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Grayscale to Color Cutout Animation

Use a cutout technique so that only a selected part of the picture is animated to color.


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Product/Version: All PowerPoint Versions






This tutorial builds upon our tutorial that showed you how you can animate a grayscale picture into a color version. In this tutorial, we use a cutout for the color version so that only a selected part of the picture is animated to color. The cutout was made in Adobe Photoshop. and then animated as per the process explained on this page within PowerPoint. download the finished presentation here.

This tutorial is done using PowerPoint 2007, you can use the same principles in older versions of PowerPoint.

  1. Insert a new slide in your PowerPoint presentation file, and save it.
  2. Now select the Home tab of the Ribbon, and click Layout option to bring up the Layout gallery that you can see in Figure 1. Choose the Blank layout from the gallery.

    Choose the Blank slide layout
    Figure 1: Choose the Blank slide layout
  3. Select the Insert tab of the Ribbon, and click the Picture option, as shown in Figure 2.

    Picture option in the Insert tab
    Figure 2: Picture option in the Insert tab
  4. This brings up the Insert Picture dialog box (see Figure 3). Navigate to the picture you want to use, and click Insert.

    Insert picture
    Figure 3: Insert picture
  5. This will insert the picture on the slide as shown in Figure 4. PowerPoint 2007 places most large pictures resized to fit the slide, but if you are using a previous version of PowerPoint, you might want to resize it to fit the slide.

    Inserted picture
    Figure 4: Inserted picture
  6. Select the picture, then activate the Picture Tools Format tab in the Ribbon. In this tab, choose the Recolor option to view a drop-down gallery of options as shown in Figure 5, from this gallery, choose Grayscale (highlighted in red in Figure 5).

    Choose the Grayscale option
    Figure 5: Choose the Grayscale option.

    Tip: You can also choose any of the monochromatic or dutone recolor options to create a different effect!
  7. Repeat steps 3 and 4 to insert the picture cutout as shown in Figure 6.

    Insert cutout
    Figure 6: Insert cutout
  8. Resize and reposition the cutout so that it is placed on exactly the same position as the similar object in the grayscale picture placed on the slide, as shown in Figure 7.

    Cutout picture inserted
    Figure 7: Cutout picture inserted
  9. Select the color picture cutout, and then access the Animations tab of the Ribbon, and choose Custom Animation (see Figure 8).

    Custom Animation
    Figure 8: Custom Animation
  10. This opens the Custom Animation Task Pane on the right side of the PowerPoint interface, as shown in Figure 9.

    Custom Animation pane
    Figure 9: Custom Animation pane

    Tip: Want to learn more about task panes in PowerPoint 2007? Look here.
  11. With the color picture cutout still selected, click the Add Effect button in the Custom Animation Task Pane to bring out flyout menus, choose the Entrance | Fade option as you can see in Figure 10.

    Applying animation
    Figure 10: Applying animation

    Tip: You can choose any other Custom Animation effect for your color picture. but the Fade effects works very well. Another effect that works well is the Blinds effect.
  12. Thereafter change the event option for Start to With Previous, and for Speed to Slow as shown in Figure 11.

    Note: If you want the animation from grayscale to color to happen on a click rather than automatically, then change the event option for Start to On Click.

    Change animation events and speed
    Figure 11: Change animation events and speed.
  13. Play the presentation.


    Tip: Save your presentation often!.


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