Making a Custom Portrait

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Portraits are the images that display in your character sheet, when examining an object or creature, on the side listing out your party members. It isn't really necessary for the game, but it adds a bit of flavour, especially if you customize it for your character.

In a perfect world, to customize your character portrait you should take these three steps, IN THIS ORDER:

  1. Create your custom portrait and make the proper 5 files (See Portrait Creation)
  2. Copy the five files into C:\Neverwinter Nights\NWN\Portraits\ (See The Best Way)
  3. Create your character in Avlis, selecting your custom portrait during the character creation process

Portrait Creation

Portraits must be in the Truevision TGA file format. They have a specific naming structure requiring an ending letter of H, L, M, S, and T. Each name also requires a specific resolution size. See the following chart:

File Name Desc. Width x Height Visible Area
portraitname_H.tga Huge 256x512 256x400
portraitname_L.tga Large 128x256 128x200
portraitname_M.tga Medium 64x128 64x100
portraitname_S.tga Small 32x64 32x50
portraitname_T.tga Tiny 16x32 16x25

Creating it yourself

You'd have to use your image editor of choice to do the resizing. Another tip is that on the progressively smaller images, instead of just resizing the whole portrait, resize a smaller amount and focus the image around the face, cropping the rest of the image away.

Need more detailed help? Read the great BioWare guide on their site. - Internet Archive link used, after the loss of the old BioWare site.

Have NWN Automatically create it for you

  1. Place a .JPG into your "/portraits/" directory where you installed NWN (i.e. C:\NeverwinterNights\portraits\Mypic.jpg). If there isn't a folder called portraits, create one.
  2. Start NWN and either start a new game or load a saved one.
  3. Start the console by hitting the tilde key ("~")in the upper left hand corner.
  4. Type "Conv" and then Tab which will auto complete the command "ConvertPortrait" (remember, commands are CaSe SeNsItIvE)
  5. Add to that the name of your image. For example "Mypic", don't add the extension
  6. This will automatically create all the different files needed. Zip it up and share it with the community, you're done.

(Thanks to Mystra and Georg Zoeller)

Player Implementation

The Best Way

There are two possibilities for implementing a custom portrait. First, let's pretend you were smart and created your custom portrait before creating your character. If you've done that, implementation is easy. You put your portrait files into your /nwn/portraits/ directory. If you don't have a portraits directory, just create one and then put the 5 files in there. During character creation, when you reach the portrait selection screen when customizing your character, the custom portraits should appended after the built-in portraits, in alphabetical order. Select yours, and you're done.

  • This creates a unique portrait for your character, with a unique name
  • You, and anyone else that downloads your portraits and places them in the NWN\portraits\ folder will see this portrait.
  • People who don't download your portrait and put it in the right place will see the Bioware default portrait.
  • If someone else wants to use your portrait, they can download it and follow the instructions above on character creation.

The Other Way

Now, let's assume you weren't so smart, and you're now playing a character that you're very attached to. There's no way you would just trash him and recreate just to get a custom portrait. Now, this way isn't really much harder, but it is a little less elegant that doing it during character creation. But it's nice to know that you can force the game to change portraits in multiplayer mode.

Instructions for Overriding Your Current Portrait

  • This replaces a portrait that the game currently uses with a custom portrait.
  • You, and anyone else that downloads your portraits and places them in the NWN\override\ folder will see this portrait.
  • People who don't download your portrait will see the original one that installed with the game.
  • If someone else chose the same portrait as you on character creation, anyone with your NEW portrait in the override folder will now see the new portrait for them as well as you.

Toolset Implementation

You need to edit the portraits.2da file to enable the use of custom portraits in the toolset.

You don't need a H version of the portrait, and often you don't need an L either - unless the particular NPC will be added as a henchman, in which case you will need the L version for the character sheet.