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Thread started 09 Mar 2005 (Wednesday) 18:53
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Tutorial: Creating An Avatar in Photoshop & Paint Shop Pro

 
Scottes
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Mar 09, 2005 18:53 |  #1

Photoshop... (Should be very similar for Photoshop Elements I guess)

Get your image to 80x80 pixels or smaller. For 80x80 I use the Marquee Tool and set the Style (in the toolbar at the top) to Fixed Aspect Ratio and set both Width and Height to 1. Of course, if you don't wish it to be square then set the Style to Normal and free-hand the selection. Select the area you wish, then choose Image... Crop.

Resize it to 80x80 by clicking on Image... Image Size. Make sure Constrain Proportions and Resample Image are both checked. Set the Width or Height to 80 pixels and the other box will adjust automatically. Just make sure both numbers are less than 80 pixels. Click OK.

Sharpen it. Filter... Sharpen... Unsharp Mask. Set the Threshold to 0 and the Radius to .3. Adjust the Amount until it looks good. Don't be surprised if you end up with a large Amount - my Wolf avatar was around 300%. Click OK.

Then File... Save For Web.

Near the top rght corner you'll have a box with choices of GIF, JPG, PNG, etc. Set it to JPG.
Below that uncheck both Progressive and ICC Profile.
To the right of that check Optimized

Now look at the right image, and look all the way at the bottom. It should say something like:
JPEG
9.562K
10 sec @ 56Kbps

As long as that number is below 8.000K you're fine. (That's a decimal point, so 8K, not 8 thousand K.) But if not, look back up near the top right corner, to the right of where you set JPG, you'll see a box called Quality and it will probably say "100" in it but will say something between 1 and 100.

Click the arrow to the right of the number and a slider will pop up.
Grab the triangle and slide it towards the middle until it is set at 50 or somewhere around that.

Now once again look at the numbers below the right image - the number should be much smaller. Move the slider around until it's slightly less than 8.000K.

Now check out the image on the right. Does it look OK? If it looks like crap compared to the picture on the left then it's over-compressed. If you don't like how it looks then hit the cancel button and resize it to 70x70 or 60x60 and start again at the top of this message.

If it does look OK then click the Save button and give it a name.

Now in the Forum, click on Quick Links near the top right, and choose Edit Avatar. Near the bottom hit the Browse button and find the file you just saved above, and click the Open or OK button. The field should be filled in with the full filename from your system, and click on Save Changes at the bottom of the screen.

Congratulations on your new avatar.


Paint Shop Pro... (this is PSP 7 - I'm sure that 8 or 9 is similar if not exact).

Click on the Selection tool and in the pop-up set the Selection Type to Rectangle or Square depending on your preference.

Select the area you wish to use and then click on Image... Crop to Selection.

Next, resize the image. Click on Image... Resize and at the bottom click Maintain Aspect Ratio. Choose Pixel Size at the top and set the size to 80x80 pixels or smaller. Set either Height or Width to 80 and the other will adjust automatically. Just make sure that both dimensions are less than 80 pixels.

Like the screen capture below, but make sure you have 80 pixels or smaller:

IMAGE: http://www.itsanadventure.com/postimages/psp_resize.gif
Click on OK.

Sharpen this. Effects... Sharpen... Unsharp Mask. Set the Radius to 0.3 and the Clipping to 0, and then adjust the Strength until it looks best. It seems best to make big jumps to see a difference, like setting Strength to 200 and then up to 300. It may take a few tries to get things to look OK - if so, look away for a moment to let you eyes relax. You can go nuts if you stare at the screen too long. For my Wolf I choose 300%.

Click on File... Save As... switch to JPEG.
Click on the Options Button, then the Run Optimizer button. You get this:

IMAGE: http://www.itsanadventure.com/postimages/psp_optimizer.gif
The image on the left is the original, while the image on the right is what it will look like when it's compressed. I like to scroll to an important feature and view it at 100% - or 1:1 at it says here. This will give you a good idea of what the finished product will look like.

Click on the Format tab and make sure it's on Standard. Ignore the Download Times unless you really care.

Back on the Quality tab... Change the number in the box ("Set compression value") until it gets to a file size you like while retaining the quality. As you can see in this image the final Quality will be 40 which means a file size of 43,557 bytes. NOTE: You need your avatar to be smaller than 8KB so make sure the file size is less than this! This screenshot was from another example and I was too lazy to do it again. Sue me. :-)

Now check out the image on the right. Does it look OK? If it looks like crap compared to the picture on the left then it's over-compressed. If you don't like how it looks then hit the cancel button and resize it to 70x70 or 60x60 and start again at the top.

Click OK and give it a new filename - don't over-write the original!

Now in the Forum, click on Quick Links near the top right, and choose Edit Avatar. Near the bottom hit the Browse button and find the file you just saved above, and click the Open or OK button. The field should be filled in with the full filename from your system, and click on Save Changes at the bottom of the screen.

Congratulations on your new avatar.

You can take my 100-400 L away when you pry it from my cold, dead fingers.
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tommykjensen
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Mar 09, 2005 23:06 |  #2

Excellent initiative. This should be made a sticky.


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stoneylonesome
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Mar 13, 2005 10:45 as a reply to tommykjensen's post |  #3

I agree on making this a sticky. nice job "Mr. Cream of the Crop" :lol: :lol:


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Scottes
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Mar 13, 2005 11:05 |  #4

It's in the Tutorials List, but making it sticky for a while might not be a bad idea. This hasn't gotten too many views, so Sticky would help until enough people know it exists.

I wrote the basics of this a while ago and posted it into 4 or 5 questions so it seemed to be pretty handy... I'll ask a Mod to Stick it for a while.


EDIT: I'll ask a Mod to make it Sticky for a while. No offense, Mods. :-)


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MegaTrixel
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Mar 13, 2005 13:25 |  #5

Thanks! I just used these instructions to create a new avatar. The resolution of this image started out at 256 pixels/inch. I just left it alone though I was wondering if I should change it to 72. In the end I had no trouble getting it to fit under the 8K limit.


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Scottes
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Mar 13, 2005 13:29 |  #6

The DPI won't matter for display on the web.

James, that avatar looks awesome!


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MegaTrixel
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Mar 14, 2005 09:47 |  #7

Thanks Scottes!
I appreciate the time you put into your tutorials! They're fantastic!

In terms of the dpi, I was thinking that anything over 72 was overkill for the web and that by reducing it, perhaps it would make a smaller file. But I'm certainly no expert on these things, and in the end, it was not hard to make the file size smaller than 8K even at 256 dpi.


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SidW
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Jul 11, 2005 17:05 |  #8

Great to find this thread. I was thinking I'd like an Avatar but wasn't sure how to create one.
Thanks a million for this Scott.
Sid


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Pekka
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Jul 11, 2005 18:01 |  #9

Moved to Forum Talk and sticked. Kudos to Scottes! :)


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MattyB
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Jul 11, 2005 18:18 |  #10

everyone else had animals, so i took a photo of some cat that was in my backyard. haha


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Mike ­ Reynolds
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Aug 06, 2006 12:41 |  #11

I have ps6 and con only reduce to 20k I need 8 any suggestions?


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Belmondo
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Aug 12, 2006 12:08 as a reply to Mike Reynolds's post |  #12

Mike Reynolds wrote:
I have ps6 and con only reduce to 20k I need 8 any suggestions?

I'm not sure if PS6 allows this or not, but if you select 'Save for Web' under the File menu, you'll end up with a GIF file that will work.


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Photolistic
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Dec 29, 2006 18:21 |  #13
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When I click save as there is no button to get the optimizer. Any help?

I can not the the file to be under 18K

I am using PS 8


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Scottes
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Dec 29, 2006 18:35 |  #14

In Photoshop try File... Save For Web. File... Save As adds a lot of bloat, and little control over file size.


Or do you mean Paint Shop Pro 8? The tutorial was created with PSP 7 so version 8 should have the Optimizer. In ver 7 it's File... Save As... Options... Run Optimizer.


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Photolistic
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Dec 29, 2006 18:49 |  #15
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Photoshop 8 and there is no options when I save as. ???


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Tutorial: Creating An Avatar in Photoshop & Paint Shop Pro
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