Making Your Own Miniatures for Online Games

I used to customize and paint miniatures, and I still have a few of my favorites around here, but that takes a lot of time and money, and I don’t have either any more. And since I’m going to be running an online game, they would help anyways. So here’s an easy way to put together some miniatures for your online game. First, conduct an image search on Google of painted miniatures that have been designated for re-use. Painters make money off their miniatures, and most do not give them this designation, but there are a few. I start at Google Advanced Image Search, because you can set it to return only images with re-use allowed. The link is https://www.google.com/search?q=advanced+image+search&newwindow=1&safe=off&tbm=isch&source=lnt&tbs=sur:fc&sa=X&ei=JlqPVMrbFYefNpWSgLAM&ved=0CBYQpwU&dpr=1.25&biw=1344&bih=684.

Stages of making an online miniatureHe’s marked for reuse, and it is a huge image. I start by saving it, then opening it in Paint.net (free raster graphics editor, very powerful). I resize it to about 140 pixels so I can start working with it. Then (1) I remove all the background from it. (2) I use the magic wand to erase all of the surrounding white and save it as a PNG. (3) I add a new background layer, use a white pen to draw a thin white border around the figure, and then save that as a PNG. That way the character will show up clearly against any background I choose to use. I’ve added black background to these images so you can see what the finished PNG looks like against a dark background. I typically use a 100 pixel high character for man-sized figures, and increase in size from there.

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About lostdelights

An old gamer flying his freak flag, I've been playing table-top role-playing games since 1978. I've been building my own system (Journeyman) since 1981.
This entry was posted in Advice to Beginners, Gaming Tools & Accessories, Miniatures. Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to Making Your Own Miniatures for Online Games

  1. Rainer Gustin says:

    Instead of using a white pen to draw an outline around the figure, it’s easier and error-free (and allows a alpha-blended outline) to use the outline plugin…

    http://paint.net.amihotornot.com.au/Features/Effects/Plugins/Object/Outline_Object/

    Save the file “Outline.dll” to your folder “C:\Program Files\Paint4.NET\Effects”

    This effect shows up under the Effects > Object menu.

  2. lostdelights says:

    By the way, I now take the stand off, which lets the figure be a little bigger.

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