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Updated Sept. 24, 2006! Please redownload mesh!:
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At Renatus Valentinus's suggestion, I have changed the fat morph on the mesh to make it work with a much wider range of outfits. Please redownload the mesh file - the mesh filename is the same so if you copy it to the same place you can just overwrite the previous file. Please make sure you overwrite or remove the original mesh file.
After trying several alternate methods, it appears I've come up with a solution to the crashing dress tops dillemma - and in doing so, made alpha-editable ones! Huzzah!
This mesh is shaped the same as the OfB dress top outfit with the baggy pants (as I always liked it) and as you can see in the Burgundy Foliate recolour, you can make it look pretty much exactly like the OfB top. It can be worn with any bottoms, but works best with ones with a very close-fitting waistline. Other meshes will clip slightly through the waist, especially when sitting or twisting. This is unavoidable due to the geometry of the mesh - if I corrected for it any more it wouldn't retain the same shape as the original OfB top, which is what I wanted. Just wear a close-fitting garment for bottoms.
As a side-effect of how the mesh was created to make it a dress top, the bottom is fully alpha-editable. As it is shaped like the OfB dress top, it does have a lower limit and a bit of a ruffle at the very bottom (as well as an optional "modesty cap" covering the bottom hole, since that was a feature of the original), but as you can see from my recolours, you can get pretty versatile with it.
To recolour, simply use the same alpha and texture for all three sets of textures/alphas. Unfortunately it will duplicate all the textures despite them being the same: you can fix this by deleting the alpha5 and alpha7 images from the recolour file, then copying the value under "stdMatBaseTextureName" from the material definition for the top into the same spot in the alpha5 and alpha7 material definitions. Not absolutely necessary, but makes for much smaller recolour files.
I have tested a couple of the things that were a problem with the other dress tops, namely buying a community lot and getting a job, and there are no crashes or other issues with that. However, as I do not play much, other problems may arise (though I don't expect so as these are essentially a straight clone from Maxis original), therefore I am considering these in testing for the moment. I did get some weird blurring of thumbnails and textures happening while I was testing, but further testing did not repeat it (and it has been alpha tested by someone other than me), so I believe it was due to something else... If you do somehow get the blurring too, I did fix it in my game and can tell you how to do so. Please let me know if you get any issues!
The poly count is a bit on the high side for just a top, 1776 polys, 1205 vertices. This is due to the double-sidedness for the alpha-editability, but it's not -incredibly- high.
It does include a fat morph, but not pregnant (as maternity wear is full-body).
I have put up each of the recolours separately, or in a 4-pack if you want all of them: whichever way you get them, make sure you download the mesh, which I've uploaded separately (filename starts with CMESH)!!
- Tiggerypum, for being a great source of info and ideas into how to fix the dress top dillema.
- Wes_h, for the Unimesh plugins for Milkshape, used in the creation of this mesh.
- Dr Pixel, for all kinds of various bits of useful meshing info that have helped me along the way.
- Everyone who has contributed to the creation and development of SimPE.
- The Inspiration Gallery, for the texture used on the burgundy foliate recolour.
- Flyingpigeon, for the original dress top idea, and for making me a nice feather pillow with his last molting.
- MTS2, the rest of the staff, and Delphy, for creating a such a fantastic place to learn and share information, so I could figure out how to do cool stuff like this.