If you haven’t noticed yet, there is a feature that allows you to use an avatar. An avatar is the small picture that appears on the left side of all of your posts above your username, and in your profile page. Here at TheParrotForm.com, we would really like it if you posted an avatar of yourself with your bird or birds. We allow larger avatars than typical forums. A typical forum allows for an image sized 90x90 but our avatars can be up to 150x150 here. We are trying to encourage everyone to show themselves and their birds. We want to be able to see the bird so the avatar size has to be big or a bird may not look like a bird (especially the smaller birds that might look like a speck).
We recommend using a photo where you hold the bird(s) right up next to your face because that's what everyone really wants to see. To whom they are talking and about which birds. If you have several birds you can put them on a perch or several perches near each other and sit between them. Once again try to focus on the face and birds and cut out any extraneous background.Custom Avatar
If you are going to create your own custom avatar, start this by opening the program “Paint” from your start menu. Once paint is opened, click “File” at the top and then click “Open”. Find a picture on your computer and then click “Open” and the picture should appear in the program. To first find out how large this image is, click “Image” and then “Attributes”.
You want your image to be 150x150 or smaller. To resize this image, first you need to make sure your image is cropped the way you would want it. Try to eliminate the sides of the picture that don’t show anything, you need this avatar to be small and you don’t want the important stuff to be unnoticed. Click the dotted box icon, click your picture and select in a box what you want your picture to be like. Then hold this and drag your picture to the top left corner and resize the picture window by holding your mouse over the corner of the image until you get a double arrow which you can then click and drag to crop.
Once you have your image at the desired size, click “Image” and then “Stretch/Skew” at the top. If you cropped the image, be sure to check the attributes one more time. Again, you will need to know how large this image is before you do this. You need to Stretch the image by typing in different percents. This requires a little math and may take a few tries. For example, if you have an image that is 300x300, you’ll need it to be half that size and you should type 50 in both of the stretch boxes. You’ll need to create an avatar that is 150x150 or smaller on your computer to be used on this forum.
Here is a simple formula for calculating what percent to shrink your image in order to fit the avatar specs. Take the largest dimension of your photo (as discovered in the attributes) and divide it by 150. For example if the image is 648x472 after cropping, 648 is the largest dimension. 648 divided by 150 is 0.23. Therefore in the "Stretch/Skew" box, input 23 for both the width and height and the image will be proportionately downsized to 23 percent of its current size. Then if you check the attributes again, you can double check that it is 150px or less on each dimension.
Click “File” and then “Save As” and select where you want this image to be saved to and what you would want it to be called. When you do this, you will have to compress the image so that it will fit our 7kb restriction. In the top box, type in the file name you want the picture to be called (e.g. bird_avatar) and below this file name box, there is a second box. Click on the arrow next to this box and select “JPEG” from the drop down menu that appears. This will compress the picture. Click save and remember where it is on your computer (My Documents, My Pictures, Desktop, etc.)
Then, you can go about adding the avatar you created by following these steps. At the top of this page is a link that says “User Control Panel”; right click on this link and open it into a new tab so you can refer back to this page. Don’t be overwhelmed. On the new tab in your User Control Panel, click where it says “Profile”. Look on the left for the link that says “Edit Avatar” and click this.
Once you have gotten to the Edit Avatar page, you’ll see some new information. You will want to click on the button that says “Browse” next to “Upload from your machine:” and this will open a new window. Find an image on your computer’s files and click “Open”. Then edit the Avatar dimensions section by typing in the size of what your avatar image will be (hopefully 150x 150) and click submit. Now you’re done!Avatar Gallery
If you cannot make your own avatar, you can choose one of the ones we provide in our avatar gallery. In order to encourage users to provide their own custom avatars, these images are smaller and lower quality than the avatars you could submit yourself. The generic avatars we provide cover a moderate selection of parrots categories. You can choose a picture of the bird that most closely resembles yours or your favorite. Of course if you have different species of parrots, it's best you provide your own avatar so they could be included!
At the top of the page is a link that says “User Control Panel”; right click on this link and open it into a new tab so you can refer back to this page. Don’t be overwhelmed. On the new tab in your User Control Panel, click where it says “Profile”. Look on the left for the link that says “Edit Avatar” and click this. Look down a little for the button that says “Display Gallery” and click on it. This will open a new page for you. Select one of the default gallery avatars by clicking on the empty circle below the avatar you wish to use and then click “Submit”. Now you’re done!