Bouncing Ball – Part 1


The bouncing ball is a traditional animator’s exercise and, in a presentation, a way to add visual impact. This post is the first in a series about animating a bouncing ball in PowerPoint.

The simplest way to create a bouncing ball is to apply the built-in effect Motion Path/Bounce Right/Left to the “ball” (see this post on creating spheres and balls). Here’s what this looks like:

You may may think that the motion of the ball is not quite realistic. We will try to address that in a later post.

You can add an illusion of depth by combining the bounce with zoom effects; here’a a few:

Here are some notes on this series:

  • Each of the examples includes a Zoom In/Out or Grow/Shrink with the bounce effect. The animation for the first one:


  • The zoom-in example stretches the motion path to the right so that the oncoming ball bounces off the slide. To change the size and/or proportions of a path, select it and use the handles.
  • The third example uses the Emphasis/Grow effect. As I’ve noted before, the rendering of the Grow effect sucks; this is improved a little by Disappearing the original ball near the end of the animation and replacing it. Here’s the setup:


  • In the last example, the path is compressed horizontally so that the bounce is vertical.

You can also add a Spin; here I added text and 360 degrees Spin with the Enter/Zoom In and the motion path:

Purists among you will note that this spin is not realistic; the highlights shouldn’t spin since the light source doesn’t move. To fix this, create two objects, the ball and a circle of the same size (with no fill or outline) containing the text. After aligning the two objects to a common center, apply the motion path to both objects and the spin only to the text. Be careful that the motion paths are identical. Here’s the setup:


Here’s the result:

Here’s how you can use a bouncing ball as an attention-grabbing way to introduce your brand or your product benefits:

The next post will show you how to draw your own bounce path and add some additional effects.

If you would like a free copy of the PowerPoint file containing these objects and animations, use this form:

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