Custom Character Tutorial


 Topic: Custom Character Tutorial
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  Posted on October 6, 2015 23:33
Yuno
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#1
We decided to make a tutorial since all of the tutorials on N-B are somewhat outdated and the latest one posted is at best in like 2012. Not everything here is essential to being able to create a character, but everything here is essential to creating one without much room for mistakes. You should read through everything since everything is essential to know for that. And you can post about anything you don't understand or anything you might also need help on regarded character making here, so do not worry about a thing.
  Posted on October 6, 2015 23:34
sasuke1vs1naruto
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#2
About Classes:

First of all I'd like to explain how they're supposed to work in the game.

Main classes do nothing for the actual effects of the skills, rather, they're there just to indicate what type of skill the skill is, but that's only for main classes. The persistence type classes are there to tell you how a skill would work. Only one of each is allowed in each skill & they are required.

The ones used in N-A / S-A are.

Instant: The skill works independently of the user.
Action: The skill works dependant on the user, as the skill will activate each turn based on the effects on your character. Simply put, the skill will not take effect if you're stunned & will have its damage decreased if something lowers the character's damage during the time it is active. This doesn't happen for instant skills.
Control: The skill works exactly like an Action classed skill, but if it can't take effect, it will end.

Now, you can't use more than 2 persistence type classes in a skill, because, they dictate the mechanic of the skill, and the skill can't have both the mechanics of an action class and one of an instant class. In the case of main classes, you technically could be able to but that's wrong. Basically, let me explain Soul-Arena's classing system for a second:

Physical: A main class that is used for skills that deal physical damage
Reiatsu: A main class that is used for skills that deal reiatsu damage.
Affliction: A main class that is used for skills that deal affliction damage.
Strategic: A main class used for skills that do not deal damage.

Now, just follow the rules of the classes and you can see that you can't create a skill where you can use a main class in the skill more than once. That's because the classing system is well made there. However this is the N-A classing system:

Physical : The skill is matter creating the result of the skill. Abbreviated as 'Ph' sometimes.
Chakra : The skill is some form of energy creating the result of the skill. Abbreviated as 'Ch' sometimes.
Affliction : The skill is some form of persisting matter or energy, such as poison or flames creating the result of the skill. Abbreviated as 'Af' sometimes.
Mental : The skill is some form of thought or other metaphysical energy creating the result of the skill. Abbreviated as 'Mn' sometimes.

As you can see it has nothing to do with the damage type of the skill by any means, and rather, it just is a matter of defining the picture of the skill. Theoretically, you could have more than one main class in a N-A skill, but still, since N-A & S-A share admins they try to some degree to respect the rules of the other arena a bit, rather than N-A's. So you probably won't see skills with two main classes. But technically flames are created due to form of energy, but not all flame skills are affliction because if lets say you want to create a skill that launches a fireball towards an enemy that deals normal damage... that would mean the skill needs not to be affliction. However, by definition, if you follow the exact rules of chakra and affliction, the skill, regardless of damage type, would have to be classed "Chakra, Affliction". So yeah, N-A is a slippery slope and it can't be trusted. Especially when half the game organizes the classes according to a different system than the other. (At the time of the tutorial at least, some skills go like "Affliction, Instant, Ranged" for instance while the same skill in the same system would be like "Chakra, Instant, Ranged, Affliction".)

Also in-game, there can be skills with like Classes: Instant and there are. Here's one: 11 However in character making having no main class can make us think that you technically are using the S-A system, and you lack a class, since the actual lack of a main class is not for a particular reason since as you can see, the rules of classing are disregarded all the time in N-A, to make the skills work since they can't update what they can't access. So if you have no main class, we can assume that you use the S-A system where a strategic class would be needed if the skill is non-damaging and the other main classes are only for damage dealing classes and hence... get confused with how the skill actually is supposed to work.

Also, they have melee and ranged as classes, which are, only for skills that target the opposing team. Otherwise, don't add them to the character if you plan to use them.

Summary:

→ You can only use one main/persistence type class. (Note: One of each is required for each skill.)
→ Persistence type classes dictate skill mechanics regardless of system.
→ Distance type classes dictate whether or not the user is targeting one of their enemies.

Classing with Asterisks

Next come asterisks (*). Now, asterisks are used to define a part of a skill whose class needs to be different, in other words, replaced with another class, be it a main class or persistence type. For example: 22. They are basically the exception of dual classing, but there are some rules to using them. First of all, you should put an asterisk at the end of the sentence of the skill that needs to be classed differently, after punctuation which can be a period (.) or a semicolon (;) only. Also, if you want to assign multiple classes to a single sentence, then use multiple classes, assign them with *. If you want to assign two difference classes to two different sentences, one class needs to be like class* and the other class** so they won't overlap in assignment. In some cases, specifically for affliction, you can put it in the middle of the sentence, but there's a reason for that: 33. In this case, if you put it at the end of the sentence, the skill would deal piercing affliction damage, which would lead to confusion. So yeah, in case affliction damage is being mixed with other damage types, you can put the asterisk on the affliction damage. Now, if you cook up any other particularities, you're free to post them here, but in most cases, there will be an explanation on why the skill can be classed with a class at the end of the sentence. Now what is asterisk classing good for, is basically, is making that part of the skill work with a specific mechanic or deal a specific type of damage. The more important reason will become more apparent once I introduce some classes from WoN (Warofninja).

Summary:

→ You can use an asterisk to class a specific part of a skill a different class.
→ The asterisk always goes at the end of the sentence. (Particularity for affliction damage, read from the 33 link on why.)

WoN Classes

Speaking of WoN classes, two classes in particular that exist in WoN are, Passive & Aura. They are as follows:

→ Aura: A persistence type class that indicates that a skill will end once the user dies.
→ Passive: A persistence type class that indicates that a skill starts from the beginning of the game and is active while the user is alive. (In WoN, the passive class is a main class that indicates only that the skill starts from the beginning of the game. Will explain why that's wrong next)

If you read the paranthesis for passive, basically, you want to read an explanation for why we don't follow WoN's mechanics. You see, consider my explanation for S-A's classes. Now add WoN's passive as a main class. Now say you have a passive that deals no damage. What are you gonna class the skill. Strategic, Passive? Two main classes, no persistence type class? Passive, Instant? The skill deals no damage, it should be classed strategic. Strategic, Passive, Instant? 3 CLASSES IN ONE SKILL FOR S-A WITH NO ASTERISKS? You can see how this thing can get hairy. However since passives alter the actual skill mechanics & it only makes sense for them to persistence type, we combined the aura mechanics in the actual passive class. (since all WoN Passives are also classed Aura and any passive in any game ends once the user dies... because they are passive benefits for the character possessing the passive) If you really think about it, it's just a mistake made by the WoN staff. (In explaining the system)

Summary:

→ Aura: A persistence type class that indicates that a skill will end once the user dies.
→ Passive: A persistence type class that indicates that a skill starts from the beginning of the game and is active while the user is alive.

Auxiliary Classes

On an ending note I will be talking about auxiliary (special) classes which basically in the game at the moment they are basically just "Unique". In the past Affliction was too & auxiliaries were used anywhere with no limit to their number. (Well, they were just 2) Note that these classes exist to specify something that isn't necesarily needed most of the time, so if you decide to create new class that fits this system, you'll have to specify what it is. Not worth the hassle, but if you don't someone can also assume it's a main class, especially on a topic like a contest where you won't withhold the explanation you put up on your topic.

Summary Of This Very Short Part:

→ Auxiliary (Special) Classes are more of a hassle than anything.
  Posted on October 6, 2015 23:34
Yuno
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#3
General Guidelines

No characters without any offensive power. (Damage or instant kill effects or things similar to that. Basically a character needs to be able to kill the enemy team on its own)

No luck based effects. (Like 50% chance of doing something. Nothing has to be left at chance. It's a strategy game. Especially when luck can completely dictate your game's route too)

No randomly generated effects. (Falls into luck. This rule is tweakable however, if other effects benefit equally from the randomly generated number)

No amounts non-divisible by 5. (Due to the mechanics of the game, numbers that are not divisible by 5 will prevent some effects from working, confirmed by the administrators)

No percentages. (If you think about it, it falls into the above, also aside from that, it will make the person waste too much time calculating a certain value if there are multiple percentages effects into play)

The character must not be immortal/unable to win against, even to very specific effects. (Like for instance, making a character permanently invulnerable to affliction damage will make opponents who use such type of damage have no chance of winning against that character. Then at the time of the tutorial's release exists Shisui who can deal only 15 damage and there are characters that can block that damage every turn they are alive)

Don't make a character situational. (Basically make it take effect only if x conditions outside of the character itself are met. The character needs to be able to function individually & not have huge advantages only against very specific characters.)

No outside the match itself effects. The effects must be strictly based on effects that are not revolving outside the match itself & its containing characters. (As in effects that either involve characters that are not in the match and also effects that raise the timer's duration, experience, posts, etc. Basically, nothing that doesn't depend on the actual strategy and may give you more time/less time boosting/hindering your ability to decide what to do in a turn or more advantages based on out of the match effects.)

Try keeping your wording unable to be considered ambiguous, this often including skills that need new coding. (Basically whatever you write has to not be able to be interpreted in a way different than the way it is written, because otherwise people can find flaws that you didn't even intend the effects to create. Also do not try to make people guess what the skill do by saying things like "Naruto will be grabbed by an enemy if he doesn't use a skill" or something like that. Additionally anything that requires new coding often entails new mechanics & if you can see people interpreting the skills working in a way or the other, it's often a bad idea to even try going in that direction)

Note that even stuff already existing in the game can be ambiguous (For instance think about Sakura (S) and how she gains 3 seals. Lets say you make a character and you name these stacks/charges as lets say armors. Will someone think since a common game terminology in other games for armor is defense think you gained 3 damage reduction? In some cases they would. Is there a simpler way to say this? Yes, you can say that your character gains 3 charges of x skill. Or even call them armor charges. This is just an example & there are worse scenarios than this one JUST for this type of wording. So be clear)

Try keeping your character below 32 skill lines. If your character is too long it most likely has too many effects that it doesn't need. It's no need to fill in a character with too many effects. They are not helpful. Also if your character is too long, nobody is gonna actually want to read it or just be like "yo 7/10" just like good ol' N-B.
  Posted on October 6, 2015 23:34
sasuke1vs1naruto
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#4
General Traits

Once you're aware of what not to do in a character, it's time to learn about basic custom character traits. They are what define how good a character is, some being more important than others. When making a custom character, you should worry about it in the following order (But they're not listed by degree of importance, keep that in mind):

Concept is essentially the goal of your character & what their skills are going to do in order to accomplish that goal. Basically, you will create your character in a way that exploits a certain (type of) effect. As an example, I'm gonna list a skillset and explain through that: 44. In this example's case the goal is for the skillset is damage, where you have the skills focusing on improving it or improving the improvements themselves. Basically you want your skills to have a goal because otherwise your character is just gonna be some skill ideas which anyone can write, rather than a strategically planned character. In order to accomplish a concept well there exists;

Flow. Flow basically means that the skills influence each other. Doesn't matter if it's positive influence or negative, direct or indirect, it's still gonna be considered flow, even if it doesn't actually support the concept. As an example of flow, we have the first skill in Naruto getting improved by the second and third, while the third improves the first and second, while the second can be improved by the third to better improve the first. Yeah, there's gonna be a lot of this going in your mind. Flow is also useful for creating;

Versatility. Basically by having a more versatile character you can generally exploit your concept better. But is Naruto versatile? All he does is use a damaging skill and improve that. The correct answer is no, he isn't. In order to gain versatility we often sacrifice the invulnerability since you can always have a defensive effect or anything else that helps the concept that is more useful than an invulnerability. Basically if I do this change to Naruto he will now be versatile. Now Naruto can choose to sacrifice his build up for damage in order to gain health so he can survive and deal more damage. So in this case your opponent won't know if you will choose to heal yourself or use the damage improvements to deal damage. Which is a choice. The more versatile your character is, the more choices your skills give you. Now after you're done with all of this next up comes;

Balance. Ok, now I hope you obviously realize that I can't explain to you all the 3153153153 possibly unbalanced situations that you could encounter & lets not forget that to a degree balance is subjective. However what I can actually do is balance the skillset I made and explain to you why I balanced the skillset in the way I did. Here is the balanced skillset. By this time I'd like to point out that I didn't use a Naruto template here so you would try to follow up the guide without relying on a single system, but rather, look at it in more of a general way. So in this case "chakra" is "energy".

Ok, so basically, Uzumaki Barrage costs a specific energy because most skills in the games deal 20 damage and have the cost of 1 specific. It's true that they generally have an additional effect, however, since the skill can be improved, it will likely deal more than 20 damage when used. Next up is the second skill which increases the damage of Uzumaki Barrage by 20 damage, which technically would seem pointless since you could technically use Uzumaki Barrage twice in a row, but keeping in this mind, it can be more benefic to improve the damage & deal it all once the target's defensive skills end & the fact that Uzumaki Barrage and Shadow Clones can be doubled by Rage of the Demon Fox, this skill could even be considered too low for what it can bargain through flow. Still, since the character has no defense without using the blessed tits and sacrificing the damage improvement just to recover health loss, his improvements can end up useless if he gets killed before he can deal that, and it's not unlikely to counter this character by dealing damage that could finish it off. Next up is the third skill, which doubles the amounts of the next uses of Uzumaki Barrage & Shadow Clones for 1 turn. Dealing 40 damage for a specific and a random is more often than not considered OP and improving a skill to deal 40 damage permanently can be considered OP, so to balance that out the skill has a cooldown 2. Additionally, due to the cooldown of the skill being 2, the enemy could easily tip top around you by becoming invulnerable or stunning you. Then come the blessed tits, which I decided to have no costs based on the fact that it will heal health based which will be 20 if you spend one specific, 40 if 2 etc. For most (self-)healing skills, that is the norm. However this skill can end up healing a lot of health due to Rage of the Demon Fox and the central skill of the character being Shadow Clones which is likely to be a lot, we don't want this skill to be exploited, so in order to not make the user focus on building up damage improvements just to heal them away, I decided to give the skill a cooldown of 3. In this time if all of the characters skills have no cooldown, he can improve Uzumaki Barrage to deal 100 damage, thus possibly making the blessed tits not that useful.

What you can take away from this is basically that you have to consider the way your skills interact with each other, what your character can do & what other skills that aren't in the character/of your character could do with or to your character. You will learn how to balance far more easily with experience, where you will see how a skill can be overlyexploited or not be exploitable as time passes. Another thing you might not think is something you will learn to do with experience is;

Originality. You may think that this is obtained passively, the ability to create something unique, since most people feel like that in general. Maybe that's the case in some other things, but in this case, you're safe. Originality is basically a trained skill. You see, all you have to do something original is to do skills & make them interact in ways you haven't done before. Not how someone else has done them, not how you've read them done somewhere else, but rather, did you do this effect yourself and create a concept around it ever? Then you should do it. Because over time you will realize what new things you could do based on the things you already did and the way you did them. At some points you may hit creative blocks where you are like "Everything is the same no matter what I do" but I assure you that more often than not, everything is different each time you do it. Just make characters, read other characters to see what's wrong & what's right in them, be them either bad or really good & you will learn how to do new things if you apply what you read and what you already did right.
  Posted on October 6, 2015 23:34
Yuno
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#5
Templates

Alright, you know everything said above, you know about classes, what not to do and what you should try doing in your characters, but you won't be able to make them if you don't have a template right? Below you'll find a link for pretty much the same template for both Photoshop and Gimp, so I highly recommend that you use either one of these programs. If you're unable to download them right now, but you still wanna make custom characters, you can use the Custom Character Creation Tool, but it's rather outdated and I gotta say, it's bad.

• Template (Photoshop) -> Mediafire or 4shared
• Template (Gimp) -> Mediafire or 4shared.

Both templates will be using "Energy required" rather than "Chakra required", so it can be used for almost any anime, if you still wanna strictly use it for Naruto, or Bleach or some other anime specifically, you can find some Template Skins on the resources post, though personally I think it's good to use a system that can work for any anime, so you have less work. I still kept the Character, Skill Name and the four energy colors the same as Naruto-Arena to make things a bit more user-friendly.

I'm gonna teach you how to use this type of template, because it can be slightly tricky at first glance, but don't worry, once you are familiar with them, this template will make your life easier in every way possible.

Layer Groups: As soon as you open the template, you will notice some little Folder-like things (PS / Gimp), namely Skill 01, Skill 02, Skill 03, Skill 04 and Pictures. These Folder-like things are called Layer Groups, they have the same function as folders in your computer, you organize stuff by putting files (in this case layers) inside them. By clicking on the "►" thing, this (or "+" for Gimp), you can open a layer group and see what's inside. How about you open "Skill 01" and let's check its content.
As you can see, Skill 01 (just like other Skill layer groups), will have "Skill Description X", "Skill Name X", "Class,Here,X", None X, "Energy X #1, #2 and #3" and "No Costs" (X = whatever Skill Layer group you're on). Here's a picture of the group in PS and this one for Gimp. Let's not mess with them for now, though you probably already guessed what's the function of most of them.
At the bottom of the Skill 01 layer group, you will see a layer group (in photoshop tagged as violet) named "EXTRA LINES & SPACE 1", yes, you guessed right, my template already has support for additional lines, so you will never have to worried about them, Image with both of them, left PS, right Gimp. By opening that layer group, you will see 3 more. The first one is to extend the box space by 3 lines, the second is by 2 lines and the last one is by 1 line only, picture with both again. To close a layer group, click on the same "►" thing you clicked to open, though this time it will be like this "▼", or "+" on gimp which will be a "-" this time.

Toggling Visibility: This is the key part of my template and what makes it so versatility and easy to use. You've probably noticed, there are some eyes on some layers, while others don't have it, they are exactly the visibility of your layer, while the layer has an eye on its side, it will be visible on the image, if it doesn't have one, it won't be visible (example from both programs). However, you can and will toggle this visibility on or off according to what you need, let's take a look shall we:

Notice that "No Costs 1" has an eye on its side, left click that eye and as you can see, the eye disappeared as well as "Energy required: No Costs" on the template, example from PS and example from Gimp. Now, left click around the same area, but this time for "Energy 1 #3" and just like magic, your first skill now costs 3 energies, example from PS again as well as example from Gimp. That's the trick to changing energies, you make 1 of the 4 Energy layers visible, while keeping the others invisible. So if you want to make the skill cost only 1 energy, you will toggle on the visibility on the layer "Energy 1 #1" and toggle off on the other 3.

Now to deal with extending lines, open the "EXTRA LINES & SPACE 1" folder, let's extend skill 01 by 2 lines. Before all else, you have to toggle on the visibility on "Additional lines 1", you will use that layer to write whatever you want to be on the additional lines so you have a little extra space below the Skill picture, then you also toggle on the visibility on "+2 lines 1" and as you can see, your skill already has space for 2 more lines, example of that part on PS and on Gimp . You also probably noticed that "None 1", "Classes,Here,1" and "Energy required:" are misplaced. In order to fix their position, just make these 3 layers invisible, like this: PS & Gimp, open the "+2 lines 1" layer group and make the ones that are there with a similar name visible, like this: PS & Gimp. It's all about messing around with visibility.

Energy colors: After these 2 steps above, you are probably wondering why the energies are by default a white type, such as genjutsu in N-A, that's because to change their color, you will paint them using the famous Paint Bucket from paint, yes it is present in both photoshop and gimp as well. To do that, you will firstly grab the Eyedropper or Color Picker tool that's also present in both programs (over here, left is ps and right is gimp). After that, the first thing you should do is click on the layer that you want the costs to be painted, like for example this one, then with the Eyedropper or Color Picker tool selected, click on one of the energies that are beside the Facepic, I'm gonna go with the green one, then grab your Paint Bucket, here's their place, as always, PS on the left, gimp on the right and click on the white space in the energy that you want to paint and it will be like this: PS & Gimp.
When you're done with your custom character, I recommend toggling on the Cover energies w/ this 's visibility, so it makes the energies beside the Face picture invisible, it makes the character look better without them, in my opinion anyways.

That's pretty much it, after messing around a bit with the template, you will most likely get the hang of it and have no worries about templates for the rest of your life, so you can worry about the content of your characters rather than technical things. Speaking of technical things, here's some information about the template such as font used and all.

• Character Name -> Font: Trebuchet MS Bold / Type: Bold / Size: 14 pt / Antialiasing: None / Color: #330099 (Dark Blue)
• Skill Name -> Font: Trebuchet MS Bold / Type: Bold / Size: 14 pt / Antialiasing: None / Color: #ef8f00 (Orange)
• Classes -> Font: Arial Regular / Type: Regular / Size: 10 pt / Antialiasing: None / Color: #808080 (Gray)
Everything else* -> Font: Trebuchet MS Regular / Type: Regular / Size: 11 pt / Antialiasing: None / Color: 000000 (Black)

* Everything else being, Character Description, Mission Name, Skill Descriptions and Cooldowns.
  Posted on October 6, 2015 23:34
sasuke1vs1naruto
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#6
To end this tutorial, let's talk about pictures, I'm gonna divide this part into theory and practice, theory being the explanation for each thing and practice will be teaching the person how to get the hang of them all. For now let's start with theory:

THEORY

Pictures can be something rather subjective, most custom character makers (cc'ers for short) have their own preferred style, but one thing that they can all agree upon is that it's easy to tell when a picture has at least an acceptable quality and is cropped correctly. We're gonna teach you how to crop a picture and a basic combination of image settings so you can start, but as time goes on you'll eventually develop your own and knowing how to crop a picture properly comes with experience as well.

Crop is in short to show what needs to be shown in a picture, according to what you want your skill to be. So, don't be worried about zooming in the maximum as you can, but rather removing what's unnecessary for the picture. For example with this stock of Desert Coffin (click it to see). There are a fews ways to crop it:

This way above would be considered wrong because you can barely see what's happening in the picture, if the person is already familiar with Naruto, they might understand after a while, but in general you want them to be completely clear like;

These 3 examples would be for the most part fine, the first is very zoomed in, the second has a slightly different positioning and the third is rather zoomed out, but you can tell what's the intention of such pictures, what they are showing? A dude being constrained with a lot of sand that slightly resembles a coffin.

Crop (Face picture). Face picture, Facepic or FP for short is something even more subjective, but the general rule is to show the face of the character by cropping, on the top part, a little above its eyes and for the bottom part, a bit below the chin and try to keep the facepic centered. I'm gonna give an example with 3 facepics: Naruto, Sasuke and Sakura. Click the links to see them of course & I'm gonna start by showing the general way to crop them wrongly.

The first FP didn't crop the chin and it's for the most part centered, but it's waaaaaaaaaay too zoomed in. You wanna show the entire face not just both eyes.
The second FP is centered and the top part is correct, but the person left it way too zoomed out, remember it's a face pic.
The third FP was cropped correctly, but its positioning is a too much on the right side, it needs to be centered.
The fourth FP left some space below the chin which is fine, but the top part, an eye was cut and that's something that should never happen.
The fifth FP did everything wrong, too much space above the eyes and they cut the chin completely, all in all it's ugly.
The last one is similar to the third FP, it has everything correct except positioning, in this case, it's on the left side more than it should be.

Here's some correctly cropped examples:
The first fp is a bit to the left, the second is very centered and the third is a bit to the right. They all have a similar amount of space below the chin, no eye was cut and there's not much unnecessary forehead is showing. That's the trick.

Quality in short will define if your picture is HQ (high quality) or LQ (low quality). Once again it might be subjective on what the person considers HQ or not, also the source's quality (the stock used) needs to be taken into account, old anime like Dragon Ball will have a way worse quality than new ones such as Attack on Titan (Shingeki no Kyojin), aside from being old or new, anime will more often than not have different animations and you need to adapt. It may look difficult but as you gain more experience, it won't be for the most part. No examples for this right now as you'll see them on the Practice1 part.


PRACTICE

Crop. Now it's time you learn how to crop. I'm gonna be using Photoshop Creative Cloud 2015 (PS CC 2015) and Gimp 2.8.14, but cropping is a rather basic function that should be present in most, if not all versions of these 2 programs.

Rotating. After you've opened the program you're gonna be using, take this Naruto stock. So after you've opened the image, let's start by fixing Naruto's face positioning because it's a bit inclined to the right.

- With Photoshop, you go to "Edit -> Free Transform" (Control+T) then while the mouse is outside the image, you can rotate the image by holding your left button and moving it around, there's a bar on the top that will be showing, in numbers, how much you've rotated it, you can also use it to rotate. Example

- With Gimp , you can use your Toolbox, there's a rotate tool there, this thing. From there you can rotate with your mouse or playing around with numbers in the Rotate box that will open. Example


Now literally, cropping. No need to crop exactly the way I did, but if you've read the theory part you will know more or less how to crop it correctly.

- With Photoshop, select the Crop Tool, which is on the left side (over here), then notice the new options at the top bar and immediately change it to "1:1 square", because otherwise your picture will end up squished when resized, example. Also make sure the option on the right side of the bar "Delete cropped pixels" is unchecked, over here, this is important in case you are not happy with your result, you can simply fix it by moving the stock around with the Move Tool.
Now you've probably noticed there's a border around your picture, you can click on that border and decrease it or increase it to tell Photoshop which area it's gonna crop for you, example. You can also move that highlighted area around by moving it around with your mouse while it is inside the picture, like this. Once you're happy with your crop, you can double click inside the highlighted area and your picture is now cropped, I'll go with this.

- With Gimp, select the Crop Tool, which is inside the Toolbox, this thing. On Tool options, check the "Fixed: [Aspect Ratio]" box, type on the box below that one "75:75" and press enter, because otherwise your picture will end up squished when resized, example.
Now with the crop tool selected, click somewhere and move your mouse around, you'll notice a square will be highlighted accordingly, you can increase or decrease that highlighted area by clicking on the corners of the area, these squares here, and moving it around with your mouse, you can also move that highlighted area around by clicking inside it, but not in the corners and moving it around with your mouse as well, I pointed out where my mouse is. Once you're happy with your crop, you can double click inside the highlighted area and your picture is now cropped. I'll go with this.

Resizing. Your picture is now correctly cropped, but it's not 75x75 just yet as it should be. Let's fix that shall we:

- With Photoshop. Go to "Image -> Image Size..." (over here), make sure Resample is "Bicubic (smooth gradients)", so that when resized, the lines won't be edgy and make sure both Width and Height are by pixels, example with all right options. After that, change both Width and Height to 75, click ok and that's it, your facepic is now 75x75.

- With Gimp. You shouldn't use gimp because it messes a bit with the picture's lines, making them be a bit edgy. I recommend using picresize.com. So what you're gonna do is save the cropped stock in your computer, by exporting as, saving it as PNG and not messing around with these options. After that upload it to picresize and on "Step 2 Resize your picture" change the settings to Custom Size and input "75" on both, making the image be 75x75 pixels, no extra effects and format will always be png here's a picture of the options. After that you can resize your picture with it, click on "View image" (here), copy it, return to gimp, go to "Edit -> Paste as -> New Image" (over here) and that's it, your picture is now properly cropped and its size is 75x75. In case you're wondering, you can also use picresize to crop the original stock, so no worries.


Quality. The picture is decently cropped and all, but it probably needs some adjustments, right? Different pictures will need different adjustments, but you can create some sort of combination that you will use on most of them, we call it settings. Then you can adjust the picture after these settings you've created are applied. In this tutorial, some basic settings will be shared and altho they are basic, they can be effective, so think of it as a the starter team in an arena game (like Team 7 in N-A) Starting with:

Sharpen. Sharpen is used to strengthen the lines of an image, thus making the image clearer, but a lot of sharpen can be harmful and make the image's lines be super white and ugly. Different anime may have stronger lines or weaker lines, which would require, respectively, less sharpen and more sharpen, this is also something around stocks too, some barely need any sharpen while some will need a huge amount. This is something that comes with experience, but as long as you keep in mind that you won't be able to use the same amount of sharpen for everything, you will learn pretty quickly.

- With Photoshop. Go to Filters -> Sharpen -> Smart Sharpen (yes we will be using Smart Sharpen, because it's more accurate), here's the menu. For this stock in particularly I'll go with 35, so change the Amount to 35, it'll end up like this. Don't mess with anything else and click ok.

- With Gimp. Go to Filters -> Enhance -> Sharpen (over here). For this stock in particularly, I'll go with 20, so change the Sharpness to 20 and that's it. it'll look like this.


Brightness/Contrast. Brightness is pretty self explanatory and Contrast will emphasize the brightness differences in an image, making what's bright even brighter and what's dark even darker. As you would expect, darker pictures will require more of one or the two, while bright pictures will require less. It once again comes to experience but as long as you keep in mind that you shouldn't overdo, as in don't try to make a picture that's naturally dark be as bright as sunlight, it's nearly impossible for the picture to look good if you try to change it too much, so be gentle with it and you'll be fine.

- With Photoshop. Go to "Image -> Adjustments -> Brightness/Contrast", here's the menu. For this naruto facepic, I'll be using -7 brightness and +30 contrast. Make sure "Legacy" is unchecked and click OK, it will be exactly like this.

- With Gimp. Go to "Colors -> Brightness-Contrast" (over here). For this naruto facepic, I'll be using -6 brightness and +6 contrast. Click OK and it's done. It'll be exactly like this.

Hue/Saturation. Hue is used to change the propriety of colors, such as make yellow be red, blue, green and so on, this is good but on really small numbers so it doesn't end up messing with colors. Saturation is used to intensify the existing colors of your picture, doing the opposite if the numbers are negative. Hue will be for the most part be the same, but Saturation will change according to pictures, some will be really dull thus requiring more saturation while some will be overly colored requiring you to use less or even use negative numbers sometimes to tone its colors down.

- With Photoshop. Go to "Image -> Adjustments -> Hue/Saturation", here's the menu. For this naruto facepic, I'll be using -3 hue and +10 saturation. Make sure "Colorized" is unchecked and click OK, it'll be exactly like this.

- With Gimp. Go to "Image -> Colors -> Hue-Saturation" (over here). For this naruto facepic, I'll be using -3 hue and +12 saturation and click OK. It'll be exactly like this.

And that's it, with just 2 color functions, Brightness/Contrast and Hue/Saturation, you pretty much made your pic HQ, for the most part, of course like I said, quality can be subjective, so some people might not consider it HQ enough or something like that, but I assure you that they are at least acceptable and as you go on, you will probably modify them a bit or totally discard them and start something new. Here's a summary of the settings used in case you don't wanna go through the wall of text to find them:

• Sharpen: 35 (Photoshop) / Sharpen: 20 (Gimp)
• Brightness: -2 (Photoshop) / Brightness: -6 (Gimp)
• Contrast: +30 (Photoshop) / Contrast: +6 (Gimp)
• Hue: -3 (Photoshop) / Hue: -3 (Gimp)
• Saturation: +10 (Photoshop) / Saturation: +12 (Gimp)

To end this part, my message to everyone who's learning how to make pictures is that sometimes, you will be a bit bored of using the same settings over and over again, in this case, it won't hurt to change, remember that the first person who should like the outcome, be it pictures or a custom character even, is you.
  Posted on October 6, 2015 23:34
Yuno
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#7
Useful Stuff:

Downloads

Photoshop. Good luck or PM Yuno for instructions on how to install.
Gimp.
CC Creation Tool. Don't get too comfortable with this, it's bad, but I'm gonna link it just in case you can't download Gimp or Photoshop right now.
Templates: They're in this post. The post also has an explanation on how to use them.
Naruto Template Skin: Photoshop (Mediafire); Photoshop (4shared) / Gimp (Mediafire); Gimp (4shared). They're basically an overlay that changes "Energy required" into "Chakra required" and also Character & Skill Names colors, to use them you copy what's inside it and place above everything in the regular template like this.

Utility Topics & Sites

Screenshots Galore. It's here on n-b, we tend to update it a lot with new anime, though it doesn't work based on suggestions.
MyFavoriteGames Screenshots. This is the second option, it's famous for its naruto pre-shippuden screens, but it does have some anime that Screenshots Galore don't.

Free Pictures

Worldwide Image Shop archive. Naruto only.
MakeMeSad's Picture Showcase. Naruto & Bleach. Also accepts requests from any anime if the person has stocks.
Lian's Picture Showcase. Naruto, Bleach and a few other ones.
Radarobert's Fairy Tail Picture Showcase. Fairy Tail as you've already guessed.
Radarobert's Sword Art Online Picture Showcase. Sword Art Online only.

If you have any topic to be added here, let us know.
  Posted on October 6, 2015 23:35
Ahri
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#8
I wanted first post.
So what are you gonna say at my funeral now that you’ve killed me? Here lies the body of the love of my life whose heart I broke without a gun to my head. Here lies the mother of my children both living and dead. Rest in peace my true love, who I took for granted. Most bomb pussy, who because of me sleep evaded. Her shroud is loneliness, her god was listening. Her heaven will be a love without betrayal. Ashes to ashes, dust to side chicks.
  Posted on October 6, 2015 23:37
LipeGod
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#9
Will try later (hmm)
Good job

Avy by: Gankz ~ Sign by: Justin
  Posted on October 6, 2015 23:40
uchihamayuto
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#10
anyway for me to design characters without downloading template?
  Posted on October 6, 2015 23:44
sasuke1vs1naruto
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#11
uchihamayuto wrote:
anyway for me to design characters without downloading template?
Without the templates (for either Gimp or Photoshop) or the CC program, no.

Edit: You can try creating a template from scratch by using this blank one, but the templates for Gimp & Photoshop have all the right fonts and placements prepared for you. So it's far easier for you to download the templates.
  Posted on October 6, 2015 23:44
Yuno
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#12
uchihamayuto wrote:
anyway for me to design characters without downloading template?
Honestly I highly recommend downloading gimp... or getting photoshop somehow, but if you just wanna try and see if you like it, you can download the CC Creation Tool, it's kinda ew tho.

So to answer your question, you can do it without downloading templates, but you still need to download something.
  Posted on October 7, 2015 01:23
ShogunOfSorrow
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#13
Very useful, and a good read. Though there are a few key points I disagree with (namely 32 lines, face pic zoom, and absence of strategy in all random effects), this is probably the best tutorial I've seen.

Good work.
  Posted on October 7, 2015 01:40
sasuke1vs1naruto
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#14
ShogunOfSorrow wrote:
Very useful, and a good read. Though there are a few key points I disagree with (namely 32 lines, face pic zoom, and absence of strategy in all random effects), this is probably the best tutorial I've seen.

Good work.
The 32 lines thing: It's necesary to avoid these in CC competitions.

Pictures are subjective, as it was stated.

And all random effects = no random effects. No effect basically should be there that has nothing to do with the endgoal of the character. There's not supposed to be any random effects, period. Since all skills help towards one another, none of the effects would be planned randomly and they would be used to create a strategy. We don't condone anything to be done randomly here since that is just you getting out with an effect that is there just to be there.

Edit: I assumed you mean random effects as in effects with no roles to further out the character's concept. But in case you meant RNG effects, they could have strategy just fine & generally based on what happens due to it, you'll plan things around that. The problem is that more often than not, since you can't control them, balance wise you will have to plan things out so it always has to be the same amount of benefits in every situation. Or at least make you take COMPLETELY different routes. But note, general guidelines are that, guidelines.
  Posted on October 7, 2015 04:18
ShogunOfSorrow
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#15
@SvN: I meant random targeting effects, such as Chiyo's puppets. It's also possible with damage, too, my Jidanbou from a while back had some fun skill concepts with random damage increasing in increments.

About the line thing, as I told Yuno:

I wrote:
You know I disagree with the 32 lines rule, but one significant reason is because alternate skills are not a bad thing, and 32 lines is very limiting when dealing with alternates. The Sannin and Hiruzen are so much cooler and more functional with alternate skills. Tenten (S) actually has unique concept now. Gaara got another skill without wasting a slot. Tessai doesn't have immediate access to his best skill because of an alternate skill (which is infinitely better than simply disabling it, filling up the invulnerability slot with it, or removing the skill entirely). It's much easier to wrap one's head around a concept by splitting up skills, instead of having "first time this skill is used, it does W, next time it does X, but if Y is active, it does Z" all in one box. It's easier to grasp concepts when you reach a stopping point at which you can think about the skill. Putting everything in one box doesn't provide this and makes wrapping one's head around the text harder.

With the 32 line rule, what are you gaining? Limiting skills and concepts, and catering to stupid/lazy/uncaring/uncritical/everything you guys don't like? Can you honestly say you care about the opinion of someone whose only response to reading 6 little boxes is "TL;DR"?

A hard limit is not a good rule to stand by. In general, a wide breadth can be covered by "keep skills concise, be reasonable, and keep single skill boxes at 8 lines or below".
In a contest, short is usually good I admit, but short is not always the right choice, depending on the character.

But hopefully we can agree to disagree.
ANBU_49, fuzzboy123.
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