Creating shading around the edges of an object makes the textures look much better on the object in game. You will notice that Maxis items all have shading. To do this easily it is best to have the UV Map from the object. This can be done with either custom content or even with Maxis stuff.
This is a really quick way to create shading on custom objects, there may be an easier way in PS that I don’t know about but this only takes me a few seconds to a minute to do so it’s good for me. There are people much greater than I at PS who do some awesome shading layers.
For a GIMP version see the one by MysticRain at BPS. I must say it looks quite quick and easy to do, and I’m almost tempted to use GIMP to do mine instead of PS.
Getting a UV Map
The Short Version:
- Open package in SimPE and export Mesh from GMDC
- Open UV Mapper Classic (this will work for any UV Mapper program)
- Import the mesh exported from step 1.
- Save Texture Map and choose the size that the original texture is in the package (ctrl+T in UV Mapper)
- Close UV Mapper you don’t need it anymore.
Creating the Shading
Now we want to make the uvmap layer current by selecting it in the Layers window on the right. (If you can’t see the layers window go to the top toolbar and select Window/Layers) Select your magic wand tool (on left) and select any place in the white background area. The uvmap shown is from a square box, each square represents opposite faces of the cube.
Now we need to invert our selection so that we have the actual part of the object that receives the texture is highlighted. Go to Select/Inverse then select the actual texture layer in the layers window to make it the active layer (on right). I then make the uvmap not show by clicking that little eye symbol next to it, this just hides that layer without deleting it.
With the texture layer as the current layer we want to copy the highlighted selection and then paste into a new layer. So go to Edit/Copy and Edit/Paste, or ctrl+c then ctrl+v. As the image below show we have our original texture as layer 0 and the newly pasted selection part as layer 2.
Now we want to add some shading to the pasted layer. So double click that layer and it will bring up the box for Layer Style. I use the Inner Glow style since it will make an even shading on the inside. Change the Blend Mode to Darken or Multiply, change the yellow color to something else appropriate, and then play with the Choke and Size option in the middle of the box. The choke and size will change how big the inner shadow is. You can also change the Opacity of this by changing the line under Blend Mode. You will be able to see your image behind the Layer Style box, once you are happy go ahead and click OK.
The last thing to do is flatten your layer style into the original layer. With the layer you want to flatten down selected, go to Layer/Merge down. You can also delete the uvmap layer now if you’re done.