Thursday, July 13, 2006

Advanced PowerPoint Animations: F For Fission Realized

Below is my finished (silent) version of "F For Fission," a scene from the animated film "A Is For Atom" which I posted in its original form here; I encourage you to view that original clip before viewing this one, as it lacks sound and is intended to be presented by someone who can explain the action as it proceeds (the best way to teach when using PowerPoint to illustrate concepts).

In the next few days I will be providing a link to this presentation in its native PowerPoint format - which, of course, offers a crisper image and smoother effects - and documenting how I achieved the effects. Topics covered will include several things that I rarely see covered adequately or even acknowledged by PowerPoint's proponents or detractors:

  • Achieving a consistent visual style in PowerPoint
  • Combining animation effects for maximum impact
  • Editing PowerPoint clip-art objects
  • The role of the presenter in good educational PowerPoint use
I'll also post soon about the benefits of this kind of exercise for exploring the ins and outs of PowerPoint animations. It's a great exercise for cutting your teeth on, in addition to producing a product you might like. Remember, however, that if you plan to distribute what you create, imitation is often not the sincerest form of flattery, and the work you emulate should be in the public domain.

As a graphic designer, one of my original goals with this blog was to use it to post work in progress. If you like what you see, let me know; I plan to post additional original PowerPoint-based educational materials in the months to come in a variety of subjects. I'll also try to post soon about my experiences converting from PowerPoint to video using Camtasia, and comparing the merits of YouTube and Google Video as streaming agents.

You can view the full version of "A Is For Atom," which is around five minutes long, at the Internet Archive. There are many other great scenes in this short cartoon. My own materials are free to use in any way you see fit; if you post them yourself, I'd appreciate a mention and a link to this blog.

In the meantime, can anyone recommend a good site that will serve PowerPoint files for free? Storage space on my PowerPointers wiki is pretty much dried up.

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