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Welcome to all of you Aman-Valinor members!  I hope that these tutorials help you with your graphics making.  If they are confusing in any way or if you have any other suggestions or comments please feel free to leave a note in the guestbook.  Or, on the board, you can PM me or leave a note in the thread.  Thank you!

Just a few general notes before we get started--please take the time to read them!

General Notes

~All Tutorials are GIMP specific.  GIMP is a free photo-editing program available for download at http://gimp.org.  It is available for Windows or Mac.  If you are using another photo-editing program feel free to contact me if you have problems.
 
~The standard avatar/icon/user pic size is 100 by 100 pixels.  I have found that it is easiest to create a blank 100 by 100 graphic and save it so that you do not have to make a new one every time. 
 
~All Tutorials demonstrate effects on 500 by 150 pixel images.  This is because I wanted the image to be large enough to see clearly. All of these effects are usable on smaller graphic but keep in mind that you will (probably) have to use different brush sizes when working with a smaller graphic.
 
~I reccomend downloading the GIMP help page as well--if you are puzzled about the use of a certain tool it provides fairly good information on each of them.  There are also tutorials available on the GIMP website.
 
~Note that these tutorials should be read in the order they were posted as this is also the order I wrote them in and the later ones do assume a certain familiarity with concepts discussed in more detail in the earlier tutorials.
 
~Note also that these are only the beginning.  Experiment.  Try new things.  They may not work but that's okay.  As with any other skill, try to develop your own approach to things.  If you think that what I have made looks funny, figure out how to make it your way.  There will probably be some people out there who like your version better than mine. 
 
~All the pictures are viewable in a separate page--just click on them.  Some of them are scaled down within the page so if you're finding it hard to see something try looking at the picture on its own.

Have fun!