Are you interested in creating your own NFT? Perhaps you’re a digital artist looking to make more money from your work, or even a traditional artist wanting to branch out.
You might be an NFT aficionado who’s been collecting NFTs for months or years. Maybe you’ve got a great idea for an NFT collection that you think could become hugely valuable.
Or you might be quite new to NFTs, and interested in experimenting with creating your own. You may simply be curious about how NFTs are created.
We’ll run through everything you need to know about the process of creating, or “minting,” an NFT.
What is NFT minting?
You make NFTs through a process called “minting”, which is the same terminology used for cryptocurrency coins. It is commonly done through an NFT marketplace, which provides tools to make the minting process simpler.
How does NFT minting work?
Minting an NFT works by first creating the NFT and then adding it to the blockchain. All NFTs must be added to a blockchain as this is how their unique nature is preserved.
When an NFT is minted, you’re turning a digital file into a crypto asset. The NFT itself doesn’t normally store the file, however. Instead, it includes metadata about the file and a link to its location on the web.
Once an NFT is minted, the NFT is stored in the blockchain forever. The NFT will always show a true, publicly verifiable record of who owns it.
How much does it cost to mint an NFT?
Minting an NFT isn’t free. That’s because the process of adding the NFT to the blockchain uses up resources. Minting an NFT on Ethereum can cost anything from $1 to $1,000.
Different marketplaces and blockchains charge different amounts to mint an NFT. The fee for the minting process comes as a type of “gas fee.” Gas fees vary depending on the price of gas (literally, gas at the pump) at any given time.
You may have to pay other costs before you can mint an NFT, too. For instance, on OpenSea, it can cost between $70 and $300 to initialise your account. First-time sellers also have to pay around $10 to $30 to let OpenSea access their NFTs.
As well as minting fees, you’ll usually have to pay to list your minted NFT for sale.
How to mint an NFT
Minting an NFT might sound quite technical, but it’s actually a straightforward process.
- First, you’ll need to choose an item that you want to turn into an NFT (we’ll go into more detail about this later). It’s simplest to use a digital asset. Almost all marketplaces will support common types of NFT like images, video files, and audio clips, and some will support specific, rarer types of NFT files.
- Next, you’ll need to decide which blockchain technology you want to use for your NFT. Most NFTs are minted on the Ethereum blockchain, including those created by Socios. If you stick with Ethereum for your NFT, that means your NFT will be exchangeable on any Ethereum-based NFT marketplace.
- In most cases, to create an NFT, you’ll need to pay an upfront fee called a “gas fee” to carry out the transaction on the blockchain, and you’ll need to pay this in cryptocurrency. Some marketplaces, such as OpenSea and Rarible, let you circumvent this by only minting your NFT once it sells, using “lazy minting.” You then pay the gas fee along with the transfer fee when your NFT is transferred to the buyer.
- Once you’ve paid the gas fee and your NFT has been added to the blockchain by the marketplace, it’s been minted.
It’s also possible to mint NFTs directly in a blockchain, but this requires quite a high degree of technical skill as described in detail here.
When it comes to football clubs and teams, they’re typically minting NFTs in conjunction with well-known brands such as Sotheby’s auction house and Socios. Football clubs can use a whole range of digital assets as NFTs. The clubs often produce these as limited editions of, say, 100 NFTs. These digital assets might celebrate specific match moments. They could also be used to unlock digital rewards and incentives.
How to mint an NFT on OpenSea?
OpenSea is the world’s largest NFT marketplace, so it’s a great place to mint your first NFT. To make an NFT with OpenSea, you’ll need to:
- Create your NFT art and have it ready on your computer.
- Create an account with OpenSea and connect it to your digital wallet.
- Click the “Create” tab on the top right of the OpenSea website.
- Upload, name, and describe your NFT file, then customise your NFT by selecting from different options (e.g. including unlockable content).
- Choose which blockchain to use (the default is Ethereum).
- Click the “Create” button to mint your NFT.
OpenSea has more detailed instructions here.
OpenSea is easy for beginners to use and gives you your choice of blockchain. It’s a huge, popular marketplace with a great reputation and plenty of help and support.
However, you can’t use lazy minting for your first NFT, and you can’t use fiat currency to pay your gas fees. You’ll need crypto in a crypto wallet to create an NFT with OpenSea.
How to mint an NFT on Solana?
You can mint an NFT on the Solana blockchain using OpenSea, as above. You can also mint an NFT from scratch on Solana, if you have some knowledge of coding and web3. One way to do this is by using the Phantom, Metaplex, and QuickNode technologies, as described in this tutorial. There’s also a QuickNode guide.
If you don’t want to get involved in the techy side of things, you can use the Solsea marketplace (Solana’s largest NFT marketplace) to mint a Solana NFT.You’ll need to:
- Create an account with Solsea and connect it to a compatible digital wallet containing SOL.
- Click the “Create” tab at the top of the Solana website, then create a collection.
- Click “Create” again and this time, create an NFT, uploading your file, naming your NFT, and adding a description.
- Set the royalty payments you’ll earn each time the NFT is sold (0% – 50%) and other additional details.
- Click the “Mint NFT” button to mint your NFT.
Solsea has more information here.
Solsea is easy for beginners to use. Transaction fees are low, so it’s also quite cheap to mint NFTs here.
Solsea only uses the Solana blockchain. As with OpenSea, you can’t pay with fiat currency for your gas fees, so you’ll need SOL in a compatible digital wallet.
How to make an NFT collection
An NFT collection is a set of related digital collectibles, usually in the form of images. Characters or avatars are particularly popular, as in the Bored Ape Yacht Club collection.
On many marketplaces, you’ll need to create a collection to add your NFTs to. This doesn’t necessarily need to be a collection of very similar NFTs. However, creating a collectible set of NFTs could be very profitable if yours takes off like other famous collections.
You’ll need to:
- Come up with a concept for your collection. Most collections feature a large number of characters or avatars with different degrees of rarity. They work a bit like trading cards.
- Create the digital art for your collection. You could do this manually or use a software program to generate the artwork. Most NFT collections use computer-generated characters.
- Mint each individual item in your collection. You may want to look into methods of bulk minting NFTs if you have a very large collection.
- Create a website to advertise your collection and any special perks, e.g. an owners-only members’ forum.
Another approach to creating an NFT collection is to buy NFTs and use them to build your own unique collection. These NFTs don’t necessarily need to belong to a single NFT “collection” as such. You could choose NFTs that have meaning to you, perhaps from your favourite artists or relating to a sports team that you support. You could then display your NFT collection online, on a website, or even on social media.
What is NFT art?
NFT art is a form of digital art. Because each NFT is unique, you can own a unique, original piece of art, just like buying the only copy of a physical painting. NFT art is different from fungible tokens, such as bitcoins and other cryptocurrency, because with these currencies no exact equivalent exists for any piece of art.
From an artist’s perspective, NFT art can have a number of benefits. They can access a global marketplace, with no difficulties in shipping their art across borders. Their art can be displayed online by the owner, potentially bringing them greater name recognition.
How to make NFT art
You can make NFT art using any digital art tools. You might want to try:
- Sketching or painting your art, then scanning it
- Drawing your artwork using a drawing tablet
- Taking a unique, high-quality photograph using a digital camera
- Using online tools or software to create interesting artistic effects
- Making use of software you already own, e.g. Photoshop or Affinity Photo
- Using a drawing tool on your iPad, such as Procreate
Your artwork must not infringe on anyone’s copyright. For instance, you shouldn’t use a Marvel character in your NFT art.
After creating your artwork, you’ll need to turn it into an NFT.
How to add NFT on Metamask
MetaMask is a popular crypto wallet that you can use to store NFTs as well as ETH and other types of cryptoasset. Here’s how:
- Install and set up the MetaMask mobile app. The browser extension doesn’t currently support adding NFTs.
- Find your NFT’s smart contract address. If you purchased your NFT through OpenSea, then you can find this by clicking the “Details” button on the NFT, then following the “Contract Address” link.
- Find your NFTs ID. This is in the Details section on OpenSea.
- In the MetaMask mobile app, tap “Import NFTs”. Paste in the contract address and the ID for your NFT.
- Click Add, and your NFT will appear in your Collectibles tab on MetaMask.
What are NFT games?
NFT games are games that use NFTs to represent characters and items. You can sell in-game NFTs to fellow gamers. Some play-to-earn games also let you earn NFTs as you play.
Most NFT games run on either Ethereum or Binance Smart Chain (BSC). To play them, you need to create a crypto wallet using a service such as MetaMask and add crypto (usually ETH) to it. You’ll then be able to purchase NFTs in the game. Some games are free to start with, but you may need to make a purchase in order to trade.
Some of the best-known NFT games include CryptoKitties, Axie Infinity, Sorare, and Dribblie. The highly-anticipated Start Atless will launch fully in late 2022.
How to create an NFT game?
NFT games are quite complex to create, because they use the blockchain and smart contracts to structure their game mechanics.
To create your own NFT game, you’ll need to start by choosing a genre. Your game might involve strategy, adventure, puzzles, role playing, sports, or other gaming structures or elements. You’ll want to examine some existing NFT games to see what genres are popular.
You’ll likely need a team that includes designers and developers, unless you have very good design and coding skills yourself. Your game development team will need to create and test the game, then you’ll likely have a beta testing stage where you invite members of the public to test your game before it fully launches.
You’ll need to create your game as a DApp — a decentralised app built on blockchain technology. You’ll have to consider whether users will interact with this DApp through a web browser or a mobile app. In the future, NFT games may also be available for dedicated consoles.
What are NFT coins?
An NFT coin is any cryptocurrency coin that can support an NFT game or platform, and as such, NFT coins are not the same thing as NFTs themselves. For instance, the very popular NFT game Axie Infinity uses its in-game coin, AXS, to keep its play-to-earn economy running.
The main difference between NFTs and NFT coins is that coins are fungible, while NFTs are not. That means you can exchange NFT coins for other coins of the same value, but you can’t do the same thing with regular NFTs.
NFT coins are often called “utility tokens,” especially in relation to games. They’re used as a medium of exchange, and the coins themselves can be sold, just like any cryptoasset. The term “utility token” means the coin has a use within the game or platform.
Some popular examples of NFT coins include AXS, GALA (the Gala Games ecosystem), SAND (the Sandbox ecosystem) and MANA (a cryptocurrency based on Ethereum, used within the virtual-reality real-estate platform Decentraland).
What is NFT photography?
NFT photography is the process of turning photos into NFT art. Photographers and artists can capture beautiful live images, then turn these into artworks. This could involve light editing and touch-ups or significant photo manipulation using software tools. Turning photos into NFTs makes digital photos valuable and collectible.
How to create NFT from photos?
To create an NFT from a photo, you’ll need to:
- Select the photo you want to use. Establish a model release agreement with anyone in the photo, so you can legally use it for an NFT.
- Get the digital photo file ready on your computer, complete with any edits, filters, or effects you want to apply.
- Create an account with an NFT marketplace, such as OpenSea, and link it to your crypto wallet. You’ll need some currency in your wallet to pay the fees to create your NFT.
- Follow the NFT marketplace’s process for creating an NFT. You’ll need to upload your photo during this process.
- Pay the gas fees required to mint your NFT (publish it to the blockchain).
Next up: How and Where to Buy NFTs
People all around you are buying NFTs, so how do you join in? It’s much easier than you might think to own NFTs. Find out how and where to buy NFTs in our next chapter, How and Where to Buy NFTs (link).