Here’s a trompe l’oeil effect of the earth revolving. I learned this in Adobe Flash and then worked on how to reproduce it in PowerPoint. It doesn’t look as good in PowerPoint, but it’s still nice.
I think of this as an introductory animation to show when the audience is entering the room, or during breaks. Maybe you can think of other uses.
Here are the steps to create this animation (warning–it will take a while):
- Find an image of the night sky and insert it onto the slide, resizing and cropping as necessary to cover the entire slide.
- Draw a large circle and center it on the slide. (To make sure it’s a perfect circle, press Shift as you drag out the circle on the slide.) Remove the outline and use a fill color that doesn’t exist anywhere in the photo. Red might be a good choice.
- Duplicate the circle (press Ctrl + D) and move the duplicate to the side for now. You’ll need it later.
- Select the image and the circle, right-click, and choose Save as Picture. In the dialog box, choose the PNG file type, because PNG supports many colors and transparency. Save the image in the same folder as the presentation.
- Delete the image and the circle.
- Insert the PNG picture that you saved. Place it so that it completely covers the slide.
- Select the picture. In PowerPoint 2003, choose the Set Transparent Color button from the Picture toolbar that appears and click the circle shape. In PowerPoint 2007, click the Format tab and choose Recolor> Set Transparent Color. In 2010, click the Format tab and choose Color> Set Transparent Color. Click the circle. It becomes transparent and you should see the white slide through the circle — which is now a hole.
- Right-click the picture and choose Send to Back so you can easily work with the circle in the next 2 steps.
- Move the duplicate circle that you saved and place it in the hole.
- Right-click the circle and choose Format (Auto)Shape. Do 1 of the following to add a gradient that will create the illusion of a globe:
- In PowerPoint 2003, from the Fill drop-down list, choose Fill Effects and use the Gradient tab to change the fill to a black and white gradient, using the From Center type, with the white at the center and the black around the circumference. Close the dialog box.
- In PowerPoint 2007, with the Fill category selected, choose Gradient Fill. From the Type drop-down list, choose Radial. From the Direction drop-down list, choose the option with the 2nd color in the center. From the Gradient Stops drop-down list, choose Stop 2 and click Remove so that you have only 2 stops left. (By default, there are 3 stops.) With Stop 1 displayed (the Stop Position should be 0%), click the Color drop-down list and choose the white swatch. From the Gradient stops list, choose Stop 2 (the Stop Position should be 100%) and choose black as the color. Close the dialog box.
- In PowerPoint 2010, with the Fill category selected, choose Gradient Fill. From the Type drop-down list, choose Radial. From the Direction drop-down list, choose the option with the 2nd color in the center. Drag the middle stop off the horizontal Gradient Stops line, so there are 2 left, 1 at 0% and 1 at 100%. Click the left stop and choose the white swatch from the Color drop-down list. Click the right stop and choose the black swatch from the Color drop-down list. Close the dialog box.
- Right-click the circle and choose Order> Send to Back or Send Backward.
- Now comes the hard part. Find a map of the world with blue oceans and green land. I modified mine in Photoshop. Make sure that there is space for the Pacific Ocean at one end. Then duplicate the map and group the two side by side. The height of the map needs to be just a little more than the diameter of your circle, so resize it if necessary. You need the result to be one image file. Insert it onto the slide, resize it, and then use the same Save as Picture command you used earlier to save it as a PNG file in the same folder as the presentation. You use PNG format so that you can make the image transparent. (I’ve included this map in the download at the end of this tip. If you use this map, you can skip this step.)
- Draw a rectangle the same size as the map. You can now delete the map image, since you saved it.
- Right-click the rectangle and choose Format (Auto)Shape. Remove the outline of the rectangle. In PowerPoint 2003, in the Fill section, choose Fill Effects from the drop-down list and use the Picture tab to insert the image of the map that you saved. In 2007 and 2010, from the Fill category, choose Picture or Texture Fill, click the Picture button and insert the image of the map. When you return to the dialog box, drag the Transparency slider to 50%.
- Right-click the map, and choose Order > Send Backward or Send to Back> Send Backward. It should be behind the sky image, but in front of the black and white circle. Your setup should look like this.
- Move the map to the left of the slide. To make sure you move the map perfectly horizontally, press the Shift key as you drag. Zoom out to see it all.
- Select the map. In PowerPoint 2003, choose Slide Show > Custom Animation. In PowerPoint 2007, choose Animations tab> Custom Animation. In PowerPoint 2010, choose Animations tab> Animation Pane. In the Custom Animation task pane in PowerPoint 2003 and 2007, choose Add Effect> Motion Paths> Right. In 2010, choose Add Animation> Motion Paths> Lines; then, choose Right from the Effect Options drop-down list on the ribbon.
Select the motion path track drag, resize it so that it goes from the left side of the slide to the right side of the circle, as you see here.
- Click the Play button in the Custom Animation task pane or the Preview button on the ribbon to see that you’re getting basically the right effect. You still need to make some adjustments, but you should see the map pass behind the sky and in front of the circle.
- Did the animation changes speed at the beginning and end? Select the animation in the Custom Animation task pane and choose Effect Options from the drop-down list. Uncheck Smooth Start and Smooth End or change the values to 0.
- In the same dialog box, click the Timing tab. From the Repeat drop-down list, choose Until Next Click and click OK.
- Save your presentation and go into Slide Show view to see the result. Do you see a jerk at each repeat? I did; go back and make minor adjustments to the length of the motion path and its position until you get the smoothest possible result. (This is the really hard part!)