NFT: How to create a collection of 10,000 NFT ?

CryptoPunk number 7523, was auctioned for $11.7 million in New York. It is part of a collection of 10,000 NFTs created in late 2017 by the Canadian company Larva Labs. Initially distributed for free, the entire collection just surpassed $1 billion in sales.

It is now impossible to get your hands on a Cryptopunk without shelling out less than $500,000.

Since then, the projects have multiplied and dozens of collections of 10,000 NFTs have now passed the $10,000,000 mark in sales.

Last month, a penguin from the Pudgy Penguins collection sold for $469,000. Some NFTs representing rocks from the Etherrocks collection are trading for over a million dollars. Some artists have even come up with the idea of creating invisible NFTs. One recently sold for 5ETH (almost $20,000 at the time of writing).

To take advantage of the NFT boom, two solutions:

  • Invest in the NFTs collections at the time of their release to hope that they will increase in value. When it was launched in July 2021, each NFT from the Pudgy Penguins collection was offered at a single price of 0.03 ETH per unit (or about $100 at the time they were launched). A month later, the price bottomed out at $8,500 while the record sale reached $469,000. That’s a return on investment of x85 to x4690 in just one month.
  • Create and sell your own NFT collection. That’s what we’re going to look at together in this article.

Creating a collection of 10,000 NFTs requires creativity as well as design and programming skills. The process has three main steps:

  1. Define the characteristics of the collection
  2. Generate the 10,000 visuals
  3. Create and sell the NFTs

Define the characteristics of the collection

Each NFT collection has three main features:

A Theme,

  • a style and rewards for community members.
  • The Theme
  • Punk, penguins, monkeys, bananas… All NFT collections have a specific theme. At the moment, animal collections are very popular. There are also collections around the theme of cars or robots.
  • The important thing is to identify a theme that speaks to everyone or to target a specific community (e.g. bikers). You will then have to choose a name for the collection.

The Style

The next step is to define the graphic style of your collection. The three main styles used are :

  • Pixel art (ex: The Cryptopunks)
  • 2D (ex: Pudgy Penguins)
  • 3D (ex: FLUF World)
  • There are successful collections in each of the three styles. 2D is now the most common style. The 3D collections are generally offered at a higher price (+50% approximately).

The rewards

Each NFT collection offers a certain number of advantages to those who hold them. Example: Distribution of gifts (or cryptos), invitation to private events, membership card, voting rights, etc…

It is key to define rewards related to your collection that will be interesting for your community.

Generate the 10,000 designs

The creation of the 10,000 visuals is not done manually, which would take a lot of time. They are automatically generated in a random way using a programming tool. To do this, you have to define and draw (often in Photoshop) the base, the lines and the variables. The second step is to define the rarity of each variable. Then comes the phase of generating the 10,000 visuals.

Base, strokes and variables

Each visual includes a base and a certain number of strokes and variables:

  • The base: The base is fixed and will generally remain the same for all 10,000 elements. However, the color can change. Example: A face.
  • The features: These are the elements that will be articulated around the base. Example: eyes, ears, mouth, nose… Most NFT collections have between 5 and 12 features.
  • Each feature has then a certain number of variables. Example: The feature “eyes” can have as variable “blue, green, brown, black, grey etc…”. A stroke can have between two and several dozen variables.

In order for the 10,000 elements of your collection to be sufficiently distinct from each other, it is recommended to define between 150 and 200 variables distributed between 5 and 12 strokes. The easiest way to do this is to create an Excel file with a list of the different traits and variables.

Definition of rarity

Each NFT in the collection will have a certain level of rarity, itself defined by the rarity of its traits and variables.

For the collection to gain value, it is essential to ensure that some NFTs are rarer than others.

To do this, it is possible to give rarity to both the number of traits and the nature of the variables.

Rarity of traits

Let’s say that your collection can have a maximum of 8 features (ears, nose, eyes, beard, glasses, earring, lipstick).

A solution to inject rarity is to consider that some avatars will have only 5 features while others will have for example all 8 features.

Example of rarity linked to the number of traits (on a collection of 9,991 NFT):

Within this collection, the NFTs with only 5 traits are here much rarer and will therefore potentially have more value than the NFTs with 7 traits and which are therefore much more common.

Rarity of variables.

Rarity is also (and mainly) defined at the level of variables.

Let us take for example the trait “Glasses” with 5 variables:

  • Square eyeglasses
  • Round eyeglasses
  • Black sunglasses
  • Red sunglasses
  • Gold sunglasses

To create rarity, a different frequency should be defined for each variable:

  • Square glasses: 34% of NFT
  • Round glasses : 32% of NFT
  • Black sunglasses : 23% of NFT
  • Red sunglasses : 10% of NFT
  • Gold sunglasses: 1% of NFT

Within this collection, the avatars that will have gold sunglasses will be much rarer and therefore potentially much more expensive at the time of their resale.

Once the base, the features and the variables are defined, it is the designer’s turn to create the 150-200 variables on Photoshop (for a 2D collection).

You must then give the developer the PSD file and the excel file that lists the rarity levels of each variable.

It takes about a week to receive the 10,000 (or more) visuals created.

At this stage, the 10,000 visuals are not NFTs but only image files that now need to be tokenized.

Create and sell the NFTs

From a technical point of view, it is not you who will create the NFTs. You will simply set up the necessary infrastructure so that interested buyers can mine them themselves.

To do this, you will need the following items:

  1. A website (2 pages)
  2. A smart contract
  3. A file storage system
  4. An account on Opensea
  5. Connect the website to the smart contract
  6. The website

This one is generally composed of two pages.

  • The first one includes the description of the project, the benefits for the NFT holders, the team (often all anonymous and represented by avatars), the roadmap, a countdown to the launch, a FAQ, as well as links to the social networks (Discord and Twitter), the smart contract, and the Opensea page.
  • The second page is the one on which it is possible to Minter the NFTs (i.e. tokenize one or several image files of the collection). It is very simple and usually only shows the price, the number of NFTs still available and a box to select the number of NFTs you want to mint.

The smart contract

The smart contract (developed in the solidity language on the Ethereum blockchain) allows you to register on the blockchain the different characteristics of your collection (number of elements, price, etc…). This is what will allow buyers to interact with the blockchain to mine the elements of your collection. The smart contracts are public and freely available to everyone on the website.

A file storage system

The 10,000 image files must be stored online to be easily “called” by the smart contract once mined.

The most used solution today is the decentralized file storage system called IPFS (Interplanetary file system).

An account on Opensea

Opensea is the largest NFT marketplace in the world. When a buyer mints one or more NFTs on your site, the image corresponding to the mined NFT does not appear on your site but directly on Opensea within the owner’s wallet.

It is important to create an account for your collection to ensure that all mined NFTs can be viewed regardless of the buyer.

This will also give maximum visibility to your collection.

Connect your website to the smart contract

The last step is to connect your website to the smart contract. This is what will allow buyers to mine the NFTs from your website.

So, when they click on “Minter”, their wallet (often Metamask) will connect to your site and ask them to confirm the price of the transaction. Once the payment is done, the NFTs they minted will appear directly on Opensea when they connect their wallet.

You now know the different steps required to create a collection of 10,000 NFTs. Once created, the success of the collection will mainly depend on your ability to promote it as efficiently as possible.