The only tools used are in the picture below.
Serrated pumpkin carving knives (from those kits you can by ANYwhere around Halloween)
X-acto knife with various blades
Large spoon or pumpkin kit scoop to empty out the pumpkin innards
Ball point pen or fine-tipped Sharpie (Sharpies can get annoying as the wet pumpkin can make drawing a pain)
Remember, this is EXTREMELY challenging, but I always like to post an instructable to show people each year how I did it. Enjoy!
Step 1: Step 1: Choose an image
Step 2: Step 2: Draw/color code the pattern
You can be loose with your decisions, just make sure to retain large, general shapes and details that give the viewer an indication of what is what in the final pumpkin (i.e. I was sure to keep enough details to be able to tell what is Optimus' arm versus his leg in the background).
When it comes to color coding, I use a tiered system of greys and white. In the pattern drawing white areas are those areas where the pumpkin will be carved through, flesh and all. Successively darker greys are then used to denote taking more or less pumpkin flseh and/or skin.