Thursday, July 31, 2014

Creating Patterns with CAP


Create a Pattern Tutorial
By pepper090889

What this tutorial will teach you:
-How to create patterns using CAP
-How to install patterns made with CAP
-How to make seamless/repeating patterns

What this tutorial will NOT teach you:
-How to make recolorable patterns
-How to create a pattern from scratch

What you will need:
EA’s CAP Tool

*Optional*
ColourLovers Account (Free) | GIMP (Free)

If you decide to make your own ColourLovers Account, add me [ScarletWinter]

Step 1:


Find your pattern.

You can find a pattern by using Google Image Search, create your own Gimp (if you’re familiar with it), or create/recolor a pattern on ColourLovers [CL].

For this tutorial, I am going to use a pattern I created and colored on CL.



To save an image to your computer, right click on the image and click “Save Picture As” or “Save Background As”. On CL click the pattern once it’s saved to your account [it will open a larger image showing you how it is repeated], right click and go to “Save Background As”. If that doesn’t work, go to the right side of the screen where it says “Share this Pattern” and click “Preview”. You can then save it from there.

Step 2: [Optional]

Make the pattern seamless.

If you got your pattern from CL, more than likely it is already seamless so you can skip this step. If you found a pattern on Google that’s already seamless, you can also skip this step. 

Open Gimp. Go to File > New and set the size to 256x256 pixels. [You can set it a little higher if you’d like, but the numbers MUST be the same. i.e. 400x400] 



Before pressing okay, click the plus sign next to Advanced Options. Go to Fill With and choose Transparency.

Click Okay and you should have a gray checkered square open in Gimp.



Go to File > Open as Layer and choose your pattern. Once the pattern is open, go to your toolbox and choose the Scale tool.


Enlarge this image Click to see fullsize


Click the pattern and resize the pattern to the size of your original square. [256x256, etc.] Since my pattern is already seamless, I will use a different pattern for this step.

Once the pattern is resized, go to the tool box and choose the Alignment Tool. [It looks like a white rectangle with four arrows coming out of it.] Click the pattern and then under the toolbox, center the pattern by clicking the Align Center and Align Middle options. 



That should center your pattern. Now go to the layers box, right click on the pattern layer and go to Flatten Image [should be at the bottom].

Now at the top, go to Filters > Map > Make Seamless. Once you’re done with that, go to File > Save As and name your pattern [has to be under 23 characters or you can’t open it in CAP]. Save it as png or jpg either by adding .png or .jpg to the end of your patterns name or click the plus sign next to “Select File Type” and choose one of the options.


Enlarge this image Click to see fullsize




Close GIMP.

Step 3:

Open CAP.

I like to keep my patterns and things organized, so I always go to the Misc tab to add new patterns/textures.

Once there, click Add a Sticker [with the tools; it looks like a plus sign next to a rectangle]. Go to where you saved your pattern. I usually save mine in my Pictures, so I would go to the drop down menu, My Name > My Pictures > Folder Name > Pattern. If you did that right, you’ll have new patterns/textures to choose from. If you did step two and used a size bigger than 256, it will say that it is going to be resized to fit. Click okay. This will not mess up your pattern. 


Enlarge this image Click to see fullsize


Drag your pattern into the box. It will look very small. You can drag the pattern and match it up yourself, or you can do it the easy way. In the box that appears to the right of the patterns at the bottom [where it has options like flip, opacity, etc.] change the numbers in the W, H, X, and Y boxes. For W and H, change both numbers to 256. For X and Y, change both numbers to 128 [this will center the pattern].


Enlarge this image Click to see fullsize



Enlarge this image Click to see fullsize


Your pattern should now fill the entire preview box. Now you can test your pattern. Go to Preview Mode [on the left side of the tools].



Choose the object you want to see the pattern on. I usually color the walls or floor, but you can test it on the furniture as well. You can zoom in and out with your mouse and drag the camera view with it or using the arrows in the bar at the bottom like you can in game.


Enlarge this image Click to see fullsize


Now to explain the reason for Step 2. The first photo below is the pattern I used BEFORE it was seamless. The second photo is after.


Enlarge this image Click to see fullsize



Enlarge this image Click to see fullsize


Now, the before pattern would be okay if I was wanting to make a Tile pattern, but in this case, I am not. [The lines may not appear with all patterns, but this one had a border.] In the second photo, the pattern is now seamless and repeats without having any weird cutoffs, etc.

Step 4:

Exporting.

If the pattern looks the way you want it to, click the pencil on the left to go back to edit mode. Now go to the Options Menu in the bottom left corner and choose Export. A box will pop up. Choose a name for your pattern and in the drop down menu, choose the category you want your pattern to appear under in game. [i.e. Fabrics, Miscellaneous, Themed, etc.] It helps anyone downloading the pattern to better find the pattern in game. 


Enlarge this image Click to see fullsize


You can write a description, but it’s not required. Click the check button.

Close CAP.

Step 5:

Adding the pattern to your game.

If you want to upload the pattern to the Exchange, just open your launcher and upload. You can also download from your Studio. However, if you’re wanting to test it first or upload somewhere else, go to your Sims 3 folder. Documents > Electronic Arts > The Sims 3 and go to your Exports folder. Click the pattern you just made [Only once] and copy and paste it into your Downloads folder. [Go back once and go to your Downloads folder]. Now when you open your launcher the pattern will be in your uploads and downloads. 

Download the pattern and you can test it in your game. If you delete it after downloading and forgot to upload, you can either export it from in game, or it’s still in your exports folder [unless you deleted it].

Feel free to ask any questions if you’re having problems with something or something is confusing.

Hope this helps you guys!

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