"Advanced PowerPoint Animations - Creating Fireworks"

Advanced PowerPoint Animation – How to Create Fireworks

Fireworks are yet another cool advanced PowerPoint animation trick you can use to spice up your presentations by combining simple shapes with animations.

There are many different ways to create fireworks depending on the style you want – so in this PowerPoint animation tutorial I’ll just show you my favorite technique!

 

Just want the fireworks?

Click here to download 5 pre-made fireworks you can use in your own presentations.

How to Build the Fireworks

There are three parts to creating an animated firework in PowerPoint:

Part #1: Make the firework explosion
Part #2: Make the tail
Part #3: Animate the firework

I’ve broken this animation tutorial into two parts. You can either watch the video below or simply scroll down the page to see how to build this advanced animation out step-by-step with screenshots.

This animation trick works in PowerPoint 2007, 2010 and 2013 (and should also work on a Mac).

Step #1 – Creating the Fire Work Explosion

The first step to creating this advanced firework animation effect, is to create the explosion (boom!).

You can see what the end result of the firework with a black and white background below.

"Adv Animation Firework P1S1 - The End Result on Black"

The firework explosion that you see above is made up of 3 different pieces: what I’ll call the circle, the large flare and the small flare.

"Adv Animation Firework P1S2 - The three firework pieces"

Below we’ll make each of these pieces and then combine them together to create our final explosion.

Creating the Circle

The circle is basically just a circle shape with a gradient effect.

So we have a radial gradient that starts from center, and you can make it whatever colors you like.

"Adv Animation Firework P1S3 - Adding a gradient to the circle"

Now although the gradient is far from an exact science, below I will show you the exact setting I used.  You can play around with this yourself to see what works best for your own project.

"Adv Animation Firework P1S4 - Adjusting the Circle's Gradient"

First color:

  • Color (inner most color) – Yellow

Second color:

  • Color – Orange
  • Position – 19% position

Third color:

  • Color – Black
  • Position — 78% position
  • Transparency – 90%

Fourth color:

  • Color – Black
  • Position – 100% position
  • Transparency – 100%

Creating the Large Flare

The large flare is actually a 24 point star.  You can get it by going to Insert tab and then the Shapes gallery and simply choosing it from the dropdown menu.  Once you insert the 24 point star on your slide, grab the yellow dot adjuster, you can see that it collapses into this flare like effect.

If you pull the adjuster all the way down and change the outline to orange, you’ll get the shape you see on the right (almost looks like a dandelion!).

"Adv Animation Firework P1S5 - Creating the Large Flare"

For the orange outline, pick the color and width you like; mine is set to 0.5 pt.  Don’t worry about the fill, as we can’t even see that for this shape – we’re just working with the outline.

"Adv Animation Firework P1S6 - Adjusting the Flare's Outline"

If for whatever reason you don’t have the 24 point star in your version of PowerPoint, you can simply create this same effect with 12 intersecting lines.  Doing it with the star method just makes it faster.

Creating the Small Flare

So the last piece of the explosion animation is the small flare, which is a 32-point star.  It’s the same process for inserting it – you can get it from the Shapes menu and simply adjust it.

"Adv Animation Firework P1S7 - Creating the Small Flare"

This piece has the same settings as the large flare, except it’s a darker orange color.  So just use the adjuster and the color settings to set it up.

Once you have the three pieces finished, just align them on top of each other, making sure that the gradient circle is on top.

Adv Animation Firework P1S8 - Small flare on white

With the objects stacked on top of each other, if you change your slide background to black, your graphic should look like the picture below – now it’s starting to look like a firework!

Adv Animation Firework P1S9 - Small Flare on Black

Step #2: Making the Tail

Making the tail is really easy; it’s just a rectangle with a gradient fill. Here we have a linear gradient with a 270 degree angle, and you can see the specific colors I used down below.

Adv Animation Firework P2S1 - Creating the Firework Tail

First color:

  • Color – Black
  • Transparency – 100%

Second color:

  • Color – Orange
  • Position – 50% position
  • Transparency – 30%

Third color:

  • Color – Yellow
  • Position — 100% position
  • Transparency – 0%

Another interesting piece you can play around with is the outline of your tail, playing with the different dashed options and widths to create different effects.

Adv Animation Firework P2S2 - Adjusting the tails formatting

I personally liked the combination of a 0.5 width outline and the third option down (called “dash dot”) for the line to get the effect below:

Adv Animation Firework P2S3 - ending firework tail

Step #3 – Animating the Firework

Okay, so now let’s get to the fun part of animating it all!

The firework part has 3 animations, and the tail has 2.  But before we do anything else, let’s just group the firework pieces together, starting with the the flare.

Select all the pieces, right-click them, select Group, then Group again.

Adv Animation Firework P3S1 - Group the Flares together

With the flare grouped, just move the tail to fit beneath the flare to create the firework.

Adv Animation Firework P3S2 - Group the Tail to the Firework Head

Now select your flare again and let’s navigate to the Animation tab and add three animations:

Animation #1: A “zoom” entrance

Adv Animation Firework P3S3 - Add the zoom animation

Animation #2: A “grow/shrink” for emphasis

Adv Animation Firework P3S4 - Add the grow shrink animation

Animation #3: Add a “dissolve out” for our exit effect.

Note that since we are adding multiple animations to the grouped object, make sure you use the “Add Animation” dialog box.

Adv Animation Firework P3S5 - add the dissolve out animation

For the tail, we need to add two animations:

Animation #1: Add a “wipe” entrance effect

Adv Animation Firework P3S6 - add the wipe animation

Animation #2: Add “random bars” for the exit effect

Adv Animation Firework P3S7 - Add the random bar animation

Now, select everything within the Animation Pane, and change all the timings to be 00.25 in duration.

Adv Animation Firework P3S8 - format the animation timings

Let’s also set them all to start “After Previous.”

Now take the entrance for Rectangle 6, which is our tail, and move it all the way to the top, and take the exit of the tail (also Rectangle 6) and move it right after the entrance of the firework, then change it to “Start with Previous.”

Adv Animation Firework P3S9 - set the animations to start with previous

This sequence basically says that the tail goes up first, the burst appears as the tail disappears, then the burst explodes and disappears.  Below you have a short video of the effect of what the combination of these animations should look like.

Firework Animation Conclusion

And there you have it – another advanced PowerPoint animation trick to add to your toolkit!  This is particularly great to use on holidays as a fun addition to your presentations.

I’d encourage you to really play with different ways to both design and animate this firework sequence as it can be done in so many different ways…hey, you might even discover a technique you like even better!

For another cool effect, check out my City Night Scene tutorial to see yet another advanced PowerPoint technique, this time making a picture come to life with blinking lights and fast-moving cars (cue Tracy Morgan!).

Post feature image designed by Xooplate

  • Peavey2787

    Thanks for this awesome, and easy to follow tutorial. I was able to quickly start making custom fireworks animations in minutes.

    • spicypresentations

      Thanks, Peavey – glad it was useful! Thanks for checking out the site 🙂

  • lEnderBOSSl

    This was an amazing tut, it was simple and well understood for me! Ty 🙂

    • spicypresentations

      Wonderful – I’m so happy that you liked it,
      lEnderBOSS| ! Thanks for the comment!

  • Obasi Nwokeji

    For your information ctrl + G gets stuff grouped and ctrl + shift + G ungroups stuff

    • spicypresentations

      Yep, sure does! Love this shortcut.

  • Bernice Stangenberg

    Hello Miss Spicy, I have a question for you. I wanted to run a video behind some wording as a combination of special effects that of course would run for the length of the slide. However, there does not appear to be a way to do this on the slide itself. Unless I am missing something. I believe that the only way to do this is to create a master slide that only affects this slide. Is that correct or have you found a better way to do this.

  • Hi Lia! I love the plugin used on this web page to present the screenshots. Could you please share the name of it? Thanks and congrats for this great tutorial!

  • rafi

    love it

  • Spike Zelenka

    I’m using the explosion (minus the tail) to transform a little boy into a superhero. (cute, huh?) I’m trying to gigure out how to make my hero appear after the blast. any ideas?