larryb123456

custom avatars and signatures

746 posts in this topic

Image critque time. Note I did NOT say criticism, because I really do like almost everything you did.

So T and M-1 are the same? To my eye they are.

Of course they are not the *same*. ... They look the same on a white background because the transparent GIF was made correctly.

(Slap myself on my forehead) Duhhh. I knew that! I was just looking and comparing images visually and totally forgot to notice the file extension. (Sheesh, I feel really stoopid. LOL)

So maybe you could just make the edge of the back of his head a bit less "jagged"?

Done.

Thank you. I noticed that after all the successive images, his head was getting a little "flat" on top, like somebody bashed his head in (like I'm sure you've wanted to do to me at times), so in the image below, I rounded it just a touch and added the least little bit of hair back in to not look too smooth.. Does it look too much like a helmet now? I've told you, I can't draw. I'll go with what you think looks best.

The man's size and the shape of the sphere are good.

You are correct.

It really does look good. Fills the "frame", details are well defined, relative sizes of the two are good.

But could you do a version of bphlpt with just a touch more contrast, or maybe just a darker outline?

Yes. ... This is a very small reduction number-wise, but it has a tremendous effect *visually*.

It is surprising that very small adjustment is really noticeable, while still keeping the letters subtle. Thank you.

I'm all for modifying the beard in any way that helps it look less like it's sticking straight out like a tongue, as dencorso described it.

I went for dencorso's football look -- more or less.

I love what you did on the right side (his left), but on the viewer's left (his right) I'm not sure why you removed quite so much of the beard and especially the hair. To my eye, (color has nothing to do with this) it leaves too drastic an arch, or gap, that I don't quite understand. I think it looks better a bit more filled in. I'm in no way married to having exactly the hair and beard as I drew it, especially since I can't draw, but I think it needs *something* there.

Maybe adding a bit more subtle texture?

I made these shadows so that the depth of the beard would be increased somewhat.

Very good.

As to the brightness of the sphere, darkening it a touch might be good, we could try it.

In the images shown in this Post, I darkened the sphere by a PS brightness = -10. IMO, this helped the overall look.

I agree. Perfect.

I guess I suggested darkening the entire image a bit because there almost seemed to be a bit of "glare" coming off the man's forehead and part of his beard. But if you want, we can make the final overall brightness adjustment, if necessary, after everything else is finalized.

I toned down the "glare" coming off the Old Man's forehead some.

That's MUCH better.

You are giving the *totally incorrect approach*, IMO, ...

That's because I have no artistic ability or training and don't know the correct terminology to use when I'm trying to explain myself. Your toning down of the man's forehead and, I think, part of the beard, and adding more shadow/texture accomplished the goal I wanted, so we're all good.

I agree that the previous border around the cap was too harsh, but I NEED it to have one, however slight and subtle you can make it.

I based the outline around the mushroom cap on the letter color and adjusted the brightness to get what is shown in the images.

I like the effect of the lighter outline. Almost as if it's flourescing slightly in the night. Or dimly lit internally. After all, it is a magic mushroom. [NOTE: To me, probably because it's surrounded by so much blue, I see it as a very light blue. What color is it?]

After outlining the mushroom cap, I brightened the entire mushroom (cap and stem) by PS brightness = +5 to help it stand out a little more against the darker binary sphere. I then added a *highlight* to the mushroom cap to give it some curvature. By comparing this mushroom cap to the cap in earlier images, we can see just how *incredibly flat* the cap was in the earlier images.

A very noticeable improvement. Great ideas. Well implemented.

(re mushroom) Also, bringing it back down and to the right so that the edge of the cap sticks out distinctly compared to the edge of the sphere and beard helps as well. That will also help it appear lower and more forward, to me.

I tried moving the sphere down and to the right by just 1 px in both directions, as you suggested, and, IMO, that looked *terrible*.

I didn't ask for a little movement, I wanted a big one. To put it back closer to where it's been all it's "life".

By adding more sphere area (i.e., dark area) to the right of the mushroom cap, the viewer's eye is drawn more *in that direction* and not in the direction back to the Old Man's face, as it *should be*.

I'm confused. How is moving the mushroom down and to the right, therefore covering up the edge of the sphere, "adding more sphere area (i.e., dark area) to the right of the mushroom cap". I must be missing something.

Also, we lose that neat effect of the bottom of the mushroom cap "exactly paralleling" the edge of the sphere.

Again, not a color question, but as non-artist, I'm missing something. Why this is "neat"? It's "cute", but I'm more like, "If it happenes, that's great, but it's not enough of a feature to make me want to keep it there."

I think the mushroom is too close to the man, unless you were going for the viewpoint that he was going to take a bite of the magic mushroom? Hmmm.

One of the very few things I remember from elementary school art class, was that you tried to put things in groups of three or five. Well by moving the mushroom down and to the right, you have the edge of the sphere, mushroom cap, and beard all roughly lining up with the right edge of the 80x80 space, just as you have the back of the man's head, his shoulder, and the edge of "bphlpt" all roughly lining up with the left edge. While the bottom of the bphlpt and the bottom edge of the beard roughly line up with the bottom edge. To me, this seems more balanced.

As we've bantered back and forth over this last week or so, as I've asked for various things that you've disagreed with, I have, more often than not ended up agreeing with you, after I've seen the result. I guess I just don't have the experience or mind's eye to picture it without it actually being visually in front of me. Would you please make two versions, one with the mushroom where you think it should be, and one with it roughly where I've shown it below. I'll pick one and we can wrap this project up and you can move on to the next customer.

post-139042-0-53010200-1314338257_thumb.

Note: I made no effort to fill back in the space where the mushroom had been. Editing the jpeg in that way did not seem necessary for this example.

I'm looking forward to next time.

Cheers and Regards my friend

Edited by bphlpt
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I wrote this Post before I saw your last Post (# 106), so I am going to go ahead and Post it as is -- i.e., without any comments relating to your # 106. Can you please respond *just to the content in this Post* -- nothing else, for the time being? That way, it will be easier for me to keep everything straight. Once I get that response, I'll respond to your # 106. Thanks.

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I didn't mean to offend you by my use of the term "visual defects". That was just my way of "briefly" referring to your situation. I'm sorry.

BTW, what is the proper "politically correct" term ?

I also said that what I requested was necessary "for me", again to put the burden of responsibility of using an imperfect solution in my lap, so that you would not be judged poorly for this choice.

I really don't want to settle for an imperfect solution. I want to find a single "universal" solution that works for you, for me, and the rest of the world. By simply varying the parameters, we should be able to find such a solution. That is my goal in this project. I think that you'd agree that this is a worthwhile goal to pursue.

My response to your italicized comment above forms the basis of this Post. I am now just concentrating on the mushroom -- nothing else. I want to make the mushroom very readable to you in a way that satisfies both of us aesthetically.

For the 2 images shown in this Post, I used the lighter luminosity 130 border around the bphlpt letters, as I did in # Final-1 and # Final-3.

I went back and worked on the outline around the mushroom cap.

I made the outline *aliased* instead of anti-aliased, as you saw in the images in the last post. This will make the outline *more readable* (and the outline will not be as "fuzzy thick", so the cap will appear a tad smaller). In all future dealings with the cap, I plan to use the aliased outline.

After reworking the cap outline, I applied PS brightness = +8 to the entire mushroom (stem and cap) to arrive at images # Final-5 and # Final-6.

To me, the mushroom cap stands out well -- primarily because of its brightness -- and I can still see the outline, somewhat subtly. To me, this mushroom looks more "natural", and it doesn't seem too bright.

Please let me know your reaction to these latest images. Your feedback will give me the info needed to make adjustments in pursuit of the "universal mushroom solution".

IMPORTANT: Next, I'm going to try to brighten -- a little -- *just the area in the face* to the left of the Old Man's nose. This should give a really nice, subtle effect. I really can't brighten the whole face, hair, and beard because all the subtle shades of white would get "blown away". I think the brighter face will work well with the brighter mushroom. (The face in your signature is appropriate as is, IMO, for the environment it is in. I'm considering brightening the face in the avatar because it's now in a *different* environment.)

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FINAL VERSIONS OF "OLD MAN" TRANSPARENT GIF AVATAR (IN JPEG FORMAT)

Mushroom cap outline was changed to aliased and PS brightness = +8 was applied to entire mushroom.

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# Final-5: avatar on a white background, JPEG

http://postimage.org/image/2pbevl24k/

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# Final-6: avatar on a black background, JPEG

http://postimage.org/image/1qv8gr8as/

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"Ars gratia artis."

This Latin phrase translates into English as "Art is the reward of art."

MGM's slogan

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Edited by larryb123456
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I didn't mean to offend you by my use of the term "visual defects". That was just my way of "briefly" referring to your situation. I'm sorry.

BTW, what is the proper "politically correct" term?

I didn't think you meant to offend. I didn't think you were that kind of guy. You just sounded like an artist who is justly proud of his work. (And maybe just a tiny bit of the opinion that "Of course my is the right way!", but isn't that really just human nature?) And I think the PC thing to do is to just ignore it. It's no worse a "defect" than near/far sightedness, even though they haven't come up with glasses to correct it, yet. And I think of it kind of like being left-handed, which I'm not, it's just different. Or like people who are tone deaf and can't sing. That doesn't prevent them from enjoying the event or listening to those who can. So while color-blindness would make a career as a surgeon a problem, and as an electrical engineering student reading those darn resistor color bars was a b***h, color-blind people were sought out in World War II as bombardiers in the Air Force since they were not fooled as often by camouflage, but rather would pick up movement. So no need to discuss it further.

I really don't want to settle for an imperfect solution. I want to find a single "universal" solution that works for you, for me, and the rest of the world. By simply varying the parameters, we should be able to find such a solution. That is my goal in this project. I think that you'd agree that this is a worthwhile goal to pursue.

I agree.

I made the outline *aliased* instead of anti-aliased, as you saw in the images in the last post. This will make the outline *more readable* (and the outline will not be as "fuzzy thick", so the cap will appear a tad smaller). In all future dealings with the cap, I plan to use the aliased outline.

After reworking the cap outline, I applied PS brightness = +8 to the entire mushroom (stem and cap) to arrive at images # Final-5 and # Final-6.

To me, the mushroom cap stands out well -- primarily because of its brightness -- and I can still see the outline, somewhat subtly. To me, this mushroom looks more "natural", and it doesn't seem too bright.

The cap appearing smaller is fine, and I think the overall brightness increase is good. For me to see, and distinguish, a color depends on several factors, as I suppose it does for everyone, but it's more of a factor for those of us with "special eyes". (Forgive me if I don't use the correct terminology.) Those factors are the color, the colors surrounding the color, the brightness of the colors both absolute and relative, the brightness of the environment, the texture or reflectivity of the surface, and the amount of the color. In this case, the last factor comes into play. When the image is enlarged, I can see the oultine just fine and I can appreciate the fine subtle line, but at normal size, I lose it. That's part of my problem of just seeing the mushroom against the sphere. As we've made it smaller, though it definitely is a better scale to the other elements of the image, I have less to deal with. As I explain in post 106, I also kind of like the flourescing effect of the outline, though if it would be the same after the brightness increase, I don't know. As to looking "natural", we are talking about what looks to me like a blue mushroom with pink and orange spots, so ...

IMPORTANT: Next, I'm going to try to brighten -- a little -- *just the area in the face* to the left of the Old Man's nose. This should give a really nice, subtle effect. I really can't brighten the whole face, hair, and beard because all the subtle shades of white would get "blown away". I think the brighter face will work well with the brighter mushroom. (The face in your signature is appropriate as is, IMO, for the environment it is in. I'm considering brightening the face in the avatar because it's now in a *different* environment.)

This sounds reasonable.

That's all the comments re your post #107. Until next time.

Cheers and Regards my friend

EDIT: I believe all my comments in post #106 will still apply after implementing the comments in this post.

Edited by bphlpt
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We are getting close to the end of this project, and I need to know from you what "elements" are *finalized* -- except for moving them around to other positions (of course).

So far:

# 1) The bphlpt letters with the lighter (i.e., luminosity=130) outline -- correct?

# 2) The blue "binary-number sphere" (the darker version with PS brightness = -10) as shown in the last few images -- correct?

I'll first respond to your Post # 108 (which was a response to my Post # 107).

The cap appearing smaller is fine, and I think the overall brightness increase is good.

On looking at the images in my last Post with "fresh eyes", I decided that I didn't like the smaller-sized mushroom cap (it seemed too small compared to both the mushroom stem and the Old Man's face).

I brightened *only the area on the Old Man's face just to the left of his nose* -- as I said I would in my Post # 107 -- and this increase in brightness also called for a slightly larger mushroom cap. So, I went back and re-worked the cap border with a nice *aliased* edge. The brighter face on the Old Man called for another slight increase in brightness (PS +5) for the entire mushroom (cap and stem). Because the Old Man can now "see" -- because of his eyes coming out of the "darkness" -- it's almost like he's looking at the "somewhat glowing" mushroom cap. I really like these effects, and I hope you do, too. It's important to look at the image both on a white and a black background -- because the same area will appear a little differently on each background. (Notice how the mushroom cap glows like gangbusters in the image on a black background, # Final-8.)

For me to see, and distinguish, a color depends on several factors, ...Those factors are the color, the colors surrounding the color, the brightness of the colors both absolute and relative, the brightness of the environment, the texture or reflectivity of the surface, and the amount of the color.

Spoken like a *true artist*.

As to looking "natural", we are talking about what looks to me like a blue mushroom with pink and orange spots, so ...

TOUCHE !

I should have been more clear and said "looking natural to someone on an LSD acid trip".

I will now respond to your Post # 106.

I noticed that after all the successive images, his head was getting a little "flat" on top, like somebody bashed his head in. I rounded it just a touch and added the least little bit of hair back in to not look too smooth. I'll go with what you think looks best.

I downloaded your jpeg and enlarged it in PS. Because the image was on a white background, I absolutely couldn't tell *anything* about what you had done. But, no matter, since I am completely familiar with this problem. The flatness (or, in general, the "stair-stepped" look) occurs because we are trying to *approximate* a perfectly curved line (i.e. vector or even anti-aliased) by an aliased line. The most difficulty comes at the top (or sides) of a circle -- like at the top of the Old Man's head. Notice that at the very top (and sides, too) of the *perfect* aliased "binary-sphere" circle -- created by the PS program settings -- there is an 11 px long *absolutely flat* region. I was *very aware* of the flat spot on the top of the Old Man's head. I went back and improved it (IMO), as shown in the images shown in this post. Note that you don't have this problem in your signature, because everything is anti-aliased -- which smooths out the edges. We need an aliased edge -- in regions *only* around the border of the image -- to make a GIF successfully via PS GIF89a Export.

I love what you did on the right side (his left) of the Old Man's beard, but on the viewer's left (his right) I'm not sure why you removed quite so much of the beard and especially the hair.

I did this in trying to follow dencorso's instructions (in his Post # 102) to keep the beard shape "the general form of half the shadow of an american-football ball" -- i.e., rather pointy at the end, as shown in the picture link in his post.

So, I had to start trimming the beard where I did, and I made my own "ugly hair extension" to "contain" the dark brown shadow region just above the hair above bphlpt. Let me say I didn't like my result *at all*. But I knew that I had to follow dencorso's instructions, or he would *ban me* from MSFN. After all, he is a Super Moderator. ( LOL ! )

So, following your input, and my better sense of taste also, I went back and repaired the bad barbering job -- as shown in the images in this Post. I like the way an additional somewhat deeper shadow is introduced at the bottom of the left side (viewer's POV) of the beard.

May we now add the Old Man's image (head, hair, and beard) as # 3 in our list of *finalized* "elements" ?

I like the effect of the lighter outline. Almost as if it's flourescing slightly in the night. Or dimly lit internally. After all, it is a magic mushroom. [NOTE: To me, probably because it's surrounded by so much blue, I see it as a very light blue. What color is it?]

The color is in the "aqua family" -- a kind of bluish-green. [To be precise, *true aqua* has equal components of blue and green, with ( r, g, b ) = ( 0,255,255 ).] I think this color works great in the picture because the Old Man and the sphere have very strong blue components also. This explains why the original dark brown outline around the cap did not work at all.

I hope you find that your mushroom flouresces a bit more and glows even more magically in the images shown in this Post. After all, the Old Man seems under the mushroom's spell -- especially since I removed the "cataracts" from his eyes.

May we now add the mushroom as # 4 in our list of *finalized* "elements" ?

In addition, I moved the blue binary sphere over to the right 2 px, to accommodate changes made in the images given in this Post. The actual image -- all elements included -- now occupies an area 79 px wide by 75 px tall. (So, we have quite a bit of room to play with in the vertical direction.)

I'm confused. How is moving the mushroom down and to the right, therefore covering up the edge of the sphere, "adding more sphere area (i.e., dark area) to the right of the mushroom cap". I must be missing something.

I'm just as confused as you. Let's start over on this one to be clear:

Case # 1: move the sphere over to the right and down

Case # 2: move the mushroom over to the right and down

Case # ?: any other case you had in mind

Which case did you have in mind? I had interpreted the commentary as Case # 1 (if I remember correctly, but as I said, I'm confused -- lol ).

I think the mushroom is too close to the man, unless you were going for the viewpoint that he was going to take a bite of the magic mushroom? Hmmm.

I think, at that point, we still hadn't decided on whether or not we wanted an outline around the whole GIF. I didn't want any part of the mushroom to extend beyond the beard and binary sphere, because then an awkward-looking outline -- incorporating the Old Man, the sphere, *and* the mushroom cap would result. So, I kept the mushroom away from the beard/sphere border -- with the result that it was closer to the Man's face and mouth. That's all. I tried to find the best graphical solution for my "self-imposed" restrictions.

But, I agree with you that in the images shown in this Post -- with the larger (more in tune with the stem size) mushroom cap, the mushroom is a little too close to the man. (As I said, I didn't want to experiment with element positioning until we had the individual elements perfected.) When the mushroom is moved a little further away from the Man, I don't think it will look as big.

As soon as -- *but not before* -- we have all the *finalized* "elements" completed, we can experiment with moving things around.

Would you please make two versions, one with the mushroom where you think it should be, and one with it roughly where I've shown it below.

As soon as -- *but not before* -- we have all the *finalized* "elements" completed, we can experiment with moving things around.

Also, when we have all the individual *finalized* "elements" completed, I will refuse to make any more changes to them -- just so you will know in advance. So, let us be sure we have them in the *final form* -- hopefully in a form that we are *both* ultra-pleased with. (I certainly don't want this project to turn into *my real-life version* of the movie "Groundhog Day". LOL ! I'm sure you have seen this movie -- a *true classic*. If you haven't seen it, you *must* rent it, IMO.)

Of course, I'll defer to your wishes in the final placement of the image elements -- and I'll just suggest some very minor adjustments (if necessary). The reason I'm comfortable saying this is because if all the elements are -- in themselves -- great, there are many placement arrangements that will work well. The final element placement will *define* the avatar -- and I want this *definition* to be 99+% yours. The avatar will mean more to you that way.

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FINAL VERSIONS OF "OLD MAN" TRANSPARENT GIF AVATAR (IN JPEG FORMAT)

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# Final-7: avatar on a white background, JPEG

http://postimage.org/image/3ye0xwmc/

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# Final-8: avatar on a black background, JPEG

http://postimage.org/image/3yhc0llw/

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"It took me four years to paint like Raphael, but a lifetime to paint like a child."

Pablo Picasso

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Edited by larryb123456
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# 1) The bphlpt letters with the lighter (i.e., luminosity=130) outline -- correct?

No. You offerred me "improved" versions in Final-2 and Final-4 with a luminosity=120. As you stated, "This is a very small reduction number-wise, but it has a tremendous effect *visually*.", and I agreed. Isn't that a good thing? Or did "fresh eyes" make you rethink that? I like 120 better.

# 2) The blue "binary-number sphere" (the darker version with PS brightness = -10) as shown in the last few images -- correct?

Yes - Finalized, locked, loaded, good to go.

I brightened *only the area on the Old Man's face just to the left of his nose*

Love it, love it, love it! Finalized.

[Re: top and back of the man's head]

I downloaded your jpeg and enlarged it in PS. Because the image was on a white background, I absolutely couldn't tell *anything* about what you had done.

OK, I did a lousy job of improving the look in a way you could see, so let me try it this way. I blew up your image "zzzzz_N_1_no_outline_on_black_background.jpg" and have annotated it with what I liked and didn't regarding the shape of the edge.

1. I had thought this area was fine - like you say, it's the same as the top of the sphere - but whatever you think.

2. This looked dipped in to me and I thought it needed to be filled in a bit.

3. This is the part of the hair I thought needed a little bit added/smoothed or something. Note that I thought the little piece hanging down below it was fine - hair does that.

post-139042-0-79737500-1314443871_thumb.

[Re: beard]

So, following your input, and my better sense of taste also, I went back and repaired the bad barbering job -- as shown in the images in this Post. I like the way an additional somewhat deeper shadow is introduced at the bottom of the left side (viewer's POV) of the beard.

Thank you for filling in that gap. Feel free to do more, or not, as "fresh eyes" look at it. But let's add just a touch more beard to the left side (viewer's POV). Shape wise, something between what you now have in the latest image and #4 in my posted image above from your N-1, going for a look that's a little bit unkept, not quite as tailored, in the same way the hair is not tailored either. See also my image in post # 106. But I love the color and deeper shadow as you now have it on that side, so keep that.

On looking at the images in my last Post with "fresh eyes", I decided that I didn't like the smaller-sized mushroom cap (it seemed too small compared to both the mushroom stem and the Old Man's face).

So far, I've been quite satisfied with your sense of scale, so whatever you feel is appropriate.

[Re: mushroom cap outline]

The color is in the "aqua family" ... I think this color works great in the picture because the Old Man and the sphere have very strong blue components also. ... I hope you find that your mushroom flouresces a bit more and glows even more magically ...

And now the cap outline is gone? I don't see it. I like the changes you've made as to the mushroom's overall brightness, making it appear less flat, etc, but let's put the outline back - like there is a light behind the mushroom. If it is there, and the other changes you've made no longer make it show up (to me), is there anything you can think of to make it more visible to me while still looking good to "regular" people? LOL If it needs to be added back, I'll leave it to you to decide if it would be better to replace the current edge of the cap, or add the outline in addition to what is there, making the cap larger. Whatever you think is best.

I moved the blue binary sphere over to the right 2 px, to accommodate changes made in the images given in this Post. The actual image -- all elements included -- now occupies an area 79 px wide by 75 px tall.

I'm not sure I understand what changes made this necessary, not that it matters, but it's fine with me to spread the elements out all the way to the edge of the 80x80 space to give you as much room as necessary so that there isn't any sense of crowding. Take the entire 80x80. We no longer have to take any kind of overall outline into effect, so go for it. Raising the sphere will show more of it, increasing it's volume, which might help the scale compared to the mushroom.

I'm just as confused as you. Let's start over on this one to be clear:

Case # 1: move the sphere over to the right and down - Nope

Case # 2: move the mushroom over to the right and down - YES, YES, YES! Clear? LOL

Case # ?: any other case you had in mind - Nope

The only case I've ever asked for is Case # 2. Roughly as I pictured in post # 106. I've never considered, or mentioned, any other case.

I certainly don't want this project to turn into *my real-life version* of the movie "Groundhog Day". LOL ! I'm sure you have seen this movie -- a *true classic*.

This has felt like that a little hasn't it? It's hard to believe that it's been over 18 1/2 years since that movie came out. Bill Murray was great. Andie MacDowell actually lives in this part of the country, only about an hour or so drive from where I live. I think we're about to break out of the loop and move on, so until next time.

Cheers and Regards my friend

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[Re: top and back of the man's head]

I downloaded your jpeg and enlarged it in PS. Because the image was on a white background, I absolutely couldn't tell *anything* about what you had done.

OK, I did a lousy job of improving the look in a way you could see, so let me try it this way. I blew up your image "zzzzz_N_1_no_outline_on_black_background.jpg" and have annotated it with what I liked and didn't regarding the shape of the edge.

1. I had thought this area was fine - like you say, it's the same as the top of the sphere - but whatever you think.

2. This looked dipped in to me and I thought it needed to be filled in a bit.

3. This is the part of the hair I thought needed a little bit added/smoothed or something. Note that I thought the little piece hanging down below it was fine - hair does that.

post-139042-0-79737500-1314443871_thumb.

Please use the image number designations I've provided (for example, # T or # Final-8) and NOT the type of designation you have used. [For the life of me, I can't understand why you would use such a designation. There are so many images, we need to use my designations *only* to keep things straight (at least for me). Thanks.]

Also, I *don't understand* why you went back and gave your "analysis" on an image that is now *irrelevant* -- at least from my point of view.

I love the way you presented the image on a black background -- so the details could be seen -- and the way you circled (and numbered) areas that were problematic to you. Using this system, we can communicate *precisely*.

I tried to improve -- and did improve (IMO) -- the top of the Old Man's head to make it look rounder (where you said it looked flat, or bashed in) as shown in # Final-8 in my last Post.

So, in my mind, # Final-8 is where we *currently are* in the development -- and any future changes should be based on using that image as a *starting point* (IMO).

So, please go back and do your *precise analysis* of that image (# Final-8) -- as you did with the image in your last Post.

For example, you can put Xs on the pixels you want me to remove on the top of the head and maybe use red pixels for pixels you want me to add. Maybe it would be *best* for you to just use red pixels to arrive at the *final* top-of-the-head contour that *you want*, and I could transfer the changes, pixel by pixel, to my .psd file image. In any event, this red-pixel exercise would make it *clear* to you the difficulties associated with approximating the outline of a perfect circle by an aliased (i.e., "stair-steppy") edge. Please, also *precisely* detail (by circling and numbering) the changes *you* want me to make to the beard. Now that we can communicate precisely, there is no need (IMO) to use *vague* terminology.

I will await your (more *precisely* detailed the better) analysis of # Final-8.

Once I get this analysis -- but not before -- I'll proceed with changes to the image and I'll respond to your Post # 110.

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Please use the image number designations I've provided (for example, # T or # Final-8) and NOT the type of designation you have used. [For the life of me, I can't understand why you would use such a designation.

I didn't pick that designation. When I saved your image N-1, that was the name that was already assigned to the file, the name I assumed that you assigned to it. I did not come up with that name. Goto the address you provided, http://postimage.org/image/2g5ixqco4/, right click the image, choose save as, and you'll see what I mean.

I love the way you presented the image on a black background -- so the details could be seen -- and the way you circled (and numbered) areas that were problematic to you. Using this system, we can communicate *precisely*.

I don't know why I, or you, didn't think of it sooner.

So, please go back and do your *precise analysis* of that image (# Final-8) -- as you did with the image in your last Post.

For example, you can put Xs on the pixels you want me to remove on the top of the head and maybe use red pixels for pixels you want me to add. Maybe it would be *best* for you to just use red pixels to arrive at the *final* top-of-the-head contour that *you want*, and I could transfer the changes, pixel by pixel, to my .psd file image. In any event, this red-pixel exercise would make it *clear* to you the difficulties associated with approximating the outline of a perfect circle by an aliased (i.e., "stair-steppy") edge. Please, also *precisely* detail (by circling and numbering) the changes *you* want me to make to the beard.

Area #4 is the only part of the edge of the beard that I think needs modifying.

If you want me to be that precise and make the detailed changes to the man's head that you will will then simply copy over to the psd files pixel by pixel, then just give me the psd files you have and I'll make the changes to them directly myself once I get a software program that can manipulate them. It is VERY clear to me already the difficulty in approximating the outline of a perfect circle by an aliased edge. I actually made several attempts to refine the image to show you what I wanted, and failed miserably every time. I finally gave up and just decided to point out the problem areas I had been trying to show you, thinking that you could fix them as readily as you had been fine tuning the brightness and curvature of the sphere and mushroom. I assumed that, as with most skills, that someone who is familiar with the tools and the tasks, (you), is able to do a task better and faster than someone who is not, (me). If you need me to do this precise outline before you even respond to the other points in my post, then you are going to have a bit of a wait, as I, like you, have other things I'm trying to do. And when I do work on the image with my primative tools and skills it literally takes me HOURS to do. And since most likely you will will want me to make precise explanations regarding the other things in my post, I'd just as soon do them all at once. So, PLEASE, respond to all items that were mentioned in the post, giving me an example of what you think I meant, even if it's a quick rough draft, and *THEN* I will precisely explain any differences that still remain in our understanding of what I would like. IF I have a chance to attempt to do a better job of providing the outline for the man I would like, I will do so, but please do not wait for me. Earlier, I believe you mentioned wanting to know about all the elements so you could address them all at once. Do me the same courtesy. Respond fully to my last post. Have a nice weekend.

Cheers and Regards

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Here is as best as I can do. At least you should get the idea of the requested added areas. I'll await your complete response.

post-139042-0-84201600-1314478527_thumb.

Cheers and Regards

Edited by bphlpt
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Please use the image number designations I've provided (for example, # T or # Final-8) and NOT the type of designation you have used. [For the life of me, I can't understand why you would use such a designation.

I didn't pick that designation. When I saved your image N-1, that was the name that was already assigned to the file, the name I assumed that you assigned to it. I did not come up with that name. Goto the address you provided, http://postimage.org/image/2g5ixqco4/, right click the image, choose save as, and you'll see what I mean.

I gave the designation that *I wanted used* on MSFN -- so, please, use *my designation*, not *your interpretation* of my designation. This image should have been called "# N-1" and *nothing else*. My "designation scheme" greatly simplifies things (can't you see that ? ? ?). Your *totally irrelevant* (and confusing to MSFN members) designation -- relating back to the name of my computer file -- was *completely uncalled for*. End of story.

Me: # 1) The bphlpt letters with the lighter (i.e., luminosity=130) outline -- correct?

You: No. You offerred me "improved" versions in Final-2 and Final-4 with a luminosity=120. As you stated, "This is a very small reduction number-wise, but it has a tremendous effect *visually*.", and I agreed. Isn't that a good thing? Or did "fresh eyes" make you rethink that? I like 120 better.

I *never, never, never, never, etc.* said that the luminosity=120 outline was an "improved" version. It was only a *darker version* that I made to satisfy your request. When I said it had a tremendous effect *visually*, I meant it looked *much worse* (IMO) than the luminosity=130 outline. (I much prefer the "softer" look of luminosity=130, relative to the other pictorial elements.)

Regarding your comment: "Or did "fresh eyes" make you rethink that?" This comment offends me *greatly*. I don't like to be made fun of. "Fresh eyes" is just my way of saying that I am always re-examining my images to try to improve them -- just in case you weren't *able* to "deduce" that fact. To repeat, I am *greatly offended* by your comment !

So, bphlpt letters with luminosity=120 outline is the way it shall be -- and this will *never* be changed.

Me: I brightened *only the area on the Old Man's face just to the left of his nose*.

You: Love it, love it, love it! Finalized.

And so, this feature will be *permanently* incorporated into the Old Man's image.

And now the mushroom cap outline is gone? I don't see it. I like the changes you've made as to the mushroom's overall brightness, making it appear less flat, etc, but let's put the outline back - like there is a light behind the mushroom. If it is there, and the other changes you've made no longer make it show up (to me), is there anything you can think of to make it more visible to me while still looking good to "regular" people? LOL If it needs to be added back, I'll leave it to you to decide if it would be better to replace the current edge of the cap, or add the outline in addition to what is there, making the cap larger. Whatever you think is best.

Yes, you are "pretty much" correct -- the outline is not *totally* gone, but I minimized it *greatly*.

In the images shown in this Post, I went around the border of the mushroom cap increasing the luminosity of *each* blue-outline-border pixel (i.e., the pixels that were *already* there) by 5. Let me know how this looks to you, and I can *very easily* adjust it -- if need be -- in the next images.

To me (for what its worth), the outline is more visible than before -- but not *overly visible* -- and I'm satisfied with it.

it's fine with me to spread the elements out all the way to the edge of the 80x80 space to give you as much room as necessary so that there isn't any sense of crowding. Take the entire 80x80. We no longer have to take any kind of overall outline into effect, so go for it. Raising the sphere will show more of it, increasing it's volume, which might help the scale compared to the mushroom.

I agree that we should use all the available room in the 80x80 to make the best picture.

I, too, felt that the sphere would look a little better if it were larger -- especially when compared to the mushroom's size. The size of the sphere in the previous images was 57x57 px. I made another sphere -- a little larger -- at a *perfect* aliased 59x59 px (effectively, the size of the previous sphere plus a 1 px outline). That's the sphere shown in the images in this Post. The sphere's brightness wasn't changed.

May we now add *this version* of the blue binary-number sphere to our list of *finalized* "elements" ?

Area #4 is the only part of the edge of the beard that I think needs modifying.

Many thanks. Your new system is *great* at communicating your ideas. Of course, you don't have to do the illustration *perfectly* -- because I can clearly see what you want. In the images presented in this Post, I tried to modify the beard accordingly. In the images in this Post, the beard is pretty much straight down on the left side (viewer's POV) to where it "fills in" to meet the bottom of the existing "curvature". This is "pretty much" the way it is in your image. (I measured it with the PS ruler.) Please go back with your red marker to indicate any changes you want me to make, and I'll be happy to make them.

I finally gave up and just decided to point out the problem areas I had been trying to show you, thinking that you could fix them as readily as you had been fine tuning the brightness and curvature of the sphere and mushroom. I assumed that, as with most skills, that someone who is familiar with the tools and the tasks, (you), is able to do a task better and faster than someone who is not, (me).

No, you don't have to spend hours trying to perfect the image -- in pointing out changes you want. The red-marker system works great. Just try to get it as good as you can relatively *quickly*. I will understand *better* what you want, and I can then try to modify accordingly -- and you can red-marker my modification (if needed). All this effort is required (IMO) because you have *very specific ideas* as to what you want -- and this is the way it should be (IMO) for something as personally significant as your avatar. (After all, it does *represent* you when you are not on site.) The red-marker system provides the *precise* communication to achieve *your standard* of perfection. I have infinite patience in continually responding to your red-marker modifications.

I tried to make the Old Man's head more in tune with your red-marker input in the images shown in this Post. If you want any more modifications, just get out your red marker again.

The only case I've ever asked for is Case # 2 -- (move the mushroom over to the right and down). Roughly as I pictured in post # 106. I've never considered, or mentioned, any other case.

O.K.

So, PLEASE, respond to all items that were mentioned in the post, giving me an example of what you think I meant, even if it's a quick rough draft, and *THEN* I will precisely explain any differences that still remain in our understanding of what I would like.

The images I present in this Post are *not rough drafts*. The pictorial elements are as perfect as I can make them based on *all* your input *so far*. Of course, after viewing these images, *THEN* you should precisely explain any differences that still remain in our understanding of what you would like.

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FINAL VERSIONS OF "OLD MAN" TRANSPARENT GIF AVATAR (IN JPEG FORMAT)

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# Final-9: avatar on a white background, JPEG

http://postimage.org/image/8i4iygck/

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# Final-10: avatar on a black background, JPEG

http://postimage.org/image/dm0gl1es/

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"A really good picture (or avatar) looks as if it's happened at once. It's an immediate image."

Helen Frankenthaler

"(or avatar)" in the above quotation was added by me.

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

Edited by larryb123456
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Larry, I'm sorry, I had no intention of offending with "fresh eyes", just as you did not mean to offend with "visual defects". As a fellow perfectionist I greatly appreciate your constantly reviewing your work and striving to make it better. Forgiven and forgotten?

This is the first I've heard that you didn't like the 120 outline compared to the 130. When you said that it had "a tremendous effect *visually*", I thought you meant it as a good thing (trmendous is good, right?) and I agreed. I thank you very much for showing to me as I asked, but if you are not willing to implement it, then why did I think that it was as an option? Now if you had said "Here is a bad example for you to see and this is why it's bad and why I don't want to do it, I just wanted you to see so you'll understand why it's bad" then I could have understood your feelings better. Sorry for the missunderstanding.

Sphere - finalized.

Man's head and hair - finalized.

Man's beard - After looking at the finished product with shadowing, etc, I think I actually like the beard from Final-7/8 better. (The only difference is the left edge, right?) So you were right the first time. But I will gladly bow to your eye and experience. Finalize whichever version you think is the most appropriate. No red marker necessary, no need to ask my opinion, just do it.

Mushroom cap outline - You are the master of subtlty. I had to look REALLY close to tell you had changed it, but you had indeed. Just to satisfy my curiousity, and since you offered, could we try another +5 or +10? Remember, it needs a bit more change for me to see it compared to you. This will be the last request, then I'll make the final decision, and like the beard, I might very well end up agreeing with you that this is the best. i just need to see it.

Since it seems that this next time will be the charm, and the final decision point, can we please see the mushroom moved this time?

Cheers and Regards my friend

EDIT: Oh before I forget, could you please post or give me a link for the final psd file you used for the sig? I want to tuck it away for safe keeping. I continue to marvel at the effectiveness of your subtle changes. Thanks in advance.

Edited by bphlpt
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Larry, I'm sorry, I had no intention of offending with "fresh eyes", just as you did not mean to offend with "visual defects". As a fellow perfectionist I greatly appreciate your constantly reviewing your work and striving to make it better. Forgiven and forgotten?

Sure. Forgiven and forgotten.

This is the first I've heard that you didn't like the 120 outline compared to the 130. When you said that it had "a tremendous effect *visually*", I thought you meant it as a good thing (tremendous is good, right?) and I agreed. I thank you very much for showing to me as I asked, but if you are not willing to implement it, then why did I think that it was as an option? Now if you had said "Here is a bad example for you to see and this is why it's bad and why I don't want to do it, I just wanted you to see so you'll understand why it's bad" then I could have understood your feelings better. Sorry for the missunderstanding.

This example is an object lesson for me in communicating *clearly* -- which I certainly didn't do here. Yes, indeed, "tremendous" can be interpreted as "good". Instead of saying "tremendous", I should have said *very significant*. And, then, I should have said that (IMHO) luminosity=130 is better than luminosity=120, because its subtlety better matches the subtlety of the other pictorial elements. Also, I was under the false impression that you liked 130 better, too. Hard to believe how this scenario played out, isn't it? (lol)

But, really, luminosity=120 is OK, too -- as any good trial attorney could convince the jury, as follows:

The darker outline around the letters makes the name (letters plus outline) separate more from the Old Man's image, and it pushes the bphlpt letters more forward in space, since the letters seem a little brighter because they are on a darker background (i.e., background = outline in this case).

Sphere - finalized.

Man's head and hair - finalized.

Noted.

I, too, liked the slightly larger sphere.

As for the hair, I'm glad you went back in and added the little piece sticking out at the very back of his head. To me, little features like that "make" the image. And I like to be graphically "cocky" like that, too.

Man's beard - After looking at the finished product with shadowing, etc, I think I actually like the beard from Final-7/8 better. (The only difference is the left edge, right?) So you were right the first time. But I will gladly bow to your eye and experience. Finalize whichever version you think is the most appropriate. No red marker necessary, no need to ask my opinion, just do it.

I also like the beard from # Final-7 and 8 much better. [but, one needs to *try* other versions -- such as we did in # Final-9 and 10 -- to see (by direct comparison) which is the better.]

Yes, the *only difference* between the two versions is the left edge of the beard.

No need to "bow" on this one, since we are both in agreement.

Thus, in the images shown in this Post, the beard is as in # Final-7 and 8.

So, that finalizes the beard.

Mushroom cap outline - You are the master of subtlty. I had to look REALLY close to tell you had changed it, but you had indeed. Just to satisfy my curiousity, and since you offered, could we try another +5 or +10? Remember, it needs a bit more change for me to see it compared to you. This will be the last request, then I'll make the final decision, and like the beard, I might very well end up agreeing with you that this is the best. i just need to see it.

Since it seems that this next time will be the charm, and the final decision point, can we please see the mushroom moved this time?

I knew that you had in mind a pictorial-element composition as you sketched out in your Post # 106.

So, I layed it out as well as I could -- as shown in # Figure-11 and # Figure-12 -- and was kind of amazed at how well everything fell into place, even after moving the mushroom over and down such a large amount. After moving the mushroom over, I moved the sphere over to the right 1px and up 1px to "balance" that. The image now takes up the entire 80px in the horizontal direction. To me, all the pictorial elements are now in perfect balance, position-wise.

By far, these are my *favorite images*, out of all that we have seen.

I like the way the bottom of the mushroom stem is centered (more or less) in the Old Man's beard. I also like this composition better than the tighter composition that we have been seeing in all the previous images (where I was avoiding the edge of the sphere due to the awkward outline around the transparent GIF). We have now opened up a lot of space between the Man's face and the mushroom cap. To me, this open space kind of "symbolizes" his "pondering" the mushroom. It looks, to me, like he is staring at the large orange "elliptical shape" on the cap. Also, we have -- roughly speaking -- an equilateral triangle formed by bphlpt, the mushroom cap, and the top of the Old Man's head. (So, I guess your elementary school art teacher was right about "groups of three".) This equilateral triangle is also *echoed* by the equilateral-triangle "shape" of the magic mushroom. A *double whammy* there -- for sure. Also, just as I had speculated, moving the mushroom further away from the Man's face makes it "appear" somewhat smaller. A nice touch, IMO.

So, given this "winning composition", I addressed the matter of the outline around the mushroom cap. I lost track of *exactly* how much I brightened it, but it was a *lot*. The brighter outline shows up much better for the image on a black background, # Figure-12. The fact that a big part of the cap is now on the background itself (i.e., not *totally* on the sphere and beard, as before) helps in one's "reading" this element as a mushroom cap. If you want me to brighten -- any more -- the outline pixels just on the cap-sphere-border-intersection, just let me know.

I'm so glad that I had made the cap aliased, since that puts it in the form necessary for making a transparent GIF.

Once I get your final approval on a JPEG, I'll make the transparent GIF and Post it so you can *totally check it out* to make sure it has all the features you want -- (perfect transparency on different background colors, etc.).

Oh before I forget, could you please post or give me a link for the final psd file you used for the sig? I want to tuck it away for safe keeping.

Yes, I will *attach it* to a Post on MSFN along with the psd file I used for the avatar. "Piecing together" a psd file to give you for the avatar will take me a few days, because so many different files and layers were used. But, I don't think it will be too bad, and I'll try to include as much *detail* in this psd file as I can.

I continue to marvel at the effectiveness of your subtle changes.

Just call me "Captain Marvel". Or, has that name already been taken? I sure don't want to be sued for copyright infringement. (LOL !)

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

FINAL VERSIONS OF "OLD MAN" TRANSPARENT GIF AVATAR (IN JPEG FORMAT)

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

# Final-11: avatar on a white background, JPEG

http://postimage.org/image/r50zr8x0/

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# Final-12: avatar on a black background, JPEG

http://postimage.org/image/r55ydaec/

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"The final test of a painting an avatar, theirs, mine, any other, is: does the painter's avatar-creator's emotions come across?"

Franz Kline

The words with the strike-thru were in Kline's original quotation. I replaced them with the italicized words. Here, of course, I am referring to you, bphlpt, as the avatar creator.

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

Edited by larryb123456
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The darker outline around the letters makes the name (letters plus outline) separate more from the Old Man's image, and it pushes the bphlpt letters more forward in space, since the letters seem a little brighter because they are on a darker background (i.e., background = outline in this case).

The effect I was going for was for the sphere, man's head, mushroom, and bphlpt to be on different planes in that order from back to front. And since the man is at a slight angle, turned toward the front, it allows the beard to come forward tying all the foreground pieces of the image together.

After moving the mushroom over, I moved the sphere over to the right 1px and up 1px to "balance" that. The image now takes up the entire 80px in the horizontal direction. To me, all the pictorial elements are now in perfect balance, position-wise.

I thought it just made sense to use the full space, the full 80x80. By opening up the middle of the image, it also lets you see more of the sphere so you can better see the neat spherical effect you accomplished.

Also, we have -- roughly speaking -- an equilateral triangle formed by bphlpt, the mushroom cap, and the top of the Old Man's head. (So, I guess your elementary school art teacher was right about "groups of three".) This equilateral triangle is also *echoed* by the equilateral-triangle "shape" of the magic mushroom.

And another one formed by the top of the sphere, the mushroom cap and the man's head, so a triple whammy. And three points each along both right and left edge. I feel like the Count from Sesame Street. Three! Three! Three!

Thank you so much work for working with me. Please finalize it, convert it, and I'll start using it. I can't wait!

Cheers and Regards my friend

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Way to go, larry and bphlpt! The beard is perfect IMO. But there's a snaky element I cannot properly identify that remained, starting just below the old man's shoulder and framing the top of "bphlpt" which now gives the impression of being a part of the old man's arm, which it's not. Maybe the result would be even betther if that snaky element were removed. So, here I am, meddling again... in the hopes of helping improve the image even further. As always, please feel free to ignore my comments.

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Larry, I know that's part of the old man's hair, but with the limitations of dealing with a small "pixelated" image, rather that a truer png type, I know you're limited with what you can do, like trying to draw a true, perfect sphere. I had asked you to put that in because I hadn't liked the gap that was there without it. A possible way to address dencorso's comment would be to try sliding the bphlpt over, centering it at the base of the image, hiding that offending part of the hair. I had been concerned that it would crowd the other parts of the image, but since you've opened up the center of the image, it might look good. It had been the original place I had in mind for it, (remember my description saying it would be like the date on a quarter?) so I am curious. With the change of background for the letters, use whichever outline looks best, either 130 or 120. Hopefully, the hair behind the bphlpt that will be exposed with the move looks more like hair, and less "snaky". LOL I know this project has tested your patience. I'll just start calling you Job.

Cheers and Regards my friend

Edited by bphlpt
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But there's a snaky element I cannot properly identify that remained, starting just below the old man's shoulder and framing the top of "bphlpt" which now gives the impression of being a part of the old man's arm, which it's not. Maybe the result would be even betther if that snaky element were removed.

Hello, dencorso. Thanks for your input.

If you look very closely at the image, you can see that *everything* above bphlpt and up to the Old Man's right ear (or where it should be anyway) is HAIR and nothing else. That is, the hair is *continuous* all the way from the right side of the Man's head, down behind bphlpt, and to where it sticks out just to the right side of bphlpt (and meets the beard). I like this look -- especially the way that the bphlpt letters are in front of this hair -- and the fact that there is no hair *below* bphlpt (which makes the bphlpt stand out even more). I strongly feel that this hair should be left as is and the position of the bphlpt should be left as is.

I have never had the feeling that the Man's arm even *remotely* entered the picture. It was always all hair to me. Or, maybe I am misinterpreting your comments.

I'll respond to bphlpt in the usual way.

From Post # 117:

I thought it just made sense to use the full space, the full 80x80. By opening up the middle of the image, it also lets you see more of the sphere so you can better see the neat spherical effect you accomplished.

From my point of view, it seems that we want the BEST picture -- whether or not it fills up the whole 80x80. But, we should experiment with filling up the space more -- just to see if that helps the look.

As I mentioned in my last Post, in # Figure-11 and 12, we have used up all the 80px in the horizontal direction. I didn't mention the fact that the image measures 78px vertically.

I moved the sphere up 1px and *liked* that position. (It allowed some blue to show up below the two number 1s just to the right of the Old Man's nose.) In my next images, I'll show this position. I think it's a "winner", but your opinion is the one that matters.

I then moved the sphere up 2px, and that was terrible. It made the sphere look SUPER-DUPER HUMONGOUS compared to everything else. That's a big no-go (IMO) !

Please finalize it, convert it, and I'll start using it. I can't wait!

Are you sure? The more I look at your current avatar, the more I *love it*. (LOL !)

From Post # 119:

A possible way to address dencorso's comment would be to try sliding the bphlpt over, centering it at the base of the image, hiding that offending part of the hair.

IMO, the position of the bphlpt is *perfect* in the way it "possesses" the lower left of the picture. The name really stands out as a "separate component" *there*, and this arrangement works great compositionally.

But, of course, we can try what you want, but ........

honestly, I don't know what you mean by "the base of the image" and the "offending part of the hair".

Can you please get out your red marker and make 2 vertical marks on # Final-12 -- one corresponding to the left edge of the "slid" bphlpt and the other to the right edge. Measure the length of the bphlpt so you can get the position of the 2 vertical marks as *accurate* as possible. This shouldn't take long. Thanks. Once I get this info, I can Post my next images.

With the change of background for the letters, use whichever outline looks best, either 130 or 120.

I will post images with both outlines and let you decide.

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