Amelia is an Instructional Designer, eLearning Developer, and published author. She also loves creating educational and training videos.
How to Create a Spooky Haunted House Blinking Windows Animation | Converting a PowerPoint Animation to Video
You can create these easy, fun animations in a snap using Microsoft PowerPoint. Newer versions of PowerPoint let you save your slideshow to mp4 format to easily convert it to a video! Ready to have some fun?
Here's what you'll need:
- An image of a haunted house (I downloaded my graphics from pixabay.com, where all graphics are free)
- Optional: A cauldron full of extra graphics including skeletons, pumpkins, witches, bats, scarecrows, ghosts, and goblins of your choice (in case you want to add some additional images and animations to your finished product)
- A few pinches of creativity
- Microsoft PowerPoint (2016 is used here, but most versions can be used to create these animations)
- Screen capture software (I love using Snagit, but you can also use the free Windows Snipping tool)
- A few laughs
- And lots of fun!
Summary of Steps
Please note that there are several ways to achieve a blinking or flickering effect using different colors. In this article, here's how we will creating a blinking window effect.
- We'll create two near identical slides with the same image of a haunted house.
- One window will be screen captured, the background of the window will be removed, and the color of the window will be changed to a contrasting color.
- Once the two slides are ready (one with different colored windows), we'll duplicate the slide multiple times.
- Finally, we'll use the Rehearse Timings feature to setup the slide show.
Let's Get Started
First, you'll need an image of a haunted house with several windows. On one slide, insert your haunted house image. My image has four windows. I'm just going to use one of the windows to customize it and then replace it for all the windows.
Next, using your screen capture software, snag one of the windows and capture that image, as shown below. Click Copy in your screen capturing software and paste it on a spare slide.
Note: I recommend that you create two PowerPoint decks including a working deck for images and editing, and a second main deck for your animation slides.
How to Remove an Image Background in PowerPoint
Removing the Background Image of Your Window Image
Paste the window image you snagged on a new blank slide. Double-click on the image. Next, remove the background using the following steps:
- From the Format tab, click Remove Background. If you need to make adjustments, click the Mark Areas to Keep or Discard.
- When finished, click Keep Changes.
Here's the result:
Re-Color the Captured Window Image
So far you have a slide with a haunted house (in one slide deck), and in a spare, working slide deck, you should have your captured image of one of the haunted house windows with the background removed. Let's make a copy of that window image because we'll need to apply a new color to one of them. With the image selected, just press CTRL + D to duplicate it.
Double-click on either one of the images, and then follow these steps to change the color:
- From the Format tab, click Color.
- Click to select an alternate window color. It's best to pick a contrasting color. I changed my window color from yellow to white.
Make the Windows the Same Shape
Next, to make it easy to replace the original window image with the recolored window image (we'll be doing that on a second slide shortly), let's make all the original window images the same shape (believe me, this will make life easier when you create the blinking effect). To do this, follow these steps:
- Right click on the image of the haunted house window (the one with the original color; in this example, the window is yellow).
- Copy the image (right click on the image and then click Copy).
- Return to the original haunted house image, and then click Edit > Paste (or click CTRL + V) as many times as needed to cover all the other windows. Adjust the size and angle as needed. See the before (3a.) and after (3b.) images below.
For the next step, we'll need to make a copy of the haunted house slide. Here's some shortcuts to duplicate a slide:
- Right click on the thumbnail.
- Click "Duplicate Slide."
Quick Keyboard Shortcut to duplicate a slide: With the slide thumbnail selected, press CTRL + D.
Replace the Original Windows with the Re-colored Window Images
- Return to the slide in your working deck which contains the re-colored window, which in this example, is white. Right click on the image.
- Click Copy.
- Go the duplicated haunted house slide and click Edit > Paste (or right click and click Paste) as many times as needed to cover all the windows. Remember at this point, they should all be the same shape. Adjust the position, size and angle as needed. See the results below.
Why are we doing this? You'll see in a moment.
At this point, you should have 2 near identical slides, except the windows should be a different contrasting color on the second slide. Let's duplicate the slides several times. First, select both slides. With one of thumbnails selected, press CTRL + A to select both slides.
Duplicate Slides and Rehearse Timings
With both thumbnails selected, press CTRL + D to duplicate. Repeat this 5 times. Now you should have 12 slides.
We're almost finished...just one more step! We have to setup timings so that our string of slides will automatically advance, thus producing a blinking or flickering effect.
From the Slide Show tab, click "Rehearse Timings."
Setting Up Your PowerPoint Slide Show Animation Timings
Your slideshow will then begin, and there will be a timer on the upper left of your screen. Advance your slide show, slide by slide, as fast as you want, and vary it a little, to simulate blinking or flickering.
To advance your slides, do one of the following:
- Press N on your keyboard.
- Click your left mouse button.
- Press the Page Down (PgDn) key on your keyboard.
- Press the Down Arrow on your keyboard.
Below are examples of how the timer will look on the upper left while you advance your slides.
Saving Your Timings
When you reach the end of your slides, a prompt will display asking you if you want to save the new slide timings. If you are happy with your timings, click Yes. If you want to redo the timings, repeat the steps above until you are happy with the timings.
Once your timings are saved, remember to save your PowerPoint file via File, Save.
Converting Your Animation to a Video
Let's go one step further and convert the animation to a video. Beginning with PowerPoint 2013, you can save your slide show to mp4 format. Click File > Save As.
- Click the location where you would like to save your video.
- In the Save As Type field, select MPEG-4 Video (*.mp4).
- Click Save.
- At the bottom of the screen, a progress bar will display during the conversion.
When the conversion is finished, your mp4 file is ready! Go to the location where you saved your mp4 file and play your video. Let the blinking, flickering windows begin!
More Spooky PowerPoint Animation Ideas
Here are some additional PowerPoint animation ideas.
- Add a ghost or other ghoul image and apply the Float animation effect. They will appear to float upward.
- Add several bat images in the sky and apply the Teeter animation effect. The bats will appear to fly.
- Add spiders or other creepy crawlers to the bottom left of your slide. Then add a custom wiggly motion path from left to right to make the creature crawl along the slide.
I hope you enjoyed this animation tutorial. Please leave a comment below to let me know what animation tutorials and demonstrations you would like to see next.
And don't forgot to watch the animation video below to see the final product!
Spooky Haunted House Blinking Windows Animation Video
© 2018 Amelia Griggs
Niks from India on June 12, 2020:
These are indeed very cool animation ideas that display a spooky effect.
Simple tricks that doesn't require any big animation software. I liked this hub, Amelia