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Creating Large Hair Sets in a Single Color

Download Hairstyle Templates
Creating Your Own Templates
Seting up your Body Shop Projects
Creating the Recolor Hair Set
Creating the Matching Facial Hair

Download Hairstyle Templates

All of my hair recolors are based on grayscale templates that are all of roughly equal "grayness". The templates I use are available above. This include most, but not all, the hair style textures that came with the base game. It does not include the facial hair or eyebrow templates. Wherever you tell it to extract, it should create its own directory called "Hairstyles".

Creating Your Own Templates
Create a template directory for yourself and save one copy of each elder hair style graphic (or blond if it's a child only style), and each beard and eyebrow graphic (grey elder if possible - otherwise the black). Open all of them in your graphics program (I use Photoshop 7), desaturate the color, and adjust the brightness/contrast of each so that they are all of a similar overall tone. That is, the dominant grey was about the same in each of them. This can even be done with the black beard graphics - it just requires a little more fiddling. Try to be careful not to loose the clarity of the images, and don't be worried about making all of them have identically toned light and dark areas, just try to get it close. The varying shading styles make it impossible to match exactly.

Seting up your Body Shop Projects
Open a project for every hair style you are interested in for each base color (black, brown, red, blond). I recoomend using a standard naming convention like HairFBlond1, HairFBlond2, HairMBlond1, HairMBlond2, Beard1, and etc.

Create a second template directory in the same location as your main template directory. I named mine "In Progress".

Creating the Recolor Hair Set
  • Copy all the greyscale template graphics into your "In Progress" folder and then open these copies in Photoshop.
  • First select one of the hair styles that has more medium grey than sharp highlighting and shading - the ponytail or bun styles work well. They will give you the best idea of how the color will look on all hair styles.
  • Determine the hair color on that particular style, recording the steps you take so they can be duplicated. I typically use Variations to get the hair the color I want.
  • Duplicate your hair color procedure on all the hair files, keeping them open for comparison. Some of them may require modification with Brightness/Contrast or Hue/Saturation to make them match the intended tone.
  • Once all the In Progress files have been saved and closed, go back to BodyShop
  • Open each hair project you want in that particular color and copy and paste the prepared graphics into the project files.
  • Check to make sure it all looks right in Bodyshop and import.

Creating the Matching Facial Hair
  • Start with a single project and import it as with the hair. For facial hair, I recommend the non-mesh full beard.
  • Go to Make A Sim, put your eyebrow and beard on the sim and check to see if the color matches right against the hair styles you made. It usually takes me at least a couple tries before I get something that matches right.
  • If it doesn't match delete the attempt right there or later you'll have trouble figuring out exactly which one was the one you wanted.
  • Open each facial hair project and match the color to the successful beard.

As I have made different hair colors, I have found that because of differences between in-game and Bodyshop lighting, the color the graphic appears in Photoshop is usually a little closer to the final in-game appearance than in BodyShop. Highlighting always appears brighter, and overall color is usually lighter in game.

Using this method, I can make a complete set of hair styles in about three hours. It took me nearly two weeks to make the flame red set by altering each individual graphic file in each project....