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Absolute Beginner's Guide for Adding Stencils & Overlays in Sims 3

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Absolute Beginner's Guide

Making modifications to Sims 3 garments

Actual Modifications to the Sims3pack/Package


Adding Stencils & Overlays


This document is intended to get your feet wet with TRSW by Creating and applying a Stencil using your Graphics’ Editor. It does not attempt to show mesh alterations. It is designed for the Absolute Beginner. Who would like to make a unique creation but not get into the nuts & bolts of the Mesh.


You will need:


1.      TSRW: found at https://www.thesimsresource.com/workshop/

2.      Graphics Editor: https://www.gimp.org/downloads/


What you DO NOT Need:


3.      Sims3Pack File Generate Tool: For converting to and from Sims3pack.https://modthesims.info/d/473766/sims3pack-file-generate-tool-package-to-sims3pack-8-27-2012-update-to-v1-4-1-36.html

4.      Meshing Toolkit: Not needed. For fixing this on Mesh https://modthesims.info/d/481950/meshing-toolkit-version-1-4-9-uploaded-12-20-2018.html

5.      A 3D mesh Editor like Milkshape or Blender.


Your Graphics Editor needs the ability to save as a DDS file so look for a Plug-in if it doesn’t.


If you’re the average person – you don’t change much on EA or CC garments, except what Color Channels are offered in CAS to change the Pattern.  There is no way to move or change the pattern size in CAS. In the last installment I showed how to add a color channel on a standard 3-color channel garment and how to scale the pattern and position to a particular point.


This installment focuses on probably the simplest customization of a garment – Adding a Stencil Overlay.


I’ll show you:


·         How to create a simple OVERLAY.

·         Using the OVERLAY as an Overlay and/or Stencil.


Making a CLONE of the garment you want to change:


The first thing you need to do is clone your garment. Any change to a package will need new internal numbering and TSRW does that for you.


For this DEMO – I’ll be using the af body swimsuit_plunge.

You can use the EA full-body af body swimsuit_plunge for this exercise as well.

Open TSRW and select New Clothing.

Then select: Human>Young Adult>Female>Swimwear.  Look for full body swimsuit with a V-plunge. Be sure to give it a unique name in both boxes. Before OKAY.




Open TSRW and select Import.

In the type box select Sims3pack (or package file) and select the garment you want to change.

Be sure to change the Projects NAME in both boxes.

It works the same regardless of what garment you bring in so, what you start with doesn’t matter as much as where you have space on the garment to put something. 


A complicated piece or one with no area for a patch or logo is a bad candidate. One of the reasons for using the full-body plunge swimsuit – lots of area front and back.



Once your garment is loaded:




Example 1:


Go to the Texture Tab.

Scroll down to Stencils, then expand the category and expand Stencil A. (Example 1).




Example 2:


Here’s how the Stencils work.

The OVERLAY circled on Example 2 and ALL of the Stencils can be active at the same time. They will act as layers with the one circled in Example 2 above being the 1st one. Any and all overlays/stencils can be on or off – doesn’t matter.


All it is – is an image layered on top of all the others.  You just need to know where to put the image.


First, you need to Export a copy of the Multiplier. This will be a reference guide. Click on the right side of the Multiplier image to show the EDIT button.




Example 3:



Example 3 shows the Multipliers Edit window. Export. Be sure to give it a unique name like “[Project Name] Original Multiplier”


At this point – SAVE your TSRW Project.  The name will automatically be given for you this time. It’s generated from the Project name when you first loaded it.




For this I’ll be using GIMP 2.8

Any good Graphics editor will work, as long as it can save as a DDS (BC3/DXT5). If it does NOT – you need a plug-in or a better graphics program.


Load your saved Multiplier into your graphics editor.

Be sure NOT to load the MipMaps – they will be generated when you save. (Example 4).



Example 5:


You should have the Multiplier image looking like Example 5.


Create a new Transparency Layer – I’ve named mine STENCIL 1.


Now, Load your favorite Image – the one you want of go on the garment as a Stencil.

In my case it was an image of a HEART.


Scale that Image (Heart in my case) and move it so it fits where you want it to show.



Example 9:


With me – I placed the Heart at the bottom of the V-Plunge at the front of the Swimsuit.

Make your image “Image Sized” and Merge it into your “STENCIL 1” layer.


That’s it for Stencil 1… WAIT… we are going to make a second Stencil – STENCIL 2.


Repeat the same procedure for adding the 2nd Stencil.

Add the image (must have an Alpha Cannel)

Scale and position where your want – that’s it.


In my case – for the 2nd Stencil… I’ll be using a Lipstick Kiss (a couple of them).



Example 10:                                                   Example 11:

Okay – both Stencils are done – what do you do with them…

You have Stencil 1 (Heart) and Stencil 2 (kisses) each as a separate Layer.


Save your File… In your Editors native format.

Discard the Multiplier – it was only a guide.

Now, Save each Stencil as an individual DDS.

With only one stencil active – merge visible layers, Layer to Image Size, and Export as DDS (BC3/DXT5). 



Example 12:


Undo - back to show both Stencils and make the other Stencil active.

Again, Merge Visible Layers, Layer to Image Size, and Export as DDS (BC3/DXT5).

 In each case make sure you choose a unique name for each Stencil.


You now have both Stencils saved and can assemble into TSRW.


Exit your Graphic Editor and load TSRW.

Load your Stencil Project.


In the Textures Tab of TSRW scroll down to the Stencils section and expand the category. Also, expand Stencil A & B. to the right of Stencil A image (Checkerboard pattern) click to show the EDIT button.



Example 14:



Import your Stencil 1 into TSRW’s Stencil A – do the same for your Stencil 2 into TSRW’s Stencil B.


With me Stencil A is the Heart, and Stencil B is the Kisses.



Example 15:


Make sure you set Enabled True for each of the Stencils you want to show. (Example15). Click on the area of TRUE to show the Selection box and select True.


1121398923_STENCILS16.PNG.cb7cf349e9e56a7387f03e834d7d1d1c.PNG  1620925440_STENCILS17.PNG.a3fcffbdee14d2433745b9d4bde43a99.PNG

Example 16:                                                               Example 17:


With both Stencils Enabled=True both the Heart and Kisses show.

So, you see, you can have quite a lot of Bling - if you want - with the Overlay and all the Stencils.

Any image you can get small enough so it doesn't lose much detail (starts Pixalating) is fair game. 


I need to warn you that TSRW defaults to Variation 1. As we have done this – none of the other variations have any stencil showing.  The stencils you loaded are for that variation ONLY. You will need to load your Stencils for each variation you want to have showed them.


The advantage to that is you can have up to a set of 6 or 7 Stencils for each variation. The drawback: Stencils are only carried when you duplicate an existing variation. Otherwise – got to load them into each variation…  Remember – the OVERLAY section at the top of the Textures Tab is basically the same. 


When replacing any of these images you are asked if a replacement or not.  If you want to replace All variations that use that particular image – REPLACE - will update all to the new “REPLACEMENT image.  Otherwise – if you want to keep a variation – use Make a unique reference.


Example 18: Variations




You’re DONE:

Save the TSRW Project file.



Example 19:                                                                           Example 20:


When saving as a Sims3pack – it won’t automatically put the file name in for you.  You should get into a practice of going to the Title area under the Project Tab. Click on the name to show the EDIT button (Example 19). This brings up the Edit window (Example 20). Highlight the info in the “Original String” box at the top, copy this, and then SAVE (even for just copying – save).


Now you can go to FILE on the main menu and export as a Sims3pack.


Its ready to put in your Sims3/Downloads folder and install – or – you can use the File Generator Tool to convert to a Package file which you copy to your Mods/Packages folder.




Example 21:                                                               Example 22:


Notice the image I made in Example 9 is “Stretched” vertically on the garment. This distortion is somewhat random and tends to depend of the image shape and how the Faces of the garment are set up (Something we wont go into). Only a little Trial & Error will find the best shape.  Or keep both TSRW active and your Graphics Editor and go back and forth distorting your created image until it looks correct in TSRW (don't forget to make sure you make Layer to Image size - DDS is temperamental on correct size).  You need to check in CAS when done to make sure.  Sometimes - what you see in TSRW in not what you see in CAS and can be different again in-game.  As the distortion of the Heart image shows. 


In a Nut Shell:

Export the Multiplier Image to use as a template.

Place that Stencil image on top the multiplier where you want it to show.

Make the picture to Image size so its the same size as the Multiplier.

Delete everything but your new image

Save as DDS and load into TSRW Stencils or Overlay.


Anyway, You now know how to add an image as an overlay or Stencil on a garment.

So, be it you name, a personal logo, or something silly – you can put it on a garment. You can literally BEDAZZLE anything.









Edited by Nonsequitur
Extraneous Extra images at bottom of document
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