It can be agreed upon that video can be one of the most impact­ful ele­ments used in arti­cles, social media posts, or presentations.

We can also agree that putting video into a pre­sen­ta­tion expo­nen­tially increases the prob­a­bil­ity of some­thing going wrong while presenting.

Tip: Use the handy guide that TLC Cre­ative Ser­vices put together regard­ing video file­types and compatibility.

So how to we get the kind of impact that video brings to the table while, at the same time, avoid­ing all of the pit­falls of doing so? Use an ani­mated gif as your back­ground image.

What you need:

  • an already cre­ated ani­mated gif that is the size of your slide OR
  • A video file
  • Pho­to­shop*

Try to pick a back­ground video that has sub­tle motion. This helps keep the pre­sen­ta­tion look refined and does­n’t jar the audi­ence’s sen­si­bil­i­ties too much. Once you have your video picked out, open up Pho­to­shop and let’s get started.

In Photoshop

  1. Go to File > Import > Video Frames to Layers
  2. In this win­dow, trim your video to a very short piece that shows sub­tle move­ment (the longer the clip, the larger the file size)
  3. Make sure “make frame ani­ma­tion” is checked, click OK.
  4. Export as an ani­mated gif, go to File > Export > Save for Web (legacy)
  5. Choose Pre­set: GIF 128 Dithered, check your loop­ing options
  6. Click Save

In PowerPoint

  1.  right click on your background
  2. Choose For­mat Background
  3. In this win­dow, choose Pic­ture of tex­ture fill > Insert from: File…
  4. Find your gif and click Ok.
  5. In slideshow mode, you’ll now have a sub­tly mov­ing background.

Once you’re done, you’ll have some­thing that resem­bles this:

You can even exper­i­ment fur­ther with this by plac­ing masks over the slide so that only part of your ani­mated GIF shows through!

Creating the mask

Great resource for free video loops: Life of Vids

*At the time of pub­li­ca­tion, Pho­to­shop 2018 on High Sierra has a bug that pre­vents it from import­ing video.

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