Creating A Custom AviPic
*NOTE: This is a Photoshop tutorial ONLY. At some point in the future I may make tutorials for other programsÖ. Donít hold your breath waiting, though, they might not be made for some time.
Step 1: Getting the look YOU want
This is actually the easiest/hardest thing youíre going to have to do for this tutorial. Open up your IMVU application, and make sure the first thing you do is put up your DND shields. (In other words, make sure youíre set on DO NOT DISTURB, so no one can bug you and mess you up.) For those of you who donít know where your DND shield is, in your Messenger window, look above all your buddies. You should see this:
See the highlighted part? Click that and set it as I told you- then everyone who tries to chat with you wonít be able to. Yes, you actually want that for now, you CAN change it back later. Browse about your inventory now until you have your most favoritest outfit ever! Wear it. Love it. Youíre getting your picture taken in it. Remember to keep it tasteful if you donít have a restricted access page. (Oh yeah, disclaimer time: If you follow this tutorial and do something stupid with it, like break the IMVU Terms of Service.... ITíS ON YOU! Iím not taking responsibility for your actions and choices, thatís your own lookout, and youíve been warned.)
Step 2: Getting your base picture
Now that you have on your Sunday Best, itís time to actually take your picture! However, the default IMVU 3D Window isnít the best, now is it? Itís tiny and thereís other stuff in there chopping off your aviís feet, and what the heckís up with that shadow spot that stays exactly where it is? Never fear! Resizing the window is here! In the picture below, you see what the bottom of your 3D window looks like.
Where it says 1, thatís how you resize your window- just click the corner and drag until itís as big as you can get it from top to bottom. Also click the red X in the circle, thatís going to get rid of all the stuff on the bottom. Not like you HAVE to, but it does make your life easier if you want a close-up. Get your full body in the frame, and wait until youíre in a good pose. Make sure itís the selected window and hit ctrl+alt+print screen to take your picture! Hit ctrl+N in Photoshop for a new document with the same proportions as your screenshot, and then ctrl+V to paste your screenshot as the first layer. It wonít be this small, but it should look something like this:
Step 3: Making the base for the complete pic
Now that you have your base pic, you need to take it and make it look really cool! Hereís your chance to get really creative! Letís say you want a fabulous headshot, and a cute background- okay, no problem. Open a new Photoshop document with the ctrl+N command. IMVU requirements for avi pics are 160 x 220 pixels, but thatís a little small to do anything nifty with, so weíre going to double it- when your ďNewĒ box pops up, make sure the width is 320 and the height is 440.
Use the Rectangular Marquee Tool and select the part of the picture you want to include in the completed avi pic.
Everything inside the dotted lines is now the selection you are going to work from for your completed avi pic. For the tutorial, Iíve chosen to do a waist-up selection.
Hit ctrl+C to copy, go to the new 320 x 440 picture you just created, and hit ctrl+V to paste your selection into the first layer. Donít worry if itís too big at this point, or if itís too small- you can resize it to fit using the Move Tool (first picture). Just click the Move Tool and make your selection fit the width of the picture, then copy the percentage of the width into the height percentage so your picture resizes evenly (second picture).
Now to get rid of all that nasty white in the background, because itís blah, and boringÖ You arenít blah and boring, are you? Of course not! So why should your avi pic be that way? Use the Magic Wand Tool to select a white spot.
Now that you have that done, if there isnít any white on your outfit, right-click and select similar. This will select all the white in your picture. Hit Delete and poof! No more white! If you have lots of little white bits in your outfit, this will make your avi pic look really weird when you have everything done. So for that, what you want to do is hit and hold Shift, then click on the white that you want to remove, then hit Delete. The result will be the same- no more icky white background- but you wonít risk deleting pieces of your outfit. You should have something now that looks like this:
Time to resize again! Obviously, youíll want your avi a bit bigger, or when you resize the image to meet IMVU standards, no one will know what you look like and all your hard work is nil. So, using the Move Tool, do the exact same thing we did the first time until your avi is the size you want it. Then use the Move Toolís other feature and actually move your avi around until itís in the frame where you want it to be. Now, weíre going to leave this layer alone, but we will be making other layers and moving them around this one to make it look the way we want.
Step 4: Pretty backgrounds
Since the basis for your picture is done, now all we have to do is make it look really cool with a nifty background, and maybe some other decoration and text! So, make yourself a new layer. If you want a transparent avi pic, make a new layer, select Hide in the Layer Styles- Visibility category, move this layer under your avi pic layer, and instead of saving as a .jpg like everyone else is going to at the end of the tutorial, save yours as a .gif or .png (which will preserve your transparency).
Since I want a cloud background that matches my aviís dress, Iíve used the color selector to pick the pink from her outfit and have painted my new layer with it. The other color I selected is white. For Clouds, I need to go to my Filter Gallery.
In the Filter Gallery, I select Render, then Clouds (not Difference Clouds- those with give you clouds that are the exact opposites on the color wheel of the two colors youíve selected and will look a little odd). This is what the pink I selected and the white look once Iíve rendered them into Clouds.
For your convenience, here is a labeled chart of what different Render filters look like with the colors Iíve picked. Play around a bit- different filters at different settings can do some interesting stuff! Find one that YOU like and go with it!
Step 5: Dressing up the front!
Now that we have a background we like, itís time to do some stuff to the foreground (the stuff that will go OVER your avi pic). Since mine is kinda girly, Iíll use the Custom Shapes Tool to put some pretty flowers and stuff in my foreground in the same green thatís on my dress.
The Autoshapes will appear in the same area as the resizing percentages did when you used the Move Tool, at the top of your Photoshop toolbars. Now that Iíve gone girly and added my froofy little plants and flowers and stuff, I have 10 layers and my avi pic looks like this:
ĒThis is really nice and all, but I want my leaves to be kinda see-through, I want my flowers to pop a bit, and I want to add my name (and it should pop too)!Ē Okay, thatís easy! Simply select the layers where your leaves are, and in the Layer Styles-Visibility section, click Ghosted. This auto-sets your opacity to 50% and makes your leaves see-through. One down, two to go. Now we start playing around with other options. Go to your Text Tool. If you want your text to be normal, just straight across, leave it as is and pick your font, font size, and color. If you want yours to go vertical down the side, right-click and select Vertical Type Tool, then pick the font, font size, and color. I used the Vertical Type Tool, the same green I used to make the flowers, and the Monotype Corsiva font in size 60.
Like everything else, use your Move Tool until your text is where you want it. Now that you have text along with everything else, time for the ďpopĒ! Where your Layer Styles are, click on Visibility and select Bevels from your drop down menu.
As you can see, there are a whole bunch of different bevels. For now weíre just going to use the one titled Simple Inner. Select your text layer and apply the bevel to it. Ta-da! Pop! Now do the same for the layers your flowers are on, and theyíll pop too. Et voila, cíest finis! Your avi pic is complete, finally! But thereís still a couple things you need to doÖ..
Step 6: The Finishing Move
Everything youíve done has made your avi pic really swanky, but remember that we doubled the canvass size to make it easier to work with. IMVU has strict guidelines about the pixel size and file size of your avi pic that you have to follow, or you canít submit it and all the work youíve done is automatically bupkis. So, first things first, to take care of the pixel sizes. Since we just doubled it, it isnít hard to resize it correctly.
At the top of your toolbars, in the standard bar, click Image, then Resize. Simply put in the halved measurements of 160 x 220, and submit. Your image with automatically be resized to IMVU standards. Getting your file the correct size is something a little more complicated. Hit ctrl+S to save your pic, make sure itís in a folder you can find easily, and name it. Make sure you save it as a .jpg if you have a solid background (this does help you by letting you tweak the quality), and a .gif is you have a transparent background or want a smaller file size (a smaller file size .gif doesnít affect the actual size of the pic, just the room needed to store it on your computer). Remember that IMVU only accepts .jpgs, .gifs, and .pngs! PNGs are usually a really big file size and wonít meet requirementsÖ Use them if you want, but youíve been warned.
FOR .JPGS ONLY: Now, once you click ok to save , you should have a window pop up. Look at the bottom of that window, youíll have a file size- mine is 50.18k. Since IMVU wants all avi pics to be under 39k, I have a slight issue- my file size is too big! I can easily fix this by lowering my file quality under the ďImage OptionsĒ area on that same pop up window. Your pic wonít be as clear, but youíll be able to submit it. When I lower the image quality to 10 (which is still in the max clarity end), my file size is suddenly reduced to 31.64k. I can also use the format options ďprogressive settingĒ with the highest number of scans, and raise my quality to 11, while still staying in the file size limit of 39k. This will help you if you have a TON of extra stuff in your picture, like lots of autoshapes or a fancy background fill.
This is my final avi pic saved as a .jpg with a quality 11 and 5 progressive scans.
This is my final avi pic saved as a .gif with no other modifications.
This is my final avi pic, no modifications, saved as a .png. The file size is 59.2k and I wouldnít be able to submit it to IMVU.