Posts Tagged 'police officer'

PowerPoint People – Toy Figures


You can create a cast of characters and develop relationships, conflict, cooperation, affection, competition, solutions, etc., and sell your story! For example, you can show scenarios with an office staff – the boss, an admin, a tech, sales guy, etc. Or you can show doctors, nurses, patients, technicians, etc., working in a hospital setting.

I provided some tips on creating cartoon-style people in a previous series:

You may want to review these earlier posts to learn some of the details. This post will use some of the same ideas to create simpler characters inspired by Lego figures.

If you have copyright concerns using these figures in your work, seek legal advice.

Here is my version of the basic figure, created in outlines, using standard PowerPoint shapes:


Here are some notes:

  • As you might expect, you can find millions of images of these figures on the web; not only are they collectable but some people enjoy customizing their own versions. My version was inspired by  3-view patent drawings found on the web.
  • I set Snap to Grid and picked a grid spacing that makes it easy to draw and align the shapes.
  • The real toy figures are quite rigid (no elbows, knees or body flexibility); my versions have elbows and I will allow some “bending” of the neck and body to get more freedom in posing the figures.
  • In contrast to the cartoon-style figures I developed in the earlier posts, there is no distinction in overall body shape or size between males and females and body shape (slim, fat, etc.) can’t be used to distinguish characters. Of course, if you need children for your project, simply make them smaller.
  • The “hand” is a Donut (red) with two subtracted Rectangles (green); here’s the process:


To give you an idea of the possibilities, here are some front view poses:


Notice that a couple of the figures are bent at the neck and the body; this is not possible on the “real” figures. And the real figures don’t have working elbows.

Here are some side-view poses:


Conventionally, the faces are relatively simple but allow some expressiveness; here are some examples (using standard shapes):


Here are some notes:

  • I’m using the conventional yellow skin tone (except when I want an ethnic appearance). You  may choose another color for “white” characters but the yellow adds to the authenticity.
  • Faces are conventionally created with black lines (with some exceptions).
  • The top row uses a solid circle for eyes; the second uses an oval eye with a highlight. Both kinds of eyes showed up in my research; the non-highlighted version may be a feature of earlier figures.
  • The second row also adds eyebrows – these are essential for creating a variety of expressions.

Because the faces are relatively flat, and there are no ears, the side views are limited:


You may want to “fix” this; I have chosen to keep this characteristic and not struggle with putting too much detail in the side views.

Here are some more faces and expressions:


The last row includes some comic book conventions (sweat drops, “steam” line, thought bubble). See my post on expressions for more on this.

Identifying individual characters in your story involves hair, costume and maybe a prop or two. Here are some hair styles created with standard shapes:


The first style is created by Subtracting a Rectangle from an Oval. The others use rotated and overlapping shapes. Here are some profiles:


Costumes distinguish characters and sometimes specify their roles. Here’s a “guy:”


Costumes are created by adding fill color to the body parts and adding additional shapes (the cap, for example). Here’s a business man:


The shirt and tie are a couple of Triangles and a Diamond. Here’s the businesswoman:


The scarf is two Wave shapes and the skirt front view is a Rectangle.

Poses and props can help define a character and a situation; here’s the girls’ gym teacher:


Here, the tool helps identify the worker and the club and pose identify the golfer:


The head of the wrench is a Hexagon subtracted from an Oval.

It will make things easier if you use only simple views of the hands:


The first examples show a hand grasping a gray cylinder. The second group features a hammer. The third group shows the hand grasping a flat, thick object.

Uniforms can specify the character’s role; here’s a police officer:

lgo16If you want to create figures like these; a free PowerPoint file is available to help you learn these techniques; use the link below and click on the PowerPoint icon to download the “source” .pptx  file containing these objects:

Powerpointy blog – toy figures u

See this page for more on downloading files.

If you have questions, praise or complaints, please add a comment below. Liking or following this blog might encourage me to keep doing this. Or not.



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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