Powerpoint Animations

Below are sample PowerPoint files showing simple animations for advertising purposes. In PowerPoint you can “Export” these files as videos for display on digital signs.

Simple Animation 1

Simple Animation 2 with Video

Simple Animation 3

And here are documents showing the menu items used in PowerPoint for animations and step-by-step instructions on how to create a simple animation.

Creating text animation with PowerPoint

Creating text animation with PowerPoint – step by step

An Overview of Some Programs in Adobe’s Creative Cloud

Adobe’s Creative Cloud (formerly known as Creative Suite) is a collection of software for multimedia production, with Photoshop being its most well-known, flagship program. Below is some information and links to basic instructions on three Adobe products.

Adobe Photoshop is a powerful software program used by everyone from hobbyists to industry professionals to edit, touch up, alter, and experiment with photos.

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Adobe Illustrator is a drawing program that can be used for a variety of design and layout projects like fliers and posters.

Adobe Premiere Pro is a video editing program that will allow you to load and edit video clips and add animations, effects, captions, and music.

Sample video

Copyright Laws You Should Know

Copyright Infringement

Copyright infringement is against the law. Never use other’s creation without their expressed written permission or without the purchase of rights to that material. The penalty for this violation is up to $150,000.


Anyone appearing on camera should sign a release before filming begins.  Better to have it and not need it, than to need it and not have it.  A release gives you permission to use the likeness of a person both commercially and non-commercially. Also, a release protects you against legal issues.  No release is needed if a subject is part of a crowd recorded in a public place, as long as the person is not a focus of the video.  When recording at a private home or facility, you should get a location release. Generally, you have the right to video at or from public places such as public streets, parks, and public events.

Legal Audio & Images

To stay on the legal side of things, use only music, images, and sound that you have verifiable or written permission to use. For example, use public domain music, create your own music and images, or purchase stock images. Never use proprietary audio or images without the expressed consent of the owner.

Fair Use

There exist certain instances in which works can be reproduced under the Fair Use doctrine.  Purposes such as criticism, comment, news reporting, teaching, scholarship, and research are outlined as acceptable. Four factors considered in ruling whether a copyright has been infringed upon or is fair use, are as follows:

  1. The purpose and character of the use, including whether such use is of commercial nature or is for nonprofit educational purposes
  2. The nature of the copyrighted work
  3. The amount and substantiality of the portion used in relation to the copyrighted work as a whole
  4. The effect of the use upon the potential market for, or value of, the copyrighted work  (Copyright.gov)

Copyright Notice

U.S. law no longer requires the use of Copyright notice. However, it can be beneficial to your work and does not require registration or permission from the U.S. Copyright office. Copyright notice should include copyright owner and first year of publication.


To register your work, visit the U.S. Copyright Office for in-depth instruction. The process is fairly simple and low-cost.


Copyright.gov. (February 2013). Copyright Notice. Retrieved from http://www.copyright.gov/circs/circ03.pdf 

Copyright.gov. (n.d.). Definitions. Retrieved from http://www.copyright.gov/help/faq/faq-definitions.html 

Copyright.gov. (n.d.). eCO Online System. Retrieved from http://www.copyright.gov/eco/

Copyright.gov. (n.d.). Fair Use. Retrieved from http://www.copyright.gov/fls/fl102.html

Lee, C. (2010, November 18). How to Cite Something You Found on a Website in APA Style [Blog post]. Retrieved from http://blog.apastyle.org/apastyle/2010/11/how-to-cite-something-you-found-on-a-website-in-apa-style.html

Manzer, A. & Levy, M. (2012, December 21). 9 Copyright Laws Every Video Producer Should Know [Blog post]. Retrieved from http://www.videomaker.com/article/15953-9-copyright-laws-every-video-producer-should-know?utm_source=enews&utm_medium=email&utm_content=article4_2013_mon_09_09&utm_campaign=traffic

Three Point Lighting

Three point lighting is the staple of interview-style lighting. The three “points” in this style of lighting are key, fill, and backlight. Before lighting setup, the space must be examined. The space must be adequately sized to bare your lighting equipment setup. Space behind the subject is also needed for three point lighting.3_pt_lighting

The Key Light

The key is the primary and most important light as it provides most of your subject’s lighting. The key is placed about 45 degrees to the subject’s right or left and about 45 degrees above, aimed straight at the face. The 45-degree angle is simply a starting point. Feel free to adjust it as necessary. The key doesn’t have to be extremely bright. The directionality is more important. Strong shadows and good tonal range should be present. Move the key back to cut down the light emitted.

The Fill Light

The fill light is placed opposite the key and at camera height. The purpose of this light is to fill in the shadows created by the key light, preventing them from getting too dark. The fill light should not create a second shadow. If there are two shadows, that means the fill light is too powerful and needs to be reduced. The fill can be softened by changing the power setting, moving it back, or using a diffuser. Try your fill light at an angle of 15 or 25 degrees, and adjust it to suit your aesthetic.

Don’t have a fill light? No problem. Use reflectors or white foam boards to bounce key light back towards the subject and into the shadows. Use any reflective material to accomplish this. Be mindful that the material shouldn’t introduce any color into the shadow or reflect too much light. If using a reflector, you might need to get pretty close to the subject without letting it show in the frame.

The Back Light

The back light illuminates lights the space above and slightly behind the model. Place the light above their head and behind them so it points about 45 degrees down toward their hair and back. Its purpose is to give some sense of separation between the model and the background. Barn doors are useful in controlling the direction of this light. Use a scrim to reduce the lights intensity or any combination of a dimmer and diffusion paper.

Practice three point lighting to master its traditional use. Experiment with three point lighting to discover new variations.

Click here to view a demonstration of three-point lighting.


Cassidy, K. (2008 May 1). THREE-POINT LIGHTING 101. [Videomaker]. Retrieved from http://www.videomaker.com/article/13531-three-point-lighting-101

Hyman, I. Three Point Lighting: Learn How to Use the Key, Fill, and Back Lights. [Blog post]. Retrieved from http://www.izzyvideo.com/three-point-lighting/



Lighting Setup Checklist

Good lighting is the key to capturing great footage.  Here are some considerations when setting up lights for filming:

1)    Position

Positioning is based on the light’s length, direction, and the potential shadows cast. A light source positioned near the video camera creates what is known as “flat lighting.” As a light is moved farther to the side of the subject it becomes increasingly more dramatic and emotional. When a single light source strikes one side of the subject’s face at a 90-degree angle in relation to the camera, it creates a very dramatic look. And when it is pointed at the wall behind the subject, the result is a dramatic silhouette.

2) Brightness

The overall brightness of a scene is often referred to as being high key or low key. High key lighting floods the entire scene with high levels of light so that everything is brightly lit. It is used for happy or upbeat scenes. By contrast, low key lighting is dark. It makes greater use of shadows than illumination and, as a result, it creates drama and suspense.

3) Quality

A light’s hardness or softness determines its quality. Hard light has a sharp, defined shadow edge and a deep, dark shadow. Hard light draws attention to wrinkles and creases. Under hard light, a subject can look strong, weathered, wicked, or intimidating. Hard light is primarily created with a spot. Soft light has a broad, gradual shadow edge and faint shadow. Soft light is more flattering, concealing wrinkles and face lines. Soft lit subjects appear friendly approachable, and trustworthy. Soften light by adjusting the lamp from spot to flood, or by adding diffusion material.

4) Shape

Shape is about controlling and focusing a light. In most cases, light shouldn’t just wash evenly over everything in the scene. It should only go where it is wanted. The lighting designer selectively shapes light into shafts and pools to highlight certain parts of the scene while allowing others to fall into the shadows. Light can be shaped using household items like foam core, window blinds or even an artificial tree branch.

5) Color

Light color is a huge consideration that is often overlooked in video production. Light color can be easily altered using color gels, and light color has an immense influence on the look and feel of a scene. Yellow or amber gels give a scene a warm feeling. They can also create the look of a morning sunrise. Shots tinted light blue feel cold; like winter. Red or orange light hints at evening, especially when combined with a light position that creates long shadows. Lighting an entire scene with navy blue lighting creates the looks of nighttime. Shots can be tweaked by using a small amount of color, or completely changed by bathing them in gelled light.



Nulph, R. G. (1999 January 1). LIGHT SOURCE: CRAFTING THE KEY LIGHT [Videomaker]. Retrieved from http://www.videomaker.com/article/3658-light-source-crafting-the-key-light

Peters, C. (2014 March 4). LIGHTING VIDEO: FIVE IMPORTANT ASPECTS OF ANY LIGHTING SETUP [Videomaker]. Retrieved from http://www.videomaker.com/videonews/2014/03/lighting-video-five-important-aspects-of-any-lighting-setup