesh. The second is in UV Mapping the object so that it 'looks right' in the game. The third part of the process is placing textures on the mesh in such a way that they look like natural parts of the game. This tutorial will cover the first part of the job, creating a new mesh for a new object.

Installing TSR Workshop Plugins

First things first, install the TSR Workshop plugins in MilkShape. If these plugins aren't installed, you won't be able to import .wso files into MilkShape. That means nothing to you right now, but trust me, it will really rip your underwear.

The plugins you're looking for can be found in the 'Extras' directory of your TSR Workshop Directory.

Take the two files you find there and just toss them into the MilkShape root directory. The entire process shouldn't take you more than a few minutes, but it is vital to your future success as a Sims 3 Modder.

Cloning Your First Mesh

Fortunately for us, TSR Workshop allows you to clone existing meshes from objects already in the game. For the purposes of this tutorial, I'll be cloning the Modern Desk Mesh ( New Project → Object → Surfaces → Modern Desk) and using the TSR Workshop to update its details as I want them to appear in the game.

Once your mesh is open in the TSR Workshop, navigate to the 'Meshes' tab and export the 'High level of detail' mesh by clicking on the little box with the red arrow on it. Repeat this with the 'Low level of detail' mesh by using the drop down menu and repeating the process. The meshes should save as .wso files. It's probably a good idea to create a new folder for them so that you can keep all the materials for the project in one easy to find place.

On to Part Two, Working with MilkShape 3D

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