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How to Make Animated Fireworks in PowerPoint (Step-by-Step)


Fireworks are another cool trick you can pull off in your presentations using PowerPoint animations.

There are a variety of different ways for how you can make fireworks in PowerPoint depending on the style you want – so in this PowerPoint  tutorial I’ll just show you my favorite technique!

And there are three parts making your custom fireworks in PowerPoint (all described in detail below):

Part #1: Make your firework explosion
Part #2: Make the tail for your fireworks
Part #3: Bring your fireworks to life with PowerPoint animations

This firework trick works in all versions of PowerPoint 2007 and later (and it should also work on the Mac version of PowerPoint too).

If you just want the fireworks themselves to use in your own presentations, you can download them here

[Watch] How to Make Fireworks Tutorial

The first step to making fireworks in PowerPoint is to create the explosion (ka-boom!).

You can see what the end result of the explosion looks like 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.

Step #1: Create 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%

Step #2: Create 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.

Step #3: Create 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 #4: Make the firework tail

Making the tail for your firework 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 #5: Animate your fireworks

Okay, so now let’s get to the fun part where we bring your fireworks to life using PowerPoint animations.

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

Select all the pieces, right-click them, select Group, then Group again (or hit Ctrl + G on your keyboard to group them together).

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.

Adv Animation Firework P3S5 - add the dissolve out animation

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

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.

Fireworks Closing Thoughts

So that's how to make fireworks in PowerPoint using nothing but default PowerPoint shapes and animations.

Yet another advanced effect you can add to your toolkit! I particularly like to use these on holidays as a fun addition to my 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!).

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

What's next?

Updated on May 22, 2019

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