IiL Animation Request Information

Custom animations are becoming very popular with instructors and are a great tool to showcase difficult or mundane topics. The Innovations in Learning team can provide a few different options when it comes to animation.

Types of Animation


An Articulate is a interactive tool used to keep students engaged in instructional video content. Articulates can be used with video content, PowerPoints, and can be used to create basic, interactive animations. Students would trigger certain items to move when they click on certain areas of the screen. This means that the animation won't be incredibly fluid and the movement will pause when the student stops interacting. The plus of Articulate is that since the students are in control of the movement, they can move forward or backward in the animation as they choose. They will focus on what's moving and why it's moving because they're making it happen.

Articulate Example

Video Overlays

An animated video overlay is similar to a GIF in that it will only last a few seconds, but the animation will be on top of video content instead of on a still background. An example of this concept would be if an instructor filmed themselves giving a lecture on the layers of the Earth, that instructor could have the individual layers pop up on the screen next to them.

Video Overlay Example


A GIF is a type of file that contains a moving image that plays on a continuous loop. A GIF is typically just a few seconds long and can be embedded into HTML or can added to PowerPoint/video. A GIF is best used for relatively simple concepts that can be showcased within a few seconds. Examples of this would be a the growth of a flower, the breakdown of a pie chart, and so on.

GIF Example

PowerPoint Transitions

PowerPoint transitions are the fastest and easiest way to bring movement into content. PowerPoint has a lot of built in animated transitions that can bring life to content on a PowerPoint slide. These transitions include objects flying into frame from the side of the screen, objects falling into place, and objects spinning onto the screen. The movement with a PowerPoint transition is prompted by the presenter (the instructor). This means that like Articulate, the movements will not be fluid and the movement will pause when the presenter stops advancing. PowerPoint transitions would most commonly be used to add some basic movement to a standard PowerPoint.

Things to consider

Is the concept you're trying teach be conveyed by an animation, or would the concept be easier to understand in a traditional PowerPoint, video lecture, or written documents. For example, if you're teaching how to give a speech, that concept might be best showcased in a video lecture with examples of a good and bad speech. That video could then be embedded into an Articulate to check the student's knowledge as they go. An example of a concept that could benefit from an animation would be dissecting a pie chart or graph in order to explain each important piece. Concepts that are inherently visual will benefit the most from an animation.

  • Do you want to be on screen during/spliced between the animation?
  • What particular concepts need to be animated vs what concepts can be explained in text, verbally, or through video?
  • Will animating a concept increase the student's understanding of that concept?
  • Do you want students to interact with your content or would you prefer that they observe without interaction?

Depending on the animation style, length of the animation, and amount of interaction, an animation could take up to a few weeks to produce with meetings throughout production to make sure the concept is being portrayed correctly. If there is a video or voice over element to the project, the time to record those materials will have to be taken into consideration as well. The full time frame will be discussed during the meeting with the graphic designer, but keep in mind that some projects could take multiple weeks to complete.

Animation Request Procedure

Below is a basic outline of creating an animation with the Innovations in Learning team:

  1. Set up a meeting with an Innovations in Learning team instructional designer and graphic designer. The instructional designer will be able to help determine which method of animation will be appropriate for the course while the graphic designer will be able to figure out the logistics of the animation, how much time it will take to complete, and the materials needed to move forward. Email innovations@uwp.edu to set up an appointment.
  2. Gather all materials needed for the meeting with the Innovations team. Bring in any materials you want to reference in the animation (graphs, data, images, etc.). If you have example videos or animations please bring those to the meeting as well.
  3. If you're planning on recording audio or video, please bring in a rough outline or script to the meeting. You'll also want to consider scheduling time with the Innovations team to record video in the Learning Glass Studio.
  4. Decide on a deadline. When do you want the animation to be available to students? Does that deadline give the Innovations team enough time to produce a well crafted product?
  5. After a deadline has been decided on and the appropriate materials have been provided, the animation production can begin. The schedule will be laid out at the initial meeting. Each schedule will be different given the nature of the type of animation.
  6. Drafts of the animation will be sent to you for critique throughout production to ensure the product is being created in the way you had envisioned and that the content of the animation is correct.
  7. When the animation is complete, a final draft will be sent for a final sign off and then the animation can be added to the course.
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