How to make an avatar

Source

What's an avatar?

An avatar (also known as an AV or an avvie) is how someone on the Internet visually portrays themselves. This may include a 3-D model for computer games, a 2-D icons on forums and other similar sites, or text constructs from older systems. An avatar may even include the personality associated with an Internet screen name.

What it entails

1. Find an image that represents you.

This can depend on the context... maybe an image symbolizing you in DeviantArt is different than one for AIM.

It's got to be able to be seen when small. A lot of avatars must be only so many pixels tall and wide. Make sure you can pack a punch with what space you can fill.

It can be a photo of you, altered or not, or it can be a drawing or digital rendering.

2. Crop if necessary.

Usually you'll have to crop the image, often into a square shape. Just use a program like Photoshop or another image editing program.

With Photoshop you have to make sure you crop the area you want (the whole thing or only a portion of an image) into a perfect square. That could mean using the Crop tool or making a square with the shape tool and cropping around that (which is more work but then you can get a perfect square by using the SHIFT key to keep the lines to shape). Then go up to Image -> Resize.

An even easier way is starting with a blank document; then you can make it any size you want. Copy and paste the image into that so that you don't have to mess with the Crop tool. But make sure you shrink the original image before you copy and paste or else you'll end up with a blur that's a portion of the image after pasting.

3. Save.

4. Upload.

Source

In computer games

The word "avatar" meaning a digital representation of someone began as early as 1985, when it was used as the character name in the Ultima computer game series. Becoming the "avatar" was the goal of the fourth game in the series. In subsequent games, the player was the avatar and the "avatar" was his or her screen character, which could be personalized. The term was later used in the late 80's games Shadowrun and Habitat. ater games assumed that you were the avatar and "avatar" was the player's visual on-screen in-game persona. The on-screen representation could be customized in appearance. Later, the term "avatar" was used by the designers of the role-playing game Shadowrun (1989), as well as in the online role-playing game Habitat (1987).

On Internet forums

No one really knows when avatars were first used in Internet forums, where they serve as representations of a user, his or her status and actions. Traditionally, avatars in forums are smaller and square for consistency, and near the heading of posts and profiles. Sometimes users can choose from available avatars or upload one of their own design. In some avatar systems, users can customize an avatar that is a human- or animal-like figure.

In instant messaging programs

AOL Instant Messenger (AIM) used avatars before other more popular instant messengers jumped on the bandwagon. They're very small in these cases, as people don't really notice the avatars unless they are particularly eye-catching. I don't really pay attention to those of others on AIM.

In blogs

I do pay attention to blog avatars.

There are different ways to support avatars on blogs. A "gravatar" is an avatar from a central server that is linked to a user's e-mail address. The server moderates the gravatars for decency and other factors.

"Pavatars" are tags in a website's HTML that links to an image file.

"Favatars" use favicon files (which can be customized) on a user-controlled server. Both these and pavatars are not moderated.

In games

In video games, avatars are definitely used to represent that gamer to other players. They can be customized or fixed, or added upon as a gamer progresses through the game (with clothing, weapons, and more). The representation of the gamer's character may also be shaped by what they say and do and not just physical appearance, such as in the "cut scenes" of a game where you don't have control and it's like a movie.

Source

In non-gaming scenarios

Any other time, avatars are 2- or 3-D representations, human or not, real or not, that can explore, communicate, and be customized. They can make interacting more interesting and fun by personalizing their experience.

Avatars serve different purposes and work under certain requirements, depending on who is using them. Younger users want their avatars for more entertaining and fun purposes, and respond better to more simple features. They also want their avatars to resemble them less, if not to retain anonymity. Meanwhile, older users prefer their avatars to more accurately represent them in reality. They want to experience the full range of options and capabilities of the avatar. The target audience of avatars recently has been those of ages 22-49, for social functions. Different avatar systems catering to certain ages of users make sure that they have options and features they can use their avatars how they want.

In an interesting study, researcher Lisa Nakamura and others have found that when an avatar can be customized, the options are ofen biased to those with ligther skin color rather than darker minorities.

More by this Author


19 comments

NightFlower profile image

NightFlower 10 years ago

This is nice to know. I have my own makeshift way of making avatars but this info is good to know. Your avatar is very cute.


cgull8m profile image

cgull8m 9 years ago from North Carolina

Thanks for the detailed explanation, I tried to use Gravatar before I wasn't happy with it. I will try one of the above techniques. Thanks.


red23 profile image

red23 9 years ago

Cool, but I didn't see any Brithish spellings. How 'bout "Photoshoppe?"

Thanks.


kotika 8 years ago

hi

its very cool prog but i foun anoter more easy prog its Video UserPic

its have vey good demo without time limit!

cool right?:)


Nick 8 years ago

I make my avatars with my webcam its easier and faster … not that im slow with PS J … but as for low rez images for my forum posts I just go to picanom.com section “Avatar.”, pick a physical object (such as my face : )) that I want to capture as an avatar and take the shot/s then I click on the ones I like and save ‘em for later use/uploading to forums or blogs… it takes me 5 sec instead of 5 min with PS well its quick’n’ dirty but it works … just wanted to share ;)

… is it me or there are too many “I”s in that post of mine ?

: o)


glassvisage profile image

glassvisage 8 years ago from Northern California Author

Thanks everyone for commenting and sharing! Quick avatars are good to know how to make


Benson Yeung profile image

Benson Yeung 8 years ago from Hong Kong

Dear Glassvisage,

thanks for the very useful hub. I was once fascinated by avatars and wrote a story about them. Check this out: Michael Scores Perfect

cheers,


taletha ethedsiogg 7 years ago

ha guys that is out there give me a call at 7575090293 that is a real number


newcapo 7 years ago

This is great, I've got to do this....


amzill profile image

amzill 7 years ago from United Kingdom

thanks - this has proved a complete novice like myself with a great guide to how to get started trying to create my avatar. Myabe I can now create something a bit more interesteing for the forums than the star I have :)

Thanks - great hub


ripcurle 7 years ago

I have found that the website avatardr.com makes this fast and easy.


Wingswriter profile image

Wingswriter 7 years ago from Nebraska

I use my avatar to support my personal brand as a writer and entrepreneur. Thanks for the hub - great advice.


gg 7 years ago

gg


Ayumi 7 years ago

THANKS! HELPED ME SOOOOO MUCH!!!!!!!!


James Wikman profile image

James Wikman 7 years ago from California

I found this page called http://Simpsonizeme.com

Pretty Sweet!


metaphysician profile image

metaphysician 7 years ago

Avatar obviously used to represent the personality of the person. A person who choose an avatar must have based on his own unconscious image.

Avatar is great for interaction in the internet especially if one is trying to brand oneself. Thanks for your very well researched hub!


katyzzz profile image

katyzzz 7 years ago from Sydney, Australia

Sort of like a trade mark, really, glass


suziecat7 profile image

suziecat7 6 years ago from Asheville, NC

I'll have to try this - thanks for the info.


stars439 profile image

stars439 6 years ago from Louisiana, The Magnolia and Pelican State.

Thank you for sharing. GBY.

    Sign in or sign up and post using a HubPages Network account.

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    No HTML is allowed in comments, but URLs will be hyperlinked. Comments are not for promoting your articles or other sites.


    Click to Rate This Article
    working