larryb123456

custom avatars and signatures

746 posts in this topic

I'm so very glad that you liked my first modification to your original avatar, e-t-c.

This modification is shown in:

http://postimage.org/image/lc3vagpo9/

Just so that readers will know what the original looked like, here is the link:

http://postimage.org/image/4u0c659hd/

Basically, in the first modification of your transparent GIF avatar, I made the saucer edge and the lip of the cup perfect aliased ovals, and added a few "vapor molecules" over the center of the cup. I really like the happy little fellow swimming without a care in the cup of coffee.

EDIT:

e-t-c's avatar shown in Post # 135 is the 4th and final modification of the GIF.

The complete discussion concerning the development of all the modifications -- (from the original version to the final version) -- is given in Posts #174 through # 179.

Edited by larryb123456
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The next few Posts of mine will consider signatures and avatars I made for a totally fictitious MSFN member, whose hypothetical member name is "SammyUglarring". I made up this name based on the following "considerations": "Sammy" is a very common name in the U.S. (I don't know if it is common in other countries.); I loved the "sound" of "Ug" (it sounds like Caveman lingo); "larr" is very familiar to me, being the first 4 letters of my first name, "Larry"; and, "ing" just finishes off the name in a pleasing way.

To further round out the set-up, I proposed that "Sammy" was a *total* Windows ME "diehard", so most of the sample avatars reflect this fact, in that they have the tagline "ME for Me !" I thought this was a good phrase to use since it sounds like Caveman lingo ("Ug"), and Cookie Monster lingo also ("Me want Cookies !"). I thought that the fact that ME and Me were spelled the same was a good idea on my part.

What I hope the readers will keep in mind is that I can make custom avatars and signatures based on these same color schemes and letter styles. I can also use different color combinations and different letter styles to create colorful, dynamic, and compatible signature/avatar sets. (My examples show such compatible sets.)

Of course, the tagline "ME for Me !" does not have to be used. Other taglines "abound". For example, some computer related taglines are:

Bugs come in through open Windows.

Feel lucky?.. Upgrade your software!

I program, therefore I exist.

One bit short of a byte.

etc., etc., etc., ... "infinity"!

What I think that would form the basis of a good signature/avatar set would be the member's initials in the avatar with a chosen tagline below. For members whose native tongue is not English, the tagline could in the language of your home country. (That way, we would be "somewhat" getting around the limitation that all Posts on MSFN must be made in English.) For non-U.S. members, we could perhaps use a color scheme based on the colors of your country's flag (if that would be appropriate in your culture). Also, for U.S. members, the tagline could be in Latin, French, etc.

Well, that's about it! My main objective in making these examples was to use them as "idea generators" for MSFN members, so that they could come up with their *own ideas* as to what they wanted in their own signature/avatar set(s).

Basically, in the following Posts, I explore the "power" of fonts and colors.

Many Thanks.

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As I mentioned above, the next few Posts of mine will consider a little "project" based on 2 "sample signatures". (This kind of provides a starting point in the development. I make some very simple modifications to these 2 signatures as I continue with the development.)

The file names and links for these 2 signatures are:

001_Sa_Ug_V01_sig, http://postimage.org/image/huhlj6lwn/

and

001_Sa_Ug_V02_sig, http://postimage.org/image/8mqp104b9/

Replacing the S with a dollar sign was a *very obvious* modification of the original signature. For example, in the music business, "Rap" stars who have "S"(s) in their names do it all the time.

The first thing I did was to make an avatar that would be "compatible" with these 2 "sample" signatures. By "compatible", I mean that all these elements would be the same:

the font;

the background-color scheme of orange/yellow/white;

the font in red outlined in dark blue.

The file name and link for this "compatible" avatar are

001_V01_av, http://postimage.org/image/n9u1ijk15/

This sets the "foundation" for the Posts that will follow in this "project".

EDIT:

In

001_Sa_Ug_V02_sig, http://postimage.org/image/8mqp104b9/

the green dollar sign was based on the font's dollar sign with a 1 pixel green outline (i.e., stroke). It looks O.K. to me, but perhaps(?) a "little bold" compared to the red-with-dark-blue-outline letters (these red letters were from the font and have a 2 pixel dark-blue stroke).

So, I wondered what the result would be if the font's green dollar sign were outlined with a 2 pixel yellow stroke. (I chose yellow because that would help the green show up uniformly-well on the background.)

The result is shown in

001_Sa_Ug_V03_sig, http://postimage.org/image/mqpwzd0et/

where the dollar sign might(?) "not be bold enough" compared to the red-with-dark-blue-outline letters.

But, I guess it is really the individual observer's tastes that decide which is the better of V02 or V03. Personally, I like V02 better, since the dollar sign makes a "more dramatic statement". After all, that statement is kind of the focal point of the picture.

Edited by larryb123456
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Glad to see another Happy Customer!

Cheers and Regards

Edited by bphlpt
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Warmest Greetings, bphlpt:

Thanks for keeping track of my endeavors!

Please keep the "Old Man" warm this winter.

I want him to keep coding and not coughing!

Edited by larryb123456
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On thinking about it, I kind of feel that by using the same color scheme in 001_Sa_Ug_V01_sig, http://postimage.org/image/huhlj6lwn/

[ or in 001_Sa_Ug_V02_sig, http://postimage.org/image/8mqp104b9/ ]

with 001_V01_av, http://postimage.org/image/n9u1ijk15/

the avatar and signature would compete with each other for attention when Posted on the *same* MSFN page. I think there would be just too much orange and yellow on the page.

So, I made avatar version 001_V02_av, http://postimage.org/image/s036hv5qf/

with more or less a teal-fade background. The red balls stand out much better since green tints and red are complimentary colors. The avatar and signature still belong together since the same letter style was used in each. I think the 001_V02 version avatar works much better with the signature.

Edited by larryb123456
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In case you all are interested, my philosophy on creating/observing Art can be summed up as:

The creator of an image sees it differently than any observer, because the creator is intimately involved with each step in the creation, and he/she can not separate the observance of the art from its making.

Well, by no means am I a philosopher, so I had better stop here before I embarrass myself. (lol)

I sincerely hope that everyone has a holly jolly Christmas!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Up1t5siifEw

Edited by larryb123456
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JFYI, you cannot use an animated GIF as an avatar or signture on this forum. ;)

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I thought I might give a little background information on myself, just in case you all might be interested:

In making all the images in this thread, I use Photoshop Version 5.0, a really old version, which doesn't have the capabilities of the later versions -- but it is simpler to use than the later versions. I've developed a lot of "work-around" techniques (usually involving 80 to 100 layers in the .psd file) to make my images look a little more advanced (I think). I've more or less mastered the "basics" of this version, and I can use the program pretty quickly and efficiently, once I'm clear on what it is I want to achieve in a picture (font, color scheme, general layout, etc., etc.) -- that's what takes the most time and the most "problem solving".

Before I got into Photoshop, I was a painter, but I developed allergies to all types of paint (even acrylics), and had to stop painting. While working with Photoshop, I feel like I'm painting again, as I manipulate the colors and image around -- (that's a great feeling!). Photoshop has a pretty steep learning curve (IMO), but once you figure it out, it's not too hard to use. I'm still learning "new tricks" -- which I develop myself or find on the internet.

I've been into Art since I started coloring at about age 3 ! (lol).

Concerning 3-year-old coloring, you might check out the work of Jean-michel Basquiat on Google Images. I've given links to 2 of my *absolute-favorite* paintings of his at the bottom of this Post.

Basquiat was an internationally renowned mainstream artist, who died of a heroin overdose at age 27 (unfortunately). Without a doubt, he is one of my favorite artists.

In the distant past I used a *drawing* (i.e., vector) program (similar to Adobe Illustrator, but much, much, much, much simpler). I quit using it in favor of Photoshop.

Here are 2 of my favorite paintings by Jean-michel Basquiat:

http://artbrokerage.com/artthumb/basquiat_25245_2/850x600/Jean_Michel_Basquiat_Untitled_Ernok.jpg

http://www.michaelarnoldart.com/jean-michel-basquiat-picture.jpg

Basquiat's paintings sell today for many millions of dollars !

Edited by larryb123456
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I made 15 new signature/avatar pairs, in which I used blue letters and mostly blue tones, silver, and metallic-looking colors for the backgrounds.

What takes me the longest time in a project like this is making the "template" (i.e., the "structure" for the lettering layout) for the signatures and avatars. Once I have the layout, I like to change the background colors to see the interactions with the lettering and "bounding" box of the signature/avatar pair. Here, I "sampled" the colors in the signature to get the colors (and color "flow") in the avatar. That way, the signature and avatar form a unified set. This will become evident when you view the images at the bottom of this Post.

The font I used only had lower case letters, so I had to figure out how to separate the two words, "sammy" and "uglarring". If the 2 words *ran together*, as in "sammyuglarring", it wouldn't look right (i.e., it would be confusing). The best idea I had was to put a big, bright red "X" (with 3 blue periods underneath) in-between the 2 words. I chose the lettering to be standard blue, and this red/blue combination worked out very well (IMO). I "manipulated" the backgrounds of the images, as much as possible, so that the red X would really stand out.

Well, that's about it. You can fill in the rest of the details by just looking at the images.

So, here are the images in my second set of signatures and avatars.

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002_Sa_Ug_V03_sig, http://postimage.org/image/xs2vswg8n/

002_V03_av, http://postimage.org/image/sep6pbqx3/

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002_Sa_Ug_V04_sig, http://postimage.org/image/3kzlhtdtj/

002_V04_av, http://postimage.org/image/c57byd1vr/

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002_Sa_Ug_V05_sig, http://postimage.org/image/4tnh3g5s1/

002_V05_av, http://postimage.org/image/mhoknbp3l/

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002_Sa_Ug_V06_sig, http://postimage.org/image/x1h3d9sfh/

002_V06_av, http://postimage.org/image/5m9fobjdd/

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002_Sa_Ug_V07_sig, http://postimage.org/image/qsyh4ec01/

002_V07_av, http://postimage.org/image/gtjlvcutj/

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002_Sa_Ug_V08_sig, http://postimage.org/image/p4zbpqy4h/

002_V08_av, http://postimage.org/image/a32ppqvhh/

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002_Sa_Ug_V09_sig, http://postimage.org/image/w65p1htfb/

002_V09_av, http://postimage.org/image/b47jsm1ut/

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002_Sa_Ug_V10_sig, http://postimage.org/image/qcqzzznnb/

002_V10_av, http://postimage.org/image/cmgugcy27/

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002_Sa_Ug_V11_sig, http://postimage.org/image/4euj678mv/

002_V11_av, http://postimage.org/image/pc5ypdcc3/

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002_Sa_Ug_V12_sig, http://postimage.org/image/74hwk61jf/

002_V12_av, http://postimage.org/image/9nwg6nb47/

-----------------------

002_Sa_Ug_V13_sig, http://postimage.org/image/sc320uxc1/

002_V13_av, http://postimage.org/image/wut8sdc63/

-----------------------

002_Sa_Ug_V14_sig, http://postimage.org/image/hw9wv8h87/

002_V14_av, http://postimage.org/image/rh43voi4x/

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002_Sa_Ug_V15_sig, http://postimage.org/image/riwxf0ox9/

002_V15_av, http://postimage.org/image/twjvfkf5p/

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I put these 2 signature/avatar pairs at the bottom of the list, because they are not as "exciting" (IMO) as those shown above, which have all the pretty colors.

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The letters have a subtle drop shadow against the MSFN background (i.e., no "bounding box").

002_Sa_Ug_V01_sig, http://postimage.org/image/shscxkw8n/

002_V01_av, http://postimage.org/image/c7t1qp1b9/

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The letters are straightforward, with no "tricks", sitting on the MSFN background, with no "bounding box".

002_Sa_Ug_V02_sig, http://postimage.org/image/99ekta3hp/

002_V02_av, http://postimage.org/image/gk962vr7d/

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“A Picture of many colors proclaims images of many Thoughts.”

Donna A. Favors

and

"Why do two colors, put one next to the other, sing? Can one really explain this? No."

Pablo Picasso

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Edited by larryb123456
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I cannot resist meddling in from time to time, so here's my 2 ¢: I think the dollar sign should be made from the original capital S, to be in complete harmony with the font. So I've turned just the S green to ilustate it. Of course, there's still need to draw the cross stroke(s). But this illustrates my concept well enough. I mean: in 001_Sa_Ug_V02_sig the dollar sign is made of too thin a line, making it difficult for its good harmonising with the rest of the letters.

post-134642-0-20155000-1325455668_thumb.

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The dollar sign in the jpeg was from the font itself, so, in that regard, it's perfectly compatible with the rest of the red-with-blue-outline letters. And, to my eye, it looked OK (i.e., compatible). The dollar sign in the font was *not made* from the "S". Dencorso, you do have a good point, since in a lot of the more "standard" (i.e., non-funky) fonts, the dollar sign *is based* on the "S" with a bar through it. But, just not for this font.

I'll take a look at your thumbnail(s).

Many Thanks for your input, dencorso.

Edited by larryb123456
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I made new versions of the signature using the same background as in versions 001 and the same red-with-blue-outline letters (but in a different, bolder, but still funky, all-caps font). Because the lettering was in all caps, I used a green "X" to separate the two words "SAMMY" and "UGLARRING" in the signatures. This green provided a nice contrast with the other red letters (i,e., green and red are complimentary colors.) To make the green "X" show up well on the burnt-orange parts of the background, I outlined them with yellow. (I think that was a nice touch -- it kind of unifies the green better with the background.)

The first image I made was:

003_Sa_Ug_V01_sig, http://postimage.org/image/ewuovuedx/

This image is rather balanced compositionally, because the "X" is more or less in the center of the image.

Next, I replaced the "S" in "SAMMY" with a dollar sign, which I *absolutely love* in this font. As I explained before, replacing the "S" with a dollar sign wasn't a "genius move" on my part, because in the music business, for example, "Rap" artists whose names have "S"(s) do it all the time.

The result is shown in:

003_Sa_Ug_V02_sig, http://postimage.org/image/7m8db7cpv/

To me, this image is more interesting than V01, since we have *both* the dollar sign and the "X" -- (each with a yellow outline) -- adding to the visual interest.

To get an even *more balanced* look, it is clear that we need some more yellow on the right side of the image. There is nothing better for adding a big "splash" of yellow than the "generic", yellow Smiley Face.

The result is shown in:

003_Sa_Ug_V03_sig, http://postimage.org/image/r9gvvbgtl/

This is, by far, my favorite version of the three signatures. Smiley provides a little "comic relief" and a "closing" for the image, as we "read it" from left to right.

To be totally honest, I wouldn't have made these new signature versions had it not been for dencorso's input about compatibility. I really didn't do dencorso justice in my response to his compatibility issues. These issues are the most important in all of Art (from painting, logo design, etc. ,etc.) That is why I made these new signatures -- to achieve a much better degree of compatibility between all the graphic elements. What do you think of these, dencorso? And, again, many thanks for your input. It was that input that helped create these versions of the signature.

I made 2 companion avatars to go along with these three signatures:

003_V01_av, http://postimage.org/image/6qlj6kw6p/

and

003_V02_av, http://postimage.org/image/5r9gzi4on/

I kept the "ME for Me !" exactly the same as in Versions 002 (same font, same size, but I made the blue darker to match the outline around the red letters).

Edited by larryb123456
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I like the new dollar sign, with a pair of barbs above and below, much more than the former one. But i do think it might even work with all the other letter in the other font, too. Now, one thing I didn't address (although it was implict in my example) is that you're using a shade of green which is near black, while I used a much more "greener" green, which I think works better, although the one I used is maybe too luminous.

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Hello, dencorso:

I re-read my response to your input last night and it seemed rather curt/brusk. I hope you didn't think I was "blowing you off". I didn't intend to, even though my response kind of seemed that way.

I also like the new dollar sign better than the other one.

But I do think it might even work with all the other letters in the other font, too.

I don't think so at all. We are back to "compatibility" again. The new dollar sign has absolutely nothing in common with the letters in the other font (no serifs, thickness of the structural elements for the same letter height, etc., etc.), as you can see by comparing

001_Sa_Ug_V01_sig, http://postimage.org/image/huhlj6lwn/

to

003_Sa_Ug_V02_sig, http://postimage.org/image/7m8db7cpv/

where the dollar signs are roughly the same height. 003 is a much *bolder* font than 001, and it doesn't have any serifs.

Now, one thing I didn't address (although it was implict in my example) is that you're using a shade of green which is near black, while I used a much more "greener" green, which I think works better, although the one I used is maybe too luminous.

The shade of green is "rather" dark, but it really isn't near black at all. It has a luminosity of 30 -- ( r,g,b )=( 0,64,0 ), while black has a luminosity of 0 -- (r, g, b )=( 0,0,0 ). On my monitor, in Photoshop, it doesn't look near black at all -- it looks dark green. Images appear differently on everyone's different systems. Perhaps that is why it looks very, very dark on your screen (?). I use a low actual screen resolution of 53 pixels/inch. (I prefer it that way, so I can work with larger images and especially larger pixels in PS.) What is your actual screen resolution? I often e-mail my nephew some of my small images so he can tell me how they look much smaller than on my screen (he has an actual screen resolution of 90+ pixels/inch). He always says my smallest images show up well (i.e.,clear and well defined) on his monitor.

I first tried a more luminous green, and it didn't look good *at all*. There was not enough contrast with the yellow outline around the dollar sign and "X". Plus, the darker green worked better with the other bold colors in the image, red [(r,g,b )=(255,0,0)] and dark blue [(r,g,b )=(0,0,128)].

*Thanks again* for your input, dencorso.

Edited by larryb123456
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It's OK, Larry! I'm just tossing in some ideas, from time to time. Feel free to ignore them as you see fit. Now, just to answer your question: 900x1600. And no, it's not a mistake, it's really 900x1600, because I'm using a Dell U2410 LCD monitor in portrait mode (i. e.: rotated by 90º).

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