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Concepts 142

Chasm, Gap, Pitfall

This series contains chasms/gaps/pitfalls that imply danger. They can be used with animation or without. The download contains all of the variations, so just choose the one that best delivers your message and delete the rest. The land and walls of the chasm can be formatted in any way you choose. You may also want to combine the chasm with one of the bridges from CN072 to illustrate "bridging the gap" or use one of jumping silhouettes in SL004 to illustrate a "leap of faith."

Customizing the Chasms/Gaps/Pitfalls

Adjust size

Be sure to select all of the elements of the framework and group them. Then resize/rescale as needed and reposition it on your slide. Then ungroup and continue formatting the framework elements.

Color variations

The elements of the chasms can be colored as you choose. In the series example, the background for the slide is white; so we made the "land" white as well. The slide doesn't appear to have any content on it until the animation reveals the chasm. You can also give the land a color.

There are two version of the chasms: both are suitable for animation or no animation, but in different ways.

  • If you want to animate so that the land separates and reveals an ever-widening chasm, then you'll want to use one of the first two slides in the download. These versions doesn't show perspective as the chasm widens. But you can open the chasm and close it to illustrate a problem and then a solution. Be aware that the top of the chasm will appear chopped if you apply color to the "land." To get around this in a graceful way, just put a block of message text there so it looks like its cutting off the top portion of the chasm.
  • If you want to simply reveal the chasm, then you'll want to use the second version. In this version the chasm is wide at the bottom and very narrow at the top, illustrating perspective.

Animating these two versions are discussed below in the "Animation" section.

The walls of the chasm are colored using a gradient so that the contours of the walls look more realistic.

PowerPoint 2007 or 2010 options

Don't apply any special formatting. They are drawn in 3D, so you don't need to apply any 3D effects. Also, the other effects will make the chasm look less realistic.

3D variations

Don't use.


Don't use. The shadows are made apparent by using a gradient (see below).

Gradients, patterns, and pictures

The walls of the chasm are precolored with a gradient of two grays. You can easily choose and format the gradient to hues of another color. Stay away from patterns (PowerPoint 2003 users). A suitable photograph can be used for the two sections of "land" in the first to slides of the download. The photograph would need to be consistent with the message– very important. To learn how to import a photograph so that it occupies the two sections of "land," click here. It shows how to cut photographs into puzzle pieces, but the application is the same for these frameworks. You must be very precise when following those directions or the two sections of the photograph won't line up. This may take a few minutes to accomplish.

There are techniques in both PowerPoint 2007 and pre-PowerPoint 2007 versions to cut a photograph into pieces.


All of the downloads are animated. Remove the animation if you choose not to use it. Then just open the chasm to the width you wish and finish developing your message. If you want to reanimate, it's a very simple process. The first two are animated to open and close using motion animation first to left and then to right. Be sure to adjust the motion animations so that they are right on top of each other. You'll need to do this by hand.

The second version (the one showing perspective) is a simple exit fade animation applied to the right half of the "land."

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