Animation Effects

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Animation Effects

There are many ways to create simple animation; Camtasia, Powerpoint, Powtoon, Vimeo, GoAnimate, JibJab, etc. This workshop will cover a few animation techniques and a couple animation programs. There are many more options that can be explored.

Powtoon: Example video:

Powtoon is a free program that will allow you to create simple animated videos and upload them into Youtube or MP4 video format. You can then import the file into Camtasia, iMovie, or use it as a standalone video file. You can use templates or create a video from scratch.

  1. You will need to make sure that you have a private YouTube account/channel. If you don’t already have a gmail account, go to and set up a free gmail account. In the upper right side of the window you will see this icon: (apps). Click on it and then click on YouTube. Click on the drop down menu next to your name in the upper right corner and then click on My Channel. This is where you will see your video uploads. In your private Youtube account, click on the drop down menu next to your name in the upper right corner of the screen and then click on Video Manager. Next to your video, click on the drop down arrow next to Edit. Choose Download MP4, and save it to your local files. You can share the link to your video as long as it is set to Unlisted.

  2. Go to, Click on Start Now, and set up a free account to start. Click on ‘Dashboard’ or ‘Create’, choose a template or Blank project and give it a name.


  1. Scroll through My Styles on the right side, some of the styles require the upgraded version of Powtoon. There are options for text, images, animation, people, props, backgrounds and more.

  2. Click on the item that you want, use the editing points to adjust the size, hover and look for the crosshairs to move the item around the canvas. Place the item at the desired end point, if adding entrance animation.

  3. Always select the item to edit the animation. Use the time line, arrow and ‘+, -‘ under the canvas to edit the animation duration, placement, and item overlaps. You can click and drag the item back and forth on the timeline or shorten and lengthen the play time of the item by hovering over the edge on the timeline until you see the double sided arrow, click and drag. Use the Flip, Enter, Exit icons in the bottom, left corner to edit how the item enters and exits. You will need to work with all of these features to position and time the animations.

  4. To add audio, click on the Sound icon and add a voice over or music. You can add audio from your files, the files that are pre-loaded, or record a voice over right in Powtoon. To record a voice over in Powtoon, click on the Sound icon, click on the red Record button. If you get a small Allow/Deny box and/or a Java banner to allow audio – click on Allow. The red record button will pulse when recording. When you are done recording, click the square Stop button and then click Apply. To delete any sound file click on the Sound icon and then click on the trash can icon next to the audio file, click on Apply.

  5. Be sure to SAVE your video. Click on the Preview button to review the video before exporting. Export the video to Youtube by clicking on the Export button (you must have a private Youtube account). You will receive an email that your video has been exported and a link that will take you to the video in Youtube, this may take a while. Once in your private Youtube account, click on the drop down menu next to your name in the upper right corner of the screen and then click on Video Manager. Next to your video, click on the drop down arrow next to Edit. Choose Download MP4, and save it to your local files.

PowerPoint: Example video:

Use PowerPoint to create many types of animations using shapes, images, or clipart.

  1. Open PowerPoint and start with a blank slide (delete the default title and text boxes) or use an existing presentation. Add an image, shape or clipart. For this animation we will use a person walking and then standing. There are several types of images in Microsoft images where you can remove the backgrounds, ungroup the image components, and alter the image for special uses. For this example we will choose the image type that looks like a cartoon and can be grouped/ungrouped; ‘woman walking’ and ‘woman standing’ (Insert – Online Pictures).

  2. Select the image, drag a corner editing point to make it bigger, click on Format, click on Group, then click on Ungroup. (you may get a dialog box regarding reformatting the picture, click OK, then click on Group/Ungroup again)

  1. Click outside of the image to get rid of all the editing points. Start selecting the background elements and delete them until you have just the woman walking. Select the entire image (drag from one corner of the image to the other to select) Group/Regroup and save the image in your files as a PNG file. Repeat this process for the ‘woman walking’.

  2. Place the two images next to each other and adjust the size so that they match.

  3. Select the ‘walking woman’, click on Animations, then Add Animation. You have several choices; Entrance, Exit, Emphasis, and/or Motion Paths. You also have ‘More’ options at the bottom.

  4. Choose ‘More’ of whichever animation you choose, to see all the options. When you click on an animation option you will see a preview of the animation. After choosing an animation, click on OK. Click on Animation Pane in the top Ribbon. This will show you all the animations you are using and will show the various effects available for each animation, as well as a Play (for preview) button.

  5. For this example choose the ZigZag Motion Path for the ‘Walking Woman’. Click on the motion path to stretch it out, turn it, etc. (use the editing points; green is where it starts, red where it stops), you can also move the image/text to a different location and the path/animation will go with it. (MSOffice 2013) For entrance onto the slide, position the item off of the slide or near the edge.

  6. In the Animation Pane, click on the animated group/image that you are working on, click on the drop down menu next to it to see the animation effects. Choose to start the animation ‘on click’, ‘start with previous’ (previous animation), or ‘start after previous’. This is important for timing of the animation.

  7. Click on Effect or Timing (takes you to the same dialog box). There will be different settings for different types of animations. In this example you will see start and end settings, bounce for an ending of the animation, sound effects, and path locked/unlocked. In the Timing tab you will see when to start the animation, how fast it should play (Duration), Delay the start of the animation, repeat the animation, rewind the animation and any triggers you may want (click actions).

  8. Click on the Play From/Play All button in the Animation Pane to preview the animation and then make any corrections. (You may need to move the motion path to line it up with the ‘woman standing’.

  9. Select the ‘walking woman’ again and click on Add Animation. Choose Exit-Fade. Click on the drop down arrow on the Fade animation (in the Animation Pane) and choose to start ‘After Previous’ so that the walking woman fades out at the same time that the motion path ends and as the standing woman fades in (we will do this next).

  10. Select the ‘woman standing’. Click on Add Animation, click on Entrance-Fade. Click on the drop down arrow on the Fade animation (in the Animation Pane) and choose to start ‘With Previous’ so that the standing woman fades in at the same time as the walking woman fades out. Place the images on top of each other and make sure that the ‘woman walking’ is behind the ‘woman standing’. (select ‘woman standing’, click on Format, click on Bring Forward, click on Bring to Front). You can add a word cloud or other images at this point and animate those as well. You can also add audio in PowerPoint or in Camtasia. Save the slideshow to your files.

  11. Record the PowerPoint as a video using Camtasia or export it as a video in PowerPoint. If using Camtasia you can save the video in several different video file formats as well as on Youtube.

GoAnimate: Example video:

  1. Go to GoAnimate and sign up for a free account, click Make a Video.

  2. Select a theme to use. Some of the themes are more complicated videos (instructions below), some of them are simplified (just add dialog).

  3. Click on the picture icon (on the left) and select a background or scene setting to start. You can also go through a tutorial if desired.

  4. Click on the people icon and select the characters you want to use. For more options a subscription is necessary.

  5. Click on the next icon which gives you choices of props to use. Clicking on the character or the prop opens the editing panel to add actions, voice and/or animation for that item. You can preview the actions before choosing – try to do single/simple things per slide. NOTE: click on the ‘+’ to add a scene in the timeline below the preview canvas before making changes to your characters or props. This adds motion to each scene of your video (each scene should have its own text and animation so that things flow smoothly). Click on the picture icon to change the scene (one scene per video).

  6. Click on the ‘T’ icon to type in the dialog for each character. Remember to switch scenes as you add text, motion, characters, etc. You can use voice instead of word clouds; click on the character, click on voice, either record a clip, upload a prerecorded file or use text-to-speech. Click on the text bubbles to animate and edit the duration, do this in the editing panel that appears on the left side when an item is selected.

  7. Use the timeline below the canvas to edit timing, hover over the edges of each scene and drag the scene to shorten or lengthen each ‘shot’.

  8. Click on Scene Settings to edit the content, speech, camera angles, and transitions between scenes if needed. Click on the ‘+’ to add a scene or click on ‘Add Scene’.

  9. Click on the music icon to add background music or intro music. Click on the music track in the timeline to edit the music track.

  10. Click on the Effects icon to add special effects to a scene.

  11. Preview the video and edit as necessary. Save or Save and Share, to get back to your Dashboard. You can save the video as a Draft, Private, or Public. If saving as Private you will be able to share the link for outside viewing.

Creating a JibJab

  1. In Photoshop, to get the animation timeline, go to window, timeline. Then in the Timeline click the dropdown arrow next to Create Video Timeline and choose Create Animation Timeline. The first frame should be the background layer (layer 0).

  1. Switch background to black

  2. Use the pen tool to outline the lower mouth area that will be the moving part.

  3. Right click, Make Selection, zero feather

  4. Click on Layer, New, Layer – Via Cut. This creates a new layer. Click on the layer to see the black area appear. You can leave this as is or put an image inside of the black area if desired.

  5. Double click on the background layer to make it layer 0.

  6. T add other motion (back and forth, blinking, etc.), use the elipse tool around the object to make a circle. Ex: draw an elipse around the eye.

  7. Click on Make a Layer, New – Layer, Via Copy

  8. Put the new layer behind (under) the background layer (layer 0), drag and drop.

  9. Click on Background layer, zoom in to the same object you just used and use the Pen tool to outline a smaller section of the object. Right click, make selection, zero Feather.

  10. Click on Layer, New layer – via Cut.

  11. Drop the new layer (layer 3) behind the background layer (layer 0) and above layer 2. Zoom back out.

  12. Click on Layer 3 to work with that object, click on the Move Tool to reposition the object, then click on Layer 2.

  13. Click on the Paint Bucket Tool, click on the Foreground Tool to get the color picker to match colors, then click on the area to match to add the blending color.

  14. Click back on layer 3, click on the Smudge tool and blend the colors, moving the object around to get a good blend. Do the same for layer 0.

  15. Go back to layer 3, move the object the other direction and repeat the process with the smudge tool.

  16. While on layer 3 move the object back into the start position.

  17. In the Timeline, click on Duplicate Selected Frame to start moving things. While in the new frame, click on the different layers and move the objects a little. Click on Duplicate Selected Frame and move things some more, continue this process for a few frames. Click on Frame 1, and then click on the Tween icon to add the number of frames you have (or indicate) in between frames 1 and 2, this will slow down the animation. Click on various frames and add Tweens until the animation works like you want it to.

  18. When syncing with an audio file, you will have to add Tween frames according to the recorded voice. This takes time and editing!

Add basic enhancement animation in Camtasia

  1. In Camtasia, open/load your recorded presentation, click on Callouts

  2. Click on Add Callouts, click on the drop down menu next to the Shape box: you will see many choices that are prepopulated. The features within this section will apply to all of the callout options.

  1. Click on Sketch Motion (rectangle), this will draw a box on top of your presentation.

  2. Click on the editing handles (on the preview screen) to adjust the size of the box. Click in the middle to get the crosshairs to move the rectangle to the position you want. Hover over the circles in the middle of the rectangle to find the green circle – click and hold to turn the rectangle on its axis.

  3. On the left, click on the drop down menus for Border, Fill, Effects to choose the options desired.

  4. Click on the Draw Time and Fade Out buttons to adjust the animation. You can also use the Callout frame in the Time Line to adjust the animation by hovering over the edges to get the double sided arrow and drag the animation in or out, and/or drag the fading in or out. Click on the Callout in the Time Line and drag to move it along the Time Line. Use the Time Line to fine tune the animation sequence.

  5. To add text to your callout you must use a callout that has the text box option. Type your text in the text box on the left (not in the rectangle on the presentation view).

  6. To add a Hotspot to the callout, check on the Make Hotspot option in the features on the left, click on Hotspot Properties and check the option that you want and indicate the URL.

  7. There is also a tab called Visual Properties (Camtasia Studio 8), that allows you to add simple animations; zoom, flipping, color, shadows, etc. to media items in your video. To use this feature, add a callout, graphic, etc. to a place in the video. Click on Visual Properties, place the play head where you want the animation to END – Add animation. (be sure the item is selected)

  8. While the play head is positioned on the blue dot on the timeline, Move the callout/graphic the way you want it to go, resize, rotate, etc. On the timeline, click on the animation arrow and edit the timing and duration. If you cannot see the arrow, hover over the blue dot and drag to the right. Test the animation using the manual play head.

Add Handwriting, draw shapes and lines

  1. To set up this option, first click on Record the Screen

  2. In the Record the Screen Toolbox, click on Tools, then Options, then Hotkeys and Screendraw. Check Ctrl + Shft – this will give you the keyboard shortcut to turn on and off the Screendraw option. ‘Crtl + shft + D’

  1. Click on Tools again, then Recording Toolbars, check Effects and OK. This will turn on the screendraw effects on the Record the Screen Toolbar when you click Record. If you are using dual monitors you can keep the toolbar open and available. If you are using a single monitor, you should have a cheat sheet with the keyboard commands available so you can change the drawing tools. OR when you click on the minimized toolbar (in your ribbon at the bottom of your screen) to switch tools, you can edit this out of your final video – plan accordingly.

  2. Click Record, then click on the Pen icon to start using the Screendraw tools. Using the drop down menus the choices are Tool, Color, and Width. If you hover over each tool you will see the options that you have. Choose a tool, the color of the tool and the width by clicking on the icon or the drop down menus. Start drawing or writing on the screen.

  3. NOTE: Make a practice run to work with writing/drawing with the mouse. Remember to take your time, you can always edit out mistakes. If you make a mistake ‘undo’ it and keep going while still recording. Take your time - You can speed up the video action in the editing process so that the writing/drawing moves faster.

  4. Once you import the clip into Camtasia, start editing the clip. To increase the clip speed click on the video section in the timeline, click on Edit, then Clip Speed. Choose the percentage of the original clip speed that is desired, you may have to experiment with this number, but 150-250 % is a good place to start.

  5. Cut out any mistakes, add callouts, zoom/fade, and any other effects. Be sure that your video clips do not overlap each other on consecutive tracks.

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