You’ve probably seen videos which are just a series of photos that zoom in or perhaps move a little. You can create this in MovieMaker or a similar low-end video editor but you can also do it in PowerPoint. It isn’t difficult at all, since you’ll cycle among only a couple of animation and transition effects. You can then output it as a video. It’s great for personal photos, employee photos, event photos, etc. Here’s the video I created from some photos I took at a local park last fall.
So let’s get started creating this video!
Import, resize and place the images
You can insert the images one-by-one or use the Photo Album feature. I write about the Photo Album here. Note that you can put all of the images on one slide and animate them, but it’s easier to put one on each slide. Use the Fit to Slide option in the Photo Album dialog box.
If your images are not widescreen, use the Standard (4:3) slide size. To change the slide size, if necessary, go to the Design tab, then click Slide Size or Page Setup.
Then, you need to enlarge the images. That’s because you’ll use the Grow/Shrink animation a lot to zoom into the image. When you use this animation to zoom in, PowerPoint actually makes the image small and then enlarges it up to full size, so “full size” needs to be larger than the slide. You’ll need to do some calculating and decide on the larger size. It’s good to make them all the same. I increased the size of my photos 30%. So my 7.5 x 10 inch photos became 9.75 x 13.
To change the size of an image, select is and display the Format tab. Then use the Height and Width boxes in the Size group. Start with the first slide.
You want to center the photo over the slide. This is a little difficult, because now you can see the edges of the slide. You can get technical and use the Position boxes (click the dialog box launcher arrow at the lower-right corner of the Size group) or eyeball it looking at the horizontal and vertical rulers. (If you don’t see them, click View, Rulers.) With the photo selected, you can see that the center selection handle is right opposite the 0 mark on the rulers. Do the same for the rest of the photos on the other slides. Tip: As a shortcut, you could put all of the photos on one slide, select them all, resize them using the Size Heigh and Width boxes, and use the Align feature to align the center and middle. Then you could cut and paste one photo at a time to a new slide.
The most common animation to use for this purpose is Grow/Shrink, which is an Emphasis animation. Here are the steps to set it up:
- Select the image.
- Click the Animations tab. In 2007, click Custom Animation, then choose Emphasis, Grow/Shrink. In 2010 or 2013, from the Add Animation drop-down list, choose Grow/Shrink in the Emphasis section. If you don’t see it, choose More Animations to get the full list of animation. In 2010 and 2013, click the Animation Pane button to display the task pane.
- In the Animation pane, click the animation’s down arrow and choose Effect Options. From the Size drop-down list, you can choose Larger, which is 150%, but I found that too much, so I clicked the Custom box, typed 125 and pressed Enter.
- You can set the duration of the animation in the dialog box or on the ribbon (depending on your version). Do do it in the dialog box, click the Timing tab and choose 5 seconds (Very Slow). You can type in a different number if you want.
- Click OK to close the dialog box.
Go into Slide Show view to check the animation and make sure you have the settings you want. Then apply it to the other photos.
Of course, you don’t have to use the same animation for each photo. In fact for a couple of the photos, I added a short motion path to make the photo move diagonally a little. When you do this, you need to make sure that the photo will still cover the slide at the end of the animation. Here’s an older tip in which I discussed motion paths and combining them with other animations.
If you add a motion path, set its Start value to With Previous so that the Grow/Shrink animation and the motion path happen at the same time. Set the motion path to 5 seconds, to match the timing of the Grow/Shrink animation. Finally, in some versions, the motion path will have, by default, a Smoth Start and Smooth End. This setting will make the motion path look out of sync with your other animation. To remove it, in the Animation pane, follow these steps:
- Click the animation’s down arrow and choose Effect options.
- Drag the Smooth Start and Smooth End sliders to the left
- Click OK.
In some cases, you can use a motion path without the Grow/Shrink animation.
When you put 1 photo on each slide, you want the transitions between slides to continue that video-like effect. A simple Fade transition works well, but you can get fancier if you want. In fact, there’s a Zoom transition that you can use instead of the Grow/Shrink animation. PowerPoint 2013 has some new transitions that are pretty flashy and they may work for you.
Set slide timings
To create the video feel, you need to set slide timings so that the entire presentation runs itself. You do this on the Transitions tab. (In PowerPoint 2007, use the Animations tab.) In the Advance Slide section on the right, uncheck On Mouse Click. Check the Automatically After checkbox and set the time. Here’s what I did:
- If I had an on-slide animation set for 5 seconds, I set the Advance Slide timing to 5 seconds, too.Then, when the animation was done, the presentation advances to the next slide.
- If I had a transition set for 5 seconds (such as the Zoom transition), I set the timing 6to 1 second. In that way, the slide advanced after 6 seconds.
The timing you choose will depend on the effect you want to get. Note that you can set transition timing starting with PowerPoint 2010.
Add music or narration
Of course, you don’t have to add sound, but it certainly adds to the video-like effect. For music, the most difficult part is matching the length of the music to the length of your presentation. PowerPoint now has some great audio (and video) editing tools, so you can trim the music and fade it out at the end.
To insert an audio file, choose Insert> Audio (Sound)> Audio on my PC (Audio/Sound from File). (For some reason, Microsoft changes the wording with each release.)
For detailed instructions on how to play the music throughout the presentation, see my blog post on that topic. The entire process takes a while, but the results are worth the time.
I love the music of Lynwood King. If you agree, you can purchase a CD from his website.
Have you created a video-like presentation this way? What animations, transitions and settings worked well for you? Share your expertise in a comment!