If you're going to make a sprite edit of someone, the first thing you need to do is select a sprite base. It's a very important step and will determine whether or not your sprite makes people happy or causes them to vomit. There are lots to of things to consider when picking the base:

1.) Type/Style of sprite: There many different styles of sprites, even from the same company. First of all, there is no such thing as "Capcom style", because they have many different ones: Street Fighter II, Street Fighter Alpha, Marvel, JoJo and Capcom vs SNK (CVS) style. What most people call " SNK " style is really "KOF" (King of Fighters) style. If you look at sprites from Last Blade and Samurai Showdown, they don't look like King of Fighters sprites. Guilty Gear X sprites are Hi-Resolution ('Hi-Res') that are much bigger than normal fighting game sprites, and are commonly called GGX style. There are other styles, but these are the most common.

2.) Size and Build: You've also got to pay attention how much the sprite base looks like the character that you're going to remake. You've got to pay attention to the source material and the fine details. For instance, if you're making an "Alpha Style" edit of Geki, see how tall Geki is compared to Ryu in Street Fighter 1. If it's a Final Fight character, see how tall they are compared to Guy, Cody, Sodom or Rolento. Superhero characters are pretty easy to check, since they cross over a lot, not to mention that there are many reference books that tell you exactly how tall they are. You can use that data to tell you how tall they are compared to Captain America, Cyclops, Spidey, etc. Just because the character you want to make wears blue jeans and a shirt doesn't mean that it's a good idea to use Venom's "Eddie Brock" intro sprite. If the character's not as tall as Eddie Brock is, don't use it.

3.) Pose: this is VERY important. If you want the sprite to be taken seriously, you really need to pick a pose that fits the character. If the character is from a video game, try to pick a pose that looks similar to his/her original game pose.

Overused Sprites
For those who are new to sprite editing, I'm going to warn you about what we call Overused Sprites. People have been editing sprites for a long time and there are some sprites that have been used many, many, many, many, many times. It's okay when you are making a whole Mugen character and need to use every frame of your sprite base that you can. But, if you're just making an edit and not a character, then you need to avoid certain sprite poses. If you're new to this whole thing, you haven't seen these poses very much. But those already in the community have seen these poses used over and over and over again. In fact, try to avoid using a character's fighting stance unless you're making a new version of that same character. For instance, using Spidey's fighting stance to make a 'Black Costume' Spidey is okay. Here are some examples of such sprites:
Transition Sprites
If you don't know what a Transition Sprite is, start playing a fighting game. Do a move that has a lot of animation frames and pay close attention (if you can play in slow-motion or frame-by-frame, then do that). Did you notice the few frames in-between the fighter's standing animation and the actual move? That's what we call Transition Sprites, where the character shifts from standing to attacking. You'll find a lot of great poses like the ones to the side here. Since they appear so briefly, they're not as easily remembered as the more famous poses.
Sprite Thievery  heheheHE!
Please take my advice...

Unless the sprites are marked as Open Source, Do not use someone else's sprite edits as bases without credit or permission and do not use sprites from MUGEN characters as your bases!!!

You might not think that you're going to get caught, but you probably will. A lot of sprite editors use a technique called Frankenspriting where we cut and paste parts from different poses and sprites to make an entirely new base... but we sometimes we don't say anything about it. You'd be shocked at just how much communit members remember other people's edits and how hard it is to resist mocking sprite jackers in public. It's true that no one can really get in trouble for doing this, but it's harder to get other to work with you or trust you when you're mostly known for swiping other people's work. Save yourself the embarrassment and never use a sprite edit as a base without permission. It'll save you a lot of trouble AND you'll be a much better sprite editor for doing it yourself. It's much easier to improve your skills than it is to heal your damaged reputation. If you want to learn by working with someone else's edits, don't post them.
Try to use poses that fit the character and situation. You probably wouldn't want to use this pose if you're trying to make someone look like a hardcore bad MF'er. Sure, the Marvel/Capcom games have character doing things that they wouldn't normally do, but most of it is still kept within character. Dr. Doom still looks regal and dignified while using a jumping side kick, so it works on a visual level. It's great to break character for a laugh, but try to think of what the character would do or how they would do it.

That's all that I have to say on the subject for now... I'll probably update this later. Have fun... unless you're a dirty sprite thief.

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