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Using Wood Workshop Textures as PowerPoint Backgrounds


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#1 Zenster

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Posted 28 May 2008 - 11:33 AM

This method is specifically intended for use in generating new Wood Workshop patterns compatible with the horizontal grain alignment of preset Textures already available in Microsoft PowerPoint. Forum participants are invited to contribute any salient observations or methods related to this procedure.

Method:

Create and render your texture in Wood Workshop, then name and save your file

Note: 750 x 750 appears to be the point whereby you obtain a sufficiently large field to create a good background for PowerPoint (more on this important issue later). Intuition points towards creating relatively dense textures so that there is no significant loss of detail when they are expanded to fill a PowerPoint slide. Please post any observations about optimal detail, densities and resolutions as they may apply to this specific application.

Launch Microsoft Word so that a blank document is on-screen

Return to Wood Workshop and display the desired pattern

Note: Before proceeding, make sure to first move your cursor out of the rendered texture field image

Press “Print Scrn” (i.e., Print Screen - above the “Insert” key on your keyboard)

Open the blank Word document and right click (or use Control-V) to paste the image (screen grab) onto it

Note: Do not include any other text or input on the Word document's page

Click within the image’s field to activate the Picture toolbar

Note: To summon the Picture toolbar, pull down the “View” menu, highlight “Toolbars” and select “Picture”. This will bring the Picture toolbar on-screen. Drag the Picture toolbar to the edge of your screen to make it readily available

Click on the Bucket and Brush icon titled “Format Picture”

Select the “Picture” tab

For the Left, Right, Top and Bottom cropping values, enter the following numbers:

Left: 2.10”
Right: 2.00”
Top: 1.30”
Bottom: 0.60”

The above settings will give you a cleanly cropped extraction with minimal loss of pattern field

Note: Be aware that by using manual input, the cropping values can be adjusted by increments of 1/100ths of an inch. Due to screen sizes and other arbitrary factors, your ultimate cropping measurements may vary. Please comment if this is the case.

Create a folder in My Documents labeled “PowerPoint”

In the PowerPoint folder, create another folder named “Backgrounds”

Begin saving the cropped Wood Workshop screen grab image into the Backgrounds folder

Note: The following step is critical

When the “Save As” window opens, be sure to first change the file type from an ordinary Word file over to a “Web Page” file, using the “Save as type:” option at the bottom of the “Save As” window

Save the image as a Web Page with the same name used in Wood Workshop

Launch the Microsoft “Paint” application

Note: Click on “Start”, go to “Programs”, scroll up to “Accessories” and then select “Paint”
(Consider placing a one-click icon for Paint on your fast launch toolbar)

Once the Paint application is opened on your screen, click “File”, open “My Documents”, open “PowerPoint”, open “Backgrounds” and open the target texture folder

Select and open the “image002” file in the target Background folder

Once the correct image is displayed on-screen, drag open the “Image” menu and select “Flip/Rotate” to obtain rotation options

Select “Rotate by Angle” and activate the 90° option

Store the new image in target Background folder using the same title with a “horizontal” file name addendum

Note: When using PowerPoint, make sure to import the desired Background texture file into the Texture group for ready use.

Everybody goes home happy. Right?

Unfortunately not.



What follows is a challenge to the participants at this dynamite forum.

There appears to be a serious issue involving “seams” in the final images rendered by Wood Workshop. During pattern repeat sequences there is a slight mismatch that may escape the eye under normal circumstances but is undesirably highlighted once used in a PowerPoint background.

Please keep in mind that I have been using PowerPoint for only a few weeks so my expertise is limited.

My solution is to avoid using a large field of the final rendered image. I intentionally crop down into a 90% field format so that no longitudinal (i.e., horizontal) component of the pattern repeats within the image. The PowerPoint Background extraction tool appears able to expand that partial field into a full-frame background without any problems.

Some issues that the wizards here at this forum might be able to resolve:

- Ideal resolution which yields fine grain structures with dense detail that survives expansion into a PowerPoint background

- Detail settings like Ring, Agitation etc. that yield optimal complexity without causing undesirable pattern repeat.

- A final cropped pattern size that translates into a seamless PowerPoint background


Finally, congratulations to the creators of this fantastic application and thank you so much for making it freeware. I have managed to amaze myself with the textures I’ve been able to create after only a few minutes experience in using Wood Workshop. You have allowed me to maintain and control the appearance of a much-desired wood grain background theme in a major PowerPoint presentation that I am generating. For that, I am very grateful.

As an aside, the image extraction technique detailed above can also be used to import Wood Workshop textures as clip art to create custom bullets in PowerPoint and Word.

Some suggestions:

What about a group of presets that deliver the classic cabinetry saw patterns like End Cut, Cross Cut, Flame Cut, ¼ and ½ Sawn, Veneer and so forth? Added into that could be another group of fundamental grain types such as Bird’s Eye, Burl, Knotty Pine, Bog Oak and so forth. Having these presets readily available would flatten out a huge portion of the learning curve required by this application. While Wood Workshop is surprisingly easy to use it is not exactly intuitive. Without intimate knowledge of the various operators, pattern control remains more hit-and-miss than I would like. That said, I am still impressed by how fast I have been able to become productive with this excellent application. Again,

Thank You Very Much.

Zenster

[Edited for spelling 05-28-08]

Edited by Zenster, 28 May 2008 - 12:00 PM.


#2 Funkdude

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Posted 28 May 2008 - 11:53 AM

Thats a pretty advanced tutorial! ;) :clap:

#3 Zenster

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Posted 28 May 2008 - 12:16 PM

Thank you, Funkdude. I hope that the creators of Wood Workshop will consider my contribution as a form of repayment for making their application into freeware. Below are some of the textures I was able to create less than two hours after downloading Wood Workshop. Needless to say (then why say it?), I’m totally stoked!

Burl

[img]http://i240.photobucket.com/albums/ff61/RockandRollStu/image002-4.jpg[/img]

Red Maple (Note the horizontal grain)

[img]http://i240.photobucket.com/albums/ff61/RockandRollStu/image002-3.jpg[/img]

Knotty Pine

[img]http://i240.photobucket.com/albums/ff61/RockandRollStu/KnottyPine001Horizontal.jpg[/img]

#4 Zenster

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Posted 28 May 2008 - 07:57 PM

Here is an example of a PowerPoint Background ehxibiting the damage that I mentioned.


[img]http://i240.photobucket.com/albums/ff61/RockandRollStu/image003.jpg[/img]

#5 Cyngjoe

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Posted 28 May 2008 - 08:16 PM

Zenster, I'm sorry if I'm missing something, it's been half a decade since I last used PowerPoint.

Why are you using a screen capture saved to Word to create an image? I would think that your "damage" is either from cropping too close to the image or from how Word processed the image before saving.

Is there a problem with exporting the image directly from WW?

#6 Silkrooster

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Posted 28 May 2008 - 09:09 PM

It's been a long time for me as well. So I had to play.
In Wood workshop, I rendered out a 200x200 jpg. Then in PP, I selected Format>Background>Drop down menu>Fill effects>Texture tab>Other texture button>Select file.
The image is now tiled directly in PP with no other programs.
Here is the result.
Silk

Edit The original file was rendered at 1024 x 1024 and format was tiff. Apparently I had reduced the size of the file in photoshop a while back and had forgotten about it. Sorry about that.

Edited by Silkrooster, 28 May 2008 - 09:17 PM.


#7 Zenster

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Posted 29 May 2008 - 10:58 AM

Zenster, I'm sorry if I'm missing something, it's been half a decade since I last used PowerPoint.

Why are you using a screen capture saved to Word to create an image?

I would think that your "damage" is either from cropping too close to the image or from how Word processed the image before saving.

Is there a problem with exporting the image directly from WW?


Microsoft tools will not recognize the *.gtx file format that Wood Workshop uses. The freeware version only saves that sort of file type. I'll have to look into using the freeware Genitica reader as that might provide an alternative solution. I definitely agree that reprocessing the image is somehow at fault. My Red Maple lost a significat amount of detail after rotation. Fortunately, when serving as a PowerPoint Background, that resolution isn't critical.

I'm also wondering if the slight aliasing noticeable in the Knotty Pine isn't an artifact of my image manipulation.

It's been a long time for me as well. So I had to play.
In Wood workshop, I rendered out a 200x200 jpg. Then in PP, I selected Format>Background>Drop down menu>Fill effects>Texture tab>Other texture button>Select file.
The image is now tiled directly in PP with no other programs.
Here is the result.
Silk

Edit The original file was rendered at 1024 x 1024 and format was tiff. Apparently I had reduced the size of the file in photoshop a while back and had forgotten about it. Sorry about that.


Again, if I'm not mistaken, it would seem as though the registered version of Wood Workshop permits saving an image in more than one file format.

I really appreciate both of you testing this concept. PowerPoint only provides three different wood-toned Backgrounds and they quickly become repetitive when used as a theme.

Note to Mods: I'm working to crop my source image of the Knotty Pine so that it is no longer a page buster.

#8 Cyngjoe

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Posted 29 May 2008 - 11:08 AM

Microsoft tools will not recognize the *.gtx file format that Wood Workshop uses.



You can only save as gtx, but you can export various image formats once you've rendered the gtx.

From the render tab:

export.JPG

#9 Silkrooster

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Posted 29 May 2008 - 05:29 PM

Here I made a small quicktime video of the process. The video is 22mb's and has a resolution of 800 x 499. The codec used was h.264. If you have any problems viewing the video let me know.
Sorry about the glitch in the video at the end. You should be seeing the texture, but the same view is available in my previous post.
Wood Workshop to Powerpoint
Silk

#10 Zenster

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Posted 29 May 2008 - 08:20 PM

Thank you very much, both of you! As a novice I couldn't possibly know of all the options and how to find them. Now, I am able to create and export files with ease. They still must be rotated using MS Paint, but now, even that task is a breeze. All of this took on additional significance today in that I've just realized how the PowerPoint wood Backgrounds are not WYSIWYG.

Some PowerPoint Background panels will exhibit four major grain striations in Slide View construction mode but, when viewed in the active presentation Slide Show mode, they arbitrarily reorient to FIVE grain striations. This can make a hash of things if you are attempting to align bulleted text items with those grain features. Thankfully, Wood Workshop textures remain stable between the two modes and give me that extra level of visual quality I am seeking for my proposal.

This place rocks! Again, I really appreciate all of the kind assistance. These tools are making a huge difference in the quality of my PowerPoint presentation.




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