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Snow Effect in PowerPoint

Create a snow fall effect inside PowerPoint using animation techniques.


Product/Version: PowerPoint

Shawn Toh

Shawn Toh started creating PowerPoint presentations since secondary school and his interest in PowerPoint animations kept growing. Shawn loves to do advanced animation tricks using PowerPoint.

Shawn is a Microsoft MVP (Most Valuable Professional) for PowerPoint as well as certified a Microsoft Office Specialist (MOS PowerPoint). He is an active member in the PowerPoint newsgroup communities (nickname: tohlz) and runs the PowerPoint Heaven site.

Visit Shawn Toh's site here.

In this article, we'll show you how you can create a snowfall effect using nothing else apart from PowerPoint's own tools - download the sample presentation here.

  1. To start off, you will need to make the snow.

    Even before that, the background must be adjusted. Create a new slide in a new or existing presentation, and choose Format | Background. This brings up the Background dialog box that you can see in the screenshot below.

    Background dialog box
    Figure 1: Background dialog box

    Click on the dropdown menu and select a dark background, preferably black. If a black swatch is not available, click the More Colors options and choose a suitable color. Click Apply to get back to the slide.
  2. With the dark background ready, it's now time to create the snow. In PowerPoint's Drawing toolbar, select the oval AutoShape.

    Tip: If the Drawing toolbar is not visible, choose View | Toolbars | Drawing.
  3. Hold down the Shift key and start drawing so that you end up with a perfect circle rather than an oval. Resize the circle as required, while making sure the circle is not too big (see screenshot).

    Perfect circle drawn on the slide
    Figure 2: Perfect circle drawn on the slide
  4. Double-click the circle to summon the Format AutoShape dialog box (see screenshot below). In the Colors and Lines tab, under the Fill section, click on the Color dropdown menu and select Fill Effects.

    Fill Effects option within the Format AutoShape dialog box
    Figure 3: Fill Effects option within the Format AutoShape dialog box
  5. This will bring up the Fill Effects dialog box. Make sure that you have selected the Gradient tab. Under Colors section, select One color option and change Color 1 to White.

    Under Shading Styles section, select From center. This will change the light-blue circle into a white-gray gradient circle as seen in the sample picture.
  6. But this is not what we want. We will need to remove the gray portion so that the gradient fades from white to transparent. To achieve that, adjust the To option under Transparency section as 100%. This will make the gray completely transparent (see screenshot to match settings). Click OK to get back to your slide.

    Gray color transparency set to 100%
    Figure 4: Gray color transparency set to 100%
  7. Now, move over to the Line section in the Format AutoShape dialog box (see screenshot). Under Line Color dropdown menu, select No Line. Click OK and your first drop of snow is ready!

    No Line option within the Format AutoShape dialog box
    Figure 5: No Line option within the Format AutoShape dialog box
  8. Next, select the snow and click Ctrl+D to duplicate it. Repeat this 20 or more times to create more instances of snow. Drag all the snow off to above the slide area and distribute them evenly as shown in the figure below. You do not need to align them horizontally.

    Snow shape duplicates placed above the slide area
    Figure 6: Snow shape duplicates placed above the slide area
  9. Now is the time to start with the animations. Select all the snow instances and choose Slide Show | Custom Animation. This will activate the Custom Animation Task Pane.
    Click Add Effect | Exit | Fly Out. If the Fly Out option is not available, click the More Effects option to bring up the Add Exit Effect dialog box. You'll find Fly Out in the Basic category.

    Custom Animation Task Pane
    Figure 7: Custom Animation Task Pane
    Ensure that the first effect has Start as On Click, and the rest of the effects have Start as With Previous. Also check that the Fly Out direction for all the snow instances is set to To Bottom.
  10. Click on the first effect in the Custom Animation Task Pane. Hold down Shift key and scroll down to select the last effect. This will allow you to highlight/ select all the effects. Right click on the effects and select Timing to bring up the Fly Out dialog box (see screenshot).

    Fly Out dialog box
    Figure 8: Fly Out dialog box
    Set the Repeat to Until End of Slide. Click OK.
  11. You can now play around with the speed. Set the first effect to Very Slow, second to 6 Seconds, third to 7 seconds, fourth to 8 seconds and fifth to 9 seconds. Repeat the speed settings to rest of the effects. By doing so, the snow will not be falling at the same speed. This will also make the effect more realistic.

Polygon Center Circles for PowerPoint

These special circles have polygon centers: the centers are made of triangles, squares, pentagons, and hexagons! And based on the sides of the polygon, the rest of the circle has that many segments.

Download and use these Polygon Center Circles in your slides for just $4.99

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