Purpose: The purpose of this how-to article is to demonstrate how to capture a still image from a video, create a .jpg image, and crop/reduce to the appropriate size for posting as an avatar in the wavejunkies forum. The tips provided within also serve to aid a user in creating an avatar out of protected web pages, large images, etc. This how-to does not provide tips in advanced image quality manipulation.
Other tools may work but this document will use the following common and “free” tools:
- Microsoft Windows XP
- The Gimp (for graphics manipulation) www.gimp.org, http://superbeast.dl.sourceforge.net/sourceforge/gimp-win/gimp-2.2.13-i586-setup-1.zip
- GTK+ 2 (required by The Gimp) http://superbeast.dl.sourceforge.net/sourceforge/gimp-win/gtk+-2.8.18-setup-1.zip
- Windows Media Player
Capturing a Screen Shot from a Video (skip if you are using an existing photo/image):
- Download and install GTK+ 2 and then The Gimp unless you intend to use an alternate graphical manipulation program such as Adobe Photoshop. Accept all defaults but pay particular attention to the ‘file associations’ when installing The Gimp. I would not recommend associating file types such as .jpeg, .gif, .bmp, etc with this ‘advanced’ program.
- Launch The Gimp and accept all configuration defaults.
- Launch Windows Media Player
- Click View ^ Enhancements ^ Play Speed Settings
- Click View ^ Video Size ^ 100%
- Use standard controls to navigate to the approximate point in the video of which you want a screen shot. Use the speed settings navigation controls at the bottom of the screen to fine tune which video frame you intend to capture.
- Hit alt-‘print screen’ on the keyboard to capture in the active screen. (Most laptops will require you to hit alt-fn-‘print screen’).
Manipulating a Picture to Create an Avatar:
- Switch to The Gimp
- Open the desired file or click File ^ Acquire ^ from clipboard and you will now have an image such as this:
- Now you want to crop out just the good stuff. Select the crop and resize tool and drag a ‘square’ over the area you want to keep. After you have marked off the area, click ‘Crop’ in the tool box and you will be left with just the goods such as:
- Notice the dimensions at the top – 154x116. Wavejunkies.com limits avatar size to 100x100 and 6.0Kb max. Right-click the image, Image ^ Scale Image, pick the larger number between width and height and change it to 100 and hit Scale. You now have an image that meets the dimension requirements of wavejunkies.
- Right-click the image, File ^ Save As, type in a file name with .jpg at the end of the name and select a location to which to save.
- After clicking save, you will be prompted to adjust the quality of the image. The default should be fine but to be sure the image will remain less than 6Kb, check the box for Show Preview in image window. This will in turn tell you the estimated file size:
- Hit OK. Congratulations you’ve created an avatar! Now to upload it….
Uploading Avatar to Wavejunkies:
- Go to www.wavejunkies.com, log in to the Trash Talk forum, and click on Profile.
- Scroll to the bottom, select Browse next to the option to Upload Avatar from your machine.
- Browse to the desired avatar, hit Open and Submit. Congrats you’re a superstar!