So you've cruised the forums and developed avatar envy...
You want to flatter yourself as they have. Here's what to do:
1. Find an image.
A lot of people (like me
) use Google's image search:
Let's suppose you finally find it, the one that's you
. It's relatively sharp, the colors look decent...
2. Get software to reduce its size.
Photoshop is the gold standard, but you can download the free and fast Irfanviewer at www.irfanview.com
3. Lose any unnecessary part of the image (crop it).
Your software will tell you this image is 600 pixels wide by 450 high. An avatar is 70 x 70. You can't preserve all the pretty clumps of grass, people in the background, clouds, etc. Lose them. Doesn't this one look better?
I like to continue cropping
until it's square, like this: (229x229):
Note that we've cropped out a lot of sky and other extraneous stuff.
4. Get it down to 70 pixels (resize it):
Use the resize function of your software to get it to 70x70:
5. Sharpen it
, if you please. Photoshop has an unsharp mask
function for use after rescaling an image. On this particular image, it only made a subtle difference, but sometimes it can be dramatic.
As you can see, 70 pixels are very few... The more you crop away before you resize, the more detail you have left for the main thing, so to speak:
(Maybe I should set the max avatar size at 100?):
6. Upload it:
Once you've saved your new avatar on your disk, scroll to the bottom of the forums page:
Click on the Control panel link. Here's what you'll see:
Click on the Edit Options link. Scroll down on the page you come to. At the bottom, you'll find a subtle reference to uploading or changing your avatar:
Click on the button to make it happen. You'll get a bunch of default avatars, which you can choose, but be warned that someone else may already be using the one you choose. More likely, scroll down to the part that says:
This is the step that causes 90% of the problems: you miss the fact that you have to check that dialog box that says yes
(use custom avatar), so you get a default alien head instead. Sorry about that. It's fish's fault.
Anyway, hit the browse button, browse to the location of the stylin' new avatar you made, and...voila!
"But I don't have a good idea for an avatar..."
Post a message in Jo Momma about it and you'll get more creative ideas than you want...
"Download software to resize images? You talkin' to me? Motorcycles, yes. Computers, no."
No worries. Just post whatever pic you wanna resize in Jo Momma and somebody will resize it for you.