Entry: Tips to make your own blinkies Monday, September 20, 2004

As you may have noticed, there is a total lack of tutorials on this site.   Reason being is because there are absolutely dozens and dozens of really fab tutorials on blinkies already out there, so why beat a dead horse?

Many of you make your own blinkies, or at least try to.  I think that's great.  Blinkies are an excellent way to really showcase your individual personality, and they're even more fun to share with your friends.

What *really* is a 'blinky'?

When you think of a blinky, you think of a bead of light that travels around the outside of a graphic, for most parts.  

In reality it's really nothing more than a really groovy optical illusion. 

Technically speaking, all a blinky really is: two contrasting blocks [or circles] of colors opposing and -re-opposing one another at a rate faster than your eye can follow.  Load these two images in to a graphics animator and you'll have seizures.  But if you had a boarder of much smaller blocks of color opposing one another, you'll have a blinky.

image 1            image 2

Here's a few of Mr. Flibble's tips and pointers about blinky making:

1.  In order to make a blinky, first, you need a paint shop program.  I suppose the one that came with your computer would work.   I use Jasc Paintshop Pro,  but any will work.

2.  Next:  Go out on the web and type in "blinky tutorial".   Pick one you like. 

Get a cup of coffee.  Sit down.  Read it.   Follow it's directions and give it a try.

3.  Basic advice:  back up your work.  back up your work.  back up your work. 
Graphics and Graphics programs take a nice chunk of your processor's energy to run.  My computer locks up every day when I'm pushing pixels.  It's a part of life when you make your own graphics, so be smart and save save save.

2. If you have a very tiny blinky that isn't crisp enough, or looks 'dull', try playing with your contrast/brightness.  You also may want to tweak your unsharp mask.  

3.  For ease of use, keep a blinky template on hand with black and white lites, and something neutral for the base of the boarder, stage should be white.  Increase the color depth back up to 256.  Choose a new color and flood fill the background border of your blinky. In order to quickly and easily change the colors of your lites, use your 'select' tool and select the 'stage' or the inside part of your blinky where you'll type your text.  Invert the mask.  Marching ants will surround your lights. Find your Black and White points.  Change your 'black' to any color you like.  Repeat the process if you wish to change the white lights to another color. **please don't ask me how to achieve these steps in any other graphic program.  Consult your paintshop program's 'help' section for that.

4.  Use fonts that work well on a small setting. 
I go between 7px to 10px for blinkies.  Verdana is a nice clean font that retains edge dignity when crushed in to oblivion.   If you insist on using a troublesome font, try using a 3-d effect, like shadow or  chisel.  Tweak your contrast/brightness, and use that unsharp mask if all else fails.

5.  Just before you save, you want to Select All>>Float>>and you MUST save your blinkies as .gif files, otherwise they will not animate.    Floating prevents the two images from looking muddy or dull and pixelated when they are in the animator.

5. Gif Animator:  You need a Gif Animator to get those to images in to one file.  I use GIF Construction Set Professional tho they offer a great trail-ware version that works just as good.  For your light speed, you want a happy medium...fool the eyes, yet not get everyone nausiated.  I use an 8 delay for the most part.  Play around with it and see what works best for you.

6.  Experiment, keep trying & have fun.  Fill the world with awesome, candy-like blinkies.


September 23, 2004   04:12 PM PDT
Sounds like double dutch to me, you make the best ones!
September 22, 2004   06:36 PM PDT
a big seizure or a small one?
may you rule long as queen of blinkies.
i'll be off now, the flying monkeys need feeding.
September 21, 2004   06:49 PM PDT
yeah i do try to make my own blinkies, but somehow everytime i try to experiment with them, lets just say my "experiment blows up" and everything that could go wrong, goes wrong... @_@
September 20, 2004   11:16 PM PDT
Thanks for the info... but I think I prefer to just harrass my friends :)

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