How to Edit Photos for IMVU


IMVU is an online social game where users can create unique 3D avatars and interact with one another through chat-rooms, games and online forums. Included as part of your profile is a picture of your avatar, which you can edit outside of IMVU. Your avatar picture can be a simple picture of your avatar, a creative insight into your personality or whatever you want, just as long as the picture is appropriate for all audiences.

Changing an Avatar Picture In-Game

  • Log into the IMVU 3D Client.

  • Click "Dress Up" for plain-background pictures or "My Rooms" if you want a particular IMVU background in the picture.

  • Select the clothes you want to use for the picture, and if using My Rooms for a background, the room you want for a backdrop.

  • Click the camera icon and select a snapshot style. For profile pictures, you'll want the Portrait or vertical style, rather than the landscape or horizontal style.

  • Click the camera icon in the middle of the snapshot toolbar to take the picture.

  • Check the "Replace my profile picture" check box and click "Save." The picture will be saved as your profile picture for the game and forums.

Taking a Background-Free Avatar Picture

  • Log in to the IMVU 3D Client.

  • Click "Dress Up."

  • Select the clothes you want to use for the picture.

  • Click the camera icon and the Portrait or vertical style.

  • Click the icon displaying a chair with a slash through it. The background will turn green -- this indicates that the picture will be set with a transparent background. Transparent backgrounds make editing a picture outside of IMVU much easier.

  • Click the camera button again to take the snapshot.

  • Click "Save" to save the picture.

Editing the Picture - Paint

  • Launch Paint and start a new file.

  • Click "Resize" and select the "Pixels" radio button.

  • De-select the "Maintain aspect ratio" check box and enter "160" as the horizontal and "220" as the vertical dimensions.

  • Create a background using Paint's brushes, shapes and text tools. You can also copy and paste other pictures into the background.

  • Save the background with a name you'll recognize, like "avatarbg."

  • Open your background-free avatar picture.

  • Click the Resize tool and re-select "Maintain aspect ratio" to prevent your image from deforming.

  • Enter the same pixel dimensions as detailed in step three.

  • Copy the image.

  • Re-open the background image and paste the resized avatar picture into it, then click "Save." Select to save the image as a JPG file. JPG files use compression to limit file size, which makes it easier for you to stay at or under the 200KB size permitted for profile pictures. If the file won't exceed 200KB, you can use the PNG or GIF formats for improved image quality.

Editing the Picture - GIMP or Adobe Photoshop

  • Launch GIMP or Photoshop.

  • Create a new image, and set the dimensions at 160-pixels wide by 220-pixels long.

  • Create a background using GIMP or Photoshop's various editing tools.

  • Open the background-free avatar picture without closing the background image.

  • Set the two images alongside one another so they are easy to compare.

  • In GIMP, click "Image" on the avatar picture, followed by "Scale Image." In Photoshop, click "Image" followed by "Image Size."

  • Set the scaling or size value to "percent" instead of pixels, and toy around with the percentage until the image fits as desired.

  • Copy the avatar image and paste it into the background as a new layer.

  • Save the image as a JPG.

Uploading the Picture

  • Launch a Web browser and navigate to the IMVU homepage.

  • Sign in to your avatar's account and click "Account" at the top of your IMVU page.

  • Click "Choose file" next to "Upload Avatar Image."

  • Browse to and select your avatar picture.

  • Click "Update Profile" to finalize the change. It may take a moment to upload and display in the forums and game.

Creating a Forum Signature

  • Launch your preferred image editor.

  • Create a new file with the dimensions 500-pixels wide by 150-pixels long. If you plan to use multiple images, remember the sum of their dimensions can't exceed these limits.

  • Edit the picture as desired. Add your IMVU avatar if you want, using the background-free avatar picture for simplified editing.

  • Save the file as a PNG, GIF or JPG. Forum signatures don't have a set file size limit, as IMVU doesn't store it on their servers. This means you can easily use the PNG format for maximum picture quality if desired.

  • Upload the file to an image hosting site. There are several available for free, including Image Shack, TinyPic, Photobucket and Image Cave (links in Resources).

  • Sign in to your IMVU account on the website and go to your forum profile. A link directly to the profile is included in Resources.

  • Replacing the placeholder text with the actual URL address of your forum signature picture, put the following text into the "Forum Signature" text field:


  • Make sure the "Always attach my signature" and "Always allow BBCode" options are set to "Yes," then click "Submit."

Tips & Warnings

  • Paint, GIMP and Photoshop all offer different levels of convenience and features. Paint is free and pre-installed on all Windows computers, but has minimal features, that can limit the quality of the finished product and increase the amount of work you have to do. Photoshop has a substantial price tag, but offers professional-level editing tools that, with a little practice, can produce top-quality images. GIMP rides the middle as far as features, offering greater versatility than Paint, but fewer features than Photoshop. GIMP is also free, making it a viable choice for anyone looking for greater flexibility and features on a budget.
  • Always make sure your avatar and signature images conform to IMVU's General Audience content rules. The rules are included in a link in the Resources section.


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