1. We have added the ability to collapse/expand forum categories and widgets on forum home.
    Dismiss Notice
  2. All Civ avatars are brought back and available for selection in the Avatar Gallery! There are 945 avatars total.
    Dismiss Notice
  3. To make the site more secure, we have installed SSL certificates and enabled HTTPS for both the main site and forums.
    Dismiss Notice
  4. Civ6 is released! Order now! (Amazon US | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | Amazon DE | Amazon FR)
    Dismiss Notice
  5. Dismiss Notice
  6. Forum account upgrades are available for ad-free browsing.
    Dismiss Notice

How R8XFT makes leaderheads and pcxs

Discussion in 'Civ3 - Tutorials, Reference, & Guides' started by Rob (R8XFT), Feb 27, 2006.

  1. Rob (R8XFT)

    Rob (R8XFT) Ancient Briton Super Moderator

    Joined:
    Aug 11, 2002
    Messages:
    10,131
    Location:
    Leeds (UK)
    Here is my guide to making leaderheads with the essential pcxs. Firstly, this is not a be-all-and-end-all guide, different creators have a different way of creating the leaderheads, but I'm going to show you my method.

    For the purposes of this guide, I'm going to use Michael 3 and we're going to make a very generic leaderhead. You'll also need the Michael 3 head morphs pack. This guide is for Poser 5; you'll need to change the window size for Poser 6 and ensure that when you make the movie, you save it to 200 x 240 size. For the pcxs, I'm using Paintshop Pro 7. I'm also using Animationshop Pro 3 as part of the leaderhead making process.

    EDIT: I have now completed the guide - it took over 2 and a half hours, but was well worth it. Please remember that this is my method of creating leaderheads with pcxs. I'm not saying it's the method that should be used by everyone, but it is the one that I find gets the best results. Other methods might be quicker, but for me, this looks at the end result as the priority. However, everyone's got their own method, and my way of doing things won't suit everyone. Please feel free to post any comments or queries you may have :) .
     
  2. Rob (R8XFT)

    Rob (R8XFT) Ancient Briton Super Moderator

    Joined:
    Aug 11, 2002
    Messages:
    10,131
    Location:
    Leeds (UK)
    Step one : Creating the model.
    Open Poser and after loading, it has a default pose of the generic Poser goon. Click on the key icon on the bottom right and the animation pallette comes forward. Change "rate" to 99 and "frame" to "1 of 121." Click on the key again to get rid of the animation pallette window.

    Click window>document window size. Change the size to width 200, height 240 and tick the "constrain aspect ratio" box. I always work at this size so that I can see exactly what the leaderhead will look like in the game, but you can set the size to 400 x 480 if you prefer and change it to 200 x 240 before you make your animation movie.

    Click on display>camera view>face camera. You can also click on the small head on the left under "camera controls" to get this camera view.

    Click onto the figures menu on the right hand side of the screen. Michael 3 should be found in the "DAZ figures" library. Double click on the Michael 3 sr 1 character; a box comes up asking if you want to keep the same proportions as the Poser goon - I click none of these. Michael 3 now replaces the goon as the character in the window. At the top of the right side of the window, there's three icons for box tracking, fast tracking and full tracking. Click on the full tracking icon. Across the bottom of the screen, there's a series of circles to click on under the title "document display style." Click on the circle on the far right, titled "texture shaded".

    Double click on Michael. We're going to change his size. A box comes up to the right. Click on "figure 1," then on "body." Click on "parameters" and under "transform" change his size to "120%." This ensures that he will fit just right in the window for a Civ III style leaderhead. Set "y rotate" at -10. As well as moving his head, we're going to move his body slightly as well, so that it's not a moving head on rigid shoulders.

    Click on the "poses" directory on the right hand side. This is where you need the Michael 3 head morphs. Open the "!M3 All Morphs inj" and double-click on "All head morphs."

    At this point, it's time to save.

    We need to clothe the character. I won't tell you exactly what clothes to use, that depends on who you're doing. However, you'll need to ensure that you use the "figure>conform to" command when adding conforming clothing. After doing this, resize the clothing to 120% to match the size of the body. Props, such as helmets, need to be parented to the relevant part of the body.

    Select a good background - trawling the internet brings forward a lot of possibilities. If you copy these and paste in Paintshop Pro 3, you can resize, cut out irrelevant parts and save to a jpg once you have a picture that is 200x240 (to match the size of the window). I personally feel that rendered pictures are better for leaderheads, but it's up to you. Consider one thing about views with landmarks : perhaps the landmark SHOULD NOT be in the centre, as the leaderhead obscures the landmark. I feel that the landmark is better placed slightly to one side of the centre.

    Once all this is done, then save.
     
  3. Rob (R8XFT)

    Rob (R8XFT) Ancient Briton Super Moderator

    Joined:
    Aug 11, 2002
    Messages:
    10,131
    Location:
    Leeds (UK)
    Step two : making him look like your desired historical person
    The head morphs have plenty of options to sculpt your character. If you're creating an Asian character, for example, set the "HeadAsian" to 1 and this gives you a generic Asian look that you can then work from. I'd then go for the right balance for the head from "faceheart," "facelong," "facesquare" and "faceround." If appropriate, I'd use the "HdOld," "HdOld2" and "HdYoung" morphs at this point. My main advice here is not to overdo it. If you've a specific look in mind, get a picture (perhaps from the internet) and work from there. Experiment. Get a feel for what works and what doesn't. Again, I reitterate, don't overdo it! Ancient leaderheads are a little easier as there's no pictures to compare with your leaderhead!

    The main advantage (IMHO) of doing this part here is that you have the character clothed with an appropriate background, so you're seeing the face in context.
     
  4. Rob (R8XFT)

    Rob (R8XFT) Ancient Briton Super Moderator

    Joined:
    Aug 11, 2002
    Messages:
    10,131
    Location:
    Leeds (UK)
    Step three : animation
    I'll assume that you've saved your model after step two. I won't place in the "save now" suggestions from now on : just make sure you do it regularly.

    So, we're looking at frame one, the character's body is rotated -10. Using the twist and rotate tools (from the tools above the window), ensure that the character is looking at you.

    Set the following head morphs:
    LBrowUp: 0.5
    RBrowUp: 0.5
    CheekSmileL : 0.5
    CheekSmileR : 0.5
    SmileOpen : 1.0

    Move to frame 61. Set all the above head morphs to 0. Change the yrotate for the body to 0, then (using the rotate and twist tools), move the head to be looking straight at you. Set the frame as a key frame, then set all the frames from 2 - 60 as key frames.

    Move to frame 121. Change the yrotate for the body to +10 and move the head to be looking straight at you, again using the rotate and twist tools. Set the following head morphs:
    BrowfrownL: 1.0
    BrowfrownR: 1.0
    EyeWince1L: 1.0
    EyeWince1R: 1.0
    EyeWince2L: 2.0
    EyeWince2R: 2.0
    NoseWrinkle: 1.0
    MouthYell: 0.3
    Snarl: 1.0
    MouthDisgust: 1.0
    Make 121 a key frame, then keyframe frames 62-120.

    To set the blinks, move to frame 9 and set these parameters in the following frames for both Blink Left and Blink Right:
    Frame 09: 0.1
    Frame 10: 0.4
    Frame 11: 1.0
    Frame 12: 0.4
    Frame 13: 0.1
    Frame 19: 0.1
    Frame 20: 0.4
    Frame 21: 1.0
    Frame 22: 0.4
    Frame 23: 0.1
    Frame 79: 0.1
    Frame 80: 0.4
    Frame 81: 1.0
    Frame 82: 0.4
    Frame 83: 0.1
    Frame 99: 0.1
    Frame 100:0.4
    Frame 101:1.0
    Frame 102:0.4
    Frame 103:0.1

    Your animation should now be ready to rumble!!
     
  5. Rob (R8XFT)

    Rob (R8XFT) Ancient Briton Super Moderator

    Joined:
    Aug 11, 2002
    Messages:
    10,131
    Location:
    Leeds (UK)
    Step four : posing for pcxs
    You should now have your completed model. This should be saved, as this process will change the way your model looks, but you don't want this as a permanent change, so it's a case of having a saved copy and not saving at all throughout this process, or indeed, after it.

    Firstly, let's ensure that your render options are set correctly. Click on render>render options. You'll need to click on "production" for the render quality. I tend to use pixel samples 6, post filter size 1, have raytracing and smooth polygons checked. Experience tells me that clicking "cast shadows" should be checked, though this can lead to some awkward looking shadows on the animation, leading to re-rendering being required. I therefore often keep this unchecked. Image output settings should be set to render to main window. At this point, set the movie output settings to 200 x 240.

    Go to frame 1 and render the image (select render>render). Select file>export>image, saving it as jpg (Max Quality 100) named "Happy." Repeat this process for frames 61 and 121, naming the output "Neutral" and "Angry."

    Go to frame 1 and, using the twist and rotate tools, make the character look up to the left top corner. Render the image, saving it as "Cult."

    Go to frame 61. Add the following face morphs:
    LBrowUp: 0.5
    RBrowUp: 0.5
    CheekSmileL: 0.5
    CheekSmileR: 0.5
    SmileOpen: 1.0
    Render the image, saving it as "Pedia."

    Go to frame 30. Add the following face morphs:
    CheekSmileL: 0.5
    SmileLeft: 1.0
    LBrowUp: 0.5
    Render the image and save as "Kiss."

    Go to frame 90. Add the following face morphs:
    BrowfrownL: 0.0
    BrowfrownR: 0.0
    EyeWince1L: 0.0
    EyeWince1R: 0.0
    EyeWince2L: 0.0
    EyeWince2R: 0.0
    NoseWrinkle: 0.0
    MouthYell: 0.0
    Snarl: 0.0
    MouthDisgust: 0.0
    OpenMouth: 0.4
    Frown: 0.6
    BlinkLeft: -0.4
    BlinkRight: -0.4
    BrowWorryL: 0.5
    BrowWorryR: 0.5
    Render the image and save it as "Conq."

    REMEMBER: DO NOT SAVE ANYTHING IN POSER.
     
  6. Rob (R8XFT)

    Rob (R8XFT) Ancient Briton Super Moderator

    Joined:
    Aug 11, 2002
    Messages:
    10,131
    Location:
    Leeds (UK)
    Step five : editing the pcxs in Paintshop Pro 7
    You'll need to create folders to save your work in. These should be as follows:
    Advisors
    Civilopedia>Icons>Races
    Flics
    Leaderheads

    Open Paintshop Pro and open the file named "Pedia." Reduce to 256 colours (colours>decrease colour depth). Click on colours>edit pallette. Copy the colours that are indexed at 254 and 255 into the colours indexed at 1 and 2 (normally, the first few slots are taken up with almost black colours). Then change colour 254 to R0 G255 B0 and change colour 255 to R255 G 0 B255. Click on colours>save pallette and save as civ.pal (save type being PAL - jasc pallette). Don't worry about how your image looks at the moment. Then select edit>undo edit pallette and then edit>undo decrease colours to 256.
    Select image>canvas size, setting this at 200 x 200. It will be set to cut off 40 pixels from the bottom of the picture, normally about 15 from the top and 25 from the bottom is best. Resize the picture to 128 x 128 (image>resize). Click on colours>load pallette and load in civ.pal. Save this image in Civilopedia>Icons>Races as YourCivLARGE.pcx - note that it's important to save all these images in pcx format.

    Click edit>undo decrease colours to 256. Resize the image to 32 x 32 and reload the civ.pal pallette. Save this image in Civilopedia>Icons>Races as YourCivSMALL.pcx.

    Get rid of "pedia," but do not save the changes.

    Load "Happy", "Neutral" and "Angry". Using image>resize, resize them all to 60% of their original size. Load AB_all from the original Civ III game. Edit the colours so that colour 255 is R255 G0 B255 and increase colour depth to 16million colours. Using the clone tool (set at 3 pixels), clone the happy, neutral and angry into their respective areas, but just in the faces at the left of the picture. This can take time, but it is my way of doing this to ensure accuracy. Get rid of "Happy", "Neutral" and "Angry", but do not save the changes.

    Using the clone tool (set now at 15-20 pixels), click on 1, 50 on AB_all as the source for the clone and 116,50 on AB_all as the destination. You can now work from left to right and complete the other zones - this is assuming you have a single-era leaderhead. If it's multi-era, then you'll need to follow the steps in the above paragraph for each era.

    In the case of single-era leaderheads, you now load the civ.pal pallette, change colour index 255 to R0 G0 B0 and save as YL_all.pcx in the Advisors folder. Please note that I'm using "YL" in this guide to stand for "Your Leaderhead" - any combination of letters are fine, just try to avoid using the same letters as any other leaderheads you might have. If you have a multi-era leaderhead, you'll need to recreate a pallette as per the second paragraph in this post.

    You now have 10 pcxs to create and save in the "Leaderheads" folder.
    YL Load "Neutral" and load the civ.pal pallette. Save as YL.pcx
    YL_HAP Load "Happy" and load the civ.pal pallette. Save as YL_HAP.pcx
    YL_SHAP Ideally, you'll still have "Happy" on screen (now named YL_HAP). Click edit>undo reduce colours to 256, resize the image to 120 x 150 and reload the civ.pal pallette. Save as YL_SHAP.pcx. Incidentally, I unload and reload the pallette as I find the resulting image slightly sharper.
    YL_ANG Load "Angry" and resize the image to 120 x 150. Load the civ.pal pallette and save as YL_ANG.pcx
    YL_CULT Load "Cult" and, from the Civ III folder, AB_CULT. You'll need to increase the colours of AB_CULT 16 million and change the size of it to 200 x 240. Using the clone tool, carefully clone in the hearts. I would then get rid of AB_CULT (do not save changes). Save the result as YL_CULT.pcx. You should then reload "Cult" and, again using the clone tool, tidy up your YL_CULT.pcx picture. Once you're happy with it, you'll need to create a pallette as per paragraph 2 of this post to reduce the image to 256 colours. Save the pallette as civ.pal and load into the image, saving it then as YL_CULT.pcx
    YL_CULTB Load "Pedia" and reduce the image to 20%. Load, from the Civ III game, AB_CULTB. Change colour index 255 to R255 G0 B255 and then increase colours to 16 million colours. Using the clone tool, carefully cover the full contents of the circle that Abe Lincoln appears in with your pedia image. Get rid of "Pedia" but do not save changes. Load into AB_CULTB the civ.pal pallette you created for YL_CULT. Change the colour index 255 to R0 G0 B0 and save as YL_CULTB.pcx
    YL_CONQ_L Load "Conq" and select one or two original Civ III pictures of the CONQ_L variety. Increase their colours to 16 million and clone in bandages, cuts, bruises and the like. Create a new pallette for your "conquered" image as in paragraph 2 of this post and save it as civ.pal. Apply to your image and save it as YL_CONQ_L.pcx.
    YL_CONQ You should still have the above YL_CONQ_L picture loaded. Click edit>undo reduce colours to 256. Resize to 120 x 150 and reload the civ.pal pallette you created for YL_CONQ_L. Save your image as YL_CONQ.pcx
    YL_KIS Load "Kiss" and select one or two original Civ III pictures of the KIS variety. Increase their colours to 16 million and clone in kisses. Create a pallette for your "kissed" image as in paragraph 2 of this post and save it as civ.pal. Apply to your image and save as YL_KIS.pcx
    YL_SKIS You should still have the above YL_KIS picture loaded. Click edit>undo reduce colours to 256. Resize to 120 x 150 and reload the civ.pal pallette you created for YL_KIS. Save your image as YL_SKIS.pcx
     
  7. Rob (R8XFT)

    Rob (R8XFT) Ancient Briton Super Moderator

    Joined:
    Aug 11, 2002
    Messages:
    10,131
    Location:
    Leeds (UK)
    Step six : Creating the flcs
    Load your saved model in Poser. Ensure your window size is 200 x 240 (window>document window size). Select animation>save movie. You'll be saving it in avi format, resolution "current", quality "current render settings." You'll also be using movie's frame rate, which you set to 99 earlier.

    Click on "ok" and save as a windows avi file. A window will come up : ensure that your compression quality is set to 100.

    Wait. For quite a while actually ;) .

    Once your saved avi file is ready, load it into Animationshop Pro 3. Click on animation>replace colour and change old colour white (R255 G255 B255) to another white-ish colour that is already in the image. Choose to replace the colour in all frames. Save as YL_01.flc (ie in flc format) in your "Flics" folder, using file>save as.

    Click on edit>select all, then animation>reverse frames. Save as YL_02.flc in your "Flics" folder.

    You'll need to test the flics in-game. The replacing of the white colour normally stops any transparency issues, but you'll need to check for these in-game and revisit the change colour paragraph if there's still transparencies.
     
  8. Hikaro Takayama

    Hikaro Takayama a.k.a Laura

    Joined:
    Mar 10, 2004
    Messages:
    5,636
    Location:
    Eorzea, Hydaelyn
    Hey Rob, here's a bit of a time (and Main Memory) saving tip: I have poser "load to a preset", and I deleted the Poser goon, and set the now blank scene as the preset, so that everytime I load Poser, it starts with a blank file, which (and this is coming from a guy who made his first 8 or so LH in Poser on a laptop) saves a lot of system memory, and speeds up program operation immensely.
     
  9. Plotinus

    Plotinus Philosopher Administrator

    Joined:
    Nov 14, 2003
    Messages:
    16,647
    Location:
    Cornwall
    Really interesting, even for those of us without Poser, to hear how it's done. Let's hope this inspires a few more artists to have a go!
     
  10. utahjazz7

    utahjazz7 Chieftain

    Joined:
    Dec 17, 2001
    Messages:
    2,068
    Location:
    Toledo, Ohio
    He's already suckered me into finishing up an old one that I never finished. ;)
     
  11. Rob (R8XFT)

    Rob (R8XFT) Ancient Briton Super Moderator

    Joined:
    Aug 11, 2002
    Messages:
    10,131
    Location:
    Leeds (UK)
    @Hikaro - top tip!! Thanks for that, I'd not thought of doing it :) .
    @Plotinus - let's hope that even people without Poser get some ideas on how to make pcxs for other eras for mods - eg using Bismark as an ancient leaderhead in a single-era scenario and doing pcxs for the ancient era to match.
    @utahjazz7 - well, you got me into unit making, so fair's fair ;) .
     
  12. Varlin Saliptor

    Varlin Saliptor Does not hate the future.

    Joined:
    Oct 8, 2004
    Messages:
    1,515
    Location:
    San Marcos, Texas
    Is there any alternative to using Animation Shop?
     
  13. Hikaro Takayama

    Hikaro Takayama a.k.a Laura

    Joined:
    Mar 10, 2004
    Messages:
    5,636
    Location:
    Eorzea, Hydaelyn
    Well, theoretically, you should be able to use Civ3 FlicEdit, but I never used it since, IMO, Animation Shop is easier (although I've opened Civ III LH in Civ3 FLicEdit before, and it does have the option for creating a new LH SB, but I'm assuming that you have to use SBB to make a filmstrip SB for it to use).
     
  14. IBot

    IBot Chieftain

    Joined:
    Aug 10, 2006
    Messages:
    12
    Location:
    Winepeg,M.B.,Canada
    I ain't got no Civ IV. so it's real confusing for a 9 year old to any of those thingies. dude. :sniper: :spear: :badcomp:
     
  15. T.A JONES

    T.A JONES Chieftain

    Joined:
    Jan 22, 2006
    Messages:
    3,471
    :confused: Wow your 9 years old ? Well don't be discouraged then, you can reach the keyboard, an type,... some what. Thats a good first step. For now, even at this rate, you'll be the next R8XFT one day . Just be patient :D
     
  16. IBot

    IBot Chieftain

    Joined:
    Aug 10, 2006
    Messages:
    12
    Location:
    Winepeg,M.B.,Canada
    Is this for civ III? :eek: if it is then i won't be ever doing that.(becuase how long it takes.)
     
  17. polyphemus

    polyphemus join the long blue line

    Joined:
    Jun 14, 2005
    Messages:
    1,202
    Location:
    At the Air Force Academy
    your lucky civ 3 is around when your 9. I remember we still had a DOS comp and little to no recent technology. (i think i was either 12 or 13 or around there, i cant remember when civ 3 came out)
    i only started moding a year ago though.

    its good your beginning to customize your games though...in the future you might be the next SID :lol:
     
  18. IBot

    IBot Chieftain

    Joined:
    Aug 10, 2006
    Messages:
    12
    Location:
    Winepeg,M.B.,Canada
    Thenks you know i even want to be a video game designer when i'm 20 :dance: (or so).
     
  19. Mirc

    Mirc Not mIRC!!!

    Joined:
    Jun 27, 2005
    Messages:
    15,825
    Location:
    Düsseldorf, ->Germany, E.U.
    Hey, this is really very interesting.

    Now that I have poser 5 (not the free version) I tried to follow this tutorial to make a LH. But I have a problem from the very beginning: "Michael 3 should be found in the "DAZ figures" library". I am unable to find any DAZ Figures library in my Poser 5. It took me ages to find that menu, and now that I've found it, I still can't go further, so I decided to ask.

    So what am I doing wrong?


    Edit: Also, I'm not yet at that point, but I see that later in the second post you said: "Click on the "poses" directory on the right hand side. This is where you need the Michael 3 head morphs. Open the "!M3 All Morphs inj" and double-click on "All head morphs." ". :dubious: !M3 All Morphs inj? I don't have any such thing in my poses menu from the right.
     
  20. Rob (R8XFT)

    Rob (R8XFT) Ancient Briton Super Moderator

    Joined:
    Aug 11, 2002
    Messages:
    10,131
    Location:
    Leeds (UK)
    Do you have Michael 3 and the head morphs? They come separately from the main Poser package.
     

Share This Page