This guide is intended to lay out the steps necessary to set up a custom avatar to display on each of your posts. It is suggested you read over the avatar and signature rules before you get started so that you don't run into any problems later.
The guide assumes you already have an appropriate avatar image and have uploaded it to appropriate webspace. General information about these steps is provided in Appendices A & B.
Part 1: Get the URL & Image Variables
Make sure you have the image's URL address. Have it open in a separate window or copy/pasted into a document so you can grab it easily.
The image URL needs to be complete - this means you must include the http:// prefix, and have the full address to the exact file (usually this ends with the file extension type). Make sure there are no spaces (%20) or other special characters in the address (other than dashes or underscores; -,_). Many times the URL will be case sensitive as well.
Also make sure you have the height and width of the image in pixels handy.
Part 2: Bring up Custom Avatar Options
From any page on the GiantITP forums, click on the User CP option in the upper right toolbar.
This will bring up your control panel where you can adjust numerous options. In the Control Panel on the right, under the first section Settings & Options, click on Edit Options (it should be the last in the list).
Scroll down to the last section, Miscellaneous Options.
Part 3: Set Your Variables
Under the Avatar section of Miscellaneous Options, click the toggle next to Custom.
Now, under Custom Avatar URL, paste or type in the URL of the image.
Under Custom Avatar Width, enter the width of the image in pixels.
Under Custom Avatar Height, enter the height of the image in pixels.
Lastly, click on Save Changes.
You should now be brought back to the main Control Panel page.
To make sure the avatar is entered correctly, go find a post you have recently made. The image should now show next to your posts.
Part 4: Troubleshooting
If you image is not showing up, first make sure the site has fully reloaded and is not simply pulling from your browser cache (press Ctrl+F5 to force a complete reload of the page).
If the image still does not show up, go back to Miscellaneous Options and make sure all the image variables are entered correctly. Any incorrect values, such as having the height or width off by a pixel or the a typo in the URL, will prevent the image from showing up.
The image URL is usually case sensitive - if there are any capitalizations, make sure to have these match.
The board software does not support spaces or most special characters. These will show up as '%##' in the URL; spaces are %20 and are the most common problem in a URL that prevents an avatar from showing up. Dashes or underscores (-,_) are allowed; remove any spaces or replace them with these characters.
Make sure the image actually is a .gif, a .jpg, or a .png. If it is not, you will need to convert it into one of these formats or find another image.
Finally, try opening the image in a separate window to make sure it shows up at all. Your hosting site may be down, the image may not have uploaded correctly or have been deleted, or something else may be preventing the image from loading at all.
If none of this corrects the problem, please feel free to ask for help.
Appendix A: Acquire an Avatar
Acquiring a custom avatar is actually relatively easy. You can check out the custom avatar request and avatar adoption threads for OotS style avatars, or you can always make your own.
On the GiantITP forums, you may use a .gif, .jpg, or .png image. The image can have a width of 20-120 pixels, and a height of 20-120 pixels. The forums default to 117x117.
To double check these variables to make sure an image would fit within the rules, on most browsers right click (or Control + click on most Apples) on the image and select 'Properties.' This will display the image height and width in pixels, its URL, and its size. Right clicking generally also allows you to save the image. Some websites disable right clicking on images, however.
.gif and .png images both support transparency, while .jpg does not. Also please keep in mind that animated .gif images are not allowed as avatars.
Appendix B: Uploading the Image
You need to upload the image to a separate hosting service; the GiantITP forums do not allow you to upload directly to our server.
Free solutions include PhotoBucket and ImageShack, both of which are commonly used throughout the forums. If you have your own server space or other location you can upload to, you may certainly use that as well. These free sites are generally very simple to use and off their own tutorials. Generally, simply select the Upload option, click Browse when it asks you for the file path of the image, find the image on your computer, select it, and upload. After the image uploads, it should provide the image's URL for hotlinking.
Keep in mind that you will be 'hotlinking' the image from this space, so make sure this is allowed. Many free website hosting services do not allow image hotlinking, which will cause an error image to show up. Worse is hotlinking from someone's personal site without permission - not only is this considered impolite, many webmasters discourage this behavior by setting up obscene or insulting 'trap' images that replace hotlinked images. It is always encouraged that you get your own webspace to host any images you intend to use. Some avatar artists will allow you to hotlink from their hosts, but again it is better to set up your own space.
Last edited by Gorbash Kazdar : 05-18-2008 at 07:15 PM.
Appendix A: Acquire an Avatar
On the GiantITP forums, you may use a .gif, .jpg, or .png image. The image can have a width of 20-120 pixels, and a height of 20-120 pixels. The forums default to 117x177.
I just noticed the thread, and read it, even though I know how to.
I noticed that in the last line in one of the second last paragraph of Appendix A you mistyped 117X177, as you know(I know you do) and as you said previously in that thread, its 117X117. Just for the case somebody gets confused about it. Just pointing it out.
Well, have fun.
Spoiler: Playgrounders about me
Originally Posted by RabbitHoleLost
DD: .... DEM HIPS.
Originally Posted by faerwain
Why do I have the feeling that you actually really grind Smurfs to make your ice cream?
Originally Posted by banjo1985
My wedding underwear has a picture of Dallas Dakota's face on them.
Last edited by Dallas-Dakota : 11-08-2008 at 03:48 PM.
how do i get the url of an image i have created? if i can't get the url how do i use my own avatar?
Have you uploaded the image to a hosting site somewhere on the internet? If not, that's your problem.
Just go to any photo-hosting site (I use Photobucket), create an account, and follow the instructions on how to upload files. Once you'd done so, you should be able to easily find the URL of your image, which is what you put in here to make your avatar show up.
The Playgrounder Formerly Known as rtg0922
The Custom Avatar URL field doesn't want to accept my photobucket image.
I set up a photobucket account, loaded a couple of pictures, viewed the image that I want to use as my avatar and copied the address.
When I put the address into the Custom Avatar URL field, it doesn't accept it, saying:
"You did not enter the correct format for the Custom Avatar URL field. Please read the field description for the expected format."
Here's the address (is the format ok? or do I need to do any additional steps to access the picture by itself? I'm new to photobucket and this is my first custom avatar):
How doeso ne go about creating a pimped out OOTS style avatar?
Pick a graphics program, start drawing. Then practice until you can create something you'd be willing to show people online.
I recommend Inkscape, and taking a look at Trazoi's Inkscape guide for OotS avatars. If you have any specific Inkscape questions check The Inkscape Help Thread to see if it's already been answered.
I had a custom avatar made, it was uploaded to photobucket, I checked the guide, everything is correct, but I'm still getting a message about the url not being correct! what do?
also thanks for the earlier tips
Never mind, problem solved as you can see. You guys are doing a great job!
Last edited by DarkElfGangsta : 11-30-2009 at 08:57 AM.
it's 94 x 120, perhaps making it one pixel less high will do the trick?
Originally Posted by Kneenibble
What shall I say to thee, rakkoon, thou cruel,
Ingrateful, savage and inhuman creature,
That knewst the very bottom of my soul,
That almost mightst have coined me into gold
Wouldst thou have practiced on me for thy use?
Well, the current problem is that you've entered the truncated URL (complete with ellipsis) into the Custom Avatar field, which is why it's not displaying.
Regarding the "wrong format" message, try changing the name of your "oots Avatars" folder, I suspect that the board doesn't like the space. When I tried uploading the image to another site (http://i49.tinypic.com/2hcf5ag.png) and setting it as my avatar it worked fine.
You made it in Inkscape, yes? When you get to the Export Dialogue, make sure you have just your avatar selected and click Export Area: Selection. Then adjust the dimensions under Bitmap size so that the largest dimension is 120px, change the filename and export.
Edit: Scratch that, I just now see that you got your avatar from the request thread.
Anyway, when you upload, make sure not to check the "resize image?" tickbox. And if you're uploading via a URL, make sure that you've just got the url of the image. I'm not sure what exactly went wrong when you uploaded, but I put it up on Imageshack for you anyway. Here: