I know that my avatar is based on my email address, but how can I predict the kinds of shapes and the color of my avatar based on my email address?

What characteristics (characters, I assume) of the hash equal what shapes, colors etc?

  • possible duplicate of How is the default user avatar generated? – Pops Nov 9 '10 at 2:30
  • @popularDemand - Nope, I know that. The factor is my email hash. I want to know how that has is translated and what characteristics of the hash equal what colors, shapes etc. – Moshe Nov 9 '10 at 2:33
  • Relevant link from the dupe: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Identicon – Pops Nov 9 '10 at 2:33
  • @PopularDemand - NOT A DUPE! – Moshe Nov 9 '10 at 2:33
  • 1
    @Pop: There's gotta be a better way - I spent a lot of time composing an answer only to discover that the question isn't original. – uɐɯsO uɐɥʇɐN Nov 9 '10 at 2:40
  • @GeorgeEdison - @Pop? hehe. – Moshe Nov 9 '10 at 2:41

The way Gravatar works, the hash of your email address is used to form the parameters to their image generating function. These are passed to a special URL which returns an image:


Email: bob@test.com
Hash: ebf3a1ca1e3ca553e2bd873b3cd96390
URL: http://gravatar.com/avatar/ebf3a1ca1e3ca553e2bd873b3cd96390?d=identicon

The default Gravatars for StackExchange are Identicon images (notice the d parameter in the URL above), so given your email hash and the function that generates the images, yes - you can predict what it will look like.

Edit: the source code for Identicon can be found here: http://downloads.wordpress.org/plugin/wp-identicon.zip

| improve this answer | |
  • I'd like to know how the image generating function works. – Moshe Nov 9 '10 at 2:41
  • @Moshe: The source code is here. – uɐɯsO uɐɥʇɐN Nov 9 '10 at 2:43
  • Please add to the answer. – Moshe Nov 9 '10 at 2:50
  • @Moshe: I added it. – uɐɯsO uɐɥʇɐN Nov 9 '10 at 3:32
  • The MD5 hash is just used as the seed for the pseudo random number generator. At least that's how it works for MonsterId and Unicornify; I assume Identicons work the same way. – balpha Nov 9 '10 at 8:28

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