Making Video Station Desks a tutorial by MonoChaos

What This Tutorial Teaches:

  1. How to clone and edit an EA 2×1 dining table or desk for MonoChaos’s Separated Video Station.

What This Tutorial Does NOT Teach:

  1. How to use blender.
  2. How to make textures.
  3. How to make a mesh from scratch.
  4. How to reticulate splines … or even wth that is.

What You Will Need to Complete This Tutorial:

  1. The latest Sims 4 Studio (S4S) release and the appropriate version of Blender. >> Download
  2. Something to take notes with.
  3. Access to a calculator if you can’t do math in your head.
  4. A basic knowledge of how to use Blender.
  5. The contents of this zip file here. >> Download
    (Please extract the contents to your working folder prior to starting the tutorial)
  6. And last but not least the Separated Video Station by MonoChaos. >> Download

Things To Remember While Following This Tutorial:

  1. Every mesh is different! The values you need to move things by may be different from mine. This is why I’m sharing my process and not just giving exact values to scale/move verts around to.
  2. The simpler your cloned mesh is the easier this will be.
  3. Shelving or decorative backs as well as drawers on the sides will get in the way. While it is possible to convert these sorts of desks those features will need to be removed. I will not be going over how to remove them.
  4. I use a 2×1 tile dining table in this tutorial but the steps are pretty much the same for converting a 2×1 tile desk.
  5. You will need to repeat all your edits for each LOD so be sure to take notes on what changes you make to your mesh.

Step by Step Instructions:

  1. Creating the clone Package.
  1. Open Sims 4 Studio (S4S).
  2. Choose Selective Clone and press Object.
  1. In the next window type “tableDining” or “desk” into the search bar, find the table or desk you want to convert, the simpler the better. I will be using the Mega Table for this tutorial. Then press Next in the bottom right corner of the window.
  1. In the next window that pops up check off the following options:

NOTE: If you plan on editing the textures you will need to check off Textures otherwise use these options to minimize file size.

  1. Press OK, give your package a descriptive name and save it to your working folder.

  1. Getting Rid of Slots and Exporting Your Mesh
  1. Once your package has been created and loaded, go to the Rig/Slots tab and delete everything below the two entries in the green rectangle:

NOTE: If you start with a desk rather than a dining table there will be an entry _FX_. It does not need to be deleted.

  1. Save your progress!
  2. Now, click the Meshes tab and export each of the LODs to your working folder.
    You don’t need to export the Shadow LODs.

  1. Opening and setting up your blender file
  1. Find your exported blend(s) and open LOD0.
    If the desk or table you cloned has shelves or decorations on the top and/or drawers on the side you’ll need to do some editing now to get rid of those bits and make your mesh have a flat top and symmetrical left to right. I will not be going over how to accomplish this as the steps would be different depending on what EA object you are starting with. If you would like to make any other edits to the EA mesh, now would be the time to do so.
  2. In Blender, go to File > Append then locate the blend file provided in the zip download. Within the provided blend choose Object then Cube.001 and Cube. Finally, click Append from Library.

  1. Determining the values by which your mesh needs each side moved
  1. Select your EA desk or table mesh, look in the properties palette, and make note of the X and Y dimensions of your EA desk or table mesh. Mine are:

NOTE: Unless you started with the same object that I did your values will be slightly different.

  1. If you select the larger cube you will see the dimensions are:

Notice, the heights of the objects are very close. Because of this we will not need to edit the height. This should be true of all EA dining tables and desks, excluding bar height dining tables.

  1. Take the X value from your object and subtract 1.6 from it then divide the result by 2. This will be how much you have to move the left and right sides of the mesh along the X axis.
  2. Take the Y value from your object and subtract 0.675 from it then divide the result by 2. This will be how much you have to move the front and back sides of the mesh along the Y axis.

NOTE: I would suggest writing these values down or typing them into a text document. You will need them several times during this process so to prevent having to do the calculations again just write them down.

  1. Now we make the adjustments to the desk or table mesh.

NOTE: Be sure to be saving your blend along the way so if blender decides to crash — or worse, you have a power failure — you don’t lose too much.

  1. Select the object and go into edit mode.
  2. Change your view to top down in orthographic projection by pressing 7 then 5 on the number pad to the side of your keyboard.

NOTE: If you don’t have a number pad on your keyboard, while in Blender, go to File > User Preferences (or press Ctrl + Alt + U) and then click Emulate Numpad on the right hand side of the popup that appears. This allows you to use the number bar on the top of your keyboard to act like the number pad.

  1. Be sure to deselect everything.
  2. Then press B and border select the edge at the top of the view. You should include the two adjacent legs if they are close to the edge. In my case I exclude the legs.
  1. Now move it all along the Y axis by negative our Y value we calculated in 4.d. To do this press G on your keyboard, then press Y to move along the Y axis and type the amount you want to move by.
  1. Next select the opposite side and move it along the Y axis in the same amount but as a positive number (opposite direction).
  1. Next we do the left and right sides along the X axis using the value we calculated for X in 4.c.
  1. Now we exit Edit Mode by pressing tab on the keyboard and hide that mesh object by pressing H on the keyboard.
  1. Adjusting the ground shadow mesh.

NOTE: Some objects have more than one ground shadow mesh, one for the ground shadows of the legs, the other for the main ground shadow. Meanwhile other meshes have these combined into the same mesh object. If your object has more than one you will need to do this step to both, unless you did not move the legs.

  1. Repeat steps 5.a through 5.h applying them to the ground shadow mesh(s).

NOTE: If you did not move the legs do not move the smaller squares in the ground shadow mesh. These are the shadows for the legs.

  1. Duplicating and lining up the larger desk to the right.
  1. Unhide your desk object by pressing ALT + H on your keyboard.
  2. Select the desk object and the ground shadow object(s).
  3. Duplicate your selection by pressing SHIFT + D then ESC on your keyboard
  4. Hold down SHIFT on your keyboard and add the top right larger cube to your selection
  5. Go to Object > Transform > Align Objects
  1. Use these options. Hold SHIFT to select both X and Y Align.
  1. Editing and lining up the smaller desk to the left.
  1. Select the first desk that is still in the center of the view.
  2. Enter Edit Mode
  3. Border Select all the verts on the right side.
  1. Move the selection a distance of -0.289 along the X axis.
  1. Deselect All then Border Select all the verts on the left side.
  1. Move the selection a distance of 0.289 along the X axis.
  1. Now we exit Edit Mode and hide that mesh object.
  2. Repeat steps 08.b through 08.f applying them to the ground shadow mesh(s) still in the center of the view.
  3. Unhide the desk object by pressing ALT + H on your keyboard.
  4. Select the small desk object and the corresponding ground shadow object(s).
  5. Rotate the selection on the Z Axis by 45°
  6. Hold down SHIFT on your keyboard and add the bottom right smaller cube to your selection
  7. Go to Object > Transform > Align Objects
  8. Use the same options as in Step 07.f
  1. Getting your blend ready for S4S
  1. Select both of the cubes and delete them.
  2. Select the two desk mesh objects and join them
  3. Select the ground shadow object and it’s duplicate and join them
  4. If you have two ground shadow objects per desk join the two of the same type
    NOTE: If you did not rename any of your mesh objects just join the duplicates, s4studio_mesh_0 joined with s4studio_mesh_0.001 and so on.
  5. SAVE YOUR BLEND!!!!!!!
  1. Making your shadow mesh
  1. Do a SAVE AS… and save your blend as a new descriptive name. I just add “Shadow” to the existing file name.
  2. Select all of your ground shadow objects and delete them.
  3. Select the joined desks.
  4. Make sure the Cut number is 0, if it isn’t, change it.
  1. Go into Edit Mode
  2. Select All verts and remove doubles
  3. Exit Edit Mode
  1. Repeat everything from step 03.a through 10.h for each LOD
    This is why we wrote down those numbers calculated in step 04 😉
  2. As long as nothing went wrong we should be done in blender. Now we finish up the package.
  1. Close Blender and go back to S4S.
  2. In the Meshes tab of Studio view Import each of your LODs and Shadows.
  3. If you have made separated beds before you can set up your footprint resource in the same way you do for the bedframe and skip to 12.e, otherwise go to the Warehouse view and find your Footprint resource, and import the Footprint.binary from the provided zip.
  1. Go back to Studio view and the Meshes tab, with the LOD0 (High) mesh selected, click on Adjust footprint to fit mesh with Update Design Tool Height checked.
  1. Go back to Warehouse view and in each and every Object Definition resource change the Tuning to “object_sculpture_NoView” and the TuningId to “109495”
  2. Now in each and every Object Catalog edit the tags to the following, ignoring color tags leave those as they are.
  2. Now plop your package in your mods folder along with the Separated Video Station by MonoChaos and test it out!

Last but certainly not least I’d like to give a shout out and a thank you to Moontaart for proof reading, editing and general help with this tutorial! It wouldn’t be nearly as readable without their help! 😅