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Making avatars

Discussion in 'Art/Writing General' started by rontifu, May 24, 2012.

  1. rontifu
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    rontifu Member VPL Member

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    Soooooooo.... I tried my hand at an animated avatar for the first time ever.

    I'd be curious to knows some tips and tricks people might have for avatar making. It's one thing that I wanted to do for a long time, and I guess now I learned the (VERY LOW) basics XD So of course, I want to improve myself. I'm using GIMP (BTW, anyone knows how to write in GIMP with different fonts? Couldn't find it o_O )

    Here's the one I did this morning. It's Ichumon related, yeah :p

    [​IMG]
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  2. Lion
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    Lion NICKI MINAJ! Approved Artist VPL Member

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    @rontifu ,
    I will be updating this for you.

    Make 4 layers and label them like soo.

    Inner Border : Right Click > Select > All >THEN Select > Shrink> 1 (Fill with a darker shade of the background) > THEN Select > Border > 1 (Fill with white, layer opacity :40%ish)
    Border : Right Click > Select > All >THEN Select > Border > 1 (Fill with a darker shade of the background)
    IMAGE : INSERT AVATAR IMAGE HERE
    Effect : I used Noise, for a nice effect (filter, noise, Hurl ) (Randomization = 100%) (Opacity 12%)
    Background : Fill with a gradient for example use these colours (#4d2287 / #7144ae)

    Then MERGE ALL layers.
    Last edited: May 24, 2012
  3. Gohawk
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    Gohawk busy VPL Supporter

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    If you have the text tool active there should be a button right to "Font:" in the lower half of the toolbox. Click that to select a new font.
  4. rontifu
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    rontifu Member VPL Member

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    *facepalm*

    Holy heck, now I feel REALLY stupid XD

    thanks for pointing this out :D
  5. Lion
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    Lion NICKI MINAJ! Approved Artist VPL Member

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  6. Martyn
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    Martyn Eccentric Musician Approved Artist Pet Game Owner Approved Writer VPL Member

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    @rontifu
    Here is some of my recommendations:

    Use the 04b03 font for avatars, 8px and instead of 'strong' replace it with 'none'.
    When making a border, it's always better to do it with the pencil tool. Use it at 1px though.
    If you place a white border inside the first one, then place it as overlay.
    Never merge layers, instead place them in groups individually.. as then if you mess up, it can be fixed easily.
    If your image has a white background, then use the magic wand tool and refine it.. so that it blurs the white dots on the item.

    That's how you end up with this - [​IMG] c:
    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 16, 2013
  7. Aesop
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    Aesop Member VPL Member

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    There are tons of pixel fonts that work well. You just have to find the right size for them to look nice. You shouldn't limit yourself to one font.
  8. rontifu
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    rontifu Member VPL Member

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    Well, I know NOW that little fact. XD

    I didn't actually USE a font for my first avatar. it's letters that I put there with the pencil tool, because of my stupidness in not finding the text tools XD


    Thanks @Lion and @Martyn for your ideas. Those will be useful for me :D
    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 16, 2013
  9. Corleone
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    Corleone Approved Artist Approved Artist VPL Member

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    Or you could draw them yourself using the pencil tool, like I do.
  10. Drea
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    Drea Approved Artist Approved Artist Approved Writer VPL Member

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    An easy way to make inner and outer borders is to make a base, then use the layer effects "stroke" and "inner glow." Set the stroke to 2px inside black (or a dark color.) You can set it to multiply if you have a texture that you want shown through, or change the opacity. For the inner glow, set the size to 1px and the choke to 100%. Again, mess with the blending modes if you want, I use overlay usually.

    The cool thing about this is that then you can erase to make funky looking borders and stuff without having to ever manually draw your outlines. If you make a mistake, you can just pencil in the base color again and the layer effects will redraw the outlines.

    The result:
    [​IMG]

    BooPets obviously needs spinning toothbrushes everywhere >_>:... but the borders, those are the important part.
  11. Aesop
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    Aesop Member VPL Member

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    @rontifu - Mine was more directed at Martyn. There are a lot of nice pixel fonts that you can use and some are quite stylized. If you can't find some that you like you can even use premade ones and edit them.

    You don't even need to put a border on the font. You just have to make sure that people are able to read it. Ignore the flashing green background that I didn't remove in the editing process haha.

    [​IMG]


    You can also use webdings/wingdings to make special pixel characters.

    [​IMG]



    [​IMG][​IMG]


    Also you don't have to stick to simple images with flashy text. Look at the item/pet/world you're using and build off of that. For this one the avatar featured a ghost so I though "Oh let's make it go transparent!" The other one was kind of spooky as well so I did the same thing.



    [​IMG] [​IMG]

    This one was just dots on a page and I made the animation look like the puzzle was being completed/coloured in. You can even tell short stories with the avatars like the second one (although the file size can get pretty big).

    Of course avatars can look great with no animations/simple text animations (even no text animations). It all depends on what the subject is. In yours Alice's eyes could have glowed, or you could have had a binary code background that moved, or you could stick with your text animation.

    Like @Drea said textures are good to use as well. You can use simple line/pixel textures (diagonal lines, circles, etc.) or premade textures. I sometimes like to use the Screen effect with a texture of various colours which can give you a similar effect to my current avatar.​
    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 16, 2013
  12. rontifu
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    rontifu Member VPL Member

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    Thanks for all your tips everyone.


    I've been fiddling with GIMP and learning it's basic features. Came up with 2 creations for Alice (again, yeah). Think I improved a bit :) Tell me what you think:)



    [​IMG]
    Tried a non-square border here.

    [​IMG]
    Fiddled here with the font effect, increased sharpness of image and made the eye twinkle a bit :)
  13. jakdacrowe
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    jakdacrowe Approved Artist Approved Artist VPL Member

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    They're looking pretty good so far! :O
    lawd I'm using ImageReady to do my avatar animations. I'll have to find some other alternative sooner or later.

    On the issue with fonts, there are times some of the fonts don't work in my fancy. Have you guys tried drawing the letters out yourself?

    And, if you don't mind drawing some effects out yourself, especially a shine animation, it can look pretty good if you know how to break it up. In these avatars, layer after layer with a brush, set to Overlay or Screen to make the "shine" effect.
    [​IMG][​IMG]
    Last edited: May 26, 2012
  14. Drea
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    Drea Approved Artist Approved Artist Approved Writer VPL Member

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    Sure. : ) I don't usually find that I need to, though. I've got so many different fonts that they generally do the job. If I hand-write it's usually for custom block script with lowercase "i's", "e's", etc.
    Last edited: May 26, 2012
  15. Lion
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    Lion NICKI MINAJ! Approved Artist VPL Member

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    I found out how to make ALL fonts work now. If you download the .ZIP file, then EXTRACT the fonts to a folder on your DESKTOP, when you have collected ALL the fonts you want, DRAG and DROP them into the FONTS (official) folder.
    ;)
  16. cpvr
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    cpvr Owner and Founder Administrator

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    Nice work. Avatar making used to be a huge market. I wonder if it still is.
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