Tutorials - Blinkie name

blinkie name

Have you also noticed those cute little blinkie names that so many people are using on message boards and in emails these days? Do you want to make one for yourself? Well, they are quite easy to make, it just takes a little time. But after you've made your first one and know how to do it you'll soon learn to spit them out quite fast.

This tutorial is designed to be used with Paint Shop Pro v. 7 and the attached Animation Shop v. 3 from Jasc.com. The same procedure can be adopted to most graphic programs that use layers. However, I can not give you any advice on how to use them because I only use PSP and AS don't know any other programs.

The text can be made with most fonts. You can just use something that you like. But to make it easy for everybody I am going to use the font Arial that is found on all computers these days.

1. Open PSP, file>new. Width = 150 pixels, height = 50, resolution = 72,000, background colour = transparent, and image type = 16.7 million. Make the image a bit wider if you are going to use a very long text string. For a normal first name this should be enough space.

2. Set your background colout to black, and your foreground colour to null.

3. Click the text tool text tool, then somewhere on the canvas and your text editor box will appear.

4. Using the same settings that are shown in the image below, write the name that you want in the blinkie and in upper case letters (this image has been shrunken down, if you want to see the the full image just click on it and a new window will open):

tutorial image

5. The name is now on a vector layer. To move it to the middle of the canvas, place the mover tool mover tool over the text and holding down your left mouse button just drag the text to where you want it to be.

6. Layers>merge>merge visible. The text is now on a raster layer.

7. Now we will start putting each letter of the text on a new letter. First magnify your text. Then use the selection tool selection tool with these settings (note these settings are appropriate if you use the font arial at the size I indicated before. If you use a more curvy text you might need to use another selection tool).

tutorial image

8. With your selection tool select all the text except the first letter. You don't have to be very precise, just make sure you exclude the first letter. A rectangle of marching ants will now appear around your text.

9. Left click once inside the selection. The marching ants should now be only around the text itself.

10. Selections>promote to layer. The marching ants disappear, and if you check your layer palette you'll see that the first letter is on a layer by itself and all the other letters are on one layer.

11. Do the same again, this time excluding the second letter and the first one.

12. Continue this operation until all the letters are on separate layers.

13. Use the move tool again and drag the first letter a bit away from the others such as this (if the other letters are dragged as well you have done something wrong and will need to go through the separation of the letters into different layers again).

tutorial image

14. Set your foreground colour to black. Click your paintbrush paintbrush and use these settings:

tutorial image

15. Paint a square around the first letter, just one pixel away from the letter itself. You can let the lines go on to the right side so it's easier to adjust the second letter.

tutorial image

16. Using the mover tool again drag the second letter into place next to the firt letter. Then paint a box around it with the paint brus again.

tutorial image

17. Do the same until you have all the letters in their place and boxed.

tutorial image

18. Layers>merge>merge visible.

19. Now we're going to crop the image. First maginify it so you can see it really well. Then choose your crop tool crop tool and just use the default settings.

20. Then draw/drag a rectangle with the crop tool around the name, directly around the box so that no pixel is left outside the box. Do this carefully and then let go. If you have drawn a pixel too close or a pixel too far you can correct this by placing the cursor over the line that needs to be moved and drag it closer or away from the box. When you are satisfied with the area double-click inside the selection and all the area outside the box should disappear. If shomething goes wrong, just use the undo button undo button and try it again.

tutorial image

21. And now comes the real fun part. :o) Set your foreground and background to two colours that you like, the colours that you want the name to have. In this case where the text is dark it is best to keep the colours medium or light shades to get the best effect possible. For this name I'll choose a light purple and a light, lime green.

22. Click the flood fill tool floodfill tool and use these settings:

tutorial image

23. To colour the name just left click inside the first box, then right click inside the second box, and so on the make every second box with your foreground colour and every second with your background colour. If you accidentally hit the letters or the box itself just undo and try again. Easy itn't it?

24. File>save as...... Name your file 1.psp and just save it right to the desktop.

25. Colour the name again with the floodtool, but this time right click in the first box, left click in the second and so on, so that the colours are reversed.

26. File>save as..... Name your file 2.psp.

27. You can now close down PSP.

28. Open Animation Shop and choose the animation wizard animation wizard .

29. When prompted choose these settings and leave everything else to default: Check 'same size as the first image frame'. Next. 'Transparent'. Next. 'Upper left corner of the frame'. Next. 'Yes, repeat the animation indefinitely' and set the display time to '15'. Next. 'Add image'. Locate the two images you saved '1.psp' and '2.psp' on your desktop and add them. Next. Complete.

30. Your animation should now show up in AS looking something like this:

tutorial image

31. File>save as... Name your animation and save it right to the desktop. You should be ok if you just choose ok as many times as necessary and then complete. If something strange happens to the colours, then undo, and save again, but this time choose the 'customize' button when the big box appears. Then choose the 'colors' tab, and set the colours to the second smalles choice which is 7 or 8 colours and then choose the optimised octree option.

Well, that was it! You should now be the proud owner of a blinkie name that you have actually made yourself. After familiarizing yourself with this way of making the name you might want to try to explore it a little. How about adding more than just two colour, using a bevel, making longer text strings or two strings below each other, or actually make the boxes move? The possibilities are endless, the limit is your own imagination! :o)

(This entire tutorial © February 2nd, 2002, Guðrun Jacobsen)

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