Most common questions
It's not that I don't want more body shapes. It's just not possible. I get asked this a lot, especially from young visitors who do not understand how the SP-Studio is made. So, please read this.
The problems of adding even 1 more body shape (or pose):
- You could not combine any of the old items with the new body. With a new shape for an arm none of the shirts fit anymore. Less possibilities = less fun. The big advantage of the SP-Studio is that there are so many possible combinations. That's why people love it and I will not give this up.
- A huge problem is time. Drawing all the items took me 20 years. Let's do the maths: I would have to draw all 2100+ items again with slight changes for just one new body shape. This is a very annoying and time consuming work. Even if I would enjoy doing this and could be super fast it would mean: No updates for about 3 years. Do you want this? No. Everybody would just abandon this website then.
There is no team behind me, I draw everything alone. It makes way more sense to use my limited time for interesting new items than to take a break of three years to work on something that does not bring fun for me and for most of my visitors. Imagine how many exciting NEW updates I can draw during this time! 🙂
There are character creators out there which offer different body shapes. But logically this means less items for each shape. 90 items for 1 shape... or 30 items for 3 shapes. You always have to decide which way you want to go as a developer. And limiting the possibilities is not the way I want to go. I prefer to draw as many different items as possible which can be combined freely.
Side views are the same problem. Unfortunately you cannot show the side view of a 2D character without creating a new drawing. It's no 3D model after all, which you can just turn around.
Sure! But always mention sp-studio.de. No mattter if it's TikTok, Instagram, Twitter or DeviantArt... You are allowed to share the pictures on your channel. You can keep either the "sp-studio.de" watermak in the picture - or you can write something in the description like: "Created with sp-studio.de". Just make sure your followers know where they can make their own character.
Since I draw all the things on this website for you to use for free it is just fair to give credit. That's all I ask for. 🙂
Exception: You don't need to mention SP-Studio.de for profile pictures. Just use them!
No app store is required! Simply visit sp-studio.de in your browser.
But you can save it as an app directly from your browser. This is called a Progressive Web App (PWA) and it works like an app from any app store: No browser bars are in your way then! The app is working offline as long as you keep it open in the background. When you restart it you need an internet connection. But you should restart it from time to time to check for updates.
To save the SP-Studio app to your home screen you simply open https://sp-studio.de in a mobile browser which supports this feature. More Android browsers than iOS browsers do this at the moment - for example the Samsung browser and Firefox. You will be asked if you want to install the app - or you have to click on the "install" icon. Don't confuse this with just adding a website link to your homescreen, it's different.
Basic use of the SP-Studio
The SP-Studio is a tool to create pictures with your own cartoon characters. You can choose from over 2000 different body parts, places, clothes and other items. Then you can recolor, move, rotate or flip these items or add text to them to make it more individual.
When you first start you see a standard character with blue skin. Change the skin color! To do so you can either click on the character itself or click on the little pencil icon to access a list of all items currently in your picture. Click on an item to open its options and to be able to change its color. The color buttons only show the current color with no additional text - so please don't be confused by it if they are blue. To add more items select a category first. In mobile view that's the icon in the bottom center. In desktop view you have direct access to all categories in the menu bar on top of the SP-Studio. Hover your mouse cursor over them to read their names. There is no given order you need to follow – you can jump between the categories and change them as often as you wish. Have fun!
The item options are shown in an extra menu with multiple buttons and allow you to customize any item. There are three different ways how you can access it:
- When you add a new item the item options will automatically pop up for the desktop version. On mobile devices double tap to make them appear.
- You can also click on a part of your picture. This might be difficult on mobile devices for small items, but it still works.
- Click on the pencil icon to see a list of all items currently used in your picture. Click on one thumbnail to see the item options.
The item options can include the following buttons:
- Delete: Removes this item from your picture.
- Lock: This item won't be replaced by other items of the same category anymore.
- Move: Move the item in steps of 2 pixels (you can keep the button pressed). This also works with the arrow keys on your keabord and by dragging the titem with your mouse or finger.
- Rotate: Spin the item in steps of 5° (you can keep the button pressed). There are 2 buttons: clockwise / counter clockwise.
- Flip: Mirror the item on the middle line of the stage. This can bring it from one hand into the other hand.
- Shading: Many items let you turn off the shadows and highlights if you prefer a less detailed look.
- Recolor: Every item can have up to 2 custom colors you can change. The color buttons show the current color and the label "color 1" or "color 2". When you click on one color button the palette appears.
In the desktop view a smll arrow icon lets you pin the options menu to the top of the page. This can be helpful if you don’t want it to cover the item list.
You wonder how you can combine a necklace and an earring? Or how to habe 2 characters in one picture? Usually all items from the same category replace each other. But you can easily avoid this. Add one item, enter the item options and press the LOCK button. Now the item will stay even when you select other stuff from the same category.
The LOCK function was included as a special feature with the release of the new SP-Studio in 2020. it is very powerful! For example you can stack three different shirts on top of each other or even have more than one characters in the same picture. The only limitation is that you cannot add the exact same item twice.
You can easily save your picture by clicking on the disc symbol.Then you have two options: Save it as a regular image file or save it as a browser link (to continue editing later).
There is a short text about the copyrights and then you see a button to download the image file. The SP-Studio pictures are saved as png files or svg files. A pop up window might appear and ask if / where you want to save the file, depending on the device you are using. The pictures are usually saved to your standard download folder. You cannot load them to edit them later!
On the bottom of the page you see a link. This can be used to load and continue editing your picture at any given time. Just copy the link to a text file on your computer or save it as a bookmark in your browser. When you visit this link later the picture is loaded into the SP-Studio.
If you don't select a background from the "places" category your picture will have a transparent background when you download it. You can always delete backgrounds later by using the "delete" button in the item options.
The benefit of transparent picture files is that you can easily paste your character on any background with image editing software of your choice. This way you can even combine different characters in one picture.
Currently the SP-Studio is available in English, Germen, Spanish and Dutch. Usually it will automatically use the language from your browser settings. But you can also change the language yourself in the lower right corner of the page.
Be patient - it can take about 3 minutes if your internet speed is low. Do not use a script blocker. If you waited and still can't see anything please try to reload the page later or clear the browser cache. Read more about solutions for every browser here.
I recommend to not use the landscape mode when you want to use a tablet or smartphone. The vertical view is the opimized version. The landscape mode might be optimized in the future as well, but for now please hold your device this way for a good experience. 🙂
On some phones it can happen that you only see one line of thumbnails and a big gap under the stage. This is a known problem but not easy to fix. It just happens on a small amount of phones.
Mobile devices: The button to save your picture might not work on certain iPhone browsers:
- Firefox (iOS): the download won't work at all
- Chrome (iOS): the .png extension of the file gets lost, so you need to rename it after the download
This is not a SP-Studio bug, but caused by how these mobile browsers handle the download. If you want to avoid it you can use Safari.
Desktop computers: Make sure to deactivate any pop up blocker if the download does not work.
When you save the link to your SP-Studio picture you can share it with others to let them edit it. But this URL can get VERY long because it contains information about the position of every used item. If you share it on social networks or messenger apps they might shorten these links in a way that they don't work anymore.And some mobile browsers cannot even handle them.
To avoid thse problems you can use https://t.ly because it shortens very long URLs.
Please save the long link for yourself as well, because these short URLs expire after a while.
Try to refresh the website from time to time. Pressing CTRL + F5 works best because it makes sure it relly reloads everything. If you use the mobile version and saved it as an app to your home screen make sure to close the app from time to time and restart it. It only searches for new updates after a restart. No restart of the phone is necessary.
It was a ton of work to rebuild the whole SP-Studio from scratch, so some shirts are still missing. But they will come back! Incomplete categories are marked with a "coming soon" note.
About this project
I'm Janina Himmen (Zwerg-im-Bikini) and I created the SP-Studio back in 2002. Until 2020 I did the coding myself in Adobe Flash, using Action Script. But with the death of Flash I had to find a professional programmer to help me rebuild the whole SP-Studio in a new coding language. So the version you see today was completely developed by Lars Gerrit Kliesing (LGK) in React. He coded it in a way so I am still able to do content updates with new items on my own. But I am no programmer, so this remake would not have been possible without Lars. The vector images for the SP-Studio are still drawn by me with good old Adobe Flash (Animate) and an ordinary mouse. 🙂
This project is funded by voluntarily donations with PayPal or Patreon. Check out the Funding page. If you cannot afford this remember it always helps to simply share it online. If you notice others using the SP-Studio you can remind them to share a backlink as well. Thank you very much!
I work on the SP-Studio for 20 years now without getting paid. But a huge project like this is expensive. There are monthly costs for the webspace and software, and of course my own time. I usually work as a freelance designer and when I use my time for SP-Studio updates instead I cannot earn money. And unfortunately we all need money to live.
So this is why any donation is very important. Without my Patreon and PayPal supporters the SP-Studio would not exist anymore. The big relaunch was only possible because of your kindness. I believe in voluntarily donations because I want this project to stay free to use, and I am very grateful for everybody who values my work by donating.
While I am happy about any donation I have to admit the current situation is not as good as it was some years ago. I would love to work more on SP-Studio updates to provide you with more content - I still have so many ideas! But this would only be possible if I'd earn more money with it. So please spread the work about the SP-Studio Patreon campaign.
No, the SP-Studio is not related to South Park, Comedy Central or Trey Parker and Matt Stone. This is a fan project I started back in 2002 because I liked the character design of the show. I created every drawing for the SP-Studio myself, but I am not paid for this. Several years ago the old SP-Studio was used for promotion on the official South Park website and later on they recycled my code and some drawings to create their own version. So if you recognize similar items this is the reason why.
The SP-Studio was created as a character creator for everybody, but not specific with children in mind. While I know many teachers who use it at school there are some items which you mind find problematic - like alcohol, bloody wounds or guns. I believe kids can deal with this pretty fine, but it is up to the parents and teachers to decide.
I also want to explain the following: Characters created with the SP-Studio are not supposed to be little children. They can be of course. But I just use the shape of South Park kids because I think it looks cute and because it fits perfectly for the shape ofr profile pictures. But there are beards, body hair, wrinkles and bald hair - so it should be clear that the characters can represent adult characters as well, it is an universal form. It is like the Chibi shape in manga drawings. So if I add adult looking clothes, drugs or guns for you to use this does not mean I think of children using them.
You are allowed to use SP-Studio pictures anywere as profile pictures, no matter if it is YouTube, Facebook or your favorite dating app. You are allowed to remove the watermark. Of course I am happy if you mention SP-Studio.de (especially if you have a big YouTube channel ;)), but you don't have to when it's just used for a profile picture.
You are allowed to share SP-Studio pictures for free. The only limitation is: Always mention sp-studio.de as the source in the description (or keep the watermark).
This counts for any social media website, message board, wiki discussion, chatroom, Discord channel... and for DeviantArt as well. I often see people uploading SP-Studio pictures like they are their own art. This is not fair to real fan artists who actually draw everything themselves. So please mention sp-studio.de if you used it.
If you create a video for TikTok, Instagram or YouTube the same rules applay: Always mention sp-studio.de as your source! That's all I ask for. It is up to you how you include it in the video.
You are allowed to use SP-Studio pictures for free if it's just personal use.
Non commercial videos are fine. But please mention sp-studio.de as a source in the description and/or credits. Please contact me first if you plan to earn money with the video, because this might be difficult because of the copyrights for South Park.
You are allowed to print t-shirts or greeting cards for yourself or as presents for close friend. But do not sell them! You are allowed to remove the watermark. Some printing companies don't want to print the pictures though because they look too similar to South Park.
It is fair to give something back if you earn money by using my drawings. So if you want to use SP-Studio pictures for a presentation, company website or to prepare a university course please make a donation to support this project. It is up to you how much you want to give.
It is not allowed to use the SP-Studio to create company logos or for advertisment.
It is not allowed to sell any products with SP-Studio pictures printed on them.
I allow to use my drawings for free when it is for a good cause. This means for charity or if you are a student. Please mention sp-studio.de as a source if possible.
You are also allowed to use the pictures if you want to protest for equality or the environment - but not for hate or against science. Please understand that I do not want to be connected with anything I do not stand for myself. If you are unsure about something feel free to contact me.
It is not allowed to use SP-Studio pictures to promote religious groups or political parties.
There are no excpetions. None of my drawings are allowed to be used for NFTs. It is against the copyright laws to sell illustrations you did not draw yourself.
With the possibility to save as SVG files you can extract single assets from the SP-Studio as high quality vector images. I allow to use thiese parts for your own artworks - but please show this respect for my years of work. Always add a back link when sharing pictures based on SP-Studio assets.
Under no circumstances I allow to just copy and share my original assets.
For exaple you are not allowed to extract the background sceneries and share them on DeviantArt.
A star next to an item means that this was recently added in an update.
I try to update the SP-Studio with new items at least once per month. Updates with new features and item options come from Lars less frequently. All new updates will be announced in a blog post, forum post, on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Discord and Patreon. Patrons get a preview early. A picture with a link to the blog post will also appear on the SP-Studio front page, so you always know if a new update was added.
When you refresh the website it should show the update, but sometimes you have to press ctrl + F5. If you installed the SP-Studio to your phones home screen it should check for updates automatically when you restart it. So close it from time to time. 😉
Sure! Plase suggest new items in the WISH VOTING GALLERY so I can collect all reqests in one place. But I don't promise anything, because the wishlist for new items is very long. And please don't ask for different body shapes / poses anymore... really. 🙂
For general feedback you can contact me here.
When you submit a wish for a future update, please avoid the following:
- No protected logotypes. Fashion brands or band shirts will not be included for legal reasons.
- No different body shapes / adults. Please read the first paragraph for a detailed explanation.
- No sideview / poses. Same as with different body shapes. This is not possible.
- No obscure fandoms. I am sorry, but most SP-Studio visitors will not care about your favorite costume from an unknown webcomic. It's best to submit a popcultur related wish if it can be of use outside of a certain fandom.
- No South Park. I stopped copying new items from South Park because it feels lazy. So I will not include hairstyles or clothes from SP characters. There might be expectations for very interesting items, but the chances are low.
- I will not change my style to be closer to South Park. I am aware that my eyes and feet look different from the original SP characters. I do this on purpose because I prefer it this way.
- No nazi symbolism. While I am fine with historical items there is a close line between this and nazi propaganda. I am strongly against racism and don't want to attract the far right. Additionally these symbols are against the law in Germany.
Pro tips for picture editing
- Build the first character.
- Make sure you click on every part of it and select the LOCK button.
- MOVE all parts to a different place. This needs some patience.
- Build a second character.
The LOCK button let you use items from the same category - so you can use a different type of boy from the "skin" category. But for technical reasons it is not possible to use the same item twice.
Build one character and save it without selecting a background. Then build another one and do the same. You will get a couple of .png files of your characters.
Then open a picture editing software like Photoshop or Gimp. There are free mobile apps as well - you can use any. Paste your character pictures and combine them with a background of your choice.
You want to add a superhero logo to your character? They are not in the SP-Studio anymore because of copyrights. But you can easily add any picture from the web to your picture with additional software!
- Save your SP-Studio character to your computer.
- Google for the logo you want. Add "png" to your search to make sure you get it with a transparent background! Wikipedia is also a good source for logo pngs.
- Start a picture editor of your choice. For this example I use the free online editor PIXLR X.
- Click on the blue "open image" button to select your SP-Studio picture.
- On the left side there are several icons. Click on "add image" and then "URL" or "browse" (depending on were the logo is).
- Click on "Add current" now when asked were to add the image.
- The logo will appear on top of your character. You can adjust its size by clicking on its corners. You can drag it to a different position by clicking on its center.
- Save your picture when you are satisfied with the result. The blue "save" button is in the lower right corner.
This method can also be used to combine multiple SP-Studio characters in one picture.