Head Anis are the animations FreeSpace uses when sending messages ingame. Although typically used to depict the person sending the message, certain mods have used them in other ways, such as custom logos for specific ships or factions. Head anis have a resolution of 160x120, and like all HUD elements, must conform to the HUD palette (15 shades of grey). Head anis are generally produced in groups of three, separately labelled a, b and c (such as Head-TP1a, Head-TP1b and Head-TP1c).
FS2 contains a set of 18 Head anis for both small and large ships.
Pilot anis are used for messages sent from fighters or bombers. Unlike other types of head anis, pilot anis require a "death" ani, which is used in place of the third animation in command anis (i.e. the "c" ani). Pilot anis are also used by the games "persona" system to link FREDded messages to autogenerated messages through "Wingman" personas. These can be modified with messages.tbl.
Command anis are used to represent all non-strikecraft ingame, as well as Terran (or Vasudan) command itself. Unlike pilot anis, command anis do not require a death ani, although they can still be linked into groups of three, which will be randomly selected from for each message. Due to the limited number of animations, various heads are often reused for different ships.
Head-BSH is Admiral Bosch, of the NTF. Since this animation represents a specific character, it is not reused for other ships.
Head-CM1 was used as Terran Command in FreeSpace 1, as well as for the GTC Orff. In FreeSpace 2, it was used for Captain Roemig of the NTC Trinity, as well as the GTVA Colossus.
With only five head anis to represent all large Terran vessels, the basic head ani pack is somewhat restrictive. As such, several conversions from other games, as well as custom made anis have been created.
- Starlancer Conversion - A series of Starlancer anis were converted by Ironbeer, and are available here. This pack includes both Command and pilot type anis.
- Supreme Commander Conversions - Blue Planet: Age of Aquarius included four converted command type anis from the game Supreme Commander.
- Black Wolf's Anis - Black Wolf's custom anis are available in this thread. They include a series of command anis, a series of "Freighter" anis, for use in non-combat GTVA ships, and a series of civilian anis.