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How to create a cool forum avatar \ badge


Suella Ember
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Wilhiam Hydraconis wrote:

*Shrekvoice* :  Monkey !! Don't bloody quote a whole post only for a 2 line compliment (which is deserved nonetheless) !!!

Come here . I will pull out all your feathers !! :robotmad:

 

 

 

< Note to self :  the beefy cat seems to  be just a bit touchy about forum real estate. I wonder if there's a way to make a buck outa that??  We could explore an alliance with the forum software developer to charge extra  for especially long posts.  Or maybe,  just for long pointless posts?? Hmm.  Not sure.  Need to give it some thought.  Still, don't want to get the cat P.O.'d--he could have some kinda urban cat-gang helpin' rule the forums.  Best to keep up appearances.>

 

Oh, Okay Wil!! Thanks for the tip! I'll be more careful next time.

:)

 

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What an awesome exibition that grows more vibrant each day! Thanks for the guide, Suella, I've floated (stickied) this topic because it's broadly useful + fun. I'm also going to continue revising my badge as I learn the system better, thanks to tips like the ones within!

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Thanks Suella!!

All kinds of awesome in this thread!

I still cannot get a handle on creating a transparent image in gimp...to replace my avatar icon.  Is anyone willing to share one with me?  If so...message me here and I shall send you my e-mail addy:smileyhappy:

~X~

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Thanks for 'floating' this Torley! (I'm not sure which sounds worse: 'thanks for making this sticky' or 'thanks for making this a floater'!!! :smileyvery-happy: )

I've also just updated the original post to clean it up a bit based on the various new bits of great advice etc that have resulted from this thread.

I've used some example badges in the original post too. I'm sure the people whose badge I have used won't mind, but if any of you would rather I didn't use your badge as an example please let me know and I'll remove it. (It's ever so slightly annoying how images we use in posts also go in our Images section on out profile, because it now means I have a version of Keli and Quinn's badge on my profile! For the purposes of having a good guide here though I hope Keli and Quinn won't mind that :) )

 

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Suella Ember wrote:

I've used some example badges in the original post too. I'm sure the people whose badge I have used won't mind, but if any of you would rather I didn't use your badge as an example please let me know and I'll remove it. (It's ever so slightly annoying how images we use in posts also go in our Images section on out profile, because it now means I have a version of Keli and Quinn's badge on my profile! For the purposes of having a good guide here though I hope Keli and Quinn won't mind that
:)
)

 

 

Can someone please confirm for me whether they can still see Keli and Quinn's badges in my original post.

I have marked them as 'private' from the images section in my profile which should mean people don't see them there, but I'm hoping they are still viewable in the original post here.

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Suella Ember wrote:

 

Can someone please confirm for me whether they can still see Keli and Quinn's badges in my original post.

I have marked them as 'private' from the images section in my profile which should mean people don't see them there, but I'm hoping they are still viewable in the original post here.

I see them! That's really good to know that you can make images private and they'll still appear in forum posts. I had thought making them private would mean they wouldn't be visible in posts and wondered what would be the point of uploading a private image that you couldn't use anywhere? So this is good news. Thanks!

PS: I'm flattered that you used my badge as an example. :smileyhappy:

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XiuLan Quan wrote in part:

I still cannot get a handle on creating a transparent image in gimp...to replace my avatar icon.  Is anyone willing to share one with me?  If so...message me here and I shall send you my e-mail addy:smileyhappy:

 

Firstly, I'm guessing somebody already shared one with you -- however, there's something very wrong with each of us having to use separate full-alpha image copies for this.  Is it somehow possible to use an already uploaded, non-private image from somebody else's Image gallery?  That would save (a tiny bit of) page-loading bandwidth, if everybody used the exact same transparent image, instead of copies.

So, my questions and observations on this badge topic:


  1. A partially transparent image used as a badge background seems to be displayed with a gray background, which is annoying.  (Hence, my badge background is on opaque white so it disappears on the default white page -- and looks like total crap on a different page background.  Grrrr.)
  2. If you use a badge at all, you seem to get that miserable "Registered:" date in the layout.  Those who use the "classic" un-badged layout are spared that indignity.  (I see that some have kind of hidden that "Registered" text by making the badge background image the same as whatever color the badge style uses for that text.  Still visible if the text is selected, though.)  Is there some way to make that go away, as one can with other parts of the layout (e.g., "Topics:") ?
  3. I tried to find these answers using the much-vaunted Search feature, but that was a miserable failure.  (If you want a real mind-bending experience, try searching the archived forums; some options in the interface bounce you out of the archive, apparently irretrievably.)  Is there already some way (and if not, would there be support for adding a way) to Search within the current Thread (in addition to "Board", "All", "Category", "Knowledge Base", and "Users") ?  (And is there somewhere that "Board" and "Category" are defined?  It's not obvious in the Help section on Searching, at least to me, although I have some hunches based on trial and error.)
  4. Meta to all that: If one wanted to suggest improvements to this community platform, would one enter a Jira, or post a topic in the Community Feedback forum, or something else?
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Keli Kyrie wrote:

 

Monderas Bristol wrote:

Great post and thread.

I'm still searching for one of those round toowit gadgets so that I can create mine.

*huggs*

Mondy

 

Here you go! Let's see your awesome avatar!
:)

roundtuit.jpg


 

Darn !  umm...I mean...Thanks Keli.

*wanders off to take pictures and re-install gimp, muttering about her evening being lost*

 

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Since I was asked by the watermelon guy about the animated GIFs, here's what tools I use and a basic "how I did it".

For the vector graphics type like this one I use Ulead Cool 3D (vers 3.5 iirc)
dana4a.gif

Creating these ones is literally no more than picking the new image size, picking a font while adding some text, positioning it with the move tool, setting the desired number of animation frames, and then selecting whatever preset effects you like from the object, global, and transition effects lists. You can tweak them by adjusting their settings in the bottom detail window, and also by adjusting or staggering the effects start and stop times on the animation timeline. Can also add many more to it, like the combination one above which is simply a starting text with object style preset, adding a Global Effect->Fire, adding an Object Effect->Dance, adding an Object Effect->Explosion, and changing the ending position of my text at the end of the timeline to finish the falling effect of the explosion out of view. Added a white background because of the background here and exported it straight to a GIF animation. I didn't use transparent background, but it is an option as well. It's all pretty simple as the software does it all for you basically.

 

For the SL video-based ones I mainly used Fraps, Photoshop and Gif Animator 5, but I did also use AVS Video Converter 6 in place of editing timeline in PS because I like the timeline controls better than Photoshops.

25dance1opt2a.gif

These ones consist of shooting the source video with Fraps against a white backdrop. Don't plan on using much more than about a 5 second clip of your video as the end file size has to be kept down, and file size can easily spiral out of control if you're not careful. Open the resulting AVI video into Photoshop and 'box-select' the middle part you want to keep, keeping the selection about the same shape as the badges are (not size, just shape). Image-->Crop, then File-->Export-->Render Video and set to use the quicktime MOV format, also give it a new name. Close the video and open your new cropped one, Then Image-->Image Size and specify a final badge size (I used 150x198). Then again do File-->Export-->Render Video, set to the same quicktime format and give it another new name.

Next is chopping out the timeline segments before and after the section you want to use. For this you can use Photoshop as well (window-->animation to show the panel), instead of AVS VC 6 because the principle is exactly the same, although the specifics may be a bit different. AVS makes this very easy with 'trim start' and 'trim end' buttons in its built-in editor. In either one, the basic idea is to mark the video timeline from the very first frame(trim start) to the beginning of what you want to keep(trim end), and also mark from the end of what you want to keep(trim start) to the very last frame of the video(trim end). Same principle as cropping out a photo leaving only what you want. Once marked, you Export-->Render the video again (convert in AVS) to quicktime MOV format (AVS is quicktime, original size, 4000kbps). close programs.

Last step is opening the cropped, resized, shortened quicktime video clip in Gif Animator (or something like it). The software should import all the frames in order. There should be a max of about 80 frames for a final pic without using any compression/optimization, or up to a max of about 180 frames with lots of compression/optimization. Delete any frames you don't want or that might be duplicates, then shift-select them all and set their desired delay ( 3 / 100ths of a second is about right for 29-30FPS on the web ), lower makes it play faster. Use the preview to tweak to your liking and save it or export it as a GIF animation. It may be necessary to use the optimization wizard to reduce the final file size to get it in under the size limit here, but too much optimization can result in a very blotchy, ugly looking mess. That's why it's important to choose and use video clips that are shorter and can avoid having to use heavy optimization or lossy compression. The example animation above was a real short clip originally, but I duplicated all it's frames and reversed the duplicates order (added to the timeline after the original frames) so it plays more like a real looped animation. Many tricks can also be done by blending a few static frames that have a long delay (timer) with short chopped animated sequences added to it to create the effect of the GIF being much longer than it really is.

Have fun with it.

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