Custom Portraits Guide
Quick Jump: Basic File Information | Creating a Portrait: Conversion | Creating a Portrait: Image Editor | Adding a Portrait
A portrait is a picture associated with a creature or placeable. Players choose a portrait for their player character (PC) at character creation. Players often choose to download new portraits for use in single player modules and multiplayer servers.
Basic File Information - Portrait files are images used in various places in the NWN interface. They appear during character creation, are shown on a player's character sheet, are shown in the "party bar" on the right side of the screen, appear when a creature or object is examined in-game, are shown again if a character talks to an NPC, and are used yet again in the chat window at the bottom of the screen.
Custom portrait files for player characters are kept in the NWN/portraits subdirectory of each player's installation. Each PC portrait is actually a collection of 5 files, each with the same name (up to 15 characters) followed by a specific letter that denotes its size:
***************h.tga = huge (256x512) - used only during character creation
***************l.tga = large (128x256) - used on the character sheet
***************m.tga = medium (64x128) - your character portrait in the corner, conversations, and when examined
***************s.tga = small (32x64) - used for party members pictures below yours in the party bar
***************t.tga = tiny (16x32) - used in the tab/mouse-over name bubbles and chat window
Each file is saved as an uncompressed, 24-bit "Targa" (.tga) image.
Creating a Portrait: Conversion - The fastest method for creating a new portrait for your character is by converting a standard .jpg image. This does not produce the best quality portrait images, but is, by far, the quickest.
1) Place a .jpg (for example, "myportrait.jpg") into your NWN/portraits directory (usually C:\NeverwinterNights\NWN\portraits\).
2) Start NWN, start a new game or load a saved one.
3) Enter the console command "ConvertPortrait" followed by the name of your image without the file extension.
- - (for example, "ConvertPortrait myportrait"). This will automatically create all the different files needed.
Creating a Portrait: Image Editor - While slower, using a good quality image editor program will result in better cropped and positioned portraits. Such software includes programs such as Photoshop, Paint Shop Pro, and (free) GIMP.
1) Create a new blank image, 256 pixel wide and 512 pixels high.
2) Mark off the bottom 112 pixels. This space is not displayed by the game and should be left blank.
The remaining 256 x 400 pixel space at the top is for the actual portrait.
3) Crop/resize the image of your choice. For image quality, it's always better to start with a larger image and scale down than to enlarge a smaller image.
4) Flatten/merge any layers down to a single layer. Targa images do not support multiple layers.
5) Save your first image in your NWN/portraits subdirectory, with a filename of 1-15 characters, plus "h" at the end (example "myportrait_h.tga"). It needs to be saved as a 24-bit Targa image, or it will not properly display in-game.
6) Resize/scale your image to 128 x 256 pixels. Save again, this time with the file name ending in "l" (lowercase L) (example "myportrait_l.tga").
7) Resize/scale again, this time to 64 x 128 pixels. Save again, this time with the file name ending in "m" (example "myportrait_m.tga").
8) Resize/scale again, this time to 32 x 64 pixels. Save again, this time with the file name ending in "s" (example "myportrait_s.tga").
9) Resize/scale again, this time to 16 x 32 pixels. Save again, this time with the file name ending in "t" (example "myportrait_t.tga").
Adding a Portrait - To see your new portrait in-game, all the files for it must be in your NWN/portraits subdirectory. Move them there if you saved your work in another directory. When you start the game next, you'll be able to select your new portrait during character creation. Unlike existing NWN portraits, it will be available for both male and female characters.
If you are playing a multiplayer game or are on a persistent world, and you want others to see your new portrait, you must get the files to the other players. The images can be compressed into a .zip, .rar, .7z, etc. file and emailed. They can also be uploaded to various websites. Once the files are decompressed onto others' computers (in their own NWN/portraits subdirectory), they will see your intended image (rather than the default "sepia" portrait for male or female characters).
The NWN Vault is a great site for sharing and finding new character portraits. You can upload and download for free, and there is an incredibly large assortment of already made portraits for your own use (or to use as inspiration for your own creations).