I spent some time learning about Making and posting Avatars (the personalized graphic ... General Blackberry forum
How to create an Avatar with Gimp
I spent some time learning about Making and posting Avatars (the personalized graphic below your username), and I want to share a few useful tips.
First, I should say that I am posting from a perspective of using a wonderful, powerful, free open source graphic manipulation program called Gimp. I am a linux user, but I understand it is available for windows and mac as well.
Having said that, let's start with the basics. On pinstack the maximum size of the Avatar graphic is 100 pixels wide by 65 pixels high. It's not very big, but size dosen't always matter (relatively speaking). I have seen other Avatars that exceed these specifications, but for the purposes of this post I will keep to the pinstack specs.
My avatar isn't as crisp looking as it could be, but that isn't pinstacks fault. It's not really even my fault actually. I mention this because it brings me to perhaps the most important part of creating your Avatar. Choose your picture wisely. Get the best quality picture you can, and try to get one that is already close to the size you will be using. For instance, no matter how cool it is, don't try making an avatar out of a picture that's 1024X768. You'll tear your hair out, and no amount of pixel massaging will make it work.
As I said, my avatar could be a little bit crisper. It's not, because the source cartoon was low quality to begin with, meaning it was larger than the required size with a sadly low corresponding pixel count and color spread. Basically, the resolution was lousy to begin with. I used it anyway because I loved it so much. I dig Wile E. Coyote. On to the magic.
Once you have decided on your picture, you basically have two options. One, you can go to a website that resizes pictures to avatar size for you - I found many by doing a Google search - or you can use Gimp. The web resizers tend to do a rather sloppy job. Generally they just crop the image, reducing the pixel count by cutting it into a smaller picture. Think of it as cutting the crust off the bread before you eat the sandwich. You don't get the whole thing. Not the best option, but hey, it's easy.
If you have decided on using gimp, fear not, it's easy and gives good results. Gimp power users can do some fancy footwork with Avatars, but I'm going to keep it simple. Start by loading gimp and opening the graphic file you intend to use. Once it appears in the editing window, go to image -> scale image. Now under image size, use the arrow buttons to adjust width and height. Just proceed to resize your graphic by clicking on the arrows that correspond with the width and height pixel indicators. Keep the dimension limitations in mind. Gimp will maintain the proper pixel ratio by automatically adjusting the pixel value of the dimension opposite the one you are changing. For instance, if you use the arrow icon to bring the width to 100 pixels, the height will automatically adjust to 63 pixels (not 65). If you try to adjust the height to the maximum of 65 pixels, Gimp will adjust the width to 104 pixels (rather than 100). You can play with it manually by entering your own value into each box, but you may find the results far less than satisfying. When you are happy with the new Avatar, save it, go to your account profile, and in the "edit avatar" section, upload it. If the graphic is formatted properly, and by now it should be, you will see it appear in you avatar box right away. If you don't, something went goofy. Be patient. It's fun if you don't stress. When it's a done deal, you have a nice surprise in store: all your old posts will have your new avatar automatically applied to them, as well as any future posts! By the way, if you would rather have a slick 3D cartoon version of yourself, there are plenty of sites that let you create one for free by picking such variables as hair color, length and style, sex, clothes, ethnicity, Etc.
Your Avatar is your online expression of your personality. It can be an indicator of a good sense of humor, pride in a particular group or activity, a visual likeness, hobby, sense of self, whatever. Just remember that for better or for worse, others will judge you by your avatar before they read your post, strange as that might sound. We are visual creatures, so my advice, take it for what it's worth, is use good taste and imagination when creating your avatar.
Good luck! - Denigris
I don't use GIMP but instead use Fireworks (for my business) and made the same for you.
And also, the reason some avatars are larger is because the larger avatar size is available to premium members: http://blackberryforums.pinstack.com/premium.php
Thank you for the post!
Thank you doughdaddy, that was very kind. I really like the higher resolution Avatar. And thank you for the information about premium members. By the way, if you ever have some time on your hand, check out Gimp.
Originally Posted by doughdaddy
Best - Denigris
Great information -- thanks for posting that, Denigris!!
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