Tuesday, June 2, 2015

The Making of a Paper Mini

I just finished my Medusa for Basic Monsters Set 2. I just have three or four more images to prepare then I can move on to formatting the book. Hopefully, I'll have it out by this time next week, but we'll see.

I thought I'd highlight my process for making minis.

First, I find suitable images from public domain sources. For the normal and giant animals and human types (bandits, etc.) this isn't so hard. Monsters sometimes take a bit of creativity.

While Medusa is a popular figure in Greek mythology, I couldn't find any decent images that would work as is for a game figure. Maybe if I'd looked deeper into Google Image Search or on one of the various PD image depository sites, I could have found something. But what I found was good enough to cobble it together myself.

First, I found this image of Medusa's head:

I trimmed away the background using GIMP's lasso tool. Then I colorized the image.

Next, I needed a body.  Looking through my stock, I found this lovely medieval queen. Nice, elegant robes, and the body pose was also dynamic enough.
Using layers, I added the medusa head to the queen's body (deleting the original head so it wouldn't show through). Of course, I had to adjust the head size to fit the body. I left it a little bit big intentionally so that her ugly face will stand out.  Next, I recolored the hands to match the tone of the face.

 Once the main image was done, I selected the white background using the magic wand tool (including the bits within the snake loops), inverted the selection, and filled it with black.  Flipping the image, I then rotated it 90 degrees, added the label with a text layer, and rotated it back to the inverse position.

Finally, I combine these two onto a blank outline to be fitted into my next paper minis offering.
Voila, a medusa, ready for your gaming table.

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