This is a superb explanation by Alan May on how to do a header on ipiccy.com for blog headers on Active Rain. I have just requested he do another tutorial on collages. Read through the steps. We are losing Picnik but ipiccy.com has lots of the same simple and useful features.
As some of you might have noticed, I like to change my banner on occasion. And for quite a while I've been using Picnik.com, a free photo editing program, to create those headers. I have a graphic arts background, and thereby have an expertise in Photoshop, Illustrator, Freehand and more... but quite honestly, Picnik is just so easy, and fast, that I've been using it instead.
So it was with great distress that I learned, a while back, that Picnik will be shutting down on April 19th, forever. Since it was a free online application I suppose I can't complain too much about it shutting down. Clearly it wasn't profitable. But it has left me with the conundrum of what program I'll be using to create my new headers. I, as many others, have taken the attitude of "if I ignore it, the problem will solve itself", and sure enough... it has.
I have found another online program called iPiccy.com. Now, before you start whining, like I did, that you're going to have to learn a new user interface, and that it's going to be difficult, and I just don't wanna... wah, wah, wah... IPiccy functions almost exactly the same as Picnik did. C'mon, follow along as I change my header. When you first enter iPiccy.com, you'll see the window shown above... and toward the bottom of the page a button that says:
Click it. You'll notice they don't even ask you for any information... right? Next you'll want to press the button marked "upload photo" to upload a photograph from your computer... (there are other buttons for uploading from facebook, or from the internet... but honestly those pose all sorts of copyright issues... so stick to photos that you've taken, or that you own).
Once you've imported a photo from your computer, the window will look like this one on the right. You'll notice that I've chosen a photo of one of the most beautiful woman in the world, and her brand new son, Leo. Wow, she's got great genes, doesn't she?
Because you're going to import this into Active Rain... you need to crop out a section that's exactly 960 x 130. So click the button that says "Scale Photo (constrain)" (see the blue check mark?)... that way it won't accidentally resize on you, as you adjust. Type in 960x130, and you'll see a "window" appear over the photo showing you just what 960x130 covers. If it's not large enough... just drag the corners to fill the space... (the fact that you clicked "constrain" will keep it in the proper ratio).
Once you have it positioned exactly where you want... click "APPLY".
Now.. the next thing that I usually do is add a little text to the image. You certainly don't have to do this, but I think it adds a nice touch. Don't worry.. it's really easy... click on the "Add New Text" box.
That will bring up the grey box you see marked "Text Properties" in which you can type the text you want... and modify it... you can make it flush left, flush right, centered, shadowed, bold, italic... feel free to play around. Once you've chosen your text... go ahead and "close" the text box... and you can drag the text to exactly where you'd like it.
You could also grab that little lollipop sticking out the top of the text to rotate it, if you choose. So, there at the bottom, you can see my final banner. See, wasn't that easy? You're not going to miss picnik at all... IPiccy may look a touch different in style, but it works just the same. Enjoy!
ALAN MAY, Realtor®
Specializing in Evanston Real Estate and North Shore Real Estate
Coldwell Banker Residential Real Estate, 2929 Central Street, Evanston, IL 60201
847.425.3779 Cell: 847.924.3313 Email: Almay@aol.com
Evanston Real Estate & North Shore Real Estate • Licensed in Illinois
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