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How to make a Leaderhead in Poser.

Discussion in 'Civ3 - Tutorials, Reference, & Guides' started by gael, Jan 13, 2003.

  1. gael

    gael Ard Ri

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    This is not my knowledge, but the information that i got from others when i posted a thread in the C+C forum titled 'Leaderhead creation for dummies'.

    I'm posting it here because i think it will be helpful as a reference to others who want to create leaderheads using this program.
    I will state the names of the people who provided the information at the top of thier text.

    I'm sure the lads won't mind.
    :goodjob:

    NAME: Kinboat:

    I recently finished several leaderheads made with Poser 4 (and PSP7), so I guess I could help out here a little (although there are others with more knowledge and talent).
    1: First change the size of your view window to 400x480.
    2: Next add your model and position it within the frame.
    3: Open the animation palette under the 'windows' menu and make your animation 121 frames long (at the top right).
    4: You can exit out of that window and go back to the main screen, at the bottom there should be an animation tool bar that lets you play, pause, frame advance etc. Drag the bar to frame 61 and create the Neutral expression on your model.
    5: Drag it back to frame 1 and create the Happy expression, then go to the end (121) and create the Mad expression.
    6: Obviously that's just the simplest way, Poser will transition between the three Key frames and create the general animation. You can go into much more detail... For instance to get the blink effect that the original games Leaderheads have:
    Start a blink at frame 19 Full blink at 21 and End at frame 23...
    Again at 39 - 41 - 43... 99 - 101 - 103... and 109 - 111 - 113.
    Now the guy should blink occasionally in the game.
    7: Now once you have the animation done go up to the Animation menu and select make movie... Make and AVI movie using 'Current Render Settings' and selecting 'Half' size. In Sween32's advice to me he mentions it'll take between 20 minutes to 4 hours to make the movie... Most of mine are from 1 to 4 hours, tending to the long end of the scale. Once that's done open the file in Jasc Animation Shop (comes with PSP7, a similar program will probably work but I don't know )
     
  2. gael

    gael Ard Ri

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    Now that you have the movie made and opened in Jasc Animation Shop here's what you do.
    1: Select all the frames and choose the replace color option under the animation menu at the top. Choose to replace pure white (255, 255, 255) with a slightly duller color (250, 250, 250 for example). This prevents transparency issues, or so I'm told... Might come in handy for certain special effects
    2: With all frames still selected go back to the Animation Menu and choose the Frame Properties option... Change the number in the frame rate to '1'
    3: Again back to the Animation menu... Resize all the frames to 200x240, it should now look similar to FLC files from the game (make sure you have the same size etc).
    4: Save it as a FLC file *_01.flc... I suggest going with the level 3 option instead of a full level 4, to cut down on file size.
    5: Now you take the FLC you just made and select all the frames and under the Animation menu reverse the frames... Save this one as *_02.flc...
    One point... when you go to save this one make sure to save it in the quality level that has the same functions as the previous one you used... Not the same number... For some reason if you saved it as level 3 before, then reversed it and go to save it again, you will need to up it to level 4 to get the same quality. It lists the atributes of each of the levels... Just pay attention to the list and forget about the actual number they call it. Others can help you more I'm sure... This is just what I've learned from Sween32 and trial and error.
     
  3. gael

    gael Ard Ri

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    Name: Gael: Some of my dumb questions:

    Q: I am haveing problems getting free armor, suits, and general male clothing for free from poser4 sites, especially armor.
    I'm also finding it hard to find facial hair.

    Can you cut and paste clothes and hair, from the Civ3 leaderheads or other sources, onto the finished animation in Paintshop pro7, without it effecting the finished product.

    Name: Kinboat:

    You could do postwork in PSP7, it might take a while but it's possible... Try sites such as www.renderosity.com They have a rather extensive free section for poser and other 3D programs (facial hair might be easier in some instances by painting it onto the texture before rendering... unless you want a full beard ).

    Name: Gael:

    Another question.

    Q: Ok I make the foward and reverse flcs for each age,
    how do i then link them to a Civ i have created and get them to run in the game.

    Name: Kinboat:

    Well there should be a spot near the bottom of the Civilizations tab in the rules editor... The bottom Left if I remember correctly, you type the name of your FLC file in there in place of whatever they have (leaving the path info of course if that's where you put the new FLC files).
     
  4. gael

    gael Ard Ri

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    Name: Gael:

    Another Question:

    Q: How to you make and organize the diplomacy, civ select etc, bubbleheads, so that that the whole lot will run smoothly.

    Name: GIDustin:

    I do that in PSP7. Get a frame of happy, content, and mad, resize to 200x240. Make it a 256 color image with the last 2 colors "unused" for transparency. Then save 5-6 times (I forgot which files were this size). Then resize to the smaller version (120x150 i believe), save several times.

    As for the XX_All file, I open one of the old ones (I use abe lincoln alot for some reason), and just start pasting over it. The whole process is a good 10 minutes of work, but you use the same proggy the whole time so it isnt hard.

    Since there are alot of steps, and you have to edit the pallette 4-5 times, I normally just offer to do them for people. And unlike JimmyH and some other poeople, I wont just drop off the face of CFC without at least a 3 month warning:)

    Name: Gael: Another Question:

    Q: What is the importance of having your starting view at 400x480.
    I find that it over takes the screen and makes it harder to work with.

    Is this just for easier viewing, since your going to be bringing it back down to size in PSP, or is it an essensial part of the process?

    Thanks.

    Name: Kinboat:

    Yeah mostly just for a larger view... If you're working with a smaller resolution then you can change this. One point to remember is to keep the same proportions.
     
  5. gael

    gael Ard Ri

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    This is an addition that GIDustin was good enough to add:

    Name: GIDustin:

    Well, I wrote this little ditty to teach someone how to convert a leaderhead flc to a 256 pallette. The leaderhead had some transparent spots when used in the game due to pallette issues. Now you could export all 121 frames to PSP and then alter the pallette for each one, but here is an easier way. I also explain how to take your PCX files once made, and make then 256 color so the game reads them correctly. This is old news for some, but include it anyway due to the title of the thread.

    -------------------------------------

    Well, first, open your FLC in Animation Shop. Right click the frame with the most colors and "export to psp".

    In PSP, make the image 256 color image (CTRL+SHFT+3) Choose any combination of radial (circle) buttons that gives the best results. some will make your image look really weird. MAKE SURE that the "Include windows' colors" box is checked. The image will then have a pallette (should be on right bar) The colors at the end are the windows colors, and most likely will not be used in the image, so they are transparency placeholders. Go to Colors->Save Pallette. Save as whatever you want, remember where it is.

    Close that image, dont save, and go back to Animation Shop. Go to File->Optimization Wizard. Move the quality slider to the top, and click customize. The pallette will be a 256 color pallette, but check the box for "Custom Pallette", and using the "Browse" button, load the pallette you made earlier. Also, check the "Nearest Color" radio button below the pallette browse button.

    After the optimization is done, go ahead and save. I recommend not saving over your old file just in case.

    Then, test in the game and see what happens. You will have to make a new pallette file for each era if they use different colors in the background.

    The pcxs follow the same basic process. Take your image file to PSP, CTRL+SHFT+3, use windows colors, and save as PCX. As long as the last 2 colors in the pallette are NOT used ANYWHERE in your image, you will be fine, and by checking the "Include windows' colors" box, it pretty much does it for you.

    -------------------------------------


    Hope that helps/isn't too complicated.

    BTW You can direct any questions to me personally by email, and I will see if I can help, so that we dont waste CFC server space. Note that I only deal with pallettes, not the 3D programs.

    GIDustin
     
  6. gael

    gael Ard Ri

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    I must add that if you are new to this program try to get your hands on the Micheal 1 or 2 charactors, the basic poser4 charactors are pretty crap, and your limited as to how much you can do with them.
    The poser4 demo is also useless, but can be used to just get the feel off the program.

    If you think you can add anything to this thread in the way of information, feel free to post.

    I hope this tudorial can help some of you.
    All thanks should go to Kinboat and GIDustin.

    :goodjob:
     
  7. gael

    gael Ard Ri

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    Q:Some problems you might face with the original tudoral:
    The default rendering is 70%, this results in avery low quality movie after rendering.

    Quote Kinboat:

    A: Does a small window pop up when you save as AVI? It should be asking you a few questions about the quality versus smaller size... Mine defaults to 70% but I up the quality all the way up to 100%... Might be the problem.

    Quote Gael:
    Q: Problems with the blinking animation:

    I'm trying to make a leaderhead blink, starting at 19-21-23, like you said above kinboat, but i'm haveing problems. The eyes go really wide and all over the place. I don't know whats wrong.
    I'm making the blink gradually open and closs over the frames but this keeps on happening.
    What am i doing wrong

    Quote Kinboat:
    A: I've come across this problem before... It has to do with the Keyframe functions in Poser. Basicly... Er... Not sure if I can explain it basicly The program calculates the inbetween frames based on the frames before it... So you can get weird effects sometimes... What I do to solve this problem is to select the eyes in the Animation Palette (across all frames) and click the plus symbol to keyframe the whole row... This sets the eyes in the place in every frame and prevents them from changing, then minus out the small sections (19-23) for example and do the blink animations... Hope this helps it's starting to confuse even me.

    There are also buttons there to change the way it calculates between frames. The program defaults to a SINE Curve, Swave thing... So if you set frame one to ZERO, frame five to ONE and frame ten to ZERO it should curve gradually up and then down... But sometimes the curve continues up past the middle point you've set and you get weird effects EX: with the eye blink it could go from closed to open and continue to widen for a few frames before closing again... I don't know if I'm explaining this too well. But you can change the Swave to a straight line which keeps the same settings through the inbetween frames until you change it... I just played around with it a while.
     
  8. ShiroKobbure

    ShiroKobbure Still modding Civ3

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  9. LouLong

    LouLong In love with Rei Ayanami

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    Does it render only 8 ?
    Then go to Edit key Frmaes (key icon on the bottom right).
    In the new window go to the bottom and you will see a green arrow that usually (default) covers 8 frames, just extend it to incorporate all the frames you need for your animation.
    Hope this helps !
     
  10. Rita Poon

    Rita Poon You've just been Reinerd!

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    Got my Jayavarman leaderhead 90% complete. Have all the clothing, did most of the rendering. Right now I'm trying to make the movies. Tried 3 times now, everytime I got the same result. The animation runs smooth, but the picture is messed up. See below. I'm using Poser 5 on a 1gb computer at school. Anyone know what the problem might be?

    ***UPDATE***

    Drift suggested I use the Poser 4 renderer.

    Problem solved :)
     
  11. DJ Bonebraker

    DJ Bonebraker a.k.a Laura

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    Hey guys, I've got a few tips that I've managed to figure out while doing the massive amounts of LH's for the MoO mod and the FF mod.

    First of all, about the blinking problem listed earlier. For those with Poser 5 (might work with P4, but I don't have that program so I can't say for certain), the best way around the eye wierdness is to go to the blink (or in the case of DAZ figures, either the Left or right blink morph) morph, and click on the arrow to the side of the morph and select the "graph" option. This will bring up a graph with a number of options. First of all, go to the first frame and click the "Linear section" button (looks like a zig-zag line) this keeps the animation from defaulting to the sinusoidal format which causes the problem to begin with. Next, add key frames at frame 18 and 24, then go to frame 21 and make the blink morph = 1, repeat this process for all the other blink frames, and you're done (well, for DAZ figures, you'll then have to close the graph, open it for the opposite blink morph from which you chose before and repeat the whole process again. This way is much easier and less time-consuming than re-keyframing every frame then editing the blink animations frame by frame, not to mention that if you have to change some other animation, you can do so without having to essentially start over or affecting the blinking animations.

    On another note, I generally get better quality results when I set the animation to render at its final size and set the output to a seriers of BMP files rather than an AVI animation format. When I go to Animation Shop 3, I just use the ol' animation wizard and select all the BMP files and WHAM! I got the animation done. I found that best results are achieved when I set the framerate to "1" in the animaiton wizard dialog box.

    One final thing, for poser 5, make sure that when you set up the animation that the "Skip frames" option is unchecked.

    I hope that this helped a little bit.
     
  12. jorde

    jorde Leaderhead Engineering

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    Great! You've just helped me to solve the problem I was trying to avoid now before rendering FDR, as I had enough of the "keyframe everything" thing I had to do in order to get the blinks right. Thanks!!

    And what you say about rendering to image files rather than avi files, well I've found it to be better as well, and I think also less HD space consuming
     
  13. Grandraem

    Grandraem Alchemist

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    Thanks Hikaro, for the tip about using the graph for the eye blinking. It saved a mess when I tried to just do it normally. Thanks also for the tip about using the animation wizard. Using the custom canvas colour in the wizard saves the hassle of having transparency problems with the leaderhead.
    Great tips.:goodjob:
     
  14. Rob (R8XFT)

    Rob (R8XFT) Ancient Briton Super Moderator

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    Here's my tip for blinking. Leave it as the last thing that you do on the leaderhead. Prior to doing it, make every single frame a key frame. Then make these simple adjustments to the blinks:
    Frame 09 : 0.1
    Frame 10 : 0.4
    Frame 11 : 1.0
    Frame 12 : 0.4
    Frame 13 : 0.1
    Repeat this process for frames 19-23, 79-83 & 99-103.
     
  15. Grandraem

    Grandraem Alchemist

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    Thanks, I'll keep that in mind for my next leaderhead.:)
     
  16. DJ Bonebraker

    DJ Bonebraker a.k.a Laura

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    Actually, I believe that you'll find that my way is faster (not to mention that if you want to change a prop or some other morph later, you don't have to delete all your frames and start over).....

    You see, with my method, when you use the graph to make the eyeblink morphs linear instead of a spline, then just add the keyframes at 18 & 24, 38 & 44, 98 & 104, and 108 and 114 Then all you have to do is go to 21, 41, 101 and 111 and set the blink morphs to 1 and you're done in about 30 seconds, whereas with the Key-frame everything method, waiting for the computer to convert all 121 frames to keys takes at least that long, not to mention the pain in the rear of having to edid each frame for the blinks, or if you find out you screwed up somewhere and need to fix it.....
     
  17. Rob (R8XFT)

    Rob (R8XFT) Ancient Briton Super Moderator

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    We all have different methods; just sharing the one that works for me :) . I'm not interested in "quicker" myself, I'm interested in the end product. Actually my method only takes a couple of minutes, but each to their own ;) .
     
  18. DJ Bonebraker

    DJ Bonebraker a.k.a Laura

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    I just recently figured out a way to save even more time with my method:

    When you have the graph open, you DON'T need to close the graph and re-open it for different morphs, all you need to do is (while the graph is still open) click on the morph you want, and it will automatically switch the graph over to that morph. That alone dropped my blink morph (and other morph correction) time to less than 30 seconds! :D
     

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