Animating a Breakthrough in PowerPoint – Brick Wall

This is another post in my series on using a “breakthrough” animation to introduce your brand, product or other “punch line.” This version breaks through a brick wall but is otherwise similar to the first post in this series:

The challenge for this effect is creating the wall. Although you can use simple duplicated rectangles for bricks, a more realistic look is possible by adding more variation to the bricks. Here’s how:

  • First, set the Grid settings/Spacing to a rather coarse value – I used 1/8 inch to start. This helps a lot in aligning and spacing the bricks.
  • Create a brick-shaped rectangle and convert to Freeform. Duplicate the Freeform and edit points to create a few small chips and broken corners. Repeat this, making different edits each time. Continue until you have several variations.
  • Apply Rotate/Flip Vertical/Horizontal to each variation until you have more variations. Here’s my result (16 variations):


  • I found a “single brick” texture image at I reduced the size of the image to make the detail finer and used the Crop tool to create several brick-sized swatches:


  • Don’t use a texture that has prominent details; the eye will pick up on the variations, particularly the rotations.
  • Randomly select a number of shape variations and use Fill/Picture to fill the shapes with one of the texture variations. Continue until you have a sizable stack of bricks; I created 32 variations pretty quickly:


  • Next, group each brick with a gray rectangle to represent the mortar. I reset the grid spacing to 1/16 inch to make this easier. Add a lower right shadow to the brick part to add some depth:


  • In retrospect, it might have been easier to add the mortar earlier in the process, before all the duplication.
  • Now, build your wall over a contrasting background; don’t forget to stagger the joints.Here’s what mine looks like:


  • Place your message on the slide and identify the bricks that will break out. Apply the animations: motion paths with Zoom/In slightly and Spin.

Here are a few more thoughts:

  • Experiment with different shapes and fills/textures to create other kinds of walls (e.g., stone).
  • Another approach is to use an actual wall image, crop out individual pieces and reassemble the wall; see the jigsaw puzzle post for a similar technique.
  • As before, experiment with timing and combining other animation effects.

If you want a free copy of the PowerPoint file for this post, use this form:

1 Response to “Animating a Breakthrough in PowerPoint – Brick Wall”

  1. 1 Wham! Bam! Boom! Explosions in PowerPoint | powerpointy Trackback on July 6, 2016 at 1:22 pm

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