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What are the number one mistakes of first time fursuit makers?

Springdragon

Active Member
1359392253.springdragon_wip.png
I hope this helps.
 

Dokid

Member
(helpful picture of fur direction) I hope this helps.

IT does! Although the arrows towards the back legs seem a bit confusing in terms of how faux fur works.

Like are the arrows pointing up? Or are they just simply there to show that the fur needs to go down towards the paws?
 

Springdragon

Active Member
On the paws, the pattern should be cut into three pieces, or one piece and brushed/hair sprayed into place. The front of the paw going up the leg to the shoulder is a center line. The fur flows from that midline on the front into a ridge that points back up on the back side of the leg. This is especially noticable in coarse haired dogs, where you will get a tuft or feathered effect.

Basically, there needs to one seam at the middle of the underside. For ultimate realism, instead of using a top piece and a bottom piece, there need to be three pieces. One for the top with the fur flowing down and one for each side which join at the back, with the fur flowing backward, at an angle to the top piece. The palm portion of the glove needs to be another separate piece from the two backs, with the fur flowing up from the tips of the fingers. Let me put together another diagram.

1359402254.springdragon_wip.png
 
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Trpdwarf

Lurking in Castle Moats
I'm not sure if this has been posted or not but one of the biggest mistakes I see first timers make is that they rely on friends and family for critique. Or they get positive feedback from the Anime Community (especially after going to an anime convention) and take that as a cue to go into making for others.

Family is not always going to be honest. They often wish to spare your feelings by not telling the truth. Often they also have no real understanding of costuming/making and as such are not going to be able to give you proper critique.

Friends fall into the same category. I have seen cases where even furry friends will be less than honest to their furry counterpart when it comes to the costume they created. They know that it's less the ideal but they will withhold positive criticism for fear of hurting feelings. Also a lot of coddling goes on because not coddling runs into a temper tantrum style argument of "Well they spent a lot of time on it!".

Finally, the anime community while excelling in the amount of people who can do wonderful cos-play often fail spectacularly when it comes to animal based costumes. It is not uncommon for them to take things that were piss poor in construction and herald it is "Awesome". There is a lot of false sense of accomplishment that comes from this community because they don't have the kind of experience and build up community wise for animal based costumes that us furries do. So they do not often recognize how piss poor something really is. Yet I see so many furries go off thinking they can become a maker because they pleased the Anime community with their junk.

In order to make a good furry costume turn to the furry community for your critique. Don't use the Anime Community, your friends, or your family as your source of critique. If they like what you make take it with a grain of salt. Personally I remember when the first piss poor costumes Zeke and I made went to the local college Halloween contest. One of them won first prize. It was sad in a way because of how poorly constructed they were. It also reflects why the public often fails as recognizing real quality.
 

LemonJayde

No wait I hate you
Really? Wow, Where is the EDUCATION here... STOP Bashing these kids and EDUCATE THEM!!! Bullying them is not the ANSWER here!!!
Jesus Christ, woman.

Anyways, some that I have seen are fur direction, nose sculpting, and a huge on is box noses. THOSE ARE BIG NO'S. (get it? get it?)
*ehem* Back on topic, there are a lot of various mistakes that people make. Just depends on the person. I've noticed that good artists are good costume makers, and vice versa.
 

Springdragon

Active Member
I think the same concept applies to all crafts. (Craft as in "profession", not craft as in "miscellaneous makery which involves popsicle sticks".) You have to ask someone better than you to know whether or not you're doing well. Mistakes are a discrepancy between how the item should be and how it is. If the observer has no idea how it should be, he or she is not going to be able to recognize errors.
 

Wereling

Member
Jesus Christ, woman.

Anyways, some that I have seen are fur direction, nose sculpting, and a huge on is box noses. THOSE ARE BIG NO'S. (get it? get it?)
*ehem* Back on topic, there are a lot of various mistakes that people make. Just depends on the person. I've noticed that good artists are good costume makers, and vice versa.

Yeah I hear ya that's why I'm tring to better my drawingskills and stuff
 

Umbra.Exe

Revolver Snocelot
I'm not sure if this has been posted or not but one of the biggest mistakes I see first timers make is that they rely on friends and family for critique. Or they get positive feedback from the Anime Community (especially after going to an anime convention) and take that as a cue to go into making for others.

....

I completely agree. Friends and family always try to spare your feelings, or even worse, don't know what's wrong with it either! XD This is not directly suit-related, but I've seen plenty of... Not-so-good pieces of art/drawings online, and they receive nothing but praise from their friends, without even a hint of constructive criticism. :p

And as for the anime community... They know their stuff, but fursuits aren't really "their stuff". so of course they wouldn't know as much as someone who specializes in animal costumes. That would be like asking someone who builds ball-jointed dolls for tips on how to make an action figure. Somewhat similar in some ways, but not quite the same. Might as well go right to the 'specialists for help.' I suppose this could apply to anything, really.
 

Wereling

Member
Yeah like asking a water color painter how to paint with oils or someone who wrties romance novels about an action novel or even asking a contractor how to build a table
It's not their field of expertise even though it might seem like it
 

Kaluna

*squeak squeak squeak*
I just finished my first suit and I'd say the biggest issue is the muzzle doesnt move like i planned ti would, in fact i couldnt get it to move at all it was just flapping open so i had to glue it shut (kinna) it still flops around too much when i nod or run or dance.... :< i want it either static or moving, its not really either. its mostly static, its really not that bad, just if i bounce or dance really hard it looks a little silly
 

Wereling

Member
If it bounces too much try putting some plastic mesh in the roof of the mouth and glue the muzzle a bit higher (if you can get under the fur try doing a support system or something like that) have ya got any pics so we can see what's going on?
 

Dokid

Member
I considered it an accomplishment when my first fursuit head did not end up on there. Biggest problem I ran into is I put the fur on the wrong way, I had to rip it all off and redo it.

In all honesty it's actually fairly easy not to be put on there. The site really only showcases the worst of the worst.

Also I hate it when you think everything is going smoothly but then you find out that you sewed or glued something the wrong way.
 

Springdragon

Active Member
Just finished my first head. I have the following insights:

1) Make the tape pattern with the mouth open.

2) Light colors are okay to drybrush on. Dark colors, especially black, need to be sewn in unless you're working with an animal that has a white undercoat, such as a wolf, or my (pet) cat. In some places, the fur is too long to work the color all the way down the base.

3) Attach the hood, then the ears. They started out level, but I accidentally knocked them out of place and had to reglue in an odd way. In addition to that, they're so fragile that I don't want to risk brushing out the paint.

4) I am really bleeping tiny. I will probably have to wear shoulder pads with the head to make it look okay.

5) Here's a picture of it in the most unflattering light possible. (Night time, incandescent overhead light, camera flash on.) I'll try to take a better one in the morning.
 

Kaluna

*squeak squeak squeak*
In all honesty it's actually fairly easy not to be put on there. The site really only showcases the worst of the worst.

Also I hate it when you think everything is going smoothly but then you find out that you sewed or glued something the wrong way.

Lol In making my first suit at one point I sewed the right ear to the left side of the face fur, and when I noticed I freaked out almost gave up, cried a little in frustration (granted this was at 4am after sewing for like 8 hours straight) and then finally took some deep breaths and carefully cut the stitches off with a razor blade. Everything was fine. :3 I really did have to laugh at myself after that drama.
 

Umbra.Exe

Revolver Snocelot
Springdragon: That's quite nice for a first head! What species/breed is it though? Is it the Akita/Chow you mentioned in your other thread?

Lol In making my first suit at one point I sewed the right ear to the left side of the face fur, and when I noticed I freaked out almost gave up, cried a little in frustration (granted this was at 4am after sewing for like 8 hours straight) and then finally took some deep breaths and carefully cut the stitches off with a razor blade. Everything was fine. :3 I really did have to laugh at myself after that drama.
Oh man is that frustraring. I haven't made a suit yet, but when I sew stuffed animals, I occasionally sew the pattern the wrong way... And man is it annoying to find and pick out all the stitches from fluffy fleece! I can't imagine how hard that must be with fur. D:

Oh, and to keep with the topic of the thread a bit more, I've thought of a few more mistakes I've seen:

Eyes too close/too far apart: I know good vision is a must, but try not to place your eyes too close together. Alternatively, don't place them too far apart either, because, well, good vision is a must!
Ears too close/too far apart: Sometimes ears look like they're nearly on top of the mask's head, with only an inch or so between them! And sometimes, the ears are a bit too far apart as well.
Overbite/Underbite/Crooked jaws: Pretty self-explanatory. Tends to happen on "moving jaw" heads, I think.
Plastic vampire teeth: Once again, I kid you not, I've seen people use these as fursuit teeth. It tends to look pretty cheap.
Frog-mouth: Unless you're making a big-mouthed creature, your head should not have such a wide mouth!
Cheap fur: Buy quality fur for your suits, folks. People can tell when you skimp and buy "fun fur."
Textured/patterned fur: When making a spotted cat or the like, it's tempting to go buy pre-spotted fabric. please don't, this tends to look out of place on a fursuit. It's probably better suited for smaller things like plush toys.
GIANT heads: Tends to happen with partials.If the head looks big in the foaming stage, it's not going to look any smaller once furred.
Lumpy foamwork: Again, bad looking when foamed=Bad looking when furred. I know it's hard to get foam smooth, but try to get the big lumps out. Fur can't hide everything.
Visible glue/raw edges: Sometimes hot glue can be seen at the edges of fur/eyes/ears. Sometimes people don't secure the edges of fur in places like the ears, this can look pretty bad.
Glued bodysuits: While I personally don't like glue much, it's acceptable on low-stress area like the head. However on a bodysuit, where seams are stressed more, please learn to at least handsew, or maybe get someone to help you sew it.
Wonky ears: Ears that are tilted differently from one another (when it's not done on purpose). Also, ears that are tilted too far forward or backward.
Feather-Boa whiskers: I don't see it often because it only happens in special cases. Sometimes, a character has long whiskers like that of an Eastern dragon. People sometimes use craft feather boas for these whiskers. It tends to not match the rest of the suit and looks bad.
Back-tails: Tails that are too high up, and are on or nearly on the wearer's back. Tends to happen with "dragon" type tails, or tails with thick bases. Remember tails, sprout from the base of your spine, not from the middle of your back. Tails generally do not belong above the belt line!
Butt-tails: Opposite of the "back tail." Tails don't sprout out of your butt, either. Don't place them too low.
Everything-is-a-dog Syndrome: If you're not making a dog, don't use dogs as references. Don't copy dog mask shapes. Even if it has raccoon or zebra or leopard markings, and it's shaped like a dog, people are going to think it's a dog. I saw a very nice suit of what looked like a Husky once. Only it wasn't a Husky. It was a Tree Kangaroo. Very nicely made, but it still looked like a dog!

And now, as promised, some quadsuit mistakes:
Tube legs: This happens when PVC pipes are used for the arm stilts, and no padding is used to break up the tube's shape. Professionals as well as first-time makers have done this. I've seen really beautiful suits that would be nearly perfect if it weren't for the shipping-tube legs.
Short/no neck: Quadsuit heads are built a bit differently than regular heads to give the appearance of a longer, animal-like neck. Some people don't realize this and appear to have little or no neck in-suit.
LONG neck: I think there was an Epona suit posted earlier with a giraffe-like neck... However, I've also seen a Girafarig (giraffe Pokemon) quadsuit, in which case a long neck is just fine!
Insufficient padding: Many quads I see don't have padded chests, which kind of ruins the animal illusion. Humans have very "flat" chests. Animals, however do not, so padding must be used to help the illusion.
Baggy fur: Okay, this occurs on both quad and regular suits, but I see it more on quads. Empty bags of fabric are not a substitute for padding.
Super-long arms: This one bugs me a bit. If your arm stilts are so long that you're basically putting all your weight on your hind legs, it looks very weird... Might as well wear a regular suit if you don't want to go on all fours. It also gives too much of a slope to the back and makes the torso look very short, which is usually not what you want for a quad.

And the biggest mistake for both fursuiters and quadsuiters:

Not using reference images! Whatever you're making, have some reference images handy. Not just one, as many as you can get your hands on! Reference images should help a lot for placing things like eyes and ears, and for getting the shapes of things right. Get reference images of the specific species/breed you're making. What works on a cat will not work for a dog, and what works for a Shiba Inu will not work for a German Shepherd.

Also, try not to use other people's suits as your only reference. It's like making a drawing of a drawing of a picture; They've simplified the original to their liking, and if you simplify that, it's going to look less and less like the original source. It's like playing visual Telephone.

I think that's all I can think of for now.
Oh my... Now this is a long post! Sorry everyone! D:
 

Springdragon

Active Member
Springdragon: That's quite nice for a first head! What species/breed is it though? Is it the Akita/Chow you mentioned in your other thread?

Yes it is. Here's a better picture: http://d.facdn.net/art/springdragon/1359590165.springdragon_photo-2013-wipcook5.jpg

Since then I've repainted the nose, added another coat of black to the lower jaw, and recut the ears. I originally had it as a divot at the top of the ear, but I shaved a false edge into the fur and reshaped the inside to give a clearer distinction between the plush inside of the ear and the long fringe outside. I also painted the front of the fringe black and cut the center all the way down and added a dab of fawn paint there for some shading. The ears look much better now.

Back on Topic: Another beginner lesson I learned is that I need to make all the curves in the base much more dramatic than I want it to look, to make room for the thick fur. The ears are curved, but they look flat. In another thread, Deo suggested that I have the ears too far back, but I disagree. I think they would look funny if they were set any further forward. The front of the ear is in the right place, but if anything, the backs need to extend further into more of a conical shape. Maybe I could get that if I cut down near the edges of the ears but left the fur longer at the base.
 

Umbra.Exe

Revolver Snocelot
Springdragon: That looks pretty nice! The ears seemed small to me at first, but then I realized Chows have smallish ears, don't they?So what are you doing next? Handpaws? Feetpaws? Tail?Oh, and here's a couple other mistakes I've seen, not too many in this post though.

Non-follow follow me eyes:
I've seen lots of people attempt follow-me eyes, but some don't, well, follow. The eye needs to be set deep enough in the head/eye sockets for them to work. Conversely, don't set them too far in, or you might just have white-eyes from certain angles with no pupil visible. Follow-me eyes seem a bit tricky.

"Use your own eyes masks,"
when done the wrong way, look like you just forgot to put in eyes. I personally don't like UYOE masks, but if you're going to make one, at least do it correctly. These masks look best when small and form-fitting to the face. The closer the eyes are to your real eyes, the better. If the eyeholes are too far away, we can't see your eyes and it looks as if it was intended to be a regular mask, sans eyes.

Splayed toes: If your feet look like pancakes with tennis-ball toes stuck to the edges, they might need a bit of work. Animal toes are actually a bit closer together then a lot of beginners make them. This happens more with "toony" suits, I think, that exaggerate the toes a bit too much.


And I realize I may come across as sounding like some sort of fursuit dictator... ^^; I'm not saying you can't make ANY of these mistakes, because everyone makes mistakes. Even the pros. But once you know what to avoid, I think it gives you a bit of an upper hand.
Also, I unfortunately haven't been able to start my first suit yet, (no money, no room to put it), so I'm probably also going to refer back to these things later. XD
 

Springdragon

Active Member
Agreed, follow-me-eyes are tricky. Also, if they're set at the wrong angle, the face looks cross-eyed instead of focused, from the front.

I think Use-your-own eyes masks are scary. On a human, the sclera(sp?) is usually visible and we've gotten used to it, but on an animal that usually indicates fear and alarm. The expression ends up somewhat neurotic because the facial muscles are relaxed but the eyes are terrified.

I don't think splayed toes has been mentioned yet. That's a good one.


Umbra: Yes, the ears are intentionally small. The character is a quarter each of kunming military dog (basically looks like a straight backed GSD with shorter ears and some really wolfish color morphs), akita, chow, and a few local nonrecognized breeds. Most of those have a blunt head with small wide-set ears.

Another thing that really bothers me about some suits (and some drawings) is enormous tall ears. An animal's ears aren't normally the same height as the rest of its entire head. It's close, on something like a housecat, but as the animal gets larger the ears get smaller in proportion to the head. Judging the size of an animal by its proportions is something that we've visually internalized. When something doesn't match, it looks out of scale. Even a house cat mask should have slightly smaller ears would be proportionate on an actual cat in order to reflect that rule.

Then you get animals like artic foxes and wolves which have small ears already.

Another mistake is the S shaped tail, or pointed tip tail. Fluffy fox and wolf tails actually have a rounded tip. Fox tails are tube shaped, not football shaped.

The severe bend at the top of the S shape is meant to accomodate the wearer's butt. However, a tail that curves up at the end would usually be held away from the body. The spine doesn't usually bend at sharp angles and the tail is supposed to be an extension of the spine.

Edit: I've been wondering for a while, is is possible to muck up a resin head? As in, provided you start from a decent base, is there anything a beginner might do that can completely wreck it?
 
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F

Finty

Guest
The eyes can either make or break a fursuit. Most beginners make them unequal.
Hurrrr Duuuurr
hteli1.jpg
 

Chinona

New Member
Okay, now you're starting to worry me more than I already was. D:
I have an airbrush I've had since high school (A Paasche VL, I think) that I would like to use for various things in the future. I suspected I probably didn't have the right connectors for the compressor we have, but what do you mean about condensation? My airbrushing teacher only taught us about the airbrushes, and not so much about the compressor itself...

Also, the compressor we have is usually used to pump up car tires. Is that too much? Is it possible for too much pressure to damage the airbrush?
I'm sorry for just asking you questions out of nowhere, but you do seem to know your stuff. ^^;

Need to not go and play starcraft for days at a time lol...
It depends on the compressor itself. The ones I use are primarily meant for pumping up car tires and running air tools (like Air nailers for building a house). I've never exceeded the pressure limit for my airbrush by more than 15 psi because my compressor has a regulator on it that allows me to limit how much pressure comes out of it. I assume it could do damage if it was too much for too long, or it could just screw with how nice the paint flow is (which was listed as an issue to trouble shoot on one of my old air brushes). Do you know what the pressure is coming out of it (tire compressors normally are high because it needs to get the tire up to pressure while having a lot of weight on it)? that airbrush has a really big range 20-55 with a 75 max so its a pretty tough brush but yeah things can go wrong after 75.

That said because it is a tire compressor, it very easily could get condensation in it, the lazy way of dealing with it is the 100 foot hose (which I got because it was the same price as the 20 foot hose - go figure). You can also use the drain which should be built into the bottom of the tank (if there isn't one then you don't really have an issue it's been built to deal with said condensation in the motor/pipes themselves) it blasts the air and condensation out when you pull it. I only see condensation if I am running long projects on it and then it only make s it to the first 'catcher' for the most part thought it's likely safe to say that the hose does get a little of it.
 

Umbra.Exe

Revolver Snocelot
....
That said because it is a tire compressor, it very easily could get condensation in it, the lazy way of dealing with it is the 100 foot hose (which I got because it was the same price as the 20 foot hose - go figure). You can also use the drain which should be built into the bottom of the tank (if there isn't one then you don't really have an issue it's been built to deal with said condensation in the motor/pipes themselves) it blasts the air and condensation out when you pull it. I only see condensation if I am running long projects on it and then it only make s it to the first 'catcher' for the most part thought it's likely safe to say that the hose does get a little of it.

I kind of forgot that I had asked a question, sorry! Hope you see my response. >>;

So, I need to have a way to regulate the pressure from 20-55 psi, then?

And what does condensation do exactly, that makes it so bad?



As for the thread topic, I've been noticing a few suits with pushed-in noses lately, I think I mentioned those earlier... Or perhaps it was on another thread. The top of the nose tends to be tilted further back than the front, which looks odd on most of the suits Isee it on. Especially since most of the suits are canines, which tend to have the tops of their noses turned out more.

Springdragon:
I have noticed suits with too-large ears, I think it's intended to be a style choice, but on many suits I think it's exaggerated to the point that it doesn't look like the intended species anymore. Although once I have seen a Fennec suit that looked more like a regular fox, its ears were too small for a Fennec, and its muzzle was too broad...

I'm not quite sure what you mean by the tails though. Do you mean pointed like this:
tail2.jpg


...As opposed to rounded, like this?

images

(Goodness, those pictures are way different in size, sorry.

Again, that may be a stylized way of making tails, I think. I don't mind it too much, but it depends on the style they're going for, I think. I think that if the tail is short and fluffy, the round tip looks best, and if it is longer, the pointed way looks better. But that's just my opinion.

I haven't seen this on any suits lately, but short-pile fur on a tail intended to be long haired and fluffy looks odd. It just makes the tail look fat instead of fluffy.
 

Chinona

New Member
the condensation doesn't do to horribly much in most cases, however it can cause issues with the paint depending on the type and the application. Most airbrush paint that is highly permanent does not like being mixed with water it can cause it to flake off. Most of the time you have to buy a specific reducer for them in order to thin them for use. (which is why you should always blast a bit of pure reducer through a water cleaned brush when switching colors without a full clean.

And yeah you should get a regulator for your compressor if you can't tell what its set at, I know a few hardware stores will sell them, places that sell welding equipment might as well (because acetylene welding using oxygen tanks and the like) but I've never really looked.
 

Springdragon

Active Member

Springdragon:

I'm not quite sure what you mean by the tails though. Do you mean pointed like this:

IMAGE

...As opposed to rounded, like this?

IMAGE

(Goodness, those pictures are way different in size, sorry.

Again, that may be a stylized way of making tails, I think. I don't mind it too much, but it depends on the style they're going for, I think. I think that if the tail is short and fluffy, the round tip looks best, and if it is longer, the pointed way looks better. But that's just my opinion.

I haven't seen this on any suits lately, but short-pile fur on a tail intended to be long haired and fluffy looks odd. It just makes the tail look fat instead of fluffy.

Sorry if I articulated that badly. The pointed tip and the S shape are two separate issues. The two tails you posted are very well made, with the tip formed by the long hairs rather than the pattern. For pointed tip, I meant tails like this:

8666249@400-1345248508.jpg


It's worse in this one because the fur is too short.
3849889@400-1273760571.jpg


For S shape, I meant like this..actually, this tail has both problems.

3046733@400-1258323608.jpg
 
It occurs to me that I think one other big mistake is taking on really ambitious projects right off the bat, or being overly ambitious.
("I'm gonna make a full suit with digitigrade legs, dropped crotch, three tails, wings, silicone paws, LED horns a moving jaw and light-up follow me-eyes! 8D")

Okay, perhaps not THAT extreme, but stuff like starting off on 3D eyes without ever having made 2D ones seems to be asking for trouble, and seems to invariably result in the strange follow-me eyes that don't seem to really follow and looks like the character had had plastic packaging rammed into its skull. I mean, of the suits I've seen, a no-frills suit that's well made always trumps the bells-and-whistles suits that were attempted without practice. It seems like mastering the basics is a good way to go, one of the reasons why my current project is 2D eyes, fixed jaw, no fancy stuff.

I tried a moving jaw straight off on my first ever attempt and...yeah..it ended up looking like one of those wildlife documentaries when an anaconda splays its mouth out so it can swallow a capybara. Not a good look.
 
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