larryb123456

custom avatars and signatures

746 posts in this topic

Hey guys?

If I may be so humble as to suggest this here:

http://www.freewaregeeks.com/?page=detail&get_id=228&category=18

Jasc made animation shop 3.1.1 freeware BEFORE they became corel (Or when I am not too sure)

At 10-ish megs it is rather small but has suited me VERY well in all of my gif endevours.

Please give it a try.

Edited by Kelsenellenelvian
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Hello, Kelsenellenelvian:

Many thanks for the link about the animated GIFs.

I have never made one, myself.

I checked out the link and Jasc Animation Shop 3.11 sounds like a GIF dream (it sounds really simple to use -- I like that).

I use XP, so I meet the system requirements.

I downloaded it, and it will be my first program to use when I start learning about animated GIFs.

Again, thanks.

Edited by larryb123456
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I made a collection of avatars -- each avatar having one "generic" Smiley Face.

The avatars are of 2 types.

The first type uses the layout of my previously posted 002 avatar series, with Smiley above the red "X".

The second type uses just the phrase "ME for Me !" with Smiley above it.

For the background colors of each type, I used some of the best colors of the previously posted 002 avatar series. I also made some avatars with solid-colored backgrounds, just to provide a little contrast with the non-uniform backgrounds.

This is a note for ME "diehards":

The odd-numbered file names below are linked to the avatars having just "ME for Me !" with Smiley above it. You are free to use these avatars as you see fit, without any restrictions whatsoever on MSFN or on any other of your Forums. If you want to use a few on MSFN, just "lay claim to them" in a Post on this thread by giving their file names, and I can go back and edit this Post saying that those avatars are no longer available for use on MSFN. That way, we won't have *different* members using *identical* avatars. Thank you.

The file names and links for these avatars are:

002_V16_av, http://postimage.org/image/tnrt65kij/

002_V17_av, http://postimage.org/image/m5vmu8c1f/

002_V18_av, http://postimage.org/image/67x0ybugt/

002_V19_av, http://postimage.org/image/y2rusg3cj/

002_V20_av, http://postimage.org/image/fb2ylkpwb/

002_V21_av, http://postimage.org/image/4zrh8foqp/

002_V22_av, http://postimage.org/image/cy9bq61vv/

002_V23_av, http://postimage.org/image/oucnf1ddz/

002_V24_av, http://postimage.org/image/cvt61jx1t/

002_V25_av, http://postimage.org/image/59punivwd/

002_V26_av, http://postimage.org/image/gwmtr4pid/

002_V27_av, http://postimage.org/image/6y1v4ng2j/

002_V28_av, http://postimage.org/image/ouqdwzs8p/

002_V29_av, http://postimage.org/image/75vvx77ev/

002_V30_av, http://postimage.org/image/uislgsdgl/

002_V31_av, http://postimage.org/image/hakfsiarl/

002_V32_av, http://postimage.org/image/h2n78dbf5/

002_V33_av, http://postimage.org/image/ywip9nuhd/

002_V34_av, http://postimage.org/image/crbx57rpj/

002_V35_av, http://postimage.org/image/9bouss0sn/

002_V36_av, http://postimage.org/image/57x2rrjlz/

002_V37_av, http://postimage.org/image/wslb5abrv/

002_V38_av, http://postimage.org/image/khjkpvkld/

002_V39_av, http://postimage.org/image/v5dq1366p/

The avatars below have solid-color backgrounds.

002_V40_av, http://postimage.org/image/es3dsslq5/

002_V41_av, http://postimage.org/image/autfp8m57/

002_V42_av, http://postimage.org/image/raozj9hq9/

002_V43_av, http://postimage.org/image/k6kyfhh6v/

002_V44_av, http://postimage.org/image/iaabs2gb5/

002_V45_av, http://postimage.org/image/lkyory68h/

002_V46_av, http://postimage.org/image/67rz17o4z/

002_V47_av, http://postimage.org/image/7pmm497nr/

002_V48_av, http://postimage.org/image/t98k6yntx/

002_V49_av, http://postimage.org/image/liy23lmo1/

Edited by larryb123456
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Not bad at all! The design, the color you chose and everything work nicely together. I like it :)

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As far as a signature goes, I made it within the signature limits we allow here. It would probably look better with a dark skin tho, since I can't really see the border.

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Tripredacus, I love your image.

It is so "powerfully delicate" -- if that's not an oxymoron.

Any website would be happy to have an image like that.

I started out to make a short Post, but when I start talking Art, I don't know when to stop. Sorry.

I downloaded your JPEG any made some very minor changes to suit *my* artistic tastes. I couldn't make 1 other change I wanted, but I'll discuss it, and maybe you can explore it if you want. I couldn't make the change because the image was JPEG and not .psd, for example. BTW, do you have a .psd version, so I could explore making the change myself ? That would be fun for me.

Please know that I'm not *criticizing* your work, but I'm just describing my *my* artistic tastes. As you know, observing Art is a very subjective matter. 2 different people might create 2 different versions of the same thing -- and both would be acceptable. There is really no "right or wrong". Well, enough rambling, let me get to my "analysis" of your image -- that is, if you don't think I'm being too forward.

Let me say that I haven't yet read any of your links yet, but I will *certainly* study them in detail, and I'm sure I'll have some questions. I think this will be a *great* opportunity for me to learn a lot! Thanks for Posting the image, Tripredacus!

Here is the link to my (very moderately) revised image:

http://postimage.org/image/5d84zw55t/

Basically, all I did was to alter the horizontal green stripe going through the image and the border around the image. I don't have the capability to make a final change *from this JPEG* (as I discuss below) that I think would improve the picture.

Now, for a few details that can be skipped, if you want.

First off, I sampled a color in the 2 pixel horizontal line -- (which had transparency effects) -- within the image, and I colored in this line with that
solid
color, being careful not to color *over* the outer glow around the "P" in Planck. That way, the "P" would be on a visual plane *above* this solid line. I also made a 2 pixel border around the outside of the whole image with this color. (I had to come inside the "bounding box" of the image by 1 pixel to maintain the 380x100px image size.)

This color of green had ( r, g, b )=(156,193,186 ) and luminosity=164. I wanted the horizontal line within the image and the border around the whole image to read as a "unit".

To see how dark the Max Plank signature was, I sampled the "x" with "Sample Size: 3x3 average".

Here, ( r,g,b )=( 21,109,94 ) with luminosity=61. This is a pretty dark shade of green that shows up well on the outer glow around "Max Planck".

To see how dark the lettering in "GESELLSCHAFT" was, I sampled the color on the vertical leg of the "L", again using "Sample Size: 3x3 average".

Here, ( r,g,b )=( 66,149,135 ) with luminosity=101.

Bottom line:

In order of increasing luminosity, we have the Max Plank signature (61), "GESELLSCHAFT" (101), and the 2 pixel horizontal line and border (164). This corresponds to the degree these 3 elements "pop out" (lower luminosity pops out more than higher luminosity) in visual space on a light-colored background. To me, these 3 elements are in *perfect harmony*.

Of course, all this can be seen by simply looking at the JPEG. One really doesn't need all the above RIGMAROLE.

Here is the one area in which the image can be improved, IMO -- and that concerns the Roman or Greek outline/face below the above three elements. (First, I really like the way you have put the white "glow" in front of the lower part of the face so that "GESELLSCHAFT" shows up well.) I think the face outline should be *somewhat darker* so that it occupies a "visual plane" (i.e., "value") about half-way between the light background and the 3 structural elements discussed above.

That way, the picture would essentially be in three well-defined levels -- the foreground, the face outline, and the light gray/white background. I bet you used vector graphics in making the face outline (?), so it might not be too hard to darken the outline up some.

Being kind of an artist, I'm *very curious* to see if my suggestion would improve the picture. It might not improve it -- what do I know (?) lol

Well, let me quit rambling and start reading your links. Again, sorry for all the verbiage.

Edited by larryb123456
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LOL You should have "read" his links first Larry, if you call looking at images "reading", since it looks like that would have given you all the elements you needed to edit the signature as you wanted to.

Cheers and Regards

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Thanks, bphlpt:

I feel kind of stupid now. I put the "cart in front of the horse" instead of the other way round. :wacko::wacko::wacko: That's three big wackos for me!

Edited by larryb123456
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Well, bphlpt, I checked out the links and they weren't very helpful (for me, at least).

See especially the 4th link below.

To *quickly* use this image, I'd need it on a transparent layer in a .psd file.

As I explain, it's a JPEG.

1st link -- for Planck's signature

Only a JPEG, which I can't easily and accurately edit.

But, I don't have any problems with the signature in Tripredacus' image.

2nd link -- for Planck's signature

#1 Max Planck signature (svg), which PS 5.0 can't open.

#2 This image rendered as PNG -- PS opens it but it as a totally black field -- unusable.

#3 Some JPEGs, which I can't easily and accurately edit.

But, I don't have any problems with the signature in Tripredacus' image.

3rd link -- for background image in Tripredacus' picture.

A JPEG which I can readily use if desired, but I don't feel the need, since I'm perfectly happy with Tripredacus' background.

4th link -- for outline of the Greek/Roman face.

A very large JPEG (3,590x1,980px). I could obtain the outline by opening it in PS, putting a transparent layer above it, and then "tracing over" the image on this transparent layer, and then reducing it to the appropriate size, and manipulating the fade to white at the bottom. This would be a very tedious, labor intensive process (especially tracing it rather accurately) I wonder(?) how Tripredacus got the image. He said he didn't spend *much time* on his picture, so I'm sure he didn't use this approach.

5th link -- a JPEG image of Max Plank.

This image was *not* the one I used in my avatar, but it is rather similar. You can compare the avatar image with this JPEG to see that they are different.

6th link -- a JPEG image of Max Plank.

Again, this image was *not* the one I used in my avatar.

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

The big question I have for Tripredacus, is how he *quickly* got the outline of the Greek/Roman face (?)

If the image were traced over at the large size, it wouldn't have to be *too accurate*, since the size reduction would tend to "smooth" things out.

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

EDIT:

*Of course*, the way to do it is to open the green image on the white background and use the Magic Wand Tool to remove the white, leaving the green on a transparent layer. This would also work for "extracting" the Max Plank signature from a JPEG. I knew that, but in all my rambling, it slipped my mind (or what's left of it anyway -- lol).

Tripradecus, I now have the face outline on a transparent layer (as you say, it was quick and easy to do). The problem is that it would be kind of tedious to try to work it behind the horizontal 2px line and the GESELLSCHAFT lettering, etc. I really don't want to do the whole thing from scratch, since I'm sure you have all the *layers* already stacked in place. Would you mind using my border and horizontal line idea and just darken the face outline in a few increments (i.e., versions) to see if that would improve the image. (I'm just curious.) Of course, if you don't want to do it, that's perfectly *fine and dandy*, too, and we can just consider this image *complete* as is.

Again many thanks for posting it. (I can't believe I forgot about The Magic Wand Tool. It has been some time since I had to remove a background.)

Edited by larryb123456
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I checked out the links and they weren't very helpful (for me, at least).

It's the source material (on a proverbial silver platter), it should help a lot ;) It's only a few simple layers (bottom to top):

1) layer with the cropped / scaled background pic, with a stroke layer fx (I wouldn't necessarily discard the cropped pixels though, just in case you wanna nudge it a bit later)

2) the roman head logo thing, perhaps with a linear gradient on its layer mask to fade its bottom part (although the white overlays from layers 3 to 5 may suffice)

3) the horizontal stroke (simple shape layer or even pixels, seemingly with a bit of a white outer glow)

4&5) layers for the signature and text, with a white outer glow on them as well

I'd need it on a transparent layer in a .psd file.

That wouldn't do you any good as you're using a REALLY, REALLY, REALLY old version of Photoshop (I could post one though). A "modern" PSD won't open right (or perhaps not at all) in your Photoshop from 1998 (14 years ago). Especially if one works in modern ways, using modern features (e.g. smart objects). Edit: Same story for the source material I guess. All that stuff works out of the box with modern software... There's really nothing wrong with it. Although the svg file is a vector format. Using modern tools, you'd open it in Illustrator, select it then copy (ctrl-c), and then paste as a smart object in Photoshop (this way it stays a vector layer and not pixels)

The big question I have for Tripredacus, is how he *quickly* got the outline of the Greek/Roman face (?)

There are ways but it's entirely unnecessary (a pointless waste of time, even if it would only take a few seconds to do), thanks to layer blending modes. Just pick a layer style from the group that "darkens" i.e. darken, multiply, color burn, linear burn or darker color (use the one which looks best to you, you can also tweak the opacity/fill, or even use a layer mask for this purpose by painting on it with gray tones), then the white background just disappears automagically (it just takes 2 mouse clicks, or cycle through them with shift+alt and + or -)

Oh, personally, the only real change I'd likely make is increase the tracking on GESELLCHAFT to align (it normally works really well on uppercase serif type like that -- it looks very classy, quite a classic), but I understand Tripredacus used a source image, not actual type on a layer, which makes it a pain (unless you happen to have the Bodoni Std typeface handy, from Adobe or similar)

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Thanks for your complete and detailed response, CoffeeFiend:

It is so *very clear* that your expertise far exceeds mine !

Sincerely,

Larry

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your expertise far exceeds mine !

Meh. It's not a contest or anything. I know enough to make money from it (and pass the ACE exam). I can make the program give me the results clients want in no time flat (I use the keyboard shortcuts a LOT), but that unfortunately doesn't make me a better designer (then again, the whole design by committee thing...) or anything of the sort.

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I was so *very, very tired* last night when I made all those LONG, RAMBLING, DISORGANIZED Posts. These Posts were a very accurate reflection of my *jumbled* brain at the time.

Tripredacus

Thanks for all the links.

Like CoffeeFiend said, you served up all the "ingredients" of your image on a silver platter!

Quite a "chef" you are!

Please ignore my requests for *you* to modify your image (i.e., to make the face outline darker).

Last night, I was Tired and Lazy, and I didn't want to do the image over from scratch.

However, this morning, I'm refreshed and kind of *curious* to see what I can come up with on my own.

I certainly(?) have the PS 5.0 skills to make this relatively "simple" image (i.e., not many layers or "manipulations").

It might look somewhat different than your image, but "Spice is the Variety" of life, or something like that (?).

bphlpt

You were so very correct, Sir!

I will never, never, never, never..."infinity" doubt your word again!

CoffeeFiend

Again, Many Thanks for your input last night!

A lot of the PS features and "manipulations" you described are *not* available in my PET DINOSAUR Version 5.0.

Like I said, I'm going to try and remake Tripredacus' image from scratch using *Dino*.

If you don't mind, kind of keep an eye out for my commentary on this thread, just in case I run into *insurmountable* problems.

However, I don't think I will -- but what do I know(?)

As the Billy Preston song says, "Nothing from Nothing Leaves Nothing".

Again, Many, Many Thanks All.

Edited by larryb123456
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bphlpt

You were so very correct, Sir!

I will never, never, never, never..."infinity" doubt your word again!

Nah, I just have the tendency to look at how others did it first, then figure how I can do it better. You tend to try to figure out how to do it first, then see how someone else did it afterwards for comparison. Neither approach is wrong, just a difference in approach.

Cheers and Regards

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