Let’s Make a Book Trailer — Part 8

Let's Make a Book Trailer Part 8

Hello everyone, and welcome back to my series on making a book trailer.

Previous parts are here:  Part 1, Part 2, Part 3 Part 4, Part 5, Part 6, and Part 7.

As with the previous posts, the following are merely my thoughts on the trailer construction process.  Feel free to use or snort with derision.

In today’s post we move beyond a simple slideshow and start to add animation to the trailer, what I call “simple movement”.

We’ll have to modify our constraints slightly by eliminating the word “animation” from the list below.  In addition, we’ll need to remove “video” as well:

  • We’re creating a “Teaser” trailer
  • Using PowerPoint only
  • No video, music, animation or voice overs
  • Working with stock images or some commissioned images

PowerPoint, Slideshare, and Videos

I built the very simple trailer in PowerPoint, a tool to which most writers have access.  The next step is to add some animation and PowerPoint supplies functionality that can be used.

There’s a problem though. 

Recall that I uploaded the finished trailer to Slideshare.  Unfortunately Slideshare does not support any PowerPoint animations. 

This means that while your can use PowerPoint’s built in functionality to add animations to a trailer, all of those animations will be lost when the trailer is uploaded to Slideshare. 

Moreover,  Slideshare may not support a particular font you have chosen and convert that font to the “closest” equivalent it does support.

 For example:

Fonts in Slideshare and PowerPoint


Thus, when you add animation to a PowerPoint trailer, Slideshare becomes a less desirable choice for sharing. 

The solution to both Slideshare issues — lack of animation support and font substitution — is to convert the PowerPoint trailer into a video.  Fortunately, PowerPoint provides some capability to do just that.  We’ll explore that in a later post.

Aspect Ratio

One thing I haven’t explicitly addressed is a book trailer’s aspect ratio.  This simply refers to the relative dimensions of the trailer:  width and height.  

This is important because trailers that aspire to be more than PowerPoint slideshows must be rendered as videos. 

Early videos on YouTube — which is one of the places your trailer should be shared, used to have an aspect ratio of 4:3.  However, that was changed to an aspect ration of 16:9, sometimes called “wide screen”. 

Very few videos use a 4:3 aspect ratio anymore, everything is 16:9.

So, if you are designing your trailer in PowerPoint, the first thing you should do is set the aspect ratio to 16:9 (the default for a new PowerPoint presentation is 4:3).

In Microsoft Office 2010 this is done as follows:

  1. On the ribbon bar, click the Design tab
  2. On the far left of the ribbon, click the Page Setup button
  3. In the pop up Page Setup dialogue box, select On-Screen Show (16:9) from the Slide sized for: drop list
  4. In the pop up Page Setup dialogue box, click OK

Changiing the Aspect Ratio


Your PowerPoint slide(s) will update to the new aspect ratio and you won’t need to fuss with it later when you convert your trailer to a video.

With the aspect ratio taken care of you can move on to adding animations to your PowerPoint trailer.

In general there are two types of animations you will use:  simple object movement and slide transitions.

Simple Object Movement

 Simple object movement includes three different aspects:

  1. The initial appearance of an object (such as text or an image) on a slide; this is known as its Entrance
  2. The object’s movement on slide (a change over time of its position); this involves motion paths and emphasis
  3. The object’s disappearance from the slide, known as its Exit

Of course, objects can start already on a particular slide, or they can appear and remain without any need to exit.

For example, you may choose to start with a “blank” slide and have the book title fade in.

In PowerPoint you can also control the timing of an object’s entrance, movement, and exit as well.

All animation is applied using the Animation tab of the ribbon:

Animation Ribbon


In general, you apply animation as follows:

  1. Select the object
  2. Select the animation type desired using the animation drop list
  3. Adjust timings in the Timings section of the Animation ribbon
  4. Use the Preview button on the far left of the Animation ribbon
  5. Make adjustments until you are satisfied

Repeat for the next object on the slide.  When finished with the slide move to the next.

Adding Animation to an Object


Hers’ a video demonstrating adding animation to a slide in my simple PowerPoint trailer.

In Part 9 we’ll cover slide transitions.  That’s it for now.  Thanks for reading and I will see you again soon.



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