I made an animated GIF userbar for Tripredacus based on his avatar image and his "label" underneath that image:
Specs: 114 (unique) frames, 0.10 second display time per frame, 255 colors, 350x19px, 327 KB.
For those of you who might be interested, I'll describe the details of the construction of this userbar.
(Each of the 114 frames was made in Photoshop 5.0.)
shows the PS layers used, from top to bottom.
I'll discuss each layer, starting from the bottom and working my way to the top.
The linear-gradient bottom layers
were made first.
These layers comprise all 114 linear gradients -- (each 350x19px) -- used to give the background, back-and-forth, "sweeping spotlight" effect.
Please note that this effect was not a "canned" effect from an animator, but that I made each frame myself, as I'll describe in this section.
Each gradient was made using only two colors: a medium gray (R,G,B=128,128,128) and white.
I chose this gray to give a "metallic feel", which would be compatible with the figure in Tripredacus's avatar.
As shown in the link above (i.e., http://postimage.org/image/6e1kxr3y3/
), the gradients just cover the area in-between the heads of the figures.
I moved across this area in 2% increments from left to right and back again.
To simplify the discussion, I'll give a "notation" to characterize the linear gradients.
Let G(X) stand for the above-mentioned gray at X%. Let W(Y) stand for white at Y%. In the PS Linear Gradient Editor, when white was at P%, I made a gradient conforming to [G(P-10%),W(P),G(P+10%)].
The gradient shown in the above link (i.e., http://postimage.org/image/6e1kxr3y3/
) was half-way between the two figures in the userbar, and it was made in the Linear Gradient Editor by [G(40),W(50),G(60)].
The gradient in the first frame was [W(0),G(6)], the second frame was [W(0),G(8)], the third frame was [W(0),G(10)], the fourth frame was [G(0),W(2),G(12)], etc., moving in 2% increments until the right side of the gradient was reached, and then reversing the direction, moving in 2% increments until the starting point, frame 1, was reached again.
The gradient traversing took 114 frames, and then, of course, it "looped" indefinitely.
I wanted the background "spotlight effect" to move smoothly and not be "step-by-step clunky", and a display time of 0.10 second per frame worked out well for that.
The "template layer" above the gradient layer
in the above link (i.e., http://postimage.org/image/6e1kxr3y3/
) was made by linking and merging:
1) the 350x19px black -- (black 1px, inside) -- border with the two black end rectangles attached (these rectangles provided a background for the avatar figures to move on);
2) all the text;
3) the ellipse, white with opacity=40%;
4) the 2px-spacing black scanlines, with opacity=20%;
5) the background without the linear gradients.
I next constructed all 114 frames upon which the avatar images would "ride" by linking and merging the template layer with each gradient layer below it, in succession.
Tripredacus's avatar images
, shown in the above link (i.e., http://postimage.org/image/6e1kxr3y3/
), were made by downloading his 100x100px avatar from MSFN, reducing it proportionately to 75x75px, sharpening it in PS, and adding the two parallel right-angle "extensions" (so that the figures would not look "cut off" as they scrolled up and down on the black background, as you can see as you watch the animation).
I chose the 75px-tall size, since I've found, based on past experience, that this is an ideal size for vertically-scrolling images in a 19px tall userbar.
The image on the right is from Tripredacus's avatar, and the image on the left was made by simply rotating it horizontally in PS.
shows the left-side figure in three positions. The image on the left is frame 1, the image moves 57px up to stop at the middle position before coming 57px down to return to the starting point, shown on the right side.
shows the right-side figure in three positions. The image on the left is frame 1, the image moves 57px down to stop at the middle position before coming 57px up to return to the starting point, shown on the right side.
The images moved one pixel per frame in the vertical scrolling.
I knew, based on past experience, that the combination of 1px-per-frame movement and a display time of 0.10 second would give very smooth motion.
As the figures move *over* the template, they cover up the template's black 1px border.
The black-border layer at the top of the image
(discussed above at http://postimage.org/image/6e1kxr3y3/
restores everything as it should be, when the top three layers are linked and merged.
Making the red "pulsations" on the text
is the final step in the construction of the animation.
I used red because the color works nicely here, and it is in the color scheme of Tripredacus's MSFN signature.
I knew, based on past experience, that a display time of 0.10 second per frame would be too quick for comfortable viewing of letter-to-adjacent-letter pulsations.
To get around this limitation, I simply colored in the red outline for a letter, say "T" in Tripredacus, on two successive frames, say frameX and frame(X+1), and I did this for all red letters.
Therefore, even though the *actual* display time per frame is 0.10 second, the *effective* display time for each red letter is 0.20 second, which gives comfortable viewing.
The complete text has 27 characters, and since we are "doubling up" the text frames with the red outlines, the text is actually displayed for 54 frames. I wanted it displayed for 57 frames to match the vertical scrolling of the figures and the back-and-forth of the background-gradient "spotlight", so I simply did not color in the red outline for 3 frames in-between "Tripredacus" and "K-Mart-ian Legend".
If you look closely at the animation, these 3 non-colored frames, provide a little "pause" in the red pulsations between "Tripredacus" and "K-Mart-ian Legend".
I started the red pulsation on the "T" in "Tripredacus" when the left-side figure's mouth was displayed in the 19px tall graphic.
The pulsations continue from left to right, and the red pulsation on the "d" in "Legend" is shown when the right-side figure's mouth is displayed.
I feel that the last 2 sentences combine to produce a nice effect.
I hope that you all enjoyed seeing this animated GIF, and I also hope that some of you benefited from the detailed steps in the GIF's construction.
Can you please enlighten me on what your member name, Tripredacus, means *to you*?
What does "K-Mart-ian Legend" mean *to you*?
Is Tripredacus a Transformer?
Is the figure in your avatar actually "Tripredacus"?
Is the figure in your avatar a Transformer?
I'd like to present this animated GIF as an example of my work on another graphics forum I'm on, if it's O.K. with you, of course.
This post has been edited by larryb123456: 28 March 2012 - 05:16 AM