This is a quick guide to show you how to create player pictures for Football Manager 2010 and get them into the game.
Before you start you need to have a couple of things:
Image Editing Program that can handle transparent png files, I recommend using whatever problem you are most comfortable with but if you don't already have one free alternatives are Paint.NET and The GIMP. This guide will show you how to use Paint.NET to get the faces so the instructions may be slightly different if you use a different program.
A Text Editor to create the config file(s), Notepad will work fine however I recommend Notepad++ if you are doing a fair bit of xml work. Alternatively you can use one of the many automated programs to create your config file.
Finally you need the image you are going to work with, I cannot help you find images but good places to look at are news websites, the club/FA website or search Google Images.
Now that you have gathered all the stuff you need you are ready to start making your player faces.
The first thing you have to decide is what style do you want your images in – this guide will cover two examples getting any old image into the game and getting an image in the standard style (with a cut out background) into the game, if you want to create an image in another style you are better of checking out the fansite that makes that style.
Creating any Old Player Picture
So if you just want a picture of your favourite player in the game and don't care for the style all you really need to do is locate the image you want, load it into your preferred image editor and resave the file as a png with transparency enabled.
You don't even need to mess around with resizing the image as the game will do it all for you (though don't make your images too big as the game having to resize them may slow it down), as a rough guide 180 pixels is what you are looking for in the max. Dimension.
For example this is just a picture of Wayne Rooney found on the Internet and resaved as a png file and added to the game:
Creating Standard FM2010 Player Pictures
Creating Standard Style pictures is a little more complicated as you need to cut out the background and depending on the image this can be a pain, when finding images I'd recommend finding the largest cleanest image you can with as plain and contrasting background as possible.
1. First you need to load the image you want to edit into your preferred image editing program.
2. The easiest way to remove the background is with the Magic Wand Tool, however before selecting the background you want to remove you first need to set the Tolerance Level, a low Tolerance will only select pixels very close to the colour of the pixel you click on, increasing the level will select a greater range of different coloured pixels, depending on the image you will need to select a different value, trial and error and experience are the only real way of telling what value to pick, for example with a nearly uniform green background I had to select a Tolerance of 34% to get nearly all the green pixels.
3. When you are happy you have got as many pixels as possible press the delete key to delete them. Your picture should now have a transparent background (normally represented as gray and white squares in imaging programs).
4. Before we are done you just need to check to make sure you are happy with the image and that it doesn't have an annoying outline around it. To do this is Paint.NET you first need to create a new layer in the Layers panel and move it below the layer with your image in, now select the rectangle tool and make sure it is set to fill, for the colour of the rectangle either select a contrasting colour or a colour close to that of the background of your skin and draw a rectangle over the image.
5. If your image has an annoying outline or some random left over pixels you'll need to use the Laso and Magic Wand tools to remove the pixels.
6. When you are happy delete the layer that contains the rectangle so your image again has a transparent background.
7. As with the generic picture style you don’t need to bother resizing your image as the game will do it for you, though as a guide you want to aim for your picture of having a max. Dimension of 180 pixels.
8. Now we just need to save your image, select the save as option (or save for web option if your program has it) select the filetype as png and if asked make sure the transparent option is ticked (so your image keeps its transparent background) and save your image.
If you are using Paint.NET then you can also follow the instructions in these two screenshots:
Below is the same image of Wayne Rooney as above but with the grass background cut out:
Creating a Small Player Picture
This seems to be an option rarely taken by face makers but the game also allows you to create an image to display in the breadcrumbs menu.
1. First get the image you have saved above and create a copy of it.
2. The small picture doesn't get resized automatically, so you need to open the copy in your image editing program and resize it.
3. First you need to resize the image so that it has a height of 18 pixels.
4. Next you then need to set the canvas size to have a width of 25 pixels, so you end up with a 25 x 18 pixel image.
5. Now save you image as before ensuring it keeps its transparency settings.
Below is the same image of Wayne Rooney as previously shown but now shrunk down to the small face size:
How to get your image into Football Manager 2010
Now you have created your image(s) you need to get them into the game.
1. First you need to copy the images you have created into your User Data Folder by default this is: \My Documents\Sports Interactive\Football Manager 2010\
For best results create a graphics folder in that location if one doesn't exist, then inside the graphics folder create a new folder and put your new faces in there.
2. In the folder that you have put the images in, you next need to create a config file. Full instructions on how to create a config file can be found here – you need the lines for a Normal Face and if you are adding them the Small Face.
3. After you have created your config file, load the game up, go into the Preferences -> Display & Sound Menu and turn off the Skin Cache if it is on and tick the always reload skin option, click confirm and the game will reload your graphics and your added face(s) should now appear.