Animated Slide Backgrounds
March 2, 2018

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.