Designing and Submitting Patterns
It's fun and easy to design your own patterns. You will most likely want to do this when you have become a beadie critter fanatic and want to make a beadie critter to represent your other favorite things. That is how most of the designers who submit patterns got their start. Then there are some of us who enjoy it so much, we'll design patterns for things that others request.
- First, you should have completed enough beadie critters that you know how they are made. It's helpful to have made several "Advanced" patterns with different styles of arms, legs, ears, etc. This will help you "think" like a beadie critter designer.
- When you first start designing Beadie Critters, it is best to actually try to make the critter out of beads first. As you get more experienced, you will be able to draw up your idea, then make it with beads to make sure it works. Look carefully at what you're trying to design and think what elements are important to make it look like what it is--hair/clothing/fur colors, shape of body/arms/legs/ears, etc. Try to duplicate the most important elements in your new critter. Remember you won't be able to exactly duplicate all the details unless you make a very HUGE critter, and that won't be very handy to tote around on your backpack.
Now, on to the REALLY fun part...
- Getting your pattern onto the computer. There are several options for doing this:
- a) digital camera--take a picture of the actual critter
- b) take a picture, get it developed, and scan it
- c) draw a picture of your pattern on paper and scan it
- d) draw a picture of your pattern on the computer
Ideally, I would love to have both a picture of the completed critter AND a drawing.
If you have a digital camera or scanner, chances are there is SOMEONE at your house who knows how to use it. So I'm going to talk about option d, drawing your picture on the computer. There are many different graphics programs that you can use for this.
If you have a PC, and you use Windows, you can use a program called "Paint" that comes with the system. Here is a great tutorial from Lily on using Paint to draw a pattern: Lily's Paint Tutorial (this may not be working). And here is a downloadable bead template (in Zip format) that Mike Ward uses when drawing his patterns--it has beads at all angles. You would use this in a similar way to what Lily describes in her tutorial. Most of the pattern drawings on this site were done with this template.
Other graphics programs include PaintShopPro, Adobe PhotoShop, ULead PhotoImpact, and some people who send me patterns use Microsoft PowerPoint or even Microsoft Word.
If you have a Macintosh, Adobe Photoshop, MacPaint or Superpaint, or maybe the drawing portion of ClarisWorks can be used. I used Adobe Photoshop when I had a Mac, and did it in much the same way described in Lily's Paint tutorial.
- Now that you've got your pattern scanned, photographed or drawn on the computer, here are some hints and tips for sending it to me:
- Please "clean up" the picture as much as possible so that it is ready to go on the site. I used to have time to do things like this for everyone, but I'm getting so many patterns now I just can't do it anymore. Try to make it as complete as possible, with stringpaths drawn, etc.
- Make your file as small as possible. To do this, move the graphic up to the upper left corner of the graphics window, and re-size the drawing area so there is as little white around the graphic as possible. In Adobe PhotoShop you would do this by selecting the graphic, then selecting "Crop" under the "Image" menu.
- Another way to make the file smaller, if it is a drawing, is to save it in GIF (a.k.a. .gif) format. This is one of the options when you are saving in Paint. In Photoshop, if you can't save in that format, make sure to "flatten layers" and if you still can't, change the "mode" to "Indexed Color." If you have a photo of the finished critter, save that in .jpg format.
- Make sure that the picture is in either .gif, .jpg, or .bmp format, unless you're sending it as part of a Word document. If your picture doesn't end in one of those suffixes, chances are I won't be able to open it.
- If you have several patterns to send me, you can compress them using WinZip or PKZip and send them as one zipped file. But you don't have to.
- Find out how to attach a file to an e-mail with your e-mail program. In Outlook, this is done by creating a new mail message, then choosing "File" under the "Insert" menu of that message. Then you'll be able to choose the file you want to attach. I recommend reading the manual, consulting the help file, or finding a tutorial on the web if you are using a different program--I've never used another e-mail program and I don't know anything about how the different programs work. AOL Users--be sure to ATTACH the picture, not just include it in the e-mail message. I won't be able to see it if you include it in the message.
- Please include a materials list, preferably as part of your e-mail to me. Unfortunately I don't have time to count the beads for all the patterns either. Oh, and don't forget to tell me your name, and/or town, and/or age, whatever you want to appear by the "designed by...".
- Send it to me at meadclan @ frontier dot com (type this address all as one in your e-mail program), and sit back and wait-- hopefully soon you'll see your pattern on the site!
I reserve the right to refuse or redraw patterns that do not meet these standards.