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The making of a Pirate LEGO avatar


61 replies to this topic  – Started by Jipay , Aug 11 2006 07:10 PM

#1 Jipay

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Posted 11 August 2006 - 07:10 PM

I had a talk with Mister Phes about my new pirate avatar and he suggested I make a tutorial on how I did this. So here it is.

First, what you need :

- The Lego model you wish to have as an avatar : the model has to be clean. I recommend you wash it with some washing machine powder (not the one Skaforhire found in his ebay auction  X-D ).

- A good Digicam (I strongly recommend a Bridge or Reflex one). The quality of the camera will have a real impact on the quality of the picture.

- A computer with a photo editing software (Photoshop, Paintshop Pro, Ulead Photoimpact, ...).

Now on the process :

First, put you Lego model or minifig on a table, then add a white or green background. I don't recommend using a blue one as Lego pieces contain a lot of blue. For my avatar, the scene looked like this :

Posted Image

In this example, I put some of my imperial minifigs and my sigfig as the king of the army. I added french baguettes for good measure, and also two nice girls. Note the use of only 3 colors : Blue White Red. This is why the two girls have ginger hair. I'd suggest not to go for too many colors.

Then, take your digicam, use the manual set up : close up, action shot, no flash. Note that having a natural ligth is really important. Take as many shots as possible so you can choose the best.

You'll get something like this :

Posted Image

Now go into your image editing software :

- First, edit the colors : add luminosity if necessary, set up the contrast and saturate the colors a little bit.
- Then, start to cut out the background. Two choices : use an erazer tool or the lasso. I usually use both : magnetic lasso first and then I manually eraze the remaining little scratches. You should get something like this :

Posted Image

Then, you just have to choose a background. I created mine, but you can also find nice ones on google/images.

Copy/paste your image on the background and you'll get this :

Posted Image

Then blur the back of the image (the back of a picture would be blurred if you do this kind of close up in the real life). Use the sponge tool on the edges of your minifigs, copy the part of the image you like, create a new file and paste and here you go :

Posted Image

Here you have a new avatar !


Comments and questions are welcome  :-)

#2 El Bucanero

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Posted 11 August 2006 - 07:25 PM

3 questions:

I have a sony digital camera, is this okay?
I'm not sure if corel draw 9 is a photo editing program, if it is can I use this?
and, the first image of your avatar without background is a bit blurry, how come the others aren't?

Arrr

Mr Tiber

#3 Jipay

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Posted 11 August 2006 - 07:31 PM

1) I have a sony digital camera, is this okay?

The brand doesn't matter. Still you usually can't get a bad pic with a sony digicam  :-D

2) I'm not sure if corel draw 9 is a photo editing program, if it is can I use this?

It is indeed a photo editing programm

3) and, the first image of your avatar without background is a bit blurry, how come the others aren't?

I compressed it in jpg with a low quality, this is why. All the images I work with are in an orginal photo editing format so they are too big to be posted directly.

#4 Sir Dillon

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Posted 11 August 2006 - 08:30 PM

Thanks for the tutorial Jipay.  :-) I noticed your avatar the other day, and really liked it.

And to just echo something you said, having good, natural lighting is very, very importent. I have a two mp camera, and while my pictures are bound to not come out as nice as yours, they can still look good with the right lighting.
"I'm sorry, I don't have the time to build anything that doesn't directly promote me."

#5 Jipay

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Posted 11 August 2006 - 08:41 PM

Well I also noticed yours, it matches your title right ? I also like this lense flare. Looks really nice on the sword !

#6 Djole

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Posted 11 August 2006 - 09:22 PM

Heya thanks for this Jipay  :-)
Until now I thought that figs in your avatar are drawed... Oh,you washed them very well  ;-)
This will be very usefull when I get my own camera...

For now I will use this picture of me from a recent under-the mask-party...
Cheers!  :-D

Greetings from Serbia

#7 Jipay

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Posted 11 August 2006 - 10:10 PM

Lol I do some lego drawings sometimes (cf the yellow minifig head that indicates new posts). But in the case of the avatar, this drawn look is given by the color saturation. ;-)

#8 Evil Willy

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Posted 11 August 2006 - 10:25 PM

Good job Ji, very good tutorial I like it! Two thumbs up, and your sig looks awsome.
Edit: I mean avatar :D

#9 Brick Miner

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Posted 11 August 2006 - 10:40 PM

WOW  8-   i honestly thought your avatar was from one of those LEGO video games !!!  its so... vibrant and clear !!!

great job.
the best LEGO avatar i've seen.

*sarcastic* so, remind me again, why im the EB graphist ???

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check out my about me thread.

also, check out The LEGO Western Expansion MOC Page at MOCpages.com !!!
and Brick Miner's Extras BrickLink.com store !!!

#10 Jipay

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Posted 11 August 2006 - 10:44 PM

Lol thanks ! Now are you more confident in my abbility to take nice pics for you lol ?  8-|

And you're the graphist because you're the best at making skins ! I couldn't achieve such nice results !

BTW, never knew there has been some lego pirate video games ! Were they good ?

#11 Sir Dillon

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Posted 11 August 2006 - 10:57 PM

View Postjipay, on Aug 11 2006, 08:41 PM, said:

Well I also noticed yours, it matches your title right ? I also like this lense flare. Looks really nice on the sword !
Thanks. It's not actually supposed to go with my title. The title is from my postion in the Tie army thread (which seems to have somewhat died), and my avatar is supposed to be just some random samurai. I guess they do kind of go together though, with the woods in background.

Quote

BTW, never knew there has been some lego pirate video games ! Were they good ?

I'm pretty sure there were a few in the Lego Racer game, but that's all I can think of.
"I'm sorry, I don't have the time to build anything that doesn't directly promote me."

#12 Brick Miner

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Posted 11 August 2006 - 11:11 PM

View PostSir Dillon, on Aug 11 2006, 05:57 PM, said:

Quote

BTW, never knew there has been some lego pirate video games ! Were they good ?

I'm pretty sure there were a few in the Lego Racer game, but that's all I can think of.
im very naive about video games...  as i don't participate in their entertainment.  your image was just so good, i assumed it must have been CGI !!!

and YES !!!  i can't wait to see those images for the new theater forum banner !!!
now i just have to do them justice  ;-)

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also, check out The LEGO Western Expansion MOC Page at MOCpages.com !!!
and Brick Miner's Extras BrickLink.com store !!!

#13 Mister Phes

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Posted 12 August 2006 - 11:32 AM

View Postjipay, on Aug 12 2006, 05:10 AM, said:

I had a talk with Mister Phes about my new pirate avatar and he suggested I make a tutorial on how I did this.

And what a fine decision it was!  It probably could have went in the MOC sub-forum but Evil Willy can take care of that as his first mission.



View Postjipay, on Aug 12 2006, 05:10 AM, said:

- A computer with a photo editing software (Photoshop, Paintshop Pro, Ulead Photoimpact, ...).

Which computer program did you end up using?


Posted Image


#14 Jipay

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Posted 12 August 2006 - 11:36 AM

The most expensive of the list lol. But that's temporary, I'm moving to paintshop pro really soon.

#15 Mister Phes

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Posted 12 August 2006 - 11:46 AM

Is the most expensive Photoshop?


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#16 Khorne

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Posted 12 August 2006 - 01:01 PM

Yeah, I think so. Photoshop easily costs 100 or more.

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#17 Djole

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Posted 12 August 2006 - 01:09 PM

View PostKhoRne, on Aug 12 2006, 03:01 PM, said:

Yeah, I think so. Photoshop easily costs 100 or more.

Well kill me,torch me,but I must admit...
It's all free here...  :-D

I'm not rich at all but I own the latest versions of Corel Draw,Photoshop and Cinema 4D
Greetings from pirateish Serbia  :-D

#18 Khorne

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Posted 12 August 2006 - 01:34 PM

I have it for free, too (no, I didn't download it). I got it from my uncle :-) .

#19 El Bucanero

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Posted 12 August 2006 - 01:40 PM

well, is corel draw 9 good enough for making a lego avatar like Jipay's???

#20 Khorne

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Posted 12 August 2006 - 01:43 PM

View PostMr Tiber, on Aug 12 2006, 03:40 PM, said:

well, is corel draw 9 good enough for making a lego avatar like Jipay's???

I think it qualifies. All your really need is something to cut out you sigfig and to be able to paste him on another background.

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#21 Djole

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Posted 12 August 2006 - 01:47 PM

View PostKhoRne, on Aug 12 2006, 03:34 PM, said:

I have it for free, too (no, I didn't download it). I got it from my uncle :-) .

Here you don't have to download it...
You just need to go in some of the local cyber caffees and ask for installation CD  :-D
But cracked versions has it's lacks,sure they do...

And yes,you can make an avatar like Jipay's in Cdr,but from this tutorial you see you don't have to  ;-)

Greetings from Serbia

#22 El Bucanero

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Posted 12 August 2006 - 01:51 PM

View PostdJOLe_sk8, on Aug 12 2006, 03:47 PM, said:

And yes, you can make an avatar like Jipay's in Cdr,but from this tutorial you see you don't have to  ;-)

Greetings from Serbia
Sorry but I dont understand what you mean with that.... 8-|

#23 Djole

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Posted 12 August 2006 - 02:04 PM

View PostMr Tiber, on Aug 12 2006, 03:51 PM, said:

View PostdJOLe_sk8, on Aug 12 2006, 03:47 PM, said:

And yes, you can make an avatar like Jipay's in Cdr,but from this tutorial you see you don't have to  ;-)

Greetings from Serbia
Sorry but I dont understand what you mean with that.... 8-|

I said it is possible to make an introduced avatar in Corel Draw (Cdr,file extension), but Jipay explained much easier and more nice way to do that  ;-)

Greetings from Serbia

#24 Mister Phes

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Posted 12 August 2006 - 02:08 PM

View PostKhoRne, on Aug 12 2006, 11:01 PM, said:

Yeah, I think so. Photoshop easily costs 100 or more.


The upgrade is US$169 while the full version is $649 according to Adobe's online store.  Meanwhile Paintshop Pro is US$79.


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#25 Khorne

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Posted 12 August 2006 - 02:13 PM

There! I made a new avatar by following steps of the tutorial. I'm quite happy with it, but I think it still lacks something :-/ .

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