Born in 2015, the concept of emotes dates to the earlier use of smileys in chat platforms such as MSN Messenger and Yahoo Messengers. Essentially, emotes are tiny icons, popularly known as emoticons that depict various expressions and symbols.
With the advent of smartphones and increasing use of social media applications such as Facebook and WhatsApp, a dedicated emote keyboard was developed, and since then emotes have become an integral part of the Internet language.
Like other social media platforms, Twitch has also been hit by the emote storm. Twitch is one of the most popular gaming and streaming platforms that support multiplayer gaming along with a chat panel.
Regular viewers on Twitch have developed their own language that is heavily embedded with emotes. Most viewers who have mastered the art of emotes are able to communicate multiple phrases with a single image.
Streamers who are passionate and fully involved in gaming go through various emotional ups and downs. It is common to show excitement over a victory or to troll the opposition over a silly move. Most viewers love relying on emotes to express themselves during gameplay.
Despite being a regular player on Twitch, most streamers have failed to completely master the emote language. This is because users continue to develop their own emotes and add them to the platform.
The trend of designing and developing your own emotes is picking up. The following sections aim at giving an overview on how you can easily create your own Twitch emotes.
1. Emote Draft
Before you set out to create your own emote it is important that you make a draft first. The first thing that you need to decide is what message is the emote trying to express.
Remember, that each emote is meant to convey an emotion or expression and is meant to serve a purpose. Therefore, you need to determine what particular emotion your emote will indicate and for what purpose will it be used.
You also need to determine if there are any particular situations in which your emote will be used. When creating your emoticon draft, adding a reference image always helps at later stages of emoticon development.
2. Sketch Your Twitch Emoticon
Once you have finalized your emoticon draft, the next step is to sketch your emoticon. You can either make a pencil sketch of your emote and transfer it to your PC using a camera photo or a scanner, or you can use tech gadgets such as Wacom Tablet that allow free sketching.
When sketching the emoticon, remember the objectives you have set for your emote in your draft and ensure that your design fits that particular mood.
When sketching using a tablet on photoshop, it is recommended that you set up a large canvas, say 2500 by 2500 pixels at 300 DPI. It is also recommended to use thinner brushes for the outlines.
You can shade it roughly with a bit of color just to give an idea of the overall look and feel of the emoticon before you transfer it to Illustrator. Creating your own emotes also require that you determine what style your emote have.
In some cases, streamers use emotes with their own facial images or other popular facial images. In that case, step, 2 can be skipped, and you can directly move on to the next step.
Once you have the sketch ready on the photoshop, paste it onto the illustrator. If you have made paper sketches, you can directly scan your paper and get the scan on the Illustrator.
It is recommended that your artboard on the Illustrator is about 25 cm by 25 cm in dimensions. This will ensure maintaining the same aspect ratio, and the dimension of the artboard will match that of an A4 size paper.
Once the artboard pastes or imports the image onto the Illustrator, lower its opacity. It is recommended to put the image under a layer and lock it so that it doesn’t end up moving accidently.
Working in Illustrator is important in order to get the vector image. Vector images can be easily resized which is one of the key tools to be used when creating emotes.
Use Illustrator tools to refine the line art for your image and fill in the required colors with shading.
4. Photoshop again
Twitch has three size options for its emoticons, 28, 56 and 112 pixels. For this example, we are using 28 pixels. The next step is to paste the Illustrator image back on photoshop. When you do that, photoshop will ask you to choose from a few options.
Choose pixels because the image will be larger than the canvas and will need to be resized. Now using the free transform tool resize the image.
If at this page you feel you need to add a few more details you can make use of the brush tool and the pencil tool.
5. Export to PNG
Once you are done, save using the save for web option and select the PNG-24 preset. Your Twitch emote is ready.