PowerPoint People – Characters

In the previous post, I showed how simple figures can be surprisingly expressive, adding impact to our training, marketing and sales stories.  In this post, I’ll begin to create individual unique characters from these generic figures using clothing and a few other embellishments.

Here’s the first character (Mike) – he’s an office worker, a middle manager and is based on the basic male figure developed in the last post:


Note: You may notice from my costume choices that I am not particularly clothing/fashion conscious. I hope that I have provided enough detail in these examples so that you can created costumes appropriate for your needs.

Mike is built by modifying the body parts of the basic figure and adding a couple of additional shapes. Here’s how Mike’s front view is constructed:


Note: I had originally planned to add clothing to the basic figures (like paper dolls) but I found that modifying the shapes in the basic figure worked for me.

Here are some notes on Mike’s construction:

  • Starting with the basic male front view, I modified the lower arm and lower leg as shown in red.
  • I Unioned  parts to form the shirt and pants. I’m using a classic comic/cartoon style with heavy black outlines; the Union operation for the shirt, for example, results in a single shape with an outline rather than several distinct shapes. This picture shows the difference:


  • If you choose not to use outlines, you can skip the Union step.
  • Mike’s hair is created by Subtracting a Trapezoid shape from a circle. His tie is a Union of a Hexagon and a couple of Triangles.
  • Adding Fill colors completes the character.

Note: As usual, I am using only standard PowerPoint shapes to build these characters. My assumption is that this is easier if you are not confident in drawing Freeforms. Of course, you may disagree.

Here is the side view construction:


  • I modified the lower arm and leg from the basic figure (red).
  • I Unioned the shapes to form the pants and the arm of the shirt.
  • The hair is a Union of two Chord shapes, the side view of the tie is an Isosceles Triangle.

Here’s how I posed Mike:


I started with the modified front view, rotated and moved the arms and then applied Union and fills as before.

Here’s another pose


Because of the overlap of the arms, I couldn’t Union the lower arms with the rest of the upper body. I added white “patches” to eliminate the unwanted lines at the elbows; one of these is shown outlined in red.

The last pose is pretty expressive; Mike’s pet project is probably in trouble:


Mike’s female counterpart  is Millie; here’s how she’s constructed:


  • As before, I started with the generic female front view. I modified the lower arm to a sleeve and cuff. I added hair, the lower flare of the jacket, and the skirt (red).
  • I Unioned the jacket parts, except for the lower sleeves which overlap the jacket body.
  • A Triangle forms the neck opening. The neckware is formed by Intersecting a Triangle and a Double Wave shape.
  • I added fill colors and a blue “patch” to cover the unwanted lines at the elbow.

Here is the construction of Millie’s profile:


The hair is a Union of three Chord shapes. The flare is a Rectangle and a Right Triangle. The neckware is an Oval.

Here are a few poses:


Clothing has a lot to do with indicating the role of the character. Here’s Mike on the weekend:


Here’s Tony the technician:


Some occupations are associated with a “uniform” and accessories. Here’s Nelly the nurse (who seems to have had a very good day):


Here are a couple of similar examples – Polly, the police officer:


And Cecil, a construction worker:


Check out clip art and other images on the internet to get ideas for representing particular occupations.

In this post, I have tried to show you can start with the basic figures and, with simple modifications, develop specific characters for your story. In the next post, I’ll add a little more expressiveness.

If you want a free copy of a PowerPoint file with these examples, use the link below and click on the PowerPoint icon to download a “source” PowerPoint file:

Powerpointy blog – PowerPoint People – Characters U

See this page for more on downloading files.

If you have questions, praise or complaints, please add a comment below. If you appreciate my efforts, liking or following this blog might be a good idea.



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