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Thursday, February 11th, 2010

Microsoft has introduced a free online tool called Windows Experience Pack with which you can create animated display picture (Dynamic Display Picture) with your own face for MSN Messenger (Windows Live Messenger).

With the Windows Experience Pack, you are able create an alter-ego of yourself in a specific destination – a beach, mountain, safari, or city. When you create your alter-ego, you create a fully customized avatar for that destination that becomes a part of a Windows Live Messenger and Windows 7 theme for your PC. You’ll also be able to download a .jpg image of your avatar to share, print, or use as your icon on social networks.

For a specific destination you pick, the following Windows Live Messenger elements are created for you to use in Messenger for your alter-ego:
* 1 static Display Picture
* Up to 4 Dynamic Display Pictures
* A Wink
* 7 new Emoticons
* A new Messenger Scene

For Windows 7, you are given the choice between 3 desktop backgrounds for your destination and a screensaver featuring multiple photos from your destination.

The Windows Experience Pack was created and optimized for Windows 7, but it can be downloaded and used on PCs running Windows XP or Windows Vista too.

To get started you need to go to the Windows Experience Pack site.

Once the site is loaded, click on the “Start now” button.
Windows Experience Pack - Start

Now choose a destination – a beach, mountain, safari, or city. For this run I am going with mountain. Choose “The mountains” and click on “Next“.
Windows Experience Pack - Choose Destination

On the next step, choose a background option. Then click “Next”.
Windows Experience Pack - Desktop Background

Now to choose your avatar. Select if you are Male/Female and click on “Next“.
Windows Experience Pack - Select Avatar

Now its what I’ll call the main magic of the tool. Give the avatar your own face! For that you will have to choose a pic from which you will be able to crop out your face.

Click on the “Upload from your PC” icon and browse to the picture you want to use.
Windows Experience Pack - Upload Pic

Once the picture gets uploaded, you will find a large face shape overlay with pointers to resize/move it.
Windows Experience Pack - Face Shape

You will need to resize/move it to fit your face. I suggest to let it cutoff some part rather than selecting more than just the face.
Windows Experience Pack - Crop Face

When you are done, click on “Next” to continue.

You will then be presented with a screen like this.
Windows Experience Pack - Wait for Avatar

Wait for your avatar getting generated.

Once done you will be provided with this screen:
Windows Experience Pack - Download and Install

Click on the “Download and Install” link.

You will be provided with a .exe file. Don’t panic. It’s not a virus. Its the installer built for you which will install the dynamic display picture, desktop background, screen saver etc.

Save the file.
Windows Experience Pack - Save .exe file

After saved, run the .exe file. It will start the installer wizard.

You might like to uncheck the last 2 options ;)
Windows Experience Pack - Installer

Continue with the installation process. It does take a lot of time.
Windows Experience Pack - Installing

Once done you will find your MSN Messenger Display Picture got changed to this new Dynamic Display Picture with your own face.
MSN Messenger Dynamic Display Picture with Own Face - Main Window
MSN Messenger Dynamic Display Picture with Own Face - Conversation Window

You will also find a new Scene installed on your Windows Live Messenger.
Windows Experience Pack - Windows Live Messenger Scene

And it doesn’t just stop there. It will also change your Desktop Wallpaper.
Windows Experience Pack - Desktop Wallpaper
(Yah, Yah! I need to get things organized, I know :$)

You will also place the avatar image file (in .jpg) on your desktop. You can use that on other places like your forum avatar, facebook profile picture and so on.

Here is the one they generated for me:
Mountain - avatar

Oh! and yes! It installs a screen saver for you too!
Windows Experience Pack - Screen Saver


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Categories: Tech, Tips and Tricks

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