Reach Valley-1

Editing Images with PowerPoint

So for about the last year I have been editing images with PowerPoint (wish I had PhotoShop). Initially my first time doing it and for the last year the most advanced I have taken the image work is to take an image of a map and add markers to the map or to make comics.

Some of the things that I made were for laughs and others were more serious to motivate action and safety.



This latest image was done to create a scene for roleplaying in a mmorpg. Later a map key and location markers will probably be added to the image. It is a blend of two images and then some editing of the images with the tools in PowerPoint.

Reach Valley-1

It is not the neatest edited image I have seen but considering I have minimal experience and no training in the art of editing images and it only used the tools in PowerPoint I think it is a decent fictionary location. The two images used to make these are publically usable images. One was obtained from the federal government and is in the public domain the second image was from wiki commons and used under creative commons 2.0 license, below are the links to the original images:

Portage valley alaska, direct link to image file

From Gondola, Banff, Alberta, Canada.

From Gondola, Banff, Alberta, Canada.

Date 17 October 2005, 08:59:05
Source originally posted to Flickr as Canadian Rockies
Author Ananth BS

The merger was actually fairly easy since it involved cropping, making the sky on one image see through and superimposing one image onto the other and the stretching, inverting, pulling the image to create additional places. The end result is the valley in a mass of mountains.Removing the sky and stretching the images were probably the most time consuming portions. The sky existed with several colors and an uneven horizon. PowerPoint only allows the removal of a single color from an image at a time. This leaves at least three fairly easy approaches to eliminate the sky and get a nice horizon. You can see in the image above where some of the tips of the mountains on the left have little grey blobs, that is left over sky and with bit more patience it could also have been removed.

The first way to remove sky (the easiest, but ugliest) is to remove one color save edited image as an image reload the edited image and remove another color (it actually just makes it see through), until the sky is removed….this is OK, but if those colors exist in other parts of the image then you may remove additional wanted portions. You can some what correct for this by copying a similar portion of the original image and superimposing it on the other image using the copy/paste functions.

The second approach is a way to accidental removal (which is slightly more tedious) is to draw with a color not in the image (I like to use pink) an outline of what you would like to hide, then fill in the rest of the hidden part with the same color and like above use the hide command (you might throw the image in paint to draw the pink line as it can be easier than the identical line in PowerPoint, at least for me it is easier).

The third approach (which I used in this image, because I was creating a very specific look to match a written description) is to copy/paste multiples on the same image and stack the identical images on one another then crop them to line up perfectly so you have what appears to be the beginning image but is instead lots of tall thin images. Each of these tall thin images then has the sky cropped as close to the mountain as possible and then like above a single color (the remaining sky) is removed.

The thinner the slices the better quality the ending product. If you would like to reduce the chance of accidental removal of colors even further then you might slice these thin slice horizontally near the mountain line creating a shorter thin image.

These three techniques should allow you to remove practically anything from an image with exceptional quality (not like my hastily done image, remember a higher quality final product will take more time and patience). The image above took about 20-30 minutes of actual editing work plus time to find images that I could use and would produce the desired final product.

By using the color eliminator (making that color transparent) and then overlapping the back ground horizon under the valley pick and sending the horizon image to the back the two images were overlapped.

The second trick utilized in order to produce this fictionary location was to stretch and invert various portions of the image. In power point if you take an image and pull one edge to the other and keep going, then it will flip the image. By doing this twice and stretching (total of three images) you can create seamless borders and expand an area indefinantly without hurting the quality of the image like you might by stretching it too far ( I did too little of this and too much stretching in my image, and it can be seen if you look closely).

Like above you will want to copy/paste then crop to create either horizontal or vertical slices (only do one or the other at a time, otherwise the complexity will increase dramatically). When you finish on and wish to do the other you can select all of the smaller images “save as image” then load the modified image and keep going.

In the above image, for the purpose of speed I did some over stretching, ideally you would only “stretch” it to a smaller size (thus protecting the quality) but you can get away with limited enlargement stretching if you begin with high resolution images. Sometimes you will also need to be aware of the objects in the image as well, some lines (like roads in a landscape image) are quite distinctive and may show what you did to create the image.

By using image flipping and multiple images and slicing and stretching you can highly customize an entire image. Obviously, like so many things in life the more practice you have (not much for me with photo editing) the better you get at the task.