Post ID: 673
Posted: 11-20-2015 16:15 PM
|Posted: 11-20-2015 16:15 PM » Editted: 11-20-2015 17:27 PM
Hi, Quiran here, just a random user that was browsing.
Many folk seem to have some form of questions around fursuits, and as long as there is no official guide, this extensive post might help some basic questions.
Before we continue, we will first focus on the art, because if you want to make your own suit, or buy one, a proper ref sheet is important.
The one thing everyone needs is a good refsheet, where the artist or you can see what your pattern is like on your sona.
Obviously I will shamelessly post my refsheet as an example.
Here we can see a good looking wild dog with every detail described from every possible view.
It needs to be -perfect- as this will be your guide, an artist needs this, to be sure that the couple of dozen hours that he puts into a suit (over 80 hours on my bodysuit) isn't wasted with a wrong looking spot.
You need this, if you are going to make your own suit, to make sure that your markings are going to be perfect, just a few random splotches arent going to cut it.
The more detail your character contains, the better and more detail showing your refsheet must be.
Do remember, what is the style, do I want toony, or realistic, anthro or digigrade, or maybe even quadsuit
This obviously isnt a refsheet, it's a steampunk art, not a refsheet, for a refsheet you need more than that.
If you want clothes to go with the suit, I advise you to draw up a seperate sheet for the clothing (this way you can always go for a full suit if you dont buy one right away, and dont need another refsheet, or other way around, you want to commission custom clothing/armor to go with your full body suit)
Your suit is going to be very expensive, and you'd better make sure that your art is gonna be -perfect-, so, spend that few extra bucks on a proper refsheet to be sure that your fursuit is going to be as you want it to be.
When getting the art done, make sure you will give the proper proportions of your own body, this helps too.
I am a tall well built european bastard, so no way my suit is gonna be a skinny thin suit.
This saves the artist that builds your suit some patterning hassle as he has to reform dimensions, and you instantly know how it is going to look.
I had a person ask me if I could help them an elf warrior costume, but their body was build like a tall dwarf.
Dont dissapoint yourself with this.
Also, because you gave the rough size estimate of you to your ref sheet artist, they will make a pattern that fits you, which means it only looks better.
-TLDR of obtaining your refsheet: Dont save money, and be honest on your RL body, if yer short, dont make the costume look tall
So now we got that -very- important step out of the way (I cannot stress this enough how important this is) we continue.
I have made 2 categories, found under headers, named "I want to buy a suit" and scroll further down for "I want to make a suit"
Any additional stuff that should be mentioned, can be posted by folk who think it should be added (I don't know everything)
Make sure you know what your options are
I want to buy a suit
So, you want to buy a suit, first we need to establish a few things many forget to think about;
- Can I keep my costume in a place where it is clean and safe (no hiding it because parent shouldn't know )
- Do I have the financial backing to get a suit, meaning: "can I miss a couple of 1000's without hurting myself or selling my soul to certain entities"
- Does my life's situation allow for a fursuit
First of all, you dont -need- a suit, you want one.
A fursuit is generally an expensive object that can easily run into 4,000$ and obtaining it isnt an easy feat.
Yes you can place an order and tadaa, you now have a fursuit.
But there is more you have to look into, and thats why I wrote this, to help
If and when your answers to the above mentioned points is a certain yes, then by all means, go for it.
But if you need to write a fundme to get a fursuit, because you cant buy it? NO, you got far more important things to focuss on than a suit.
Now, you have a wonderful looking refsheet that you are happy with, it is perfect, as you wished, if you dont like certain features, tell the artist whilst they are in the process of drawing it, not when they are finished.
We now got to look for a fursuit builder, no I am not going to link you to artists, you have to investigate yourself.
I could overlook some fursuit builders that might be new / local to your area who might have the style you like.
Yes, each fursuit builder has their own unique style, a style that they are known for, and some even popular.
- Is that style something I wish for
- What is their schedule
- Do they take commissions
- How much they go for
- Do they have a newsletter
- What do other customers say, how is their response
- Do they have a history, scamming or posing to just get free money
You really have to read into the "who is going to make my suit" as there are dozens of styles, ranging from cute and toony, to realistic, creepy or even scifi.
If you love a suitbuilders style, but instead of their ordinary toony style, you want a demonic form, seek contact with the artist on a channel they prefer and ask if they can do that / want to do it.
Maybe you even like the fursuit head style of artist A and the bodysuit from artist B.
Seek contact with them, and ask these questions, it is your dream, make sure you do it right, so you dont end up with a dissapointment.
When you are fully satisfied with the options you are given, then proceed ordering.
This is obviously something that you and the suitbuilder have to arrange between the both of you.
Most suitbuilders have a set payment plan, but there might be some openings for a little different.
Most important, you are a customer, not a dictator, so stay nice, and be helpful with the artist, they have a job and are going to be very polite and helpfull, when you are too.
So, you and your suit commissioner are going to set up a contract, and from there, a fursuit will hopefully make your dream come true.
So, why does a fursuit run into the 1000's of dollars? well, the artist had to learn a lot (you can read some of my small experience below), spend a lot of time in making your suit, hours that need to be paid for, because they have to rent, live and make money, it is a lot of time.
If you think a suit is way too expensive, you have no idea what it takes to make one (read up below)
TLDR: dont make the mistake of going cheap and if you really want a suit, better read up, it cant hurt, as suits are expensive
I want to make my own
Ahh, you want to make your own?
Fun they said, awesome that would be.
Have you ever considered that:
- you have to be very crafty, skill-ful in things like sewing, carving, electronics, pattern making.
- it is going to be a big long project, many hours are going into this
- a lot of research needs to be done, what am I going to do how; did i mention that it is going to take some of your time?
- you will mess up material, gonna be expensive :D
- you going to need tools, many tools, probably expensive too
- you might not like to find fur in your food like, butter, cheese, beerglass, and neither does your family
you thought you could make a suit with 50$? you can consider yourself lucky if you could make it look better than http://40.media.tumblr.com/f27b51d42fe398959ee8839dbe9bfff9/tumblr_nvzndi8OMG1r2vnuyo1_1280.jpg
However, I do think that everyone that tried making (the most horrible looking) fursuit, should get some points, they dared to take a big, big, big step.
Now, on my first fursuit, I spend about total of 300$ (excluding sewing machines and other tools) to get this:
Now, this isnt the most horrible thing out there, certainly not for a first try, but it still was terrible.
The eyes paint chipped, the fur clotted, unable to clean it properly, the white stayed muddy, no matter how much I washed it.
The whiskers broke off, nails fell off.
I still have him around, he is a good party costume, to go into a bar during carnival, and get spilled beer all over, people still love him.
Now again this is a first costume, and people told me I did a surprisingly good first timer.
Now, some problems could be prevented:
Head could have gotten a shave, better fur quality (ask people who have experience in this where they get it)
could have used better quality plastic, better paint, other techniques.
But, suit building is a journey of discovery, a master doesnt know how to do stuff, he knows a 1000 ways how not to do stuff.
so hence I dont give tutorials or links (there are hundreds out there, with dozen of different things)
I tell you what to think about if you want to do this.
So, what could I expect to spent on a DIY fursuit.
Depends what you want really, but most important is,
A sewing machine, can be obtained second hand or new, but do think that the starting range is 200$, you can however find it cheaper.
And a hot glue gun.
further things that can be useful:
- Printer to print your arts, as reference, so you dont have to run back and forth all the time, and you can write on it
- Hot glue gun with temperature regulation
- 3D printer
- Scale and mixing cups for mixing materials (epoxies)
- Vacuum chamber to remove bubbles from mixtures
- Air brush and assesoires
- Cnc machine
- Whatever you want to use
- Electric knife
- Animal hair clippers (not for human hairs, but for sheep)
it is all up to you what you want to use, but it is going to make you spent more.
But, to remind you DIY folk, like when you buy a fursuit, you need reference art, and it better be quite detailed, just to help you out with every little detail.
Trust me, you are saving yourself a lot of drama, especially when you have (complex) patterns. (even tho you might know your pattern blind)
Now continueing on, you gonna look into techniques, and go fricking take your time with this.
Never rush a suit, not because you want it quickly, neither because tomorrow the plane leaves to that furcon <trust me I already done that, tho could fix it without much trouble
Read and make yourself familiar with different techniques, and dont be afraid to mess things up.
I mess things up, I only done 2 fursuits so far and a 3th coming up, and I will tell you right away, my most expensive mistake?
That is recent, it costed me already about 80$ on materials, because I forgot to think of one detail: attaching non sticky polyurethane rubber to a suit, it doesnt stick, at all (it happened during my stay at the pawpetshow in orlando, live, where a few pawpads flew off from under my feet)
So I have to make new pawpeds for my fursuit, better yet i might just need a completely new set of feetpaws, as reparing them means cutting them open.
Now, I do talk about my fursuit, let me show you my second, I learned from my mistakes, and made a couple new mistakes.
The african wild dog is the one I made (right one for those who dont know what an african wild dog is)
This is my second suit, and I am damn proud of it.
So, about a sewing machine, I can obviously do it by hand:
Yeah, you go boy, I do want to see you pull that off, because you are completely INSANE if you even think doing that.
Now, my pattern is complex yes, a suitbuilder told me he would charge an additional 500$ for that pattern, because it is complex.
I spend 60 hours alone on cutting and sewing that pattern, with a machine, broke about a 15 high strenght needles so yeh.
Totally I spent over 900$ and rising on that fursuit, tho I wanted to do everything myself, including the casting of the nose, pawpads and teeth + tongue. (I still owe someone a few maw pics, they forgot to make pics at AC)
Also, i spent a 300$ on a dremel tool + assesoires, a good 40 bucks on needles.
The white fur alone costed me 145$ (3 yards)
I want my suit to be made from quality materials, and believe me, the first time I used Smooth-On instead of a cheap knockoff, I instantly noticed the difference, Smooth-On is suprisingly easy to use, and very helpful when you have any questions.
(they are used by hobbyists and professionals alike and have the most helpful customer service)
Given the amounts of time I spent on creating these 2 suits (going into the 100's of hours) I'd say if you have a fulltime job, and are average with crafting, better go and order one.
DONT YOU EVER MAKE A SUIT TO SAVE MONEY, you will highly likely end up making horrors that happen in childrens dreams.
Dont see this as offensive, but as a warning, if you want to make a fursuit, spent hundreds of hours looking for techniques, tips, videos.
You will highly likely end up with something that people ignore, as they likely end up giving attention to those "professional" suits.
But, the joy, and exitement in creating everything by yourself, the journey you make in creating that suit that might end up on "horrible fursuits" is totally worth it, and if you arent scared by this long list, you should try it.
Dont expect to make something that is going to be the next hype, no, expect to meet fellow furs that also craft suits, share techniques and tips, and enjoy your hobby, because thats what it is about.
If you are exited reading about these mistakes, and you made it to this point, and still are enthausiastic about making one, go for it, by all means.
But dont try and save money by going cheap/ making it yourself.
TLDR: if you dont want to read what I just wrote up there, you shouldnt even consider making a suit yourself
If you have any questions, feel free to ask me, or any other fur about it.
(I didnt obviously cover the preforming in suit, this is a complete different field that where I believe others can fill in better than what I ever could.
preforming in suit makes or breaks a suit, not the pricetag)