episode 33: Just Talking About Animation

What percentage of presentation design projects of yours have animation?

  • Nolan: 25%
  • Sandy: For regular sales presentations I use animation very judiciously, maybe 25% have animation.
  • Troy: 75%


How many have complex animation, beyond bullet lists animating in as speaker support?

  • Nolan: Now – 5%, Years ago it was different project requests and a lot more animation.
  • Sandy: Of my 25% that have animation, the majority would be complex animation.
  • Troy: Complex animation is a specialty for us, so 50+%.


Do you find use of motion paths reduced with use of Morph?

  • Nolan: Completely; motion paths are difficult to use, and update, I use Morph now.
  • Sandy: Whenever possible, with confirmation my client’s version of PowerPoint supports it.
  • Troy: Yes.


Describe a great animation from a recent project?

  • Sandy: Not recent, and I was able to accomplish all PowerPoint 2003. For a court case I animated medical illustrations demonstrating the proper way to administer an epidural, and how a doctor did it wrong with sever medical result for a patient. The animation supported a multi-million dollar out of court settlement.
  • Troy: I animated two portrait mounted 16×9 screens from a single PowerPoint slide. Because the screens were tall, a single 1920×1080 slide could be split, so left part on the slide was the left screen and the right part of the slide on the right screen.  Lots of animation options that looked great from the audience vantage.
  • Nolan: Animated a map with morph to zoom in on a specific colored countries, with that country color becoming the background for the detail slides.


How about a great use of Morph recently?

  • Nolan: I am working on a large screen presentation that has a spider web theme graphic. The web moves with each slide/section change.
  • Sandy: I did a great visual of zooming in on each pie chart section to show more detailed data.
  • Troy: I used entirely morph for a large awards show. So technically it had 0 animations, even though it was a full motion animated show.


Do you consider transitions to be animations?

  • Sandy: I will create multiple slides in stages to create an animation effect. The transition I choose to apply is key to the sequence to appearing as a single slide. So, yes, we can consider using transitions as animation. But technically, I like to keep the terms separate.
  • Nolan: Something we’ll occasionally do is use push transitions from slide to slide to make it feel as though we’re moving about a big canvas, so there the transition is part of the animation.
  • Troy: I consider the slide transition as part of the animation. Sometimes it will be the only motion effect. Other times it will be part of the animation sequence.


What is a problem with PowerPoint’s animation?

  • Nolan: Each transition and animation have preset times, and if you change one the duration changes back to the preset – which I don’t like
  • Sandy: You cannot view the animation from a specific point in a sequence.
  • Troy: I view PowerPoint animation as working within a broken environment and a matter of how to do things within its limitations.


What would you like to see be added to PowerPoint’s animation?

  • Nolan: Timeline for Mac; and distribution tools for animations on the timeline
  • Sandy: The ability to stop a looping animation AND advance the slide at the same time.
  • Troy: The top items list would be
    • True animate from here preview
    • Loop a group of animations
    • Fix looping videos
    • Replace the need for ‘add animation’ to apply more than one animation to something


Have you seen where animation was a problem, or hindrance, to the presentation?

  • Nolan: Anytime it’s just gratuitous.
  • Sandy: Gratuitous animation.
  • Troy: Probably the same “gratuitous” animation, but to clarify, when the animation distracts from the presenter is always bad. Another is super long/slow animations that have the audience, and presenter, waiting for the animation to finish before talking.


Give an animation tip

  • Nolan: Animating in a group of objects like a collage of pictures.
  • Sandy: Triggers. I have used Triggers to embedded objects like PDFs or other presentations into a sales presentation. The Trigger launches the embedded file. It’s an awesome way to deliver all materials in a nice tight container.
  • Troy: Steal. Use PowerPoint’s Animation Painter and create a personal slide deck of cool animation effects.


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