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Old August 1st, 2008 (5:31 AM). Edited August 23rd, 2008 by Neti.
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    Neti's Userbar Tutorial

    Introduction

    When i started Hacking i was often stunned by the beautiful UseerBars that some ppl made for their Hacks. I soo nfounf out that they were generated by a program called AmitySoft UserBar Generator.
    I downloaded it and started making my own Banners.
    But soon they appeared boring to me. Also, I didnt want my hack to appear just like anybody elses.
    I decided to make my own Userbars with custom Backgrounds and stuff and they turend out pretty well:






    If you want to create such UserBars as well, read this Tutorial.


    Required Programs

    AmitySource Useerbar Generator

    Paint.Net
    You can also use another program that supports layers.

    Thats it!


    Step 1: Getting the Frame

    First, open the Ubar Generator.
    This is the only sstep we need it for: To get the text.

    Just enter your text and adjust its position.
    I recommend sticking it to the left or the right with a few pixels distance to the border.
    Placing the text in the center doesnt look good.

    Now ignore all the otehr features that the program has and go directly to "Save & Open" and click "Save..." where it says "Save UserBar image."
    Choose a file destination and a filename and save the png image.



    Step 2: Removing useless stufff

    Now you have a png image awaiting you in the chosen destination.
    Open it with Paint.Net
    But whats that ugly color? We have to remove it!

    Select the "Magic Wand" tool, set the "Flood Mode" to "Global" and the "Tolerance" to 0%.


    Once you have done that, select the border and the text by clicking on a white pixel of the text, then press and hold ctrl and click on a black pixel of the text. Release ctrl et voila:
    You have selected the text and the border.

    Now go to "Edit" and choose "Invert Selection". Now you have selected everything EXPECT the border and the text. Just hit Del to remove this useless stuff.

    Now theres a chees-board-like pattern appearing. That just means that those are invisible pixels.



    Step 3: Adding Layers

    For a Userbar you will need 3 Layers:

    Top Layer: Frame (which we just made)
    Middle Layer: Sprites
    Bottom Layer: Background

    For those who dont know what a layer is:
    All the layers are stacked together. If theres an invisible pixel on one layer, it will show the pixel from the layer under it.

    The Layer Window of Paint.Net is in the bottom right corner.

    As you can see i already added two layers and renamed them to make it easier for you to understand.
    Now Addd one layer and move it down by using the arrows. Then create another one.
    Now you have 3 Layers with the one containing the frame at the top (it is named Background by default, in my image it is named Frame).


    Step 4: Background

    This Step is probably the easiest of all.
    First of all, select the bottom layer by clicking on it in the Layer window.
    You can only edit a selected Layer.

    Now find a beautiful background image that matches your hack. Google is your friend here. Addind the word "wallpaper" to your search will often result in finding good background images quickly.
    I decided to make a Groudon Bar, so I chose this image:
    http://wallpapers.leovacity.be/images/Lava_Wallpaper.jpg

    Now that you have found your image, copy (or save, open and copy) it and paste it on the bottom layer.
    Now Paint.Net will ask you whether it should expand the canvas size. Deny that by clicking "Keep Canvas Size".
    Do whatever you want with the background image now: move it, resiue it, add effects to it. When you like it, just switch to another tool and the changes will be applied to the image.



    Step 5: Recoloring the Border

    To make your border fit to your background, you have to recolor it.
    Switch to the Top Layer and select the filling can tool.
    Now choose a dark color that fits to your background, in my case it would be a dark red.
    I dont recommend using the standard Paint.Net colors, make your own ones by clicking "More" at the top left part of the color window.
    It will expand and give you a lot of options to edit your colors:

    As you can see I have a completely selfmade palette.

    When youve chosen the perfect color, jsut use the filling can tool with a tolerance of 0% on the border and youre done.



    Step 6: Adding Sprites

    First of all, switch to the Sprite Layer, which is the middle one.
    Now you first have to find your Sprites or whatever you wat to put on your userbar.
    A lot of Mystery Dunegon Sprites can be found at The Spriters Ressource.
    Also the Groudon which im going to put onto my Userbar:

    I extracted it from the big image and removed its background, so its invisible.
    When youve donee that with your Sprite, copy and paste it onto the sprite layer of your userbar.
    Paint.Net might ask you whether you want to expand the canvas size. Again: Click "Kepp Canvas Size".

    Now you can move it around, resize it, apply effects on it and so on.
    When your done, you can add more Sprites or finish your Userbar.




    Step 8: Saving

    Well this sounds easy, but you can do a mistake here easily:
    Cause you added multiple Layers, Paint.Net will try to save the image as a .pdn file.
    Choose the filename and destination and .png as filetype.
    Now when you click Save, it will give you some options.
    Just leave everything as it is and click OK.
    Now the program will notify you on the multiple Layers.
    Click Flatten and the Program will automatically merge the layers together to form one image.


    Step 9: Animation

    This is not required for a userbar, but in my opinion animated userbar look better when its done right.

    First of all you have to make userbar images for every single frame of your animation.

    There are several ways to create animated gifs out of multiple images, i normally use a website:
    http://www.iaza.com

    First of all you have to load the first frame by clicking "Load Image" and then upload it.
    Now youre brought back to the first page with a preview of the image you just uploaded and all the options in the big box are now enabled.
    Choose "Animate" from the "Combine" section.
    Youre brought to a new page where you can select multiple images for your animation.
    Select your frames in the correct order, you can use them multiple times in a row if you want them to appear longer than other frames.

    When youve selected all frames, scroll down and select the animation speed. I usually use 1/4 second for animations and 1 second for a mix of multiple different userbars.

    When youve selected the animation speed, you have to select the amount of loops. Choose "Infinite, run forever" to make your animation run forever.

    Just leave the checkbox at "Automatically make images the same size" checked and click on "Create Animation" at the bottom of the page.

    Your images will then be uplaoded and put together, this might take a while with a slow internet connection.
    When its done, youre brought back to the main page with a preview of your animation at the top. Click on it to it in full quality. Now you can save it and do whatever you want with it.


    The End

    I hope this Tutorial wil lhelp all of you creating unique userbars for your hacks.
    Credit goes to AmitySource, Jeff Warren (Paint.Net) and angry cabbage for the Groudon Sprite.
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      #2    
    Old August 1st, 2008 (7:19 AM).
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    Nice tutorial there, I'll probably use it for my project.
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      #3    
    Old August 1st, 2008 (3:22 PM).
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      Um... I believe standard userbar size is 350 x 19 pixels, not 20.

      Other than that... this seems to have alot of un-needed steps in it. All you're getting from that userbar generator thing is the text, which you should be able to easily add if you download the 'Visitor' font, and the border, which isn't that hard to get either. :\
        #4    
      Old August 1st, 2008 (7:14 PM).
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        Userbars are best suited for Graphics & Photography.

        moved
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          #5    
        Old August 2nd, 2008 (3:09 PM).
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        Nice stuff!
        Like Kenji said, you don't really need that program just for the text. You can go to numerous websites like dafont.com and download text.
        It will save you time and space in your tutorial.
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          #6    
        Old August 2nd, 2008 (7:12 PM).
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          pretty good tutorial but like they said you dont need that program just for the text.
          Anyway great tutorial
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            #7    
          Old August 3rd, 2008 (1:17 AM).
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            i could also get the text from anyy other program or website thats correct.
            but this tool generates a nice one, so why not use it?
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              #8    
            Old August 14th, 2008 (8:02 PM).
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              Hey Neti,

              About Step4
              I dont Understand.

              When I copy the wallpaper to the Worksheet...Do i Add to Layer or Open?
              And there's none saying... Keep Canvas Size or something...
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                #9    
              Old August 15th, 2008 (3:59 AM).
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                but it should ask you to keep the canvas size... i already heard other ppl complaining about them not being asked that but i tdoes that for me

                and you have to add it to the layer
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                Old August 15th, 2008 (4:35 AM).
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                hey why cant i download paint.net cause all it has is a few thing and i read the notepad and it said if you try downloading paint.net the sorry this isnt it. please help or send it by email
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                  #11    
                Old August 15th, 2008 (4:37 AM).
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                  if you would use dots and commata i would know what you are tryin to tell me...
                  heres a direct link to it: http://www.dotpdn.com/files/Paint.NET.3.35.zip
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                  Old August 21st, 2008 (8:29 AM).
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                    Aww and I did all the userbars with Paint and Photoshop :X
                    I didn't know it was this easy

                    P.S.- How come I don't see the pictures?
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                      #13    
                    Old August 21st, 2008 (8:32 AM).
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                      ohost is curretnly doing a mod rewrite, so everything that is hosted on ohost servers is not available for a while
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                        #14    
                      Old August 26th, 2008 (9:52 PM).
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                      Quote:
                      Originally Posted by Neti View Post
                      if you would use dots and commata i would know what you are tryin to tell me...
                      hehe, ain't that the truth... Anyways, once again a very nice tutorial. I don't really have much use for it (right now) but I'm sure this will come in handy.
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                      Old August 26th, 2008 (10:08 PM).
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                        Great work on the tutorial Neti. Iv'e always wanted to make good userbars, XD i won't need to get Paint.net.I have PhotoShop and P.N XD
                        Thanks.
                          #16    
                        Old September 2nd, 2008 (3:10 AM).
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                          Hey neti, when i paste the image on the layer it replaces the text, how can i fix that?
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                          Old September 2nd, 2008 (3:16 AM).
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                            just add anpther layer, move it under the layer with the text, paste the image into it and then combine both layers
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                            Old September 2nd, 2008 (3:27 AM).
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                              Incase this helps i've got 3.36, note: still doesn't work with four layers, when i merge the picture stays and i can't get text, also i can't actually view a single layer, it treats it all as the one with the picture
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                              Old September 2nd, 2008 (3:42 AM).
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                                you will always see all layers unless you uncheck them, but you only work on one
                                pasting the image into a layer that is under the layer with the text will make thee text appear in fornt of the image
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                                Old September 2nd, 2008 (4:51 AM).
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                                  Quote:
                                  i could also get the text from anyy other program or website thats correct.
                                  but this tool generates a nice one, so why not use it?^^
                                  You can download exactly the same font as your using and it would look the same. Which means one of the unnecessary steps can be taken away and it is more time efficient than copying and pasting from a program.

                                  The font is called Visitor
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                                    #21    
                                  Old September 2nd, 2008 (5:23 AM).
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                                    Shouldn't this be in the Tutorial thread?
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                                      #22    
                                    Old September 2nd, 2008 (5:30 AM).
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                                      Quote:
                                      Originally Posted by Color Me Evil View Post
                                      Shouldn't this be in the Tutorial thread?
                                      you mean the tutorials section? i tried to post it there but i twas denied ccause it had nothing to do with rom hacking
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                                      Old September 2nd, 2008 (5:32 AM).
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                                        Yea... so you post it here
                                        Graphics & Photography Tutorials Thread
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                                          #24    
                                        Old September 2nd, 2008 (5:41 AM).
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                                          What Postman said. There's a thread in this forum for tutorials. Durrrr.
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                                            #25    
                                          Old September 3rd, 2008 (2:05 AM).
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                                            Neat. :D This should be helpful for people who don't have Photoshop or don't know how to use it.
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