How to Create Your Own Neoboard Avatar
When chapter 13 of The Faeries Ruin was released, the TFR boards pretty much exploded with comments on how amazing/horrible Xandra is, how many people didn’t see it coming/saw it from the very beginning, and people’s thoughts on why Xandra did it, and was it really Xandra.
One day, I decided to play a small practical joke on the TFR board. I took my trusty Photoshop program, and made an avatar with Xandra on it. After that, I posted it on my lookup with a large header saying “XANDRA AVATAR FOUND:” I also wrote a smaller note under the avatar, admitting the fact that it was fake, and encouraging people to give me their opinions about it. The funniest part was watching people desperately trying to prove to me and everybody else that the avatar was fake, stay totally oblivious to the note under it.
After a while, a couple of people told me that if I wanted my avatar to look more realistic, I’d have to change a few things. So I did, and as a result, my avatar looked like something straight out of the news. Instantly, the amount of people complimenting me on what a good job I did increased, and, interestingly enough, the amount of people telling me that it was fake decreased, perhaps because they didn’t care anymore, now that the avatar looked really good. That’s when the requests started.
The first (and overall biggest) request was an avatar featuring the unfairly petrified pie. So I took what I had learnt from my last experience, added a bit of imagination, and after around half an hour, I had an avatar featuring the pie ready. After that, more people joined in on the avatar-making madness, and more avatars were made. Soon, people actually started neomailing me for help on making their own avatars, which is what gave me the idea to write this article. And now that my little story is done, let’s begin!
1. The first step is also the most important one. Think your avatar through. Decide what the theme is, which images you’ll use, how long it will be, what text you’ll add, how you’ll animate it, what kind of shape it will be and etc. Then it would be a good idea to take a piece of paper and draw every important frame of your avatar.
2. All avatars are 50 pixels in width and 50 pixels in height, so start by creating a 50x50 document in whichever program you use.
3. Now you should draw a plain 1-pixel black border on the very edge of your avatar. If you want it to be a normal, square avatar – then just color the outer layer of pixels with black; if you want a different shape, then draw that shape out, but don’t forget to make the area outside of your border transparent (if you don’t know how to do that, I suggest sticking with the square avatar). After that, create another border just inside of the first one, and color it white. If you can, set its transparency to 50% and its blending mode to overlay to achieve the effect that most Neopets avatars have.
4. Now you can actually start creating your avatar! Search Neopets and find the images that you need for each frame. You can also draw them, but unless you’re really good or are making an art-related avatar, I’d suggest searching Neopets. Resize each image you got to 50x50 to actually make it fit inside the avatar.
5. Now for the text. TNT stated that they use the 04b03 font for their avatar, so if you know how to, get it, and use it in size 8. If you don’t, things will be slightly trickier, but nevertheless possible. Open your list of avatars, or, if you don’t have very many, ask around for a Neopets petpage with a list of all the avatars. Many avatars have the font you need, although quite a few have a similar, yet different font, so be careful. Here are all of the avatars that you need to find: Plushie Eyrie, Kiko Ninja, Tuskaninny – Relax, Zomutt, Battle Faerie, Happy Birthday!, Chomby – Colourful and Grundo Warehouse. What you want to do is find each letter that you need for your text in these avatars, and copy it pixel to pixel, and then rearrange them in the order you need.
6. Now take out your gif animation program (if you don’t have one, how do you expect to create an avatar?). Sometimes, they are implemented into the image-editing program you are using, so try looking there. Once it’s open, it is time to create your frames.
7. Take a look at the piece of paper you used to write down/draw your avatar’s frames. If your image-editing program has an implemented gif animator, then go to step 8a. If you are using separate programs to draw and to animate, go to step 8b.
8a. Most probably, all you have to do is follow the instructions to correctly use the implemented animator, and for each frame make different layers of your image visible.
8b. You will have to save each frame of your avatar separately. Make sure that each frame you save is exactly the way you want it, because having to change it later can be incredibly annoying. Once you’ve saved each frame in a separate file, load them all up into your animation program, and follow the instructions to animate them.
9. Don’t forget to set different pause times for your frames; otherwise, it will look like a boring slideshow. Also, if your avatar has a series of images which should be viewed in a row, then set the pause time of the last frame to something significantly higher than the other frames, somewhere around 3 seconds, to indicate that that is the end. If you simply have animated text over an image, or multiple images, which can be viewed in any order, then you don’t have to.
10. Now save the image as an animated gif, and upload it to the internet. There are many free hosting websites available; you just have to find them.
11. To add your avatar to a petpage, user lookup, shop, etc., use the html code. If you don’t know how to do it, Neopets has a handy guide here: http://www.neopets.com/help/html_5.phtml. Just remember that replacing your user lookup avatar with another one, even if it is fake, is against the rules.
12. Pat yourself on the back, maybe even throw a small party, because you are now officially done! If you followed these steps correctly, your avatar should be fully animated, and visible on one of your neo pages. And if you did a really good job, people will tell you how much they’d like your avatar to be real, and that, in my opinion, is the greatest compliment you can get.
I hope you had fun reading this guide, and made a great avatar! If it is TFR-themed, I might even add it to the gallery! Which is located here: http://www.Neopets.com/~the_shadows . Good bye, and until we meet again!