I’ve noticed someone did a search for how to make Blinkies on my Blog so I decided to make this Tutorial, with a relatively-easy-to-use free software. I would have used Gimp if I understood the thing 😉
Okay Step number 1: Download PhotoScape from here: http://www.photoscape.org/ps/main/download.php
Step number 2: Install and open PhotoScape.
Step number 3: (although in my humble opinion it should be step 0) find the pictures you want to use for your Blinkie… First of all you need to imagine your blinkie. I often grab a sheet of paper and draw a storyline to know which image will go first and which one will go second, etc, etc.
Once I have all my pictures I might need to edit them a bit. Some pictures may be too big, some others too small, so some resizing and cropping may be needed.
I don’t know if you all know this but Blinkies, and images in general, are measured in pixels, which are comparable to centimetres but I’m so not going there. 😀
Anywho, all the frames (that’s what we call each individual image in a blinkie) should be the exact same size, or amount of pixels. Otherwise it won’t work. Capisce?
The width is shown first and the height second meaning, if a picture is 300×250 in size it means it’s 300 pixels wide, and 250 pixels high.
Don’t make fun of my arrows, I think they are cute 🙂
This Bella picture is way too big, and has some writing I don’t need, so cropping it is 😉
Pink Circle number one, is where I should click, the crop tool so to speak. I should keep it in ‘crop freely’ so that I can select the exact area I want to crop.
Pink Circle Number 2 shows this ‘crop freely’ thing.
Pink circle number 3 shows the original size of the picture, and pink circle number 4 the size that will remain once cropped. The darker area is what will stay, the lighter area what will be discarded.
Anyways, once you have what you want, click on crop, and for the love of the The Smurfs, don’t forget to save your new frame!
Oh, and in case you need to resize because it’s still too big:
Since I have my storyline thingy, I named my frames by the order they’ll appear on my blinkie like if this were the 4th frame, I’ll name the file 4. I’m lazy like that.
Is up to you what size your Blinkie will be. For Stories, I usually use 220×198, but if it’s for a blog button it should be square. A popular size for Blog Buttons is 150×150.
Anywho I have my Bella, but I want words on my Blinkie!
You could create a Blank frame filled with Black, or some other colour or texture, to put your words in that/those frame/s. You can also put them in your pictures, in which case I use two frames that look identical, one with words, one without them. So I would have one ‘Bella with words frame’, and one ‘without the words’ frame. That way it looks neater when I put all the frames together, or so I think *shrugs*
As you can see you have a bunch of tools which you can use to add text, play around, get to know the program, and DON’T YOU FORGET TO SAVE YOUR FRAME.
Okay, I’ve played with my frames, they are ready to go, time to animate my Blinkie!
So I have all my frames, which I can move around if they are in the wrong order with my mouse. I can also change the individual frame’s transitions and durations. You just need to right click on each frame and the options will come up. (Thanks to buff82 for this info)
I also have a pretty neat Preview of my Blinkie which will help me set the time or delay between frames. That way I’ll be able to see if it’s slow enough for people to read my freaking words.
I can choose from several preset transitions – or effects – as it’s called in PhotoScape.
In this case I set a delay of 170, which is 1.7 seconds in English, and I chose the Effect of ‘Convert to Black’ since my frames were all dark, and I thought it looked cooler.
Once you’re good and ready, and the Blinkie looks as you imagined, just save, and voila! You have your first Blinkie.
The setback of PhotoScape for Blinkie-making is that it has very limited types of transitions, but I think it’s a cool application to get started, and once you get the hang of making Blinkies, you can experiment with more complicated software.
This Blinkie malarkey, as my friend Rhian would say, is a matter of playing, and being willing to make a lot of mistakes, much like creating Banners. I started with a program that was uber-simple, and nowadays I’m pretty good at using Photoshop. So just give it time, and don’t give up.
And that’s it, for now. I hope this was somewhat helpful for the Blinkie-Virgins out there.
PS. If you want to view the images bigger just click on them. They are pretty big.