Sunday, June 12, 2011

Get Creative with your Facebook Profile Picture

Ever notice a really creative Facebook profile picture? If you have minimal Photoshop skills, you can make your Facebook profile picture stand out. Even if you don't know Photoshop, Facebook apps and programs can help you achieve the same effects. Here are a couple ideas for changing up your Facebook profile picture, along with websites with detailed instructions:

1. The cool silhouette effect. Facebook will generally resize any photo that is larger than 200 pixels wide or 600 pixels high, which results in the usual tiny photo. However, if you use Photoshop to resize your photo to no more than 200 pixels x 600 pixels, Facebook will not shrink the photo and it will appear as a larger profile pic. So by resizing a photo and making the background transparent (using the Magic Extractor), I came up with this profile photo:


I was inspired to do this by the article, "5 Creative Ways to Hack Your Facebook Profile Picture."

2. The panoramic view.  You can take advantage of the thumbnail photos across the top of your profile page to create an integrated image like this:


I came across this idea in various forms, but most notably in the article, "25+ Examples of New Creative Facebook Profile Pages." This page provides a detailed tutorial, and the website, "'Hack' Your Facebook Profile Page" provides some handy Photoshop templates to work with. The basic steps are: (1) use a template with the photo squares sliced out and manipulate your target photo in a lower layer so the images show through the window; and (2) upload the 6 resulting photos to a Facebook album and tag yourself in the 5 little ones, starting from the last to the first.

If you are using Photoshop Elements, which does not have the Slice tool, you can achieve the same effect by (1) taking a screenshot of your Facebook profile, (2) selecting and deleting each window (so it becomes transparent), (3) manipulating your target photo in a lower layer; (4) cropping each resulting photo and saving it as a separate photo; and (5) uploading the photos to Facebook and tagging the 5 little ones. (Tip: make sure you resize the photos to 72 dpi).

Don't have Photoshop? No problem.
A quick web search also reveals a bunch of websites that allow you to do this in minutes with no knowledge of Photoshop. A nice site that aggregates and reviews these is "How to Hack Your Facebook Profile in 30 Seconds."



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