Time to spruce up the Org with some animated avatars! Below are some easy instructions so you can make your own and share them with other members here. It would be awesome to see what other He-Man and She-Ra fans come up with! I will continue to contribute additional avatars to the thread as time permits.
You will need:
* Adobe Photoshop software (download a free trial here)
* CyberLink PowerDVD13 software (download a free trial here)
* Your favorite DVD disc.
1. Create a "Snapshots" folder where you will deposit all of your avatar's frames into.
2. Insert your DVD. Open it with PowerDVD13.
3. In PowerDVD13, click on the gear icon in the upper-right corner to access the setting options. Click on "More Settings" and under "Save snapshot to:" click on "Browse" to locate the file you want to save your "Snapshots" to. Click "Select Folder" and then "Ok" to lock in this folder setting.
3. Load your DVD and find a scene you would like to capture.
4. Press 't' to move 1 frame forward, 'e' to move 1 frame backwards. Press 'c' to capture each frame of your animation.
5. Once all of your frames have been captured, open Photoshop. Click File > Scripts > Load Files into Stacks.
6. In the window that pops up ("Load Layers"), click on "Browse" and locate your "Snapshots" folder. Highlight all of your avatar's frames and click "Ok", and then "Ok" again in the "Load Layers" window. A new image will be generated containing a layer for each of the frames you captured.
7. In Photoshop, select Window > Animation, and in the upper-right corner of the Animation window that appears, click on the icon with the small black down arrow and horizontal lines. From the menu that pops out, select "Make Frames From Layers". You will see the Animation window populate with the frames you gathered.
8. Highlight all of the frames inside the Animation window, click on the icon with the small black down arrow and horizontal lines. From the menu that pops out, select "Reverse Frames".
9. In the lower-left corner of the Animation window, click on the small black down arrow next to "Once" and from the dropdown menu that appears, select "Forever" to let your avatar's animation repeat continuously.
10. Remove any unneeded frames by selecting the frame, and then clicking on the trashcan icon on the bottom of the Animation window.
11. Adjust the speed of any selected frame by clicking on the small black down arrow under the frame's image, next to "sec".
12. To further adjust the animation speed of your avatar, highlight all of your avatar's frames in the Animation window, select the "Convert to Timeline Animation" icon in the lower-right corner of the same window. Then click on the icon with the small black arrow and horizontal lines in the upper-right corner of the window and from the popout menu select "Document Settings". In the window that pops up you can specify the avatar's frame rate.
13. Preview your avatar's animation with the controls at the bottom of your Animation window.
14. Resize your image to meet the file and image size restrictions of the He-Man.org message board by selecting Image > Image Size. In the Image Size window that appears, enter 85 for the width and the height automatically adjusts itself. For information about other allowed image sizes, go here.
15. Select File > Save For Web & Devices.
16. In the window that appears, adjust the settings as necessary. Keep note of the file size in the lower-left corner (can be no greater than 50.0 KB unless you made a donation). To reduce the file size, you may need to remove some frames. In this window, you can also increase the "Web Snap" percentage, and delete individual colors in the color table. Be sure to make a selection from the "Looping Options" dropdown menu in the lower-right corner.
17. On He-Man.org's message board, load your saved avatar by logging in, selecting "Settings", and on the left side of the Settings page, click on "Edit Avatar". Click on the "Use Custom Avatar" radio button. Click on "Browse", and locate your finished avatar file.
* Use as few frames as possible to keep your avatar's file size within the message board's restrictions.
* Try capturing every other frame, or every third frame for better results.
* You can automate some of the steps in Photoshop with the "Actions" window. To access these tools, go to Window > Actions.
* Don't resize your avatar until you're ready to save it. You may want to save the Photoshop (.PSD) file full-size in case you want to edit it more in the future.
* If your loaded avatar stays still and does not animate once it's loaded into the He-Man.org site, your file's image size or file size may be too large.
* The maximum size of your custom avatar is 85 by 85 pixels or 50.0 KB (whichever is smaller), unless you have made a donation to keep the site strong!