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How does it work?

Remember we said, making a family tree is easy as, one, two, three.  Well, here is how it works.


  1. The Photo Family Tree Builder simulates mostly blooming kinds of trees.
  1. When you log into the app, it opens and presents you with a Parts Palette, Photo Palette, a Canvas with a tree trunk and crown branches, an Object Viewer, a Mini-Map, and a Text Properties.
  • The Parts’ Palette houses all the template pieces you will need to build your tree. It has a plurality of photo frames, branches, flowers and end caps to decorate your tree.
  • You import pictures into the Photo Palette; once images are there; you edit and store the photos related to this particular family tree.
  • The Canvas location is in the middle of the application’s interface. You select one of seven tree species, one of four canvas sizes, and your family tree’s orientation.  You choose either vertical or horizontal. 
  • The Object Viewer located on the top right shows the layers on your canvas.
  • The Mini-Map positioned directly under the Object Viewer. It is useful in navigation when your canvas is at high magnification.
  • The Text Properties Box situated under the Mini-Map Box.   You record the names and dates of your relatives on the picture frames with the Text Tool; by selecting the Text Icon, “T” located under Transforms on the Main Menu.

Click to see enlarged picture of the GUI

  1. You access all the template components inside the Parts Palette by dragging the Green Vertical Scroll Bar up or down. Once you have chosen a template piece to use, you click on it to highlight and select it.  You then left mouse click on the canvas. Hold your left mouse button down. Drag your mouse to the right and down.  Release your left mouse key to drop and drag the template onto the canvas.                                                                                                                                                           
  2. Next, you import your photos from varies sources; for example, your computer, dropbox, Google and so forth; into the Import Palette. Each picture placed on the canvas with the same drop and drag method described above. The users arrange each tree part and photo according to their genealogy.  In essence, the outcome is a customize photo family tree. For instance, leaves, fruits, and flowers characterize the Magnolia Tree.  Let us see how the app uses them in family tree making.
  • Bulbs represent the seeds from which the Magnolia tree sprouts. To provide a stronger metaphor for a tree, the Photo Family Tree offers four optional bulb-shaped picture frames, to represent the seeds of the tree also.  One set of bulb frames signify the maternal side of the family and the other set 0f bulb frames show the paternal side of the family.
  • Branches represent the continued growth of the tree.   Branches mean growth of the tree in the  Photo Family Tree too.
  • Leaves arranged in nature are on a branch, in a relationship to one another, as to maximize their exposure to light without shading each other out.  Similarly, the Photo Family Tree uses a plurality of leaf frames to organize and identify an offspring. There is a leaf frame to stand for children born to married or unmarried couples.  There are leaf frames to characterize half-siblings or stepchildren.  There is one specific leaf frame to symbolize adopted children.  Finally, there are leaf frames to represent twins, triplets, quadruplets, and quintuplets.  Additionally, there are leaf frames that embody blended family children; for example his children, her children, and their children.  The user determines which parts they wish to use.  There are no set rules.
  • Flowers and buds of a Grand Flower Magnolia Tree are beautiful and appealing for instance.   The Photo Family Tree utilizes the flowers, buds, and leaves to decorate the family tree.   Besides, the different foliage is used elegantly to distinguish the end of a person’s lineage and to help make the tree appear fuller when desired.   
  1. The features do not end there. We also implemented five additional picture frames to illustrate the uniqueness of the family.  These picture frames represent marriages, unions,  and identify family members.
  • A Senior Heart frame or a Senior Love knot frame represents the first generation of your family tree, and they symbolize a marriage or a union.   You place the couples’ picture on the base of the tree trunk exclusively.  If you do not have a picture of that couple, you may use the corresponding non-picture frame as a placeholder.
  • Junior Heart frame or a Junior Love knot frame signifies the second and subsequent generations of your family tree, and they stand for marriages and unions of unmarried couples; respectively.  You use these junior structures throughout the tree.  Again, if no pictures exist of a couple, you use the corresponding non-picture frame.
  • Indicia tags used to identify maternal and paternal family members shown in seed frames, at the bottom of the family tree. The seed frames also have equivalent non-picture structures available.
  1. Currently, there are seven tree options to choose from:
  • Cherry Blossom
  • Flowering Dogwood
  • Gardenia
  • Jacaranda
  • Live Oak
  • Magnolia
  • Maple

      Perhaps, you can suggest a tree candidate for us to create.   Drop us a line so that we can discuss the possibility.

  1. This "How does it work" page is a quick overview of the process, however, watch any of the Demo videos to see how to build a family tree.