Drawing in PowerPoint: Jigsaw Puzzle (Part 3)

The big blue marble

This is the third in a series of posts using a jigsaw puzzle as a presentation image (the first post is here and the second here). This example is truer to an actual jigsaw puzzle than the other examples – the pieces come together to form a single picture.  I’m using the Apollo 17 “big blue marble” but it could be anything.

To begin, place the puzzle array (see previous posts in this series) over the a copy of the picture and adjust the array so that it fits the picture. Here the puzzle has yellow outlines for clarity. You may want to add puzzle pieces or adjust the picture. If you do adjust the picture, don’t distort it.

Next, crop the picture to fit the first puzzle piece:

Picture-fill the piece with the cropped image (see earlier posts):

Next, place another copy of the picture under the puzzle array as before (you did keep a copy, right?).  Use guidelines to register the picture in the same place:

The filled first piece is outlined in green; the other pieces are outlined in yellow.  Now crop the picture to fit the second puzzle piece:

Fill the second piece with the cropped image as before and continue until all the pieces are filled.  Starting with original picture in the same position each time helps you select and size the correct part of the picture for each piece.

See this post for another method for picture-filling a shape.

Here’s the completed puzzle with 3D bevel added:

It is possible to fill this puzzle in one step – group the puzzle pieces and fill, using picture fill with the entire image.  This works fine unless you ungroup the result.  The PowerPoint designers have seen fit to fill each piece with the entire image in this case. Thanks, again.

A rotated version of the puzzle is possible; see the beginning of this post.

Animation adds a lot to this image – you can show the pieces coming together:

I used Fly In from the appropriate direction for the edge pieces and Zoom/Out for the center piece. Here’re the animation settings:

The obvious next step would be to animate the rotated version.  Sadly, this is nearly impossible due to a typical disconnect in PowerPoint:  you can’t animate the elements of a group separately but the pieces must be grouped for the rotation to work on the whole puzzle rather than the individual pieces.  Here’s what happens when you apply the rotation without grouping:

If you want a free copy of the PowerPoint file demonstrating the three jigsaw puzzle posts, including the animation and containing additional puzzle outlines, use the form below:

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