Hi! This is Taj, owner of Grinning Tiger Productions. I specialize in unique and customized 3D character models and 3D printed figurines.
I will primarily be posting a small selection of finished work here. If you'd like to see more my projects, works in progress, and commission information, please check out my FurAffinity page at: http://www.furaffinity.net/user/grinningtiger
Mar 5: I've added a long detailed explanation for requesting commissions to my journals. Check it out!
This document describes some of the things I look for when starting a commission. In addition I explain the process and what to expect before receiving your commissioned piece.
** Contents **
Building Your Character
Your Character to Life
** Defining Terms **
To make sure we're on the same page, it's a good idea to define a few terms.
Model – The virtual representation of an object or character that can be manipulated and posed in virtual 3D space is called a model. This is the stage of the design where I have maximum control over how your character looks, but is not the final output.
3D Print – The final output, a 3D print is a three-dimensional representation of your character that you can touch and hold and observe from any angle. They are made of a white, durable, semi-flexible plastic, and can be painted with acrylic paints. 3D prints typically range between 4 and 8 inches tall.
** Building Your Character **
One point I take pride in is creating your character as faithful to the original design as possible. Unlike for some mediums that have limited control over the look and style, it is much more important to have as much information about your character as possible to ensure that it is unique to you.
Things I look for in a character description:
Gender – An important descriptor to determine the basic features of your character. Gender does not necessarily determine physique. The choices here are simple: male or female. While I don't have a problem with hermaphrodites or other definitions of gender in general, for simplicity sake and in dealing with the printing company, I'd like to keep the choice limited to the two most common genders.
Species – This is obvious, especially for monster and anthropomorphic races. If your character is a hybrid, describe what kind of hybridization it is (is it a morph of two species, or is it a chimera?), and even go so far as a rough percentage between the different species. Ex: My character is a fox-cat hybrid, roughly 2/3-rds fox and 1/3-rds cat. -or- Ex: My character is mostly a wolf, but has feet and horns like a ram, and the tail of a rat.
Anthropomorphism – In the case of anthropomorphic creatures, tell me how animal-like your character is. Rather than percentage, think about how it typically moves around. Can your character run on all fours (like a gorilla), or does it walk like a human? Does it walk on its toes (digitigrade) or on its heels (plantigrade)? Is their face more like the feral animal, or does it have some human-like proportions?
Physique – What kind of body does your character have? Built? Lean? Stocky? Pudgy? Lankey? Use as many adjectives to describe your character's physique as possible, and be specific about certain locations. Describe also basic proportonality. Ex: My male orc has a wide, heavily built upper body, strong and short stalky legs, and his stomach is a bit pudgey. You may also wish to express the degree of androgyny here, (i.e. how masculine or feminine your character is as departed from the gender). Ex: My male elven character has a girlish figure with long slender arms and legs.
Features – Here's where it can get very descriptive. Features include all the little nuances that give your character it's character. These can encompass things like facial features, scars or digits missing, extra limbs and other details that depart from a more generalized character. This also may include the apparent age of the character if it wasn't described with the physique. The more you provide, the more personalized the character.
Texture – Anything encompassing the layout of color, hair, or fur on your character should be detailed as well. For this, a drawing is highly suitable for depicting this, but a sufficient description works also.
The structure of your description does not have to follow the formula above. You can reorganize and embellish it however you want, or even tell a story about the things your character does in life. I may ask you questions to clarify, and input from you may be requested as the model is being created.
In addition, if you wish to supply a reference sheet to illustrate a specific look, please follow these guidelines for the best results:
The quality of the reference sheet must be in a high resolution finished state. If it's too sketchy, or the image is too small, then I'll have to guess at what you want.
Color is optional. Unless you want a reference for painting, color is not necessary for 3D prints. If color is required, flat lighting is preferable.
Two views of your character, one in portrait (face-on) and one in profile (side-view), lined up along a horizontal axis, on a white or light colored background.
These views should be detailed enough to infer the physique, as well as other details such as the direction of hair/fur growth.
If you'd like to provide additional views, such as the back or closeups of the face, they're helpful but not absolutely necessary if the first two views are sufficiently detailed and show all the anatomical information needed.
If your character has overlapping features, such as wings, consider removing them and creating another view of those features in the same pose and scale as the other views.
Here's a sample reference sheet: http://www.furaffinity.net/view/7722715/
Reference sheets are not absolutely necessary. I've made models from single sketches before, but if you are particular about how your model looks, a reference sheet will streamline the process.
** Your Character to Life **
Now that you've decided what your character looks like, we now turn to what your character is doing (a standard Da Vinci pose is quite boring, I assure you). After your character's description, you'll want to describe how your character is posed, as well as what kinds of props and clothing your character might be using. Again, be as descriptive as possible.
Ex: She's posed with her hands placed open on her hips, looking towards the horizon with her chin up. Her stance appears heroic, standing straight and tall with perfect posture. She has a slight grin on her face and her eyes are slightly closed indicating a sign of contentment. She is wearing a black crop-top shirt, forest green army fatigue pants tucked into black boots, and a red bandana wrapped around her right arm. She has a bandoleer loaded with shotgun shells, and a 12 gauge model 790 shotgun slung around her back. The left of her mouth is parted by a half-used cigar.
** Design Considerations **
While the design possibilities for models are pretty much limitless, there are some considerations necessary for building a model for a 3D print.
When it comes to 3D printing, there are minimum tolerances for size and details of features that must be adhered to to avoid parts breaking or fusing together unfavorably. Depending on what it is, parts may need to be thickened up or removed to meet these requirements for 3D printing, and therefore depart slightly from the originally intended design. If there's something that might be called to question, I will describe what needs to be done to remedy it.
** Subject Restrictions **
In a perfect world I would impose no restrictions on the subject matters requested. Unfortunately, the world is not perfect, and for social/practical reasons some subjects are restricted or prohibitied.
Restricted or prohibited subjects include:
Gore. Some depicted injury is okay (like a bloody lip or small cut), but grevious injury, disfigurment, amputation, evisceration, decapitation, etc. is not allowed.
Pornography. Nudity is okay depending on the context. Sexually explicit poses are not allowed. If you're unsure, please ask.
Depiction of Minors. Must not be the subject of or imply any violence or pornography. Under-age characters must be fully clothed; no exceptions, loopholes, etc.
Copyrighted characters and public figures. Under no circumstances will I reproduce an identifyable copyrighted character (i.e. no Disn*y, no video games, etc.) or a public figure. Generalized species created for fantasy games may be acceptable since there's enough ambiguity about their look and style (i.e. gnolls, orcs, etc.).
Anything with the intent to cause offense to a race, culture, or creed. Absolutely prohibited.
Anything else that you wouldn't show a child. Just use common sense. If it gives children nightmares or turns them into serial killers, you probably should avoid that subject.
** Pricing **
Pricing for 3D prints is available here: https://www.weasyl.com/submission/141893
** Commission Process - What to Expect **
When designing a character, I will show you views of the progress as the character is being made. Generally, there will be about three stages at which you get to view your character and request revisions:
As I mentioned, during each stage you may request revisions. To help speed the commission process along, I request that you keep the number of revisions to a maximum of three per stage. A "revision" is a list of changes to the model that you would like to see. Each revision can have a lot of little changes, or a few major changes, there's no real limit (well, at least keep it practical) so long as you can consolidate it into one email. After each revision, you'll see a new preview, and request further revisions up to the limit. The goal is to cut down on the back-and-forth process when it comes to minor changes.
After the final stage is complete, your model will be prepared for printing (made hollow and converted to a suitable format) and sent off to the manufacturer. This usually takes about 2-3 weeks. In the mean time, I will provide a virtual image of the model that can be posted to Weasyl or another gallery site.
Once the model is finished, it is photographed and shipped to you!
I will be taking commissions through email.
My email is: info[at]grinningtiger[dot]com
Joined 5 March 2013