PowerPoint interactions #3: Wave Carousel

You can create dynamic Articulate Presenter output without Engage or Flash – using just a few images, and PowerPoint.


Here’s template #3 in the series. It’s kind a logical progression from #1, the 3D Carousel, and #2, the Scrolling Filmstrip. The techniques are combined into something different, and some more content has been added to show just how rich your user experience can be – using only the standard PowerPoint features.

So first, View the Presentation. Screenshot of the output

This is a combination of what I used to create the 3D Carousel effect, and the horizontal layout of the Scrolling Filmstrip.


So what’s happening here?

It works like this:

  • It’s a series of 5 hyperlinked PowerPoint slides, output as an Articulate presentation.
  • The hyperlinks are in the PowerPoint, so the Articulate navigation is bypassed – this is presented as a “single slide” in the Articulate presentation.
  • There are several images laid out and animated in sequence to give the illusion of a “Mexican wave” from left to right. When the series of slides reaches the end, the hyperlink returns it to the beginning.

If you want to jump in and see what’s going on for yourself, download the PPTX file. I won’t provide full instructions for this one – if you work through examples #1 and #2, you’ll have all the techniques you need. Use this template as you wish (but of course I would be interested to know how).


As with the other examples, these are images in a 16:9 format (I used the same ones as for example #2, adding an extra one). There are 6 “thumbnail” versions at 160×90 pixels, and 6 “full size” versions at 400×225. There are also 6 maps at 200×177, to add to the display area content.

The image effects are all standard PowerPoint – border, reflection effect etc.


The Custom Animation paneCreating the “Mexican wave” effect across the bottom is achieved by using the “Glide” animation in a quick sequence. There are two images stacked on top of each other. One has an Entrance animation, and its pair has the same type, but as an Exit animation – and both take place at the same time (“With previous”). Then the next pair go off together (“After previous”), and so on down the line.

For more on how to do this, see the post and instructions for example #1: 3D Carousel (it’s exactly the same principle, but the image pairs are arranged in a line rather than in a “stack”).

The other animations add to the effect of movement, after the “wave” has finished. The main image is Entrance > “Glide”, the display text is Entrance > “Fade”, the distribution map and title are Entrance > “Fade” (together) and the link for more information is Entrance > “Rise Up”.

Controlling the animation and when it happens (“With previous” or “After previous”) is done using the  Custom Animation Pane ( it appears when you click Animation toolbar > Custom Animation).

One could just go on adding elements to the screen – but that would be bad design (perhaps!) ;-)

Interestingly, this set of animations actually works more smoothly as Articulate output than it does as a PowerPoint slideshow.


As with the other two examples, to make this work, all the images have to be changed out, one by one, six times. There’s no way around it! It’s very satisfying when it’s done…

It’s a simple matter of duplicating a slide, and right-clicking on each image to change it by one slot in your sequence – replacing image 1 with image 2, then image 2 with image 3, and so on.


There are a couple of potential traps:

  • Don’t group the shapes to move them around. You’ll lose all of your individual animations…
  • Watch the file size – you may need to play around with the Articulate image Quality settings a little.



  • No need for Flash or other authoring tools.
  • No need for programming skills.
  • Completely free choice as to what to display – no template limitations (except of course space and design considerations).


  • Some time is required to swap out the images.

Again, whatever you do with this – have fun! And if you need something like this done to order, please contact me.


That’s the last in this particular set of interactions. Hopefully these three examples show one way of thoughtfully sequencing and duplicating animated elements to create some rich, interactive content for Articulate – all with just a few images and PowerPoint.

COMING NEXT: More stuff!

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