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Tempest
ANN Publisher & CEO


Joined: 29 Dec 2001
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PostPosted: Mon Sep 29, 2003 6:20 pm Reply with quote
Step 1 – Finding your image

It isn’t necessary for you to find a ready made avatar; you can also use a small piece of any already existing image. Finding an image is actually quite easy, go to Google’s Image Search** type in the name of the show or character you want an avatar of, and start looking.

Step 2 – Making your Avatar

Avatar’s on ANN must be no larger that 80 pixels by 80 pixels, take a look at my avatar on the left, it’s 80x80. Once you have your image, use an image editor** of some sort to crop & resize the image to the appropriate size.

For example, starting with this image, imagine I want to use the part in the red rectangle. First thing you do is select the area and crop it. The result is the following:



Unfortunately the image is 117 x 145, way larger than 80x80, so what I need to do next is to re-size it. I resize it from 117x145 to 65x80:



As you can see, some quality has unfortunately been lost, if I’d selected a slightely smaller part of the original image I would have gotten a better image, as you can see here:



So there, I have my avatar, it’s 80x77. I save it as a gif and it’s 4kb, well within the 6kb that I am allowed to upload to ANN.

Step 2b - Decreasing the file size (optional)

Of course, it is possible for you to do all this and then end up with an image over 6kb.

If your file is a jpeg, you can change the compression settings, by increasing the compression the file size will decrease.

With a Gif you can decrease the number of colors in the image. Most art programs include these options in the "save-as" dialog, many also have wizards to help decrease file size. If you aren't certain of what you're doing, try the wizard.

Also, try different formats, jpeg is more effective for some pictures, while Gif is more effeective for others.

Step 3 – Uploading your Avatar

We used to require that you store your avatar on a remote website, but we decided to permit locally stored avatar to simplify things. This will remain as long as it does not cause a problem for us.

In order to upload your avatar go to your profile here.

Go down to the bottom of the page, click on browse, and select your avatar off your hard drive.


Footnotes:

1: Other good sources include the billions of Anime webpages you can find linked to on Anipike and AnimeNation, as well as official webpages, which are linked to from the ANN Encyclopedia. The Naruto images used above came from an official Naruto website.

2: All versions of windows come with a free, but very crappy piece of art software called paint. If you want a decent, inexpensive, easy to use but professional quality art package, try Paint.net, it's totally free. If all you want to do is crop & resize images, the image editor built into ACDSee is perfect.

If you can find a copy of ACDSee 3.x, it's free (in sponsored mode) and includes the image editor. Otherwise ACDSee is free to use for a trial period.


Addendum: A lot of people have asked why we don't permit off-site avatars (images you host) to be larger (in kb or dimensions). Although part of our motivation for limiting avatar size is to control our bandwidth, another part of our motivation is site esthetic's (hence the limit on dimensions) and another part of our motivation is to conserve our readers' bandwidth and make sure the site loads quickly (hence the limit on file size).
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