Incursion sees the release of an entirely new character generator system called Carbon. This is intended as a pre-cursor to Incarna and allows for a full-body avatar to be generated, although the viewable end result is at present still a portrait. It is a flexible and detailed avatar modelling system with an intuitive interface.
Entering the Character Creator
Character creation begins by selecting an empty slot from the login window.
If you have an existing character, and you have not upgraded your portrait, you will be offered the chance to do so when you attempt to log into that character. This will drop you into the "Character Modelling" step below.
Selecting A Race
The next screen allows you to choose your character's race. The four options are Amarr, Minmatar, Caldari and Gallente. When you click on one of the four icons at the bottom, a map area highlights, indicating the chosen race. Confirm your choice by pressing "Next" at the bottom right hand corner.
This will bring you to a screen that provides some more information about your choice. Press next to move to the next step.
Selecting Bloodline and Gender
On this screen you can select between the three Bloodlines for your chosen race, and the gender of your character. Neither of these decisions has any direct in-game effect, but may influence your roleplay choices (should you decide to roleplay) and do influence the character modelling options later. Select a bloodline by clicking on the appropriate symbol, then select gender by clicking on the "female" or "male" symbols. When you are happy with your choice, press next.
This is the first screen of the character modeller. To the left are some general options. To the right is the modelling option palette that allows you to choose hairstyles, makeup, facial hair, etc. At the bottom is a history selector, allowing you to undo and redo choices and modelling. A naked(ish), default, model is displayed in the centre.
In the general controls, there are three clickable options. Clicking on the hexagon surrounding the head will cause the camera to zoom to the head of your model. Clicking on the hexagon around the body will cause it to zoom out, to show the whole model. Clicking on the spread-eagle icon will toggle whether clothes are visible (on for default). It is not possible to toggle whether the character's underwear is visible - it always is.
There are two slider-like controls for shape - muscularity and weight. Roughly, these correspond to the muscle definition (a full bar = well-defined, an empty bar = slender) of the character and the weight (full = fatter, empty = thinner). There is often not a vast change when selecting these.
Three bars that appear to be sliders, but have only four selectable positions, control Aging, Freckles and Scarring. Aging adds wrinkles, freckles adds freckles, scarring adds acne-like scars. There's also a wheel that allows you to select base skin colour - the available colours are chosen by race/bloodline combination.
The eyes selector allows one to pick a general eye style - usually limited to pupil dilation and iris shading. When you click on this box, a colour selector appears, allowing you to pick iris colour. There is also a blind option - solid white eyes. This option may be limited to appropriate race/bloodline combinations. Note: At time of writing, there is a bug which means that you need to click to a different eye-style choice and back to render a colour change.
Female characters have two hair choices, male characters three. The first choice is hairstyle, ranging from bald to dreadlocks. Click and drag to browse options, click to select and render one on the main model. When you click into the "hair" area, a colour selector appears, allowing you to pick a primary and secondary colour. These colour choices are implemented differently for different hairstyles, so it's worth experimenting. The second selector is eyebrow style - exact arching is controllable through sculpting, so stick to selecting on thickness and length.
Male characters also get a "facial hair" selector, allowing them to choose between a range of beards and moustaches.
Female characters get a variety of selectors and colour and style choices.
Sculpting the model allows one to change the look, proportions and features of the character. It is done via clicking on the body or face of the model and dragging in a variety of directions. The effect of dragging may not always be intuitive, so it's worth clicking around and experimenting. Important: The effect of clicking and dragging is dependent on the direction of the camera - viewing a bodypart from the side and sculpting may allow different effects than those available on the same mesh viewed from in front.
When the mouse hovers over a sculptable area, a mesh shows in white. Clicking and dragging will sculpt this area. Here, we can narrow or widen the waist of the character.
This is the same mesh, same body area, from the side. Here, clicking and dragging will give the character a paunch, or take it away.
Similarly, sculpting works on the face.
After sculpting and selecting options the character looks quite different from that first seen.
There are a variety of garments that the character can wear. At time of writing, these are Tops, Bottoms, Outer layers, Boots and a variety of basically identical Aviator Sunglasses. The exact garments and categories are dependent on race/bloodline/gender.
As for the modelling options, there are a number of different top garments that can be chosen. The currently selected one is viewable on the model. The number and selector in the bottom left hand corner is the "Tuck Option" and becomes visible only after a bottom option has been chose.
The tuck option selects how the garment in question is arranged over near garments. At time of writing, there are two tuck options - top into bottoms (i.e. how the character's t-shirt is laid over their trousers) and bottoms into shoes (i.e. inside boots or outside). The tuck option may only appear for some garments. The selector is currently very temperamental.
Outer clothing (coats, jackets etc) renders as one would expect. Once you are happy with your sculpting and clothing choices, it's time to move on to taking the portrait. The model design will be stored, and clothing changes may be available in Incarna. Press "Next" to move on. It is possible to come back to the modelling and sculpting mode from portrait mode.
In portrait mode, we have three areas - the portraits to the left, the model in the middle, and selectors to the right. There are three selectors.
Posing And Camera
Head position and Expression
Click on a part of the head and get a white dot to allow you to turn the head or tilt it up or down. The same functionality works for the eyes, allowing you to set the character's gaze.
Some limited modelling is available on this screen, allowing you to control the character's expression (rather than their actual features). Manipulable areas will highlight with a mesh.
Taking a Portrait
There are four available portrait spaces, though only one will actually be used. The four are there to enable you to have additional attempts without losing acceptable ones. Take a portrait by clicking on the camera icon in one of the four available slots. You can re-take a photo into a used or unused slot without limitation.
When you have a portrait you are happy with, make sure it is selected and highlighted. You must check this, as once back at the login screen you cannot go back and select a different one.
This step only occurs for new characters.
Choose the following for your character.
Pressing "Next" finalises all choices, and returns you to the login screen.
Once you have returned to the login screen your new portrait will be viewable. Note: within 24 hours of your character creation, the servers will re-render your picture in possibly higher detail than that your computer managed. This may result in a change to the way it looks.
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