Best Avatar Makers
About Online Avatar Creators
One of the best ways to make your own avatars for forums or blogs is to use avatar creators. I have compiled a free avatar generator list that will help you make your own online persona. These useful tools turn creating avatars into an easy and fun process where you simply have to choose different elements from a list and apply them to your character. No more boring default avatars, and certainly no need for graphics editing or artistic skills.
South Park Avatar Maker
Now you can make your very own South Park avatar with a few clicks! This is an official tool from South Park Studios themselves, so it is very well done and has a lot of room for creativity. In this Flash-based avatar maker you will have to select your "body" first (male, female, 4th grader or Canadian) and then customize it with different facial features, clothes and accessories. Then you will be able to save it as an icon, .jpg image, print it out or share it on social networks. You can see my own attempt at creating a South Park avatar in the picture to the right. No registration is necessary to use this avatar generator.
FaceYourManga Avatar Creator
FaceYourManga free avatar maker allows you to create your own anime-style avatar (or "mangatar" as they call it). While the avatar generator service is free, you can get your creation printed and mailed to you for a small fee if you wish.
FaceYourManga does not ask you to register; however you will have to enter your e-mail in order to get the picture sent to you. Make sure you're finished before saving your avatar, because you won't be able to make any more changes after that.
DoppelMe Avatar Maker
DoppelMe is one of the few avatar creators that do not require Adobe Flash to work. You follow a simple step-by-step process of personalizing your character until you're happy with it. Then you can simply right-click the image and save it to your computer, or signup at the site if you want to save your avatar online. As you can see in the image on the right, DoppelMe generates simplistic, stylized avatars.
You do not need to register to be able to use the DoppelMe avatar generator; however, some items (like special cloth styles or accessories) can only be added to your virtual persona if you are logged in.
Blobomatic Avatar Generator
Blobomatic by 2Dmedia allows you to create your own "blobatar". You can see what this word means exactly in the example to the right. There's a wide variety of facial features and accessories that you can use to customize your blob, and although not all of them match well together (for example, you might have trouble finding a matching smile for the "big bushy beard" feature), it's a pretty fun and well-made tool.
The finished product will be available for download in .png format. You can also tweet your blob or share it on Facebook.
PickAFace Avatar Maker
PickAFace is pretty basic as far as avatar generators go, and is, in fact, quite similar to the aforementioned FaceYourManga. On the bright side, it's really easy to use, and there are quite a few facial features to choose from (more, apparently, if you register and sign in).
The finished image will end up in a public gallery as well as a "recent avatar" list, which might defeat the purpose if you want something private; then again, no one's going to take your pic when they can just make their own in a few minutes.
Unlike other websites on this list, avatar-generator.com does not create a picture from scratch. You have to upload your own image or find one you like using their integrated Google Image Search, and then you'll be able to crop, resize it, add some text and fancy borders. The last step will let you download the image in .png, .jpg, or .gif formats. This is a pretty basic avatar maker, but it can be handy if you don't have any graphics editing programs on your computer.
Keep in mind that many of the pictures on Google Image Search will be copyrighted, so it's best to upload your own stuff or find a public domain image like the one on the right.
The Simpsons Avatar Generator
You can create your own Simpsons avatar as well. It is available at the site of The Simpsons Movie, and while it doesn't have as many features as the South Park avatar maker does, you can still make a pretty convincing-looking cartoon character. You can choose from male, female or child and even select a body type (muscular, slender or fat). Then you can customize your character's hair and facial features such as nose, eyes and mouth. Finally you'll be able to choose the color of your clothes and select a T-shirt logo. Regretfully, the clothes themselves can't be changed - only the colors. When you're finished you'll be able to download your avatar in .jpg format, or save it on the site and play some flash games with it.
http://www.simpsonsmovie.com (archived version)
Avachara is actually a collection of several avatar generators which will help you create portraits in anime, manga, and cartoon styles. All these applications are quite advanced and let you choose from numerous facial elements, clothes, and a few simple backgrounds.
The really nice thing about Avachara is that it gives you the final result immediately for you to save as a .png image; they don't require you to enter your email or register.