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Ah, here we go.

The elusive half face, MvC, styled portrait. Whether it's for a screenpack that requires a half portrait, or the fact that you can use it for a standard MUGEN select portrait when combined and cropped, it's definately one of the more popular choices for a select portrait.

In this tutorial, I'll show you what I've done, how I've gotten here and tip and tricks of trade so you'd be well on your way to making your own portraits for your own characters.


This is Kyle Rayner.

This was my first portrait, scratched for Larammones' Kyle Rayner WIP way back when I first got into the MUGEN community. While it's a good portrait that I'm still proud of, there are things in there that make it a bit different from many others.

1) This portrait is scratched. So It was drawn over a MvC portrait and then filled in afterwards.

2) There aren't as many elements from other MvC portraits as there would be in my later work to keep that "Capcom" feel.

3) The portrait has "fat head syndrome" which I felt many MvC portraits had when two halves came to make a full face.


Things to keep in mind for transparencies.

The basic colors people tend to use for their background colors are:
RGB 255, 0, 255 or RGB 0, 255, 0 (pink and green, respectfully)

Avoid using 0, 0, 0 or 255, 255, 255 (black and white, respectfully) for bg colors since most people tend to use them for the actual portrait.




This is suppose to be Doomsday.

Crappy, eh?

This was one of my earlier "sketches" where I would develop upon a roughed out sketch of the character. But in trying to keep in the shapes and sizes of the MvC that were presented it didn't turn out well enough. The reason I went with a full face instead of a half face, was to make sure the face wasn't fat when together, but as well to allow for asymetrical elements.

***There are only a certain number of MvC portraits available that were made. You would be wise in ONLY using those as reasources unless you get persmission from whoever made another portrait that you want to use something from ***

So, what do we do? We break the bounds of what we were given.


Portrait by Ckid2
Portrait touched up by Pyche

This is done by Ckid2. The elements of the face have been changed from the norm as far as positioning to give the character the right look. The head in relation to the shoulders are not that of a standard portrait, but that's good cause it fits the character.

It's a step over my sketch since it actually looks like Doomsday. The only "problem" was that the bone structure and color didn't match that of the WIP that was being made (Deanjo).

This is what I call "modification of perfection". The hard work was already done... for me at least, so all that was left was to change a few rocks and make the texture and color match that of the sprite.

Also found the hair was different from what Deanjo was doing so that was changed too. This was it for the time.

BUT, when it came time to make the Unlimited signatures, there was a big cut off to the shoulder.

In this image I brought the top of the image up more so the head wouldn't be cut off. I recomend this so that when the need calls for it, you have a "full" portrait and not a cut off one.

Congratulations to Deanjo for having me make the biggest portrait that I've ever made.

The reason I went this far is that I went until the body was properly dropped on the sides without being cut off prematurely so I have enough to work with what I have. I also extended the head higher with more forehead.

Aside from Fat Head Syndrome, many portraits out there suffer from "Flat Head Syndrome" where there's not enough room on the top and the characters end up having a "Looney Toons' anvil on the head" head.




Portrait by Mambojambo
Sketch by Pyche

This is the original portrait found in Plastic Man's .def file.

Does it look like Plastic Man? Yes.

Is it using standard MvC parts? Yes.

Could it be better? Maybe.

I did this for fun at one point just to see what I thought our man Eel O'Brian would look like. At this point there was a portrait for the DCvM project that didn't quite have the resonation of the character to me.

Here I skinnied up the head and elongated the neck to give him that feel of rubber. I tried to keep the general look of Mambo's original and kept the giant smile.

Now I may be out of line, and maybe this isn't the version of Plastic Man that Mambo based his sprite work on. Always keep in mind that the portrait must reflect the sprites and vice versa.


Here we have:

The Blob by HyperCombinationFinish
Bishop by Sei
Bizzarro by Pyche

Do they look like who they're suppose to be? Yes.

That's fine. All 3 of the portraits use a common base. But if you if it already looks like the character or what you're going for, there's no need to overdo it.

The important thing is to get the image to the way YOU want it to be. To meet your standards and, like I said earlier, if it reflects the character you're making properly or not.

Guess the common base if you can. You can probably see the simularities, but try to pick out the subtle differences.


Let's pick a character. Let's go: Iron Lantern

You'll need a previously made portrait and then several layers that look like this:

Layer 4 - Additional elements
Layer 3 - Drawing/ sketch
Layer 2- Copied elements
Layer 1 - White
Background - The original portrait

I, myself, work in Paint Shop Pro 6. Which I find to be the best to work in pixel art. Most of the techniques used here should be interchangable with Adobe Photoshop.

First thing I do is make my layers.

I then floodfill the "white" layer with white paint and reduce the transparency to about 50% or around there.

I then go to the "drawing" layer and sketch out on top of the original portrait what I want.

I found in the previous image that i had made the helmet tight to his head. To adjust this I moved the helmet on the "drawing" layer out with the lasso tool.

I think added the rest of the body by guessing where it may go and how i wanted it to look.

I've opened up the War Machine portrait.

The most obvious place to start to go shopping for pieces for my Iron Lantern.

As you can see, by using the lasso tool, I can select elements from WM that I want and paste them on the "copied elements" layer. This way I can see what I selected and how it looks compared to what I had drawn.

For the most part, you'd usually just go about and find eyes, noses, mouths and such to build your perfect face. And what you can't build you'll have to make!

I continued with this process for only the elements that matched what I was going for.

The shine on the face I had to piece together different sections and repeated parts in order to get the full line that I had wanted.

Parts of the top of the helmet and the "ear" pieces were also taken.

When you turn off the "sketch" layer you'll be left with what'll essentially be your final product as it related to the original portrait.

The hard part now is to finish the rest of the parts by yourself.

No one quite has the body I need for Iron Lantern, but if you're making a normal person, bodies like Captain America are a good standard.

By using the lasso tool, I can select a certain area that I want to work in. Meaning that If i only want to the drawing tool to only going in a certain area without worrying about it going into others, this is a good way to isolate the work space.

Here, I'm redrawing and connecting the pieces of the helmet, since WM's didn't quite look like this.

Also when in a lasso'd area, you can use a controlled flood fill. So after I had finished the top of the helmet, I used the paint bucket and flooded in the color of the helmet in that area without it pouring out into the rest of the image.

I opened up the Megaman file too just to see if the shines and what not on his helmet would be able to help me with mine.

At this point, I cleaned up my line work a bit. By holding down the SHIFT button on the keyboard while clicking you can create a straight line between points. An easier way to make it look good if you're bad at freehanding.

I also stared to finish up connecting the lines on the top of the helmet and adding in more details I may have missed before. I also took the top corner of WM's shoulder to use for IL's shoulder. I also deleted part of the neck where it wasn't needed under the colar part of the armor by using the lasso tool.

By bringing your "white" layer back up to 100% you'll be able to see what your final product will look like.

But these aren't the right colors!

The colors you have are still War Machine colors. You can go in manually and change all the colors via the "color replacement" tool in PSP like you would a character palette, but there's an easier way if you're not too picky about colors.

By using your lasso tool again (it's a great tool isn't it?) you can isolate the area you want to have be the same set of colors.

By going into your Colorization option in PSP or your Color/Hue setting in PS, you can adjust what color you want as well how saturated you want the colors to be.

Here I turned the blues into yellows and the greys into greens.

While the area is still selected, you can change things like brightness, contrast, intensity, gamma correction etc, to try to find the right set of colors you're looking for.

And after that, this is what we're left with.

But oh noes!

Our background color has changed with the armor color.

Worry not, and easy paint bucket flood fill with take care of that. The colors should be isolated by the crisp black outline that should surround the character.

Ta da~

Also in PSP you can use the color replacement tool if you right click on the color it is and turn the left click into the color you want it to be. Make sure you're tolerance is set to 0 and then double click the left mouse button on the image.

Now... turn off all your layers except the "drawing" and "elements" layers. the right click on a layer in the layer menu and choose an option called "merge visible". This will combine the visible layers on the image but keeping the transparency to the other layers.

At this point use your lasso tool to isolate areas that aren't contained and flood fill in the remaining areas.

Well this is where the tutorial ends. Why?

Because I started this awhile ago and didn't get this part finished to where I wanted it due to other things in life.

At this point is just a matter of shading. Again using the color replacement too to make a shade go only on the base color is a handy trick, you can also use the lasso tool to isolate sections you want shaded and then flood fill them.

Remember, Capcom tends to do a universal light source from directly above the character.

Hope all this helped and looking forward to what you all will make.







OH NO! Where would I find the MvC portraits so I can start?







Right here.








Please to DO NOT HOTLINK these images. Use photobucket or imageshack or something.
I find there are people linking to these I WILL remove them.




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