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OfficeArt's greatly improved graphics engine has a lot of sweet tricks up its sleeve and one our favorites is the reflection effect. This effect gives any object the appearance that it is sitting on a very shiny surface.
Reflections are nice looking and also very trendy. Television, billboards, print advertisements and websites are using the effect quite a bit. Designers create reflections in high-end graphics programs like PhotoShop and it takes some serious skill to do so. In the 2007 Office System you can create the effect in a single click.
This effect can be applied to pictures, shapes, even text. In fact, in several of our new PowerPoint Themes there is a reflection effect on the title placeholder so you simply type your title and get the effect. Here is an example slide from the latest version of the Metro Theme. Notice the subtle reflection on the title text. (Our visual designers keep telling us "less is more" when it comes to applying all these great effects. ;-)
And reflection effects aren't just in PowerPoint. You can apply them in Excel, Word and even Outlook when you are writing email.
Here's how the effect works: OfficeArt creates a semi-transparent copy of the object that's flipped upside down and positioned underneath. It's attached to the object so it moves and resizes with it. The reflection gets more transparent as you move away from the object, eventually fading out. The longer the refection the more shiny the surface appears. It's like a shadow... only cooler.
You can control the amount of reflection and distance from the object through a simple dropdown gallery.
If you are up for an XML adventure, you can adjust all the properties of the reflection by editing the <reflection> tag in the PowerPoint .pptx file. This includes adjusting the starting and ending transparency, the overall length, the direction, distance and skew and even whether the reflection rotates with the object. This XML specifies the reflection for the "small" reflection above.
<a:reflection stA=“40000" endA=“300" endPos="30000" dir="5400000" sy="-100000" algn="bl" rotWithShape="0"/>
That's the reflection effect. In coming OfficeArt Effect Series posts we'll cover the other cool effects built right into the 2007 Office System including Glows, Soft Edges, 3D and more.
I've recently made a presentation in PPT 2007 for one of my classes and people were simply amazed of its look. Subtle reflections and glows were there too. :)
Great work guys!
You mentioned we can do this in Word. I must be missing something in Beta2, but I can't find shape effects (glow, reflection, etc.)anywhere. In the XML code above, what are the numbers based on? dir="5400000" and endPos="30000" don't mean a whole lot to me.
Hi Echo, Echo,
In Word you can get reflections on pictures, and set them on SmartArt shapes. Word's Drawing Shapes and WordArt do not have this feature this release -- they still have the OfficeArt 1.0 graphics engine. As for the XML parameters, I'm working on getting a more full spec posted for this effect and the other effects covered in the blog. Many of the parameters are just based on a "0 - 100%" type range, so endPos of 30000 is 30%. You get a 30% reflection.
Re effects in Word -- thanks, I probably was trying to find a reflection with an autoshape. Re XML specs -- cool.
This is amaxing, my teachers were really round of my graphic