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Tips How to make wallpaper for your phone

Discussion in 'Android Devices' started by cquinn, Sep 18, 2010.

  1. cquinn

    cquinn Well-Known Member
    Thread Starter

    Jun 18, 2010
    I'm a regular visitor to the "Let Us peek at your Screens - thread and one of the most common questions is how to make wallpaper. One of the nicest things about knowing how to do this is you can get wallpaper from almost anywhere for your phone. It's pretty cool really and although it make look a little daunting at first once you do it a couple of times you'll see it's really easy. So I've put together this little tutorial. It uses Photoshop but the same basic principles apply regardless of the image editing software you use.

    Step 1: Download an image


    Notice this image is taller than it is wide. That'll make a difference later

    Step 2: Open the image in your editing software


    Once it's open you're going to adjust the image size. For the image to cover all screens you must resize it to 960 pixels wide by 800 pixels high. When your final image is this size that little green box in the set wallpaper function on your phone will cover the entire image when you stretch it to fit. In photoshop you click on the 'Image' tab and scroll down to 'Image Size'. When you click that you'll get a pop up dialogue.

    Step 3: First size adjustment


    In this dialogue in the pixel dimensions section you'll see to the right a right hand bracket with a chain link next to it and at the bottom of the dialogue you'll see a check mark in the box named 'constrain proportions'. This means that when you change one dimension the other will change by a corresponding amount to keep the proportions the same. If at this point you unchecked that box and in the dimensions section entered 960 wide and 800 high you would have an image that fit your screens on your phone but it would be really distorted. So - look for the largest dimension first. In this case it's the height and make that adjustment. Here the height is 1000 pixels and you're going to reduce that to 800. Sometimes the biggest dimension isn't big enough so in that case you would increase it to 800 or 960 depending on whether the largest dimension was width or height.

    Step 4: Put your image on a canvas (second size adjustment)


    You'll need some rulers now to guide you for placement later so if they aren't already visible turn them on. You can see them in this image on the left and top borders. In photoshop you go to 'View' and click 'Rulers'. It's helpful if they are in pixels and not inches but it's not critical. To change them in Photoshop go to the Edit tab scroll down to Preferences and change the ruler's measurement to pixels there.

    To put your image on a canvas you click in the 'Image' tab scroll down to 'Canvas Size' and click that. You get a pop up dialogue like you see here. There are several things to do here. Note: in this picture I hadn't yet adjusted the image size - that's why it still says height 1000.

    First - See the nine boxes shaped into a cube? That's where you tell Photoshop where to place your image on the canvas. Since you've already sized it for height it will be in the middle row. Middle center or middle left or middle right. For our example we're going to leave it right in the middle because we're going to move it later.

    Second - In the 'New Size" section you're going to adjust the width to 960. This will create a canvas on the left and right of your image making your final image 960 x 800.

    Third - At the very bottom you see 'Canvas extension color. You can set the color in the drop down box here. Normally I would chose black but I used a custom color (gray) so you could see what I was doing in the next step.

    Once all these adjustments are made click OK

    Step 5: Centering your image


    Depending on how many screens you use on your phone and how you want the image to look once you set it as wallpaper you may have to move the image on the canvas. I have four screens on my phone so to get the image in the middle of my home screen I have to shift it to the left on the canvas. Again there are several steps to follow.

    First - You'll have to do what I did and use trial and error to determine if your images have to move left or right or can stay centered. Once you find the proper location on the canvas make a note of the left and right pixel borders. With that information you can draw out guides from the rulers to help you center the image. Those light blue lines you see are my guides. You can see that to have the image centered on my home screen I have move the image from the center of the canvas to the left. I won't go into how to set guides here but it's really easy.

    Second - You need to set the background color to the color of your canvas so that when you move the image another color won't show in the space where you've moved it from. At the bottom of photoshop's toolbox (that vertical bar with all the icons on it) you see two overlapping boxes. One with gray one with black. Those are your foreground and background colors. You double click on the background color (in this case the black one) and you'll get a popup dialogue color picker screen. I had to size these images to keep them as small as possible so some of this stuff is hard to see but if you look at the toolbox you'll see a tiny eyedropper. It's the sixth one down from the top. When you launch the color picker your cursor will change to that. You can now 'sample' any color on your screen or on the color picker dialogue. Take that eyedropper and click on the canvas and that background box will change to your canvas color.

    Third - See that dotted line to the left and right of the image. That's actually a 'Marque' or what is called 'crawling ants'. That's the second tool down from the top (the one that's depressed in this picture). That 'selects' the area you're going to work on or in this case move. You hold down your left mouse button and drag it over the image to make the selection. Notice that there is a little of the canvass on the left and right included in the selection. That amount isn't critical as long as you have some to make sure you don't leave some of the image behind. This is why I made the canvas gray because had I made it black it would be harder to see what I had selected.

    Fourth - Select the 'move' tool. The first one in the toolbox. When you put this on your image, hold your left mouse button down and drag the image to the position you want.

    Step six - Save your image


    Now I just touched up the title info at the bottom of the image with a black paint brush to erase it (if you try to 'erase' it with the eraser tool you'll just wind up with a hole in the photo) and saved the file as a jpeg. If you find that the image doesn't look right when you save it you might have to 'flatten' the layers but that's usually not a problem for making wallpaper.

    A couple of notes.

    You can check your final image size by opening the image size dialogue again.

    If your image 'hangs over' your home screen that's no big deal. In other words - you don't have to 'crop' the image to fit only the home screen.

    It's tough to find images that when you size one dimension to say 800 the other comes out exactly right at 960. Some images are close and they can be stretched without too much distortion. In that case you uncheck the 'constrain proportions' box and enter 960 x 800 to get your final size.

    Remember it's 960 pixels wide by 800 pixels tall.

    So that's it. What you wind up with is this:

    (sorry no screen shot - I'm having trouble with my SDK. Will post as when fixed)


    scudder and kat3k like this.
  2. probinson

    probinson Well-Known Member

    May 14, 2010
    When I want a new wallpaper I do the following. Copy a picture to the EVO, press Menu, select Wallpaper, go to the Gallery, select the photo, select the part of the image I want to be the wallpaper and hit Save. That's it.
  3. hal

    hal Member

    Jan 25, 2010
    Seems like a well-made tutorial, but alas it's redundant, because of the reason stated by probinson above. Just copy any fairly hi-res picture to your phone and use the green box to select the largest possible area of the image, and voil
  4. amerinamese

    amerinamese Well-Known Member

    Aug 6, 2010
    I wanted a picture of Beaver stadium as my wallpaper and i just found a picture of it, used chrome to phone (cause I was on my desktop) and when it got to my phone, I hit set as wallpaper. Not that hard.
  5. shrxfn68

    shrxfn68 Member

    Oct 2, 2010
    Please delete and redirect me if there is a thread already like this. But, I was wondering if you wanted to take a large background image for your laptop, which takes up the whole screen, and put it on your phone. What size would you need to take it down to to have it fit on a EVO 4G perfectly?

  6. Mr. Ed

    Mr. Ed Well-Known Member

    Jun 27, 2010
    Over Yonder
    This is an excellent write up. Not all of my images line up correctly or get stretched when using the built in method. This will allow one to adjust the image optimally prior to putting on the phone.

    Thank you for posting!

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