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Concepts 116


Using the Spotlight

Here's a way to "enlighten" your audience with a spotlight shedding light on objects in a dark room. View the flash to see the animation - it's pretty cool. You can also use the spotlight to illustrate other concepts: finding way in the darkness, discovery, finding objects in the unknown, etc.,

This is a great device to add a little variation to your presentations. Using the spot light is pretty easy, but it does require special handling of your slide master graphics in order to work optimally. You really need to review the tutorial for instructions on how to set this up on a page in your company's template. There are specific fields and layering that need to be created.

Customizing the Spotlight

Adjust size

The spotlight can be resized so that the hole is larger or smaller simply by scaling the spotlight graphic group. Scaling (rather than resizing) is accomplished by holding the shift key down as you resize, which will ensure that the hole stays perfectly round.

The size of the hole should be sufficient to reveal the object. You may want to keep this mind as you develop the objects to be revealed. Make sure they are compact and can fit within the round beam.

Color variations

The darkness is opaque black in the download, but you can change it to whatever color you wish. Likewise with the beam of light. Remember that the darkness and beam are grouped together, so select the group and then click on either the beam or the darkness to select it (no need to ungroup). Then just apply the color you wish. We've made the darkness opaque, but you can experiment with semitransparencies if you wish. Just be sure that the objects behind the semitransparent darkness field do not obscure any overlying text.

3D variations

Don't use 3D with this concept.


Don't use shadows with this concept

Gradients, patterns, and pictures

There's no reason to use any of these formatting techniques with this concept.

Animations and Layering

Animation should be "Appear" entrance and then a simple motion path. Download the animated example if you'd like to see a good application of animation for this concept. Simply animating the graphic will not produce the effect that you need, however. The Layering section below will help you set your slide up to handle the spotlight concept.

Setting this graphic up is the most important part of formatting and the most time consuming; but it's easy if you follow the steps below to create the layers:

  1. Since you're "turning the lights off" on your presentation, you need to create the darkness. Create a black (or other dark color) field that covers the whole slide and send to back. This is the bottom layer on the slide
  2. Create a light layer containing the objects that you will be revealing with the spotlight. This is the spotlight content layer. You want this layer to have a light background so that when the spotlight appears, it reveals a "lit up" portion of the slide.
  3. Create another black/dark field that is the size of the whole slide. Place this black layer over the content layer. This layer hides the content layer until the spotlight is "turned on." Animate this layer will disappear at the same time the spotlight appears.
  4. Bring the spotlight onto the slide and place it so that when it appears it shows the first object you wish to "highlight." This is the next layer
  5. Go into the slide master and copy the graphic elements of your template. Then go back to your slide and paste them onto the slide. The graphic elements for your presentation should be visible on a black/dark background. This is the next layer of your slide.
  6. Create any text or graphics that you wish to reveal before you turn the spotlight on. The graphic elements for your template and this content are on the very top layer of this slide.

The layering is complete. You just need to animate these layers.

  • Animate text or graphics on layer 6 to appear as reveals if it fits with your presentation (see the downloadable animated example for an idea of how you might set up the spotlight portion of the slide).
  • Animate layer 3 to disappear
  • Animate layer 4 to appear at the same time layer 3 disappears
  • Set a motion paths to move the spotlight over the objects on layer 2.

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