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Old 2004-03-11, 11:36   Link #1
Newton
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How to make avatars

Hello,

can someone explain me, how to make good avatars? Mine look kinda weird. Are there any good programs for it?
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Old 2004-03-11, 12:47   Link #2
NightWish
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Stick to a few simple ideas and you'll do fine:
  1. Crop the image
    Make sure you crop the image to remove unwanted excess so it only shows the "interesting" parts. If you don't it will be too small to see it clearly.
  2. Keep re-sizing to a minimum
    Try to re-size the image AFTER any cropping/editing and if possible only once before final tweaking. Resizing can make an image either really bad or really good depending on how careful you are.
  3. Don't distort the image!
    Keep the aspect ratio when re-sizing. "1:1" if you use the maximum 100x100 pixels.
  4. Use a suitable image format
    If you aren't making an animated avatar try to use the JPG or PNG formats as I find GIF takes more effort to tweak size/quality wise. Plus JPG looks better IMHO, especially if you resize to 100x100 and apply a light sharpen filter to the image just before saving it.
  5. Experiment!
    This speaks for itself really. Play around with images until you find something you're happy with
At least those are ideas I try to stick to

As for software: Any of the big name paint packages will do... I'm guessing you don't have the spare cash to buy Adobe's PhotoShop; so maybe something like Jasc's PainShopPro would be something to consider.

If all you want to do is make avatars I would suggest downloading a trial of one of those. Have a look around the Fan Art forum and the Avatar / Signature threads in the General Chat forum for more suggestions / information.

Oh and if you feel a little more adventurous you might even like to try Gimp; which is of course open source and free!
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Old 2004-03-11, 14:38   Link #3
Newton
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Thank you very much, i will give it a try
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Old 2004-03-11, 14:42   Link #4
SirJeannot
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if you intend to use borders, do it after you've resized the image.
resize the image using an algorithm, like bicubic/bilinear ... not a raw resize. i believe that's why your avatar looks wIerd
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Old 2004-03-11, 16:03   Link #5
Newton
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thanks, but what does that mean?
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Old 2004-03-11, 17:04   Link #6
NightWish
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Lightbulb

Well a border; I think that is obvious -- look at my avatar for example... the thick black line around it ... if you add one before you re-size it will get "blurred"... adding the border after makes it cleaner and sharper...

As for what "bicubic" and "bilinear" are... well... lets not go into the maths of it all and just say it is an option for the re-size. When you resize an image it will ask you various things: how big you want it to be, or what % of the original size, etc. There are different ways it can resize an image; "bilinear" is one of them... another would be "pixel" or "raw" resize. Put simply, the better the algorithm the longer it takes to process, but the better it looks in the end. Either "bicubic" or "smart" resize is normally the best for most things. As SirJ said, the method you used to re-size your avatar is what caused it to look the way it does ... all pixilated :P.
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