Avatars are very important to being identified on any social site, this instructable will show you how to choose and make an avatar that suits you.
(Skip to step 3 if you want to get straight to the making part)
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Step 1: Why Is an Avatar Important?
An avatar is the image that you place next to your name to accompany it in your postings. It is a very useful thing to have so people can recognize your posts at a glance because it is much bigger than your name and the mind does not have to go through the process of translating the letters to make sense of them and then tie them back to you. It also breaks through the sea of orange on instructables (the colors may differ on other sites) so people can see that you posted it at a glance. If you have the general pic of a person image or a commonly found picture on the web, do you think people will notice your posts as much.
An avatar after being used for a long time, becomes a surrogate face for you on the site it is used on.
Step 2: Choosing an Avatar
If you have a picture of a famous person as your avatar, people will think you like that person. If you have a picture of LEGO's as your avatar, people will think that you like LEGO's, the same goes with K'nex. If you have a rapper, people will think you like rap, football means you like football or just sports, trees means you like nature and so on.
Your avatar will give someone a first impression of you even if they do not know it. Maybe at first people saw me as some sort of pyromaniac or the equivalent of one with explosives or they saw Kiteman as an old scientist.
Your avatar should fall into one of these categories:
- A picture of yourself (only if you really want your face on the internet)
- Some sort of character you would be know by, preferably with a face.
- Some of your digital artwork
- A picture of one of your instructables (these steps also apply to artwork)
- Your name incorporated into some sort of picture.
- General instructions if you already have a picture.
Step 3: A Picture of Yourself
- You want to be in a well-lit room with ambient light
- You want to take the picture in Landscape, not portrait.
- You want to take the picture against a wall, preferably white.
- You might want an image editor made for photos so you can fix them.
1. To make the avatar of your face, position yourself in front of a wall or some other sort of backdrop.
2. Hold the camera out as far as you can and experiment to see at which distance your face is 100% in the frame. You can also have a friend help or use a tripod
3. Take a few pictures because there might be a problem with each one and sort through them until you find a good one.
4. Put your pictures on your computer and open up Picasa, it should instantly upload the pictures and allow you to sort through them, so you can delete bad ones and keep good ones
6. Then you can find the best one, crop it to either a square or a horizontal rectangle with the right amount of room around it, whichever you prefer. This will ensure that your whole face fits in the picture so it does not look like someone cut off the top of your head.
7. Then export the image to the desired size, larger the size, longer it takes to upload, and then upload that picture to Instructables through the image library. Set it as your first image in your avatar list, and then it is there.
Remember, when you post a picture on the net, anyone can see it and it can travel very fast to places you could not even imagine, it could travel to some random blog in Arabic or Mandarin or some other random language that you cannot read within hours for all you know, and there are also the people who could use that picture along with other things to stalk you, you have been warned.
Step 4: Something With a Face
A few things to go by:
- Look in the mirror
- Give it a smile
- Look a little to the side or straight ahead.
- Keep it symmetrical
- Have a white background or black border
Making the avatar
Now, because there is no good way to explain how to make the content of the avatar for this one, I will start at the point after you have made the avatar
1. Make the face or thing with face using the guidelines above.
2. Make sure it is a square so nothing gets cropped.
3. If your editor supports layers, then create a black square that goes over your whole creation and cut a square out of the center of it to make a border, if you want one. You can always make a series of rectangles on the edges that combine into a border.
4. Save image and upload to Instructables, set as avatar.
Step 5: A Picture of One of Your Instructables
- Pick your favorite instructable.
- Pick your highest rated or a featured instructable.
- Pick one that is different.
Making an instructable picture an Avatar
1. Choose the instructable
This part is totally up to you, just choose an instructable that you want to represent you.
2. Choose a picture.
Usually the best picture for an avatar is your intro picture, but if you can find a better one, then go for it. If needed, take another picture of the instructable and use it, if it is still around.
Because most pictures are rectangular, it is good to crop your image to a square to make sure all of the desired pieces are visible, you can use Picasa or any other image editor for that.
4. Export from Picasa or scale down in image editor
Depending on what camera you are using, your file may be pretty big, so shrink it down to minimize download time. The default picture is only 180px tall so yours should be shrunk to something larger than that, maybe 300px tall.
5. Upload, Set as avatar, and let the world see your instructable.
Step 6: Your Name
- Make sure it can be read
- Do more than just type it out
- Skip the Times New Roman/Arial/Georgia/etc.
Making the Avatar
1. Start by planning the image out, you can do it either on paper or on the computer, it does not matter.
2.a If drawing on paper, just scan the image up, crop it, and set it as your image.
Make sure that it is readable and do what you feel like doing to make it great.
2.b If drawing on your computer or typing up.
Open up the image editor and whatever pic you want in the background if you like.
3. Start editing
Use the text tool to type out your name in whatever font you want and whatever style you want. Or you can start drawing out the words, make sure you save frequently so you can go back before you made a mistake, some editors do not have great undo buttons.
4. Crop the image
Use whatever crop or select tool there is to crop the image to a square and save the file, check the dimensions though before you save to make sure it is not too big or small.
5. Upload to Instructables and set as your avatar.
Step 7: General Instructions
- Look at what it may say about you
- Does it make fun of people
- Can you crop all of the important parts into a square? (If it is not already a square)
Making your picture into an avatar:
1. Take you image and open it in your image editor
2. Try crop it into a square that is at least 300 pixels on each side, if you cannot, skip this step.
3. Resize to the requested size of the site (Not needed for instructables, but smaller pics upload faster)
4. Upload to site and set as avatar.
It is not very complicated.
Step 8: A Few Extra Tips.
- Small Pics=Faster downloads
- Do not take anything that is not yours without permission.
- If you want to have different avatars all of the time, stick to a theme.
- Do not post anything offensive.
Now, good luck and go make your avatar!
Participated in the
Burning Questions: Round 7