Make an Avatar





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:

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)


(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)



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

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


    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

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


    what about the magnetic lasso tool?

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


    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.

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