3) IMAGE EDITING: Advice for advanced users
If you use the save button the picture is saved as a .jpg file. Those files are small, but they do not have the best quality. Especially red parts of your picture might look blurry. To avoid this you can save the pictures as .png files with a better quality. Make a screenshot:
- Windows Vista / 7: Use the “Snipping Tool” in the start menu. After you have cut out the area you want to save you need to select “PNG” in the “save as…” window.
- Windows XP: Press the “print” key on your keyboard, nothing happens.
Then open software like Paint or Photoshop. Click “edit”, “paste” and the picture appears. Maybe you need to move it around and cut the parts you do not need. Then select “PNG” in the “save as…” window.
- Mac: Press Apple-shift-4. You should be able to select PNG files in the options.
Do you need a higher resolution? Maybe because you want to print your picture or use it as a desktop wallpaper? There are two solutions:
- If you use a screen with a high resolution this should work for you: Open the SP-Studio swf-file without the surrounding website. This might look strange, but it lets you create your character in a bigger size without quality loss. To save it in this size you have to make a screenshot. If you do not know how to do this please check out the F.A.Q. entry “How can I save pictures in better quality?”.
- If you need an even bigger picture: You can zoom into it by pressing the right mouse button and selecting “zoom”. I am not sure what’s the English description, but it is the first word on top of the list. Make a screenshot. Then zoom back and select another part of your picture. Zoom, screenshot… and so on. When you have collected screenshots of every zoomed in area of your picture you can combine them in Paint or Photoshop like a mosaic. This is a lot of work but you get your picture in a huge resolution.
I am often asked if I could make it possible to create two characters in one picture. Unfortunately this would be to compliacted to code for me. BUT you can combine your characters yourself by using additional software – it’s easy! By following those steps you can combine as many characters as you want and even use your own background.
- Start by creating the fist SP-Studio character. Use a single background color. Open a graphics editing program like MS Paint, Photoshop or Gimp (I use Paint for this tutorial). Make a screenshot as described in “How can I save pictures in better quality?”. You could use the save button, but a screenshot improves the quality of the result. It should look like this now:
- Now we still see the SP-Studio interface. Remove it by using the selection tools. Other techniques work as well, for example you can just use the eraser. The background color must be the same like in the Sp-Studio (I used white):
- It’s time to create your second SP-Studio character now. Use the same background color as in your first picture. Make a screenshot again and paste it into Paint, so it appears next to your first character.
- Again you have to get rid of the SP-Studio interface by deleting those parts of the screenshot. Remove them with the eraser or selection tools. Another solution is to select the 2nd character and move him to your 1st character. That’s how I did it in the example::
- Now the rest is easy. Delete the parts you do not need until the whole background is white. Then save your picture – or even add more characters. If you prefer another background image you should use a better program (Photoshop or Gimp). This is described in the following F.A.Q. section.
You need a good graphics editing program to do this, like Gimp or Photoshop. I will use Photoshop for this tutorial.
- Create your SP-Studio character. Choose a background color that is different from the hair, clothes and skin you use. And it is best to use a background color that is similar to the background image you want to include later. For example you should use a dark background color if you want to use a photo from a night sky.
- Make a screenshot of your character as described in the F.A.Q. section “How can I save pictures in better quality?”. You could use the save button, but a screenshot improves the quality of the result. Paste your picture in your graphics program. Maybe you have to crop it to remove the SP-Studio interface. Here is a picture of what it looks like when I do this in Photohop:
- Now we should remove the background. Select the magic wand tool and click on the black background. Then press the DEL key to get rid of it. The magic wand tool can have different options. The tolerance should be around 15, “Anti-alias” and “Contiguous” should be selected. I show this in the left picture:
- The right picture shows the “Layers” window and the result of our final step. We need this window now, so make sure you see it (maybe you have to search for it in the “Window” submenu of the menu bar). If there is a “background” layer click on it and delete it. You can save your picture now as a PNG file without background. But we want to include a new background image, so let’s open this additional file. You can use any picture you want. Copy it and paste it in the file with the SP-Studio character. You will see a new layer appearing in the list of layers. Make sure it’s under the layer of the character – you can move it if it’s not. And now we are done!