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 (How to) Trace back or identify CC

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EvaTer
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PostSubject: (How to) Trace back or identify CC   February 7th 2013, 5:28 pm

Hey guys Smile

I think this topic is discussed several times here on Cstyles but there's never actually been a tutorial about identifying CC. Earlier this week I got a question about it and I couldn't find the previous discussion back on here, so I though why not write a tutorial about this, as it's always hard to trace back CC.

So here we go! Big smile

First some tips to start with, making things easier to trace back CC:
  • If you want to give proper credit to the creator and trace and link back, I would advice to "restrict" yourself to not download everything you like, but to only download from some selected creators. Selections are up to you of course.
  • Also when making use of packaged CC or even combined and compressed CC (also in packages), to set up your mods/packages folder in an organized way, or set up your compressed files in an organized way (by creator, or like by kind of CC), so you'll be able to find things back more easily, when you have to.

Tracing back CC first starts when paying attention when you download, as it helps you remember.
Also make sure you make use of the custom CAS thumbnails a lot of creators use for identifying the CC.

If you can't find or aren't sure about the CC, yet want to trace it back, there's a way to trace back the CC you've used on a simmeh.

What do you need??

You need to have the following programs installed on your computer to help and assist you.

Postal - You can download the program here.
S3PE - You can download the program here.
Delphy's Multi Installer - You can download the program here.

In addition you need:

- The sims3pack file of your sim from which you want to trace back the CC.
- Like I said, a "structured set up" of your packaged CC in your mods/packages folder.
- Time and patience! Razz (As it's still not easy, even if you're using this tutorial).

Starting off with the sims3pack file of a sim in my downloads folder, in this case my sim Zoie Westberg.


Use the Delphy's Muti Extractor to "split" the sims3pack file of your sim into packages files.



The split package files are:
1) The CC you have used while creating your sim with installed sims3pack files in your game (in my case 3 smaller files).
2) One larger file (normally) with the CC you've used with installed package files in your game (in my case 1 large file of 16,422 kB).

So lets start with the three smaller files, for identifying.
Open the first file using the Postal program.


When opened, you can see "inside" the package file, like this:


The line with "Package Manifest" (which is normally included in this file) contains the information we're looking for!


Use the scroll bar to scroll to the right, until you see "packagetitle". There you can find the name of the CC and probably also the name of the creator.


Also the "png cas thumb" line might come in handy Smile Gosik's Impression Eyeliner it is.


Now we open the second small file and check on the same.



Eyes N01, by S-Club.
Then we open and check the third small file.



Velvet Matte Lip Gloss by IN3S.

As you can see that wasn't too bad to identify (when using sims3packfiles in your game). Using package files in your game is quite a bit harder to identify, when you don't have custom cas thumbnails to help you out, like with a lot of makeup, eyebrows and skins even. (But don't forget, combined and compressed files will allow you to have more CC in your game, yet keeping your game up to speed!).
The fourth split file (the larger file) in my case contains all the other (packaged) CC I've used on Zoie my sim.
So it contains the skin, the hair, the clothing and the accessories and stuff. So let's open up that file.



As you can see, it looks a bit different, with a whole lot of other lines in it. Now click on "Name" to sort that column.



Now scroll down until you see the lines with png's. There you can see the EA pics of your sim for instance.


And the thumb of the skin I've used for Zoie, the Klavix SBS V2.0C skin.


Now scroll back to all the lines with the dds images. Here we can find the details of the skin for instance.



The hair used.


The clothing used.


The eyebrows used.


However there are NO Package Manifests in this file and for this example I want to know and confirm which eyebrows I've used on my simmeh.
So how we're gonna do that? We're gonna use one of the "unique" items of the CC in this large file to trace it back to the (individual) CC package file. We're gonna use the "instance" of the dds image file, as that's one of the unique items of a creation. You can make the column of the instances a little wider to see all of the instance code. In this case it is: 0x8d698607c83d5bc


Now we start the trace, so let's go to my mods/packages folder to investigate. Here you can see how I've set up my mods/packages folder using all combined and compressed files by creator, with some info about what CC I've downloaded of that specific creator. So let's start by opening the file with eyebrows made by Jessica 2020using the S3PE program.



I'm using S3PE because it has a "search function", so let's use that to search for the 0x8d698607c83d5bc instance.



Search the file with S3PE using both the "Little-endian" option, as well as the "Big-endian" option. The search in this case came up empty, so it didn't find any matches, so the eyebrow wasn't made by Jessica 2020.
Next file to check, eyebrows and tattoos by KosmoKhaos Smile



And start looking for the 0x8d698607c83d5bc instance again.



Yay!! Match found of the instance (Big-endian option), so the eyebrow was made by KosmoKhaos!


So now we're gonna go through the individual eyebrow files made by KosmoKhaos to confirm which exact eyebrow it is. I've checked all of the individual eyebrow files by KosmoKhaos (using the Postal program again and looking for the 0x8d698607c83d5bc instance) and I'm down to the last one to check.



And Yayy!! we have a positive ID!! It's the KosmoBrow5!


So it's definitely possible to trace back all CC, but when using a lot of package files AND a lot of creators it's quite cumbersome (as you can see) to trace all CC back and almost impossible if you don't setup your CC in an organized way.

So I advice only to use this method, when you want to make sure about eyebrows or makeup for example. And use CAS thumbnails (and CAS itself of course) for identifying stuff like clothing, hair and accessories (there comes the use of selected creators in, as it limits the sites you have to "visually check" to ID that CC).
I also make it easier on myself to try to download as much eyebrows and makeup in sims3pack format (and NOT convert them to package files and combine and compress them), as it's the CC hardest to ID. Yet some eyebrows and makeup I want only come in package format of course ;)

I hope this helps and if anyone has suggestions or "easier" alternatives, I'm all ears!! Big smile

Have fun! Smile

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PostSubject: Re: (How to) Trace back or identify CC   February 8th 2013, 6:13 pm

Thank you so much for posting this Eva! This tutorial is excellent - you did such a thorough job of explaining. This is probably one of the most asked questions I see circulating, so it's excellent to have a guide to reference!

I remember when I asked about identifying brows initially, you shared your method with me. I actually have all CC in package format, but I've corrected the files that were missing custom icons/correct names, so it works perfectly! :D
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PostSubject: Re: (How to) Trace back or identify CC   February 8th 2013, 6:58 pm

You're welcome and thanks Ameenah! hiho hand dance

Yeah it can be real hard to ID CC if you don't have good custom thumbnails available in CAS, especially with eyebrows and makeup. That's why I focused on those eyebrows particularly in this tutorial.
I wanted to do this tutorial for a long time, but never got around to making it somehow, until now. I know it's one of the hardest things to do, identifying CC, I don't know why EA made it just so hard. There should be a possibility to hover over CAS thumbnails and the name of the item and creator showing up, just like hovering over icons on your normal computer toolbar (or something like that).

Anyways I hope this tutorial can help simmers a bit, when having troubles identifying CC Smile

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PostSubject: Re: (How to) Trace back or identify CC   February 8th 2013, 6:59 pm

Love067 i will try this but i will need some time to learn but Thankyou dancingbanana this is again a very good tutorial that is explained so that everyone can understand so BIG HUG you deserve it cheers
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PostSubject: Re: (How to) Trace back or identify CC   February 8th 2013, 7:55 pm

The tut is great, very clear and thorough. Smile But I can see that it will cost me far too much time as I'm a sort of 'downloadholic' facepalm . I guess I stick to posemaking and don't up Simmies.
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PostSubject: Re: (How to) Trace back or identify CC   February 8th 2013, 8:21 pm

sol


Last edited by mamx on March 17th 2013, 12:09 pm; edited 1 time in total
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PostSubject: Re: (How to) Trace back or identify CC   February 8th 2013, 8:23 pm

You can actually also just check the CASP ID in S3PE ( I believe most have this program ). I use this instead of Postal. It also provides previews of .dds files, thumb files, etc.
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PostSubject: Re: (How to) Trace back or identify CC   February 8th 2013, 9:02 pm

Wow! What a wonderful tutorial Eva, very impressive and I love how you totally walked through it step by step!! This will be great help, but I'm like Sellasu...I've got some learning to do!!, But you have at least made it easier!!

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PostSubject: Re: (How to) Trace back or identify CC   February 9th 2013, 1:37 am

OOooo Nice thank you so much for this tut. I've been wanting to put my Sims up for download but sometime i cant remember where i got the make up or clothing from so i cant give credit.

Im a downloadaholic too so I take from whatever I go gaga over. Is there a way to un package a compressed package because after i download everything and compress it?


Either way Thank you again for the tut cause with you you guys I would have never learned how to compress all the packages I get to speed up my game. Hug007
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PostSubject: Re: (How to) Trace back or identify CC   February 9th 2013, 4:47 pm

Thanks guys!! hiho Love067 I'm glad I can help a bit or help clarify things, as it's still not easy.

@ Vero, Frannie and CeCe, I agree it's still quite complex and complicated and there's many steps to take before you can "finally" ID the CC. Like I said in the introduction the "requirements" also are "time" and "patience" ;) If you have gone through "the process" a couple of times, it becomes easier, but it will remain cumbersome. EA should have made identifying CC easier me thinks!

@ mamx, I really didn't like the "tone" of your reply, as it made a days works of making this tutorial look kind of "worthless" in your one liner Sad...
Anyhow you're probably not very experienced in installing programs or "half read" and "half assumed" things.
When installing the Postal program, the installer asks two simple questions about directories.
The first being where to install the program on your computer, which is normally in your "Program Files" folder, like for instance:
c:\Program Files\Postal
The second question is where your Sims 3 games is installed on your computer, which is normally something like:
c:\Program Files\Electronic Arts\The Sims 3
OR
c:\Program Files\Origin Games\The SIms 3

@TokiDoki I don't think it's possible to "uncombine" or uncompress" files, as all files in the combined files, are "mixed up" and stuff in the combining and compressing process.
The only option I can think of is to rebuild and or reorganize your combined package files again from scratch (I'm afraid).

Thanks again for all the supporting comments, I'm glad you guys appreciate my time and effort! cheers hand dance Smile

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