Introduction: Make an Avatar

This Instructable describes how to make an avatar with original artwork.
In simple terms it is a square image which represents a user on an internet site.

One Instructables member was asking for contributions and I thought I'd have a go for something to do on a Bank-holiday weekend.

Step 1: Theme

Here, the community has been invited to design an avatar for a member, but the same methodology would apply to yourself.

The member seems to like K'NEX, and there's some kind of "Jam" element, evidenced at least by the Forum Topic.

I thought of "K'NEX jam"

Step 2: Tools and Materials

I used:

K'NEX
A clean and empty jam-jar
Some blackcurrant juice drink
A digital camera
Adobe PhotoShop
MS Paint

Step 3: The Subject

The purpose of this make was to create an original image of "K'NEX jam".

Pieces of K'NEX were arranged in the jam-jar, with thought for colour-balance and general aesthetics. I did not just toss K'NEX in a jar. (OK I did just toss K'NEX in the jar, but it didn't look good so I tipped it out and started again)

To create a jam-like effect, I simply filled the jar with juice-drink.

Step 4: Photography

I don't have a great camera, it's an old Fuji FinePix 2300, but it works well enough.

A basic light box was assembled from, a box. Placed in a well-lit area the white interior served well enough.

The jam-jar was placed on a plinth (double-sided sticky-foam tape) to lift from the base with a view to making the final image clean-up easier.

I took eight shots of the jar, from various angles, either without flash or with slow-shutter flash. This gave me a choice - some were better than others and I've posted all of them only to show the value in having a selection.

Step 5: Image Manipulation

Having chosen my preferred image, I tweaked-it a bit with Adobe PhotoShop. This is what I used, but there are many other pieces of software which will do the same.

First, Image>Adjust>Auto Levels.
This makes the colour balance nicer, and the white whiter.

Second, Image>Adjust>Levels.
The R channel was moved to 2
The G channel to 1.2
The B channel to 1.4
This made the image brighter and more colourful, with an emphasis towards jammy-red.

Third, a bit of painting with a white paintbrush, removed the box background. The box being white-ish in the first place made this very easy.

Step 6: Finishing

I used the select tool to copy a rough square.

Within Instructables all avatars are displayed as 48x48 squares, if your image isn't square it will be cropped - meaning bits will be cut off it to make it square.

Pasting into MS Paint (I just find it easier) I just needed to check Image>Attributes and adjust them to be square (400x400)

Done

(Although the rules said "Deadline for entries: 2009-04-12 11:59 PM PST" entries for Burning Questions Round 7 had already closed by the time I published this)

Comments

author
FRANCESCA45 made it! (author)2012-04-18

gys im going to be making somthing realy cool!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

author
FRANCESCA45 made it! (author)2012-03-15

nice job man

author
lemonie made it! (author)lemonie2012-03-15

That was a long time ago, but it's nice to be reminded.

L

author
dog digger made it! (author)2011-12-05

I think that if you used the lasso tool (polygonal) to remove the subject and paste it onto an empty canvas, it would be easier than using the white brush

author
lemonie made it! (author)lemonie2011-12-05

It might, but I have a wobbly-hand and can never do the whole loop right...

L

author
dog digger made it! (author)dog digger2011-12-05

what about the magnetic lasso tool?

author
lemonie made it! (author)lemonie2011-12-06

I don't know what that is, but I'm interested - where do I find it in PhotoShop 6.0?

L

author
dog digger made it! (author)dog digger2011-12-06

When you use the lasso tool, there shoupld be about 3 or 4 types when you click on the lasso in the side panel. There should be one there with a little magnet. It basically detects areas of high contrast and highlights the subject. I use a combination of magnetic and polygonal.

author
knex_mepalm made it! (author)2010-04-06

 Pickled Knex?

author
DJ Radio made it! (author)2009-10-24

So some of the knex I will be getting was in a jar full of jam?  =P

author
lemonie made it! (author)lemonie2009-10-24

Juice-drink, yes I will post it next week.

L

author
DJ Radio made it! (author)DJ Radio2009-11-12

Lolz, what's taking so long?

author
lemonie made it! (author)lemonie2009-11-12

To be honest: there was a series of days of industrial action in the postal service (instructables postcard too a long time to arrive) - I decided to wait until we were clear of that (not to get "lost"). Then I've just been a bit slow - I''l tell you when it's been dispatched.

L

author
Kryptonite made it! (author)2009-10-18

Any ideas for a Camel and Kryptonite?

author
lemonie made it! (author)lemonie2009-10-18

Not yet, that's an interesting idea...

L

author
Kryptonite made it! (author)Kryptonite2009-10-18

When bored I doodle down a camel with a Superman sign and a cape, but it's hard to get that into a thumbnail size image.

author
lemonie made it! (author)lemonie2009-10-19

Hmm yes. Did you see this:
spider-camel
?

L

author
The Jamalam made it! (author)2009-04-13

So this is how you did it! Good idea, i like the jammy effect! Well done!

author
Lowney made it! (author)Lowney2009-09-13

lol YOU could use this! Why are you called "Jamalam" anyway?

author
The Jamalam made it! (author)The Jamalam2009-09-13

Yeah he made it for me a while back but it wouldn't let me save it. And Jamalam is just a nickname from IRL.

author
Lowney made it! (author)Lowney2009-09-13

IRL?

author
The Jamalam made it! (author)The Jamalam2009-09-13

In Real Life.

author
Lowney made it! (author)Lowney2009-09-13

Ah OK. Yeah that's like "Lowney" but why Jamalam?

author
Lowney made it! (author)2009-09-13

I like mine. It shows what country I am from, which tells people why I don't use American terminology, why I normally seem to be on at weird times (time zone difference of like 5-8 hours) and to show pride in the pile of poo britain has become. Also it shows the first letter of my surname.

author
sharlston made it! (author)2009-08-08

i uploaded a new avatar today

author
will421 made it! (author)2009-06-30

L L L L L L L L L L L L

author
crestind made it! (author)2009-06-23

K'nex = 5 * by default.

author
DrWeird117 made it! (author)2009-05-05

OH, YEAH!!!

author
lemonie made it! (author)lemonie2009-05-05

OK! L

author
lemonie made it! (author)2009-04-18

How about posting 'The Jamalam an avatar, he's still short of the 10 he was aiming for?

L

author
lemonie made it! (author)2009-04-18

Yes, very. But still in one piece. L

author
DJ Radio made it! (author)2009-04-13

how much knex do you have? make a knex gun!

author
lemonie made it! (author)lemonie2009-04-13

Not a lot of K'NEX really, but I thought I'd see what I could do with it, so far not much L

author
DJ Radio made it! (author)DJ Radio2009-04-14

Hmm, can I have a picture of all the knex you found around your home? I'll go check around and see what guns you can make with it.

author
lemonie made it! (author)lemonie2009-04-14

I found it in a charity shop...

Rods
>green 17mm 61x
>white 32mm 45x
>blue 55mm 23x
>yellow 85mm 12x
>red 130mm 6x
>grey 192mm 5x

Connectors
>grey 0o (1 connection) 23x
>grey 45o (2 connections) 9x
>red 90o (3 connections) 21x
>green 135o (4 connections) 25x
>purple 135o (4 connections) 16x
>orange 180o (2 connections) 9x
>yellow 180o (5 connections) 11x
>blue 315o (7 connections) 10x
>white 360o (8 connections) 5x

18 blue spacers

7 grey gears, 1 blue, 1 big yellow, some wheels, black and brown bits and a couple of red triangular things

L

author
DJ Radio made it! (author)DJ Radio2009-04-14

I think you can build a few guns then.

author
DJ Radio made it! (author)DJ Radio2009-04-13

ps nice ible!! 5*, and faved.

author
Tom Buckey made it! (author)2009-04-14

how do you get photo shop?

author
lemonie made it! (author)lemonie2009-04-14

A friend of mine left PhotoShop on my machine when I was sharing it with him. But there are alternatives, a lot of people use GIMP.

And yes, the jar is cracked, I was hoping the flash might highlight it in a nice way, but it didn't - that's quite observant of you.

L

author
Tom Buckey made it! (author)2009-04-14

there seems to be a crak it the jar?

author
iectyx3c made it! (author)2009-04-13

Bravo, wizard 'ible. Nicely done.

author
lemonie made it! (author)lemonie2009-04-13

Thanks - it wasn't actually that hard to do, so I hope that shows. L

author
gmjhowe made it! (author)2009-04-13

Great work! I was planning on taking this route, as most people when it comes to design, just sit infront of a computer and make something up. Creativity lies in the captured photo, the creation of art using paint, and paper, though a physical medium in the real world.

author
lemonie made it! (author)lemonie2009-04-13

You know, I only really thought about posting this when I considered that someone might ask where I got it from. Thanks for the comment L

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Bio: I'm an experimentalist, a scientist and I have a tendency to do things just for the sake of doing them, or to find out ... More »
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