Tutorial for Relationships 076 – Object-Centric Connectivity
Using the Object-Centric Connectivity Frameworks
These frameworks work nicely to show "satellites" circling or surrounding a main body – a network. They can be used to show hierarchy in an organization, product spinoffs, ideas around a mission, etc. You can resize the circles or replace them with objects of your own.
This series should not be confused with the other network series in the PowerFrameworks library (RE001 and RE074). Series RE001 and RE074 both contain frameworks with a circle at the 12 o'clock position in every variation. The frameworks in this series are designed in the same layout as polygon series TO032, so the frameworks with even numbers of circles don't have a circle at the 12 o'clock position. The connecting lines in this series are not polygons, but individual lines in the shape of the polygons in TO032, which means that they can be individually formatted and animated. The frameworks also contain connector lines from the center object to the surrounding objects. You can eliminate the lines that do not reflect the correct message for your slide.
This series of frameworks illustrates the concept of connectivity with a central object and connections between the surrounding circles. There is another way to use this series, however. The Chart of the Month for January 2010 illustrates a broader connectivity between the surrounding circles. There's also a video to help you understand how to add the other type of connector lines – it's a good tip. There's also a tip about adding text to circles, which you'll be able to use in lots of other situations.
Once you have identified the best-suited PowerFramework, download it to a specific location on your computer so you'll be able to find it (the desktop is always a good choice).
Customizing the Networks
You can size these frameworks in a couple of different ways. You can change the size/shape as a group, which will scale it the whole framework (hold shift key down as you resize). Or you can ungroup the framework, select all or a few of the circles of the framework, and size them all at once while holding the shift key down. This will scale the selected objects individually instead of the whole framework. Once resized, proceed with other customizations.
Select color from your document's color palette or a complimentary color so that the frameworks will reflect the color scheme of the rest of your document. Select "No line" if you want to eliminate the outline of the center object or the surrounding circles, or change the line point size if you want thinner or heaver lines. Heavier lines are recommended since this concept is all about connectivity.
If you wish to color the area inside the individual lines, import the appropriate polygon from TO032, apply the desired color to that graphic, and send to back.
Here are two 3D schemes to compare. A short depth of 12 points or less looks pretty good for this type of framework.
A shadow effect adds interest and dimension to a graphic, which can be accomplished within PowerPoint after the framework has been imported. If you have text associated with each satellite, you may want to keep the shadow scheme conservative and close to the object. The drop shadows in PowerPoint 2007 are especially nice when used with networks.
Gradients, patterns, and pictures
Gradients, patterns, and pictures can be added as fills from the "Fill Effects" menu. This particular gradient turns a circle into a sphere (visually only).
Animations should be selected that will enhance the meaning of the message, not merely to add interest to the slide. Motion animations can be added, but you have to be pretty good at animating to attempt this. If you want to animate the slide so the surrounding circles revolve around the center object, be sure to group it with the connector lines and animate the whole group to spin.