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Poser 4 Terran Portrait Tutorial
By Milldawg

Required Programs:
Poser 4
Smacker
MPQ Editor/compiler if you plan to make your own mod; you can just send the smk files to your modder if you have someone else doing it for you

PART I: Poser
Section A: Setting the Scene
First, open poser. There’s a guy there...delete him. Go to Window...Document Window Size. I suggest setting it to 450x420 (in proportion to SC’s 60x56 portrait size). I also suggest setting Document Display Style to Texture Shaded so you have a better idea of what it will look like. Make a Poser 4 Nude Male or Female (under Figures). Change the view to Head view. Go to Figures...Clothing male, and add any clothing necessary (probably only shirts, because you can’t see below his shoulders, usually). To do this, you select the item of clothing, click the double-check box, then go to Figure...Conform To...Figure 1 (the guy himself). Repeat until all the clothing is on him that you need. A typical combination is any sort of shirt plus a vest. The overcoat works fairly nicely as well. Give him hair too (make sure you have Figure 1 selected). Select the figure’s head and adjust the various handles to make the type of face you want. The options are fairly limited unless you have the figure “Michael” which you have to pay for (I couldn’t find it anywhere else, so I don’t have it). Anyway, so you set him up all nice and stuff. You should probably move his arms down to his sides so he looks like he’s driving and not pretending to be an airplane. Move the camera around to where you want it and fiddle with the lights until you like it. Find or create a 60x56 background image (in some other program) and go to File...Import...Background Image to import it.

Section B: Animating
Now you’re ready to animate. Go to Render...Render Options, and set “Render to” to “New window,” changing the size to 60x56. No need to change the resolution (72 dpi is standard). Check the Anti-Alias box. Click the Render Over Background Picture radio button if it is not already selected. Under Animation...Animation Setup, again change the size to 60x56. No need to fiddle with the other things, they’ll work themselves out. OK, now the fun part: animating. Change the number of frames at the bottom to 11 (it is 30 by default). Set the first and last frames as keyframes. This is to ensure that the animation is smooth between animations. Now you can begin your Fid animations. It’s best to make fairly small neck movements for them. Here’s an example: Select the figure’s neck. Slide the slider bar to frame 6. Rotate the neck 2 degrees in the Y-axis. Keyframe it. If you slide the slider bar slowly, you’ll see your guy sort of shake his head slowly. Yay! Now go to Animation...Make Movie. Make sure Sequence Type is set to Image Files, Resolution is set to Full, Quality is set to Current Render Settings, and Time Span is set to go from 00 to 09 (change it from 10). You will have to change Sequence Type and Time Span for each animation...the other options will stick as long as the program is still open. Save it in some folder as bmp files, titled Fid00. You can title it something else but it doesn’t matter; just make sure you can tell it is the first Fid animation. Wait for it to render, then go un-keyframe the sixth frame so that it’s back to normal. Make sure the first and last frames are still keyframed though. Do it again. You can do things like raised eyebrows, blinking, eye movements, etc. Fiddle around for a while to get used to it. Once you have the 4 maximum required Fid animations, you can begin the Tlk animations. This is much the same, except that you use phonemes (under Faces). What I typically do is to keyframe the 6th frame so that frames 1, 6, and 11 are all the same. If you want to apply head movements, do it now before you start the mouth movements. Then, go to frame 4 and apply a phoneme of your choice (preferably a vowel sound). Apply another one at frame 8. Feel free to change these...such as frame 3 and frame 9, or whatever. It just changes the pacing. Mix it up. If you can fit 3 mouth movements in there, go for it. You can also do things like blend one phoneme into another instead of separating them by a keyframe. When you’re ready, do the whole Make Movie thing again, being sure to check the appropriate settings. Label it Tlk00 or something similar and GOGOGO. Go back, unkeyframe all but the first and last frames, and repeat with different movements. When you have the 3 maximum required Tlk animations, you can do a little dance of self-satisfaction, save your work, and close Poser 4.

Stipulations: Feel free to change my suggested 11 frames to any number. As far as I know, StarCraft doesn’t care how long the animations are. If they’re too long, however, there may be continuity problems; for example, a long talking animation may get cut off and switch to a fid animation, making the animation seem jerky. Some of the StarCraft portraits have 15 frames (16 in poser because you don’t render the last keyframe). Experiment.

PART II: Smacker
Before you do any smacking you should probably extract one of the original StarCraft portraits from StarDat.mpq so you have a palette to work from. Just use WinMPQ or MPQEdit.
Open Smacker. Under the Smack tab, find your rendered bmp files. Highlight the first group (Fid00_001 to Fid00_010 or whatever). Click Smack. It will ask you what you want to do; create a list file. Label it what you want your final smk files to be labeled. For example if you’re replacing Raynor, you could call it URaFid00.lst. Save. Repeat for the other 6 sets of bmp files. Now select your list files. Under “Use/Create Palette From...” find your extracted smk from StarEdit.mpq and open that. Now, click Smack. If it asks something like “Treat as a sequence?” just say “No.” It should take about 1 second to complete each animation. Yay! When you’ve done all 7, click the Player tab. Find your smk animations. Check the “Frame Rate” box and type in 10. Select each animation and click Perm. This will make sure that the smk files have the same frame rate as StarCraft portraits (10 fps). YAY!

PART III: Processing
I suggest making a test mpq to see what the portrait looks like in-game before moving on to the next project. If you're using MPQEdit (which no one uses), open BrooDat.mpq and replace all of Stukov's portraits with your own, then delete all of the other files. Save As whatever you want (but not patch_rt.mpq, you prankster you). If you're using WinMPQ (which everyone uses), add your portraits using the file- ane pathnames for Stukov's portraits, and Save As whatever you want. DO NOT ACCIDENTALLY DELETE ALL THE FILES IN WINMPQ. I did once, thinking it worked the same as MPQEdit, and I had to reinstall. Why learn from your own mistakes when you can learn from mine? Anyway, use MPQDraft to run your new mpq. Watch the Dylarian Shipyards mission briefing (Terran expansion mission 2) because it has a lot of time where Stukov is not talking, and a lot of time where he is talking. If there’s a major glaring problem you can just go back into Poser and redo the problematic animations. Then, zip your animations and send them to me so I can steal the rights. I mean...um...bye.

-Milldawg

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