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 to show your solution breaking through a barrier.

NOTE: This post has been revised. The earlier version asked you to “edit points” to add variations to the brick shapes. This version shows you how to create the variations using standard shapes and the Merge Shapes tools.

The earlier posts feature irregular fragments and a simpler “split” animation. This version breaks through a brick wall:

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 Snap to Grid option and set the Grid settings/Spacing to a useful value – I used 0.05 inches. This helps a lot in aligning and spacing the bricks.
  • Create a brick-shaped Rectangle – mine is 0.6 x 1.7 inches. This will be the basis for some of my bricks.
  • There is a surprising number of other rectangle-based shapes that may also be useful:



  • I used the single snip and single round variations along with the I used Merge Shape to Subtract some small shapes (orange) to create chips:


  • Add a gray Rectangle (0.7 by 1.8 in) to each variation to represent mortar. Add a small Shadow to each brick.
  • Apply Rotate/Flip Vertical/Horizontal to each of these 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 “swatches:”


Don’t use a texture that has prominent details; the eye will pick up on the variations.

Copy a swatch (to put it on the clipboard) and randomly select a number of shape variations and use Fill/Picture/from Clipboard to fill the shapes. Continue until you have a sizable stack of bricks; I created 32 pretty quickly:


Now, combine random bricks to build a wall; don’t forget to stagger the joints. After a while, you can build in bigger chunks: copy part of a row, flip it and move into position. To fill a slide, Group the bricks together, fix the aspect ratio, and enlarge the group until the slide is filled:


Place your message on the slide and apply Enter/Zoom to the message. Select the bricks that you want to break out and apply a Line motion path to the bricks. Move the end point of each motion path so that the bricks fly out from the center and end up just off the slide (the breakout bricks are outlined in red for clarity):


Remove the Smooth Start/End from the motion paths and set the timing (I used 0.5 sec).

Select the breakout bricks and add Spin/Clockwise 30 degrees. Select random bricks and modify the direction and amount of the spin. Repeat this a few times.

Select all the bricks again and add Exit/Zoom/In slightly. All the effects occur simultaneously and with the same duration.

If you want to create a “whole” wall, you will need some edge and corner bricks like these (I darkened the mortar color for clarity):


If you want a free copy of the PowerPoint file for this post, use the link below and click on the PowerPoint icon to download a “source” PowerPoint file containing these objects:

Powerpointy blog – Breakthrough animation – brick wall u

See this page for more on downloading files.

If you have questions, praise or complaints, please add a comment below. If you appreciate my efforts, liking or following this blog might be a good idea.




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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