larryb123456

custom avatars and signatures

746 posts in this topic

Just a heads up, my avatar is a stock forum selection, nothing I did.

Don't sell yourself short, gUiTaR_mIkE, you had the good taste to select a "winner". You would not believe the number of people who can not tell the difference between a gem and a piece of garbage.

I was thinking initially about actually using a guitar and amp and implementing my name (maybe in the fretboard) but I like the idea of simply using gUiTaR_mIkE (no additionalt graphics), blue is my favorite color, the font doesn't matter (experiment).

I'm glad I have the leeway of using any font -- but I think we should keep it sans-serif. By far, blue is my favorite color, too. Did you want your "handle" italicized, as you show in gUiTaR_mIkE ? I think the best approach would be to completely finish the graphic using "regular", non-italicized letters. We can then go back and italicize the result to any "slant" we want.

Of course, we can later explore using your "handle" -- with cool text effects -- in conjunction with a guitar and amp, etc.

If you could make the image large enough it can be used on forums that allow sizes greater than here at MSFN, maybe a square avy (for the avatar) and a rectangular image better suited for a sig. :)

IMO, this is very important:

Let me know the biggest signature-size restriction of the other forums that you are on, and I can make the signature this size from the beginning. It's much, much better to *reduce* in size -- to the MSFN restriction -- than enlarge. If the image is too blurry when reduced to MSFN size, I can easily redo it from scratch because I'll have all the "settings" saved and I can scale them down accordingly. Personally, I think the MSFN maxium size is too large, but, of course, my *objective* is to make something to suit your tastes. Your MSFN avatar is a square GIF, 80 x 80 pixels and I can enlarge it proportionately to any size you want.

In regards to the background color of the signature, I think I'll use a colored background -- like a blue fade or just an "abstract" blue background to complement the lettering that I've previously discussed. I'll make this background look good on MSFN -- and it will make your avatar/signature combo UNIVERSAL on the 'net.

Btw, sorry for my ignorance, shows how graphically challenged I am, I see by moniker you were referring to my user name - I feels reel stoopid :rolleyes:

"Moniker" is not a graphics term. It's just a high-fallutin' term -- which I should not have used -- for "name". I feels reel stoopid :rolleyes:

Please give me some feedback on your maximum size restrictions, and I can get to work.

I could *knock out* an image in about an hour or so, but I'm something of a perfectionist, and I like to systematically explore all the variables, so I'd like to spend a few days on this. I'll find some freebie guitar/amp pics, too. Once I have the lettering (with effects) on a PS layer, its easy to put any background behind it that you want.

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does anyone know the precise ( r,g,b ) values for the signature-area background ? (My browsers and PS version are old and I might not be able to get the *exact* ( r,g,b ) values from my screensave.

Well, you could get it from the style sheet (CSS) but it's far simpler with photoshop already open:

-move your photoshop window to the side a bit (or make it a bit smaller) so you can see the web browser AND Photoshop at once

-select the color picker (just press i)

-click with the color picker anywhere in whatever image you were working on but keep the mouse button pressed!

-while your finger is still holding the mouse button down, drag the cursor to the part of the browser window you wish to sample (yes, outside of Photoshop's screen) then release the button

Your foreground color should now be #fafbfc (then again different forum skins may change the colors)

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... sans-serif. I think the best approach would be to completely finish the graphic using "regular", non-italicized letters.

sans-serif (non-italicized) works for me. If by regular you mean all lower case, could you try with lower-upper-lower etc like I have it, if this looks bad then use all lower case. It isn't real evident here but at times my user name has a flow, like a gentle sign wave but this doesn't show as much when the lettering is bunched up (and the font used), there needs to be a bit of space then you see a bit more of a step up then down and so on between letters.

One thing might be nice is some bit of trim around the avy. I like the stock avy because it has a separator in the thin black line. I'm not sure what would work but a thin line that will act as a separator between the avy and the forum - not sure, no picture frame kind bulky stuff just a nice subtle outline of some kind - experiment, maybe nothing will wind up being best.

Size, for the avy 150x150, I just joined a site that allows this size, kinda nice if there's detail within the avy that a smaller size loses. I've used a sig once (maybe) so I'm guessing, (sig) 400x100, not sure. If an amp and guitar are implemented as I've envisioned for quite some time I will need some space, not a lot.

If you start off with only my user name, try centered both horizontally and vertically. Regardless, I'm looking forward to what you come up with, no pressure and no rush.

One other note, let's use a lossless format, isn't .png or .bmp lossless, this way I'll have a nice format to work with and I can 'save-as' when needed to another format.

Edited by gUiTaR_mIkE
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Thanks, again, CoffeeFiend, for your clear and detailed input.

I had seen this procedure on the 'net a while back -- (but the directions were not as clear as yours) -- and tried it without success.

I followed your *clearer directions*, and, again, had no luck. When I released the mouse button, the foreground color did not change one bit.

select the color picker (just press i)

Just to double-check, by "color picker" you do mean the "Eyedropper Tool" (as it's called in PS 5.0), don't you ?.

I'm sure this is correct, because whenever I had any other Tool selected and pressed "i", the Eyedropper Tool became "selected".

I guess PS 5.0 just doesn't have this feature.

BTW, when I sample a color from a screensave, I always have the Eyedropper Tool "Sample Size" set to "5 x 5 Average".

Perhaps you could get the ( r,g,b ) values and Post them for me. I'm sure that this would be more accurate than anything I could come up with via a screensave.

Many Thanks.

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If you're talking about the large area around (beyond) your sig, this is what I'm getting... using Firefox 6

RGB - 250, 251, 252

HTML - #FAFBFC

HEX - 0xFAFBFC

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I followed your *clearer directions*, and, again, had no luck. When I released the mouse button, the foreground color did not change one bit.

Oh well. Perhaps that didn't work back with version 5?

Just to double-check, by "color picker" you do mean the "Eyedropper Tool" (as it's called in PS 5.0), don't you ?

Yes. That is what I meant (poor choice of words on my part)

when I sample a color from a screensave, I always have the Eyedropper Tool "Sample Size" set to "5 x 5 Average".

Useful when the colors change like in a photo but in a screenie of a forum the background is completely uniform, so that really changes nothing.

Perhaps you could get the ( r,g,b ) values and Post them for me

I already had ;) #fafbfc, or (like gUiTaR_mIkE said): in decimal RGB format:

Red: 250

Green: 251

Blue: 252

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my user name has a flow, like a gentle sign wave

What an id***, not exactly the 'sine' I was referring to...

...removed image, not necessary.

Edited by gUiTaR_mIkE
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---------------------------------

Thanks, gUiTaR_mIkE and CoffeeFiend for getting the ( r, g, b ) values for me.

CoffeeFiend, with my screenshot saves, the background isn't uniform. If I recall correctly, it consists of 2 different colors in a "checkerboard" pattern -- as 1600% magnification shows. I think this is the fault of my old browsers, rather than PS 5.0. But this point is now moot, since I have the correct values.

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

sans-serif (non-italicized) works for me. If by regular you mean all lower case, could you try with lower-upper-lower etc like I have it, if this looks bad then use all lower case. It isn't real evident here but at times my user name has a flow, like a gentle sign wave but this doesn't show as much when the lettering is bunched up (and the font used), there needs to be a bit of space then you see a bit more of a step up then down and so on between letters.

Glad you got me to *clarify*.

No, by "regular", I *definitely* do not mean "all lower case". Instead of saying "regular", I should have said *vertical* -- like all the letters in your member name. As I have always said, your *exact* member name -- with the "lower-upper-lower" caps/lowercase arrangement as you have it -- should be preserved. This will *not* look bad. It will look GREAT ! Guaranteed !

We can experiment first with your "gentle sine wave" question to get the relative heights of the letters narrowed down. (Also, spacing between letters). What I'll do is make a few jpegs with the individual letters different sizes so that we can establish the basic sine wave "look" that you want [just in black on a white background (with no effects)]. One thing that looks "a little funky" is if each letter is rotated at a different small angle from the horizontal relative to the adjacent letter. You can also move the baselines of the different letters up and down a bit to get a little more erratic look (but not too erratic). I think with your moniker ( lol ! ), we don't want it too "regimented". We want it a "little wild" -- no ? Again, I'd just make these jpegs with black letters on a white background. Once we establish the "LOOK" that suits you, we can then start to add strokes, layer effects, etc.

These pictures should allow you to specify the signature "look" you're after.

One thing might be nice is some bit of trim around the avy. I like the stock avy because it has a separator in the thin black line. I'm not sure what would work but a thin line that will act as a separator between the avy and the forum - not sure, no picture frame kind bulky stuff just a nice subtle outline of some kind - experiment, maybe nothing will wind up being best.

IMO, any "trim" around the avatar would *compete* with the interesting, *bold*, black border and completely destroy the avatar's "magic".

Size, for the avy 150x150, I just joined a site that allows this size, kinda nice if there's detail within the avy that a smaller size loses. I've used a sig once (maybe) so I'm guessing, (sig) 400x100, not sure. If an amp and guitar are implemented as I've envisioned for quite some time I will need some space, not a lot.

No problem in resizing the avatar. Since the maximum signature size on MSFN is 380x100px, I'll make it this size. My guess would be that you'd want to use a big size on MSFN, since your "gUiTaR_mIkE" moniker is rather bold in itself. I think the guitar and amp would look good with the lettering. That's what we'll shoot for. Like I said, I'll look for some freebie pics.

One other note, let's use a lossless format, isn't .png or .bmp lossless, this way I'll have a nice format to work with and I can 'save-as' when needed to another format.

http://www.wfu.edu/~matthews/misc/graphics/formats/formats.html

tells that:

PNG is a lossless storage format.

BMP is an uncompressed -- (i.e., lossless) -- proprietary format invented by Microsoft. There is really no reason to ever use this format.

JPG is optimized for photographs and similar continuous tone images that contain many, many colors. (JPG is a lossy format.)

It is clear that the images should be uploaded to the 'net in JPG (jpeg) format. I do all my work in the lossless .psd (Photoshop) format and convert to jpeg at the end.

This is important:

What do you mean "a format to work with" ?

What "work" do you envision doing to MY creations ?

As you can tell, this is a very touchy area for me. I have made beautiful creations for others in the past, and in their lack of expertise -- i.e., IGNORANCE -- they took it upon themselves to "manipulate" -- i.e. RUIN -- the images. These experiences have been very painful to me, and I have *no desire* to repeat them.

If you give me feedback on ANYTHING that you'd like for me to do to the images as we progress together in the development of your signature, I'd be more than happy to accommodate you. I have infinite patience in this regard. But if you plan to take my images and "work with them yourself" to produce "who knows what", I'd have to respectfully withdraw my offer.

I *always* would appreciate any suggestions from other forum members as the work progresses on how to improve the images, and I'd *happily* incorporate these suggestions into the work.

So, as I see it, the next step would be to establish the basic "structure" of your gUiTaR_mIkE signature with the black letters on a white background. This should take just a couple of days or so. Also, please define what you mean by "a format to work with".

I think a good way to show the developing images would be for me to "host" them and then provide image links for viewing. That way, I could get feedback from you -- as well as from other forum members.

Thanks

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But if you plan to take my images and "work with them yourself" to produce "who knows what", I'd have to respectfully withdraw my offer.

OK, we best nix the idea of my avy & sig, I wouldn't want to make you upset should I forget the stipulation on using your artwork. I do appreciate your time though and look forward to seeing what you produce for others, I'm sure it will look nice :)

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This Post is just to "set the record straight" a little about my Screensave capability with my Windows 98 OS. (I'm something of a perfectionist, and I didn't want this mis-statement of mine to stand uncorrected.)

CoffeeFiend, with my screenshot saves, the background isn't uniform. If I recall correctly, it consists of 2 different colors in a "checkerboard" pattern -- as 1600% magnification shows. I think this is the fault of my old browsers, rather than PS 5.0.

I took a screensave of the MSFN signature area using my Opera 9.64 browser (the highest version I can have with 98 OS) and analyzed it. There were not 2 different colors in a "checkerboard" pattern, as my *faulty* memory dictated.

The true "color field" in one 5 x 5 pixel area was described by the "matrix" shown here:

A,B,A,B,A

C,D,C,D,C

A,B,A,B,A

C,D,C,D,C

A,B,A,B,A

where the 4 letters represent 4 different colors, whose ( r,g,b ) values are:

A = ( 240, 248, 240 )

B = ( 240, 248, 255 )

C = ( 255, 248, 255 )

D = ( 240, 247, 240 )

When I set the color picker Sample Size to "5 x 5 Average" and clicked in the exact center of the 5x5 pixel area, I got the ( r, g, b ) values of the MSFN background to be ( 244, 248, 247 ) which is obviously incorrect, since the *correct* values are ( 250, 251, 252).

Please note that I also get non-uniform MSFN backgrounds from screensaves from my Firefox 2.0.0.20 and Netscape 9.0.0.6 browsers (the highest versions my 98 OS can have).

Well, CoffeeFiend, don't you and gUiTaR_mIkE wish that you lived in the "technological" Stone Age like me ?

For I think living in caves and killing wooly mammoths for lunch is *far superior* to modern-day life ! !

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But if you plan to take my images and "work with them yourself" to produce "who knows what", I'd have to respectfully withdraw my offer.

OK, we best nix the idea of my avy & sig, I wouldn't want to make you upset should I forget the stipulation on using your artwork.

Well, I guess I might have been a tad "cranky" -- (from lack of sleep, probably) -- when I made that rather *harsh* "pronouncement".

I would like to make something for you, though.

(I feel so much better if I have a *specific* PS project to work on. If I don't, I feel a little "depressed".)

Can we reach a COMPROMISE ?

On MSFN let us keep the image (if you like it, of course) *exactly*, *exactly*, *exactly*, ..."infinity" (as Pee-Wee Herman would say) as it is in our agreed-upon final version -- and don't change it, unless *we* agree to change it.

I don't care one iota what you do with the images on your other forums -- since I'll never see them -- and I'd be happy to save the images for you in the PNG format so that you could WORK with them. I really wouldn't care if you "manipulated" -- i.e., "ruined" -- the images until they "stunk to high heaven" -- so *bad* even that the police brought cadaver dogs to your house to find the source of the STINK. ( lol )

Certainly -- I would hope -- you would not forget the stipulation on using my artwork JUST ON MSFN. I mean -- it's just one site to "remember". Go *wild* on your other sites if you want. (I sure hope a cadaver dog doesn't bite you !)

Please discuss this with me regardless of whether or not you want me to come up with some signatures:

When you say "guitar and amp", I really don't get a feel for your musical *tastes* or preferences. I mean, guitars and amps are used in music from Christian Rock all the way through Heavy Metal Metallica, for example, and beyond. What are some of your favorite bands, and I can check them out on YouTube.

Thanks -- as I said, I hope we can reach the "compromise". If not, it's no biggie.

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Please discuss this with me regardless of whether or not you want me to come up with some signatures:

...not much to discuss, the usage policy regarding your work is reasonable and well within your right, the use restriction should have been put in the first post though, I wouldn't have bothered getting involved had I known. I don't need a sig and a stock avatar is fine for now, if I need more I can break out Inkscape and give it a go :blink:

What you might do is create a set of avatars and sigs with a technical slant that complement MSFN, maybe avatars highlighting the various OSes - 98 thru 7, then invite members to take a look, just mention the usage policy in a license agreement so there's no misunderstanding from the get-go. There are projects here that may be interested in a logo or icon - who knows - that's all I have.

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Thanks for taking time to respond, gUiTaR_mIkE.

the usage policy regarding your work is reasonable and well within your right, the use restriction should have been put in the first post though, I wouldn't have bothered getting involved had I known.

You are so correct.

When I made the first post on this thread, as I stated, my primary objective was to improve my Photoshop skills by working on *specific* projects. I just wanted to immerse myself in "art projects", for I truly enjoy them.

I offered to make *custom* avatars and signatures to suit the *tastes* of forum members. As I said, I would respond to feedback on the developing images and adjust them so that they would wind up being just what the forum member wanted. I never anticipated that once someone had the *perfect signature that totally suited his tastes*, that he would want to change it on his own.

In the spare time that I've had, I've worked on your gUiTaR_mIkE signature (with a *very nice* sine wave effect) to have it show up on MSFN similar to the "bookmark social" logo at http://www.bookmarksocial.com/ as I had originally discussed. This project is very easy to do. Just a little "tweaking" is called for.

I would *very much* like to give you this signature in the PNG format (with variations, etc.) for you to use -- restriction free -- on MSFN or anywhere else. I should have it for you in a couple of days.

What I'd like to do is HOST the images and provide links for you to download the images from the 'net. This approach would accomplish 2 things for me: # 1) other forum members could look at the images and give me feedback on how to improve them, etc.; and # 2) I would have a documented record of *my creation* -- i.e., "my version" -- in case you wanted to change the image on MSFN (as I said, I'd be happy to make any changes you wanted, but if you wanted to make your own changes, feel free to do so).

gUiTaR_mIkE, our exchanges have been very beneficial to me in that they *clarified* in my mind what is of *primary importance* to me -- doing art. As long as I can HOST my versions online, I don't need a "use restriction", as you called it.

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

Let me try to summarize and make clear to everyone what I want to achieve here. I will work with you -- in a collaborative manner -- to develop an avatar and/or signature that *totally* satisfies you. I will respond to your feedback and alter the images to try to get them closer to *your version* of perfection -- for however long it takes. The developing images will be HOSTED online, and I'll provide links so that they can be viewed on MSFN and downloaded from the 'net by you. THERE WILL BE NO "USE RESTRICTIONS" WHATSOEVER FOR ANY OF THESE HOSTED IMAGES. FEEL FREE TO DOWNLOAD THEM AND DO WHATEVER YOU WANT WITH THEM.

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

I'm also going to put this statement right at the beginning of Post # 1 in this thread.

Respectfully submitted, Larry

Edited by larryb123456
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Well, CoffeeFiend, don't you and gUiTaR_mIkE wish that you lived in the "technological" Stone Age like me ?

XP is already pretty close to the stone age IMO. Going back to Vista is tolerable (mainly it's missing the new must-have taskbar) but I truly don't care for XP anymore. Same story for Photoshop almost. While the CS5.5 suite brings essentially nothing to Photoshop, CS5 is still very nice and CS4 is alright. CS3 though is already a very big step behind, and I'd rather never have to use anything older.

Oh yeah. Here's a tease for the painter in you. A quick screenshot of the brush option palettes from Corel Painter 12 (there are more options beyond those):

6lQCfl.jpg

There's hundreds of existing brushes from all kinds of different media types and you can easily create new and very cool variants based on them.

Oh, and don't worry about double posts, we just delete 'em, no biggie.

Edit: no, sorry. I'm not sharing personal work over a forum. Call me paranoid... Not that I'm a great painter or anything (far from it)

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Oh yeah. Here's a tease for the painter in you. A quick screenshot of the brush option palettes from Corel Painter 12 (there are more options beyond those):

[URL=http://i.imgur.com/6lQCf.png][img=http://i.imgur.com/6lQCfl.jpg][/URL]

There's hundreds of existing brushes from all kinds of different media types and you can easily create new and very cool variants based on them.

It's hard to believe the number of options. With so many options, I could *totally ruin* an image in no time flat ( lol ). I know that one could use the brush options alone to create a totally abstract picture or in conjunction with the face of a georgeous model, for example. I recall seeing a tutorial where someone started with a woman's face and -- layer by layer -- added "speckles", subtle "lines of paint", other brush effects, etc., etc., and arrived at a truly great image. I think he used a couple of hundred layers. (I wish I had saved the link.)

CoffeeFiend, do you have some links to examples of your work done using brush effects alone or in conjunction with an image ? (Also any other examples.) I'd truly love to see them.

Thanks

Edited by larryb123456
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