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Blueprint Maker (Updated 08/17/2013)

by velocitygrass Posted 25th May 2013 at 6:20 AM - Updated 27th Nov 2013 at 2:41 PM by Nysha
295 Comments / replies (Who?) - 7 Feedback Posts, 12 Thanks Posts
Picked Upload! This is a picked upload! It showcases some of the best talent and creativity available on MTS and in the community.
08/17/2013: Updated to v1.0.3: Added Resort Categories. Make sure to select blank in the normal category unless you also want the blueprint to appear in whatever you picked there. This update only changes the maker tool and not the package.
07/30/2013: Updated to v1.0.2: Modified logging in helper to address errors in the log (especially for languages with non-English characters). This only changes the blueprint helper package file. If you get the error message "Blueprint log too long for buffer. Will use old way." or still have errors when creating your blueprint package, please let me know and upload the script error log file if possible.

The blueprint helper and the blueprint maker tool will allow you to create your own custom blueprints, such as this:

Requirements: The blueprint maker tool requires .NET 4 and runs on Windows. I cannot give support for any other platforms and it will likely not run on those.

It was my goal to make this process as simple as possible, but there are still a few easy steps. Please make sure to read the complete instructions. They cover the two main parts of the blueprint maker, the helper mod and the tool.

Basic Instructions
  • Install velocitygrass_blueprinthelper.package in the zip as you would any package mod
  • Start the game and go into live mode to the room you want to create a blueprint of
  • Make sure that you're in cheats mode (type Ctrl+Shift+C to open the console and enter "testingcheatsenabled on", then return)
  • Click on the floor in the room and select "Velocitygrass..." -> "Create Blueprint Template" with or without outer walls. (See FAQ at the end for the difference)
  • The mod will work for a moment and write an error log in your The Sims 3 folder. Don't worry if flickering occurs or if it takes a while (especially for very large rooms).
  • Make a nice screenshot of your room, so that the relevant stuff is at the center (this will be cropped to a square)
  • Unzip the BlueprintMaker folder in the zip file to your hard drive
  • Start the Blueprint Maker tool by double-clicking the BluePrintMaker.exe
  • Enter the path to the error log the mod created and the screenshot you created
  • Enter the other data, particularly a unique name (for better uniqueness include your username)
  • Save the package, install it like any other package mod, and test your blueprint

Blueprints created with this tool should be suitable for sharing with others. Just make sure that you list the required EPs/SPs/custom content in the description of the blueprint and that you use a really unique name in the tool (see details below). If a blueprint is used that includes content the user doesn't have installed, these objects will be missing from the realized room. They will not be replaced with base game items. Please also carefully read the limitations section further down for objects which you should remove before creating the blueprint.

Details about the blueprint maker tool:
  • Log: This is the log that the blueprint helper mod created. It should be located directly in the Sims 3 folder in Documents, e.g. C:\Users\[Username]\Documents\Electronic Arts\The Sims 3.
  • Screenshot: This can be either a screenshot you took or any other image you created to be used as preview image for the blueprint. Please be aware that the blueprint preview will be squared, so borders of a wider image will be removed. If you want to have full control, it's best to create a square image as a preview.
  • Unique Name: This will be used to generate IDs for relevant resources, so it's important that this is a unique name for every single package that you create. I would recommend that you use your username as part of the name, e.g. velocitygrassBPBlueKitchen or something like that. Make sure that you never reuse the name. The package name will by default be the same as this unique name, so if you don't change the package name when saving, it should be easy to compare if a name has already been used. E.g. if I created a second blue kitchen blueprint I would use velocitygrassBPBlueKitchen2 or something else.
  • Blueprint Name: This is simply the name as it appears in build/buy mode when you select the blueprint. Please note that the size of the blueprint room will automatically be added behind the name, so you don't need to take care of that.
  • Blueprint Description: This is an additional description that you can add. It will appear below the name and price of the blueprint in build/buy mode. It might be useful to list the necessary EPs/SPs/custom content of the blueprint here, so that users have easy access to that information when using your blueprint.
  • Blueprint Price: When you start the tool, this will say 999 Simoleons by default. When you create the blueprint from the logfile, this price will be replaced with the actual price of the furniture, walls, wallpaper, floors that the blueprint helper wrote to the log in a line beginning with "Value". If you do not want to use the actual price, but rather would like your blueprint to be a little cheaper (or more expensive), you can check the checkbox next to the price and instead of taking the real price, it will take whatever is given as price (either the default 999 Simoleons or whatever you entered).
  • Category: Here you can select in which category the blueprint should appear.

Tip: To make browsing for the log and screenshots easier, I've created the ability to place a settings.txt file in the same folder as the tool. The tool will read the first four lines and use them as default folder for the following:
  1. The folder for the log files
  2. The folder for the screenshots
  3. The folder in which to write the blueprint package file
  4. The beginning of the unique name, e.g. your username. (But make sure to append it for each new package in the tool!)
You can see an example in the settings.example.txt in the BlueprintMaker folder in the zip.

Known Limitations
The blueprint functionality in the game has some limitations. Additionally there are some limitations of the blueprint maker tool.
  • Of build mode only walls, wallpapers, floors, doors, windows, arches, columns, and fireplaces are supported.
  • Cheats/operations on objects will not be applied when placing with the blueprint. E.g. fog emitter effects or music stations or cfe cheats on walls.
  • The blueprint tool works on a single room (as the engine defines it). This means an area that is completely surrounded by walls OR halfwalls. If you have halfwalls between a living area and kitchen, that should be fine, since you'll have an opening for the sim to walk through.
  • I am unable to get both sides of the wallpaper for half-walls for reasons that I don't understand (the function to get them just doesn't work correctly in that case), so both sides will have the front/left wallpaper. (You can fix this by editing the error log the tool uses.)
  • The blueprint tool will not work or work unexpectedly for objects that are created as part of game play. This includes food, paintings, photographs the sims took, plants the sims planted. It is highly recommended that you remove such objects before creating a blueprint.
  • Bunk beds are added, but not with their correct CASting. I'll have to see if I can fix it or if it's a limitation of blueprints.
  • The error log will occasionally have missing characters, which can result in faulty blueprint packages or cause issues with the blueprint maker tool. Just try creating the log again if something comes out unexpected.
  • Sometimes some objects of the blueprint will not be placed. This appears to be an issue with non-custom blueprints as well and not related to the tool.
  • There is a two width window that doesn't have its own diagonal version in the game files. This window will not be placed in a blueprint if it's on a diagonal wall. I do not know why and how to fix this. It's likely that the same issue exists with CC windows that don't have a separate resource for placement on diagonal walls.

Wish List
There are things that could still be added to the tool. I'll keep a list of them here.
  • Support for fences (this should be technically possible, but I didn't get around to it)
  • Collect info about used EPs/SPs/custom content in the log and allow users to easily copy this info to the description

Other questions:
What is the top of the blueprint? The direction of the blueprint is based on the lot direction. I've added a screenshot to illustrate this. If the lot is already placed, you cannot change this, but you can create a blueprint, place it on a new lot in the direction you want and then recreate it.
What's the difference between creating a blueprint with or without outer walls (the two options in the blueprint helper)? When you create a blueprint from a room in an existing house, it's very likely that that the room is surrounded by different other rooms. This would result in a weird mix of wallpaper on the outside of the blueprint room, so I added the option without outer wall. This option simply ignores the wallpaper on the outside of the room and leaves it blank (the default gray).

Additional Credits:
Inge and Peter Jones for s3pi and s3pe. Twallan for this modding suite. All other modders who taught me something new. Armiel for Builder's Island and jonha for Any Game Starter; without them loading times would likely have prevented me from ever bringing this mod and tool to this stage. Sims MX, matrix54, Kimia no Tama,
tutticuti13, Elven_Ranger, Srikandi, and deathoflight for reporting bugs in the pre-release. Thank you!
Tags: #create, #blueprint, #blue, #print, #maker, #tool

Operating System: Windows
Utility Type: CC Editors
Plugin Type: Not Applicable

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 | Blueprint Helper and Tool (source included)

Size: 233.3 KB · Downloads: 20,812 · 25th May 2013
233.3 KB 20,812 25th May 2013
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:
295 Comments / Replies (Who?) - 144 Feedback Posts, 139 Thanks Posts
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Mad Poster
#276 Old 13th Mar 2016 at 1:31 AM
OMG I am going to try this STAT!!! ^0^ I HATE EA's blueprints!
Test Subject
#277 Old 4th May 2016 at 5:34 PM
Is it theoretically possible to save an entire house as a single blueprint (for use in moving the house to a smaller lot)?
Test Subject
#278 Old 11th Jun 2016 at 1:20 PM
When I Tried To Save I Got A Error.
I Clicked Continue And Then It Took Over 9000 Years To Save.
Good Job Anyway.
ps: Its Still Saving
Test Subject
11th Jun 2016 at 1:21 PM
This message has been deleted by PaRappa333.
Test Subject
#279 Old 10th Aug 2016 at 4:44 PM
Hello I recently tried this mod but came across an error I think, saying "Unhandled exception has occurred in your application. If you click Contrine, the application will ignore the error and attempt to continue. The given key was not present in the dictionary." Am I doing something wrong or did I install this wrong? :x Thank you if you look over this.
Test Subject
#280 Old 28th Sep 2016 at 1:44 PM
Amazing Amazing Mod! I hope you'll see this and have an answer. It works amazing! The only thing is that some objects don't show up when I place the blueprint. I have them in my game.. I might have more of these items in the room that do show up.. but then the others doesn't. any idea?
Test Subject
#281 Old 16th Nov 2016 at 10:08 PM
Default Thank you!
Thanks for creating this!
Test Subject
#283 Old 7th Dec 2016 at 4:32 AM
Afraid I'm also getting the 'given key not present' error... I'm trying to refashion a Sim's house into a highrise without having to recreate the rooms the long way, so help would be appreciated.
Test Subject
25th Dec 2016 at 5:50 AM
This message has been deleted by Kaylaptcruiser.
Test Subject
#284 Old 25th Dec 2016 at 5:51 AM
I am having trouble with this mod. I have a mac air and multiple apps wont unzip the .exe file. My computers terminal says that there is nothing to unzip and the others just reopen the folder im already in. Not sure if its this download or me. Help!?
Top Secret Researcher
#285 Old 11th Apr 2017 at 5:17 AM Last edited by TadOlson : 11th Apr 2017 at 7:01 AM.
I just downloaded this and got an error which I discovered was due to trying to save to the wrong directory.I would make sure to direct it to save the project to the packages folder in the Mods folder inside the Sims 3 folder instead of to screenshots which will cause an error message to pop up.
My new guest cottage blueprint shows up in another Sims 3 folder when I copied the package to that folder in build mode.
Mad Poster
#286 Old 22nd Apr 2017 at 5:12 PM
Originally Posted by vgamer1991_22
Is it theoretically possible to save an entire house as a single blueprint (for use in moving the house to a smaller lot)?

Under LIMITATIONS the author said:
"The blueprint tool works on a single room (as the engine defines it). This means an area that is completely surrounded by walls OR halfwalls. If you have halfwalls between a living area and kitchen, that should be fine, since you'll have an opening for the sim to walk through."
Test Subject
#287 Old 3rd May 2017 at 9:19 PM
This mod is like the best thing that has happened in my life! I have already saved lots and lots of all kinds of blueprints and use them constantly I love to build a lot, but not to spend an eternity on furnishing every single building, 'cause I'd rather make entire towns and worlds, so this mod is essential!
Top Secret Researcher
#288 Old 28th May 2017 at 4:57 AM
I've made a whole house blueprint with gaps in walls for doors and copied it as a blueprint costing 250$ in game fully furnished.
Test Subject
#289 Old 28th May 2017 at 8:39 PM
Thanks! I only wish I'd found this mod sooner! This will save me so much trouble in designing!
Mad Poster
#290 Old 25th Jul 2017 at 6:00 AM
::nab:: --think I`ll give this a try.
Lab Assistant
#291 Old 22nd Nov 2017 at 1:18 AM
Thanks a ton for this! I like EA's blueprints, but it's nice to be able to make your own!
Test Subject
#292 Old 30th Dec 2017 at 1:26 AM Last edited by MadDoctor : 30th Dec 2017 at 5:36 AM.
I'm using a quarter round tile pattern for my bathrooms. It's one tile that has to be rotated with '<' or '>' to complete the full 2x2 circle. When I place the template, they all have the same orientation. When I try to use the eyedropper to clone the tile and replace the floor, it says "Nothing here can be cloned". Any idea how to fix this? I don't mind the doors being moved so much. They are easy to fix. But these complicated flooring patterns is one of the prime reasons for using templates.

p.s. I think I'm going to love this once I get used to it I've found a style I like for my overstuffed house, but my sims can't afford it all at once. When I made templates for the bedrooms, I forgot to select the category, so till I replace them, they are misc rooms.

Gord - the Mad Doctor
One of the Puppy People Lying Naked in the Periwinkle
Hacking the Human Race (ie - recombinating marsupial genes so nudists can have pockets) any other requests?
Field Researcher
#293 Old 14th Jun 2018 at 4:38 AM
This is p h e n o m e n a l. It's my new favorite thing, I can't believe I only saw this now! Thank you!
Test Subject
#294 Old 6th Jun 2020 at 5:48 PM
This mod is amazing! I just used it in 2020 and it still works! So happy to finally share room builds in Sims 3!
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