larryb123456

custom avatars and signatures

746 posts in this topic

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.

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)

Thanks for answering. I was lucky to find your answer in the Post *before* the Post in which I made my request. I'm sure you're being modest in assessing your abilities. Your response got me wondering: are there any "dangers" in what I'm offering to do -- i.e., showing off my skills (or lack of skills) for everyone to see. Is there something I'm missing here ? If anyone calls me a lousy artist, I'll just say "I know you are, but what am I ?", just like my all-time favorite hero, Pee-Wee Herman. (lol)

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I'm sure you're being modest in assessing your abilities.

Nah, definitely not! I'm more of a photographer who likes to tinker with painting. I truly suck at drawing and such things. I can turn out pretty decent photos anytime (I'd totally do it for a living if 99% of the work didn't suck) but being good at painting will probably never happen.

But no. There is no real "danger" to worry about. I just like anonymity so I keep my work (personal or otherwise, of any nature) off of the internet. I stay away from things like facebook as well.

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I know that PS 5.0 is an outdated version, but when coupled with a little creativity and ingenuity, it can, IMO, produce *good and interesting* results.

Of course! Some people can create wonders with MS Paint

and no, I don't want to start the usual Gimp vs. Photoshop flamewar

Me either. Everything I make is in Fireworks :P

As my time permits, I'd very much like to work with any MSFN member to create a *custom* avatar and/or signature.

What kind of avatars or signatures have you done before? Do you have some examples?

Anyone remember this one?

damacy_msfn.jpg

:D

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I know you can't get something like this done in an evening but with hard work and the right tools it's amazing what can be created - have a look.

:)

sticky.png

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I know you can't get something like this done in an evening but with hard work and the right tools it's amazing what can be created - have a look.

:)

sticky.png

I'm glad you put this in as an example.

This is easy to do -- basically, you just need a pencil and eraser. Easy and FUN. You can also do neat "effects" to your basic image as shown -- like adding an outline, dropshadow, etc., etc. But, you don't want to do "too much* to your basic image, or you'll spoil its simplicity.

In developing your member name, the first thing I did was do a screenshot save of it and measure the relative heights of the letters. I decided then to also remove all the background around the letters.This *rendition* of your name is *exactly* as it is shown on MSFN -- in a solid color with a jig-jaggy (i.e., "stairstep") look to the diagonals. Personally, I think the look is cool. I will include this image along with all the other ones I'm developing. I think I'll put it in white letters on your avatar dark-blue background, again at 380x100px PNG.

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What kind of avatars or signatures have you done before? Do you have some examples?

Hello, Tripredacus, nice to meet you.

Well, of course, there's my avatar (very simple) and signature (more complex). I also have a Photo on the "My Profile" page.

My recent project with a MSFN member was with jds (Joe) -- again a relatively simple avatar project. He was using a "stock image" of Blaise Pascal as an avatar -- done entirely in shades of black, white, and gray -- on a white background -- and the image faced away from the Post area. I removed the background, put a blue-gray gradient fade around Blaise, and flipped him so that he'd look *toward* the Post area. We then brightened the image to go with this relatively light fade background. This was a big improvement over the original avatar. Even though this was a "simple" project, it required a long time -- in the back and forth -- until I had something that suited *Joe's tastes alone*. It was definitely a collaborative effort.

I have a *whole bunch* of signatures that I made for the larryb123456 member name. I have a lot of signatures in the identical *format* shown in my present signature. But in this collection of signatures the letter color doesn't change "across the board" -- it stays constant, but the letters do have an inner bevel to give them some "dimension". For example, in one signature the letter color might be red, in another blue, etc. I experimented -- in a systematic way -- with all the *combinations* of colors for letter, outer glow, and bevel. I also have an entirely different *set* of signatures for larryb123456. I'd be happy to show examples from both sets -- say 5 or so from each. I just need a little time to organize it and have the images hosted.

Also, I can show examples of what I was most recently experimenting with -- involving quotations by famous people as a MSFN *image* signature. I'll try to present these images in a way so that if anyone likes them, they can download and use them either here or on any other site.

I should have the "project" with gUiTaR_mIkE finished in a couple of days, and there will be *many* images for you to look at there. Of course, Tripredacus, I'd much appreciate your feedback (if you want to give it, of course) -- and the feedback of others, too -- for my main objective here is to continue to improve.

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Even though this was a "simple" project, it required a long time -- in the back and forth -- until I had something that suited *Joe's tastes alone*. It was definitely a collaborative effort.

That's the very nature of doing this stuff for a living (then again, so is software development). Vague requirements, many constraints (often including some stuff that's just not possible), many late changes, lots of compromises, too much time wasted in meetings, but mainly design by committee -- all while staying within the number of billable hours quoted. Whatever the client wants. Often the end result isn't quite what I wish it was or what I would have chosen but it's their money so you deliver what they ask for.

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In developing your member name, the first thing I did was do a screenshot save of it and measure the relative heights of the letters. I decided then to also remove all the background around the letters.This *rendition* of your name is *exactly* as it is shown on MSFN -- in a solid color with a jig-jaggy (i.e., "stairstep") look to the diagonals. Personally, I think the look is cool. I will include this image along with all the other ones I'm developing.

I wanted to respond to this now, rather than discussing it in the Post concerning your images. The enlargement of your member name to the 380x100px range was just too great for Photoshop to do effectively. The name was incredibly blurry. Even "Nearest Neighbor" -- which usually does a better job than "Bicubic" for this type of image -- didn't give very good results. The approach to do the "enlargement" would have to be *manual* and very *labor intensive*. Here's how it would work. Suppose we wanted to enlarge the name by a factor of 10. We would pick out a pixel in your small-sized name and then -- in a new Photoshop file -- "color in" a 10x10 pixel area. We'd then repeat this process for *each pixel* in your small-sized name, making sure that we would reproduce in the enlargement the *arrangement* of pixels in your small-sized name.

In conclusion, IMO, the result would not justify the effort *at this time*.

However, if I did have some time in the future, I might do it -- because the "look" of the letters is *somewhat cool*.

Really, I wouldn't color-in a new 10x10px area each time, I'd just make a "New File" 10x10px, and "paint-bucket-fill" it with the color. Then, I'd just drag these colored squares into the 10x enlargement file, as needed. Pretty efficient. Of course, squares would only be for a proportional enlargement. If the enlargement were not proportional, rectangles would have to be used. All this could be calculated from the outset.

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All I know is I hope anyone reading this thread understands my post (#34) was a joke, a bad one apparently but a joke :unsure:

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The enlargement of your member name to the 380x100px range was just too great for Photoshop to do effectively.

Am I missing something, or you're just talking about the user name to the left of the post? If it's just that I'm not sure why you're going through all that hassle. It's just regular text rendered by the browser, as dictated by the cascading style sheet (css):

First, in the body selector there is:

font: normal 13px tahoma,arial,verdana,sans-serif;

then in the body h3 selector you have:

font-size: 1.1em;

font-weight: bold;

So as-is, you can just use the type tool with: Tahoma, Bold, 14px high at 100% zoom (just increase that if you want it bigger), and the color is #4E6A97. There's no need to resize screenshots of text. There might be some minute differences in kerning (typically Photoshop being better/more accurate) and such between Photoshop and the browser depending on what browser you use, the anti-aliasing method used in Photoshop and a couple other things that will change how it looks in a browser like ClearType settings (or possibly not having Tahoma installed, in which case it would default to Arial instead, or then Verdana after that)

All I know is I hope anyone reading this thread understands my post (#34) was a joke, a bad one apparently but a joke :unsure:

That's totally my new wallpaper! ;)

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That's the very nature of doing this stuff for a living (then again, so is software development). Vague requirements, many constraints (often including some stuff that's just not possible), many late changes, lots of compromises, too much time wasted in meetings, but mainly design by committee -- all while staying within the number of billable hours quoted. Whatever the client wants. Often the end result isn't quite what I wish it was or what I would have chosen but it's their money so you deliver what they ask for.

So, amazingly well-characterized and expressed, CoffeeFiend.

So, to me, the pressure's "somewhat" off, since I'm not doing this for a living. And, I bill my "clients" at the rate of $0.00 per hour.

I just "Give it Away, Give it Away, Give it Away, Now" as the Red Hot Chili Peppers advise in this great live performance at

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EhqmFKv3ow8

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The enlargement of your member name to the 380x100px range was just too great for Photoshop to do effectively.

Am I missing something, or you're just talking about the user name to the left of the post? If it's just that I'm not sure why you're going through all that hassle. It's just regular text rendered by the browser, as dictated by the cascading style sheet (css):

Thanks for your input, CoffeeFiend. I do appreciate it, for I'm here to learn.

Yes, the user name at the top left of the Post.

I'm "generally familiar" with all the things you discuss -- but certainly not in the detail you express.

Remember that I said earlier that I thought the font was the default -- Tahoma, which I have. If you take a screen shot of gUiTaR_mIkE's member name and enlarge it up to the maximum, you can see the *highly non anti-aliased* look it has. That was the look I wanted to *exactly preserve*. My PS 5.0 type tool does not give this letter look *at all* -- not even with anti-aliasing unchecked. If you want, you can check out Mike's name in a screenshot to see the look of the letters that I wanted to *exactly duplicate* (except for the kerning).

I should have been more clear in my Post -- by mentioning that my type tool does not *duplicate* the look. (Not even close.) Sorry.

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If you take a screen shot of gUiTaR_mIkE's member name and enlarge it up to the maximum, you can see the *highly non anti-aliased* look it has

It's very well anti-aliased here (yes, screenshot of it in Chrome/Firefox/IE9 then zoomed in photoshop up to 500% -- it's even smoother with cleartype in the browser). That's just something to do with your particular browser and OS and definitely not how it's supposed to look. The type tool with default settings actually emulates the in-browser look really, really well in Photoshop (save for very minor changes in tracking/kerning).

There is nothing in CSS to force fonts to appear aliased, and modern browsers & OS'es always show them anti-aliased.

Edit: attached screenshots of each in bmp format

screenshots.bmp

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All I know is I hope anyone reading this thread understands my post (#34) was a joke, a bad one apparently but a joke :unsure:

You sure know how to tell a joke, gUiTaR_mIkE -- not ! ( LOL ! )

The first rule in art is (IMO): In Art, nothing created as art is a joke.

You have heard the saying that many people criticize Modern Art by saying, "My 4-year old son could have painted that". The work of Cy Twombly comes to mind. (Check him out in Google Images if you want.) But such paintings -- (i.e., not jokes) -- sell for $ millions.

You had me convinced that you had *ultra avant-garde* tastes in art with your picture -- until you fessed up that it was a joke. (lol)

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That's just something to do with your particular browser and OS and definitely not it's supposed to look.

Thanks for your hard work, CoffeeFiend. Glad to see that we're finally on the same page. I checked out your bitmaps, and your screensaves look really good -- not at all like mine. But, I still think the screensave lettering I got -- due to my antiquated browsers and OS -- is "interesting". Really, I'm a little more inclined *now* to do the "manual, labor-intensive" enlargement of gUiTaR_mIkE's name -- since it might look a "little strange" to you denizens of the Modern Age. It really shouldn't take that long. I'll wait until after I post his images.

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