Creating Custom Avatars: A Microsoft tool, and others

First, thanks for all the input on our recent upgrade.  We really appreciate it.  Nick has done a great job for us – if you use Community Server, or want to, his contact information is at the bottom of our site.

One feature we are trying out on LiveSide is a reader poll, which makes use of the forum features of Community Server.  While we won’t be opening up forums (they are a lot of work, but please leave comments or send us feedback!), having the poll makes greater use of avatars, the little pictures that you can add to your LiveSide profile.

You can of course, use a real picture of yourself, or just about any picture.  Our avatars are set to 96×96 pixels, and CS will adjust your pic to that size, retaining the aspect ratio.

There are some fun tools to create unique avatars, and this seems like a good time to point them out:

The first one is a tool from Microsoft China, the MSN Cartoon (beta)


This tool takes a photograph of your face, and turns it into a cartoon drawing.  One slight problem with the tool (which you download and install) is that it’s all in Chinese!  However we found some helpful advice and a video on how to navigate through the program, which is really quite easy, and can create a fun avatar.



Of course there’s lots of other tools on the web for creating avatars.  Here’s two fun ones:

The first is the South Park Studio character creator:


And then there’s the Simpsons avatar generator (click on Create Your Simpsons Avatar -doh)

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