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Tutorial for

Forces 053


This series has some great bounce graphics to illustrate bouncing away from, to, and traveling from left to right (or right to left if you flip the graphic). Bouncing can illustrate momentum and movement or loss of same. The graphic does all the work, so you don't have to add animation to show movement. The series example shows a bounce graphic with two lines added to show a ricochet – very easy to add these simple lines.

There are 77 bounce graphics in this series but only one download. It's important to select the correct graphic for the space allowed and the message being delivered. We've decided to put all of them in one download to make the selection process easier. Once you have downloaded the graphics file, choose the bounce graphic that looks like it might work best and delete the rest.

Customizing the bounce graphics

Adjust size

Each graphic is only one field. You can simply resize or rescale (hold shift key down as you resize) without worrying about the graphic skewing.

Color variations

The bounce graphics can receive line and fill colors. Choose a color from your template's color palette and apply it. You can also choose a coordinating color if you wish.

PowerPoint 2007 options

You might stay away from too much formatting because the graphic has a job to do. You don't want it to be a heavy design element, but a sleek movement graphic to best tell the story.

3D variations

Maybe not the best choice for these graphics.


No shadows. Since the bounce path is not supposed to have substance, it shouldn't have a shadow. It's just supposed to be a path of movement on your slide.

Gradients, patterns, and pictures

If you want to add a gradient so that the first part of the path is lighter than the ending part of the path, that would be fine. The gradient will help convey the concept of movement.


The graphics are set up as the movement for the slide, without animation. But the Power Chart for December 2010 uses these graphics to set up the animation. The graphic is not in the chart, but it was used to draw the animated motion path. There are a few steps, but it is very simple if you take your time and follow the steps. The exercise will help elevate your level of expertise with PowerPoint as well.

  1. Choose the bounce graphic you wish to use as an animated bounce path
  2. Build your slide: lay everything out as you want it to appear onscreen. Make sure that you have your layout finalized before you begin to animate. Animation should always come last, especially when the animation is a little more complex than just simple reveals and fades.
  3. Begin the animation. In this case we'll show you how it's supposed to look so that the steps will make sense as we're going through them. Notice that there are two animation paths: one coming in from off the slide on the right and hitting the technology icon. There needs to be two paths for this bounce configuration because of the spin directions. The threat ball on the first path is also animated to spin counterclockwise. The threat ball on the second motion path has to spin clockwise. It's easier (and cleaner) to simply use two paths and two threat balls. The first threat ball disappears at the end of the first motion path as the second threat ball appears at the end of the first motion path (which is also the beginning of the second motion path). Since the skull and cross-bones should settle in the upright position at the end of each spin, simply leave the 360 degrees of spin (which is the default) as is. You'll want to adjust the effect options for the first motion path so that it does not have a smooth start or end. The speed should be fast.
    PowerPoint example of bounce animation
    Notice the second path: it begins with a green arrow where the other has ended and ends in the lower right corner at the red arrow. It was drawn preliminarily with the Freeform Custom motion path tool: there are very few anchors on this path: one at the start, click at the end of the straight line, click at the top of the first bounce arc, click at the bottom between the first and second bounce arcs, click at the top of the second bounce arc, etc., and then a little roll space at the end of the last bounce arc. It's going to look like saw teeth, but we'll fix that. Here's how you get the arcs and corners set in the path:
    • Click on the second animation path to make it active, and then right click on it and select Edit Points
    • One by one, right click on all the points at the top of the arc, and make them smooth points
    • One by one, right click on all the points between the bounce arcs (at the bottom) and make them corner points
    • You don't have to do anything with the top, smooth points – leave them alone
    • Each corner points will have two bezier tools – one on each side of the point (see the bezier tools in the screen shot below. They are at the point between the first and second arcs? The look like vertical lines with a little box at the top; the box at the top is the handle). One by one, take each bezier tool handle and move the it up and away until the animation path line looks like the underlying bounce graphic. You'll get the feel for it really quickly. Just play around with it at first to see how the line reacts to your movements. Then adjust all of the line for each segment of the bounce arc. Note: the bounce graphic would be behind the motion path as you adjust the path points, but for the sake of clarity if is removed in the screenshot below. After you set your motion path, remove the bounce graphic.
PowerPoint chart with bounce motion path bezier

The effect options for the second motion should be set so that there is no smooth start but there is a smooth end. The ultimate effect of both motion paths is that the most of the force is happening at the beginning of the path and then it slows down and stops at the end – very realistic.

For the rest of the animation process, the sequencing should be set so that …

  • the spin and motion for the first motion path should happen at the same time
  • the first and second threat balls disappear and appear
  • the spin and motion for the second motion path happens at the same time
  • the text appears.

Be sure to download the animated example so that you can look at the animation formatting for yourself. It's logical and easy to follow.

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