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September 7, 2009
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How to design an emote OC by Synfull How to design an emote OC by Synfull
Recently Iíve heard of a few new emoticonist struggling when attempting to make their own emote character (commonly known as an emote OC). Since over the past year Iíve developed a good number of characters for different people Iíve decided to share some of my knowledge in this little guide.

:bulletred: Colour :bulletred:

- Some colours work better than others when it comes to emotes. Yellows are one of the hardest to get consistently right, and colours like black and white are often hard to deal with as shading them can be awkward. Make sure your happy with the colour you choose as although OCs often change colour shades they rarely swap whole colours.

- Another thing to consider is how easy it is to shade the base several times over. Itís great to produce a fancy looking base, but if its too difficult for you to make (or for your friends to make) it can cause issues for your character later along the line

- The most common way to choose your emoteís colour is by considering what your favourite colour is. Pick a shade that is easy to add features to, yet doesnít fade into the background

- That doesnít mean to say thatís the only way to pick your colour. Sometimes you can have a colour associated to your name, religion, nationality or just a random urge which can influence your choice.

:bulletorange: Eyes :bulletorange:

- Once you have your emoteís base colour the next thing to do is choose your eye style. The one you choose can actually have a lot of influence on your characters personality, so put some thought into it.

Thereís a good number of styles to choose from. Some of the basic ones are:

Dots (tards)

Most of the time people pick the style of eyes they use most in their emoticons, but that doesnít mean you canít experiment and deviate from the norm if you wish

:bulletyellow: Added Features :bulletyellow:

- Now you have your eyes sorted lets get onto customising your character a bit more. By added features I mean parts that are physically joined to your character. Some of these include:

Facial Hair

- When it comes to choosing your added features thereís no easy rule for picking any of them. One thing to consider is your name. If it suggests a certain characteristic (devil, angel, fairy, animal) then itís always worth thinking about mimicking it through your work. However at the end of the day itís just about mixing and matching the features until you get something youíre happy with.

- Also note you donít always have to have any added features. Thereís no solid rule to say you must so if you canít think of anything it doesnít always matter

:bulletgreen: Added Items :bulletgreen:

- Added items are things your character wears or carries that are not necessarily permanently attached to them. This may mean from time to time they interact with them, however in other situations they may not be included at all.

- The best way to come up with your items is considering your personal interests. For example try answering the following questions.

- Do you have a favourite sport?
- Do you collect any items?
- Is there a piece of clothing you often wear/are associated with?
- Do you play a musical instrument?
- Do you have any specific hobbies/activities you take part in?
- Do you have any nicknames that could be connected to an item?
- Do you have any personal characteristics which could be associated with an item?
- Is there a specific nickname/characteristic you want to give your emote?
- Will your character have any special powers?

- If you can answer any of the questions above try creating an item that sums up your answer. Remember that it has to be created in a limited number of pixels, so not all items will be possible to make.

:bulletblue: Name :bulletblue:

- Once you have your character all put together itís often worth giving them a name. As with the whole process you have free choice on it all, but from experience it often ends up being one of the following:

- A shortened/adapted version of your screen name
- A name to reflect one of their items/characteristics
- A random name, often not a common persons name

- Thereís nothing to say your character needs a name or its own personality, but often they end up with one whether it was your first intension or not.

:bulletpurple: Other :bulletpurple:

- Please remember that this is only a guide to assist you to make your character. Thereís no reason to say you have to follow this or any of its points, but feel free to use some of the advice

- Also remember to not make your character too complicated. If your wanting it to be used by other emoticonists in the community it has to be easy enough to adapt and create in everyone else's persona style

- If youíre concerned youíre making a character similar to an existing emoticonists there is a unofficial list of some emoticonists characters here that you can check

- Thereís nothing to say you have to have just one OC. It is most common to have one main one and occasionally a few background characters but from time to time characters do exist in pairs. Itís all down to you and your personal choices.

- Once you have your own character if you want to gain it some exposure try popping it into a project entry or your own avatar. You can also think about making some personalised emotes for chatrooms, forums or msn, however I would discourage making plz accounts of them as they can only be used by one person.

At the end of the day just experiment. You may not like your first attempt but that shouldnít discourage you. Keep trying until you get something you like the look of. It may take 3-6 months before they develop into looking how youíd like as your skills develop and your character gains more personal traits which influence its appearance.

You can find all of my other tutorials on this page: [link]
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AnimeArtist59 May 7, 2013  Student Digital Artist
What do you use to make emotes
Personally I use Paint Shop Pro 12 and Ulead gif animator 5. But there is a wide range of other programs available [link]
ImakoMutt Nov 11, 2012  Hobbyist Digital Artist
These rules also apply for cat OCs :) Really helpful! :D
Glad you find them useful :)
iAmoret Sep 28, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
Wish I'd read this before I made mine. I think I followed most of the stuff well, except for maybe the name (just used Amoret- after all, I modeled the emote after myself), and all I gave mine was a black bow, eyeliner (because that's kind of a defining point of my appearance), and a little pixel drawing that x-es out (because of my username). I guess I'll keep working on it.

Thanks for the great tips!
It often takes a little while to work on your OC to create a character you like. And my guide is just suggestions - it's good to also think outside the norm though :)
iAmoret Oct 1, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
Where can I make emotes?
You just need a art program such as Photoshop, Gimp, MS paint etc. You can find a list of free ones here: [link]
How do you make emotes on MS paint?
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