Animate the algorithm development with gif pictures made with Microsoft PowerPoint!
This morning, I was trying to solve a dynamic programming problem and visualize the process with a table. It suddenly came to me that I can animate the process with a gif. My first thought was to use Adobe AI, then after I opened the application, I ran into the first problem: draw a table! Obviously I am not expert of Adobe Illustrator, I don’t even draw or paint decently! The next thing that came into my mind is PowerPoint. Right, the ultimate solution for all animations.
I have seen people recreate Apple ads videos Designed by apple in california original video on YouTube and then the 108 second one with powerpoints, and it was stunning. Since then I knew how powerful PowerPoint can be, and I actually created a campaign video for my friend in their L’Oreal Campus Challenge with PowerPoint. But it takes time. What I am about to do next is way simpler, my purpose of writing the post is simply to show a possibility. If you have a easier or faster way, please comment and tell me about it! I’d love to learn more.
How do I get .gif from .pptx?
Two ways, both are straightforward and free! (You need subscription for Microsoft Office 365 though)
a. Export the slides as a video file (.mp4 or .mov), then convert it to a gif.
b. Export the slides as individual pictures, each frame corresponding to one image, and then concatenate them into a gif file.
Why would I choose PowerPoint over AI?
First, if you don’t have or are not familiar with AI and other design apps. PowerPoint would save you from the learning curve. (I assume everyone has made slides before.)
Second, it is actually easier to draw diagrams and tables as needed in an algorithm visualization because that’s what powerpoint is designed for.
Third, the derivation of answers is discreet, so ppt animations are great for the purpose. (In the latest version fo PowerPoint, the animation will help animate the transitions too.)
What do I need to know about powerpoint?
Only the Basics. No extra package needed. Insert a special symbol. Change the color and size of a box. Add an animation. That’s it.
Trust me, I have been playing with PowerPoint animations since 4-th grade, remember the built-in clip art? Those are my childhood memories. The only thing you need is a bit of patience.