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How to Create Tattoos in The Sims 3 – For Beginners

how to create tattoos in Sims 3

It’s easy to create tattoos for your Sims in The Sims 3. I have used this method in my Native American-Themed Tattoo Set shown below.

Native American-themed tattoo set Sims 3

But in this example this is what we will create:

how to create tattoos in Sims 3

You will need at least TSR Workshop 2.0 and Adobe Photoshop with DDS plugin.

Step 1

start TSR workshop

Start TSR Workshop. Click Create a New Project.

Step 2

choose clothing from TSR workshop

Choose Clothing and click Next.

Step 3

choose a tattoo from TSR workshop

Choose a tattoo. I always pick the butterfly. Click Next.

Step 4

how to create tattoos in Sims 3

Enter a name (it must be unique) and a title. Click Next and then OK.

Step 5

edit the tattoo

Go to Texture, click the little “+” next to Core. You will see an image of a butterfly. Click it and an Edit button will appear.

Step 6

export tattoo image

Click Edit, choose Export and save the image.

Step 7

open tattoo image in Photoshop

Open the picture you want to use in Adobe Photoshop. It should be rather simple and have no more than 4 colors.

Step 8

copy tattoo image

Click Ctrl+A and choose Edit -> Copy

Step 9

minimize the image

You can now close or minimize your picture. Now take the one with the butterfly and click Edit -> Paste.

Step 10

adjust size and placement of tattoo

Click Ctrl+T and adjust the size and placement of your picture. When you’re ready, click the tick.

Step 11

remove background for tattoo image

Remove the Background by clicking the little trashcan. If there’s transparent background left, use the fill tool to get rid of it.

Step 12

how to create tattoos in Sims 3

Step 13

edit each channel separately

Stay in Channels and edit each channel separately (don’t edit the first one (RGB)). The rule is simple – what is white will be visible, and what is black will not. Each channel will be a recolorable part of our tattoo in the game, so you should leave a different part of your image white in each channel.

This is how I divided my image:

channel divided image

Your picture should now look like the one above. You can change the colors later in TSR Workshop, but now they have to stay like this. Finally, click Layer -> Flatten Image.

Step 14

choose interpolated alpha

Click File -> Save, choose DXT5 ARGB 8bpp | interpolated alpha and click Save again.

Step 15

import to TSR Workshop

Go back to TSR Workshop and click Import. Find your image and click Open (sorry for the Polish in the screenshot) and then Done.

Step 16

set the colors

Click the “+” next to Color and choose the colors you want your tattoo to have in the game (R = red, G = green, B = blue, A = alpha (black in the picture)). So if you want the part which was green in Adobe Photoshop to be white, choose white under G.

Step 17

edit variations

Now you can edit the variations. You can remove them by clicking Delete on the button on the right. You can add more variations of your tattoo, but you have to import your image like in step 15 every time.

Step 17

export to Sims3pack

If you want to save your project to edit it later, click File -> Save and save it. Now choose File -> Export -> to .Sims3pack. Give it a name, save it and now you can install it like every other .sims3pack.


how to create tattoos in Sims 3


If your image has less than 4 colors, paint the channels you don’t need black and in Texture -> MaskInfo change their status to False.

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