Saturday, September 20, 2014

How to crop images with circles in Keynote

Here is a way to deal with images that come in different sizes and/or orientations: mask them with circles.  Here is what I mean

You have probably already seen this with Google and Apple productions. Circles are fun, dynamic, harmonious, and they are also points. Now, there is a whole visual grammar behind points, but that's not the topic of this post. Let's do the before-after thing. Consider this fake slide

By the way, also Featured pictures from Wiki Commons. The images are very good, but we can take them to the next level.  Their sizes are around 700px, so I'll mask them with circles with a diameter of 300px. This is the result

Certainly better, but how did I do it? Most Slideware packages allow you to crop an image with a shape.  Google it and you'll get the technical know-how. I'll demo with Keynote 6.  
  • Select a Circle: Insert > Shape > Cicle. Make it the size that you want. 
We'll rescale all images at the end, so don't worry. Concentrate on getting an good crop for each image. Also, the color doesn't matter. Remove the fill and leave the stroke, or reduce the transparency of the circle to see what soon will be crop. Think about what is interesting and leave enough white space.  
When are done with placing the shape on top of the image select both objects: the circle and the image. 
  • Hold Shift Key and click on each object to select them. In Keynote the order in which you click doesn't matter.
  • Crop: Fomat > Image > Mask with Selection.

I'll recap with the keyboard, since we need the extra step of duplicating the shape and match the background. 
  • Place shape on top of the image

  •  Mask it

  • In this case we need to to complete the shape. Duplicate the shape match the background.

  • Align it to the middle/center

 You can mask with all sort of figures. Remember to keep it simple. squares and circles work best.