People love to bash PowerPoint. Everything from misrepresenting cancer statistics to  space shuttle disasters is blamed on PowerPoint. The phrase “PowerPoint is evil” gets 10 million results on Google. Yep, people hate PowerPoint.

Well, I happen to love PowerPoint. It’s a very powerful tool for creating gorgeous and informative presentations. Sure, it can be misused in the wrong hands. And sure, most hands that create PowerPoint presentations are wrong. But, in the hands of a craftsman, PowerPoint can create art.

But this post isn’t about my love of PowerPoint. It’s about making something cool with it. I was working on a presentation recently and wanted to add an animation that looked like champagne bubbles (don’t ask). Naturally, I decided to do it in PowerPoint.

Make a bubble

To make a bubble, start with a simple circle. Then add a subtle gradient to it along with some transparency:

I’d encourage you to play around with both color and transparency until you get something that matches what you’re looking for.

Once the gradient is done,  give it a 3d effect:

I went with a simple circle bevel, but you might also get interesting results from other variations. So, what did all that get us? A bubble of course:

Animate a bubble

Now that we have our bubble, it’s time to animate it. The sequence I came up with is as follows:

  1. fade the bubble in
  2. move it along a path
  3. expand it a bit as it moves
  4. fade it out towards the top

This creates a cool effect of a bubble coming into existence, floating slowly towards the top, and then disappearing:

Again, you have many other options to play with. You can add other effects (like teeter) while the bubble is floating, you can adjust timings of each effect, etc. One tip I found useful was to have the animation path end at the edge of the slide. That way, the disappearance effect appears very natural.

Make many bubbles

Finally, to get the effect of many bubbles, the easiest thing to do is copy the bubble you just made, paste it a bunch of times, tweaking the size, position, and animation path for each. It takes a bit of effort, but it’s worth it:

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Tip: PowerPoint 2010 can export presentations as a wmv (Windows Media Video) file. This can be very useful if you want to share your animations on the web.

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This post got one comment so far. Care to add yours?

  1. GARNIS says:

    i’v tried this , tq :D

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