Franken Customization Guide

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Franken Customization Guide

Post by lalahsghost » Wed Mar 15, 2006 3:42 pm

I'd like to thank the original creator of this guide, and Draco Starcloud for sending me the data.
The Guide explains the process of creating and/or customizing FrankenGundams with MSpaint

*NOTE* The MSN Links are dead, but I decided to not to delete them

Something that probably should have been here a long time ago? sorry, folks.

Franken-Gundam Artist's Manual for MSPAINT

*The following text assumes that the reader has a good working knowledge of the Microsoft MSPAINT program and program terminology. Using these images requires nothing more than a good idea of how the Microsoft MSPAINT program works. For more information on MSPAINT, please see the program's Help file, accessible from the 'Help' toolbar or by pressing the F1 key while the program is active.

1. The Basics
  • Franken-Gundam Artwork is exactly like what it sounds: playing Frankenstein with Mobile Suits. The basic idea is that you take different pre-existing images and piece them together to form entirely new images. Most artists use the hand-drawn images (Pics) by Mark Simmons that used to be displayed at The images are still available at the GundamProject archive, Some also use the Lineart stored at Mechadomain,, although they require a bit more experience to use properly. This Reference covers working with Mark Simmon's images.
2. Construction Techniques
  • The first step: Copy down some of Mark's pics to your computer. The usual method is placing your mouse cursor over the image, pressing the 'Right' mouse button (Right-Click), and choosing 'Copy' from the menu that appears. Then, in the MSPAINT program bitmap editor, right-click again, choose 'Paste', and the image will appear, ready for use.
  • You'll want to use a good variety of images, so continue acquiring as many pics as you wish in this manner. Commonly-used images include the MS-06F Zaku II, OZ-13MS Gundam Epyon, FA-010S FA-ZZ, YMS-15 Gyan, and RX-78NT-1 Gundam G4 'Alex; although there are hundreds to choose from.
  • There are two main methods of construction that Franken-Gundam artists use. (Construction = Creating a Franken-Gundam art image).
    The first is referred to as 'Base Drawing'. This method uses an image as a Template; additional parts are added on top of this image, or some parts are erased and replaced. This style is usually the easiest to use, but it does put some limits on the shape of your final design.
    EXAMPLE: Zeta Gundam Mark II ... otoID=1111
    Base Template: RGZ-91 Re-GZ
  • The second is creating an entirely new suit by just putting parts together, not adding to an already-existing image. This requires a bit more work, but the results are usually worth it. This is referred to as 'Scratch-Drawing' (drawing from scratch).
    EXAMPLE: Gundam Cloudhawk ... otoID=1575
3. Acquiring Image Parts
  • Whether you're Scratch-Drawing or Base-Drawing, you'll need parts to use. (Part = selected portion of a pre-existing image).
    You'll want to use MSPAINT's Freehand-Copy tool (top-left corner of the MSPAINT toolbar). You'll note that there are two modes for the MSPAINT select tools: Opaque and Transparent. Set it to Transparent before you continue.
  • Using the Freehand-Copy tool, select the specific area of an image you want to use by dragging an outline around it and releasing the mouse key when you've finished. Right-Click to open the menu; and choose 'Copy'. Then open the menu again, and choose 'Paste'. A copy of the selected part of the image will appear. This is what you will use.
  • *Hotkeys for Copy and Paste can be easier to use. Copy's Hotkey is Ctrl and C, and Paste is Ctrl and V.
  • *DO NOT USE THE ORIGINAL SELECTED IMAGE PART. Always use a copy of it. If you make a mistake and need to start over, you'll want the original image intact so you can get the parts again.
4. Clean-Up of Image Parts
  • Once you have the part you want to use, you'll have to alter it so that it fits properly with other image pieces. This is called 'Clean-Up'. Clean-Up usually entails using MSPAINT's Eraser tool to remove stray pixels around your image that you don't want; for example, if when copying an image's head you pick up bits of the upper torso and shoulder, you'd want to remove the pixels making up those bits. (Pixel = one of the tiny squares of color that make up Bitmap images). Also, you may wish to alter the size of the part with MSPAINT's Stretch or Sketch/Skew Tools.
  • Use Stretching or Skewing in moderation; these functions will distort the image part you are working with quite a bit if used improperly. A good rule is to never change any attribute more than 10%.
  • When working with pixels, the 6x or 8x Zoom functions in the MSPAINT toolbar help a great deal with accuracy. Also note the computer artist's best friend: the 'Undo' command. Hotkey Ctrl and X. Everything else is the artist's own intuition.
5. Re-Coloring Images
  • By simply fitting parts together, you can make a complete Franken-Gundam image, ready to be displayed. However, since colors between Mobile Suit pics do not always match, it is a safe bet that your image doesn't look very good at the moment.
    EXAMPLE: Reiku BluePrint ... otoID=2120
  • When you've finished putting together your image, that's when you'll probably want to do a bit of Re-Coloring work. (Re-Coloring = Modifying your image's color scheme). There are a few different ways to recolor: most artists tend to find their own method. I'll cover two here.
  • I've found the best way to re-color with MSPAINT is to go through your entire image and replace every single pixel. This doesn't take as long as you would think.
    The First thing to do is figure out which colors you want to replace in the image, and then put them into a color scale. Then in a parallel scale, place what colors you want to replace the originals with.
    EXAMPLE: Color Scale [Wing Zero Alpha Blue to Yellow] ... otoID=2121
    This will make it easier to see what color to replace with what. Also, the 'Fill' tool on the MSPAINT toolbar is useful for handling large areas of the same color.
  • Another method of re-coloring, which takes much longer, is using your completed image as a Template; tracing over it and filling in the spaces with color. This method tends to result in a cartoonish appearance for your picture.
    EXAMPLE: Reiku Illuminati Colors ... hotoID=732
6. Free-Hand Drawing (Touch-Ups)
  • Using MSPAINT's free drawing tools, like the Circle, Square, line and sketch tools, it is possible to correct stray pixels between parts, add new details such as markings or symbols, and even alter the shape and appearance of parts. For example, stretching the wings of the OZ-012SMS Taurus to create the wings of the Manta, or drawing an Omega symbol for the shoulder of the Botswana's Delta.
    EXAMPLE: MRMS-012k Manta ... otoID=1865
    EXAMPLE: Botswana's Delta ... hotoID=718
  • Using MSPAINT's tools instead of already-made images is referred to as 'Free-Hand Drawing'. Free-Hand Drawing cannot be taught: much like actually sketching with a Pencil and Paper, the only way to get good at it is practice and effort.
7. Ta-Da!
  • So, there you go. You've got a piece of art that contains your sweat, blood and tears wrapped up in a nice spread of bright colors and swirly lines. Congratulations.
  • It's at this point that you must bow on your knees before your computer, raise your arms to the sky, and chant 'Hail Simmons' seven times fully, in order to praise and acknowledge thy god Mark Simmons and the Divine pictorial blessing Thy God hath lent upon thou.
    If thou do not perform the sacred ritual to thy Lord and Master Simmons and all his beautiful ways, then bad luck and misfortune shalt befall thou, and thou shalt experience pestilence and discomfort, from which no amount of intervention from delightfully-flavorful Hostess snacks can spare thee.
  • If thou insistith on destroying thine name, then the only way thou shalt save thyself is to donate a Monetary or High-Incendiary gift, amount to be determined sufficient by the High Clergy of Simmons, to Bladed Edge. Payment or purgatory, your choice, folks.
Last edited by lalahsghost on Sun Apr 22, 2007 1:26 am, edited 2 times in total.


Post by lalahsghost » Wed Jun 14, 2006 12:10 am

  • From: Ryujin
  • Subject: FrankenGundam image flipping
You might want to add this little MSPaint trick in the FrankenGundam tutorial (or any art tutorial, for that matter):

Flip/Rotate option on the Image menu. Using 'Flip Horizontal' on the image is a quick way of spot-checking for errors in proportions & perspective. Often, there's something wrong that you'll notice only after looking at a mirror image of your work.

THX~ 8)

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Post by Turinu » Sat Jun 17, 2006 8:56 pm

Frankening With Other Images

When it comes to frankening, most people tend to utilize the works of Mark Simmons in order to develop a design of their own. However MAHQ and other sites such as GundamOfficial, have their own types of art to utilize as well. This particular guide will explain one way of working with MAHQ's images.

People usually go with Mark Simmons art mainly because it is easier to work with; this is true. Using MAHQ-oriented images is a big step-up from Mark Simmons as they sometimes have more detail and color in them, making it harder to recolor and match parts properly. However if you follow the steps in this guide properly, you'll be pleased at the outcome when working with these images.

Step 1 - Frankening
First you choose the images you want to work with. Saving them onto your computer is an option as well to work easier; however you can also browse through the MAHQ sections just in case you change your mind about what you want to make. MAHQ has a massive quantity of artwork at their disposal, which means when you make a Franken out of this work, chances of it being different from another are likely.

Remember; MSPaint is your friend when it comes to frankening... however it does help to have another program at your disposal when working with a MAHQ image. Programs such as Adobe Photoshop or Paintshop Pro can play a well-needed part in the cleaning up and refining of images. However, you do not need them to make a franken; they just help make the turn-out of the image much more enjoyable.

The process of taking parts from other images is similar to that of the first Gundam Frankening guide in which covers Mark Simmons Art called "Franken-Gundam Artist's Manual for MSPAINT ". You cut out the pieces you want to utilize and mold them together to form your desired image.

Remember! Make sure to copy the image parts you are putting together. You want to preserve the original just in case you mess up. If you don't, chances are you'll have to start all over again.

Clean up areas where required and make sure the image you've made looks like it can blend.

You can do editting in MSPaint to make the image blend better if you want to. It also does not matter if the image has miscolored parts that do not match with each other; just make sure the limbs and body work together in unison to form a good franken. Once that is done, you may begin to recolor.

Step 2 - Outline
There are two ways you can recolor; hard, tedious work through MS Paint (Coloring it in with the fill and line tools takes ages), or you can utilize Adobe Photoshop or Paintshop Pro. Below will explain how to use Photoshop in the cleaning and editting of images (Maybe someone will be nice enough to explain the use of Paintshop Pro, but I'm pretty sure both follow the same tool concept.).

Copy the image from MSPaint and open Photoshop (The version of the program does not matter). Create the new file and paste the image in the image frame. Now comes the fun part.

To make your image blend better you should make the lines darker. Choose the "Line" tool from the side bar and set the width to 1, and choose black as your color. Just take the line tool with a steady hand and simply outline the lines on the images. You can even add lines to add more detail and give it a better feel or to fix certain portions in which could not connect before. Make sure to go through with a steady hand. If you mess up, make sure to utilize the Undo command in order to do it over again. Once its done you should have a pretty solid looking franken, even if the colors do not match. You can use different line widths for a better effect in certain areas, but it's best to stick to the default "1" width.

Step Three - Color
Now that you have a solid image to work with, it's time for the process of recoloring. When it comes to MAHQ images the images tend to be very pixely; even if the color seems like one solid color, sometimes it is compromised of more than one pixel of a different shade of that color. However unlike MSPaint, Photoshop allows you to fill in such areas with the fill tool while utilizing certain tolerances.

The best tolerances range from 20 to 40 in the case of making Frankens. If you did not outline your franken I suggest doing so, otherwise the fill might spill over into certain areas. If it still spills into certain areas even with the outline, take the line tool at its width of "1" and outline the area you wish to fill and then fill it. This will prevent it from spilling most of the time.

However, even with this sometimes the outline you have made will probably be effected by the fill, so when you're done recoloring this way make sure you go over and outline your franken one more time.

If you've followed the guide properly, your franken should end up looking something like this when it comes to coloring and outlining it properly:

Completed Image
(This mobile suit is made from the following images: Daughseat III, Daughtress Neo, Jenice Kai Crockas Custom, Correl and from Megazone 23, the Original Garland from Part 3. It also contains some custom additions. Editted and colored in Adobe Photoshop 4.0)

If you want you can also utilize the line and fill tools in Photoshop to add custom parts to your image in order to give it a more original feel.

Remember; this is just one way to work with MAHQ images. There may be even harder or easier ways to attain the creation of a masterpiece. Always work at your own pace and have patience with your creations when it comes to frankening. It may take from hours to days to make a creation and no matter what, the end result will be satisfying to you depending on how it turns out.

(Note: when it comes to MAHQ images, people most likely utilize various methods in editting. This is just one of those ways.)

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Post by Nightwing03 » Sun Apr 22, 2007 12:47 am

This is a quick and easy guide on how to recolor with ACDsee 6.0

The Basics
Step 1:Open up a picture and press the little color pallet button located in the upper left hand corner under the "File" button. ... Guide1.jpg

Step 2:Now that you're into the editing program choose the pencil tool (i know it recoloring..just go with it..) or the floodfill tool under your editing tools toolbar, personally i recommend the pencil tool, its much more accurate.

Step 3:Now when you have selected it click the arrow next to blend mode, this will give you a variety of options to choose from, choose wither Hue or Color. ... Guide2.jpg ... Guide3.jpg

Step 4: Choose a color

Step 5: Now simply draw over the area you would like to recolor. ... Guide4.jpg

How To Color Black!

Alright as you may find out, you will not be able to color black on the program with hue or color.

Step 1:Color the area you want to be black in gray [By using the Hue or Color mode] Another Note: White or Black turns out gray. ... Guide5.jpg

Step 2: Now Select the Burn tool and set the capacity to whatever. (The lower it is, the lighter the black going to be, and the higher it is, the darker the blacks going to be) ... guide6.jpg

Note: DON'T Let go of the mouse until your finished Burning the whole area! otherwise it will do this ... Guide7.jpg

Alright, and there you have it, a quick an easy way to recolor!


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Quick Color Swap: MSPaint

Post by Jak Stoller » Thu May 24, 2007 4:19 am

There is a quick and easy way to perform Color Swapping without needing another program. You can do it all in MSPaint.

First, select the "Eraser" tool. ... rswap1.jpg
Then, using the "eye dropper" color selection tool, select the color in the image that you want to replace. ... rswap2.jpg
Then, with the rightclick, select the color you want to use. ... rswap3.jpg
Now simply go over the areas needed with the "Eraser Tool" using the right click button. ... rswap4.jpg

Its a fast and easy way to exchange colors. Due to the dithering that occures to smooth out the roughter edged lines by brining stages of colors alongside the lines, you may need to select multiple colors that may be very similar to each other. This is a useful technique because it lets you choose which areas to swap colors, and also can be used to quickly swap out all colors in the picture. ... rswap5.jpg
Some notes; PNG, TIF, and GIF work best for this aprouch. JPG will pixilate the image (as noteable in this JPGs used for demos.

I hope this helps.


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Post by Draco Starcloud » Thu Dec 20, 2007 7:38 pm

I've been asked a few times to write a FrankenGundam-making Guide, so I finally did and posted it on DeviantArt. ... p-72583131
Chris wrote:IMMA CHARGIN MAH MAHQ @[email protected]
Draco's Lair - Latest Update: 1/9/10