What the aforementioned projects (and most other successful NFT projects today) have been in common is that they are PFP projects. This means that they usually are a collection of 10,000+ avatars where each avatar is unique and has a set of traits.
- What is an NFT collection
- How NFT collections are made
- Pre-requisites to creating an NFT collection
- How to generate your own NFT collection
What is an NFT collection?
Broadly speaking, there are two types of NFT art. First, you have one-off visual art pieces that are sold as NFTs, just like paintings in real life. Think the Beeple NFTs that were sold at Christie's auctions for as high as $69 million. Second, you have NFT collections, or "projects," like the Bored Ape Yacht Club. Kind of like Pokemon cards, these take a template and produce hundreds or thousands of variations, each ranked in terms of rarity. In the case of BAYC, there are 10,000 apes, each with different "properties" -- varying fur types, facial expressions, clothing, accessories and more.
These properties are displayed on OpenSea, the main platform where NFTs are traded. On any given NFT's page, its properties will be listed, as well as the percentage of NFTs in the collection that share that property. Usually, anything under 1% is considered rare. For example, take a look at the trio of apes at the top of the page. On the right you'll see one with a rare "Solid Gold" fur trait. Of 10,000 apes, only 46 have this property, making these 46 particularly valuable.
How NFT collections are made?
NFT profile collections are made by stacking layers of traits on top of each other. Take a look at the NFT below... Each layer (base, shirt, hat, accessory) is a png of the same size of every other trait. By layering these traits over one another, we end up with an NFT profile.
These trait images need to be designed so that they fit perfectly with other traits when stacked. Each layer typically has multiple traits. The generation process works by selecting a random trait from each layer and stacking them into one single NFT profile for your collection.
Typically, traits have some rarity associated with them.
For example, a BAYC NFT with a gold background only exist in 10/10000 of their NFTs. This rarity is what drives up the value of that specific NFT. It is encouraged for every collection to include rarity in their collection.
The amount of traits in layers correlate directly to how many NFTs you can generate. If you have 3 layers, each layer with 3 traits. the math to calculate this would be 3 * 3 * 3.
The formula is (number of traits)^layers. If you have uneven amount of traits in some layers, you will need to split the math to do e.g. 3 * 4 * 3 * 2.
For my collection, we have 4 layers, each layer has 4 traits. therefore I can only generate 256 NFTs at most.
I have the collection prepared already, and today we will be using this tool I made specifically for generating NFTs.
Pre-requisites to creating an NFT collection
If you made your NFT art work, export all your traits into different folders. Once I have something that looks like this, I will be ready to generate my collection.
It is important to note you need to export all your traits with the same size.
make sure the trait is aligned relative to the final composite
How to generate your NFT collection
The tool I will be using to create my NFT collection will be the generator app from Ambition. The process is super simple, and is broken down into 4 steps.
- Project Settings
- Importing layers
- Importing traits
- Adjusting rarity
Once I have configured those, we can start generating our collection. Let's get started with step 1.
Step 1: Project Settings
Filling in the project description with name is important for the metadata generated alongside this collection.
Step 2: Create the right layers.
As mentioned prior, my artist created 4 traits for 4 layers for this collection. All I am going to do is name the four layers that my traits were categorized in. I'll need to confirm that my layers are in the right order before moving on to the next step. e.g. if my background layer ends up on top of the other layers my collection will come out with only the background.
Step 3: Add in my traits
Now that I have created the four layers, I can drag and drop my traits from their folder into these layers.
Step 4: Configure your rarity
In order to create scarcity in my NFT collection, I will update the rarity settings for some traits. In this example I will make the "yellow" background super rare.
And that is it!
Once I have confirmed my NFT looks correct by looking at the preview on the right hand side, all I have to do is hit generate and wait for my collection to finish generating. Projects with a larger collection size will take longer to create.
So are we now ready to launch the next big NFT project? Not quite. You will need to upload these images to IPFS, allow your users to mint them into NFTs, and create community and buzz around your project.