Google Drawing: Create Text Reflections

#Reflect31: My 3 Words
On Twitter today I came across the #Reflect31 hashtag and was intrigued by the images I saw associated with it.  Turns out it's a challenge for August that is described as "31 days of Reflective Creativity" that Laura Grundler is leading. A great way to start the upcoming the school year. You can read more about the challenge, including daily inspiration on GrundlerArt.com blog.

The prompt for Day 1 was to think of three words that describe your mindset for the upcoming school year and create an image.  As I transition into a new position this year, I know reflection will be key to my growth.  Using Google Drawing I wanted to reflect with words reflect. A very predictable visual representation but I didn't know how to do that effect in Drawing and now had an opportunity to learn. A quick google search revealed that within Photoshop you duplicate your desired text and flip vertically.

reflection not quite rightHere's what following those directions looks like in Google Draw. Not exactly the results I desired. I tried a couple other rotations attempts and even typing in the text backwards. The results were always the same.

Never fear...there is a way to reflect text in Google Drawing! You can flip vertically an image, not text, to achieve the desired results. Here's the steps.

resize google drawing canvas1) Create your desired text that you want to reflect within Google Drawing.  When you're satisfied with font choice and size.  Copy the TextBox.

2) Create a New Google Drawing.  Paste the TextBox into your new Google Drawing file.  Italicize text.  Resize Google Drawing Canvas by dragging lower right corner.  


3)  File > Download > .png
file > download > .png

4) Insert Downloaded Image into your Original Google Drawing. Insert > Upload > Choose Image File

5) Select Image > Right Click > Rotate > Flip Vertically

right click > rotate > flip vertically

6) Line up with your original text. Tip: Use shift + arrow keys to make adjustments 1px at a time.

7) Change transparency of the image to acheive desired results. Image Options > Slide Transparency Scale left to right until satisfied.

Change Transparency

Google Drawing: Vector Portraits

Maggie Vector Portrait 
Maggie Vector Portrait
 I continue to be amazed at what is possible with Google Drawing. This evening, I was playing around with making Thinglink-ish inspired hotspots using Google Drawings. This post has nothing to do with that skill. Why? Because as often happens when one goes to YouTube to find out how to do something, I got distracted by the possibility of using Google drawing to create create vector portraits. Intrigued by the style of vector drawings, I have been exploring Inkscape recently. But I wasn't experiencing a lot of success using this program because it has so many options that it was overwhelming. So when I saw the possibility of using Google Draw, I knew I had to immediately try it. Being my impatient self, I only watched a portion of two videos and then dove right in. What you see is my first attempt at a vector portrait using Google Drawing.  

Original Photo of Maggie
Lessons Learned:  
1) I should probably watch more of the tutorial videos, instead of just the first 30-45 seconds. I was not using the best drawing tool. I used the curved line tool and the polyline tool would have allowed me to edit the shapes and create a more cohesive look.
2) I did this by tracing. I inserted the photo of Maggie and then traced shapes on top of it. This was the method demonstrated by ptrsnja in Doodle Yourself in Google Drawing. Next time, I want to try the trace and drag method shown in Joshua Pomeroy's Vector Portrait in Google Drawing tutorial. This method would have provided me more feedback on the process to gauge my drawing against my original photo.

Overall, I am excited to uncover another application for Google Drawing. My obsession with this tool only continues to grow. I look forward to applying this method to other images and trying different approaches.