NFT Art has enabled online communities to grow and the creator economy to generate billions of dollars a month in revenue.
If you are an artist, computer programmer or community builder wanting to know how to make NFT art, this article will give you the big picture overview and then point you in the right direction to get started with the art. It will also help you with generating and uploading that collection. There will be references to NFT coding solutions and No Code NFT solutions.
The Basics of Making NFT art
NFTS are like online clubs where everyone is part of the same identifiable tribe. However, each person has their own unique identity within that tribe.
One of the most notable NFT collections is the Bored Ape Yacht Club. When analyzing the art of the Bored Apes, you’ll notice that each ape is made out of the same base elements. For instance, look at the outline of the apes body. All of them have the exact same ear shapes, tufts of hair on the right side of their chin and top left of their head.
It’s the same drawing just re colored and with elements added onto it. This is important to note and understand when learning how to make NFT art.
Now that we understand that, let’s go over the basic idea of creating NFT art. It’s good to know what you need to keep in mind in order to start planning and creating your NFT collection correctly.
As we noted all NFT outlines and “basic shape concepts” are the same. I consider the basic top level properties – categories.
For instance, in Apes, we have 7 categories: Background, Clothes, Earrings, Eyes, Fur, Hat, Mouth
When making NFT art you create various traits inside of the categories.
Apes have 8 different background traits (colors inside the background category). 43 different styles of clothes (44 if you include “none” as a style) etc.
In a collection of 10,000 it is customary to have roughly 100 total traits across 5 to 10 categories.
Generating NFT Art By Layering Traits from Categories
If you are creating a large collection of NFTs, you don’t draw each one individually. First, make a list of your categories and then the traits within those categories.
Use an illustration program like Procreate or Adobe Illustrator and draw each trait on its own layer.
Export each trait as an image file with an alpha layer. Make sure you keep each layer the same size (usually square like 1080 x 1080). Also, don’t move the traits around when you hide the other layers to export. Keep the trait in the same position it would be if the entire drawing was in place. That way they will snap together in an aligned manner.
Once you have all the traits exported on their own layer, a python script will snap them together like legos. The code will take all the equally sized image canvases and correctly placed traits within those canvases and snap them together in a programed order and rarity.
You need to order the categories correctly – so the code knows which to stack on bottom and top. For Bored Apes it would be: Background, Fur, then likely eyes, earring mouth, hat, clothes.
For the traits you can put a rarity % within the code that will give that trait the % probability of being selected in the generated final image.
We will touch more on the code and no code solutions to create this mash up later in the article.
For now, we just wanted to display the concept on how to make nft art by combining traits into one cohesive image.
Can I Create My Own NFT art?
You can certainly create your own NFT art if you have artistic skill/desire. All you need to know is how to use the basics of a layered illustration program. Popular illustration programs for NFTs are procreate, adobe illustrator or photoshop.
If you personally don’t want to draw and would rather focus on the concept, NFT marketing, coding or community building, Fiverr is an excellent resource for finding NFT artists.
Often these artists will draw and generate the images for you for an affordable price.
Fiverr: How To Contract an NFT artist
If you go the fiverr route, be very specific about what you want. First convey the main concept (for instance pigs). Then make a spreadsheet that has a list of categories, and then the list of trait ideas within those categories.
You can browse artist profiles that have a style you prefer. You may also want to send them some example styles as inspiration.
These artists may be able to generate all the images for you. If they don’t do the generation (not all have coding ability) ask them to send you a .zip of all of the traits named and separated into category folders.
Now, we can move into NFT Art generation and uploading to IPFS or Arweave.
NFT Generator Github
You can take the art files and generate the NFT images yourself. You just need to know a bit of python.
While the actually coding is a bit too much to go into in this blog post, the basic idea is creating a python script that orders the categories and then gives rarity weights to each of the traits. From there you run the python script, which outputs your finished images.
For the technically inclined, here is an excellent open source NFT generator repository on Github: Scrappy Squirrels Tutorial
Uploading To IPFS & Adding MetaData
Once your images are generated you need to store them in a decentralized manner so that your smart contract and marketplaces link to those images and be able to read the metadata which will display the rarity information for buyers.
Most collections use IPFS (InterPlanetary File System) to immortalize their NFT images.
To get into doing this manually is a bit too much for this article. However, a very popular service to help you uploading your NFTs and create the metadata is Pinata.cloud
They also have some great resources for developers to get started.
How to Create NFT art without coding?
If you created your NFT art, but you don’t have the technical knowledge to generate the images, create the smart contract and upload everything to IPFS there are online softwares that can help with that process.
Software to Create NFT art
Essentially, these programs provide a drag and drop system to organize your NFT categories and traits. They then generate your full collection. From there you have the option to launch a smart contract on many of the most popular blockchains. They’ll also help you upload and store the images on IPFS and create the metadata.
Best NFT Generator Online
Nft-generator.art (now onemint.io) seems to be the most popular no code NFT generator online. It allows you to organize your categories and traits to compile final NFT images in a no code manner. You can then launch an optimized NFT smart contract on Ethereum, polygon, Avalanche, Solana, and other popular blockchains. All without the need to code.
The service has generated more than 3 million NFT images and deployed more than 8,000 smart contracts.
Pricing varies based on the number of NFTs you create. Also, if you want the NFT generator to launch a smart contract for you that will cost more.
How To Make NFT Art Conclusion
This article hopefully gave you a good understanding of how to make NFT art. There are a number of tools and services that make the process simple. You don’t have to be an artist or coder to launch an NFT. You just need an idea, a marketing strategy, and a strong community.
We’re excited to see what you create and wish you success in your NFT mint.
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Thanks for reading!