Today I put together a simple book trailer using MS Powerpoint. The process was relatively straight forward, if you’ve ever used animations in Powerpoint.
You start by figuring out what you want your add copy to say and write it out in text blocks. I tried to cut my blurb down (which is incredibly hard), but came up with three blocks of text. I superimposed it over a darkened version of my cover’s background image. I wanted something dark enough that the text would stand out, but more interesting than a black screen. With some playing around, I got something I was happy with. I used a courier font in a bright green colour for fun.
For the animation, I wanted to create an effect reminiscent of 80’s science fiction movies where you would watch text scrolling across a monochromatic screen, often with some kind of ominous implication going on in the background. Some examples that come to mind:
- Short Circuit
- Star Trek IV and transparent aluminum
- Terminator 2 – building an artificial neural network
You then animate the text blocks. For each one, select the “appear” animation.
In the effect settings you can make text appear by the letter. To get into this, you open your animation pane (under advanced animation), right click on the animation and go into “effect options.” From there you, under “animate text” you can select “by the letter.”
Then it’s a case of setting the timings for each block. I wanted the text to come up relatively quickly so the reader wouldn’t get bored, but not so fast it couldn’t be read. A timing of about 0.09s per letter seemed about right. I set the blocks of text to appear in sequence, (timing > start: after previous, the first one I started with previous so it would start playing immediately as soon as the slide show started).
After the text, I added a “disappear” animation for all the text blocks and then added a 3 second fade in for the book 3D image and a few additional copy points.
Then it was just a matter of recording and exporting the file as an MP4. It generated a 30 second trailer that I hope is a little more eye-catching than a static image.
Unfortunately I can’t post the trailer directly on my blog for some reason, but if you want to see it I’ve uploaded a copy to my Facebook Page:
First Command Book Trailer
As always, thanks for your support!