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 Making Poses With Blender Part III - Create Your Pose

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PostSubject: Making Poses With Blender Part III - Create Your Pose   3/10/2012, 18:06

I apologize it took a bit longer than I thought to come back and post this.
This tutorial now has over 700 views at my blog, so hopefully it will help some people on this forum as well.

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 want to start mainly. 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~

A - How to use Blender to work on your pose
1) How to select joints
2) How to move around the rig
3) Create your pose
B - Set the keyframe
C - Export the pose as animation
D - Package the animation in S3PE
E - Test in game


For this part I will assume that you have opened your rig and imported your animation. If you don't know how, please read part II of this tutorial.
If something isn't working, make sure you have installed A's plugin correctly like discribed in part I. If you still have a problem after that then sure please,
leave me a comment here or on Facebook and I will try to help you.
Keep in mind that there is advanced stuff I do not know about, but after reading all of this you should be able to read one of OrangeMittens tutorial and actually understand it.

A - How to use Blender to work on your pose

1) How to select joints

Selecting a joint is really easy: right click on it and it will turn a light blue. As you can see I have selected the neck joint there:

Some joints are actually on top of each other, such as the eyes/upper lid/lower lid for example, and the shoulders.
Just keep right clicking until you reach the one you want to move. If you select the 'wrong' one and need to undo,
you only need to use CTRL+Z so don't worry and just test.

You can select several joints at once by holding the shift key while you keep right clicking.
Here I have selected the three joints composing the left eyebrow:

Another way to select an area with Blender is to press the B key and then drag other the joints you want to add.

2) How to move around the rig

To work we often need to focus on a 'detail' or part of the body, may it be zooming in/out or check things from another point of view.
Note that when you start, the feet are resting on a red line which is the floor in game. Only get the body below it if you want to have it 'sink'
(for example if you want to pose your sim swimming in the pool), but you will have to leave a small space under your character for clothes, shoes, floor, rug, ...
Here are some ways to do so, and you will probably be using them a lot:

--> scroll up with your mouse to zoom in / scroll down to zoom out
--> hold shift while scrolling up to move the rig in the direction of the head / scroll down and you will move it down to the ground
--> hold control while scrolling up to move the rig to the left / scroll down to move it to the right
--> right click a joint to select it then press the .DEL key from the keypad to zoom into a precise area

You will normally start with the sim/pet facing you. To change the view:
--> Press key 1 to have a front view / hold control and 1 for back view
--> Press key 3 to have a right view / hold control and 3 for left view
--> Press key 7 to have a top view / hold control and 7 for a view from below
------ 4 and 6 will rotate your character horizontally
------ 2 and 8 will rotate your character vertically

3) Create your pose

Now comes the fun! I will try to describe things as much as I can, let me know if you need precisions about something
and I will either edit it or put extra informations in part IV.

So one thing you want to know about is the joint named b_ROOT_bind_
You can see the name of the selected joint at the bottom left of the screen you work in.
It's a bit different of the others and you will easily find it around the lower stomach, there is like two lines crossing over it
that will get light blue as well when you select it.

This is the joint that will let you move the whole body around.
Press the G key (G is for GRAB if it can help you remember) and move your mouse around to see how it will affect the body.
Once you have found the correct position you wanted left click with your mouse and it will stay in place.
If you want to modify it, either push G again or undo it with CTRL+Z

-This part here is a bit more advanced, you can skip it for now-
If you want to move your body around but make sure the feet will stay on the ground, press G then X or Y before moving your mouse.
You will have to turn your view point with 3 or CTRL+3 to see the move while using the Y axis though.
You won't need this if you do a single pose, but if you use an accessory or a couple/group pose it will be helpful.
You can find the axis on the top right part of the screen.

By using G and Z I lowered the body to make it low enough that it can sit on the ground. Try to remember that you have to keep your character
slightly elevated. Leave a small space under your character for clothes, shoes, floor, rug, ...

Now I could either get the legs higher to rest on the floor, making him sit or lay on the ground.
For any of those two actions we will have to use the R key (R is for Rotate).
If I want to make him lay on the floor, I will keep the b_ROOT_bind joint selected, and I will change it to the right or left side view
(so either 3 or CTRL+3) to control the movement more precisely.

The black arrows, showing the movement, are following your mouse. Even though you cannot see mine, you will see yours,
and those arrows will show you what I am doing.

If you keep the mouse to close to the joint while trying to rotate you won't have much control over it.  
Don't panic and pull your mouse further until you can control it. Now seeing the body stiff like this looks more like a body at the morgue
than someone laying/sleeping. We will have to do adjustments to make it look more natural.

I will keep the body lying down for now, so I will chose the view top and press 7 on my keypad, but if you would rather go back to a standing position
like the one you started with, just undo the whole changes untill you get there with CTRL+Z.

As you can see by the top left left name of the view, and the top right part, the body is lying.
It would probably be a lot easier to control the changes from the starting position, create your pose then rotate the body and pull it to rest on the ground,
but I am trying to show different combinations.

Let's try to move the arms closer to the body to make it look 'better'. I will select the left shoulder joint, and if it's easier to work with I will press .DEL
to center the view on the joint, then zoom in or out till I am comfortable with the view.

Now here is something you might want to remember:
If you press R once and then move your mouse, the arm will move laterally. From a side view it would go up and down. But if you press R a second time,
it will move inside/out. It will give a more natural look, and the pose won't be as stiff or stretched.

I selected the right shoulder joint and rotated it from a side view.

If you press a joint and the body becomes deformed, you might have selected the wrong one.
Press escape to cancel and right click again to activate the good joint (mostly in the shoulders and eyes area).

Let's take a look at the hand/fingers.

You can see the wrist joint at the base.
From here the first joint will move the whole finger, the second joint will move the upper parts, and the third will move the tip only.
Play around with pressing R once or twice until you get the position you want, and if the finger gets distorted try moving the mouse
around and further from the joint until it looks better. Look at your own hand if it can help you find the correct angle, and use different point of views.

The face has a lot of joints you can use as well.

- Try to grab (G) the eyebrows and move them to fit the expression you are looking for.
- Rotate (R) twice to position the eye (to the side, to look higher/lower, ...).
- Right click once more where the eye joint is to access the upper lid so you can press R twice as well to move the lid down on the eye
(you can close it completely that way). Right click another time and you will access the lower lid.

- Use rotate for the corners of the mouth and the lip joints in between as well to work on a smile or any other emotion such as surprise, anger, ...

Under the lower lip joint you will find the jaw joint (by right clicking another time), but you can also find it by changing the view to the side,
which will also show you the head joint. Use head and neck joint to move the head.

Here are the main joints to move for the body:

1 - pelvis
1b - 2 - 3 spine: use them to bend the top part of the body
4 - clavicle: mostly moved up or down but can be rotated to get a more smooth movement of the arms
5 - shoulder: moves the whole arm (select the UpperArm joint, not ShoulderTwist)
6 - elbow
7 - wrist
8 - neck
9 - thigh: moves the whole leg
10 - root: use to get the whole body lower, to lay down, ...
11 - knee (select the Calf joint)
12 - ankle
13 - toe

Try everything out and see how it looks. Remember that the further your mouse is from the joint, the more control you have on the movement.
Always try to make your pose seem natural, and if you distort a joint try to move it differently or in another direction.

B - Set the keyframe

Once you have finished your pose, you have to set the keyframe.
If when you try your pose in game the character just stands with their arms extended, chances are you skipped this step.

Keep at least one of the joint selected, then press the A button twice. The whole body joints will now be a light blue.

I know it's a silly pose, I just needed something basic for the tutorial.
Now that the entire body is selected, press the I key and do not move your mouse out of the popup or it will disappear.
Select LocRot to set the keyframe.

Now the menu showing the joints name on the left side will show expanded.
You can now go ahead and export the animation.

C - Export the pose as animation

From the top left menu, select "File > Export > Sims 3 Animation"

Another small popup box asks you to type a name.
Insert the name for your pose, you cannot change it once you have set it or the pose will be affected in game.

Once you have chosen a name it asks for a location to save it.
It should actually open the folder you loaded your animation file from, so select it then press the "Save Sims 3 Animation" button.

You are now done here.

D - Package the animation in S3PE[/b]

Reopen S3PE. From the top menu, select "File > New" or CTRL+N.
You can either click "Ressource > Import > From file..." or right click the left side of the screen and you will be able to see the Import option.

Browse your computer to locate the folder where your animation is.
There will now be two files as a backup was created, use the one that you just created, not the backup.

Another small popup window will open. Don't change anything and just press OK.

The main window will show your pose with the CLIP tag.

To create a package with several poses, select "Import > From file..." and keep adding as many as you want in the pack.
Use Cmomoney's pose pack creator to make it list compatible, CloudwalkerNZ added pictures to the tutorial here.

For Animal poses, you will have to do a change for your pose to work in the game:
Either you right click the clip and select "Details..." or you just press enter and you will see this window popup:

You will have to change the group number to 0x48000000 then press OK.
Check that the change appears:

Remember that this is ONLY for animals!

You can now save your package and go test it in game.

The name you chose isn't important and can be changed at any time without affecting the pose.
I could have named it 'Kilhian_Male poses' or even 'Male poses pack by Kilhian'.
Press the "Save" button and the package will be now in the same folder as your animation.

E - Test in game

Place your package file into your Mods folder and load the game!
Make your character pose and look at it from the main angles to see if you can find a 'flaw' you can fix.
If you want to improve you should keep working on a pose until it does look good. Broken/twisted joints should be fixed before you upload them for others :)

For better preview pictures, remember to use:
- moveObjects on to place your character/pet where you want them

- hideHeadlineEffects on

I hope this will have helped and if you have questions after reading all of this, feel free to ask.
I suggest you read OrangeMittens tutorials about creating a pose with two rigs or how to use an object prop.
There are many creators out there making new accessories or items to use, be creative and try to make something different that could be used either for modeling contests, for clothing creators or story tellers.

But above all, do it for the fun of it!

“Strange women lying in ponds distributing swords is no basis for a system of government!”
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Founder Mag
Founder Mag

PostSubject: Re: Making Poses With Blender Part III - Create Your Pose   14/11/2012, 10:28

thankyou for this hunny, I tried making a pose but well, lets just say I am not that good LOL I wont give up though and will try again soon

love2u love2u love2u

**Live - every moment - Laugh - every day - Love - beyond words**
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Top Poster
Top Poster

PostSubject: Re: Making Poses With Blender Part III - Create Your Pose   14/11/2012, 14:14

How in the world did I miss Part III? I can wait til my Christmas break. I'm totally going to try this. Thanks so much for the tute!! more love
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