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Tutorial: Extracting & Packaging Sims

Well we all know the pixel_trade community is all about sharing sims that its members have either created or bred in game. And then installing what we download from others into our games to create stories, or play challenges with. But in order to extract or package a sim, you first need to know how to do it in a way that wont create issues for someone else's game when it's installed.

I've noticed there have been a few people sharing .package files from SimPE extraction. This is not good; they cause issues in the games they get installed into.
Body Shop makes the packaging process take a bit longer, but it means it that all the necessary data is embedded with the shared Sim.

This tutorial shows how to package a sim that is born in game & how to correctly package it, as well as how to include its custom content should you wish to.



First of all, you need SimPE. Get it here.
In order to run SimPE, you will need to have Mircosoft's .NET framework 2 installed in Windows. You can get that here, or alternatively, you should be able to select it in your Windows Update choices. I find the direct link is quicker =P

Ready to go? Let's go.

Born in Game Sim Extraction

Open up your SimPE.
In the top bar menu, select Tools, Neighbourhood & then Neighbourhood Browser.





There will be a pop up to select which neighbourhood you want to open, select the one that the sim you want to extract is in.







This will take a little while. The program is loading every single character file in that neighbourhood, complete with genetics, relationships, memories & skills etc etc etc. There's a little green load progress bar at the bottom left of screen which you can watch while you attempt patience =P


When it's loaded, go back up to the tools menu. This time go Neighbourhoods, Sim Surgery.







Sim Surgery is a pop up box. On the left is a column of sim image thumbnails, sorted alphabetically by first name. Scroll down until you find the sim you want to extract (you can jump to the start of a letter by pressing it on your keyboard).


Single left-click the image of the sim you want to extract. On the right hand section of that box is the blue word "Use". With the image of the sim highlighted, left-click that word.






The image of the Sim you are exporting will now be displayed on the right hand side above the word "Use".
You'll see that the word "Export" is now blue & clickable. Left click "Export".







Name the exported file something that you will remember. You're best to change the file name as leaving it with the original name may cause Body Shop to crash & fail (thanks skittlebox).
This is being saved into your 'Saved Sims' folder in My Documents/EA Games/Sims 2 & will be readable by body shop.







IMPORTANT NOTE:
The .package file created by SimPE is only good on the same computer it was extracted from.
This is because instead of embedding the complete data about the sim you exported, it has created internal links & references to the relevant places in your personal My Documents folder on your PC.

Installing these files onto a different machine will create problems for that game. Not a good idea.
[takes needle off broken record]
[grins]

So in light of this information, we move ever onwards (as we can't find reverse).



Body Shop: Cloning & Packaging

And so we enter the Body shop section of this tutorial.
If you don't want to package your sim with any custom content, you can skip the cloning step. But if you want to package it with hair (& mesh), clothing etc, then you will need to complete the full tutorial below.


Open the Body Shop for the most recently released Expansion Pack you have installed. The same body shop as the EP you run to play the game.

Select Build or Clone Sims.







Your saved sims folder & other installed sims will be loaded. My PC makes a wicked groan as it loads all of them (it would roll its eyes too if it had any) - there's a lot of pixel_trade goodness in there.

There is the Sim we extracted with SimPE a moment ago.
Single left-click the sim & then left-click the 'Clone Selected Sim' icon on the bottom right.







Exit back to the build or package menu.
Select Package Sims.







The sim we extracted is in the loaded list twice. If you want to package the custom content with your Sim, select the newer one (the one in the top left corner) by single left-clicking the sim's image.

With that sim selected, left click the 'Package Sim to File' icon on the bottom right.







Name the file. I tend to use the Sim's name (which in this case is my name) so that I can keep track of their files easier.

If you want, fill in the description field too. The description will be viewable to anyone installing this sim via Body Shop (though I've noticed not when installing via clean installer).







Voila!
Your extracted Sim has been saved to your desktop.







Now you can zip/rar/7z it & upload it to your hosting server & share your evil genius wonderful creations with the world!

Comments

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skittlebox
Jun. 20th, 2008 08:15 am (UTC)
You can leave the file name as is, or you can name the sim something that you will remember.
Actually, from what I've read, you're best to change it because leaving it as the original name can cause BS crashing issues.
dragancaor
Jun. 20th, 2008 08:21 am (UTC)
Oh thanks! I shall edit that to say change it & why =)
I tend to change them anyway, but then I'm pretty darn pedantic with my pc filing system =P
(no subject) - nicthesim0 - Jan. 4th, 2013 03:27 am (UTC) - Expand
mjo5oh
Jun. 20th, 2008 09:11 am (UTC)
You got this done quick....!

Dragancaor's self sim! Oh no!! HAHHA

Thanks, I'll be linking to it in the sidebar probably.

I've downloaded a few .package files from people and they didn't include all the CC... most were bald. Although, some did work correctly.

I'd just like people to know that you're not being forced to sim pack them, but if you would like to ensure that all your CC comes correctly with your sims, this is by far the best way to do it.
dragancaor
Jun. 20th, 2008 09:36 am (UTC)
Mwahahahaha!! She'll terrorise your neighbourhood! Lock your doors & windows. Grab your torch & pitchfork! Journalists are evil & all photographers are terrorists!!

[grins]

My dvd burner died so I cant make space on my harddrives to process photographs (I have roughly 65gb to get through). So essentially, I'm on enforced holidays until I replace it =P

Yeh most of the ones I grabbed were missing back of their skulls... it looks rather... wrong. The worst bit was that those were some of my favourites that I was all excited about installing. [sad face]
strange_tomato
Jun. 20th, 2008 10:40 am (UTC)
So what happens if you just add .package files to your saved sims folder? I know that I've done that once or twice. Is it worth trying to remove them now, or is the damage already done?
madame_ugly
Jun. 20th, 2008 12:25 pm (UTC)
Good question. I'm thinking it might not be an issue at all. I'm fairly certain I have more than one .package file sim in my game and to be honest I've never seen any issue beyond cc not showing up (meaning bald/skull-less sims in BS).

OR, my game could be on the verge of melting down and I'm blissfully unaware. Either way, what's done is done.
(no subject) - strange_tomato - Jun. 20th, 2008 12:37 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - madame_ugly - Jun. 20th, 2008 12:48 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - strange_tomato - Jun. 20th, 2008 12:56 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - dragancaor - Jun. 20th, 2008 03:41 pm (UTC) - Expand
madame_ugly
Jun. 20th, 2008 12:33 pm (UTC)
Being an ignorant sim sharer, all my stuff (except pets) are just the simPe clones (not packaged). I had never heard that this type of sharing was "bad".

Advice, please. Is it worth the effort to go back and fix all the existing shared sims?

dragancaor
Jun. 20th, 2008 02:06 pm (UTC)
It's up to you if you package them with BS, though I'll admit yours are the ones that are missing the back of their skulls in my CAS =(

I don't know how badly it breaks it, unless its keeping things like memories etc from the SimPE file. I'd need to sit down for a thorough read on their forums & then break down the code myself... which I'm now heavily tempted to do just for the sake of knowing.

If nothing else, packaging them in BS means that they show up in other people's games looking similar enough to the pictures given that you can tell who they are. Most of yours are fairly obvious when you bring them up with faces, but not everyone's are.

One or two may be fine, but with the number of shared sims in this comm sitting over the 700 mark I figure Fate is being sorely tempted =P
(no subject) - madame_ugly - Jun. 20th, 2008 02:53 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - mjo5oh - Jun. 20th, 2008 11:01 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - madame_ugly - Jun. 21st, 2008 01:49 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - dragancaor - Jun. 21st, 2008 02:18 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - madame_ugly - Jun. 21st, 2008 03:20 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - dragancaor - Jun. 21st, 2008 03:34 pm (UTC) - Expand
simhilarity
Jun. 20th, 2008 01:21 pm (UTC)
Thanks for the great tutorial. I suppose I really should go & download SimPE (not that I think anyone would really want any of my Sims - though I am totally the proud one over my pets lol) ... perhaps I will once I've finished singing.

*Star Trekking, across the universe, always going forward ....*
simhilarity
Jun. 20th, 2008 01:26 pm (UTC)
Just one question ... can anyone advise, please?
Umm, I being really thick here - do I download the latest version, even though I don't have Kitchen & Bathroom?

I have Freetime - it shouldn't make any difference that I don't have the Stuff Pack, right?

Thanks in advance for any help.

And I'm sorry, this is probably not the right place to ask - so Mods feel free to delete this question - probably should be asking on the SimPe site ...
(no subject) - mjo5oh - Jun. 20th, 2008 10:51 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - dragancaor - Jun. 21st, 2008 04:46 pm (UTC) - Expand
pixelcurious
Jun. 20th, 2008 03:21 pm (UTC)
I have a questions. I've downloaded a few sims from pixel_trade members that, when I tried to install them, gave me this error:

Photobucket

I've successfully installed sims from people who have EPs and stuff packs I don't have, so I assume this error means something else. Is it that they're packaged with clothes/hair/makeup from other EPs? If so, why doesn't the game just put them in the default Maxis clothes, like it does when you don't have the right CC?

One reason I'm concerned about this is, a friend has been trying to get some of my sims to work, and they're not showing up in her game. I'm wondering if it's because she doesn't have the same EPs and stuff packs. But I'm pretty sure I packaged all mine with clothes from the base game and very early EPs.

I also have this trouble with lots--sometimes (often) they don't work for me. One friend made me a set of really interesting houses for my space station, and I can get them in the game, but as soon as I go onto the lot they crash my game. She has EPs I don't. Is that why?

Sorry for the barrage, but these are perplexing questions to me, I don't get why it sometimes works and sometimes doesn't! :p
sixamsims
Jun. 20th, 2008 03:54 pm (UTC)
You need to use the Mac equivalent of Clean Installer. Which there is one. I had the link on the front page of my site. Let me go get it.......
(no subject) - sixamsims - Jun. 20th, 2008 03:56 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - pixelcurious - Jun. 20th, 2008 11:30 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - ndainye - Sep. 19th, 2010 06:37 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - sixamsims - Jun. 20th, 2008 04:24 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - dragancaor - Jun. 20th, 2008 04:32 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - sixamsims - Jun. 20th, 2008 08:07 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - pixelcurious - Jun. 20th, 2008 11:28 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - mjo5oh - Jun. 20th, 2008 10:50 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - pixelcurious - Jun. 20th, 2008 11:31 pm (UTC) - Expand
What happens if I.... - silverwing_9 - Sep. 8th, 2009 10:46 pm (UTC) - Expand
Re: What happens if I.... - pixelcurious - Sep. 9th, 2009 06:12 am (UTC) - Expand
Re: What happens if I.... - silverwing_9 - Sep. 10th, 2009 08:23 pm (UTC) - Expand
jester
Jun. 20th, 2008 09:27 pm (UTC)
THANK YOU. I had gotten as far as extracting with SimPE but then wasn't entirely sure what to do after that.

*memories*
mjo5oh
Jun. 20th, 2008 10:49 pm (UTC)
I'd just like to say that your icon is incredibly cute! :)
(no subject) - dragancaor - Jun. 21st, 2008 04:43 pm (UTC) - Expand
kharmakick
Aug. 6th, 2008 03:35 pm (UTC)
What's happens if I do all this...and then realize the chick I've uploaded is pregnant? Delete the file, wait out her pregnancy, and do over?
dragancaor
Aug. 6th, 2008 04:02 pm (UTC)
If you have packaged a clone the pregnancy wont be an issue as it does not package your personal game data. The clone will only have the genetics & clothing of the sim in question. =)

Sims are inserted into neighbourhoods through CAS, & you can't create pregnant sims.

Don't stress, don't delete & feel feel to share the file =)
(no subject) - kharmakick - Aug. 6th, 2008 04:36 pm (UTC) - Expand
highshelf
Aug. 7th, 2008 04:09 am (UTC)
Hi, I was wondering if there was a way to package sims on a Mac that didn't make everyone you gave it to's game crash. If this is explained somewhere else I'm so srry and a link would be awesome! :DDD
dragancaor
Aug. 7th, 2008 04:40 am (UTC)
Packaging bodyshop sims I think is the same. However, extracting sims born in game sims for packaging isn't techincally possible on a mac in so far as I know.

Either copy your neighbourhood to cd & take it to a friend's house with the same (or higher) install as you (on windows), swap neighbourhoods (make sure you make a backup of theirs before you do this) & use SimPE, following the tutorial above.

Then you can use the DBPF Reader, which is the Mac version of clean installer (thanks sixamsims) to install packaged sims into your game.

Or you could run windows on your own machine through a program like bootcamp, or parallels, with SimPE on that partition.

Failing that you might be lucky enough to have a member here or on thesims2 be willing to help you via the net. However you would need to find an online host able to hold your (preferrably rar'd) neighbourhood & someone with a monthly download quota that allows it as well as the spare time to get the sim(s) you need to grab.

Hope that helps.
(no subject) - highshelf - Aug. 7th, 2008 12:04 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - dragancaor - Aug. 7th, 2008 03:15 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - highshelf - Aug. 7th, 2008 03:29 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - dragancaor - Aug. 7th, 2008 05:01 pm (UTC) - Expand
bondchick_nett
Aug. 22nd, 2008 12:53 pm (UTC)
Okay, so on paralells I've installed SimPE and copied over my neighbourhoods folder to the correct corresponding file structure. I've extracted three sims and am now up to your ZOMGIMPORTANTNOTEDONOTIGNORETHIS

So I decided to install bodyshop on parallels. Only the problem is that it keeps crashing no matter WHAT I do. >_<;;;

SO! My question is, if I:

1. copy the extracted packages to my mac osx saved sims folder
2. opened Mac bodyshop
3. cloned the packaged sims in question and made a few alterations for safteys sake
4. deleted the original packaged sims from bodyshop
5. made sure they were gone from my saved sims folder

... that it would still screw up my game?

Your 'broken record' warning has put the fear of god into me XD
dragancaor
Aug. 22nd, 2008 03:57 pm (UTC)
Hrm. Bear in mind I'm just making guesses here as I haven't had a mac since... 99... but...

Bodyshop will probably be crashing as its the mac version & the file structure is different. Lets make a backup of your 'hoods before we go any further with this (copy your neighbourhoods folder somewhere like your desktop or burn it to cd) just in case.

It shouldn't screw up the game as you aren't putting .package files from someone else's system into it, & the data that it points to should all be there. It's more putting the .package file into someone else's pc that breaks things. Give it a go. There's only one way to truly find out & if you make that backup first you've got nothing to lose =)
(no subject) - bondchick_nett - Aug. 22nd, 2008 04:39 pm (UTC) - Expand
sea_serpent
Apr. 13th, 2009 12:54 am (UTC)
I have a question! *Raises hand*

Okay, so I own a Mac and don't have the means to extract sims, so what ended up happening was that someone extracted the sims for me in a Windows computer and then they sent me the .package files. I took those and converted them into .sims2pack files with Bodyshop. Will they still be borked despite the fact that they're in the preferred format?
dragancaor
Apr. 13th, 2009 01:56 am (UTC)
It's been years since I used a mac, & never for this game. At a guess it would depend how it was done on the windows machine as to what state the files are in, though I would assume they are okay so long as they are then cloned not just saved straight into .sims2pack.

bondchick_nett made a tutorial on extracting sims on a mac, my suggestion would be have a read through that to check.
(no subject) - sea_serpent - Apr. 13th, 2009 02:19 am (UTC) - Expand
dutchess_axel
Jul. 1st, 2009 05:53 pm (UTC)
I have a question.
I hate to feel like an idiot, but here it goes.

I want to start packaging up my sims.
But I have defaults in my games.

Should I take my defaults out while creating my sims? Will they crash someone's game if they are packaged with them? Or overwrite someone else's defaults?

I just want to know, so I don't do anything really stupid.
dragancaor
Jul. 3rd, 2009 03:25 am (UTC)
Nopes =)
Defaults only tell your game to look somewhere else instead of at Maxis, & leave the game thinking its still using the Maxis item. So when you package, the game will encode your packaged sim to use the Maxis item in the other person's game.
They won't package at all. =D

shelbster93
Sep. 3rd, 2009 10:15 pm (UTC)
Well, I feel dumb. XD
I should have known Pixel_trade would have a tutorial for extracting sims. <3 you guys. Best mods evar.
shelbster93
Sep. 5th, 2009 12:22 am (UTC)
Red, you rock. I'm currently working on extracting a ton of sims to be put up for download XD
(no subject) - dragancaor - Jan. 7th, 2010 08:05 am (UTC) - Expand
(Deleted comment)
dragancaor
Jan. 7th, 2010 08:05 am (UTC)
That would depend on your operating system. But if you're on windows, download yourself a copy of a program such as Winrar & install it. Then you just right click the file & tell it to 'add to archive' from the menu.

To upload the file to a hosting server, you'd need to have an account with Box.net, Esnips or something similar (there are more details in the community profile, including links). You follow their instructions - they depend on your site.

Anything evil genius related you'll have to figure out for yourself. My plans are my plans & I'm not telling you incase one of the good guys overhears & they foil them again!!!! =P
pleasureblossom
Mar. 6th, 2010 07:23 pm (UTC)
Ok, I got the extracting stuff down, but I don't know exactly where or how you do the body shop stuff. Is there a website for it or anything because there's no option on my game for it that I can tell or either I missed it.
tehlobster
Mar. 9th, 2010 04:48 am (UTC)
No, it's on your computer. You need to look through C:\Program Files\EA GAMES\The Siums 2 (your latest EP)\CSBin and Bodyshop should be right there.
(no subject) - pleasureblossom - Mar. 9th, 2010 10:31 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - tehlobster - Mar. 9th, 2010 08:49 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - pleasureblossom - Mar. 9th, 2010 10:13 pm (UTC) - Expand
(Deleted comment)
dragancaor
May. 20th, 2010 01:10 pm (UTC)
I don't know your computer, so I don't know your definition of 'normal'. If it's taking longer than SimPE normally takes to load a list of sims in that hood, it's possibly not right. However, you're better off asking questions like that over at the SimPE forum.
savior_of_none
May. 27th, 2010 08:43 am (UTC)
This is the Best Tutorial I've seen and I've read many finally I can get my forum started. :) thanks
dragancaor
May. 30th, 2010 04:26 am (UTC)
Glad it was of help! =D
perchalicious
May. 30th, 2010 06:33 pm (UTC)
Thank you for this awesome tutorial! I just successfully extracted my first sims and it was super easy with your step-by-step. :D

dragancaor
May. 31st, 2010 01:33 am (UTC)
Hurrah!
I'm glad it was a help =D
icywhisper
Jun. 10th, 2010 11:31 am (UTC)
This is a great tutorial!
I have on question though... Is it possible to package a sim that has died in-game as if they were back to an adult? Ok, that was really bad wording, but I'm sure someone gets what I mean xD

Thank you!
dragancaor
Jun. 10th, 2010 12:24 pm (UTC)
Not unless you resurrect them back to being alive in-game first.
lil_pixiedevil
Jun. 13th, 2010 07:55 pm (UTC)
Please help a poor n00b!
Awesome tutorial! I have one question... OK, so I followed the whole process and was able to extract and package my sim with CC with no problem. What I can't seem to figure out is how to do it without CC (I know PT wants submissions with both versions). Can you please explain a little more about packaging without CC? I remember you said skip the cloning step... so do you just package the sim you just exported? I tried that and he still looked like he had all his CC... I'm confused.
dragancaor
Jun. 14th, 2010 11:27 am (UTC)
Re: Please help a poor n00b!
If you want to package a sim as CC-free, you need to take off all of the Custom Content the sim is wearing in Bodyshop. Its not that you need to tell a program to do it, it's that you don't save the sim wearing while they're wearing it.

Change them to a maxis hair, remove makeup/accessories, dress them in maxis clothes etc, & *then* save them ("package sim to file").

=)
Re: Please help a poor n00b! - lil_pixiedevil - Jun. 14th, 2010 03:32 pm (UTC) - Expand
aedah
Jul. 27th, 2010 08:13 pm (UTC)
Thank youu! This was so helpful on the simPE part! :D Easy to follow and worked perfectly! <3
lil_pixiedevil
Aug. 11th, 2010 04:03 am (UTC)
OK, I really didn't want to bug you here, but I've spent several hours now trying to find the answer to this.

I seem to be unable to export sims in my legacy with simsurgery because they seem to be "unlinked" or greyed out. When I follow the tutorial, I get stuck at the "scroll through the list and find your sim" part of the Sim Surgery step. They're just not there! So, I opened the Sim Browser and sure enough I could find them, but they were greyed out, which I believe means unlinked.

Upon further digging, I discovered that it's the same for my whole family and all uploaded Pixel Trade sims save a few.

Like I said I've spent several hours over the past few days trying to figure out how to work around this. Do you have any idea why this is happening? Is it possible to relink them so I can export them via sim surgery and share them?

Please note that I have been able to successfully export other sims just none of my Pixel Trade sims or sims born to these sims.

Any help would be MUCH appreciated.

milenaz
Dec. 11th, 2010 10:48 pm (UTC)
Okay, so. I have a question.

We're two simmers in my family. There's my sister and me. We used to sim on two different computers, my laptop, and her pc.

The thing is, SimPE doesn't load on my laptop, but it does on her pc. So we were wondering if there is any way for me to get my sims on her pc, so that she can extract my sims for me.

We've tried putting my neighborhood in her "Neighborhoods" folders, but then, SimPE didn't load my neighborhood with the others, and we can't figure out a way of getting my sims to be viewed in SimPE.

So, yeah. If you have any ideas or suggestions, it would be highly appreciated!
jakeob3000
May. 5th, 2012 02:04 pm (UTC)
Hi what is the best site put you sims on once youve packaged them pleease help
mirroredfate
May. 16th, 2012 12:34 am (UTC)
So this may be a totally stupid question xD but if you make a sim in body shop do you still have to clone it for it to be packaged with the custom content or is it good to go as is?
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