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Animation Demonstration

This falling snow animation is broken up into three parts, with a bonus at the end to help you send it to friends
and family.
Part 1: Make your snowflakes
Part 2: Spread your snowflakes
Part 3: Animate your snowflakes
Bonus: Youll have to scroll down to see it
You can see the full animation effect in the YouTube video here, where I show a variety of the types of
snowflakes youll see in the written PowerPoint tutorial below.
Enjoy and Happy Holidays!

Part 1: Make Your Snowflakes


Step #1: Choose which Snowflake Style to Make
Snow comes in many styles large, small, star-shaped, and patterned just to name a few. Choosing one really
depends on what you like and what style of picture youre using some look better with photos (like the Large
and Small on the left), and some (like Pattern) go better with illustrations. They are summarized below.
PowerPoint Falling Snow Animation Part 1 Step #1 - Choose Your Snow Type
For this tutorial, Ill use the large soft flakes (left-most option) to go with this cute fluffy seal picture.
PowerPoint Falling Snow Animation Part 1 Step #1 - Choose Your Picture 3
Step #2: Change the Background Color of the Slide
Once you know what type of snowflake to make, change the slide background so that its not white so you can
see what youre making.
To change the color of the slide, you can change the slide background itself (which Ive done here) by first right
clicking on the slide, then going to Format Background and then choosing a different color from the palette.
You can also just insert a colored rectangle on the slide for the background (although sometimes when youre
trying to click on a snowflake, you can accidentally click on this rectangle, which becomes quite annoying, so I
usually just format the slide itself).
PowerPoint Falling Snow Animation Part 1 Step #2 - Change the background Color of the Slide 2
Step #3: Insert Your First Snowflake
With our workstation recolored and ready to go, we can now insert our first snowflake. Just to go the Insert
and then Shape menu and select Oval, as shown below.
PowerPoint Falling Snow Animation Part 1 Step #3A - Insert Your First Snowflake 2

Holding down Shift (to make it a perfect circle), draw your oval to the size that you want for your snowflake.
PowerPoint Falling Snow Animation Part 1 Step #3B - Make it perfectly round 2
Now lets change the color to white and remove the outline. Right click, go to Format Shape, and then from the
menu box, change the color to white in Fill and choose no line in the Line options.
PowerPoint Falling Snow Animation Part 1 Step #3C - Change the Color of the snowflake 2
Now lets change the fill color to a gradient to give it a softer, fluffier look. Select Gradient Fill from the Format
Shape menu, select Radial, and now lets play around with the gradient stops, or points.
PowerPoint Falling Snow Animation Part 1 Step #3D - Change the Gradient of the snowflake 2
Create 3 gradient points with the following characteristics (these are just a suggestion feel free to change these
to suit your needs):
PowerPoint Falling Snow Animation Part 1 Step #3E - Adjust the Gradient of the snowflake 2
Once you have that completed, you are done making your snowflake. Now again, I just made the Large
snowflake here, but if you want to make the others I showed earlier, heres how you do it:
Small: Simply reduce the size of the large one and make more of them. Its the same snowflake type just
smaller.
Star: For this, you will need to layer a 4-point star on top of a 12-point star both with a gradient. This is
included in the working files for this tutorial, but you can also see how to make the star in more detail in my
YouTube tutorial entitled Shooting Star Effect in PowerPoint.
Pattern: This elaborate snowflake will need to be taken from a vector image that you ungroup. The one I showed
earlier is included in the working files, but you can also look for other snowflake patterns in the Microsoft
Clipart gallery (see the blog post about vector images for how to do this).
Part 2: Spread Your Snowflakes
Step #1: Spread out Your Snowflakes to a Small Area
Now that you have the first snowflake made, duplicate or copy/paste it several times (CTRL + D or CTRL + C
then CTRL + V on a PC) to make a small area of snow. You can also adjust the sizes of the flakes so theyre not
all the same size I always like to do this, as I think it adds a touch of realism.
Make sure the snowflakes are spread the way you like depending on your picture, lighter or heavier falling
snow may make more sense.
Play around with it until you find what looks best.
PowerPoint Falling Snow Animation Part 2 Step #1 - Spread Out The Snowflakes
Step #2: Spread out Your Snowflakes across the Whole Slide After this, select all if the snowflakes (CTRL + A
on a PC or just drag a box around the snowflakes) and group them together (CTRL + G on a PC or right click
and hit Group). Now you can spread the snow around the slide much faster. Just like you did with the
snowflake, duplicate this group several times on the slide until the whole thing is covered.
PowerPoint Falling Snow Animation Part 2 Step #2 - Spread Out The Snowflakes to the whole slide
Step #3: Prepare the Snow for Animation

Now, lets do something that may seem a bit odd now but will make sense later. Insert a rectangle on top of the
slide and adjust it by dragging the corners so its exactly the same size as the slide.
PowerPoint Falling Snow Animation Part 2 Step #3A - Prepare for the Snow Animation
Send it to the back by right clicking and hitting Send to Back.
rectangle, especially at the top and bottom edges.

Make sure all of the snowflakes fit into the

PowerPoint Falling Snow Animation Part 2 Step #3B - Send to the back
Now group all of the snowflakes with the rectangle (CTRL + G) and then duplicate (CTRL + D) the rectangle
and put the copy exactly above the original.
PowerPoint Falling Snow Animation Part 2 Step #3C - Group all of the Snowflakes
Finally, lets make these rectangles transparent on each shape. So select each of the rectangles separately, go to
Format, Shape Fill, and then choose No Fill. Remove the outlines as well by going to Shape Outline and
selecting No Outline.
PowerPoint Falling Snow Animation Part 2 Step #3D - Make them transparent
Now Group (CTRL + G) both rectangle/snow combinations so theyre all one object. The final result should
look like the picture below.
PowerPoint Falling Snow Animation Part 2 Step #3E - Group the objects together
This step was done to help you perfectly align the snow to the slide, as if youre even off by a little, the effect
will not be smooth. It took me a long time of failing to align it perfectly before I came up with this technique
so hopefully it saves you some time!

Part 3: Animate Your Snowflakes


Step #1: Add and Adjust the Motion Path
Now its time to animate the snow. Go to the Animations Tab and select the downward motion path. If you
grouped everything correctly, the motion path should start at the top of one of the rectangles (the exact middle of
the grouped object).
PowerPoint Falling Snow Animation Part 3 Step #1A - Add the Motion Path
Holding down the Shift key to make sure its kept straight, drag it down so that its EXACTLY aligned with the
very bottom of the slide the top half of the rectangle should perfectly overlap the bottom half (as they are
copies of each other).
If you have PowerPoint 2013, its much easier because you have a preview of where the picture will end up. If
you do this correctly, the small arrow of the motion path should end right at the end of the slide, as in the picture
below. This is a critical step because if you dont get it quite right, the animation will be choppy.
PowerPoint Falling Snow Animation Part 3 Step #1B - Adjust the motion path
Step #2: Adjust Effect Options

Finally, go to the Effect Options in the Animation tab, and set the Smooth Start and Smooth End to zero. Then
go to the Timing tab.
PowerPoint Falling Snow Animation Part 3 Step #2A - Adjust the Effect Options
In the Timing Tab, change the Start time to With Previous to make the snow start falling immediately when you
go into Presentation mode. In the Duration menu, change it to 10 seconds you can make this longer or shorter
later to change the speed of the snow.
Finally, in the Repeat menu, select it to repeat Until End of Slide. This will ensure that the snow will fall
continuously.
PowerPoint Falling Snow Animation Part 3 Step #2B - Adjust the Animation Timing
And congrats you now have your snow! The very last step is to copy the snow and paste it on top of whatever
picture you want to use. The animations will stay intact so you can use and reuse as you like experiment with
different pictures, and have fun with it!
Ill put it on my baby seal here below.
PowerPoint Falling Snow Animation Part 3 Step #2C - Add the Snow to your Picture
Bonus PowerPoint Tip
If you want to make this into a holiday card that plays automatically when someone opens it, you can save the
file as the PowerPoint Show (.PPS or .PPSX). To make it even spicier, you can also add music (just make it Start
with Previous so it plays when you open the file) there is one called Winter Holiday Piano on the Microsoft
Clip Art site that works well, for example.
Make sure to get my free resource guide to see my favorite place to download truly free music on the web.
Enjoy!
Animation Closing Thoughts
This is a simple PowerPoint trick but the concept of scrolling something continuously across the screen has
many amazing applications.
For example, I used this exact same technique but used horizontally in my Spinning World tutorial on
YouTube. You can also use it to animate rain, falling leaves or anything else you like.
Im still exploring other ways to use this technique, so stay tuned for more applications in the future!
Tags: Animations, Falling Snow Effect, Spicy Presentations
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