how to make Sims 3 patterns using PaintShop Pro

What you will need to complete this tutorial for making Sims 3 patterns in PaintShop Pro:

  • Paint Shop Pro – In this tutorial I used PSP X2.
  • If you are using Paint Shop Pro X2, you will need to download Nvidia DDS 3.02.
  • If you are using Paint Shop Pro XII or earlier you will need to download the latest NVidia DDS.

You will need to make a file called PlugIns under C:\Program Files\Corel\Corel Paint Shop Pro Photo X2\PlugIns (You will be able to do the same with the older version of PSP, your address will just read a little different then mine.) You will need to place a copy of the DDS PlugIn in this PlugIns folder. If your DDS was downloaded as an .exe file, it should install to this folder.

If you are using PSP X2, you will need to enable your plugins if you haven’t already. You do this by going to File – Preferences – File locations.

Preferences menu in PaintShop Pro

Under File types, click on Plug-ins. Under Plug-in File Folder, uncheck Limit load plug-in to those with an .8B? extension only. If the location of your plug-in file isn’t listed, click add and find the location. Under the folder options make sure Enable and Use Sub Folders are checked.

check enable and use sub folders

After completing this tutorial you can continue with Murano’s Sims 3 Workshop Pattern Tool Manual.

This Is Where We Start

Important fact for you to remember when working with the color channels and the alpha channel:

  • Black = invisible
  • White = visible
  • Gray = Transparent

Open your pattern in PSP. Go to Image – Resize. Under Pixel Dimensions make sure you are set to pixels.

Resize Image menu in PaintShop Pro

Under the “New” column type 256 for width.

change the width

It should change both width & height, if not under the advanced setting you will need to un-check the “lock aspect ratio.”

Click OK. Now your image is 256 x 256, the size needed.

When I made my pattern, I made sure it would tile properly. I also made it with Red, Green, Blue and White. This was just to make it easier to make the color channels. Once it is completed and installed into your game, you will be able to turn it to any colors you want. You will want to make any alterations that you want to your image at this time to insure that it is tilable.

To make the Red channel

Click on Layer – New Adjustment Layer – Channel Mixer.

channel mixer in PaintShop Pro

Since we are making the Red channel, slide the Red slider all the way to 200. Slide the Green and Blue to -200.

adjust the RGB channel sliders

Before hitting “OK” click on the “General Tab” and type in the name field “Red.”

how to make Sims 3 patterns with PaintShop Pro

Now click OK.

Click on the “eye” (visibility toggle) of the Red channel layer. You don’t want to see this layer when making the other channels. You will do this after every channel layer you make.

repeat for each channel layer

Repeat this process two more times. Once for the Green channel and once for the blue.

For the Green channel the sliders are as follows:

  • Red: -200
  • Green: 200
  • Blue: -200

For the Blue channel:

  • Red: -200
  • Green: -200
  • Blue: 200

Don’t forget to change the name on the General Tab. If you do forget it is not a big deal as you can change it on the layers palette.

all layers and channels complete

Create Mask

Now that we have made the color channels it is time to make a mask. In the layers Palette make sure you have the background layer selected. Go to Layers – New Mask Layer – From Image.

new mask layer

In the add mask from Image window you will see your pattern name. Make sure “source Luminance” is checked.

source Luminance checked

At this point you will want to take a good look at your mask. Any areas that are gray will be partly transparent. For this image I used the Flood Fill tool with black to fill in the gray areas. As you fill them in they will become more transparent.

With the mask layer highlighted in the layers palette, go to Layers – Load/Save Mask – Save Mask to Alpha Channel.

save mask to alpha channel

Type Alpha in the name field and hit Save. You will not see anything happen after you hit save. At this time make the mask invisible in the Layers Palette.

If you are using Paint Shop Pro X2, you will want to go to File – Save as. Under file type you want to select DDS. I didn’t change any of the settings on the pop up screen, I just hit save.

save as DDS file

At this point please proceed with Murano’s Tutorial Sims 3 Workshop Patterns Tool Manual.

If you are using Paint Shop Pro XI or older, you can proceed with Murano’s tutorial How to create a RGBA Stencil Mask starting at the Save as DDS point. Then continue on to the Sims 3 Workshop Patterns Tool Manual.

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