We’ve already discussed the importance of having a compelling avatar for your blog. Even if you agree it’s a good idea to have an image that represents the true you; it’s easy to put off creating one. You might even be stuck in the mud because you can’t think of an image that would suit you.
Well, this might give you some incentive to move that project to the front burner: There’s a great online application called GIFWorks that allows you to create free graphics you can use as avatars and have a blast while you do it.
GIFWorks is easy to use, even if you have no graphics experience. The only requirement is that you modify a .gif file. (You probably already guessed that from the site name.) It also goes without saying that you have to have permission to use the photo. You can use one of your own, or you can choose one from Stock.Xchng, which offers quality photos for no charge.
There are are a variety of looks that can be obtained through the GIFWorks application. To show you its capabilities, I’ve taken a photo of my nephew and turned it into the following five distinct icons. The GIFWorks features used to create them appear next to each avatar. There are different versions of GIFWorks for Firefox and Internet Explorer (IE), so I’ve included the features paths for each. Click on any of the icons to see the full-size image.
IE: Effects menu /Artist Medium / Cartoon Strip
Firefox: Effects menu / Cartoon Strip_
IE: Effects menu /Artist Medium / Raster
Firefox: Effects menu / Raster
IE: Effects menu /Color / Colorshift
Firefox: Effects menu / Colorshift
IE: Effects menu /Sharpness / Sharpen/Unsharpen, then Effects menu / Offset / Shadow, then Warp / Sphere
Firefox: All on Effects menu: Sharp/Unsharp, then Shadow, then Sphere_______
IE: E: Effects menu / Offset / 3D Glasses
Firefox: Effects menu / 3D Glasses___________
These examples (plus many more that didn’t make the final cut) took under an hour — and I had a great time playing while I made them. I hope these inspire you to experiment with GIFWorks and create a little fun of your own!
You might also be interested in these other resources on WordPlay:
- Free clip art
- Free photos
- Free cartoons
- Avatar Central, your home for free images, image software and information about avatars
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