Taxidermy.Net Forum

General Discussions => Forum Operations => Topic started by: Ken Edwards on September 08, 2006, 07:37:36 PM

Title: Tutorial: How to Create Your Own Avatar
Post by: Ken Edwards on September 08, 2006, 07:37:36 PM
It seems that most taxidermists didn't know what the word "avatar" meant a month ago, and now everyone is clamoring to get one. I have offered some instructions to people who asked for my help by email and private messaging. It seems that a small tutorial would be helpful, especially after seeing some of the problems associated with converting a photo of yourself to an avatar. But first things first.

What the heck is an avatar?
An avatar is the little picture below your name on any post that you make. It also greets you at the top of the page when you log in to the Forums. It can be almost anything: a graphic, a photo, a logo, a design, a cartoon, or even an animation. You can change your avatar to something new at any time. When you change to a new avatar, all instances of the old avatar dissapear, and the new one replaces them in every post you have made in the past.

Where can I get an avatar?
You basically have three choices. You can use one of the taxidermy avatars we have pre-loaded into the system, you can search for a pre-existing avatar on the Internet, or you can create your own avatar from a personal photo.

To use one of The Taxidermy Net's pre-loaded avatars, first login to the Forum and then click on the "PROFILE" button.
Click on "Forum Profile Information" under "Modify Profile".
Click on the top button: "Personalized Picture:" and choose a category from the list. Then you can click on the avatars in that category to preview them. Once you find an avatar you want to use, scroll to the bottom of the screen and click on the "Change Profile" button.
Your new avatar is now assigned to your profile throughout the Taxidermy Net Forum.

To find a pre-existing avatar on the Internet, the possibilities are endless. Go to a search engine like www.google.com and type in a subject plus the word "avatar". Then click on "Image Search". For example, type "wolf avatar" in the image search box, and you will get close to 5,000 matches to look at. If you choose to use an avatar you found on the Internet, make sure that it is not copyrighted and you have permission to use it. If you right-click on the image, you may be able to save it on your computer. If the image is larger that 144 pixels in any dimension, you will have to change the image size as outlined below before you can use it.

If you want to create your avatar from a personal photo, follow the steps below:

How to make an avatar from your photo
An avatar needs to be SMALL. Ideally, it should be from 72 pixels up to 120 pixels in either dimension. Here at the Taxidermy Net Forum, We will accept avatars up to 144 pixels square, but at this size some browsers only display a partial image with scroll bars underneath.

You will need a photo-editing program to perform the following steps. If you purchased a digital camera or a scanner in the last few years, it probably came with a photo-editing program that you can use on your computer. If you don't have a photo-editing program, you can start a free account with www.photobucket.com to upload and edit your pictures.

You can also resize a photo using the existing "Paint" program on your computer. Follow this link for instructions on how to do this:  Tutorial: How to Reduce a Photo for the Web (http://www.taxidermy.net/forum/index.php/topic,3991.0.html)

Here is the photo we will start with:

(http://www.taxidermy.net/images/Ken-Red-1.jpg)

As you can see, this is a pretty standard photo. I see a lot of people using photos like this, which are too large to be uploaded to the Taxidermy Net Forum, so they leave them on a different server (like photobucket.com) and specify the URL of the image to be their avatar.

But something funny happens when they use a non-square image hosted elsewhere. The Taxidermy Net Forum will display the avatar at a maximum of 144 pixels wide by 144 pixels high. So if the image is horizontal (landscape mode), as this one is, the avatar will come out squashed side-to-side, making the subject skinny (hmm, may not be a bad idea on some folks).

(http://www.taxidermy.net/images/Ken-Red-2.jpg)

Conversely, if the image is vertical (portrait mode), the image will come out stretched side-to-side.

The solution, if you MUST host a larger image on another server, and it is OVER 144 pixels in any dimension, you should crop the image to a perfect square. This will allow the correct aspect ratio to pe preserved.

(http://www.taxidermy.net/images/Ken-Red-3.jpg)

The first thing that everyone should do with any avatar image is to CROP it TIGHTLY. Be ruthless! Get rid of all unnecessary background above, below, and beside the subject. Remember, the avatar is only an inch or so wide, not much bigger than a postage stamp. You don't want to waste a lot of pixels on sky and grass. Here is the photo after cropping out the non essential elements:

(http://www.taxidermy.net/images/Ken-Red-4.jpg)

If you have the ability to adjust contrast, brightness and color, try to improve the image quality:

(http://www.taxidermy.net/images/Ken-Red-5.jpg)

Next, change the image size. For a small avatar, go about 72 pixels in the longest dimension. For a medium one, 100-110 pixels, and for a large one, go 120 up to 144. But remember that at 144 pixels, many people viewing the Forum will only see a partial picture with a scroll bar underneath. When changing the image size, make sure that you check the box to preserve the aspect ratio; otherwise you might squash or stretch the photo. I decided to make my avatar at 100 pixels square:

(http://www.taxidermy.net/images/Ken-Red-6.jpg)

A final step, if your software allows it, is to sharpen the photo once it has been reduced to the final size. In most photo-editing programs, this function is called "Unsharp Mask", or it might be called "Sharpen". If you can set the parameters, go with 70% to 90% amount, 0.70 to 0.90 pixels radius, and 7 to 9 threshhold. If you can't set the parameters, just go with the default settings. If the sharpening function doesn't improve your photo, or makes it look worse, just UNDO and forget it.

(http://www.taxidermy.net/images/Ken-Red-7.jpg)

The last thing to do is to save your cropped, reduced, and sharpened avatar image. Make sure that you use the SAVE AS... command, so you will not destroy your original high-resolution photograph. Your avatar should be saved as a .jpg file with at medium quality which is 40 to 50 (or 4 to 5 on some programs). Do not save it as high quality, as this file will be up to 10 times larger without any noticeable benefit.

Once you have saved your avatar on your computer, you can upload it to the Taxidermy Net Forum.

Login to the Forum, click on the PROFILE button.
Click on "Forum Profile Information" under "Modify Profile"
Choose "I will upload my own picture:"
Click on the "Choose File" button.
Navigate to your the directory where the file you just saved is located and select it.
Click the "Change Profile" button at the bottom.

Your new avatar is now on the Forum for all to see! Good luck!
Title: Re: Tip: How to Create and Upload Your Own Avatar
Post by: fesekula on September 08, 2006, 08:13:45 PM
Ken, Thank you for explaining on how to upload a avatar. I know you spent a lot of time on writting that up. My problem is when I use one of my other PC's the avatar will not show up. When I use the computer I signed up on the avatar works great. Do you have any ideas.
Title: Re: Tip: How to Create and Upload Your Own Avatar
Post by: Glen Conley on September 09, 2006, 08:58:54 AM
Ken, thanks a ton for the parameter settings!  Most useful.  You would think that a guy that is that handy with photo programs would have "ahem" caught a much BIGGER redfish.
Title: Re: Tip: How to Create and Upload Your Own Avatar
Post by: Ken Edwards on September 10, 2006, 03:10:28 PM
My problem is when I use one of my other PC's the avatar will not show up. When I use the computer I signed up on the avatar works great. Do you have any ideas.

Frank, you may need to check your preferences. Once you are logged in, click on the "PROFILE" button. Under "Modify Profile" choose "Look and Layout Preferences". Make sure "Don't show other users' avatars" is unchecked.
Title: Re: Tutorial: How to Create and Upload Your Own Avatar
Post by: PA on February 04, 2007, 01:57:46 PM
Dear Mike Bunker, supreme leader of the Avatar Changing Society,

I have spent way too much time trying to shrink down a graphic to fit within the avatar realm, and wondered exactly how many KB your average picture is. (Mr. Edwards deals with pixels and I have no idea how to measure them on this antique computer). I tried fitting in a picture as a jpeg and tiff with KB of 34KB, 26KB, 18KB, 9KB, and 6KB, and it keeps saying the picture is TOO big, or not an avatar.

Thanks,

A wannabe member of the Avatar Society
Title: Re: Tutorial: How to Create and Upload Your Own Avatar
Post by: luke on February 10, 2007, 02:47:20 PM
what about a moving avatar... many avatars now do a certain thing that make it special for ex: a cartoon pic. of a kid then all of a sudden it starts walking or running. i usually use windows movie maker and takes several shots so it can run smother, the more pictures the better the resolution of that certain image you want it to move, but i've still in the process of turning it into an avatar i've taken 197 shots of a cartoon destroying an enemy but i want shots of the hero destroying that enemy not any other parts of the movie. so i have my 197 shots of it how do i creat that into an avatar
Title: Re: Tutorial: How to Create and Upload Your Own Avatar
Post by: Ken Edwards on February 12, 2007, 06:11:40 PM
what about a moving avatar... many avatars now do a certain thing that make it special

In order to create a moving avatar, your drawings must be converted to an animated gif file. There are several programs you can use to accomplish this. You can search for "animated gif program" on google or go here http://www.webdevelopersnotes.com/graphics/animated_gifs_programs.php3 to find a program you can use.

(http://www.taxidermy.net/TNani01.gif)    (http://www.mac.org/graphics/gifbuilder/logo.gif)

I use a free program for the Mac called GifBuilder to create animated gifs like the ones above.
Title: Re: Tutorial: How to Create and Upload Your Own Avatar
Post by: HeathSewell on February 18, 2007, 12:57:43 PM
So again a newbe in the avatar world. I am trying to post a picture. I have gone to photobucket, shrank my photo and saved it as a .jpg and no matter what way I try it tells me it is not an avatar or it's too big. ARGH!!!! I read one reply saying that you have to do something to the resolution. I'm about to throw something at the computer so please help.....
Title: Re: Tutorial: How to Create Your Own Avatar
Post by: Moose5222 on July 05, 2007, 08:11:29 PM
New signature and Avatar...Test.
Title: Re: Tutorial: How to Create Your Own Avatar
Post by: Dangitboy on July 26, 2007, 12:05:19 PM
Avatar test
Title: Re: Tutorial: How to Create Your Own Avatar
Post by: CHT on September 12, 2007, 05:03:51 PM
test
Title: Re: Tutorial: How to Create Your Own Avatar
Post by: CHT on September 12, 2007, 05:05:49 PM
test
testing
Title: Re: Tutorial: How to Create Your Own Avatar
Post by: Pauline on October 14, 2007, 08:18:16 PM
You can also go here to create an avatar and shrink your pic..

http://www.shrinkpictures.com/
Title: Re: Tutorial: How to Create Your Own Avatar
Post by: Grafton on April 08, 2008, 11:51:30 PM
test
Title: Re: Tutorial: How to Create Your Own Avatar
Post by: mgrogers on June 03, 2008, 10:28:56 PM
thanks a million.  I was wondering why it wouldn't take my photo
Title: Re: Tutorial: How to Create Your Own Avatar
Post by: Travis A on June 28, 2008, 03:55:47 PM
I have a question about using "Lifetone" lacquer paints for fish.  I have had some paints in the original bottles for approx 10-12 yrs stored in my old shop.  Will they be good? I live in a country where it freezes then thaws? can i use it again now?  any thoughts will be greatly appreciated.
Title: Re: Tutorial: How to Create Your Own Avatar
Post by: Dwayne P. on June 28, 2008, 04:34:01 PM
I've got a question...my wife was trying to put a small slideshow on for my avatar but it wouldn't take it.  Any ideas on how to do this?
Title: Re: Tutorial: How to Create Your Own Avatar
Post by: Lisa M on June 29, 2008, 01:45:18 AM
I tried to do a slide show in a regular thread too DeadOn.  It wouldn't run it either & just gave me the red X's.  ???
Title: Re: Tutorial: How to Create Your Own Avatar
Post by: olson144 on October 29, 2008, 08:11:57 PM
thanks for the help
Title: Re: Tutorial: How to Create Your Own Avatar
Post by: PahinhWinh on August 10, 2009, 07:16:17 PM
Hanh Ken.  I'm an Indn & I do Indigenous-way taxidermy, which is different from majority-culture way.  I came across this site by accident, but found some of the posts entertaining. Then I found your tutorial on creating an avatar, & want to thank you. You missed one, though.. If I find something I want to use for an avatar, or have drawn something I want to use, I scan it & save it as a JPG file, & then work with that.
  I'd like to refer to a post I found earlier, & can't find now..  someone wrote in in 2006 about having a buffalo head with a lot of chaff in the head hair & he wondered how to get it out.  I use a small high-output shop-vac with a crevice tool to both blow out the stuff & to suck out whatever I can get to.  And if any of the people here know women who sew using a serger, ask them for one of the plastic cones that serger thread comes on. Those can be fitted to the end of a small shop-vac hose & used, too.  May have to "fit" them on with duct tape, but they work fine.  Biggest bull I ever did was 9 ft wide by 12 ft long & he really needed a bath before I could start on him.  Was very glad to finish him, too.  Everyone should do one big one at least once, just to say "I did it!" Pilamiyaye / thanks!
Title: Re: Tutorial: How to Create Your Own Avatar
Post by: Dropjhook on August 23, 2009, 11:42:45 AM
thank you for the help!!
Title: Re: Tutorial: How to Create Your Own Avatar
Post by: Katie H on December 15, 2009, 10:10:05 PM
I can't figure it out. I reduced the size using paint. It says that my avatar is too large or not an avatar. Also, how do I put a picture from my camera card to send as a PM?? Copy, paste won't work, I don't know any other way.
Title: Re: Tutorial: How to Create Your Own Avatar
Post by: Travis on July 01, 2010, 09:46:20 PM
My Avatar is gone. I noticed today it was not there, it is the same one I have had for a long time now, of me and my wife and her Halibut. I thought maybe something was up with Photobucket, so I copied it from my computer and it was back on for a couple of minutes, then POOF it was gone again. Can someone give me a clue to why it is gone?
Here is the pic I have had, for my Avatar for sometime.
(http://i240.photobucket.com/albums/ff166/travisalaska/RanzieHalibut1009-1.jpg)

Thank You!
Travis
Title: Re: Tutorial: How to Create Your Own Avatar
Post by: Ken Edwards on July 02, 2010, 10:44:42 AM
Travis, your avatar is there. I and other members can see it fine. You probably can't see it due to an incomplete file in your cache memory (temporary internet files).

This happens to me sometimes, too. If the graphic file for your avatar doesn't load correctly when you visit a page (which can sometimes happen when clicking around from page to page within the Forums), your cache memory will load the incomplete file, and your avatar won't appear or will show up as a red X. As you continue to visit more pages, your browser tries over and over to use the avatar file from your cache memory, but is unsuccessful.

Your cache memory simply pulls files from your local hard drive instead of off the internet to make your surfing experience faster.

To fix this, you can right-click on the red X and choose to view the image in a new window. Then your avatar should appear again. If it doesn't, refresh the page, or clear your cache memory.
Title: Re: Tutorial: How to Create Your Own Avatar
Post by: Travis on July 02, 2010, 01:12:05 PM
Thank You Ken! Weird, today it is showing up for me. Thanks for explaining that to me. I thought I did something wrong.
Thanks again!
Travis
Title: Re: Tutorial: How to Create Your Own Avatar
Post by: jj sunny on September 16, 2011, 11:42:15 AM
hi KEN
thanks for the information
i was just wondering if i can be directed how to put a logo on my profile
so that when i make a post i can see my logo place bellow of my post.
i will appreciate your advice.
my regards to all that may help
 jj
Title: Re: Tutorial: How to Create Your Own Avatar
Post by: natures way jeff on February 19, 2012, 04:59:15 AM
test
Title: Re: Tutorial: How to Create Your Own Avatar
Post by: Seņior BirdBrain on April 12, 2012, 12:07:40 PM
Hola!  I've been trying to upload an avatar for my account, and I've resized and everything, but when I click "change profile," nothing happens, the page clears itself as if I had just opened the page for the first time.  Any ideas???

Thanks!
EL
Title: Re: Tutorial: How to Create Your Own Avatar
Post by: Ken Edwards on April 12, 2012, 12:30:52 PM
Hola!  I've been trying to upload an avatar for my account, and I've resized and everything, but when I click "change profile," nothing happens, the page clears itself as if I had just opened the page for the first time.  Any ideas???

Thanks!
EL

Try changing something else on your profile, like adding your location. If that works, then the problem is with your avatar file. If you want, you can email the photo for your avatar to me at [email protected] and I will add it to your profile for you.
Title: Re: Tutorial: How to Create Your Own Avatar
Post by: DogSoldierChick on January 13, 2013, 12:38:16 PM
I'm not new to forums or the avatar world, but I am not having any luck here.  I created an avatar at around 100 pixels square and it wouldn't take it.  Changed that several times, then went to a website that creates them.  It wouldn't take that one wither at 74 square.  Tried to use the link it popped up for a minute, then went away?
Title: Re: Tutorial: How to Create Your Own Avatar
Post by: tommy70 on January 30, 2013, 03:25:21 PM
Hope you can help, when i go to profile to add avata non of the functions work,cant click on modify profile or the other. Help
Title: Re: Tutorial: How to Create Your Own Avatar
Post by: tommy70 on January 31, 2013, 12:59:05 PM
Hope you can help, when i go to profile to add avata non of the functions work,cant click on modify profile or the other. Help
Ive tried this again with no success..is there a waiting period or am i just s.o.l lol
Title: Re: Tutorial: How to Create Your Own Avatar
Post by: 458okie on February 23, 2013, 11:24:07 AM
I was trying again today to modify my profile and the buttons appear "faded" and don't let me use them.  Frustrating, as I have more gray hair now and want to update my 7 year old avatar pic...lol  ;)
Title: Re: Tutorial: How to Create Your Own Avatar
Post by: Nick7 on February 27, 2013, 07:13:52 PM
I have tired many times but when i click on modify nothing happenes. Even when i right click and open as a different window all i see is my profile.. What am i doing wrong Ken?
Thanks
Title: Re: Tutorial: How to Create Your Own Avatar
Post by: Ken Edwards on February 27, 2013, 10:04:27 PM
I have tired many times but when i click on modify nothing happenes. Even when i right click and open as a different window all i see is my profile.. What am i doing wrong Ken?
Thanks

Go here: http://www.taxidermy.net/forum/index.php?action=profile;area=forumprofile;u=35706
Title: Re: Tutorial: How to Create Your Own Avatar
Post by: Nick7 on February 28, 2013, 08:36:42 AM
Thanks again Ken!!
Title: Re: Tutorial: How to Create Your Own Avatar
Post by: 458okie on March 02, 2013, 11:05:38 PM
Yes, definitely thanks...got mine updated last week.  :)
Title: Re: Tutorial: How to Create Your Own Avatar
Post by: RICK P on July 23, 2013, 07:23:43 PM
Ken, I am unable to update my info and avatar.
Title: Re: Tutorial: How to Create Your Own Avatar
Post by: eringaller on August 31, 2014, 10:10:14 PM
You can also go here to create an avatar and shrink your pic..

http://www.shrinkpictures.com/


Very Helpful! Thankyou!
Title: Re: Tutorial: How to Create Your Own Avatar
Post by: Laketrapper on January 26, 2015, 10:24:49 PM
thanks I have had issues making one small enough