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Tutorial for

Forces 025

Swirl Atmosphere

Using the Swirl Atmosphere

These frameworks can be used to show a swirling or turbulent atmosphere that either invades an object (V1) or surrounds an object (V2). This is a difficult concept to express visually, but this framework does a good job.

These can also be use for other concepts as well. It's eye-catching enough to be used as a signature graphic for a presentation, project, or seminar. It can be used to illustrate gathering or diminishing forces by increasing or reducing the number of swirling arrows.

The arrows are rather small for labeling individually unless you use the variations with fewer arrows. Sets with more arrows can be used to convey an overall effect instead of identifying and labeling each force suggested by the arrows.

Customizing the Swirl Atmosphere

Adjust size

If you want to change the size/shape of the graphic, group it and resize the entire group. Be sure to hold the shift key down as you resize so that the graphic scales and stays a perfect circle. Once resized, ungroup to proceed with other customizations.

Color variations

Select color from your document's color palette or a complimentary color for the fill so that the arrows and center circle will reflect the color scheme of the rest of your document. These graphics work will with no line color.

3D variations

Don't use 3D with these graphics. The light, airy arrows will become thick and clunky, which will destroy the concept. Also the center works best when it appears as a sphere instead of a circle. Adding 3D only flattens the circle into a disk.


Don't apply shadows to these objects. The shadows get in the way of the effect of the concept. The arrows are best used to show a motion or a force, like an air flow. Therefore, a shadow will give the arrows too much substance.

Gradients, patterns, and pictures

Use a gradient to make the center circle a sphere. Use the Center gradient and make the outside of the circle darker than the center. This will make the circle appear as a 3 dimensional sphere.


You can group the arrows and make them spin very, very slowly around the center sphere if you want. A simple reveal might be better, however.

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