Cat-people, Face-bashing, and custom CM partners 'oh my!'

Here is a tutorial on how to make a somewhat custom face, using simple techniques in GIMP; and how to make that face into a race in the CS and add it to your game as a custom CM partner.

This is the face I want to start with, it's a moonshadow elf face.

First thing I want to change is the tattoos; I selected the clone tool to patch over them. If you don't know how to use the clone to just hit Ctrl+click over what you want the area you will be cloning to look like. For example I Ctrl+clicked over the skin next to the tattoo. Also note that I am using a fuzzy brush because they have softer lines and will blend better.

The top tattoo is gone (:. looks a little patchy though. so I need to fix that.

To fix the patchy-ness I will use the color select tool to choose a color on her forehead.

Now I select the paint tool and change the opacity of the brush; and paint over the forehead, it will work like make-up (:.

Looks a little smoother now (:.

Now to get rid of the eye tattoos, I will use the clone tool again.

Now that one eye tattoo is gone I will be lazy and just copy the eye to paste the finished eye over the other eye XD.

Now I will just use the flip tool to flip the eye that I cut out horizontally. I need to line it up decently (Don't anchor it just yet!).

To make it sit somewhat flush with the face I will use the eraser tool over it before I anchor it.

Now that it fits smoothly, (you can see the parts that I erased.) I can anchor the eye. The eyes have a little too much eye shadow for my taste, so using the skin color I used to even out the forehead; I will paint over the eyes a little.

 A little more mellow now around the eyes. (same opacity was set on the paint brush, so it works like make-up.)

I want to paint over the lips too to make them look more 'natural' and less make-upy.(I went over twice, which was probobly too much since I use HDR... but when I put it in game I will see how I like it and change it from there.)

Since I went over the whole lips to make them lighter there will not be that much shadow to them in game; so I will just go over them the burn tool. Now it's starting to look decent; but I don't like the eyebrows...I want eyebrows from a different race (that uses the same head mesh moonshadow or head 06 in this case).

Here is the head texture from the DK high imperial race. Beautiful eyebrows!

To get the DK Imperial  eyebrows on my moonshadow face I just first need to copy the whole DK imperial face and not anchor it (do not anchor it!! and make sure before you copy and paste that they are the same texture size; these are 2048x2048).

To get the eyebrows I want erase the whole face I just pasted over except the eyebrows.  (note that I am still using the fuzzy brush.). Now that I have just the eyebrows left and everything else erased I can anchor it.

To make the eyebrows sit flush and look natural like the rest of the face, I just went over them with the paint tool twice (same skin color, same opacity as before.).

The skin is a little too pale so I will make it a little more warm by adjusting the red and yellow hues. To get this dialog window to show up go to colors>color balance. (I also adjusted the red and yellow hues of the highlights slightly before adjusting the hues for the midtones  which it automatically sets at.)

To make the face a little less dull I adjusted the contrast by a couple of points. The contrast settings are under colors> brightness-contrast.

To make it even darker, I went over the whole face with the burn tool. This made it darker without having to dull the coloring of the image. I could leave the face like this...but I think I want another kawa kitty :3.

I want to merge these two faces; I am using one of the faces from Desuchan's Kawa-Khajiit race. (I had to scale the image to 2048x2048 by going to image>scale image.) These two faces do not use the same head mesh so they will not line-up, but I just want the face fur... not the eyes or lips.

I did the same thing with the cat face that I did with the high imperial face, I just crtl+c and then ctrl+v over my moon shadow face. (don't anchor it!!!)

I just roughly erased the face out, to how I want it to look. (don't anchor it yet!!)

To make it look smoother I just adjusted the opacity level of the eraser tool and erased around the edges where the faces meet. Now I can anchor it.

 Since I went with the black kitty face, and not the orange one I adjusted the hue saturation (colors>hue saturation) of the master color to make it look smoother. If I went with the orange kitty face I could have left the face more warm looking. Now I want to see if it looks decent on a head mesh.

I just applied my texture to an appropriate head mesh (Don't save the mesh, just change it to view it.); I like it, would look better with hair XD... but It looks good to me. Now to create a new Normal map texture for the face.

Here is the Normal map for the moonshadow face I edited (If you don't want to edit the original textures this much, just copy and paste them into a new folder-- both the texture and the normal map, before you edit them.). I erased everything in the normal map.

To make the normal map I go to the face and go to filters>map>normal map. (You need this.)

Everything in the Normal map window I will keep the same except the scale which I set to 4.00000.

Now I just ctrl+c my new normal map, and ctrl+v it onto the actual normal map texture.  (tip: the more blue=the more shiny, I don't want her face to be shiny so I will erase it all.)

Now it's erased; ctrl+z to remove the normal map over the face texture. Don't forget to save. Now I can make this face into a companion (or a race.)

Since I will be making her into a CM companion I need to click the cm partners.esp (without setting it as the active file), and press 'ok'. (if you want to make a race instead of a CM partner click the Oblivion.esm instead of CM partner.esp.)

It will ask if I am sure I want to open something without an active file selected I will hit 'yes'.

Now that it is open I will need to make a race for my Custom CM partner (If you want to make a custom race you will need to do this also, except only open Oblivion.esm as the main file.) I just clicked on the character tab> race... This will open up the race editor/creator window.

First in the list to the left I just right clicked and selected 'new'. I named the race what I am choosing to name my companion 'aaaAmandarace'. Now in the General data tab, I just set the numbers for the base stats (I want her to be an archer/rogue). I set the voice as Imperial. (note: do not go too crazy with the stat numbers or they will run at 100 mph, or jump into space...also If you want spells just find the spells tab in the object window and drag the spells you want for your racials.)
Now the body data ( I am only focusing on the female files not the male, since I am creating a female... but the directions are the same.) For the height and weight I just used the default (which is the Imperial default height and weight, if I want them to be taller or shorter I copy either the Nord or woodelf height and weight numbers.). Clicking on the buttons next to upperbody, lowerbody, hand, and foot will open up your texture folder. Since I have HGEC the upperbody, loverbody, and foot textures will all be the same footfemale.dds texture (the hand texture will generally be in the same folder, as femalehand.dds or something similar.)  I just used the textures from the kawa-khajiit race; as well as the tale model/and texture. (if you are making a humanoid race don't worry about adding anything for the tail.)

Before moving on to the face data tab I need to add hair and eyes. (add as many as you want if you are making a race.) To add hair and eyes click on the character>hair button and the top and character>eyes button. Right click in the list in both the hair and eyes windows and select 'new'. When you select new it will ask you to name your hair and/or eyes with an editor ID.

The top button in the hair window will open your meshes folder; where you need to find the mesh of the hair you want, the lower button will open your texture folder where you need to find the texture for the hair mesh (it will generally have the same name as the hair you selected). When choosing the texture for the hair just select the normal .dds texture not the hl_.dds, hh_.dds or the n_.dds. Repeat this for every hair you want to add. When you are done, just drag the new hair(s) into the race editor window in the list under 'hair styles'.

For the eyes, you just need to find the texture, make sure you use the appropriate texture for the eye mesh you will choose later. Since I am going to be using the eye mesh that came with the kawa race I will also use one of the textures from her race. And same with the hair; add as many as you want and when you are done drag it into the race editor window under 'eye colors'.

Now for the fun part (-.-) the face data tab. \o/ ... It's pretty straight forward, can be kinda tedious though. The buttons on the left are for meshes, the buttons on the right are for their textures (except for the eye buttons which are both for the eye meshes.. also avoid mixing and matching the two unless you know they can me mixed and matched like some head meshes and textures can.)

 Since the face I used is moon shadow I chose the moonshadow head mesh with my new textures. I am ignoring the 'ears (male)' button since I am only making a female. For the 'ears (female)' I stuck to the ones in the kawa race. The mouth I used the mouth meshes and textures from the moonshadow elf race. The teeth lower button I used for eyelashes (since most teeth meshes in races are the top and bottom teeth combined). The Upper teeth I used the cat ones from the kawa race. The tongue I used for the whiskers (if you don't want whiskers most races come with tongue meshes and textures, or you can use the human default ones.) The eyes L is the left button the eyes R is the right button and I chose the eyes from the Kawa race (because remember I used those textures.)

(note: if you are just making a race you can save your race at this point, close out of the race editor/creator window and hit save and name your race. Don't forget to click on the 'text data' tab in the race window and click 'playable'! Also the text data tab is where you write your race info.)

I need to find the CM companions in the NPC window. I will be editing CMBree because she is an archer; which is what I want my new CM to be. I will just right click her and hit 'edit'.

In her editor window; the only thing I need to change here is the name and her race (note: if I was making a male I would need to check off the 'female' button next to the race.)

Now I can edit her face; to do so I just select on either the 'face' or 'face advanced' tab. I first will select the 'face' tab.

I just hit 'reset face' button at the bottom; then I will edit the hair and move onto the 'face advanced' tab to adjust the coloring and shape of her face. (note: her whiskers look funny because that is how my CS opens them; if your CS does the same, just ignore it...it most likely will not look like that in game, if it does however, you did something wrong in the face data tab of the race editor window.)

So far she looks like how I want her to, now to add her into the game world. First I need to hit 'ok' in this window. (note: if you want to add custom armor to your CM partner, just add the armor meshes to their inventory, and delete whatever armor they have in their inventory. They will automatically equip it.)

It will ask me if I want to create a new object, I will just choose 'yes'.

To add her into the game world I need to find a place to put her, I just chose the anvil  castle great hall in the cell view window. I need to drag her from the object window into the great hall . Click 'yes' to the message that pops up.

Now she is in the game world I need to save her; hitting 'save' opens my data folder and it's asking me to create an esp--which I named 'CM amanda'. Now to activate the esp and find her in my game.

Here she is in my game, and just as I thought my HDR makes her face look really light. To fix this I will just need to edit her face texture again by pasting some moonshadow lips over her existing lips. anywas, that is how it's done.

WHEW that was long! Hopefully this tutorial made sense, I tried my best to explain how to use these simple GIMP techniques (no layers yay!...they may make your life easier when you need to erase something, but they are a pain in my ass XD.) and hopefully I explained well enough how to use the race editor is the CS.

update: Amanda 2.0
Darker lips and less chin hair.

The darker lips I just pasted moonshadow lips over her lips (erased around them like earlier in the tuorial.) and I used the smudge tool (which is the finger, and I set the rate to 80) to add more skin to her chin. Now I might make her chin smaller XD.

Update: 3.0 . Amanda; now with a smaller chin and different colored eyes. I made these eyes using eye textures found on tesnexus (oracle eyes... I think is what they are called; same I use for Nora.); I just re-colored them and pasted them over the kawa eyes I was using :p. Her face looks a little warmer, but it was just the time of day I took this shot.


If anyone want's any of these resources let me know and I will post them here (:. I thought about posting all the faces I used, so people could play around with them; but most people would probably prefer to use what they have, so I will only upload it by request.