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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?) - 8 Feedback Posts, 17 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: 20,798 · 25th May 2013
233.3 KB 20,798 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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Test Subject
#26 Old 25th May 2013 at 2:21 PM
Oh my god!
This is what i needed for so long!
I really LOVE you
Thank you!
Original Poster
#27 Old 25th May 2013 at 2:41 PM
@Michaeltjuhh: I'd love to see blueprints shared on MTS! I'm not very good at building myself and part of my motivation to create this was the hope to download blueprints from the community.

@Quantum_Reality: I run my The Sims 3 game in windowed mode, which makes switching to desktop fairly easy. "Unzip the BlueprintMaker folder in the zip" simply means to copy the folder from the zip to the hard drive somewhere (because you can't run the executable from the zip).
#28 Old 25th May 2013 at 3:03 PM
Test Subject
#29 Old 25th May 2013 at 3:04 PM
FINALLY! Thank you, VelocityGrass~! This tool could have countless uses!
Interstellar Traveler
#30 Old 25th May 2013 at 3:14 PM
How awesome is this?! Velocity, you never seem to fail me, or anyone with your glorious magic mods!
Test Subject
#31 Old 25th May 2013 at 3:28 PM
I'm going to get this the second my dell computer is fixed for the second time Thanks you so much! Your the best
Lab Assistant
#32 Old 25th May 2013 at 3:50 PM Last edited by AbbyTheOddie : 25th May 2013 at 3:53 PM. Reason: Wanted to add something xD
I feel like I could finally build my dream house!
Life on the sims 3 just got 10x's more easier and fun for me. Even with the simple "base" blueprints given during the seasons update, my house building was still pretty....yeah a epic fail for me . But this could help me in ways I never ever ever imagined! Epic toast to you!

P.S: I'll defiantly dedicate my first house made with this mod to ya
Lab Assistant
#33 Old 25th May 2013 at 3:58 PM
At last! At last! Blueprint is finally usable, because to me, it's worthless if it isn't customizable. Thank you very much for making Blueprint usable.
Test Subject
#34 Old 25th May 2013 at 4:23 PM
Although I won't be using this myself, this is one of the most innovative mods I've seen on this website. Intelligent and fantastic, thank you!
Lab Assistant
#35 Old 25th May 2013 at 4:32 PM
Very handy. Thanks, man!
#36 Old 25th May 2013 at 4:36 PM
Great mod! Thank you million times
Lab Assistant
#37 Old 25th May 2013 at 4:56 PM Last edited by scarletqueenkat : 25th May 2013 at 5:07 PM.
You are awesome! Thank you SO much!
Lab Assistant
#38 Old 25th May 2013 at 5:02 PM
Wow. EA should be told about this because they should add it to their games. This is brilliant.
#39 Old 25th May 2013 at 5:41 PM
Superb work as always! Kudos to you!
Mad Poster
#40 Old 25th May 2013 at 6:04 PM
This is amazing and so much fun! My first log was a bust, but it worked beautifully on the second go.
Field Researcher
#41 Old 25th May 2013 at 6:13 PM
Wow. This is incredibly brilliant. I am so glad that someone has finally done this. I would nominate you as Modder of the Year if I weren't so sure that dear Twallan would win.

Thank you!!
#42 Old 25th May 2013 at 6:46 PM
You are my Hero! I really mean it! This is something I was waitting for a very, very long time!

As I read in the comments here, I can run a Blue Print Maker with the game on. But I gues I have to shut the game down, to put rooms to the game?
Test Subject
#43 Old 25th May 2013 at 6:48 PM
WOW! This is so awesome. I'm not great at building or decorating, so the thought of possibly being able to share or download other blueprints from talented builders is amazing! Thanks a thousand!!!
Test Subject
#44 Old 25th May 2013 at 7:08 PM
This is awesome, thanks!
#45 Old 25th May 2013 at 7:09 PM
You're amazing! This mod is quite an achievement. I don't even USE blueprints, and I still want to thank you. :-)
Field Researcher
#46 Old 25th May 2013 at 7:23 PM
I didn't read the whole description... but all I have to say is.... YAY!!! THANK YOU SOOO MUCH!! *hugs* *hugs*
The other one
#47 Old 25th May 2013 at 7:40 PM
Can't wait to try this out! I enter a lot of decor contests that often only require one room to be decorated. Usually once the contest is done the room just gets forgotten about but now I can recycle them on MTS! long as I can find them all among my graveyard of old saves XD

Thanks :D
Original Poster
#48 Old 25th May 2013 at 7:41 PM
@SamIAm2: Hehe. Well, The Sims 3 leaves so many opportunities to mod that there's a lot of place for different kinds of modders.

@anie_1981: The Blueprint Maker consists of two parts: One which has to be used while you are in game and the other that is a separate application that creates a package mod. That package with the blueprint has to be installed like any other (which means you have to restart the game at that point). The blueprint itself is then added like any other blueprint, in game in build/buy mode. I hope this answers your question.
Lab Assistant
#49 Old 25th May 2013 at 7:53 PM
good job velocitygrass!! I haven't downloaded it yet, but I will later on tonight. There are a few templates that I will give a try mainly for cloning purposes like castle turrets. Thanks for creating this...
#50 Old 25th May 2013 at 8:36 PM
Doesn't mention package files, do they work?

Can't find stuff in build and buy mode?
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