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Author Topic: Premade Characters?  (Read 880 times)

Offline Adielle

Premade Characters?
«: November 03, 2008, 04:43:20 AM»
Just curious.  I have never done premade characters before, but I just love designing characters and costumes and I always seem to make more characters then I have time for, so many simply become "muses."  If I were to make a character sheet and portrait of a premade character of my design, would you bid?  If so, how much do people generally price these things for starting price and autobuys? 

What sort of character would you like to see?  What sort of theme? 

The style would be similar to http://adielle.deviantart.com/art/Detective-finished-100874921 and http://adielle.deviantart.com/art/Syn-Character-Sheet-100506661 .  I would probably make a premade to cater to all the male roleplayers out there and one for the females.  I just want to see if there is any genuine interest and if so how much these typically go for, since I prefer not to over-price.
Goodbye my Sunshine, for we are but smoke and ash...

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Offline Lovedoll

Re: Premade Characters?
«Reply #1: November 03, 2008, 06:19:50 AM»
Hmm.. I think it depends on how the piece turns out. Besides the design, you're also selling artwork. Most people use mspaint/pixel/solid drawings, flat colored, one that shows the remap colors for portraits and one that shows the colors of the char. I have a few premade sheets I bought;


Both came with a remapabble portrait. The reason why they work well as reference sheets is because they're simple, flat and cover all the details, plus they make it easy for the owner of the character to show the ref to other artists and have portraits, character art etc drawn, or premade ports edited easily.

I think your primary question should be, what kind of people am I targeting? Your style is very detailed, and I'm guessing you'll be shading and working it out as much as you can. Shading however tends to make things look like markings or details, so when a sheet is shown to another artist they may mistake the shading for part of the design. That's why most refsheets are so low in colored detail. However, I also know of people who only keep refsheets so that others get a good, detailed idea of the character, but don't use the sheet for other artists to work off of.

You see where I'm going here? :) Once you have that established (maybe you can offer both types?), you'll have to look at any accessories. A lot of premades are detailed out with drawing attention to accessories - are you going to work in any detailed facial shots, or otherwise draw extra things on the sheet to make sure you're covering everything? Are you adding in a portrait that goes with the design?

If it's going to be just a front shot, or front and back, I think adhering to 'regular prices' for your drawings will work. If you elaborate and draw multiple shots, one with remap colors and accessories, you can easily up the price by ten bucks or so. Maybe fifteen or twenty if you include a portrait with it.

The price and demand will really depend on how you go about making them. Your style is pretty unique, you color in a unique style. Your refsheets will certainly be special among the standard pixel mspaint flats. I have a hard time making up a price because I'm personally not interested, as your style doesn't match my chars as I picture them. Plus there are many ways for you to go about making serious detailed refsheets, so the price also heavily depends on that.

However, I'd say based on the examples you showed... Pretending there are some more detailed accessories drawn in the Syn sheet and a portrait to go along, $40 easily. I'm normally against such a high price for refsheets, but that's because they are usually consisting of digital lineart and digital flat color and don't come with a portrait on top (I feel that sheets priced that high are rip-offs when done digitally, as they are often copy/pastes and horizontal flips to draw other shots). But as you use traditional media and are very detailed, if your style suited a char of mine I really think that'd be a fair price to pay. If you'd go for flat color digitally/traditionally, I'd say $25-$35 though.

I hope that wasn't too confusing (or too damned long), but your price depends heavily on;
- how detailed will the sheet be?
- am I using traditional media or work digitally?

Traditional media requires markers, pens and pencils, all which cost money to use and replace constantly. I always feel it's fairer to ask for a higher price on those kind of pieces simply for that reason too, as digital drawing virtually doesn't cost a thing. (I'm not counting the one-time fee for a tablet, and internet and computer usage is the same for digital and traditional artists)

Offline Adielle

Re: Premade Characters?
«Reply #2: November 03, 2008, 07:42:12 AM»
Wow, thank you so much for the very informative post.  Yes, I am new to the whole "premade characters" business, so I have still be contemplating all the bits and pieces.  I was considering doing both digital and/or traditional media.  If it were to be digital, it would be flatcolored with simple shading to bring out the facial features like in my piece here: http://adielle.deviantart.com/art/Alexandrine-Revamp-79868863

When it comes to what would be added, probably front and back view with two headshots and two detail shots (like earrings, jewelry, weapons, eyes, etc).  I would most likely be making a port to go along.  My last port edit/shading was this: http://adielle.deviantart.com/art/Caelestis-Port-99582630  This port was very heavily editted from the premade I originally bought.  Used to make ports long ago, but slowly working on getting back into them.  I would most likely shade them, but if I get lazy they would at least be flat colored in remappable colors for the buyer to edit/shade later on.  This would be the eye detail:

So I suppose in the long run, I'll probably be playing around a bit.  Some will be digitally colored, although I do all my lineart by hand, even the ones I color digitally. 

I just don't like to over-charge or under-charge too much.  I really appreciate your honesty for everything, it really helps.  If I am able to raise any money its going to a friend of mine who's trying to raise enough money to buy a bird.  She has to live fairly day to day, so I wanted to help.  <3

Goodbye my Sunshine, for we are but smoke and ash...

My Gallery.

Offline Lovedoll

Re: Premade Characters?
«Reply #3: November 04, 2008, 07:23:36 AM»
I thought this over a bit again, and I think here are some options you can consider in terms of what you can offer and how to price it. I hope this will help somewhat. :)

Fully colored & shaded ref sheet (traditional), one front and one back shot, with 4 to 6 detail shots of body parts and accessories: $35-$45

Flat colored ref sheet (digital), one front and one back shot, 4-6 detail shots of body parts and accessories (all flat colored): $25-$30

If you add portraits, you could add $5 to $10 to the price.

Again, what really justifies such high prices to me is the use of traditional medium. My own refsheets are priced at $20-$25 a sheet for front and back shots, clothed and nude etc. because they're digital, and the clothing shots are usually digitally drawn over after the base has been copied/pasted. It's a lot easier and less time consuming than having to redraw every shot over and over again and making sure it's all matching up as closely as can. I guess it's just easy to 'cheat' with digital drawings since you don't necessarily have to redraw everything and can easily copy/paste.

How you'll end up drawing the refsheets for these premade chars is up to your preference and what makes them popular. I for one enjoy having one shot of my characters' refsheets colored in the default remapping colors. It's really helped out a few times so far to have people edit premades and draw ports because everything is very clear and easy to understand, without misunderstandings. Especially since they're premade, it helps communicate the idea better a lot of times.

The best way to get an honest idea of how much they're worth though, is probably to go ahead and make one or two and then put those up for sale. Go by an estimate of what you believe they're worth with the time, effort and medium and offer an auction. Start off with a low  bid, such as $15 or $20 and see how high it goes with an AB of $40 or so. Once you have actual 'examples', it will be much easier to tack a price to the works. :) And you can get a feeling of how desired your premades are.