Animated Icons in PowerPoint – Part 4

This is another in a series on animated icons – creating simple images and using animation to add impact.


In another post on meters, I suggested that meters (speedometers, thermometers, etc.) are useful symbols for change – improvement, increase, etc. Here are a few more examples:

Note: the meters in the earlier post operate with clicks; these appear and execute their animation automatically. Of course, you can change this.

The first meter is a simple audio (spectrum) analyzer. Each bar consists of two rectangles; the upper rectangle exits with a Wipe From Top, then enters with a Wipe From Bottom.  Each animation repeats several times:


The analyzer is made of built-in  shapes and consists of several “bars,” with the size of the rectangles varied,  and a case:


An easy way to create the analyzer is to create one pair of rectangles, with 6 animations, and duplicate 10 times. Then adjust the heights of the rectangles. The varying overlap creates variable delays in the visual effect. Here’s what the animation looks like:


A way to repeat groups of animations would make this simpler.

The next meter is a level meter showing a measured quantity rising to the “red” zone. Here’s the construction:


This meter consists of two parts: the dial and case, and the needle. A Block Arc (green outline) forms the red zone on the dial. A circle (blue) is grouped with the line to position the pivot point for the needle.

The animation is a series of Clockwise and Counterclockwise Spins applied to the needle group:


The “margin meter” also consists of two groups: the case, dial and label, and the needle group:


The animation also consists of a series of Spins.

The “thermometer” consists of a number of lines and Rounded Rectangles. The animation is a single Wipe From Bottom.


Cannons with a firing animation can be used to indicate a salute or a conflict:

Like other icons in this series, the traditional cannon is made from built-in PowerPoint shapes.  The wheel is made from a Donut, a circle and elongated Hexagons for spokes:


With our “corporate colors” for fill, this is the result:


This, like the other icons in this series is relatively “flat” in appearance; this is acceptable for smaller versions of the icon but you might want to add more interest to a larger version.  You might think this would require more details.  However, using standard PowerPoint shapes as highlights and or shadows adds depth without a lot of effort.

The idea is to imagine the light coming from above so that highlights would appear near the top of objects (especially surfaces that may be shiny). Similarly, shadows would appear at the bottom.  Here’s a version of the cannon with highlights and shadows added:


The version on the left shows the added shapes outlined in red and the one on the right shows the results without the outlines. Again, these are standard PowerPoint shapes and don’t require any hand drawing.

The animation consists of the cannon firing and then rolling backward due to the recoil. The muzzle flash is a Pie shape with a gradient fill (red outlines added for clarity):


The flash Wipes From Right quickly (0.3 sec) and Disappears, followed by the wheels and cannon/carriage moving to the right while the wheel Spins (25 degrees).  See my earlier post for details of rolling vehicle animation. Here’s the animation pane:


The construction of the more modern artillery piece is shown below; the lower image shows the added shadows:


The muzzle flash is animated as before. Since this gun has a recoil mechanism, the barrel slides back and then returns more slowly to firing position. Here’s the animation pane:


As usual, if you want a copy of the PowerPoint file showing the construction and animation of these icons, use the form below:

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