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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?) - 15 Feedback Posts, 8 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: 20,820 · 25th May 2013
233.3 KB 20,820 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
#76 Old 26th May 2013 at 5:22 PM
I'm in trouble
I'm in trouble, appears me an error when I click on save.
Original Poster
#77 Old 26th May 2013 at 5:31 PM
@SusanStar: If you upload the error log you used somewhere I can take a look at it.
Test Subject
26th May 2013 at 5:47 PM
This message has been deleted by sww. Reason: wrong type of post
Test Subject
#78 Old 26th May 2013 at 6:02 PM
Here you go velocitygrass
It was a small file
#79 Old 26th May 2013 at 6:27 PM
I think the program have a problem mostly with bathrooms. I've managed to store only one bathroom. And about the tower I've mentioned before, I've managed to store 2\3 floors. Once I've stored even the top floor, but I've deleted the package file by acident... I will try more. I'm thinking about larger building using that tower's parts. That is Why I'm so desperate to store the whole building, part by part.
Original Poster
#80 Old 26th May 2013 at 7:09 PM
@sww: That's very odd. The mod didn't register anything at all. Not a single object or bit of floor or wall. Is there anything special about the room? Is it a normal room with full walls around, floors on the ground? Did you use a platform in the room?

@anie_1981: I only tested on one bathroom but that seemed to work fine. I don't really know when the missing character issues appears. Some days I had it come up quite often and then suddenly it worked pretty well. But it could be that there's another issue that's unrelated to the missing characters. If you upload the created logfiles that fail, I can take a look at them. I hope you'll be successful storing your tower for reuse in a larger building.
Test Subject
#81 Old 26th May 2013 at 7:43 PM
It is the tiny bathroom next to a studio, the studio became a blueprint but the bathroom didn't:
#82 Old 26th May 2013 at 9:05 PM
Thanks for this Mod! I've been waiting for this for a mod like this since before the release of blueprints from Seasons. I have a question though: what would happen if I tried to make an indoor garden? Since I've been wanting to make a greenhouse :\

22 I will give him the key to the house of David. When he opens doors, no one will be able to close them; when he closes doors, no one will be able to open them.
#83 Old 26th May 2013 at 11:00 PM
Yes velocitygrass, my blue prints had normal Base game floors only. No foundations included.
Original Poster
#84 Old 26th May 2013 at 11:33 PM
@sww: That's very peculiar. I don't see why the blueprint shouldn't be able to handle that bathroom. If you upload the lot somewhere, I'll see if I can reproduce this (and then fix it or at least find out why it doesn't work).

@babyliss: I'm afraid the mod doesn't recognize plants Though I think the Island Paradise blueprints seem to include some plants, so I might be able to revisit this when it comes out. However, one problem with outdoor plants was that they just aren't listed when I ask the game for all objects on a lot. Also adding actual gameplay plants in different states will likely be impossible even with IP. In short: outdoor plants aren't supported for now, but I'll look into this again after IP comes out. PS: deco/indoor plants and the planters themselves (without planted plants) should be no problem.

@9b8ll: I'm not sure why it wouldn't include the floors in the blueprint (if I understood your problem correctly). Is this always a problem or just with this particular room?
Test Subject
#85 Old 27th May 2013 at 2:39 AM
Dreams do come true :'D
Test Subject
#86 Old 27th May 2013 at 5:42 AM
Wish we had something like this for TS2...if we do, I dont know anything about it...looks pretty handy!
#88 Old 27th May 2013 at 6:54 AM
Sorry for the late response, but sadly yes. This is always the problem with all of my custom blue prints. this time I tested without using any mods except yours. I attached the file though, if you want to take a look at it.
Download - please read all instructions before downloading any files!
File Type: 7z 9barchwaytest_misc.7z (66.0 KB, 17 downloads)
Test Subject
27th May 2013 at 8:57 AM
This message has been deleted by HugeLunatic. Reason: duplicate
Test Subject
#89 Old 27th May 2013 at 9:18 AM
Default erro
I created a room with custom content, then when I save what I created, appeared to me an error
Top Secret Researcher
#90 Old 27th May 2013 at 9:43 AM
Wow, this is amazing. So easy to make hotel suites! Amazing! Thanks a million!

When I done that awful pre-seasons update (awful because it broke CAW tool) I was like no my god what is this rubbish thing... >

Now you've made this mod it actually makes this waste of space near the eyedropper tool almost as useful as the eyedropper tool!

As I said I find it so tedious making hotel suites over and over, (for WA base camps, and later IP resorts) so this will speed up the process so much, since almost all my rooms across all my hotels are next-to identical!

I'm not even lying you have bought this tool back from the grave.
Thank you.
Test Subject
#91 Old 27th May 2013 at 10:02 AM
Thank you so much for this great tool.
Its working very well for me! :-)
Test Subject
#92 Old 27th May 2013 at 2:12 PM
Sorry for the delay, needed sleep last night, here is the link to the sims3pack - sorry it is with a household.
Test Subject
#93 Old 27th May 2013 at 5:09 PM
Thank you so much for this mod. The only problem I have is that it doesn't copy bathrooms properly. I've had toilets, sinks and showers/bathtubs missing from the blueprint.
Test Subject
#94 Old 27th May 2013 at 8:11 PM
I have problems, too. The Blueprint Maker says the Preset xml is invalid and it will crash. It did. I tried it several times but it still doesn't work. Here's the xml:

Thanky you for your help!

BTW: In the title bar there's a typo. It says "The Sime" instead of "The Sims".
Original Poster
#95 Old 27th May 2013 at 9:50 PM
@9b8ll: The xml doesn't contain any floor and the schematic preview also doesn't seem to have them, so I suspect the floor was never put in the logfile for some reason. (You can verify this by checking it, usually quite at the beginning before the lines about Walls, there should be quite a few lines beginning with Floor.)

I placed your blueprint on a test lot and added some floor, then ran the mod on it and it did put the floor lines in the logfile, so I'm not sure what's going on. I'm attaching the file that I got from my test, which I assume will also work for you (i.e. you'll have the floor). Please excuse the completely unrelated screenshot in my test package.

To test from a common starting point you could try to blueprintify either of the two bathrooms in Claire Ursine's house in Sunset Valley. They had missing plumbing in my tests, but at least the floors came out okay. If you test this, we could see if this is related to the lots/world you tested on or something more general.

@SusanStar: I'm afraid I cannot help with you with just a screenshot. Have you tried creating a new logfile to create the blueprint from? There've been others who ended up with almost empty logfiles. So far I haven't been able to reproduce this. If you upload a logfile I can take a look at it.

@sww: I cannot install the file. It's also pretty small (30k) for a household, so maybe it didn't copy properly to your dropbox?

@more_cowbell: You are correct. I just tried blueprintifying Claire Ursine's bathrooms in Sunset Valley and all plumbing is missing as well as the door in the rectangular one and two of the windows in the octogonal one. I'll look into it this weekend. Thank you very much for the report.

@Korados: In line 394 the & between 75F8F21E0F143CAC and amp was missing and in line 864 there was an additional unprintable character and a space for some reason. After removing them it went through fine. Here's an updated version you can try:

The best way to fix xml errors is to go ahead and create the package, then extract the xml resource from it (e.g. with s3pe) and try to display this in a browser (or any tool that will validate xml). This will show you the error and you can try to find the corresponding line in the logfile to try again. I'll try to write this up somewhere since unfortunately it does happen relatively frequently.

Thanks so much for pointing out the typo. That's quite embarrassing.
Download - please read all instructions before downloading any files!
File Type: 7z 9barchwaytest_misc_velocitygrass.7z (61.4 KB, 25 downloads)
Test Subject
#96 Old 27th May 2013 at 10:30 PM
This is absolutely amazing!! I looked at this mod and thought I must've been dreaming at first, because it was so awesome.

I can't wait to try it out. I'm betting the next thing I'll see will be a bunch of custom blueprints from various creators, ready to download. I also can't wait to see what other people create.

The only thing I'm not sure of, is how to upload a custom blueprint to Mod the Sims.

However, thank you so much for creating, and sharing this unique and very useful new mod.
#97 Old 27th May 2013 at 11:37 PM
Okay your fix included everything plus floors. I tested this on Sunset Valley and I tried to blueprintify bathrooms in Claire Ursine's house in Sunset Valley. It's still not showing the floors. It's driving me a little nuts.
Test Subject
#98 Old 28th May 2013 at 1:40 AM
I'm going into a decorating frenzy!!
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