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Pan across a still image in PowerPoint – Ken Burns effect part 2

Give a still image some interest and movement by adding a simple ‘pan’ animation across the photo.  This continuing our look at making the Ken Burns or ‘pan and zoom’ effect in PowerPoint.

We’ve already shown how to add a Zoom to a still photo – PowerPoint calls it ‘Grow/Shrink’. 

Now let’s look at the other half of the ‘Ken Burns effect’ – panning across a photo.  We’ll show you a VERY useful trick that’s not in the standard instructions.

(animated GIF’s can be a little ‘jerky’- PowerPoint’s real pan is nice and smooth)

Insert and expand the photo

Insert the photo into a slide and enlarge the image so it’s larger than the slide area.

This might surprise some PowerPoint novices used to keeping everything within the visible slide area.  It’s quite possible to have PowerPoint objects (pictures, text boxes etc) positioned beyond the slide area itself. 

Use the Zoom slider (bottom right) to expand the work area beyond the usual ‘100%’ or slide only area. 

This is where you’ll strike a problem.  The above image has put the image slightly off from the slide area (the white rectangle) so you can see the image and slide.  But if you put the image over the slide, there’s no way to know which part of the image will appear in the visible slide.

Make the image transparent

The workaround for that is to temporarily make the image transparent.   That will let you see the visible slide area ‘underneath’ the photo while you’re working on the pan animation.

Think of the slide area as a window that lets you see part of the image at any time.  The image is moved (animation) behind the slide ‘window’ to change what’s visible.

Click on the image then go to Picture Format | Adjust | Transparency then choose a transparency level that lets you see enough photo detail and the slide area.  We’ve used 80% transparency.

Once you’re finished, turn the transparency off.

Pan Animation

Now we can see the photo and the slide area, we can make a pan animation effect that moves the photo over the slide area.

Starting Position

Move and resize the image over the slide area to show the part of the image you want to see first.

Choose a Motion Path

Now select an animation or motion path that sets how you want the image to move.

Some advice says to choose from the Animations Gallery | Motion Paths | Line .  That’s a simple up/down motion that can be adjusted to any angle. We want a left path not up/down.

Save yourself a lot of hassle by going to Animations Gallery | More Motion Paths and opening up the full list of paths.  Scroll down to Lines_Curves and choose ‘Left’.

By choosing the closest motion path to your needs, all you’ll have to do is change the distance moved and the duration.  No hassle with the animation paths themselves, which can get horribly muddled by all of us who don’t work with PowerPoint animations very often.

PowerPoint Animation Basics

The animation shows up like this in the slide view, let’s take a moment to understand the animation basics.

The green dot is the animation start, the red dot the end, with the dotted line showing the animation patch between the two.  Pretty obvious for a single line animation, try some of the more complicated motion paths!

Click on the motion path and it’s a little clearer because the green dot turns into an arrow. The end point is now a red arrow with a ‘stop line’.

The ‘1’ in the box is the sequence number of the animation. Important when there’s multiple animations on the slide.

Choose Animations | Animation Pane to see the full set of options available.

Play From – click on this to see a preview of the animation

Duration – a visual indicator at the bottom.

The pull-down menu has many options to explore and we’ll mention some as needed.

Change the animation distance

Most likely the inserted motion path won’t be the right length – too long or too short.

For our example, we need a longer motion path so the right-hand pig head appears in the slide.  Look closely at the animation preview and you can see the shifted image in it’s original and final positions.

As you can see, the RH head hasn’t moved enough to fully appear in the slide area. (see now why we suggest temporarily fading/transparent the image so you can see what will be visible in the slide area).

Click on the red or end animation marker and drag to the left.  As you do, watch how the image shifts until what you want to appear is within the slide area.

Use Animation Pane | Play From or Animations | Preview to see the full animation.

Don’t worry about the speed at this stage, just make sure the start and end points are where you want them.

Tip: shorter durations make for faster work while setting up animations.  Slow them down at the last step.

Slow down the image pan

Finally, slow down the pan motion to something slow and easy.

Change the Duration at Animations | Timing | Duration or pull-down the menu in the Animation Pane then Timings.

Also in the Timing pane are Start, Delay, Repeat and Rewind options that we explained in part one of Ken Burns Effect in PowerPoint

Remember to change the Transparency effect off to show the photo in it’s full glory.

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