Micro-Hero Templates: What they are, what they mean, and how to use them properly
What they are:
Templates are not completed micros. Completed micros should not be referred to as Templates.
Templates come in two basic flavors, Body Templates and Accessory Templates.
Body Templates are the basic starting point for any micro. Many are modeled after specific artist’s styles. This goes back to Micro-Heroes roots in comic book fandom. But many creators have begun customizing template to fit their own personal style of micro making. Body templates are still just a starting point.
No artist should feel restricted to the confines of any one template. In micro making, the most important element is not the template, but the reference material used as the basis for the final work. It is not uncommon for a body template to be completely altered to reflect the reference material.
Accessory Templates consist of elements such as hair clothes and weapons which a creator may not feel like creating from scratch. Many of these parts have been removed from existing micros and released as Template Sheets.
Because many of these parts are stripped without the original creator’s permission, some creators that have come from outside the micro community consider using Templates to be Frankensteining. But under community standards, the use of parts is common and permitted. The use of whole micros recolored or added to is frown upon and considered stealing.
What they mean:
Despite the mix and match nature of micro making, Templates are not puzzle pieces. Templates are a beginning basis from which a creator can achieve reference match. Parts should not be slopped on and then declared a character. This is the micro hero definition of Frankensteining. This is considered amateurish and in some cases down right lazy and ugly.
How to use them properly:
The best way to use templates is an off-shoot of Frankensteining called Cannibalism.
Cannibalism is the induction of templates and micro-hero pieces which is then transformed into something different from its inducted parts. The principle is the same as frankensteining, except the parts are further molded for proper reference matching.
Reference Matching is the key concept to micro making. The art form has evolved over the years based on this concept. Whatever parts you use or make yourself, it all serves to match your reference material.
Sometimes templates are useless in reference matching and making parts from scratch is required. The best way to handle this situation, is to know as much about the templates at your disposal as possible. That means look at your templates closely in zoom and see how they can an can not be molded. That way you can easily be able to pick the appropriate parts without needless trial and error.
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