I’ve gotten a lot of emails asking for a quick way to build puzzle animations. Usually the requests are to build them with no additional software or advanced graphics skills. They also added the words famous to all of us in the rapid elearning world…no time and no budget.
Building a puzzle animation is simple and only takes a few minutes. I built a quick demo of how this could be done just using PowerPoint. Click on the link to see the published version and then learn how I did it by reading the rest of the post.
Build a Puzzle
When building animations, the key is to trick the mind into thinking that what it sees is what it sees. In this case, we want it to look like puzzle pieces are added to the screen to build an image.
Instead of building individual pieces and adding them to the screen, what we really do is hide the complete image underneath the entire puzzle. As we remove the puzzle pieces, part of the image is revealed. This creates the illusion that we’re building a puzzle, piece by piece.
To create this effect, you’ll need a clip art image of a puzzle that can be ungrouped and modified in PowerPoint. A quick search of PowerPoint’s clip art will give you one.
- Ungroup the puzzle clip art and change the fill color to match the background color of the slide.
- Place the image that you want to reveal underneath the puzzle image.
- Duplicate the slide and then remove a puzzle piece from the clip art.
- Continue to do this until the entire image is revealed.
Here’s a tutorial to show you how I built it.
That’s it. Pretty simple, huh? In essence you’re just creating a hole that peeks into the layer beneath. So you’re really not limited to just the puzzle shapes. You can use it to create the illusion of images that are cut or sized to the screen area. So instead of actually editing the image, you just modify the “hole” that you place on top of it.
This is a quick and simple way to create a puzzle without having to do a lot of editing of your graphics. If you have some tips or tricks, feel free to share them in the comments section. Also, if you have some questions about other tips and tricks like this, feel free to send them my way. I’ll see about doing some simple tutorials.
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- April 27 (Houston, TX). Keynote presentation. Think Forward Conference.
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