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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?) - 11 Feedback Posts, 13 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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25th May 2013 at 8:50 PM
This message has been deleted by Wojtek.
#51 Old 25th May 2013 at 8:54 PM
I tried to create my own blueprints, but it didn't work out. That is why I have several questions:

1. Can I use CC in the rooms?
2. Can I use stairs\elevators\swimming pools in the rooms?
3. Can I create blueprints of community lot's rooms?
4. I have no error message, the game lags for a momment, and then it goes back to normal playing, is this normal?
5. Does it conflicts with any mods?
6. Is this matter if the game is paused or not?

I get an error file, but the game says nothing about any error. I could use one error file with the bathroom, but the program said the game will crash if I use it. It was the true, the game crashed :P
Test Subject
#52 Old 25th May 2013 at 9:02 PM
How brilliant! This mod is a must-have. Thanks.
Original Poster
#53 Old 25th May 2013 at 9:34 PM
@tizerist: Yes, you can use custom content in package form in the rooms you make a blueprint of. The blueprint will then require that custom content to work correctly.

1. Yes, it should work with CC. Just be sure to have that CC installed when you try to use the blueprint or it will be missing.
2. No, they're not supported, although once the Island Paradise patch is out I can look at pools again. I believe that stairs and elevators are not included on purpose, since the blueprints are meant to work independently of how you combine them together, though maybe they'll change that too.
3. Yes, any room should work, though I don't think I've tested it with a community lot. Let me know if it doesn't for some reason.
4. Yes, this is normal. The mod will go gather the info and dump out the logfile without displaying any message. Maybe I should add that just that people know it worked. For now you can just refresh your Sims 3 folder and see if the error log file is there.
5. The interaction that is added shouldn't conflict with any other mod and neither should the custom blueprints. Though if you have mods that remove build/buy restrictions, they might not work for when the blueprint is realized.
6. I think I also tested it with paused games and had no problems.

It seems you were unlucky with your logfile. As I noted under it can sometimes happen that the logfile contains missing characters. Sometimes it helps to try again, although I've had cases where the same room caused the same logfile with missing characters. Unfortunately I don't know what causes it. If you upload the logfile that the mod wrote, I can take a look at it.
Test Subject
#54 Old 25th May 2013 at 11:22 PM
Really like the blueprint tool but you have made it so much better. Thanks!
#55 Old 25th May 2013 at 11:39 PM
I love testing mods, so I will do more tests tomorow. Right now I have created two blueprints. One with the bathroom, and one of the community lot. I tried only with one community lot. I managed to store the blueprint of only main floor of this building. It's mine creation and I had some problems building it. First I have build it on other community lot, with strange terrain map. Then I wanted to put it somhere else, and I had to fix it with Constrain Floor Elevation cheat, cause my Wedding Tower was sitting to deep in the ground. I thing this might be the problem. Funny thing, this "main floor" of the tower, stored with the spiral stairs.
Lab Assistant
#56 Old 26th May 2013 at 12:01 AM
Test Subject
#57 Old 26th May 2013 at 1:35 AM
This is freakin' awesome! Amazing work!
Eminence Grise
#58 Old 26th May 2013 at 1:56 AM
Ahh, this has released, yay Hope the blueprint changes in IP don't mess it up too much!

Well done (again), you make the most amazing tools :D
#59 Old 26th May 2013 at 3:08 AM
Okay velocitygrass,

I tried this mod and it pretty works like a charm but...

When I try to put any floors inside the room for my blue print, the floors does not show at all. Although, It kept all of the windows,wallpaper.arches even CC and EA store content. I did not put any objects around the blue print. Every thing is good so far and somewhat a live saver for beginning builders.
Test Subject
#60 Old 26th May 2013 at 3:09 AM
Thank you! I cannot say how much I wanted this. Downloading it right now :D
Test Subject
#61 Old 26th May 2013 at 3:47 AM
Definitely can't wait to use this. :D
Test Subject
#62 Old 26th May 2013 at 8:29 AM
I'm getting "Out of memory" and "The given key was not present in the dictionary." errors when I try to save the package. It worked perfectly before I started getting these errors, I even created 2 working blueprints. I don't know what I'm missing
Original Poster
#63 Old 26th May 2013 at 9:20 AM
@anie_1981: I'm glad it worked on the second try. If I understand you correctly, you managed to create the blueprint, but when adding it on uneven terrain, it sunk into the ground. Is the behavior different for the normal EA blueprints? Because I would suspect that to be a problem on uneven terrain for any blueprints (which are always flat). If I'm misunderstanding this, maybe you could post a screenshot to clarify.

Oh, it's interesting that the spiral stairs work. It could be that they are a simple object unlike the normal stairs which have different parameters like for the width and length.

@9b8ll: Do you mean that the room you created the blueprint from had floors, but the blueprint doesn't? Were these normal floors or did they come from a foundation?

@zombine17: It's possible that the logfile for that room had missing characters that cause this issue. Can you try to create a new logfile for that room? If it still doesn't work, can you upload the file for me to take a look at?
Test Subject
#64 Old 26th May 2013 at 10:33 AM
I'm a bit confused as to how you download custom blueprints? Are they simply package files? Do you need this mod to download the custom blueprints or not?

Thanks for this mod, it's what I've always dreamed for blueprints to actually be like.
Original Poster
#65 Old 26th May 2013 at 11:57 AM
@lodylody: Yes, custom blueprints are just a package file, and once they are created, the tool is not required to use them. So if people begin to share custom blueprints, others can download and use them without the tool/creation mod.
#66 Old 26th May 2013 at 12:00 PM
English is not my native language, so it is sometimes really hard to explain myself (and to understand me). The tower being to deep in the ground had nothing to do with blueprint (EA's or yours). I built this tower long time ago and then I used a lot with bad terrain shape. I had to fix the tower with this cheat ConstrainFloorElevation False. Now, after using this cheat an fixing the tower, I tried to store it using your bluprint system, but the tower refuse to cooperate. I just thought, that maybe bluprints refuse to work with the buildings that were changed with that cheat..?
Original Poster
#67 Old 26th May 2013 at 12:57 PM
@anie_1981: Hmm. Using the CFE cheat might cause problems with blueprint creation. The mod will take the floor tile that you click on and ask for a room ID and then attempt to find the surrounding walls of the room. It could be that using the CFE cheat causes errors in that process. I'm terrible at building myself, so I don't really use advanced stuff such as CFE. If you upload your lot somewhere or find another one where this error occurs (preferably one that only requires the base game) that I can download, I can take a look at this issue.
Test Subject
#68 Old 26th May 2013 at 1:43 PM
Amazing! I tested it and it works fine. Thank you.
Test Subject
#69 Old 26th May 2013 at 2:00 PM
Just tested the mod works like a charm, one of the best mods for the Sims 3, a must have mod for any builder.
Field Researcher
#70 Old 26th May 2013 at 2:34 PM
Wow, I'm impressed. Seriously and very much so! I don't use the blueprint tool myself, but I think that may change! THANK you!
Test Subject
#71 Old 26th May 2013 at 2:39 PM
Well that is FABULOUS. Thank you so much for making this mod, I dreamed of Blueprint Mode being a way for me to put down any small ideas of rooms I had so that I could just plop one in when I found a use for it; that was never the case, until you came along with this fabulous mod.

Test Subject
#72 Old 26th May 2013 at 4:20 PM
Fantastic mod, I I managed to make a big studio room with this! But when I tried to save the bathroom separately it gave me an error message that I uploaded here:

It was a small bathroom with just 1 door, I did not use any cheats to place any of the objects.
Original Poster
#73 Old 26th May 2013 at 4:41 PM
@sww: The error you encountered should only happen if you have no walls, which should be impossible. Can you upload/pastebin the content of the error log that the mod created?
Test Subject
#74 Old 26th May 2013 at 5:18 PM
I'm in trouble, appears me an error when I click on save.
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