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Using Blender to add custom player faces to Rugby 08

jim546

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This is a guide to make player faces for Rugby 08 using Blender and a plugin called Facebuilder. In this rough guide I will be creating Johnny Sexton's head to use in Rugby 08. Special thanks to Dmitri who has done most of the actual work on this at this thread: https://www.therugbyforum.com/threads/otools-for-editing-o-and-fsh-files.47704/, I'm just writing down step-by-step instructions here.

Tools used:

Blender 2.83.5
Facebuilder plugin 2021.2.0 (30 day free trial)
BigGUI
FshEd with "Graphic Importer" plugin
OTools GUI 0.171
Woosah's Rugby 08 roster editor
An image editor such as Photoshop, GIMP etc.

Woosah's editor usually comes with a list of real player heads already in Rugby 08, their ID number and the file the head is stored in.

The in game models are all stored in data.gob in Rugby 08/Data/motion. Use BigGUI to access this folder and extract your file to a new folder/workspace. The .big file for a player's head contains "model.o" and "textures.fsh". Again use BigGUI to extract the model and texture to your workspace folder.

Using FshEd to open texture.fsh, for the model I'm replacing there is only a face texture linked, other models may have a seperate texture for additional objects on the model (scrum caps, seperate hair objects etc.) Extract the textures to your workspace.

Otools GUI is used to convert the data in model.o into a format that can be recognised by Blender, and later to repack our custom model to use in Rugby 08. There is more information on this tool here: https://www.therugbyforum.com/threads/otools-for-editing-o-and-fsh-files.47704/. Use OTools in "Export .o, .ord, .orl to .gltf" mode and export the model.o file. You must use the additional command -skeleton "data\skeleton\rugby\head_temp.o" to export the model with a skeleton which will be necessary for "rigging" the custom head. We may need to refer to this file later so don't combine it with your custom model's .gltf. My workspace folder now looks like this:

guide2.png guide2.png

Now it's over to Blender. For this guide I will be using the Facebuilder plugin to generate Sexton's head model and a base texture to work on later. There's other tutorials on using the Facebuilder plugin online so I won't go into too much detail, however there are some things we can do here in advance:

Rugby 08 won't be showing us much detail on our custom object, so in the options for the plugin, under model, use the "low poly" topology. This will give us more than good enough detail in-game, it will be easier to manipulate the low-poly model later and it keeps our file sizes small. I'd also advise setting the "scale" of the head to 6.0 or 6.5, to match the head/body from Rugby 08.

Rugby 08 will expect a texture for the player's face that has dimensions that are powers of 2, ie. 128*128px, 256*256px etc. so we should make sure the texture Generated by Facebuilder is square. I find a 512*512 in Rugby 08 gives enough detail. The game will crash if the texture is an incorrect size. Also under the texture options I recommend changing the UV map mode to "maxface", to keep as much detail on our model's face texture as possible. I recommend leaving the autofill option off when texture generating as it makes the textures very blurry.

After playing around with the generator and different images of Johnny, I end up with this:

guide2.png
Export this generated texture to your workspace.

At this point I open up a new instance of Blender to begin working on the model from Rugby 08. Go to file/import/gltf 2.0 and import the .gltf file generated earlier. Once this is done copy the model from Facebuilder into this scene. I use the model from Rugby 08 as a guide to position the Facebuilder head, to match up where the neck, eyes, ears etc go. Once everything's roughly positioned, select the your custom head and press ctrl+A and apply all transforms. If this isn't done the head may appear in-game at the player's feet.

guide2.png

In the scene collection menu at the top right of Blender, shift-select the Facebuilder head, keep shift held and drag the object on top of the skeleton below, then release left-click, to make the skeleton the "parent" of the Facebuilder head.

Go into the Basehead object and copy its texture name (most likely "mat1 [LitTexture2IrradSkinSubSurfSpec,tex1:dirt]") we will need to apply this name to the texture on our custom head to get the correct lighting on the model in-game. Make sure Blender doesn't change this after renaming the texture. At this point the head from Rugby 08 can be deleted from the scene.

In the object data properties of our head, add a vertex color (click the + icon in the sub-menu), and enable "Auto smooth normals". In the material properties menu of the texture change the Specular to 0.500 and the Roughness to 1.000. Whilst here change the base color to open a "image texture" then select "face.png" from your workspace. This is the point where you must make you players new face texture. I use GIMP but any other image editor should work. One handy tool I use in Blender is the "stencil brush" mode, to paint face features from real photos directly onto the model.

guide2.png guide2.png

Once you have a suitable texture save it in face.png, make sure it is at the correct scale for importing back into Rugby 08 (I recommend 512*512px).

Now we're going to be lazy and "cheat" merging the head model to the game skeleton. If we were being thorough we would look up some guides online for vertex/mesh rigging to a skeleton/armature. Instead we're going to have Blender give us a "best guess" of where everything attaches to the skeleton. In the scene preview, click on the head, then shift click the skeleton, then right click->"Parent"->"With automatic weights". When rigging the head this way, there is a visual error in-game when a custom player tries to talk, the whole head bubbles instead. This is something to look into in the future. At this point the model is ready to test in Rugby 08.

Export as gltf 2.0 and switch the export format to "separate" before exporting. I'd recommend exporting to a new file instead of overwriting the original model.gltf. Use OTools GUI to import the custom .gltf to model.o, using the additional command "-skeletonData none". Use FshEd to import your new face texture into textures.fsh, and save the file. Use BigGUI to import your edited model.o and textures.fsh into the .big file for your player, then rebuild the .big file and copy it into your Rugby 08 master folder.

Finally edit the roster file to apply our head model onto Sexton in-game, using Woosah's Rugby 08 editor. Using Woosah's list from earlier I assign Sexton with Face ID 6202, be careful when using the editor as it usually forgets to apply the correct body skin texture, kicking foot, and player perks to your player when editing.

Once all this is done run Rugby 08 and check your custom model in the game:

guide2.png
guide2.png

As you can see there's a bit of further editing to be done to this model (adding the neck, fixing the texture etc.) but this was a first draft. I need to look into skeleton rigging to get the animations correct. Another one I've done:

Farrell2.png

So far I'm trying to edit players to replace others from their country, eg. Sexton over Ronan O'Gara's model, Farrell over J Wilkinson, Biggar over R Sidoli, to stop any conflicts in the future. Feel free to offer any advice/ask questions below.
 

JPilky

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Thanks a lot - very thorough guide and looks like pretty efficient workflow once familiar with it. That Sexton model is probably the most realistic one I've seen working in the game so far. I will have a go at a new player probably tomorrow eve. Will stick with your method of replacing a similar player from same nationality. Was thinking I might try someone like Romain Ntamack and replace whoever is the French flyhalf in base game (Beauxis?). I did notice with the facebuilder models them having a lot less neck than the Rugby 08 models so I may have a play with that if I can get this working to the point you have - not sure if it's possible to merge the two models together
 

jim546

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With the neck thing, the facebuilder model comes with extra vertices below the model, so far I've just added faces using them and given the players really long necks well into the shirt. I don't think trying to merge with the original model would be easy, probably easier to build a fake torso from scratch.
 

JPilky

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Had a crack at this yesterday and happy with the result - need to work on fixing the neck and a ear glitch but otherwise working pretty well and likeness is much better than my previous attempts at getting face models in game. Thanks for your help - will have a go at tweaking this later and then start working on trying out some other players

Romain Ntamack (FRA)


 

jim546

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Some good and some not-so-good models:

Untitled1.png Untitled2.png Untitled3.png Untitled4.png

Need to give LRZ a proper hair model and re-do Adams' texture.
 

jim546

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Just another update, I've sort of worked out skeleton rigging to fix the head bubbling visual error on the players when they talk in cutscenes, will probably get a couple of the "good looking" models uploaded here on the weekend. The remaining issue is to get the players working with the rdf file, at the moment the custom heads get assigned via the roster profile (prf_0) which is used in most game modes, but not in the World League. This would probably require a lot of co-ordination with the main mod-makers here.

Russell.png Sexton.png May.png Biggar.png HWatson.png Wales.png
 

JPilky

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Here is my draft version of Maro Itoje (replacing Steve Borthwick - 24277)

Screenshot (9).png
Screenshot (10).png
Screenshot (11).png

I've got a few other players where I have made the facebuilder head and textures (Tom curry, Henry slade and Antony Watson) but before working on getting those in the game I've got three questions:

1) What is the 0.5 on specular in Material properties? I noticed that is what the scrum cap seems to be set at by default. For Itoje within blender (haven't tested in game) it seems to look better lower (0.2 for example). Would a lower specular look strange in game? Is it do with the lighting/matching up to other players/textures in the game? I've gone with 0.5 and not a big deal but just curious really

2) The latest models you have (look great by the way) seem to have the necks fixed and you mentioned you managed to fix the head bobble issue - was just wondering how you manged to do that? Did you create a neck? My Itoje seems to be worse that my first attempt in terms of neck issues!

3) do think it would be useful if I made new thread for a master list of completed head models with a updating google sheet that keeps track of which face designs have been completed and who they have replaced?

Thanks!
 

jim546

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1) What is the 0.5 on specular in Material properties? I noticed that is what the scrum cap seems to be set at by default. For Itoje within blender (haven't tested in game) it seems to look better lower (0.2 for example). Would a lower specular look strange in game? Is it do with the lighting/matching up to other players/textures in the game? I've gone with 0.5 and not a big deal but just curious really

I've just copied these values from the original models when I was having some lighting issues with my first custom heads, I haven't tried testing different values effects on the models in-game.

2) The latest models you have (look great by the way) seem to have the necks fixed and you mentioned you managed to fix the head bobble issue - was just wondering how you manged to do that? Did you create a neck? My Itoje seems to be worse that my first attempt in terms of neck issues!

After applying automatic weights when linking the head to the skeleton in blender, go into the object data tab and edit the links in each vertex group. The auto rigging does crazy things with linking the face bits particularly the mouth, jaw, neck, and eyebrows.

Untitled.png

As you can see at the moment I'm still just using a long neck on my models but I'll be trying to make a proper torso now that I understand this vertex groups bit. The Llip/Rlip and corner groups I've left blank which doesn't seem to be an issue.

3) do think it would be useful if I made new thread for a master list of completed head models with a updating google sheet that keeps track of which face designs have been completed and who they have replaced?

Yes absolutely, would be a sensible thing to do.
 

JPilky

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I quickly gave Itoje a neck and tried a specular value of 0.1 rather than 0.5 - maybe somewhere in the middle is a sweespot but in game I think it looks a bit more realistic

Screenshot (13).png
Screenshot (14).png
 

jim546

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Here's my first upload of custom player heads. I've included in the file a text document of the reference numbers to add these players to a roster file using Woosah's editor, and my own roster file which should work with the TRF 20-21 mod. I'm still working on a couple of other players right now (I can't get Hogg and Farrell to look right), and have been focusing mostly on Wales/Lions candidates so far.

The roster file will allow these to be used in most game modes, but not World League. Also there are some duplicate plaers popping up in this roster (North's head is on someone in the SA squad as well).

 

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  • Rugby 08 custom heads.zip
    1.9 MB · Views: 14

JPilky

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Here's my first upload of custom player heads. I've included in the file a text document of the reference numbers to add these players to a roster file using Woosah's editor, and my own roster file which should work with the TRF 20-21 mod. I'm still working on a couple of other players right now (I can't get Hogg and Farrell to look right), and have been focusing mostly on Wales/Lions candidates so far.

The roster file will allow these to be used in most game modes, but not World League. Also there are some duplicate plaers popping up in this roster (North's head is on someone in the SA squad as well).

Nice work - will have to try these out. AWJ, Ken Owens, Tipuric etc. all look fantastic

Same treatment as I did for Itoje on Ntamack (added neck, specular tested at 0.25 this time). I've attached the big files for the two players above if you want to try out. Next one in the works is Tom Curry



Will aim to make a thread/google sheet tomorrow to start keeping track of which players we have custom heads for now (and which models they replace). Hopefully we can get these incorporated in a mod patch once there is a decent coverage.
 

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  • Custom heads draft.zip
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jim546

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I was meant to upload this one as well but the texture wasn't done earlier.

Faces.png
 

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  • Josh Adams.zip
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TommyDelpe

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please keep uploading the new faces!! they are amazing!!
 

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If someone would make a tutorial of how to create custom faces I'd be happy to create some... I'd really like to see all the Pumas look alike... I don't even know how to install all the plugins and tools and stuff :(
 

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Tom Curry added - replacing Joe Worsley (7085). Needs some tweaking (light skin in Woosah, fixing the neck issue, fixing back of head/hair etc.) but will do for now.

 

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  • Custom heads draft v2.zip
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JPilky

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If someone would make a tutorial of how to create custom faces I'd be happy to create some... I'd really like to see all the Pumas look alike... I don't even know how to install all the plugins and tools and stuff :(
There is a guide at the top of this thread but I will try put together a video walkthrough. The only problem is my facebuilder free trial has expired which makes it difficult as I can't show actually producing the head model etc.

Have a go at installing all of the tools below and let me know if you struggle on any of them - I would leave Facebuilder addon until last (and you are ready to start producing heads) as it is just a 15 day free trial (the rest are free indefinitely)

Here are the links to all the tools that I use:
(I don't use FshEd - I use OTools to convert png to fsh)
 

TommyDelpe

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There is a guide at the top of this thread but I will try put together a video walkthrough. The only problem is my facebuilder free trial has expired which makes it difficult as I can't show actually producing the head model etc.

Have a go at installing all of the tools below and let me know if you struggle on any of them - I would leave Facebuilder addon until last (and you are ready to start producing heads) as it is just a 15 day free trial (the rest are free indefinitely)

Here are the links to all the tools that I use:
(I don't use FshEd - I use OTools to convert png to fsh)
Much apreciated bro
 

TommyDelpe

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There is a guide at the top of this thread but I will try put together a video walkthrough. The only problem is my facebuilder free trial has expired which makes it difficult as I can't show actually producing the head model etc.

Have a go at installing all of the tools below and let me know if you struggle on any of them - I would leave Facebuilder addon until last (and you are ready to start producing heads) as it is just a 15 day free trial (the rest are free indefinitely)

Here are the links to all the tools that I use:
(I don't use FshEd - I use OTools to convert png to fsh)
I downloaded every tool, I extracted every file with bigGUI.. I don´t know how do I search for the file that belongs to the player I want to edit... I tried converting the file for blender but the other part I don't know is how do I open the converted file in Blender
 

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I downloaded every tool, I extracted every file with bigGUI.. I don´t know how do I search for the file that belongs to the player I want to edit... I tried converting the file for blender but the other part I don't know is how do I open the converted file in Blender
Will show you in a video but to find a player to should have a faces.xml file in your Woosaah Ruggby 08 Editor folder - that lists all the original player names, IDs and .big files. You can open it with notepad

Which file did you convert? You need to convert one of the .O files which is stored in a .BIG file to GLTF and then can import into blender
 

TommyDelpe

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anybody had an issue with Itoje's head?? when I play I see Dallaglio's head instead, because Itoje's got Dallaglio's star... checked in Woosaahs editor and the face ID was ok (borthwick 24277)... also I unpacked the .fsh and the texture was good... how do I fix it?
 
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