Wednesday, January 9, 2013

For the Beauty of the Earth

Dr. Poppy and Amanda asked me on FaceBook how I made this image in Microsoft PowerPoint. This is only to illustrate how simplest tools can be used to great effect.

The rules of Graphic Design for visual communication are more mathematical than creative. Follow the rules and you get good design. As a result, even the simplest design can be beautiful.

So here is I have parsed the grammar of the tools used -- for creating this I used the various Shapes available in the Drawing Tools:
  • For the sky I used the Rectangle tool shape and then used send to back in formatting tools
  • For the clouds, I used the Cloud shape, rotated and resized it so that both the clouds dont look the same. You could also use the Circle shape and Group several together (in Formatting Tools) for the same effect. For the cloud on the top right, I blocked half of it with a rectangle shape of the same sky color
  • For the leaves of the tree I used the Cloud shape, gave it a green fill color and a darker green line color
  • For the Sun I used the Circle shape and resized it to an oval shape with no line color and a pale yellow fill color
  • For the white bubbles I used the Circle shape
  • For the the tree trunk, I used the Trapezoid shape, stretched it to look like a trunk, and sent it to back in the formatting tools, behind the leaves
  • For the the road or river (choose whatever you feel) I used the Moon shape, brought it to front on the indigo terrain and sent it to back of the Sun
  • For the indigo terrain I used the Rectangle shape, and used send to front (in Formatting Tools) of the Sun and the cloud on the left bottom
  • For the mountains I used the Triangle shape
  • For the grass I used the Moon shape, with different sizes and colors, and also rotated each one differently to create the grass effect
  • And, of course, for the text I used the text tool
  • Remember, any object can be placed behind another object or before another object using the Send to Front or Send to Back option in the Formatting tools
  • To access Formatting Tools, right-click on any object and choose Formatting 
  • In the end to save the file as an image file, go to the Save As option, and select Save As Type as JPEG and save. It will immediately ask whether you want save the current slide or all the slides. Choose Current slide only
  • Now go ahead and enjoy tinkering with your PowerPoint! 
In the end let quote the first stanza of the well know hymn written by Folliott S. Pierpoint (1835-1917).
       For the beauty of the earth
       For the glory of the skies,
       For the love which from our birth
       Over and around us lies:
              Lord of all, to Thee we raise
              This our joyful hymn of praise.

Pierpoint was 29 at the time he wrote this hymn; he was mesmerised by the beauty of the countryside that surrounded him. It first appeared in 1864 in a book of poems entitled "The Sacrifice of Praise." The tune most widely used for this hymn is called Dix, composed by Conrad Kocher in 1838.

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