Meshing 101

Lesson 1 : the Feet

The feet are a pain to edit in MilkShape, because of the odd appearance, with the toes folded under. I am going to show you how to "unfold" them permanently, to make it much easier to edit them, so you can add high heels, platforms, make boots of them, etc.

Here I have imported a sims .skn into MilkShape, and have zoomed in to a close view of the feet. The problem is obvious - the "toes" look like they were cut almost all the way through, then folded under the main part of the foot.
At this piont, it is a good idea to also zoom in the "Front" view window to the same area, since we will be using it later on.
The first thing to do is press the {Select} button on the Model page.
Make sure the {Vertex} button is pressed in the "Select Options" area, and that "Ignore Backfaces" is NOT checked.
Now, we carefully select all the vertices of the toes. Be careful to select only the ones shown here.
Now, we are ready to rotate the toes into the proper position.
Click the {Rotate} button up at the top. Wow, look at all those options that come up at the bottom! What do they mean? I have no idea, but it works just fine the way it comes up, so don't change any of them.
Just put your pointer in the window, and while holding down the left button, move the pointer around to rotate the selected vertices. It seems awkward at first, but just play around a bit and you'll soon get a feel for how it works.
It looks like we are messing things up completely, but don't worry, it will turn out fine. And, the "Undo" option is always waiting to help you on the "Edit" menu if you do make a mistake.
Once you have rotated the toes into about the position shown above, Click the {Move} button at the top.
Again, a bunch of options appears at the bottom, and again we ignore them.
Just move the toes up to align with the rest of the foot by dragging them with your pointer.
Try to get the bottom of the foot and the toes to line up into a nice straight line. You can go back and forth from "Move" to "Rotate" mode if you need to make final adjustments.
Ok, now we need to lock the vertices where the toes meet the feet together.
Oh, No! They are all bunched together! This is going to be tricky, isn't it? How are we going to tell which pairs go together?
Don't panic - it's actually very easy - First we select the whole lot of them in the side view.
Press the {Select} button, then drag a box around all of them like this....
Now, look at the "Front" view window - you can clearly see the four pairs of selected vertices here.
We will now "unselect" all but the pair at the left by holding down the {Shift} key, and drag a box around the ones we don't want selected using the RIGHT mouse button. After you have done this, you should see only the pair of vertices at the left are still red.
Now go to the "Vertex" menu, and choose "Snap Together"
The two vertices have now joined together. Go back to the "Vertex" menu, and choose "Weld Together". This permanently locks them together.
Now do the same thing to the remaining 3 pairs. If you made a mental note of where they are in the "Front" window, you can simply select them there, or you can again select the whole lot in the side view, and un-select the unwanted ones in the Front view.
Oh, YAY! We're all done, right? Now, we can get on to making some high heels or something, right?
Well, not quite - there is one more thing we need to do first. We need to re-assign the toes to the foot joint.
First, click the {Select} button. Then, click the "Joints" tab at the very top. You will see a list of all the joints.
Click on the "R_Foot", then click the {Sel Assigned} button below the list. All the vertices that are already assigned to the Right Foot will turn red. See the 4 white ones in the center? Those were assigned to the toe, but we need to assign them to the right foot also, so we drag a box around them. Don't worry if the other ones turn back to white - they won't lose their assignment. Once you have the toe vertices red too, click the {Assign} button to re-assign them to the Right Foot. You can then click the {Sel Assigned} button again, just to check that you got them all. Then click "L_Foot" and repeat for the other foot.
Now, we really are done. The toes now look like they really are part of the feet, and everything is properly assigned so they will work right in the game.
This is the end of the tutorial, so you can now export this mesh for future modifications.