3 tips for working with illustrated characters

The illustrated characters in Articulate Studio ’13 are a powerful asset when you want to create more engaging e-learning experiences.

Why would you want to use characters? Because characters add a touch of personality and realism to your e-learning project. They can help you illustrate a real-life encounter or situation, such as a customer service interaction or a sales scenario. You can also use characters as narrators or course guides, and to liven up on-screen text and add some visual interest.

Whether you’ve used characters in your e-learning projects before or you want to try using them for the first time, here are three handy tips for working with the Studio ’13 illustrated characters.

Spice It Up! There Are Thousands of Character Combinations

No need to re-use the same characters and bore your learners! Try a variety of character combinations to keep things interesting. In fact, with 40 characters that each have a mix of poses and facial expressions, you can create up to 47,500 combinations with the built-in illustrated character library offered in Studio ’13. This really opens up the door to countless scenarios!

You can also choose from a wide variety of clothing styles for your characters: business formal, business casual, weekend casual, medical, service professional, and more. You can even position your characters facing left, facing forward, or facing right, which is ideal for having characters interact with each other.

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Resize and Crop Your Characters

When you’re using characters, you don’t have to insert the full body character and have it floating in the middle of the screen.

You can resize the characters to be as big as you need. And no matter how large you make them, the vector images will never lose their quality or look pixelated. In addition to resizing, you can easily crop them using the Crop feature on the Format tab of the PowerPoint ribbon. Resizing and cropping your characters gives them a whole new look!

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Be Mindful of Character Placement and Aspect Ratio

When you’re using characters—and especially if you’re using a background photo to set a context or location—be mindful of where you place your characters on your slide. Are they floating around in the middle of nowhere? Or does it look like they could actually be standing where you’ve placed them?

Additionally, consider the aspect ratio of your characters compared to other objects on the slide. Is your character three times the size of a doorway pictured behind him? Scale, as well as placement, matters when you want your scenario to look polished and realistic.

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These three simple tips will help you create engaging Studio ’13 courses with illustrated characters. Do you have examples of how you’ve used illustrated characters in your own projects? If so, please leave a comment below. We love to see your examples!

Want to try something you learned here, but don't have Articulate software? Download a free 30-day trial, and come back to E-Learning Heroes regularly for more helpful advice on everything related to e-learning. If you have any comments, please share them below.

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