Hello there! I'm going to be talking about Pokedex Collections. These are collections of artworks of all the Pokemon there are. That's one picture for all 649 Pokemon (That's the current count for now) that exists. If you're interested in doing it, then continue reading.
What exactly is a Pokedex Collection?
To put it simply, a Pokedex Collection is just one picture for each Pokemon in a collection. For example, a complete collection would be all the 649 Pokemon there is, and a Kanto collection will consist of Bulbasaur all the way to Mew.
Should I consider starting on one?
Give a quick glance at your gallery and ask yourself a few questions.
Do some of your Pokemon pictures share the same style? (E.g. Coloring technique, outline style, identical characteristics).
Have you got the motivation continue doing more, if not all of the Pokemon?
Can you continue working in this drawing style for all the Pokemon?
Or have you just finished your December POKEDDEX challenge (See this [link] for more info), and want to do more about your current collection?
If you answered yes to any/all of these questions, then you should definitely consider starting one.
How do I start?
First, define the range of Pokemon you wish to do. Most people aim straight for all there is, though some people choose just one generation. Both of them are acceptable, but you have to decide if you have the commitment to achieve your goal.
Second, think of the style you want them in. This is very important as it will help all your pictures look like a collection, and not as stand-alone pictures. For instance, check out the Chaodex (at this [link]. The Pokemon sprites may not look like much standing alone, but in a collection like this, it'll definitely look impressive. Also, make sure you can keep up this style for all the Pokemon you're doing. If you're choosing a very complicated, rainbow-colored background, then be sure you can keep it up for all the Pokemon you're doing. Don't change your style halfway through.
Third, plan how long you'll take for each picture. If you're doing something complicated, and realize each picture takes 6 hours or so, you might consider going back to step 2, and aim for a simpler style.
Fourth, estimate the time you'll take for the entire collection. Take time to work out your calculations, and figure if you can work for that long.
For example, if you're aiming for the first generation Pokemon, can do a Pokemon in an hour, and you figure you can do two in a day, your calculations will look something like this:
Pokemon to do: 151
Pokemon a day/week/month: 2 a day, a break on weekends
Time taken: About 106 days, or around three and a half months
Here's some calculations you might want to look at, if you're considering working on the current 649 Pokemon:
By the day:
- At one a day, you'll take just under 1 year, 10 months (Approximately 2 years)
- At two a day, it'll be just over 10 months (Approximately 1 year)
- At five a day, it'll take 5 months
- At ten a day, it'll take a little over 2 months
By the week:
- At one a week, 12 years and 6 months will be what you're looking for
- At two a week, it'll take 6 years 7 months to finish
- At five a week, 2 years 6 months and you'll have it complete
- At ten a week, 1 year 3 months is all it'll take.
30.45 - The average number of days in a month
365.25 - The average number of days in a year
649 - The number of Pokemon in Generations 1-5
You may also want to customize your working plan. Let's say you're working with 2 a day on weekdays, and 5 on Saturday, a break on Sunday, then you'll take 10 months to finish it. It's totally up to you.
Now, taking a look at your estimates, really consider the magnitude of what you've just planned. If you really don't think you'll last that long, go back to the previous steps to rethink just how much you want to do. Lessen the range, simplify the style, and spend less time for each picture.
Remember, there is nothing wrong with lowering your standard. Once the collection is complete, the beauty will come not just from the individual pictures, but also from the sheer size of the collection.
I think I'm ready! Are there other things I should note?
Yes, there are. Please consider these points before you go on to start on this project.
1) Pace yourself. When you start out on this project, you may realize you have a great potential. Some people go all "WOW I CAN DO 20 POKEMON IN A DAY! I'LL CONTINUE AT THIS RATE AND I'LL FINISH WITHIN A MONTH OR SO". Do not, do not, and I repeat, do not use your first day to pace yourself for all the other days. On your first day, the energy and motivation is all there. It's really no surprise you can do that many. But, in the following days, your motivation will drop drastically. There still will be some energy, but not the same level of energy to continue 20 a day. Many artists realize they can't keep up with the pace, and give up.
2) Do not do your favorite/requested Pokemon first. This may seem like a weird point, but it is really important to follow this pointer. Let's say for Generation 1, and you work with all the Pokemon you already see yourself doing. You've finished the starters, the legendaries, and all your favorite Pokemon. This will leave behind all the boring Pokemon like Ekans, Fearow, Geodude, Pinsir (these are just examples.) and all the other Pokemon you don't really feel like doing. You'll be dragging yourself through the last part of the collection. This is the very same reason you should not do requests either. All the well-liked Pokemon will be done, and the boring ones will be left for you to slowly work through. That's another huge reason people give up on the project halfway through.
I can suggest two ways you can work with:
a) Pokedex order (Or the reverse)
Boring and mundane, but it allows you to keep track of your progress real easily
b) Random number generator (Or letting friends and family come up with random numbers)
Much more fun, though progress will be a bit hard to track. (DO NOT SKIP THE POKEMON EVEN IF YOU DON'T WANT TO DO THEM. THIS DEFEATS THE PURPOSE OF RANDOM NUMBERS) If you do plan to follow this, I'll suggest the Cave of Dragonflies' tool, which you can find at this [link] and [link] (Both do the same thing, but the second link lets you choose sprite version. Personally, I think that you should let it randomize one, and draw it. Don't let it generate more, and you choose the best one you feel like doing. Like I said, it defeats the purpose of randomizing.
3) Track your progress. This can be quite satisfying, as you can see how you get closer and closer to completion over time. You might need a checklist to keep a record of what you've done. You can get a list of Pokemon at this [link] , and at this [link] . The second link requires you to fill in some details to personalize your list, but it is pretty useful if you want to get a list with Pokemon names, indexes, or in lower/upper case, or simply to restrict by generation. It's really useful if you plan to code a program to organize everything. I'd have used this link if I found it earlier. Instead I found my own list online, and it had loads of spelling errors all over. So that wasn't too useful. So here are the links so you won't have to go through all of the trouble.
4) Be nice to yourself. Much as you and your fans would like you to finish your project, you have to take breaks too. You'll need a balance between working on the project and taking breaks. You have other commitments in life, and you can't dedicate all your energy into this thing. At times when you're really tired of this project, take a break. For example, if you're working with Generation 1 for 6 months or so, just give yourself 3 times to take a 1 week break. When you feel sick of the project, take a week's break. Just don't use up all 3 breaks too soon. This is also really important. If you don't give yourself breaks and you work yourself to the limit, when you finally snap, you'll need months or even years to take a break from this project. Many projects end up scrapped or just put on hold for this reason.
Whoa, that seems really harsh
Well, nobody's forcing you to do the project. Still, if you really want to, work at your own pace. Just do one at a time, and only when you feel like doing it. It won't get your project done as fast, but it'll definitely be done eventually.
Do people actually work on projects like these?
Yeah, there are people who do this. And surprisingly, over the course of a few months, I did find people here and there who have started on this. And although I used to list them in this segment, the list grew and grew, so I'm featuring them in a separate journal.
In short, the list of artists currently working on such projects (Who I know of) can be found at this [link]
After seeing all those projects, I still can't think of a style I'd want to do
Most people just keep the techniques constant for the project. If one has no shading, all won't have shading. If one was done using big brushstrokes, all will have big brushstrokes. If one has background, all will have background. You get the idea.
Most people make their pictures a constant square-shaped size too. All the Pokemon will appear in little squares, just like in the original sprites.
However, I want to encourage creativity. Any of the above tactics work, but more originality will make things cooler. Here are some ways you can make your style unique:
Bookmark size. Make your image a vertical rectangle, or just crop each Pokemon to show its important parts. Something like this [link] . Do the same for all the Pokemon and you'll have an entire bookmark collection.
Containers. Check out the cup at this [link] . If you search "Pokemon Cup" on deviantArt, artworks with Pokemon drawn in the cup will flood the search results. I'm not suggesting you use the cup for all your Pokemon. What I'm saying is you can come up with something to put your Pokemon in. The Pokebottle collection at this [link] is an example. Just think of objects you can display Pokemon in. It can be in a birdcage, behind a glass window, on an iPhone screen, in an egg. The possibilities are endless, but the impact will be great.
Backgrounds. Choose a unique back that can apply to all the Pokemon. Maybe a field of flowers you can draw them in, or a street. You can use a photo of your room, and draw a Pokemon in it. Each one can have a different pose in your room. Pikachu can be looking at your computer, Snorlax can be lying on your bed. It's really up to you. Backgrounds are really quite flexible. Definitely more flexible than containers, because you don't have to think of how to fit Pokemon in a container. You just have to draw them in. However, backgrounds aren't as impressive as the containers.
Revamping. This method will take up a lot of effort, but it'll be very interesting. Something like [link] would be an example. Don't follow the original design, but make your own. Then bring over the significant features of that Pokemon, and you got a new one. It can be quite stressful to continue this method for so many Pokemon, so go for this only if you're really really confident you can do it.
Template. A simple template for all the Pokemon is a manageable method to achieve a unique and recognizable style. Stuff like [link] , [link] , and [link] will be a good example of what you can do. Some Pokemon won't exactly fit the template (Therefore a slight change in design when there's magneton, dodrio and some Pokemon. The kitty template won't fit for non-feline Pokemon, but they're all squashed in anyway. So yes, this method is mostly creating a template, then forcing Pokemon to fit in there. It'll look amusing, and it's quite easy to do. No need to redraw body and poses, just use the same body over and over and over again.
A significant feature. This is something I've seen very little people do. Check out my Pokedex project at this [link] , and you'll see that all of them have the same derpy eyes. All of them. There will be a few exceptions (Like zubat with no eyes, and some of them with colored eyes), but otherwise they have the same eyes. This method isn't as restrictive as the template method. You can experiment with poses, yet keep them in the same style. You can work with features like unique eyes, wearing headphones, having the same hat, wearing a green shirt. The simpler the object, the easier it is to put it on all the Pokemon. For example, it'll be easy for all the Pokemon to be drawn with a scarf, but it'll be hard to make them all have a business suit to wear, along with holding some files. It's just too hard to draw that on Pokemon like Ghastly and Ditto.
Well, here are just some of the ways you can make your project feel like a whole collection. You don't have to use any of these methods, nor do you have to follow my examples. Just maybe pick one method, come up with your own design, and surprise us.
I'll be considering for now
Like I said, nobody's forcing you to do it, so just take your time to consider it. If all things considered, and you're willing to set aside time for this commitment, then feel free to drop me a note. I'll add you to the list, and we can follow up on your progress.
That's cool, anything else?
Well, I want to remind you that projects like these, no matter how easy they seem, the large numbers will definitely cause pressure. That's why Pokedex Artists need support on these. If you're free right now, just go to the above list of artists, and drop them a comment or a note of encouragement. Go ahead, give them a watch if you're interested, and be updated on the progress. Your act of kindness will go a long way in helping the artists complete their own project.
And thanks for staying through the whole journal. I hope this has helped you in some way or another.