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Featured upload! Blender 2.7 TS3 Tools v3.02 updated 5-2-14

by cmomoney Posted 15th Feb 2011 at 8:32 PM - Updated 2nd May 2014 at 4:08 PM by cmomoney
214 Comments / replies (Who?) - 17 Feedback Posts, 6 Thanks Posts
This is a featured upload! It showcases the best talent and creativity available on MTS and in the community.
Blender 2.7 TS3 Tools

Blender is a free open source 3D program. With Blender and this set of tools, you can create 3d meshes to be used in TS3 as objects, i.e. chairs, tables, ect. You can get Blender 3d 2.65a here.


  • Import/export - import/export MLOD and MODL files(.s3m2b)
  • Geostate Editor - editor for geostates(multistate objects)
  • EZ Bake - bake multiplier, rgb, and specular images with just a few clicks
  • Image Loader - apply images to objects and get and idea how they will look in-game(including alphas)
  • Mesh Swap - swaps your mesh with the imported EA mesh.
  • Create ShadowMesh - makes a mesh into a sunshadow mesh by correctly sizing and positioning
  • Fix Seams - fix unsightly seams created when splitting vertices/edges(aligns vertex normals)
  • Make Glass - automagically give a group a glass material with one click(Blender viewing only)
  • Hide Bones - hide/show the bones in an object with one click
  • Add Lights - adds a four point lighting set up for checking specularity
[*]Drop Shadow Strength - adjust the strength of dropshadows


1. Download and extract the "io_TS3_tools.py" and put it where you can find it.
2. Start Blender and go to File->User Preferences(or press CTRL+ALT+U).
3. Click the "Add-Ons" button at the top of the User Preferences window.
4. Click the "Import/Export" button on the left, then click the "Install Add-On" button at the bottom.
5. Navigate to where you extracted the file and select the "io_TS3_tools.py" and click "Install Add-On". TS3 Tools is added to the the list.
6. Click the check box to the right of the TS3 Tools in the list. The importer/exporter is added to the File->Import menu, and the TS3 Tools and TS3 Image Loader panels are added to the Properties Editor under Scene.
7. Close the User Preferences window, and hit CTRL+U to save as default(if you want TS3 Tools to be there next time you start Blender).


You will need the latest QA version of S3PE to use this script. and the latest MeshExpImpHelper

1. Select the MLOD/MODL in s3pe, right click on it, and select "to s3m2b". Save the file in it's own folder.
2. Start Blender, and in the Properties editor under Scene, click the Import button in the TS3 Tools panel or go to File->Import->Sims 3 MLOD/MODL. Navigate to the your folder and select the name_filebase.s3m2b file.

When creating you new mesh, to keep sharp edges, you will have to use the Edge Split modifier. Also, UV mapped parts that are separated on the map should be split in the mesh. The exporter only exports changes made in Edit Mode, changes made in Object Mode are ignored.

To assign a new mesh to a group:

1. Right-click on the new mesh(s), the hold SHIFT and right-click on the mesh you want to replace.
2. Click the 'Swap' button.

To assign vertices to the joints:
1. Right-click on the mesh and press TAB to go into Edit mode.
2. Select the vertices you want to add to a joint. In the Properties editor, select the "Object Data" panel(button with triangle/w dots at the corners).
3.In the "Object Data" panel under 'Vertex Groups', select the joint you want to assign to, and click assign.

1. In the Properties editor under Scene, click the Export button in the TS3 Tools panel or go to File->Export->Sims 3 MLOD/MODL. If you haven't triangulated your meshes(CTRL+T in Edit mode), click the Triangulate checkbox in the export options panel(bottom-left of the file select window). Navigate to the folder you imported from, select the name_filebase.s3m2b file, and press "Export MLOD/MODL".
2. In s3pe, open the package. Right-click on the MLOD/MODL you exported from and select 'from s3m2b'. Navigate to your newly created .s3m2b file and click 'Open'.

Exclude from Export
This function allows you to specify groups to be left untouched on export. Any groups with this setting will be skipped during export, leaving the original group unedited. This is perfect for making beds, as you can exclude every group but the frame and dropshadow, and edit them without having to worry about borked normals on the mattress due to Blender recalculations. Just select the group(on at a time) to exclude and press the 'Exclude from Export' button. Do the same to re-include a group.

EZ Bake:

note: You must have a UV/Image editor window open in your scene. Also, Material mode must be set to GLSL and Shading method to Textured to view the results on the mesh. See this tutorial.

1. Select the groups you want to bake.
2. In the TS3 Tools panel in the EZ Bake section, select the size of the image, and the baking method you want to use.
3. Click the Bake button. Press ALT+Z to change to Textured shading and see results on the mesh.
4. In the UV/Image editor, go to Image->Save As to save you image. Default format is .png. you will have to open your image in an graphics program to save it as a .dds.

RGB Mask:


Image Loader

note: Material mode must be set to GLSL and Shading method to Textured to view the results on the mesh. See this tutorial.

1. Select a group. Click Open under whatever image you're trying to load(multiplier, mask, overlay, specular, or dropshadow).
2. Navigate to the image and click Open.
3. Press ALT+Z to change to Textured shading and see results on the mesh.
4. To remove an image, simply click the X next to that image.

To view the specularity(if specular image is loaded), make sure the 'Shadeless' box is unchecked and you have lights in your scene(or just use 'Add Lights').

Geostate Editor

With an object containing geostates imported, and its images loaded, select the group containing the geostate. In the geostate editor panel, select the geostate you wish to view and click 'View'.

1. Make sure you're viewing the geostate you wish to edit and switch to edit mode.
2. Click the 'Show All' button to see the complete mesh.
3. Select the faces you want included in the geostate, deselect the the faces you don't want included in the geostate.
4. Click the 'Set' button to set the geostate.

Fix Seams:

note: If you use Fix Seams, you cannot go into Edit mode with the group you used it on, or Blender will recalculate the vertex normals and undo the fix. You can use Edit mode on other groups as long as you haven't used Fix Seams on them. Fix Seams Should probably be one of the last things you do before exporting. Also, the result may not be visible, and the only way to verify that it worked is to go into Edit mode and turn on the vertex normals. But then Blender will undo the fix once you go back to Object mode, so you'll have to do Fix Seams again. :P

1. While in Edit mode, select the only the vertices of the seam(it may be easier to select the edges in edge select mode). Do the same for all groups that have seams you want to fix.
2. While in Object mode, select all the groups that have seams to fix and click the Fix Seams button. If there were no problems, 'Alignment complete' will printed in the Console.

Create Shadow Mesh:

Show/Hide Bones:

Simply click the button to hide all bones in the object, and click again to show them. Bones are hidden by default.

Make Glass:

Select the group(s) you want to make glass and click Make Glass. Press ALT+Z to change to Textured shading and see results on the mesh.
note: This does not make your object glass in-game. It's is merely a representation for viewing in

Add Lights

Simply click the button to add four-point lighting setup to the scene. (Needed to view specularity)

Importing more than one MLOD/MODL can cause problems. You should start a new project.

Release history:

  • 3.02(2May2014)changelog
    -adjusted for 2.7 API(bpy.ops.mesh.select_loose())

    -Fixed error importing/exporting sunshadows(thanks Zed )

    -Fixed addon loading error

    -Updated for Blender 2.65a.
    -rework of import/export, eliminating need for splitting at seams(is done programagically)
    -added dropshadow intensity

    -Updated for Blender 2.64(still works in 2.63 though)

    -fixed UI bug introduced in 2.1

    -Fixed RGB and Specular Bake not being able to bake at 2048.

    -added 'Exclude from Export' function to ignore specified groups from export(original group is left untouched).

    -fixed: script wasn't getting all the associated bones

    -oops broke vertex assignments in last update, now fixed :P

    -updated for 2.63
    -fix to import multiple UVs, not just two.(some objects have three)
    -added dropshadow strength adjustment
    -geostate export is still broken by 2.63 :P

    -fixed geostate editor ibuf miscalculation
    -added mesh flag checking(newest mesh helper needed)

    -fixed bug - exporting missing tangents

    -added export of tangents
    -added export of unknown6(was breaking objects with fullbright material setting, i.e. the inside of refrigerators)

    -increased EZ Bake images size maximum to 2048x2048

    1.41(21September 2011)changelog:
    -added option to automatically triangulate all groups on export
    -makes sure all faces are selected before making into shadow mesh
    -makes sure in Object mode before export
    -fixed export error reporting
    -fixed version number not showing up in User Preferences
    -now uses .s3m2b exclusively(will no longer open .s3asc )

    1.4(14 September 2011)changelog:
    -added RGB mask baking to EZBake
    -added specular map baking to EZBake
    -added option to create sunshadow mesh
    -tweaks to speed up bake times
    -only main panel is available when no mesh object is selected(for less clutter)
    -fixed dropshadow recognition(was broken by new format)

    1.32(28 August 2011)changelog:
    -added support for new Blender 3d exclusive format(.s3m2b). .s3asc files can still be opened.
    -fixed file filtering for export, added .s3m2b to import/export filters.

    1.31a(3 July 2011)changelog:
    -Fixed 2nd UV export error

    1.31(1 July 2011)changelog:
    -Re-enabled ability to import/export multiple UVs (had been inadvertently removed)

    1.3(2 June 2011)changelog:
    -Added .s3asc filtering
    -Addon now removes from menus when disabled

    1.21(11 May 2011) changelog:
    -Fixed importer/exporter not showing up in menus

    1.2(28 April 2011) changelog:
    -Updated for 2.57(stable) release
    - Added compatibility for s3asc helpers
    -Adjusted baking settings for game-friendly bakes
    -Added Geostate editor
    -Added 'Add Lights' feature
    -Added specular and dropshadow slots to image editor
    -Added dropshadow recognition
    -Gave each major function its own panel for better visibility
    -Added Mesh Swap
    -Various other bits and pieces that i can't remember

    1.1 (2nd March, 2011) changelog:
    - Fixed bug that ignored second UV in objects with two UVs. Second UV is now included.

Additional Credits:
Thanks to Ciexari (used his scripts as a reference), Wes Howe, Inge and Peter Jones, orangemittens, and all the those who helped in testing.
Tags: #Blender, #import, #export, #2.5

Operating System: Windows
Utility Type: CC Editors Meshing Tools
Plugin Type: Blender

You must have the expansion or stuff packs listed below installed to use this custom content. Please see the post text for any exceptions.

Sims 3
Key: - File was updated after upload was posted
Filename - Tip: You can click the magnifying glass to see the archive contents Size Downloads Date
io_TS3_tools.rar 15.1 KB 17,281 15th Feb 2011
Don't forget to Thank the creator after downloading! Use the Thanks button located above the screenshots above.
Quick Guide:

1. Click the file listed on the Files tab to download the file to your computer.
2. Extract the zip, rar, or 7z file. Now you will have either a .package or a .sims3pack file.

For Package files:

1. Cut and paste the file into your Documents\Electronic Arts\The Sims 3\Mods\Packages folder. If you do not already have this folder, you should read the full guide to Package files first: Sims 3:Installing Package Fileswiki, so you can make sure your game is fully patched and you have the correct Resource.cfg file.
2. Run the game, and find your content where the creator said it would be (build mode, buy mode, Create-a-Sim, etc.).

For Sims3Pack files:

1. Cut and paste it into your Documents\Electronic Arts\The Sims 3\Downloads folder. If you do not have this folder yet, it is recommended that you open the game and then close it again so that this folder will be automatically created. Then you can place the .sims3pack into your Downloads folder.
2. Load the game's Launcher, and click on the Downloads tab. Find the item in the list and tick the box beside it. Then press the Install button below the list.
3. Wait for the installer to load, and it will install the content to the game. You will get a message letting you know when it's done.
4. Run the game, and find your content where the creator said it would be (build mode, buy mode, Create-a-Sim, etc.).

Extracting from RAR, ZIP, or 7z: You will need a special program for this. For Windows, we recommend 7-Zip and for Mac OSX, we recommend Keka. Both are free and safe to use.

Need more help?

If you need more info, see:
Page 7 of 9
214 Comments / Replies (Who?) - 149 Feedback Posts, 57 Thanks Posts
Hide Thanks Posts for this thread (Show only feedback)
˙uʍop ǝpᴉsdn ǝɹ,noʎ 'oN
Original Poster
#151 Old 11th Sep 2012 at 11:06 PM
The warning on import is what you are supposed to get, it's letting you know it imported okay. As for the other error, I might need to look at the .blend and the original EA file you using.

"Part of being a mesher is being persistent through your own confusedness" - HystericalParoxysm
| ( ◡)| (❍ᴥ❍ʋ) [◕ ‿ ◕]
Test Subject
#152 Old 12th Sep 2012 at 12:23 AM
I'm still using the files I did when I had errors a few weeks ago. I'll reupload them for convenience.
Download - please read all instructions before downloading any files!
File Type: zip GrayOwl_DT + Blend.zip (1.52 MB, 16 downloads)
Field Researcher
14th Sep 2012 at 10:33 AM
This message has been deleted by scoopy_loopy. Reason: nvm
Test Subject
#153 Old 19th Sep 2012 at 1:53 AM
OMG Thank you!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I refuse to use Milkshape because I have Maya and 3ds Max on student licenses, but TSR Workshop crashes when I import OBJ files, so I've been stuck sitting around waiting for something like this. Kudos to you!
Field Researcher
#154 Old 21st Sep 2012 at 11:29 PM
I'm having some trouble getting a mesh to be just right, until I was able to mess it up beyond my ability to fix it anymore...

Here's the full story:
1 - A long long time ago, I adapted a crossbow mesh into Blender and managed to import/export into a package that worked in the game... except for some glitches (I'm guessing in UV map), that in game caused blue lines on the side that were supposed to be red (see mScreenshot-16). But in blender and in the game if the object was in design mode, it would appear perfect!...
I tried re-arranging the vertex and faces in that area and re-did the whole UV map, but ended up with the same glitches, only in different places...

2 - Somewhere in time I upgraded your Blender Tools, I could Export/Import Blender>s3m2b>Package, but if I exported the same mesh from package>s3m2b>Blender, I would get errors... With current version, the error is:
...\io_TS3_tools.py", line 1060, in execute self.parsefile()
...\io_TS3_tools.py", line 1458, in parsefile faces.pop(i)
IndexError: pop index out of range

3 - I also tried to copy the mesh into a new Blender file and do a simplified lower res version of it (MODL), but then I got an error whenever I did any operation in blender:
...\io_TS3_tools.py", line 165, in draw dstex = bpy.data.textures['dropshadow']
KeyError: 'bpy_prop_collection[key]: key "dropshadow" not found'

And I would have additional errors when trying to export it:
...\io_TS3_tools.py", line 1738, in execute self.writefile()
...\io_TS3_tools.py", line 1970, in writefile t = CalTangs(ob, uvz[0])
...\io_TS3_tools.py", line 1696, in CalTangs s2 = u[f[2]][0] - u[f[0]][0]
IndexError: list index out of range

4 - Yesterday I figured I would install the latest version of your tools and also the latest S3PE and s3m2b helpers hoping it would solve all my problems!... but it didn't... and it kind of made it worse... Now when I open the main MLOD file (that was kind of working before) I get errors:
...\io_TS3_tools.py", line 82, in draw try: ign = bpy.data.groups['Ignore']
KeyError: 'bpy_prop_collection[key]: key "Ignore" not found'
During handling of the above exception, another exception occurred:
...\io_TS3_tools.py", line 83, in draw except Exception: sys.exc_clear()
NameError: global name 'sys' is not defined

Plus a bunch of other errors whenever I do any operation on it...

Some of these issues (if not all) are probably my fault somehow... But I'm hoping you could point me in the right direction on how to fix it, because I'm a bit lost here...
(I should have stayed with script modding only )

Attached is the package file plus the MLOD and MODL blender files that won't export.
Download - please read all instructions before downloading any files!
File Type: zip Desecrate_Crossbow.zip (765.3 KB, 4 downloads)
Lab Assistant
#155 Old 27th Sep 2012 at 10:14 AM
Hmm downloaded these tools, installed blender 2.63a, installed the plugin and activated it after it showed up. Saved the user preferences just to be sure, but when importing a mesh in .OBJ format (and right click selecting the mesh naturally) only the Import/Export tools show up.

When importing a .s3m2b file however, the tool is fully showing and working like i here as i was following that guide to make a project.

Using Windows 7 x64 Entpr, as elevated administrator user (meaning run as admin is the same as normal run).
Tryed both blender 2.63a and 2.62 in both bit versions (x32/x64).

When selecting an imported .OBJ mesh the "Make Shadow Mesh" option is not showing.
As can be seen in the post, OM tryed it with same version blender and tools and its working for him ......

Any suggestion as in what the issue maybe or what i can do to sort it without having to import a .s3m2b file first ?

The 3D Studio Max Meshing guides: Part 1: Simple Meshing in 3D Studio Max
Iff freedom was outlawed only outlaws would have freedom.
True piracy is an art, having a Amiga tune doesn't make you the old school pirate.
˙uʍop ǝpᴉsdn ǝɹ,noʎ 'oN
Original Poster
#156 Old 27th Sep 2012 at 1:34 PM

"Part of being a mesher is being persistent through your own confusedness" - HystericalParoxysm
| ( ◡)| (❍ᴥ❍ʋ) [◕ ‿ ◕]
Lab Assistant
#157 Old 27th Sep 2012 at 3:45 PM
Originally Posted by cmomoney

Ty seems to have fixed my issue.

The 3D Studio Max Meshing guides: Part 1: Simple Meshing in 3D Studio Max
Iff freedom was outlawed only outlaws would have freedom.
True piracy is an art, having a Amiga tune doesn't make you the old school pirate.
Field Researcher
#158 Old 29th Sep 2012 at 12:16 PM
Thanks for the update, it fixed some of the issues and made it easier to troubleshoot the others.

Here's a status update on the issues I posted earlier:
1 - The mapping looks better now in the game (even without making much changes), so never mind this one for now, I'll try to retest when I have the blender & package file in a stable state.

2 - The main mesh (MLOD00000) I can export without errors now, but when I get an error trying to import it in S3PE (see s3pe_s3m2b_import_error.png).
I also get an error if I try to re-import in blender the s3m2b I just exported:
...\io_TS3_tools.py", line 1058, in execute self.parsefile()
...\addons\io_TS3_tools.py", line 1456, in parsefile faces.pop(i)
IndexError: pop index out of range

It's probably something wrong with this mesh, because it works for others meshes, I just can't figure out what...

3 - I can now export and import the low res MODL!
The export error was because I had a loose vertex in the object.
And I was able to find how to reproduce the "dropshadow" issue: after doing a mesh swap I saved a blender file (Crossbow-MODL00001rLowRes3-tst.blend) which has no error. But if I re-open the file, and just save it again (Crossbow-MODL00001rLowRes3-tst2.blend), when I re-open it I'll get the 'key "dropshadow" not found' error and the Image Loader group won't show any options (see blender_dropshadow_error.png). If I colapse the Image Loader group then there are no more errors and I can continue, so it's not a blocking point.

3.1 - I can export and import the MODL, but... the UV mapping seems to get mixed up in the process (see UVmap_after_export_import.png)

4 - Fixed!
Download - please read all instructions before downloading any files!
File Type: zip Desecrate_Crossbow.zip (803.7 KB, 6 downloads)
Field Researcher
#159 Old 2nd Dec 2012 at 2:46 AM
Does this work with GEOM plugins?

"What should you do when you've already got everything you ever dreamed? DREAM BIGGER!!!"
-Miss Nancy, Little Inferno
Lab Assistant
#160 Old 15th Dec 2012 at 11:29 PM
Thank you.
This works great for Distant Terrains too...!
Lab Assistant
17th Dec 2012 at 5:57 PM
This message has been deleted by PWN9483.
Lab Assistant
#161 Old 17th Dec 2012 at 6:29 PM
Originally Posted by BelloCanadiano
Dear CMO,

Thanks for your prompt answer.

I just downloaded Blender v.2.56 beta and will begin trying your plugin next week. This week is Carnival I'm currently in Brazil and things are a bit "complicated" around here (constant black-outs, too many internet connection dropouts, and so forth) till Friday or so.
I'll do my best to keep you up to date with the testing.



Just a note, this addon works with Blender 2.65, 64-bit (released 17, December 2012).
Lab Assistant
#162 Old 18th Dec 2012 at 8:51 PM
Found this addon that might help some creators
External Paint Autorefresh lets you texture paint in GIMP/Photoshop while the texture updates automatically in Blender, or switch to painting in Blender and watch the texture update in your image editing program

Lab Assistant
#163 Old 10th Jan 2013 at 4:19 PM
Thank you so much!
Forum Resident
#164 Old 11th Jan 2013 at 11:11 PM Last edited by lenglel : 24th Jan 2013 at 1:57 AM.
cmomoney, will you be updating this to blender 2.65 anytime soon? The blender animation plugins require it, and I can't figure out how to have two different versions of blender on my windows 7 pc. Up to my hips in files migrating everything from the old pc to the new one, so forgive me if I'm overlooking the obvious, please.

Glad to see you've updated. I wonder if you may have considered adding the functionality of your simgeom import/export plugin to this one?
I think it might cut down on some of the maintenance for you if you did that. What do you think?
Test Subject
#165 Old 20th Mar 2013 at 10:02 PM
I am hoping cmomoney will update it to work with 2.66 as thats the newest version
Test Subject
#166 Old 23rd Mar 2013 at 12:48 AM
Does anyone know if this version will work with blender 2.66a?
Test Subject
#167 Old 29th Mar 2013 at 10:21 AM
Default When Part 3 Coming Soon?
Originally Posted by cmomoney
Well, there are a lot of factors that determine baking times: cpu, bake settings, image size, poly count, ect. EZ Bake is just a preset baking script to reduce the steps it takes to bake multipliers.

I have been waiting for it too.
Received a lot of help due to this.
I would like to know how fast Blender baking.
Make updates please as soon as.
I am not good at English.But it is hard to learn.
please...part 3 show me!
Test Subject
#168 Old 16th May 2013 at 3:20 AM
As of a week ago, Blender is now at 2.67. Has anyone tried this with the new version?
Test Subject
#169 Old 1st Jun 2013 at 10:16 AM
Can I used it along with newest Blender (2.67b) or this tool only compatible to Blender 2.65a?
Test Subject
#170 Old 19th Jun 2013 at 8:33 PM
thanks so much! ^^
Forum Resident
#171 Old 29th Jul 2013 at 1:02 AM
This is amazing! Thanks!
Test Subject
#172 Old 16th Oct 2013 at 9:30 PM
i have a question about the poses... i know that you can use toddler, child and adult as an avatar for making poses, but can you use a teen? cus i'm making a story who needs an adult end a teen posing togheter... is that possible?
Test Subject
#173 Old 9th Nov 2013 at 7:23 PM
Default Error exporting MODL files
Using both 2.69 and 2.65, I have tried to export a MODL file several times with no success. I can export to .obj, but not into .s3m2b.

I thought it might be a problem with stray vertexes, but I encounter this with a just-cloned object as well, and with more than one source object.

I get the attached error message, when I try.
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