While animating in PowerPoint is generally easier with features like ‘motion path’ and ‘transition’, using ‘morph’ means simply moving an item from one side of the slide to the other without needing the use of motion path or grow/shrink animation. So let’s look at this clever transition in detail…
Here at Synapsis Creative, we love morph. It has saved our designers heaps of time and sanity because it can animate movement simply and smoothly without motion paths.
Morph into the Third Dimension
During our rebrand, part of our rollout was a national roadshow where we visited existing and potential clients to basically brag swag and flex our skills. As part of our presentation, we built a 3D model of our universe – our capabilities were represented as different buildings in a mini cityscape.
The camera would rotate to hit isometric angles – in keeping with our revamped style. We put the 3D model on a turntable animation and hyperlinked each building so that when you clicked on one, the model would spin, the camera would pan back, dynamic morph to the position you chose, camera pan in, and then the roof is removed from the building. All done with morph.
When we updated the 3D model, the biggest issue we found was that there was no way of knowing camera positioning. Our hack solution was to get a zip file of the PowerPoint by renaming the .PPT as .ZIP and forcing a replace of the model. We thought this would break everything, but once we updated it and deleted the extra things, camera angles were perfect.
You only see the vantage point of the model – the actual links are boxes that sit separately from model. If you’ve got a single model and don’t want the labels, you can put hidden boxes over various parts of it so that when a user clicks, it will go to it, and then you have to reposition those boxes on the next slide.
One of the easiest ways to incorporate morph into text is by manipulating character spacing. While you can do so by object, you can also go to the right side of the transitions tab and choose effect options there just like with animations –by object, by word, or by character.
Selecting by character, though, doesn’t work because if you expand character spacing, PowerPoint sees the letter and the space as being one block, which creates a weird stretch and fade. The hack is to just put spaces in-between the characters to help smooth the morph out.
Lately, we’ve been producing PowerPoints strictly for a video, which has resulted in us using morph more frequently. It’s quite easy to use morph for kinetic typography, which is the dynamic movement of text revealed one frame at a time, or letter by letter.
Take two slides and literally move text on the next slide into the position it needs to be in. Then change the fill to transparent, duplicate the slide, and repeat over and again as you change the character colours
There’s no transition, and you use morph as soon as text starts moving. As soon as you finish the word, you then use that as part of a morph for the transition and the whole thing moves. he actual text movement is all morph, so whenever you see a new line appear, that’s morph.
Morph can remove a lot of the heavy lifting you’ll experience animating in PowerPoint, so give it go and see if it makes your life a little easier. Next time, we’ll look at things to consider when delivering or presenting slideshows with morph – things to consider and ways to work around compatibility issues.