I envisioned Hang With Friends including wide ranging discussion, public as well as private topics. But I've set a bad example by sticking mostly to news and opinion. It's past time I set an example of opening up.


I've been obsessive compulsive this past week. Lots of stress, eye operations, my new cat is still scared of me after two months, and we just paid $6,500 to get mold assessment and the first stages of mold remediation. I'd hired incompetent roofers, and leaks created a serious mold problem. For three days a crew of four tore out the walls of our sunroom and the back wall of our master bedroom. I spent those three days escaping into my hobby, playing with fonts.

I enjoy making animated gifs to welcome new members to Atheist Nexus. Although I have well over a thousand free fonts, many of the most interesting ones are expensive. So I've used Snaggit to capture a sample of those, saying "Welcome" at MyFonts.com, to use as raw material. For three days I snagged font images in jpg format.

Then I tried to make gifs, and discovered that the jpg format introduces a cloud of pixels, as an artifact of lossy compression, that messes up the edges.

See the jagged stroke around this Blue Parrot font?

Stupid! Oh well, live and learn. It was still better than getting drunk or screaming.

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Replies to This Discussion

Regarding the "incompetent roofers," have you considered Angie's List?  I used them when I had a waterproofing issue to deal with in my house and it was more than worth the membership fee.

Give 'em a shot; you won't be sorry.

Now we use Angie's List, but I'm still not always happy with the work. I hate giving reviews. You don't even know sometimes if the work is good till months or even years later. I used to think these roofers were excellent.

BTW, here's a gif from the same Blue Parrot Font, properly saved.

"Then I tried to make gifs, and discovered that the jpg format introduces a cloud of pixels, as an artifact of lossy compression, that messes up the edges."

I tend to make them from scratch in PhotoShop, .jpgs will convert to gif well with PS too.

"It was still better than getting drunk…"

Ha!, …not drunk yet, but I'm providing temporary shelter to a few pints at the moment. You're last message to me and this thread inspired...

A little rushed, a little sloppy

but best I could do on the

fly, …and after a few PBRs….

Ruth and Richard, I love your gif and jpg greeting and I have followed your directions to the T. I can get the images but they do not come on the "Reply" ... here. I do get them on a new window. My daughter is a whiz at these things so I won't bother you two for more directions ... just know that one of these days I shall send you greetings in gif and jpg language. Thanks for all your hard work on my behalf. 

Things will get better Ruth. I will be thinking about you.

I love your new gifs by the way.


I love the 'properly saved' welcome GIF! I'm glad you have a hobby you were able to use as an escape. Nothing wrong with taking care of yourself in a positive, productive way in the face of stress. Although a few rum & Coke Zeros would have been in the mix, as well lol

Thanks for sharing the GIFS. I wish I knew a lot more about the tech side of computers and how to work with files like that.

Ruth uses Photoshop, but other software works too.

It looks like you can create animations with the free, powerful image manipulation program GIMP.

(For taking screen captures of just part of the screen, some good freeware I've used is Gadwin PrintScreen.)

There are also online "make a gif" pages as well. They vary as to usability, but for simple animations from jpgs or short bits of video, they work okay.

I love Photoshop for making animated forum avatars like these:

…these kind of animations can take a lot of time (for me anyway) to make, often requiring 20 - 30 separate images/layers. But, making them (as I'm sure is true for Ruth) is about 90% of the fun. I suppose it helps if you're in touch with your inner geek.

It's too bad this site doesn't render animated gifs in user avatars, hmmm… maybe there's a suggestion box somewhere.

That rotating Mona Lisa is fascinating, Richard. How did you get the 3D like that from 2D?

Transform and 3d tools (cylinder), to make 108 layers (total), merged to 54 images and about 9 hours, after that I decided to do the eyes, …all 54 images and another hour or so.

It was for my S.O., when she was made a moderator on a discussion forum.

BTW, Dr. Humphrey Osmond was the guy who invented the word "psychedelic" (in a letter to Aldus Huxley no less), he was also someone my father worked with in the '50s, on a very interesting research project in Weyburn, Saskatchewan...

I really like these. 




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