this is the thread to end all avatar threads.
what's an avatar?
it's an icon that appears to the left of your posts. avatars set you apart from the rest of the members, as they represent who you are.
where do you go to change your avatar?
1) near the top of the page, you should see a bunch of links to different parts of the site. click "user control panel
2) now you're in your control panel. click the link that says "edit options
3) to change your avatar, scroll all the way to the bottom of the page. click the button "change avatar
4) voila. you're right where you should be, at the avatar options page.
getting an avatar off the net:
1) once you've found a suitable avatar already hosted on a web site, right click the picture, then click properties.
2) highlight the address and copy it.
3) paste it into the URL bar on the avatar options page.
4) click "submit modifications" and you're done.
getting an avatar off your computer:
1) on the avatar options page, click "browse" where it says to upload an image from your computer.
2) this will bring up a window that you can use to look through your computer's files and find the avatar you have saved. remember, it must be 60X60, under 10 KB, and it must be a .jpg or .gif file.
3) double click the file and click "submit modifications."
how do i make a pic into a .jpg or .gif file?
1) open the file you want to convert, click "file" then "save as."
2) now, all you need to do is change what kind of file you want it to be saved as. underneath the file name it will give you this option. open the pull down menu and select either .jpg or .gif.
how do i make my avatar move?
that requires a .gif animating program. most of the users here use ULead .Gif Animator. you can get a free trial of the program from download.com.
my picture is too big! how do i fix it?
if the picture is too wide or tall, simply use a picture editing program (even one as simple as paint) to resize the image. in paint, use stretch/skew for the best quality image.
if the picture maxes out the KB allowance, your avatar either has too many colors or too many frames (if it's a motion .gif). maybe both. reformat the picture to 24 bit or 16 color bmp, then back to .jpg. this will reduce the size by eliminating certain colors. you can also use a .gif animator to delete excess frames. this is the best way to shrink a .gif file.
if you are using an animated .gif program, you can optimize the file to shrink it dramatically. when using ULead .Gif Animator, press F11 to bring up the optimization wizard. you can reduce the number of colors and the dither value. depending on the image, you can have less than 100 colors and keep the image quality. i've reduced the dither value to less than 15% without noticable reduction in quality. i still don't know what dither value is. then, save it, and the size should be greatly reduced. my current avatar started as 13.1 kb, it's now 7.83 kb thanks to the optimizer.
pbreview.com avatar rules:
-avatars with people in them must follow the avatar dress code
-no explicit violence/gore
-no drug references
unofficial avatar rules:
-no avatar stealing or copying
-if a member made one for you, give him/her credit in your sig
direct links to control panel, edit options, and change avatar added 1/21/05