Moon Sims

How to Make Skins for The Sims
Part 11: Shading with the Nude Body Skin

Duplicate nude skin for shading layer

"I want to add just a little bit of shading to the cummerbund. Since the top of the cummerbund ends in the toreador's naked belly and it's a skin-tight outfit, I want to make sure the shading flows smoothly from her exposed epidermis onto the cummerbund.

"The easiest way to do that is to use the nude skin itself as the shading layer for the cummerbund. To start, I duplicate the nude skin layer and rename the copy as cummerbund shading.

Move shading layer

"Next I move the shading layer to just above the cummerbund. To move a layer just click on it to select it and then drag it up or down the list of layers in the Layers window.

"Her cummerbund, pants, and shoes will look like they've suddenly disappeared, but don't worry. We won't send our toreador out into the streets of Luna City without any pants. We just need to get rid of all the parts of the nude skin that don't overlay the cummerbund.

Select cummberbund

"Note that here the cummerbund is the active layer. I have chosen my magic wand tool and set its tolerance to zero. I also turned off anti-aliasing for the magic wand because I want my shading layer to precisely overlay the cummerbund.

"Then I just clicked on a spot on the cummerbund layer that I knew was transparent, and the magic wand took care of the rest. Now I have a selection that includes everything that is not the cummerbund.

Now I click on my cummerbund shading layer to make it the active layer. At this point I can pull down under Edit to Clear, and all the pixels I don't want in my shading layer will go away, leaving just the area of the nude skin that will affect the cummerbund.

Desaturate the shading layer

"I don't want any color from my shading layer, just the grayscale that defines the contours underneath the cummerbund. So, after selecting my shading layer, I pull down under Image to Adjust and Desaturate. That discards all the color information in this layer.

"Note that I've set my shading layer to Multiply. The darker it is, the darker the underlying color will be. I also pulled down under Image to Adjust and Brightness/Contrast..., and used that effect to increase the contrast in my shading layer and increase its overall brightness. That makes my shading show up more boldly against the mottled pattern of the belt, and lets more of the bright color show through.

"You can see how this shading turned out in the image below. It's not extremely obvious, but it will make a big difference in the game when the contours of her body follow through her cummerbund.

Pants length mask

"Yet again, I'm using a layer mask. This time I'm going to shorten the pants so they come just below her knee.

"And again, I don't know for sure how this will turn out once the skin is mapped onto the mesh, so I don't want to just arbitrarily chop off the pants. By using a layer mask I can come back to this layer and adjust the length of the pants if I need to.

"I haven't suddenly decided to make harem pants; I've just made the pants partially transparent so I can see where her body is underneath. Instead of using the paintbrush this time, I just used the rectangular selection tool to pick the area I want to mask out and filled that area of the mask with solid black.

"It looks like I just need a couple of more details and I'll be ready for the first fitting of this costume!"

Forward Back to Part 10 | Continue to Part 12 Forward

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