Customization - the Basics For a Great Look
Customization is, in a word, an art. You can't just slap a My Sisters Frilly Skirt, Old Fashioned Potato Sack, Field of Courgettes Background and Basic Red Balloon on your yellow Jubjub and call yourself a customizer! There is one huge thing about customization that you MUST remember. Moderation, moderation, moderation. You should make sure that your customization is not too skimpy or boring, yet is not too cluttered. You don't need to have all of the clothing zones filled! I feel sorry for the poor pets who drown in fiber due to their owner not giving them the ability to breathe through all the clothes hugging them, or them blinding helpless old ladies as they run down the street. Think of the children!
In total, there are 21 zones, and you probably should have no more then ten or so filled up at one time (including backgrounds), and no less then four (Unconverted pets excluded). There are exceptions, of course, but that is a good guide to follow for the average beginner. Remember one piece of clothing can take up several zones, and can restrict several zones from being used. The zones are:
- Background Item
- Foreground Item
- Hind Cover
- Left-hand Item
- Right-hand Item
- Sound Effects
Thought Bubble (in my opinion, you shouldn't use these)
So now that you understand zones and moderation, we'll go from the skeleton to actually creating the look.
No, I did not mean you.
Hmph. Fine then. Sigh. We Skeiths are so under-rated...
You generally need three things, in my book, to have a good customization (the first step to becoming a good customizer), which are:
a) A Theme.
It doesn't take much to understand why you need one. Is your neopet an explorer? A hobo? A farmer? That's up to you to decide. A theme can be tricky to use. It should be interesting, hopefully not too hard to guess, and most importantly, look good. Try to be creative with your theme. How many times have you seen a mannequin customization? Or a skier? Or a picnicker? Yeah. Not many, I bet.
Oi! Get out of me cave!
However, keep in mind that, if you're doing a cosplay, or basing your pet off of a character from a series you like, make sure to include a reference picture, so that people who are not familiar with the series can see what you're trying to do. Also, make sure to refrain from using entire sets. A set is a set of clothing that belongs together, and they can come in Neopoints, Neocash (Nickcash), and Paint Brush sets. These sets, although they look good, are not particularly original, as they were not created by you, but rather by The Neopets Team (TNT).
Hikuren here is looking good with her clothes, but 3 out of 7 items are from the same set!
Try to mix and match from different sets. It's not bad to use more then one item from the same set, but I'd try to use a third at most. Also, having your Desert Ixi desert themed isn't the most original idea in the box (not that it's a bad idea). Remember, customization is all about unique styles.
b) A Colour Scheme.
Again, self-explanatory. Try to make your colours work together. A hot pink combined with neon green, orange, smoky grey, navy blue and dark purple may not be a great choice. Try to create a contrast between your colours. For example, if you were, say, using green and purple as your colour scheme, you would try not to add a colour that would mess up the balance you've set up, say, a blaring red. It's not a crime, however, to sneak another colour that won't upset the balance in. Which colour this would be would depend on the shade of colours you have. If you have light green and lavender as your colours, then a sky blue may help accent your colours, provided it is used in moderation. The sky blue would stick out like a sore thumb against a dark green and dark purple scheme, however. You'll need to use your judgement to determine what looks good. It's quite complex, and the only way you'll really learn is with experience! Use your Neopet's colour as a way to set up a colour scheme. Below, for example, you can see that Kabylies is using his base colour brown very well, as it matches very handsomely with the customization.
Apparently there's some sort of high-toned and fancy to-do up at the fort, eh?
Make sure the scheme works with your pet. However, try not to make it a game of Kacheek Seek. We don't want to need to squint to see it. Customization is all about showing your individuality and the beauty of the pet (or cool factor, whichever you're attempting). Then again, don't make it stand out like a sore thumb. They need to look good WITH the customization, not be totally separated from it. One doesn't need a colour scheme, per se, but one can't have clashing colours either. There must be balance in your force- /brick'd
Most likely the least important of the three. Moving parts in the image add dynamics and make the customization more interesting. That's just the way the human eye works. However, it's not always possible to add movement to customization, largely because few Neopoint wearables are animated, thus making it a real challenge to keep your theme and yet have movement, especially for those who do not have access to Neocash. I would leave this until last when creating a customization for your pet. Movement is a great way to add intrigue to the overall customization. However, moderation is key, just like in every other aspect of customization. You do not want every single part of your image to move! Use animation skillfully to add intrigue, yet not so much as to annoy someone.
Basically, the the three things you need to remember about customization are aesthetics, uniqueness, and, most importantly, having fun, which is what customization is all about.
*All examples were used with prior permission from their owners.