From the Pets expansion onward, certain accessories categorized as glasses would flash blue when worn by sims. This could be fixed by taking the sim to the mirror and having them Change Appearance, but this would only fix it temporarily.
Thanks to JM Pescado, we now know the cause of why this happens to certain accessories and not others, and most importantly, how to fix it.
This tutorial will explain the steps of how to fix an accessory that flashes blue. This tutorial is mostly meant for the accessory creators to fix their own work, so they can upload fixed versions for everyone to enjoy - but it can be used by downloaders to fix items that the mesh creators won't fix. It is written in a format that hopefully should be easy to understand, even if you know nothing about or meshes.
This tutorial is ONLY for flashing blue accessories! It doesn't relate to flashing blue anything else!
What causes some accessories to flash blue and not others?
When a user creates a custom accessory, they will be cloning that accessory from a Maxis accessory. Maxis accessories usually have a number of groups. For example, the accessory they're cloning from may have the groups: frame, rim, and lens.
However, the user making the accessory may not need all three groups, and may only need to use one - for example, the "frame" group.
The proper way of making an accessory when you do not need all the groups is to make a small "placeholder" group in your mesh - that is, a single polygon named the same as the group(s) you are not using... so in our example, the user would make two placeholder groups - "rim" and "lens". Meshes created properly, with placeholder groups for the unneeded groups will not flash blue.
If the user creating an accessory fails to create placeholder groups and simply leaves them out, creating an accessory with only the "frame" group while the mesh is cloned from an accessory with more groups and is expecting more groups, you will get a flashing blue accessory - when those groups can't be found, the game goes, "Ack!" and breaks the accessory temporarily.
This can be fixed by putting back those placeholder groups.
What you will need:
- SimPE - I am using v 0.64a, but this should work in most any version.
- Managed Direct X 9c - You will find a link to this on the download page, under "Needed Software to run SimPE" - because you are working with meshes, you will need this.
- My Placeholder Obj File - This is what actually fixes the mesh. Download the .rar file and extract the .obj file from it, to a folder where you can find it.
- The mesh file of the accessory you wish to fix.
Fixing the Accessory:
1. Open the mesh file in SimPE.
For my example, I am fixing Ren's #3 Elf Ears as Ren's accessories are well known to flash blue.
Once the file is open, you should see a screen that looks something like this, with a small pane on the left, a larger one with a bigger list on the right, and probably a blank space at the bottom:
2. Find the list of expected parts.
Before we can fix the mesh file, we need to find what parts the mesh is expecting will be there - we know at least one is missing as the accessory flashes blue, but we don't know what it is called. For that, we need to look in the SHPE file.
A. Look at the left pane in SimPE. You will see where it says "Resource Tree" up at the top.
B. Click on the line that says "Shape (SHPE) (#)" in the list. My mesh file has the number 6 showing there as mine has multiple meshes in the same file, for different ages. Yours may have one or it may have more.
C. Look over on the right pane. You will see where it says "Resource List" up at the top. This list will have changed when you clicked on the SHPE, showing only SHPE files under the "Type" column.
D. Click on the first SHPE file in the list. If you only have one, just click on the only SHPE file you have.
E. Make sure you are using Plugin View. You should have a tab for it along the bottom or the right side. If you do not see this tab, click on the Window menu, and then choose Plugin View to bring it up.
F. Under Plugin View, you will see a list of tabs under the lines that are labeled Blocklist and Filename - cShape, Level of Detail Listing, Items, Parts, and ObjectGraphNode. Click on the "Parts" tab.
G. You should now have a list of two to three items showing in the box below. This tells you what parts the mesh is expecting to be there. Write down the names of the mesh parts - you only need the part before the colon (the : symbol). So in this case, I have two parts, called "louis_ac01" and "louis_ac02" so I will write down those names.
3. Add a placeholder for missing part(s):
Now that we know the name of the parts our mesh is expecting and how many parts it should have, we can add in any missing parts into the mesh file.
A. Look in the left pane, the Resource Tree.
B. In the list of items, you should see "Geometric Data Container (GMDC) (#)" - click on that item to get a list of the GMDCs (meshes) in the file.
C. Now, look in the right pane, the Resource List. This list will have changed when you clicked on the GMDC. You should only have GMDCs listed here. You may have one, or you may have more.
D. Click on the first GMDC in the list. If you only have one GMDC, click on the only GMDC you have.
E. You should still be in Plugin View from before.
F. Now, look at the list of included mesh parts. As expected, this mesh is missing a part - the only part we have listed is "louis_ac01" when it should also have "louis_ac02" as well. Because it's missing a part, it's flashing blue. We need to add in the missing part.
G. Click the Import button.
You will now get a dialog box labeled "Import Mesh." Find the placeholder.obj file you downloaded at the start of this tutorial (found under the "What you will need" section), select it, and click Open.
Now you will get a dialog box that pops up labelled "Mesh Group Importer."
H. Over on the right, change the dropdown box labelled "Action" to "Rename"
I. Then, change the box below that to the name of your missing mesh part. In this case, my missing part is called "louis_ac02" so that is what I will call it. If you have more than one missing part, give it the name of the first missing part.
J. When you have renamed it, the area under "Importable Mesh Groups" should look like this... "placeholder - rename - (your missing group name)." Click OK to import the part.
K. Now you should be back to the GMDC in Plugin View. Look in the Models list and you'll see that you now have the missing part in place, with the correct name.
L. Click the Commit button to commit your changes.
M. If you have more missing parts, repeat steps 3G through 3L above to import any further missing parts. Make sure to Commit when you are done.
N. If your mesh file has more GMDCs, repeat steps 3E through 3M above to fix all of the GMDCs in the file. Make sure to Commit when you are done.
When you have finished editing all of the included GMDCs in the file, go to the File menu and choose Save to save the changes to your file.
4. Test in-game:
Go into the game, load a lot, and put your accessory on a sim using a mirror to Change Appearance.
Save the lot, exit to the neighborhood, and re-enter the lot. With any luck, your edited file should not be flashing blue.
If you still get flashing blue, or if the game crashes when you try to put the accessory on a sim, you likely messed up somewhere along the way. If this happens, go back to the folder with your edited mesh file. You will see that there are two files with the same name - one with a .package file extension (this is your edited file) and one with a .bak file extension (this is a made by SimPE). We only saved once at the very end so that the .bak file would be a copy of the unedited mesh, before you started trying to fix it. Delete the .package file and rename the .bak file to .package and then try again. With any luck though, your edited mesh file should work just fine.
Thanks: 1520 in 6 Posts
I opened up a mesh that I know for sure flashes blue in game. I can't miss it because it's a huge scarf. It's definitely not missing anything, but quoting your post here, 'The proper way of making an accessory when you do not need all the groups is to make a small "placeholder" group in your mesh - that is, a single polygon named the same as the group(s) you are not using...' The lens part doesn't have any polygons, so I guess that's why it flashes blue anyway. Can I replace it with your placeholder somehow?
Edit: Nevermind, it's cool. I found the replace option in that dropdown box.
Edit again: I'm not sure if I would always be able to discern if a group is a placeholder or not or if all meshes really need a placeholder, like if they use all the groups for something, but if it has more than one polygon will that still break it? I have a mesh that I'm pretty sure flashes blue, but it's not missing any groups. The group that I would bet on as being a placeholder has more than one polygon though.
Story books are full of fairy tales, of Kings and Queens, and the bluest skies.
Thanks: 1520 in 6 Posts
Thanks for the help though, you two. =)
Thanks for the help!
Now that wouldn't bother me if I felt like downloading ALL of DX from Microsoft.
Is there any links anywhere that for sure ONLY have MDX? I'm not going to spend 2-4 hours downloading something I already have, only to get a small bit of functionality.
All I want to do is fix the same ears you fixed in this. *sigh*
And I wanted to ask- does anyone else have the problem where everything their vamps pick up turns blue? XD I even have blue babies, lol.
Had some trouble with some necklaces. The preview was okay, but in the game they flashed blue :-(. Now I have some work to fix it, but thank you again for showing me the way!
Thanks: 1748 in 10 Posts
ETA: Thanks HP. I already have the latest already so I will continue doing what I've been doing. I do understand what you mean as I have used the Grand Trianon objects since they came out and understand "repository" techniques. Thank you for responding so quickly.
Thanks: 63 in 1 Posts
The parts used were "frame" and "lens"...but in GMDC Plugin View, I saw a few "gloves" unchecked, so I imported the missing parts and then checked all the "gloves." Is that right?
"why everything that's 'posed to be bad make me feel so good???" -kanye west
pseudonymph24 - Checked or unchecked is irrelevant. As long as they're present, they should work fine.
I just have one problem.. one of the ones I downloaded didn't come with a mesh file. How do I found out which mesh it works from? It flashes blue in game and it's one of my favorites that I used to use all the time.
The only one I'm still stuck on is this file:
I can not for some reason get the necklace mesh to work. It has all the parts it should according to the tutorial, but still flashes blue in game.
It's supposed to have; frame & lens. I checked all GMDC and they have the same. Any idea why it still doesn't work?