Creating Avatars with Storybook Creator

I promised you yesterday that I’d be posting how to make your own customized avatars.  I’m sure that you can do these with just about most any photo editing program but I happen to use a Creative Memories scrapbooking program called Storybook Creator to do most of my avatar creating.  I’ve put up a mosaic of some recent avatars that I created to give you an idea of some of the things you can do.

Here’s what I do.

1.  Go to Storybook Creator and click on “Create a New Project.”

2.  In the window that pops up, scroll down and choose on the left-hand side the words “Custom Size” under Local Printer.

3.  It will then ask you to select a template.  Your only choice will be one that is called “Blank.”  Choose that one and click the “Next” button.

4.  A small window will pop up labeled Custom Page Size.  “Units” should be defaulted to “inches.”  Under that, I want you to enter “3” for width and “3” for height.  Leave everything else just the way it was when the window popped up.  Click on “OK.”

5.  At the next pop-up window, you can add photos but I usually just do it when I’m actually working on my project so I click on the “Next” button.

6.  The next pop-up window is going to ask you to name your project.  Go ahead and name it whatever you want and then click on the “Create” button.  Oh, yes.  This window will also show you where it is going to save this project.  Usually this is wherever you usually save the scrapbooking projects that you create but you don’t really have to worry about it because you are going to be doing a different type of “save” later and you can choose where you want the avatar at that point.

7.  Now you are in your work screen.  I’m assuming at this point that you are familiar with working with Storybook Creator.  If not, there are excellent tutorials on the Creative Memories website .  Incidentally, the basic Storybook Creator software is available as a free download and if you go to the above website, you can find the link to the download.  Anyway, back to what I was saying.  In the work screen, you can now access all of your digital scrapbooking packages that you have loaded into Storybook Creator, including all the papers and embellishments.  For example, if you look at the top row of the pictures above, at the one that says “Booklassie”, that one was created solely with digital elements that I had loaded into Storybook Creator.  I simply chose a paper background, added some embellishments, inserted some text boxes and that was it.  If you want to use any photographs, just click on the Photos tab on the right side of the work area and then click on the “Get Photos” option.  Then once you’ve imported photos over to Storybook Creator, you can place them into your avatar project as you wish, adding text boxes if you desire (and there are quite a few examples of that in the avatars displayed above).

8.  When you have your avatar finished, click on the “Home” tab at the top of your screen and then click on the “Save” icon and click on “save” again in the drop down menu.  This will save your avatar to your regular spot where your scrapbook projects are saved.   I like to do this so that I can go back at any time and open it back up to rework it in Storybook Creator if I want to.  But you aren’t done yet.  You still need to save it as a .jpg file.  So now click once more on the “Save” icon and now click on “save pages as” from the drop down menu.  A window will pop up and here is where you will be choosing what folder you want to save this .jpg file into.  Also be sure that the “file type” says JPG File.  Resolution should have defaulted to 300 dpi for “best quality” with a page size of 3 x 3 inches.  It also should show that you are saving 1 page and the quality should be set on “Best.”   Once you’ve got this set, click on “Save.”

9.  At this point, you can close Storybook Creator.  Now you are going to be resizing your project down to an avatar size with the help of this handy website.  Go here and right at the center of your screen you will see the words “Upload a picture from your computer.”  Click on the Browse button and go to the folder where your avatar project is located.  Select your avatar image (I do this in Vista by clicking on it and telling it to “open.”) and then you should see the link show up in the little box.  Now click on Upload.  Your picture should show up in a new window.

 10.  Scroll down slightly and you’ll see some choices of sizes.  Pick the size that you want your avatar to be.  Most web forums seem to prefer avatars that are 100 x 100.  Now click on an area of your picture and drag your mouse to highlight the area that you want to be the avatar.  Since you have already created the entire image to be an avatar and it’s in a square shape, you should be able to just click on the top left corner and drag your mouse down to the bottom right corner and get pretty much the entire image selected.  Now scroll down and just below where you picked the avatar size, you see the word “Save.”  Click on Save.

11.  Your avatar has now been created and is shown in the small avatar size.  At this point, click on the words “Open in new window”  which are right under your avatar.  In the new window, right-click on the image and choose “Save image as” and then choose where you want to save your newly created avatar on your computer.

That’s it.  You’ve got an avatar that you can upload wherever you want to use an avatar.  Have fun creating your own unique images!

Project 365 – May 29, 2010  (Day 2)

Describing yarn that I’m listing for sale on Ravelry.  Can’t decide if I’m going to use the proceeds toward another spinning wheel or an iPad.

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Hot Flashed Funk


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