Want an avatar (picture) under your name? Here is how!

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Paully's5.0
Posts: 287
Joined: 2013-06-16 21:38:54

Want an avatar (picture) under your name? Here is how!

Post by Paully's5.0 »

With the new site comes some new features, the most noticable has been avatars (or simply put pictures) that have been appearing under the names of posters.

Here is a guide of how to make an avatar, and put it up for the board to see.

I have been using a program called "Easy Thumbnails" to create my pictures.....why? Because it is FREE and EASY to use. Here is their
Homepage and you can check the program out. Here is a direct link to download the software if you have troubles finding it Click Me

Install the program.

Open the program, you'll see this:

Image

Look at the upper left coner, you'll see a tab that says "files" click on that.
You'll see on the left side an area that says "Files of type" leave this as "all images"

Under that you'll see "Look in" this is were you select your picture. Now you must have your picture on your computer, and you must know where it is stored. IE....c:\my documents\my pictures\(name of folder location of your picture) now that will vary for everyone! That was just an example of the format used.

One you browse to your picture's folder select it, and down below in the lower left you'll see a list of pictures contained in that folder appear. Select the one you want to use. You will now see the picture on the right hand side. IF the picture is large you may not see all of it thats OK.

Now go back to the top left coner, and choose the tab labeled "Settings" and on the right side of the screen above your picture choose the tab "Preview Output"


Image

On the left, change the settings to match what I have in the picture.

Image

You're picture on the right will look very small. This is your new Avatar!!! Woooohoooo! All you have to to is click "Make" on the lower right of the screen. If you select "Make all" this will make small pictures of every picture you have in that folder you selected earlier.

Now that you have made your picture it's important to know where it got saved. This will automatically save in the SAME directory as your original picture. This program adds a " tn_ " as a prefix to the name of your picture. So if my picture was originally named "Paul" the smaller picture we just made will be called "tn_Paul".


Now go log onto the uoaa forums. At the top you'll see "Profile"...click on that. Scroll all the way down to "Avatar Control Panel" you'll see "Upload Avatar from your machine" on the right of that you'll see an empty box with the word "browse" next to it. Click "Browse"....now browse to the directory that the created picture is saved in REMEBER your picture name will have the tn_ prefix! Select it and hit the "submit" button at the bottom of the webpage. You now have uploaded your picture to the board and should have an avatar!!!

Just look for any post that you have made, and the avatar should show up!!!
Last edited by Anonymous on 2007-09-07 17:59:41, edited 1 time in total.
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Sarah B.
Posts: 1503
Joined: 2005-10-01 10:28:32

Post by Sarah B. »

OK Mr. Warning!!!

Maybe this is a big life choice moment and you need to be a teacher! :wink: That was really cool of you to take the time out to explain things step by step like that. Hope you have recovered from your wild weekend!
Lots of Love, Sarah :D
Lots of Love, Sarah

Ileostomy since 9/04
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KristinK
Posts: 527
Joined: 2005-10-01 10:18:12

Post by KristinK »

Paully,
You are too cool for words! Primo demo....I think you found your calling. :mrgreen:
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Bob Webtech
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Post by Bob Webtech »

I'd like to add some more tips to Paully's excellent demo. As one issue, the software Paully suggested downloading is available only for Windows, so doesn't help users of other platforms such as Mac or Linux. Also, instead of downloading software to install on their own computer, some people may find it easier to use online software that they can run through their web browser.

Before discussing specific software, I'll list tasks you may need to do in converting a photo to an avatar (although you may not need all of these in any particular case):
  • Crop your photo; i.e., remove unneeded areas around the edges.
  • Retouch the photo to remove defects such as red eye.
  • Adjust brightness and contrast.
  • Shrink dimensions to within the limits (80 x 80 pixels) permitted for an avatar.
  • Sharpen the image in case the above resizing has blurred it.
  • Adjust JPEG quality factor to shrink file size within the limit (6 kB) permitted for an avatar.
The software Paully suggested downloading (Easy Thumbnails) is very nice (and it's free) but it can't do the first two tasks in my list. So if your photo needs cropping or retouching, you'd have to do that using other software before you can use Paully's technique.

If you use a Mac, you already have a photo editing program called "iPhoto" that comes with MacOS. iPhoto can do the first 4 tasks in my list, but not the last 2. So, if you try making an avatar with iPhoto, you may find that it looks blurrier than you'd like, but more seriously, its file size may exceed the 6kB limit allowed by this board, and you may have no way to shrink it further.

Therefore, Mac users really need a better image editing program than iPhoto. An excellent choice would be GraphicConverter. It isn't free (it's $35 shareware), but it's an extremely competent program and can easily do everything in my list.

Windows users might also consider a program called IrFanView which has numerous image editing and conversion options and is free (for non-commercial use).

If you'd rather use online image editing software that you operate through your web browser (which will work no matter what kind of computer you have, because you don't install any software on your own computer), here are three possibilities, all of them free: The first of these can do nearly everything on my list (except retouching) but is annoying because it displays lots of flashing advertisements including pop-up and pop-under ads. But if you can put up with those ads, you can probably make a nice avatar using this service. (Actually, while the service is free, they'd like to sell you a membership for $20 which would suppress the ads.)

The 2nd service has less capability (e.g., it can't retouch or sharpen) but it doesn't force you to look at ads and can perform enough functions to create a basically functional avatar.

The 3rd service (ImageMagick) has a great deal of functionality but is the least intuitive to use because this software was really intended to be used through a command line instead of a graphical user interface. It doesn't seem to provide any guidance on setting parameters; however, you can find documentation on the ImageMagick parameters at http://www.imagemagick.org/script/comma ... ptions.php (also note: there's a discussion board for ImageMagick users at http://redux.imagemagick.org/discussion-server/ which will look very familiar because they use the same software we're using for this board!).

Now, with all these options, everyone should be able to create an avatar to use on this board!

Bob
Last edited by Bob Webtech on 2007-11-06 22:16:31, edited 1 time in total.
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Bob Webtech
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Added note: EXIF data

Post by Bob Webtech »

I've become aware of another issue that may affect ability to shrink file size of a photo small enough to serve as an avatar. Some JPEG files include EXIF (Exchangeable image file format) data which may be inserted by digital cameras - see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Exif - however, this additional data isn't needed in an image used as an avatar, and you may need to remove it in order to make the file small enough.

This isn't an issue if you use the "Easy Thumbnails" software that Paully recommended, as it automatically removes the EXIF data, if present, when generating sufficiently small thumbnails. Its documentation states: "If you process a Jpeg file that contains EXIF data, the resized image will contain a copy of the data as long as it exceeds 300 pixels in height or width. The EXIF data is automatically discarded when you produce smaller pictures so that file size can be reduced further."

If you use other image editing software, you may need to examine its configuration settings to make sure it saves your photo without EXIF data. I noted in my previous message that attempting to produce an avatar using iPhoto (the photo editing program provided with MacOS) may produce a file exceeding our limit of 6kB. It turns out that iPhoto always adds EXIF data, even if there wasn't any in the photo you started with! The GraphicConverter program I referenced in my previous message includes ability to remove EXIF data.

Note about file formats (JPEG vs. GIF): Assuming you're making an avatar from a photograph, you'd be working with JPEG files (.jpg extension). You can reduce file size of a JPEG by choosing its quality factor and, as noted above, you may need to remove EXIF data. If you prefer to use a cartoon image as your avatar, it may be more appropriate to use GIF format. You can reduce file size of a GIF by reducing the number of colors in it (but don't use "dithering" while reducing number of colors, as dithering increases GIF size). If you use an animated GIF, you may need to reduce the number of frames in it. There is a free online GIF editor at http://www.gifworks.com/image_editor.html

Bob
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E White
Posts: 17
Joined: 2008-02-09 10:49:23

Post by E White »

WoW, the "Easy Thumbnails" program is great. Even within Windows Explorer/My Pictures it works. Thanks for the tip, I have spent hours trying to shrink a didg photo down before this program.
E White
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arwen
Posts: 930
Joined: 2008-04-13 20:26:56

Post by arwen »

what also works is Paint program. Open your picture with this program and click on Image- Stretch and Skew. You can shrink it that way and its pretty easy.
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LaurieM
Posts: 188
Joined: 2008-05-28 19:19:51

Post by LaurieM »

Yay! I did it. I followed Paully's advice, it was easy. Thanks!
Ileo 4/08 - 12/08
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Twinkle
Posts: 15
Joined: 2009-01-14 07:44:50

Re: Want an avatar (picture) under your name? Here is how!

Post by Twinkle »

Thankyou Paully...You explained everything really well!...Infact after doing it all as you said I feel quite techniCAL now! Oooo! hehe.. :D
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thriftylady2
Posts: 30
Joined: 2009-02-09 21:01:12

Re: Want an avatar (picture) under your name? Here is how!

Post by thriftylady2 »

Thanks, Paully, it worked great...your instructions were easy. But, I see that our picture is not
that visable, but I guess you get the idea!
It is interesting what software can do!
meandean
Posts: 424
Joined: 2009-04-23 14:59:41

Re:

Post by meandean »

Bob Webtech wrote:... the software Paully suggested downloading is available only for Windows, so doesn't help users of other platforms such as Mac or Linux.
Of course there is also the GIMP which is available for all those platforms. Although it is rather complex there are plenty of tutorials to help with it. The gimp is free in cost and is free in regards to software freedoms also.
If you'd rather use online image editing software that you operate through your web browser (which will work no matter what kind of computer you have, because you don't install any software on your own computer)....
And if I may add one pixlr has a advanced editor and a easier (express) editor.
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barbinal
Posts: 47
Joined: 2009-06-04 07:00:23

Re: Want an avatar (picture) under your name? Here is how!

Post by barbinal »

I'm just checking to see if I did this right - hopefully so!

~Barb~
Urostomy 2/11/09
Robotic surgery for T2 bladder cancer.
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barbinal
Posts: 47
Joined: 2009-06-04 07:00:23

Re: Want an avatar (picture) under your name? Here is how!

Post by barbinal »

WHOA!!! Way too small. I'm doing something wrong here....
Urostomy 2/11/09
Robotic surgery for T2 bladder cancer.
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