How do you change a face?

Hello texturing geniuses !

In very simple terms how would you go about taking an existing head and changing it eg. adding tattoos or weird make up, scars etc ? Also what programme do you need and how do you put it in so it’s adjustable.

Is it a case of finding the head in the nwn2 folders moving it into another programme, drawing on it, saving it and exporting it as a different number ?

If you leave the skin tone and change that with the toolset do you have to alter anything with the body ?

I have no idea how to do this but on seeing an npc looking rather good as a " negative" with a spell effect ( I think displacement and something else ) wondered how you could go about making it a permanent head.

Thank you.

When you know the head number, open the corresponding mdb in MDB Cloner or MDB Utils to see which texture file (either dds or tga) it uses.
Open this texture file in your preferred image editor (Gimp,, etc) and add the tatoos, make-up or scars.
Note that for some faces use the texture only represent one half of the head, which is then used for both right and left (in other words, any change will appear on both sides).
Save the modified texture as a new file (unless you want to overwrite the original one), and with MDB Cloner or MDB Util you can now create a new head (use an available number of course!) with the new texture.

4760… Thank you, it seems relatively straightforward but I haven’t got a preferred image editor and have never used one so which one do you recommend for something like this ? I have no intention of doing any 3d modelling or anything like that, I just want to mess about with some heads and don’t want anything too complicated.

Paint net looks like a photo editing thing so are the texture files flat ? So is it a bit like drawing a map then wrapping it on a globe ?

Hello again, I downloaded the mdb cloner and can import the mdb into it but it doesn’t do anything to the file it just tells me about the main mesh, eye mesh etc with no mention of a tga or dds one all I can do is press reset on each file or turn on/ off alpha transparency so what am I doing wrong ?

Sorry, I forgot that MDBCloner didn’t give the extension of the texture files.You’ll get the information you need in the “Diffuse” box.
@rjshae, I mixed the name of your tool up and called it MDB Util instead of MDBConfig. Sorry for that.

@Tsongo yes, the texture are flat. Just think of them of layers you apply on a model. Here’s for example the diffuse texture for head #228 (from Faces of Neverwinter) in

Now, let’s add another layer, with transparency so the background doesn’t hide what’s below (here, I chose a kind of bullet wound)

Just save this new texture: using it, the character will look like it’s been shot between the eyes.


4760… Awesome, thank you very much I’ve downloaded gimp and just about worked out how to draw on it. I’m alright with layers and drawing as I spent my NWN2 break buried in an animation programme making a cartoon and that was all about layers. It’s a shame I can’t import into that because I know what I’m doing with that software.

This should be interesting, many thanks.

ps. that’s one scary looking face I’m glad you shot it !

If you have not yet set on a primary image editing program , I can highly recommend as well .

I still use Gimp from time to time, but I find far more user friendly and it has many useful plugins etc .

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RoonBear518… Thank you, I think I’ll be greedy and have both now ! But I still can’t turn my mdb into anything else so I can’t test it out on either one yet !

I think @rjshae jshae sent me a guide on that MDBConfig , it was an older one…let me see if I can find it …

Thank you because I can’t see what I’m supposed to do with that or the cloner.


Here it is I think, it was on @kamal 's blog , might be what you need:

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He also sent me this guide which has some instruction on the MBDconfig , and texture starting on page 3 :

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Many thanks RoonBear518 that is very kind and no doubt I’ll be needing them later but I still can’t see how I get the face textures into an editing programme. Have you got any idea how you make them available from the mdb file ? If I can get a picture of the texture I can paint on it, so how do you split up the mdb file into a list that the editing programme can open and find when I press import image or whatever it says ?

I haven’t really dug into it that far yet, I was still just practicing importing static models.

If you do find any pointers please post them!

OK I get it, the cloner tells me what file I want then I go to the data files and copy the relevant one then open that with the editor ! I thought the cloner broke down the mdb file and gave me the bits to work on.

ps these heads look really weird flat ! I can see quite a bit of trial and error going on soon when putting them back on models !

@Rjshae mentioned something about using Blender to wrap/unwrap the texture (using the “u” key in 3d view) to kinda get it all like you want it.

save you from importing 40586085 times

Thanks RoonBear518, I think you’re probably pretty close on the import number ! I’m going to fiddle about with it tomorrow but for now I’m happy to have an image on my editor.

I can’t believe that’s what these characters are made of and I have a lot more respect for anybody that changed faces before !

yes, people that can think in 2d are pretty amazing. It boggles my mind

If you find any cool tips and tricks please share, as I had some interest in this type of project as well. :slight_smile:

OK here we go, how I’ve gone from clueless to putting a weird looking face I made in a mod…

1 Download mdb cloner.
2 Download gimp ( you are right RoonBear518, seems more user friendly ).
3 Select a head you want to mess with in the toolset and remember the number.
4 Find the mdb file of the head in the program files, neverwinternights2, data, NWN2 Models file.
5 Copy it into a new file in your documents
6 Fire up mdb cloner and open the mdb file you just made to see what’s in it.
7 Now you know what makes up the head ( main mesh textures section ) go off to program files but you want the NWN2 materials this time.
8 Find the files listed in the cloner and copy and paste them into the same folder you put the mdb file before.
9 Open up your editing program and load the diffuse texture file that was listed in the cloner for the main texture ( I didn’t touch the others but I’m sure you can if you want ).
10 Go mad and do whatever you want drawing all over the strange looking flat head image.
11 When you’ve had enough and it looks suitably awesome save it as a different number in your folder from before.
12 Open the cloner and put the new number/s you put on your altered file/ files in the relevant boxes and clone it as a new mdb.
13 Make two folders in your override NWN2_Materials and NWN2_Models.
14 Stick the new cloned mdb in Models and your artistic masterpiece/s in Materials.
15 Fire up the toolset and stick your new face on somebody, smile and decide that it’s a bit of a mess and you really need to do a lot better before you horrify people !

4760 and RoonBear518 many many thanks for all your help, now all I need to do is learn how to use the editing programme properly.


Wow nicely done great step by step easy quick guide! Thank you!

Just for super clarification step 7 is :
navigate to the
location , OR the location where you have the Base game Neverwinter Nights installed. ( which may or may not be in program files)

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