Powerpoint tip of the day

Do you have issues with Powerpoint presentations that are too big, pictures that disappear, presentations that take forever to copy to your flashdrive, red “X”‘s instead of images?  Your pictures are too large. Even if you are loading a jpg, it could be many megabytes in size.

Powerpoint has an easy fix for this.

Under File, Choose Reduce File Size. In the next window, choose Best for viewing on screen (150ppi)

Click ok, and Powerpoint will save your entire presentation in a reduced file size, ready to travel, and show.

You can click on these pictures to view them in a larger version.

Best for viewing.

Best for viewing.

Favorite Buildings

From time to time, I will post an blog entry by one of my staff, about a favorite building.  Today’s entry is by Lucinda Philumalee, current MRED candidate and Historic Preservation degree holder.

Eisenhower Executive Office Building: Eyesore or Icon?

Located just west of the White House is a Federal building built in the Second Empire style that has been a staple of Washington DC since 1871.  It was designed by a former Supervising Architect, Alfred Mullet, in the Second Empire style.  Formerly known as the Old Executive Office Building, the Eisenhower Executive Office Building has been a source of strong opinion to many who encounter it.

Named for the Second French Empire, Second Empire architecture is a style that became popular in the mid-to-late 1800s and is distinctly European. While Second Empire residential buildings are located around DC, the Eisenhower Executive Office Building is the one of the few, if only, Federal buildings built in this style.

America’s most iconic Federal buildings were built in the style of Greek Revival, which became popular in the 18th and 19th century.  DC was established as the nation’s capital in 1790; thus the built environment reflected what was prominent at the time.  As a result, Americans have a predisposition of what Federal buildings should look like.  Compounded with the fact that Americans are often turned off from anything that is iconoclastic with what they are used to representing the capital and the nation, the Second Empire Eisenhower Executive Office Building is often perceived with distaste.

President Truman described the Eisenhower Executive Office Building as the greatest monstrosity in America.  Mark Twain called it the ugliest building in America.  Perhaps most graphic, historian and author Henry Adams referred to it as Mullet’s “architectural infant asylum.”  Likely it was sentiments such as these, along with the notion that it was an inefficient building that put it at risk for demolition in the 1950s, however those plans never came to fruition.

Once despised for its nonconformist style, opinions of the Eisenhower Executive Office Building have since neutralized.  It was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in the 1960s and designated as a National Historic Landmark shortly thereafter.  While many other Greek Revival style Federal buildings require a second glance for identification, the Second Empire Federal building is undoubtedly the Eisenhower Executive Office Building and a DC icon.

Below are a few pictures; If you travel to DC you can make your own decision!

Eisenhower Executive Office Building, Phot from School of Architecture, Plannign and Preservation Visual resources Collection

Eisenhower Executive Office Building, Phot from School of Architecture, Planning, & Preservation Visual Resources Collection

Eisenhower Executive Office Building. Picture form A. D. White Architectural Photographs, Cornell University Library, via The Commons.

Eisenhower Executive Office Building. Picture form A. D. White Architectural Photographs, Cornell University Library, via The Commons.

Eisenhower Executive Office Building from the street. Image from the School of Architecture, Planning, & Preservation, Visual Resources Collection.

Eisenhower Executive Office Building from the street. Image from the School of Architecture, Planning, & Preservation, Visual Resources Collection.

How to Photograph Architectural Models

It is important to photograph your models soon after you complete them.  Drawings generated digitally can always be saved – in multiple places – but models have a way of getting dusty, losing parts, or molding in your parents’ basement. Therefore you should photograph models pretty much immediately after finishing them.  Whites will be whiter, columns will be straighter, and windows less finger-printed now, as opposed to a few weeks from now. And, if you leave them in the School studio space, they will get thrown out!

Plan view of model photography set-up

Plan view of model photography set-up

Model Photography basics: Click on the link to download the PDF instructions.

How to photograph models 12_13_10

A few things to keep in mind:

You can use a point and shoot camera, you dont need an SLR (single lens reflex) camera.  Always use a tripod. This will give you sharper pictures than any handheld shots.

Use two lights; one is a direct light source, and the other will be indirect.  The direct light source acts like the sun, lighting your model from a particular direction.  The indirect light acts as atmospheric, reflected light, and keeps the shadows on your model from being too dark.

Light colored models will look best on a black background.  We have black cloths in the Visual Resources Center, that students may borrow. See the next blog post for other amenities that students may borrow!

Presentation Method -Prezi

For Architects, Planners, Historic Preservationists, and Real Estate Developers, the Prezi format for presentations offers a flexible canvas for building your case, or explaining a topic, or presenting a thesis. It is not easier than Powerpoint, but rather, different. An image can become the framework for the entire presentation.
Start at Prezi.com
and register for an account.
Teachers and students – Register with your umd.edu email address for the educational account – its Free! Use the Sign-up now button.
Use the LEARN and EXPLORE tabs to learn more about Prezi features.

Shows some good features of Prezi.
I will be giving an introductory tutorial on Prezi, on Monday October 31, at 12:15 in room 1111.