Glen Millar PowerPoint WorkBench PowerPoint MVP
since 2003
  logic for PowerPoint designers and presenters  
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Welcome to these tutorials, many of which were unique concepts when first published!


animate: techniques to animate your presentation

principle 1- squash and stretch ] principle 2- anticipation ] principle 3- staging- 1 ] principle 3- staging- 2 ] animation 1 ] animation 2 ] animation 3 ] animate & annotate ] animate by position ] animate cropped text ] animate on the moove ] change animation ] [ hidden pivot animation ] mask animations ] multiple motion paths ] spin a word art animation ] spin an image animation ] twist & morph animation ] wide screen PowerPoint on the fly ] time lapse animations ] overlapping powerpoint animations ]


Hidden Pivots

Logic: make an animation in PowerPoint move along a different rotation point

While you can use Motion Paths to direct where and how objects move in a slideshow, you can take advantage of hidden pivot points for greater precision. I needed to get images to fly in, join another image which was already rotating, move around it in unison, and then fly off.

Note this example is one of the downloadable animation examples.

The steps are quite simple:

First, we insert a hexagon and set it with a Spin Emphasis, rotating anticlockwise at 16 seconds. This is to give it enough time to spin with all of the images flying in. The reason I used an autoshape with an image set as its background is I want to reuse the autoshape to get it on top of the image in exactly the same location.

hexagon with image

I then duplicate the autoshape and set its fill to nothing. I shifted the image so you can see it.


This autoshape will eventually be totally hidden, and will be joined to another autoshape to provide a pivot point.

3 duplicates grouped

Here, you can see the autoshape added to another one above it and below it, and then all three grouped together. The autoshape at the top has an image as background, and the bottom two are made invisible (no fill or line).  The last task is to animate the grouped object in by Fly in from Right, Spin Emphasis once, then Fly Out to Left. The hidden objects allow the whole shape to rotate at a different centre than would be normally achieved.

Another use is to get, for example, a clock pendulum to swing. as usual, examples of this technique that you build are welcomed by me.

Here are a few other things to remember.

  1. Accuracy. Grouping two objects  as I have done with the octagons means you can get an exact pivot point because of the size of the shape of the object you are adding to your original shape. In the above example, using the same shape and size of octagon results in exact placement of objects and pivot points.

  2. Reusing objects. If you use an autoshape in your pivot, you can replace the background image. The above example was built with one shape (built from 3 grouped autoshapes), and then reused. That is, I built the sequence once, duplicated it, replaced the background image and had a new sequence.

  3. Reusing animations. This is by the same process. By being able to change the background fill of one of a number of grouped shapes, say, a picture, you can reuse the group and its animations.

Now for an update. There is another way to do this, as listed here by my mate John. It is quick and easy, and works very well if you have a single object that you are pivoting. One thing you may grapple with is accuracy. That is, dragging the crop handle to the exact length you need to make the pivot point be in an exact location. While this method is not totally accurate, you can get better precision by turning on Snap to Grid and tweaking the measurement amount before you commence. That will make the crop point "Snap" to precise increments. If your original pivot object is "snapped" to the grid, you will get a good dragged crop to the same length.

snap to grid options

cropped arrow





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