Here’s an easy way to turn a single image into an interactive image. This tip comes in handy if you use collage images for interactive stories or have a great illustration but no way to break it into separate pieces. That’s what I ran into with this recent demo I built for the blog post on simplifying variables for elearning.
I had a great image of multiple characters, but all I had was a single .png file. I needed a separate image for each character to create my interaction. In my example, I wanted the individual people to have a hover effect. Since I couldn’t separate them into individual images, I used the crop tool to isolate the characters and create a simple interaction.
E-Learning Tutorial Step-By-Step
Learn more by following the steps of the elearning tutorial below and then watch the video for more detail.
- Insert the image and duplicate it. Make sure the duplicate is on top of the original and perfectly aligned. I also recommend naming all of the assets you place in your slide. I like to lock the original image so I don’t accidentally nudge it out of place.
- Create a state for each character. Add a new state for each character on the duplicate image. Then crop each state to isolate the character. You’ll want to make the state visually different so that when you switch to a character state there’s some sort of contrast to the original. Some people like to add glows or resize the new state.
- Insert a hotspot over each character. Since you only have a single image you’ll need multiple hotspots on top of it to simulate the interaction and change the large image to the isolated character states.
- Add a trigger to the hotspot. Each hotspot triggers a state change to a specific character. Add the first one, and then duplicate it to speed up production. For this demo, I’m using on mouseover, but you can use any action appropriate to your interaction.
Now you have an interactive image built from a single image. It didn’t require you to break the image into smaller pieces or manipulate an illustrated vector.
E-Learning Tutorial Video
Here’s a video that shows the steps in a bit more detail.
This is a great technique when you’re stuck using an image that you can’t edit. And as you can see, it doesn’t take long to convert the static image into something a bit more interactive.
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