Tutorial for Relationships 078 – Plugins
This series contains stylized graphics depicting plugins to a central/main object. These plugins convey a different message than simply connecting many objects to a central object. They imply charging, transference, downloading/uploading, connections that are temporary or situational, etc.
There are graphics for 1 to 12 plugins, with variations for the 1 and 2 plugin graphics. The reason for the variations is simply that when these graphics are rotated or flipped vertically or horizontally, imported photos can sometimes orient themselves within the graphic (if the graphic has been flipped vertically or horizontally) to the original position of the graphic, i.e., photos appear horizontally flipped or upside down. Therefore, it's important to choose the version that works best on your slide if you're going to import photos into your graphics.
Customizing the Plugins
Group the frameworks before resizing/rescaling (hold shift key down while resizing to rescale the graphic). Then ungroup after the graphic is resized so that other formatting can be added.
Each piece of the frameworks can receive its own fill and line colors. Choose colors from your template's palette or complementary colors. If you use this as a high-level introduction graphic, you may want to choose a different color for each plugin and then use the graphic as a reduced-size tracker. Just gray the plugins not under discussion instead of highlighting the plugin that is under discussion.
PowerPoint 2007 options
The PowerPoint 2007 and 2010 formatting options can be useful, but only if they sync with the other graphic in the presentation. If you aren't using 3D, for example, anywhere else in the document, then you should probably not use 3D with these frameworks. Remember to build your presentations so that the slides are consistent.
It's a good idea to forgo 3D because the plugins are right next to the center object. Layering can be an issue to get the framework to look just right. If you have to use 3D, use a very small depth if you use 3D with these frameworks. Bevels can look good, but make sure that the bevel is shallow. Take a look at this faq for applying bevels to puzzle pieces. It is useful with these frameworks as well.
As with 3D, shadows can create layering issues. If you're not using animation, you may want to consider using a grouped duplicate of the framework that has a nice PowerPoint 2007 or 2010 shadow applied to it beneath the visible framework. This grouped duplicate will have a uniform shadow that will lift the whole framework off of the slide background.
Gradients, patterns, and pictures
The reason for the variations for 1 and 2 plugin frameworks is simply that when these graphics are rotated or flipped vertically or horizontally, imported photos can sometimes orient themselves within the graphic (if the graphic has been flipped vertically or horizontally) to the original position of the graphic, i.e., photos appear horizontally flipped or upside down. Therefore, it's important to choose the version that works best on your slide if you're going to import photos into your graphics.
You can be a little creative here. You can have the plugins fly in from off the slide, fade in/out, appear/disappear, etc. Download the animated example for a possible animation scheme.