Concepts 037 – File Cabinet
Using the File Cabinet
The file cabinets (v01 and v02) can illustrate the uses of a real file cabinet; e.g., the series example illustrates office space utilization in a "paperless" office. The file cabinet is also a metaphor for organization, retrieval, archived information, and easy access. File cabinet v02 has larger "plaques" so the drawers can be labeled. Don't ungroup the drawer to put text on the plaque, just select the plaque within the group, type small amount of text, and format it so that the text is centered vertically and horizontally and the correct size and color. The downloads have been formatted, but your template defaults may override the formatting.
The moths (v03) are a little extra. Be sure you are comfortable working with layers (see the animated example). The file folder download (v04) is a file folder that has papers in it. The nice thing about this download is that the pieces of the folder are layered so that you can "stuff" it with your own material: contracts, pictures, research papers, etc. Just use the ordering tools to stuff the folder.
Customizing the File Cabinet
If you need to reduce the size of the file cabinet, group it and scale it up or down by holding the shift key down as you resize. The download for the file cabinet is animated. Grouping will erase any animation, so bear this in mind before you group and resize. The animation is simple enough to redo after you resize, however.
Ordering the layers
Because the drawers are constructed so they can be animated, the file cabinet has been created in pieces.
As you can see, the order of the layers need to be precise. When you manually place objects in the drawers or use animation to take objects out of/place objects into the drawers, the ordering for the layers need to be handled in the same way.
The file cabinet download (v01) is gray, but you can change the color to whatever you like. The drawers are grouped, but you can color the individual pieces of the group easily. Try to keep them grouped so you don't have to keep track of so many fields.
If you choose to change the color, let the grays guide you through the hues of the color you use. Notice that the top of the file cabinet in the example and in the download is lighter, implying that there is light source above. The visible side of the file cabinet is darker, implying that it is in shadow. The front of the file cabinet is also in a little bit of a shadow and, therefore, a little darker than the top. Select your color and then lighten or darken the hues to create 3D.
Don't use 3D effects. The file cabinet is already drawn to look 3D.
Don't apply shadows.
Gradients, patterns, and pictures
You can use gradients to enhance the 3D effect.
What makes the file cabinet useful is the animation. The drawers open and close. The layers are such that files can be placed within the drawers of the files. The top drawer is the only drawer that has objects going in (file) and out (moths) in the animated example. This is because the drawers need to be layered as well. The top drawer is on a layer closer to the top than the middle and bottom drawers. This is necessary because the top drawer obscures part of the middle drawer when if opens. If you need to place objects into the drawer or take something out, you'll need to approach the animation in stages.
Stage 1: putting things into/taking things out of top drawer
Use the download as is. Animate objects going into drawer or coming out of the drawer. Just be sure to layer the objects correctly. Animate for the file cabinet and all of the objects within the file cabinet to disappear.
Stage 2: putting things into/taking things out of middle drawer
Duplicate the Stage 1 file cabinet, remove all of the animations, place directly over the file cabinet from Stage 1, and animate this file cabinet to appear when the Stage 1 file cabinet disappears. Relayer the drawers so that the middle drawer is on a layer closer to the top than the top drawer. Animate objects going into drawer or coming out of the drawer. Just be sure to layer the objects correctly.
Stage 3: putting things into/taking things out of bottom drawer
Duplicate the Stage 2 file cabinet, remove all of the animations, place directly over the file cabinet from Stage 2, and animate this file cabinet to appear when the Stage 2 file cabinet disappears. Relayer the drawers so that the bottom drawer is on a layer closer to the top than the top drawer. Animate objects going into drawer or coming out of the drawer. Just be sure to layer the objects correctly.
This actually sounds harder than it is. If you don't want to work with so many layers, put each of the three stages on separate pages. You're audience will not know you have changed from one slide to the next, they'll only see the progression of drawers opening, objects going in/out, and drawers closing.
Series that relate to this tutorial
Click on a name for more information.
Click on a thumbnail to view a larger image