Unlike shapes, pictures in PowerPoint don't have a transparency setting. As a workaround you can fill a shape with a picture and then adjust the fill transparency. Here's the step-by-step guide for PowerPoint 2010 and later:
Add a rectangle shape to the slide.
Right-click the rectangle and select Format Shape from the context menu.
Select Fill → Picture or texture fill and click on Insert picture from → File... to choose an image file.
Use the transparency slider to make the picture as transparent as you want.
In this post, you will learn how to create a text crawl similar to the one used at the beginning of the Star Wars films. Here's a video of the final PowerPoint presentation:
To achieve the text crawl effect, I basically had to do three things:
Add a 3D perspective effect to the text.
Add a motion path animation to move the text up.
Combine the motion path animation with a shrink animation to simulate the depth effect.
You can find step-by-step instructions on how to create the same effect below:
Add a Text Box to the slide via INSERT → Text Box.
Type in =rand(3,4) and press Enter to generate three paragraphs of example text.
Change the font of the text to Arial Black and the size to 44 point.
Set the alignment of the text to Justify.
Select the text box and choose FORMAT → WordArt Styles → Text Effects → 3-D Rotation → Perspective Relaxed Moderately.
Choose FORMAT → WordArt Styles → Text Effects → 3-D Rotation → 3-D Rotation Options and increase the Perspective value to 80.
Center the text box on the slide and increase its size so the width of the first line almost matches the slide width.
Move the text box below the slide so that the first line is directly below the slide edge.
Select the text box and choose ANIMATIONS → Add Animation → More Motion Paths… → Up.
Grab the red arrow (which marks the end of the motion) with the mouse cursor and drag it to the top of the slide. Hold down the Shift key while dragging to keep the motion path vertical).
Add a second animation via ANIMATIONS → Add Animation → Grow/Shrink.
Click the Animation Pane Ribbon button.
Double-click the Up animation item in the Animation Pane. In the Effect tab, change the values of Smooth start and Smooth end to 0.
Double-click the Grow/Shrink item in the Animation Pane, change the Size value to 10%, and change Timing → Start to With Previous.
Grab the end of the Up animation timeline bar and drag it to the right until a value of 30.0s is reached.
Repeat the previous step for the Grow/Shrink animation.
Change the slide background to a starry sky by right-clicking on the slide and choosing Format Background… → Picture or texture fill → File…. Then select an appropriate graphic (click here to download a ready-to-use image file).
Select the crawl text. Change the color to a yellow orange: HOME → Font Color.
Choose FORMAT → WordArt Style → Text Effects → Glow → More Glow Colors to give the text a yellow glow effect.
Create a Rectangle shape that covers the top half of the slide.
Remove the outline of the shape via FORMAT → Shape Styles → Shape Outline → No Outline.
Set the shape fill to the same image that was used for the slide background.
Sometimes you want to direct your audience’s focus to a specific part of your slide. A nice way to do that is to darken all of the slide except for the part you want to draw attention to. In this tutorial, you will learn how to create an animated spotlight in PowerPoint 2013.
Add a Rectangle shape to the slide.
Remove the outline around the shape (FORMAT → Shape Outline → No Outline).
Change the shape’s background to Black (FORMAT → Shape Fill).
Set the transparency of the shape fill to 30% (Right click the shape → Format Shape → Set the Transparency slider for the fill to 30%).
Enlarge the overlay rectangle using the sizing handles so that it’s about three times the size of the slide. This way we can later move the spotlight to any position on the slide.
Add an Oval shape at the center of the overlay rectangle. This oval will act as the spotlight.
Select the overlay rectangle first and then select the oval shape while holding the Shift key.
Choose FORMAT → Merge Shapes → Subtract to cut out the oval shape from the background shape.
Move the resulting shape so that the spotlight hole covers the area you want to highlight.
Select the spotlight shape and go to ANIMATIONS → Add Animation → Custom Path.
Now click on the part of the slide you want to move the spotlight to. Double-click to stop drawing the motion path.
If necessary, add a Grow/Shrink animation to change the size of the spotlight.