Thread: Graphics FAQ
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Old 10-03-2006   #1
sk8er
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Join Date: Jun 2005
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Graphics FAQ

Welcome to Sk8er’s GFX Faq.
Here I will be writing and constantly updating information on GFX.
I have created this mainly for the people who have almost no knowledge of GFX


1. What is a Signature?
A signature is an image below your text in a forum; this image will always be displayed unless you check the box in the area where you are typing your message.

2. How do I use a signature?
You can use a signature by doing the following:
1. Create your image using a GFX program, this will be covered later.
2. Now host your image on www.imageshack.us
3. Now right click on that image , then select property’s, and copy the location
4. Go to your forum and select the user cp and then select the edit signature button.
5. Insert your copied location in between image tags, like so [img]insert location here[/img]
6. Now try to post in the forum and see if it worked (note: some forums have the Preview Signature feature.)

3. How can I make a signature?

There are many different ways to create signatures, the program most people use is Adobe Photoshop CS2.
This is one of the worlds most powerful and useful GFX program’s.
You can download a free trail of Photoshop CS2 here http://store1.adobe.com/cfusion/stor...word=photoshop
Another good Program is Photofiltre,compared to photoshop it isnt very good but it is free and easy to use,you can download it here:
http://www.softpedia.com/get/Multime...toFiltre.shtml
GIMP is also a very good GFX Program, it has most of the photoshop filtres and abilities. You can download it here: http://www.gimp.org/downloads/
When you have got your graphics program you must then create your signature, most people use brushes to create there signatures, you can download them here at deviant art www.deviantart.com
Once you have your brushes you must insert a render, a render is an image cut out from another image, these are used all the time in signatures, now you have all of the basics for making a signature you can insert your render and make a sig, for tutorials on how to do this visit www.pixel2life.com then select your graphics program from the navigation bar on the left.
If you dont want to download one of these programs you can allways ask for a siginature to be made for you by someone else. you can do this 2 ways. refer to question 6.

4. What is and avatar?

An avatar is a small picture that appears beneath your username in posts, these images are usually very small and are just cut out’s from the user’s current signature.

5. How do I make an avatar?

You can make an avatar from almost any GFX program, some forums already have stock Avatar’s for users, these generally are not very good, so to use a custom avatar you can do the following:
1. Select the user cp button.
2. Now select the edit avatar button
3. Now scroll down to the upload avatar, click it.
4. Select your avatar and click upload.
And your done

6. How can I get a signature made for me?

You can do this by posting a request in the creative visuals section of gtagaming.com (sub forum name may change from forum to forum), When requesting a signature remember to be as specific as possible, the more specific you are the closer the result will be to what you want, when posting your request try to do the following format:
Size: The dimensions of the signature you want creating.(for www.gtagaming.com 450x150 is the maximum size
Text: describe where you want the text, what you font you want the signature to contain and what you want it to say.
Render: What render you want in your signature, either the name of the game like a Prince of Persia render or the link to a particular render.
Type of signature: there are many types of signatures out there here are just a few: Grunge, Tech, Abstract, vector, photo manipulation, Photography, Purely Brushed signatures ect.
Additional info: such as if you want it animated or you want it to be a cut out ect.

7. What are Photoshop Brush’s and how can I use them?

Photoshop brush’s are images that have been made that you can drag around the canvas in order to obtain a desired result, in other word’s a regular brush with a shape someone (or yourself has made).
You can download these brushes off most good GFX sites. Here I will be telling you how to get them and then use them.
Step 1. Download a brush from a GFX site. I will be using a brush from deviantart.com
Step 2. If the brush requires unzipping then do so.
Step 3. Now Copy and paste the brushes into the file: letter drive/program files/ Adobe/ Your Photoshop version/ Presets/ Brushes.
Step 4. Now open Your Photoshop and select the brush from the brush selection menu.
Note: some brushes will only work in certain versions of Photoshop but Photoshop cs2 will work with all types of brushes.
Some good Brush sites are:
www.Deviantart.com
More brush sites to come

8. What is Image ready and how do I use it?

Image ready is a part if Photoshop that allows you to animate images.
You can animate images by doing one of to things:
1. Move the part of the image a desired amount at a time and then pressing the new frame button.
2. Move the part of the image to the desired place then pressing the Tween Button.
Image ready is an essential part of every graphic designer’s toolkit.
When using image ready remember to save your work as a .GIF optimized or the animation will not work.

9. My Background on my transparent signature is grey and wont work Why is this ~ Kippers…www.hex3d.net 23/2/06
This is because you are viewing the image with a crappy web browser, a good reliable free for download web browser is Mozilla Firefox, using this will allow you to see almost every image on the web in better quality.
You can download it here:
www.mozilla.com

10. What is a Graphics Guild and how do I get into one?

A graphics guild is a team of people/members who are exceptionally good at GFX most GFX web sites will have one; these people do a range of tasks such as:
Make new banners, buttons for the site and its affiliates ECT
Signatures for GFX challenged Members
Userbars for the website
Site advertisements
And much more
Theses Guilds mostly contain members with the certain skill (one member per skill)
Photography, Flash, Grunge, Photo manipulation, Tech, Web site design, 3d modeling programs such as cinema 4d, animation, Abstract, Vectors, Fractals.
Most Guilds’ will require an application form showing your best work.
Some pointers for the application form.
Some good things to include would be:

What programs you used

Your very best works, this is vital to show what you are best at.

Different types of signatures, you should always show different types of signatures e.g. tech animation, grunge, abstract, vectors and fractals.

Web sites, you may have worked on a web site to create the skin or the banner ECT this would be great to show as it shows that your design graphics skills where good enough to be accepted by a web site admin

Sotw wins for example if you win a sotw on another site you could show your prize and tell the admin why you won it.

Any thing else, perhaps some pictures you rendered or even a few brushes and fonts you made would be great...


11. What is devaintart and how do I Join?

Deviant art is a great website where Graphic designers can show there stuff, when you join the site you will get your own page where you can submit your own work for free, write journal entry’s telling others what’s on your mind, download other peoples work and rate it.
You can join this awesome site at www.devaintart.com then click on the register Button

12. Can you tell me how you make the pictures hang out of the actual border and have the grey background? Kinda like BASSiC's car signature and Letter maniacs VCS signature? ~Mr. XION

You can do this By having the background the same colour as the forums background(but this can be seen by pressing view image).
Another way(that is the proper way) is to save your image for the web.
You can do this by making your image in Photoshop and then when you have finished press File/Save then save your image as a .PNG file
Then once you are done press save and host your image on www.rappo.gtagaming.com/upload.
Once you have done this it should look like this:

13. My signatures don’t look good, people say I need borders and better text How can I improve this?~ Plant man

Borders
Right the best borders you can put on signatures are 1 px borders or 3 pixel borders, both are really easy. For the 1 pixel border, create a new layer and select it using the marque tool then go to-->edit-->stroke and set it to 1 pixel and the color of your choice (usually black). For a 3 px border create a new layer and do the same as above but make the stroke 3 pixels and white. Then set the blending options on this layer to softlight. Create a new layer and do a 1 pixel border on that using the steps above. STAY AWAY from tech borders often the look bad and take up to much space, only do these if you are doing a tech signature even when doing one always make the border small and change the opacity down so it isn’t so obvious .
Text
Ok, text is the hardest part of a sig. I'm not going to go to talk about effects just tips on how to make sure your text is good. (I may expand this section at a later date) Keep your text small and plain and simple, fancy fonts will not fit many sigs. If your unsure what font to us just use the good old trusty pixel font at size 8 in a color the matches your render and background. Make sure your text does not stand-out too much (by this a mean that it detracts from the rest of the signature) but is not hard to read. Stay AWAY from Bevel and Emboss it can make text look weird or hard to read.
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Last edited by sk8er; 10-06-2006 at 04:06 AM..
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