At least, since I junked GTA4 10 minutes after I finished installing it, I had more time to work on tcod portraits... Here is the complete good happy family with clothes. Those versions are bigger than the in-game portraits. The guy still has those weird plastic hair. I'll improve it later.
Since it's rather difficult to find pictures of people in medieval clothes, I'm using several sources of inspiration. There are first a few on-line medieval clothes shops :
here and here
I'm also using a few very good comics with medieval settings :
Lanfeust of Troy
and François Bourgeon's awesome Companions of the dusk
It's very cool to take a little refreshing break, drawing a few new layers from time to time. The next steps are the emotion engine and more eyes/nose/mouth variations. I have first to figure out what set of eyebrows/eyes/mouth I need to represent the main emotions. I improved the engine so that it works directly with the full size layers (220x220). Once the final portrait has been created, the game uses a high quality supersampling technics to scale it down to the appropriate size (either 64x64 or 80x80). This feature has been recently added in libtcod svn version. It allows not only to work with the original pics without having to scale them by hand, but it makes it also possible to do a few new tricks, like randomly translating vertically the eyes / nose / mouth position just by a few pixels before the scaling operation to increase the portrait diversity. I'm also thinking about splitting the eyes into 3 layers : eyeball, iris+pupil, eyelid. This would allow to move the pupil inside the eye which would be great for the emotion engine.