[one useful paragraph from the original Susie Oviatt's tutorial about ascii art]
One of the very first ASCII artists on GEnie, TARGON, came up with the idea of creating a "canvas." To make it easier to put your characterswhere they need to go, start with a blank canvas. In most word processing programs, the cursor can't be moved somewhere it's never been before. That's fine if you know exactly where you want each character, and can type it in perfectly the first time, but if you need to experiment, like I do,you'll want to move that cursor around with your arrow keys.
The canvas consists of a screen full of lines, and the lines consist of nothing but spaces you've tapped in with your spacebar. This is the way I made mine: First, go to the program you plan to use to make your pictures, draw a line of dashes across the top, and then hit the enter key ... oh... about twenty times or so. At the end of the screen, draw another line of dashes across the bottom.
Go back to the top of the screen, press the down arrow once, and start hitting the space bar. When you get to the end of the line, use thedown arrow to get to the next line. Do not hit "enter" again, and do not let the line of spaces wrap around. Hit the space bar again, filling the next line with spaces, and again when you get to the end of the line, use the down arrow key to get to the next line. Continue doing this till you've filled all 20 lines with blank spaces.
At this point, it would be wise to "save" the "canvas" so that you don't have to go through this every time you want to do a picture. I chose the name "canvas," but then, I'm an original thinker. :) From then on, when you want to create a new picture, you can just "recall" the canvas.
[A little handy Asciimation hint: In ASCIIMATOR you can create the Canvas you need and then save it as usual asciimation which will consist of only one frame. Donâ€™t â€œpublicateâ€ it (donâ€™t set publicate flag on). Use this file just for loading before you make some asciimation.]