Glen Millar PowerPoint WorkBench PowerPoint MVP
since 2003
  logic for PowerPoint designers and presenters  
  home about blog causes tutorials links contact us  

Welcome to these tutorials, many of which were unique concepts when first published!


Visualize: techniques to visualize your presentation

artistic clip art ] crop image multi-ways ] camtasia capture ] color schemes ] connectors ] connectors 2 ] connectors 3 ] connectors 4 ] fotolia addin (new) ] natural art ] perspector 1 ] perspector 2 ] powerpoint to word ] ppt diagrams in word ] [ rolled 3d images ] slideshow on desktop ] transparent images ] unbelievable 3d ] wrap around ] awesome image fills ] search-clip-art ] super compress presentation ]


Rolling 3d images

Logic: shows you how to use PowerPoint's drawing and 3d tools to build rolled over images. (It took me ages to learn how to do this)!

Many options in PowerPoint are often unseen, until a particular need arises.

This tutorial shows how to use some of the 3d options in PowerPoint to roll images over into layers.


This effectively means you can draw any sort of shape you like and turn it into a 3d object right within PowerPoint.

I am assuming you have an intermediate knowledge of PowerPoint.

So, why did I do all this? I've sat through so many meetings where people tell me about how they are "putting the pieces of the jigsaw back together", I felt I wanted an alternative. You see, a jigsaw is really a busted picture that is still broken, even when the pieces are put back together! So, I went for flat layer where each piece of information is equally important.

The important thing is, this is possible within PowerPoint.

The Solution

The first step was to insert a rectangle.


This was then given a background of the image I wanted to roll over. To do this, right click on the rectangle, and select Format Autoshape| then under the Fill section, drop the "Color" down arrow to get the "Fill Effects" option| select the Picture Tab, click on the Select Picture button, and browse to your image. Then click OK enough times to get out and set the image as background.

format auto shape

fill effects

OK. It's not the picture you see later on, but this is 2005 and I'm rewriting it <grin>.

rectangle with image background

This is where we get to the exciting part!!  Because the image is in a rectangle, the 3d settings are activated:

3 d options

Wow! By clicking the 3-D settings thingy, we get a cool toolbar.

3 d toolbar

Notice the “tilt-up” button. By clicking on it as many times as are necessary, the image is rotated over. (Actually, my natural reaction was to say it was a tilt- DOWN button. Maybe it is because PowerPoint is designed in the northern hemisphere, where everything is upside down)!

3 d rectangle

AAAAGH, you say. Where did the fat background come from?  This was generated when PowerPoint converted the rectangle (with a picture background) into a 3d object. It can be fixed by setting the depth of the object to zero. We will change this setting later.

depth options


first result

Then we keep rolling (or tilt up) until happy.

Result is:

first layer

Now, to add the other layers…

Note that you can add a small amount of depth on each image. This highlights each image as a representation of flat data (or at least, I think so).

Animation wise, each image comes in automatically. So, it starts with the first layer and builds up to all of them. I tried a one second delay, but it took too long for all of the slide to build up.

The resultant slide can be used to show how many layers of information can be put together in one computer system.

this is not the only way to do this, as a trapezoid could have been drawn. In fact, a trapezoid looks very similar to a rolled over rectangle. However, we come unstuck when depth is added.


This is a trapezoid with a picture added as a background.


When depth is added, it looks like a funny triangle, and not a flat layer with depth.
looks strange

In contrast to a rolled over rectangle:

rolled over rectangle

So, the trapezoid will work, but not if depth is needed.

© Glen Millar

Last Updated: April 02, 2005





Copyright (c) 1999 - 2011 Glen Millar

mvp logo