To show movement or a process, you may want to animate an object using a motion path. I describe motion path animation in “Combine animation techniques to create stunning PowerPoint slides” and in several other tips. (Go to my PowerPoint tips menu and enter “motion path” in the Search box at the top.)
Sometimes, you can’t fit the entire animation on one slide because it has several steps. In this case, you can break it up onto multiple slides. The problem is that it’s hard to match on the second slide the exact location where the object will end up on the first slide. This makes the object appear to jump.
Here you can see that I wanted the bee to move to the flower on the first flower, then to another flower on the second slide.
I found this tip on Luc’s PowerPoint Blog. Luc specializes in figuring out how to do anything difficult in PowerPoint. This specific technique is Reverse path on an animation – part 1. Then click the Next link at the bottom to continue through Part 4.
Follow these steps:
- Place the object that you want to animate in its final position on the first slide. This means that it’ll be at the end of the motion path.
- Choose Slide Show> Custom Animation to open the Custom Animation task pane. (In 2007, choose Animations tab>Custom Animation.)
- Select the object that you’re animating. For accuracy, you’re going to need to find the center of the object. To do so, Choose View> Grids and Guides. (In 2007, click the Format tab that appeared when you selected the object, then go to the Arrange group, click the Align drop-down arrow, and choose Grid Settings.) In the resulting dialog box, check the Display Drawing Guides on Screen check box, and click OK.
- Drag the vertical and horizontal gridlines so that they match the center handles of the object. (I learned this technique from Julie Terberg of Terberg Design, at PowerPoint Live, the annual PowerPoint conference.)
- Choose Add Effect>Motion Paths. From there you can choose one of the default paths, or choose Draw Custom Path and then the type of path.
- Draw the motion path from its end to its beginning, starting at the center of the object. The center is at the intersection of the guides.
- Right-click the motion path itself and choose Reverse Path Direction. You’ve now reversed the animation.
- In the Custom Animation task pane, click the Path drop-down list, and choose Locked. By locking the path, you can move the object without moving the path.
- Select the animated object. Place the cursor at the intersection of the guides, and drag it to the desired start point, which is the green arrow at the start of the motion path. If you don’t get this right, the object may jump during the animation.
- Now go to slide 2, where the object is already in its correct starting position. You can now create a new animation from that position.
Click the Play button below to see the animation.