Creating animations for LED panels using powerpoint
Creating the PowerPoint Animation
Set up the initial slide format
- Change slide master to 24cm x 6.4cm. To do this
- Go to the View tab.
- Click Slide master.
- Click on the top most slide on the left hand panel
- Then click on Slide Size on the ribbon.
- Click Custom slide size and change the height and width.
Create and Animate
- Find/make your graphics. These can be images or vectors, but bear in mind the low resolution of the display. A black background works better than white.
- To animate elements
- Go to Animations tab.
- Select item.
- Click on the type of animation.
- Tune the effect options and timing. Showing the Animation Pane may help if you have anything complicated.
We have found it is useful to add a defined end sequence to aid the video capture. If possible end the animation with a fade to black or overlay a black rectangle over the previous animation steps that displays for around 5 seconds. This makes it easier when it come to capturing/recording the MP4 of the slide and then converting that to the animated GIF.
Record the Slideshow, Create the video
- To record the slideshow and create the video
- Go to the Slideshow tab
- Click Screen recording
- The presentation may get minimised and replaced by a recording toolbar. Re-maximise the presentation (the recording toolbar will stay visible on top).
- Using the select area tool from the Recording toolbar, select the slide outline so that its highlighted by a red dashed rectangle. Try to make sure you only select the slide and don't get any white background at the edges.
- Navigate back to the Animations tab on the ribbon.
- Click the Record button on the Recording toolbar.
- A 3 second countdown timer will start
- Once the recording starts, click the Animation preview button (top left)
- Stop the recording (by pressing the Square in the Recording toolbar) when the animation is complete.
- A video of the animation will be inserted into the slide.
- Right click on that video and click "save media" save the mp4 file
Converting the file
- Go to https://cloudconvert.com/mp4-to-gif and upload the mp4 for conversion to gif.
- Click the spanner icon to change the default settings.
- Use a custom resolution of 240 x 64
- A video codec of GIF
- A frame rate of 15FPS.
- You can also trim the start or end if needed, e.g. if you were a little slow with triggering the animation or stopping the recording.
- Click convert.
- Download the resulting file
NOTE: The exact process may vary slightly with different versions of PowerPoint, but the functionality should still be available with any relatively modern version. Instructions here are specifically for PowerPoint 2013.
Other Conversion or GIF generation tools
GIF Generation on a Raspberry Pi
Brian W has created some code to help generate animated GIFs on a Raspberry Pi The details can be found on the Hackspace GitHub repo here: