Creating a :wow: Emoji

An overdue how-to guide from your pal in enablement, @Bradford
I started creating :wow: emojis back in 2018 as a way of honoring the amazing people I have met at Slack. It was my way of saying "thank you for being you" in the Slackiest way I could imagine.

But, I am just one human! And I have (some) other stuff to do. And there are so very many of you that deserve to both receive and create these wonderful little gems. My only asks of you, fair friends are these:
Make 'em pretty, ok? This is the closest thing I have ever had to a legacy, so please don't fill Slack with junky emojis.
Give ‘em away easily and freely. Everyone deserves a :wow: emoji.
It shouldn't take you more than 5 minutes to make one of these puppies. Don't let them become a distraction.
Please, please do not blast #help-biztech with requests for Photoshop licenses. "I want to make a wow emoji" is not a good enough reason for Slack to pay for Photoshop for you.

Ok. Ready to do this thing?
💻 Requirements:
Photoshop. If you don’t have it, you can a free trial, but again, please don’t ask your IT Team to pay for it on your behalf.
Update: Christine McHone suggests using . I haven’t tried it, but it is free.
Update: for OSX is in the Mac App Store and is $4.99. You can import a GiPHY image, add a cut-out profile picture on top, and export out a GIF. To stay under 128kb, you’ll need to resize down to about 96px square, then reduce your colors to 12-16 and your frames down to the minimum <60
1️⃣ Grab that Profile Pic
Grab a screenshot of the profile pic belonging to your honoree. For this example, I will use the incredible Customer Success Leader, Meghan Haenn.
There! I did it. Now I have this:
2️⃣ Remove the Background
Upload the screenshot to the website
95% of the time this will work great and remove the background. If it’s not working great, give up. If it is, download the result.
There! I did it. Now I have this:

3️⃣ Find a Gif
This is the step in the process most subject to your artistic whims. Here’s what I have learned so far:
Find a Gif that is colorful!
Find a Gif that has a simple, repeating pattern.
Find a Gif that has perfectly square dimensions.
to start clicking around.
Once you find your gif, download it to your computer.
There! I did it. Now I have this:

4️⃣ Open both images in Photoshop
Once both files are open in Photoshop, copy the image with the transparent background and paste it onto the Gif.
Press [cmd + t] to resize the image to fit the Gif. Play around a little and get it just right.
Make sure that the person’s face is big enough to be recognizable.
There! I did it. Now I have this:
5️⃣ Open the “layers” window and drag the newly added layer to the very top
This will ensure that your subject’s face is in the front of every frame of the gif.
Your layers palette should look like this:

6️⃣ Resize the image
Slack will only accept images that are 128kb or less to serve the noble role of “emoji.” As such, you will need to resize your image to smaller dimensions. We can tweak this even more later, but usually, I resize to 2” x 2”
Press [Option + Cmd + I]
Resize away.

7️⃣ Prepare for export & save
Press [Option + Shift + Cmd + S] to open the “legacy’ export dialogue. It looks like this:


Look at those three red boxes in the dutifully annotated screenshot above.
Make sure your looping options are set to “Forever
Make sure your file size is less than 128k. In this example it is too big, sooo..
Adjust the image size until the file size is 128k or less. After some futzing, you will get to this:

122.7k. Perfect!
Click Save and save the file somewhere.

8️⃣ Bring it on into Slack!

You probably know how to , but this is the fun part!
Add your emoji. Name it [name]-wow
You did it! Now you have a beautiful emoji just like this one:

🚀 Go Forth!

Go forth, o ye makers of emojis! Bring some light into the lives of others.
If you have any questions or if I can make this guide easier to follow, please comment in this doc or DM me.

- Bradford


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