...For portraits though they can be used without too much work.
That comment prompted me to do an experiment I'd been thinking about, since starting my little Micro-Heroes project. That is, how I would take one of my Micros, and convert it into a UA character/portrait pic?
Micro-Heroes have bodies that are usually fairly realistically (if heroically) proportioned. But on top of those bodies, traditional micros have heads that are over-sized (if not balloony, or bobble-headish) and eyes that are even more over-sized. So, to make a serious UA pic, the cartoonish head must be turned proportional and as realistic as the body.
Below is my experiment, using Graylinger, with the steps I used recorded and numbered so as to make something like a tutorial.
Step 1: Make a copy of the Micro-Hero.
Step 2: "Cut" the head off.
Step 3: "Paste" the head back, but at a smaller, more proportional size. This step might take several tries to see exactly what size looks best.
Step 4: Using the new-sized head as a base, rework and refine it, reducing the eyes further, adding missing areas (a bit of neck in this case), getting rid of stray pixels, and whatever other adjustments that seem needed. This step may seem quite involved, but it is no more difficult than making the Micro in the first place.
Step 5: Saving the whole image for further possible uses, make a copy putting part of it in UA's regular pic area of 88x88 pixels. More of its area could be used for a big pic or title pic image.
Step 6: Add some background. One color backgrounds are a little flat, so I recommend a mix of colors. Whatever would look right for the story.
Now the image is ready to be "cropped" and formatted in the usual way as a *.pcx file. It's not likely to be using more than 220 colors, so running it through Dan Autery's Toolbox proggie should put its colors into the right palette places without having to reduce them, first.