Avatars show your personality. Websites everywhere use 'em. But now you will learn how to make one yourself, using a free program called GIMP. It's really simple, and once you become familiar with gimp you can do a variety of things to trick out your avatar to an even further degree. The avatar in this instructable is simple, but once you become familiar with GIMP you can make more complex ones.
GIMP, the free editing software
An image you wish to make into an avatar (i got mine from here)
Let's get going, shall we?
Step 1: Open a New Project in GIMP
Open up GIMP. (be patient it has lot to load) Then open a new project by clicking on "file" and then "new..." Once "Create a New Image" pops up, make the width and the height to be anywhere around 90. then click 'Ok" and an untitled blank image should pop up.
Step 2: Scaling and Moving
Copy your "base image" and paste it on your canvas. (please make sure you have the rights to the image.) Right click on the image and mouse over "Layer." Then click on "Scale Layer." When "Scale Layer" pops up, push on one of the two tiny little down arrows until the two numbers become as close to the dimensions that you originally chose when you started the image as they can. When you push "Ok' you will need to expand the window to see the outline of the image in the gray area. Now click on the "move" tool and move the outlined image to the center of the canvas, or wherever you prefer.
Step 3: Anchoring and Filling in the Background.
So far so good! First you need to anchor the layer. Right click on the image and mouse over "Layer." Then click "Anchor Layer." The layer is now anchored. Now there may be some areas that weren't covered that remain white. To fix this problem, select the "Pick Color" tool. Then click on the background color of the image. Now your color is set to the background color. Then select the "Fill Color" tool and click on the white areas in the background. If your background has multiple colors, you will need to use the brush of pencil to replicate the background as close as possible. My background kinda glows so there is a point where the solid color meets the glowing color. This makes what appears like a line. so fix this, i use the "blur" tool and the "smudge" tool.
Step 4: Adding a Border & Other Tricks
Adding a border is a simple process using "script-fu." To do so, click on "filters." Then mouse over "decor." Then click on "add border" or "fuzzy border." When the window comes up, select the pixel length and width. Also select the color of the border. When you click "Ok" GIMP will automatically make a border to your specifications. Handy huh? If you wish you can add text by using the "text" tool. Just click and drag a box where you want to add text and use the fonts bar (you may need to look for it) to select the font. No need to reinvent the wheel so here is some tutorials to do a variety with GIMP.
Step 5: Saving & Using Your Avatar on Instructables
When you are completely satisfied with your avatar, you need to save it. A downside of GIMP is this can be a little confusing, especially if your new to the program. So here's how you do it: Click on "file" Then click on "save." When "save image" comes up, first click on the down arrow next to "all images." Then select one of the file formats you wish to save it as. then name your image and put the file extension after the image name. For example, i used a PNG image, so after the file name (rockbandavvie) i put ".png". Then click "save." Now you are done! This avatar will work on most if not all forums, but I decided to teach you how to use it for Instructables. To do so, sing in on Instructables (obviously) and click "You" on the top of any page. Then on the side there will be a white box with several options. Select "Edit Profile." Then click "Change Image." There you will find a box that says "Attach Images". Click on "browse..." Select your avatar from your documents or wherever you put it. Once the image is done loading, drag it from "Recent Uploads" to the white box at the top. If you already have an avatar (like me) then select the old one and click "Remove." Don't worry, you'll still have it in your library, just not as your avatar anymore. Now click "Update Images" and you're done!
Step 6: More Avatars
Now make some more! here are some i made awhile back: