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Tutorial for

Forces 040


Using the Pipeline

The pipeline is a handy little graphic to help illustrate objects in process. The term "pipeline" is frequently used in business, and now you have a graphic that will help convey the concept visually. The pipelines have been developed so that there are fronts and backs as two separate fields. When these fields are semitransparent, the objects that flow through the pipeline are visible.

The downloads have already been set as 50% transparent and layered correctly. All you have to do is copy them into your presentation and decide what icons you wish to flow through. You can set the color of the pipeline to match your template colors.

Customizing the Funnels

Adjust size

If you want to change the size/shape of the pipes, be sure to group them and resize the group. Once resized, ungroup to proceed with other customizations.

Color variations

Select color from your document's color palette or a complimentary color so that the pipeline will reflect the color scheme of the rest of your document.Do not use a line color.

The pipes are set at 50% transparency so you can see the objects flow through the pipes. You can change the transparency percentages if you wish

3D variations

Do not use 3D effects on this framework. It is already drawn as a 3D object.


Do not use shadows with this framework.

Gradients, patterns, and pictures

You can use a gradient with straight pipes, but not with curved pipes. Just be sure that you make the gradient colors the same percentage of transparency.


Animations should be selected that will enhance the meaning of the message, not merely to add interest to the slide. The frameworks in this series work well with animation. Animate an object to flow through the pipeline by creating a Freeform custom animation path. Creating this type of animation is almost the same as creating a line with the polygon tool – it's very easy.

You will need to test the animation path to be sure that the object stays within the pipeline, especially when there are curves in the pipe. Make adjustments to the custom animation path by right-clicking on the path and selecting "edit points." You will then be able to nudge the points so that the object stays perfectly within the pipe. You may also need to adjust the size of the object that flows through the pipe to keep it within the pipe.

Layering is important when using animation. The layering should be as follows:

  • The back of the pipe should be on the bottom layer
  • The object flowing through the pipe should be on the layer just above the back of the pipe
  • The top of the pipe should be over the object flowing through the pipe.

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