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Thinking of something like the MMORPG games use for building characters ... is there anything like that available outside of a MMORPG game?

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closed as too broad by wax eagle, C. Ross Mar 26 at 15:10

There are either too many possible answers, or good answers would be too long for this format. Please add details to narrow the answer set or to isolate an issue that can be answered in a few paragraphs.If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

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Would the Spore Creature creator count? or are you looking mostly for face construction? –  GMNoob Aug 21 '11 at 6:57
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Oblivion and the other MorrowWind games also have a good body contructor –  GMNoob Aug 21 '11 at 9:03
    
makehuman.org MakeHuman is very powerful, flexible, easy to use. It's meant to be the base of a pipeline though, not a final product you can immediately use. –  AndrewK Mar 26 at 23:58

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HeroMachine is a quick-and-dirty full-pose character creator that I've successfully used to represent an entire party of fantasy characters and a variety of humanoid monsters. The fixed base pose makes a HeroMachine character instantly recognisable as such, but the variety of features and accessories makes it surprisingly flexible.

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That's a good one ... was looking for something less "cartoonish" ... –  mattruma Aug 20 '11 at 19:18
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Yeah, it's not ideal to my mind either, but it's all I know of that's out there. –  SevenSidedDie Aug 20 '11 at 19:53
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+1 for being Linux friendly! –  Pulsehead Aug 21 '11 at 12:42

Actually, you might want to consider using some of those computer game tools that you mention. Ever since Eve Online was released (possibly even earlier), 3D character creation in computer games has become incredibly advanced. Check out the most popular computer RPGs of recent years and you will probably find several tools that allow you to create highly customizable portraits.

If you don't want to subscribe to an MMORPG, keep in mind that several single-player games offer these tools as well. Dragon Age is suitable for fantasy portraits while Mass Effect should work well for science fiction and modern-day settings. Note that both of those games have sequels, so I assume the later games have the most features in that department.

Taking a screenshot of a computer game isn't always as straightforward as pressing Print Screen. For that purpose, several dedicated applications are available, such as Fraps.

Finally, don't forget that you can also take screenshots of your character in-game, giving him a suitable backdrop and some equipment to boot.

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At OpaCitiZen's suggestion, I've added this as a proper answer. –  Jakob Aug 21 '11 at 9:31
    
I've been using Dragon Age for my current character. There are some limitations going this route, but for a dwarven fighter, it works fantastically. –  BBlake Aug 22 '11 at 4:13
    
Just out of curiosity, what kind of limitations are there? I've only used it very briefly myself. –  Jakob Aug 22 '11 at 16:47
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You're limited to human, dwarf or elf and limited in your overall class look to the basic fighter, rogue, cleric or wizard. And if you're creating a character new, you don't have much option in the displayed starting equipment for a full body shot. What it does give you is extraordinary flexibility (for a game) in the face, hair, skin tone, build, physical features, etc. But if you've got the time to play the character through for a while and get access to a big variety in equipment, you can make up for a lot of those early shortcomings in achieving the look you want. –  BBlake Aug 23 '11 at 4:17
    
The big issue is that of expense, closely followed by very limited featuresets. Star Trek Online, for example, charges for all but a basic assortment of uniforms. –  aramis Jan 29 at 20:32

Campaign Cartographer has a supplement for doing just that: Character Artist Pro

I use CC2 and CC3. Love them. Wish there was a real Mac version... but it runs under WINE on Mac, Unix, Posix, and Linux, and natively on XP or later.

But I've not personally used CA Pro... but one of my players did, and it produced great output.

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In-game faces for computer games are driven by software like FaceGen It falls quite short of a full fantasy character generator in its own right, but it's a lot of fun for other reasons. The free version is quite usable for exploring face shapes, or seeing what you might look like as a different race or sex. I believe there is something similar built into Poser, which is used by graphic artists to generate fantasy artwork, but which takes a lot of effort to learn and generate usable results from. Similar to Poser, but free software that you buy pre-built 3D content for, is DAZ Studio

Content warning: I've linked to inoffensive images that relate to OP, but there is much nudity in Poser and DAZ artist communities.

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Besides what @Jakob suggested in a comment on the question (why not an answer? :)), you might want to check out the character creator part of The Sims 3 as well. I guess you'd have to take screenshots here too, but it allows for not only face construction-customization but for rather fine tuned "body definition" as well. (Then maybe photoshop the result a bit to fit your game world.)

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If the SIMs isn't to your liking, you could try Second Life. additional benefit would be you could mold the surrounding environment. I suppose it depends on your point of view if using SL to make your character falls under available outside of a MMORPG game (I never considered SL an MMORPG), though if it does I supose that nixes SIMs.

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You could try Ultimate Flash Face it's a free, online tool for doing "composite sketch" style portraits.

Obviously, this applies to human characters, but it is more "sketchy" than "cartoonish."

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Adding to the list of suggestions to just use a game's character construction tool, I actually have used in-game screenshots from Morrowind and Oblivion for character portraits in the past and (depending on genre) Skyrim and Fallout 3 would also work quite well.

The main advantage of these games over an MMO and some of the other suggestions is that the Elder Scrolls and Fallout 3-series games have large, active modding communities with a ton of graphical mods available, so you're not limited to just using character types, equipment, or locations that are included in the game by the publisher.

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I've used the faces from character I've made in the original Dragon Age for characters; you can get quite a lot of variation in them.

It's an RPG rather than a MMORPG.

(Note for scifi games I've used EVE for faces, but that is a MMORPG)

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