In Photoshop Valley, injokester was kind enough to include lots of helpful hints about creating characters.
I assume you mean this thread? I've been using that to learn to draw characters while simultaneously teaching myself to use GIMP - and I've only been doing both for about the past 10 days, so I don't completely know what I'm doing yet. Injokester's instructions for making GIFs are for Photoshop; I can't afford the full version and I already tried the trial version a while ago, so it won't let me run it now. (I even tried reinstalling.) I followed Injokester's instructions as closely as I could, but a few things were different in GIMP, and it might handle the edges differently.
I have noticed that GIFs come out more jagged than other formats, but that's what it needs to be for SC. Here's a comparison (PNG on the left, GIF on the right), as well as a fake iPod ad I made it into for fun:
I'm going to work on improving the pic (the one for attitudechicka, not the ad) over the holidays; I'm a college student going home tomorrow night if the weather's not too bad. Then I'll have access to a digital camera, so I'll pose for the pic and possibly redo it completely. There are a few things I don't like about this one. You might have noticed I already gave him a "haircut"; I thought his head looked a little big before. Also, when I traced the hands of the pic I used for reference, the fingers looked like talons at first, so I had to redo the hands from scratch and I'm still not completely happy with them, especially his left one (on our right) and I neglected to give him thumbs (partly 'cuz I couldn't figure out which side of the hand they went on at first). Hands are hard for me; I've tried redrawing them but haven't been able to do better, so I'll have to work with pics of my own hands to get it right.
"Laughter is the language of the soul." - Pablo Neruda, as quoted by Lisa Simpson