Custom character portraits for Neverwinter Nights.




By:  Aristiana Lerionis
     aristiana@hotmail.com




Version 1.2

June 23, 2002




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Tools needed
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A painting software supporting the Truevision Targa (.TGA) format.

 - Paint Shop Pro    (www.jasc.com)
 - Photoshop         (www.adobe.com)
 - Irfanview         (www.irfanview.com)


The game, Neverwinter Nights.





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Images preparation
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Very important!

  Images MUST be in the .TGA (Truevision Targa) format. This format is 
  available in Paint Shop Pro, Photoshop and Irfanview. I don't know about 
  other software. Paint in Windows doesn't support it. (If you know other 
  well known software supporting it, send me the name by e-mail)


- For Paint Shop Pro user, you NEED to use version 5, 6 or 7, and use the
  "Uncompressed" format. (To change it, when saving click "Options" and make
  sure "24 bits" and "Uncompressed" are selected.)

- For Irfanview user, You need to choose Uncompressed mode. (Under the 
  "Save as..." dialogue, choose "Options", then "TIFF", click "None" under
  "Compression").


So, find a suitable image. Preferably, the original should be at least 
256x400. If the image is smaller, make it bigger, but use a software 
capable of "resampling". The 3 I talk about on the top are capable of
doing it, and by default they are in that mode.





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Portrait creation
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There's 2 way of creating your portrait. Either the long way (but give better
results) or the short way.


The long way:
-------------

Create 5 images in the following size and name:

xxxxxH.tga = 256x400 on 256x512 canvas
(This is the very big one shown when you select the portrait)

xxxxxL.tga = 128x200 on 128x256 canvas 
(Visible on the character sheet)

xxxxxM.tga = 64x100 on 64x128 canvas 
(This is the small version found in the main screen)

xxxxxS.tga = 32x50 on 32x64 canvas
(This is the very small version visible when you're party member or henchman)

xxxxxT.tga = 16x25 on 16x32 canvas
(The tiny portrait visible on dialogues)


Make sure the smaller portion is on the bottom. 

Ex:

----------
|        |
|  The   |
|        |
|Portrait|
|        |
|--------|
| Blank  |
----------

Once all the images are ready, put them all in the PORTRAITS folder 
inside the NWN folder, it should already be there, empty. Then reload the
game and create a new character.



The short way:
--------------

1- Copy the picture you want in your "portraits" folder in the NWN folder. 
   It MUST be a .JPG file.
2- Start NWN.
3- Anywhere from the main screen or during gameplay, type "~" to bring the 
   console. A yellow ">" will appear on the top left corner of the screen.
4- Type "ConvertPortrait filename". Ex: if the picture you want is named 
   iamtheportrait.jpg, type "ConvertPortrait iamtheportrait" without the 
   .JPG and respecting the UPPERCASE/lowercase scheme.
5- If everything went well, you'll get a message saying "Proceed to character
   gen".
6- Close (or minimize) NWN, enter a painting software and use the batch 
   convertion to overwrite them with the proper format. PaintShop Pro and 
   Irfanview have that feature.

The result are 5 files named by the filename the original file had, they are 
all smaller version. (NWN doesn't crop).

If the original is smaller than 256*400, NWN will resize it but the result 
aren't very good... You better do it the long way.

If the original is of a "weird" size (let say 300*900) NWN will cut the 
border, so may may end up with a missing head.





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Naming convention
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xxxxx = anything you want.

H, L, M, S and T: Must be the same as shown above, it's the way for NWN to
recognize the right one.

Filename must be between 1 to 15 characters long, excluding the last character
(H, L, M, S or T)





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FAQ
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Q: How do i change an existing character portrait?
A: So far, I haven't found a way to change an existing character's portraits.
   If anyone knows how, send me a mail! But if you've used a custom portrait 
   from the start, just overwrite the existing file and reload the game.


Q: Since I've used a custom portrait, the game crash when I try to save.
A: Either you saved your images in the compressed mode (look under the 
   "Images preparation" section to know how to save in Uncompress mode), or
   you used the "ConvertPortrait" feature of NWN without modifying them after
   (look under the "Portrait creation" section for instruction).


Q: When I look in <somewhere>, the portrait isn't there, all I see is a white 
   square!
A: Either the picture is missing entierely or you didn't named it properly.


Q: If I play multiplayers game, will other people see my portrait?
A: Sincerely, I don't know.


Q: I'm a total loss with those things, if I send you my picture could you
   put it on the proper format for me please?
A: As much as I would like to help everyone, I would be overflooded with mail
   in less time necessary to say "bunny"... So, the answer is no.


Q: Why Truevision Targa format?
A: I don't know. But I do know it's a better looking format than JPG and offer
   more color than GIF.




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Disclaimer
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This (very short) FAQ is copyright Aristiana 2002 and cannot be use 
without my written consent.

Neverwinter Nights is a copyright of Infogrames.

Send me an e-mail only if you have a question NOT answered in this FAQ. Don't 
ask me how to turn a .JPG in .TGA, you need to know how to use a painting 
software. 




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Known problems
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If the game crash when you're saving, it's because the image file is in the 
compressed format. Look at the "Image preparation" section for instruction on
how to make sure you images are created properly.

The console command capable of creating a portrait doesn't create them
properly. Look under "portrait creation" for proper instruction.

I haven't yet found a way to change an existing character's portraits.




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Credits
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Thanks to Azgambit on the Bioware board for finding the naming rules.
Thanks to Draxlin on the Bioware board for all the necessary filenames.
Thanks to Na on the Bioware board for the filename length.

Thanks to Bioware for such a nice game!