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Tutorial: Dragon Designing Tips - part 3/3 by SeaSaltShrimp Tutorial: Dragon Designing Tips - part 3/3 by SeaSaltShrimp
Aaand last part! Which while not being the longest, gave me the most trouble hahaa.
Again, everything is meant to be tips, not rules that you absolutely must follow! I don't want to sound like you must change your character if your design doesn't follow what's written here, just do what you want yo. Even more so for part 3, basing a design on animals is just a thing I do a lot and it doesn't mean you absolutely need to do the same if it's not your cup of tea.
Lots of people have been asking how I go about using animals as inspiration, what to use as inspiration or what kind of animals can be used, I hope this answers everything c: I totally loved working on those two characters as examples.

Huge thanks to Herola for drawing a few headshots for the bottom part! I feel it's more effective to have examples drawn by a different person to explain this kind of topic :) so thanks again mwah :heart:
And thanks Cynderheart for allowing me to borrow Draico and his cool unique markings :) mwah

Also the part about evil dragons is not meant to sound offensive, or to point at anyone, just in case.

Also² somebody suggested I write something about accessories/armor and other wearable items too, which would be interesting to cover aswell. I might make a bonus part, but don't expect it for sure, I'll have to see if I can write enough about it (feel free to suggest things)


Now long  comment incoming ~

Ahem... So the "copying" part I really hope I didn't write in a way that could be interpreted the wrong way. I'm not talking about nit-picky details such as "same horn shape omg thief", and I'm not trying to make people paranoid and think similar ideas on two characters -> instant copy, or that similarities are bad. Two people can sometimes end up with very similar ideas without even knowing each other. Also note that I'm mostly talking about people's personal OCs being used as inspiration.

Most of the concerned people are young/beginner artists, who get inspired by someone's character and they want one "just as cool", so they'll take things from this design, and sometimes they take a bit too much, including things that the artist tried hard to make unique and personal. It's not always easy to tell where a design stops being inspired and turns into a copy (opinions differ), and they don't always realize it's something the large majority of artists doesn't appreciate, especially if it's a character that means a lot to them.

Let's also mention that sometimes people will accuse someone of 'copying' for something as small as "both characters are white and red" or "they're both chinese dragons". So this goes both ways, some get attacked for no reason. I actually wrote a journal about that some time ago:…
Similar tail blade, or similar colors does not mean instant copy. One similar detail, or two, does not mean instant copy. Those can be simple coincidences and the person might have never realized someone else had the same idea. "Similar" and flat "copy" are two very different things.


So yeah, I wanted to mention this in the tutorial and others said I really should too. Let's be honest this is a big issue in the cartoon dragon community (and others, but this one I've seen the most). Those who know me will know what I think, but it's honestly a bit tiring to always see people complain about "flat copies of the same character everywhere", yet nothing is done about it. And by that I don't mean attacking people on sight (sometimes for invalid reasons), but I mean I haven't seen anyone try to calmly EXPLAIN what the problem is.

So I hope I wrote this objectively enough. Of course opinions differ, but there are basic boundaries to not cross so a design doesn't become too heavily similar, especially when it comes to someone's personal OCs, and these are the 3 examples in the tutorial. Beyond that, it's up to people's opinions so I won't address that.

(Also no, I'm definitely not expecting to make a difference with this issue. I mostly just wanted to share my thoughts in detail, and give some advice as it does count for character designing. But if that can help just ONE person I'd be really happy. )

So yeah, I rambled a bit but don't think I was ranting there, I'm really not. Opinions are welcome, but no bashing others in the comments please (look at all that anxious-talking wow who will even manage to read through all of this)
I really want to address this and see what people think too, but it's such a touchy topic and I'm afraid of not using the right words to explain it;;  So heck we'll see

Part 1: Tutorial: Dragon Designing Tips - part 1/3 by Fourth-Star  Part 2: Tutorial: Dragon Designing Tips - part 2/3 by Fourth-Star
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September 2, 2016
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