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Animated Signatures And Profile Pictures (tutorial)


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Greetings everyone!

Today I'm making this tutorial on how to create cool animated profile pictures and signatures to upload them here at RDR2.org

THINGS YOU WILL NEED: 

  • Computer
  • Photoshop (preferably)
  • Internet Access

Step 1: CREATING THE IMAGE or DOWNLOADING ONE

This is honestly the most important step because you want to design something or find an image that best fits your personality and character for your profile picture or signature. Example, I found a free skull design online and found a black western hat vector image that was also free. I then took the skull and hat into Photoshop and then combined them together to get my image. You can do the same steps, but you can do this on pretty much whatever image you want to create, just make sure you understand copyright and don't steal images that do not belong to you. Once you have selected or designed your image, now let's get into the fun part which includes the next step.  VERY IMPORTANT: I highly recommend making your signature 250 pixels high, and 500 pixels wide. Profile pictures should be 200 pixels high and 200 pixels wide for best results.

Step 2: ANIMATING YOUR PICTURE

Now here is where all the fun begins. Once you have created or selected and verified your final design, now you can animate your image using the GIF format. What's a GIF? Well, a GIF is a lossless format for image files that supports both animated and static images. The best part is, RDR2.org supports GIF files for both your profile picture and signature - HOORAY! 

Now let me introduce you to the best GIF effects and GIF maker on the entire internet: https://photomosh.com/. Once you visit the site you can then load your image(s) into PHOTOMOSH and begin experimenting and messing with the controls on the right hand side once you have imported your image file. You can also hit the "Mosh" button to randomize the effects. I'm not going into details on how to animate a specific animation, because everyone has different tastes in preferences and everyone should be creative and unique with their work.

Now once you have finished with your animation or static effect, you can now make a GIF file. Once you are done creating your animation, go to the top left corner in PHOTOMOSH and select "GIF". Once you have selected the GIF option for your image, you can now record the animation using the button on the PHOTOMOSH website. Once you have recorded your animation, the website will automatically start downloading your image via GIF format. Congratulations! You successfully created a GIF fully customized to your specifications. 

Step 3: OPTIMIZING YOUR GIF FILE

Here at RDR2.org our site requires your profile picture to be 200x200 in pixels and a Max file size 0.49MB. Once you are done creating your GIF on PHOTOMOSH, you will realize the GIF image will simply be to big in size for the website to upload and you will get an error because of this. There's a simple fix to this and all you need to do is optimize your GIF file or in other words, get your file to a lower size than 0.49MB. You can simply do this by going to this fantastic GIF optimizer online tool which can be found here: http://gifgifs.com/optimizer/

Once you visit the website, upload the GIF image you want to optimize for a lower file size. Now that you selected the image you want to lower in size, look to the right and you will see a drop down box. Once you click the drop down box you want to select "Lossy GIF level 140 (Heavy)". What this will do is decrease your GIF file in size to 70% of it's actual size with hardly any change in quality of the GIF. (Example: If I uploaded a GIF file that was 1033.5 KB in size... the file will then be 301.1 KB in size which is perfect for uploading to the website.)

Now that you have your final image ready to upload, you can now upload it to the website. I should also note if you are to close to the maximum file size (0.49MB) in size, the site will still give you an error which is why it's crucial to select Lossy GIF Level 140 when optimizing and decreasing the image to cut down the file size of your original GIF image as much as possible. 

WHAT YOU LEARNED TODAY

How to animate your image into a GIF file using PHOTOMOSH, and how to optimize a GIF image by lowering the file size to meet RDR2.org image uploading requirements. 

If you have any questions or concerns, please don't hesitate to reply to this thread or just contact me through private message, I'm usually pretty active on the website. I hope you guys learned something new today, and maybe this could be useful to someone who wants to spice up their profile picture or signature. 

Cheers 😎

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