How to Create Your Own Avatar

By Andrew Smith

An avatar is an animated picture or 3D model people use to identify themselves while they are on the computer. Many users create an avatar similar to their physical appearance, while others may use pets or team logos when making the animation. Some online forums and games let you create an avatar right there on the page. There are also several websites that allow you to create and save your own avatars for personal use. Here is a guide to using a few of those websites.

Visit the Shrink Pictures avatar page. (Follow the link in Resources.) Click the “Browse” tab in the “Create Avatar” box. Search through your computer for the picture you want to use and select it. In the next box, choose how big you want the avatar to be. It can be no larger than 200 pixels. Underneath, click the “Resize” tab, and Shrink Pictures will resize your picture. On the next page, you will be given three pictures that have been cropped differently. You can save all three to use as avatars if you wish.

Use Doppel Me to create a cartoon avatar.(Follow the link in Resources.) After you get to the home page, choose the gender of your avatar. You can then select skin and eye color. Click the “Next” tab to change the face of the avatar. Choose “I'm Done,” and your avatar will be created. You can create an account on Doppel Me to use the avatar on their forums. You can also right-click on your avatar and save it for use on other websites.

Go to Digibody's Caricature Maker website. (Follow the link in Resources.) While this avatar is only a head, the features are incredibly detailed. Use the links above the boxes in the center of the page to work on different portions of the avatar. Every change you make will be immediately reflected in the picture to the left of the options. When you've finished, click the tabs underneath the avatar to save it in the format of your choosing. You can pick from PNG, GIF or JPG. The avatar will save directly to your computer.

Use Otaku Avatar Maker to create a very detailed animated avatar. (Follow the link in Resources.) You will see two rows of tabs at the very top of the page. Begin by clicking the red “Delete” tab. The picture to the left of the tabs will go back to the default setting. Then click on one of the tabs, and plenty of options will appear for that characteristic. For example, if you click “Hairstyle,” 86 styles will appear below the tabs. Click on one to choose that style. You'll notice that the picture to the left of the tabs now has the hairstyle you selected. Go through and do this for each tab. When you've finished and are happy with your avatar, right-click on the picture to save the avatar to your computer.