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Create an Animated Video Using PowToon

How do I start a new project?

To edit a readymade PowToon template:

  1. After logging in to Powtoon, navigate to the "Workspace" page by clicking on the home tab on the left-hand side. In this same menu, select "Templates" to see browse your template options.

Homepage of powtoon

select templates

  1. You can narrow your search for templates by choosing a template category. Click on the drop down menu under ‘Your Template Category” and select a category.

choose template category

  1. You can preview the template by clicking on it, and select "Edit the Template" in the new window to get started.

hover over the template you want to use

use this template

To start a blank PowToon from scratch:

  1. After logging in to Powtoon, select "blank" in the menu on the left side of your screen.

blank tab in the menu on the left side of the powtoon homescreen

  1. Choose the layout and theme of your powtoon in the pop up windows.

new video format options

choose your video theme

  1. You will then be presented with a blank powtoon page to begin editing.

new powtoon editing screen

Choosing a look gives you access to readymade scene templates, shapes and props that give your video a specific "style and feel". If you do not want to choose a specific look, you can click the "x" in the upper right hand corner to continue. Choosing a blank Powtoon gives you more creative control over your video, but requires a greater investment of time.

How do I add my own narration/voiceover?

  1. In studio view, click on the "Sound" tab on the right hand side
  2. Click on "Add voiceover"
  3. You can upload a pre-recorded audio file (.mp3, .aac, .ogg) or record a voiceover within Powtoon with an external microphone

sound menu open on the right hand side

How do I change the slide background?

To change the slide colour:

  1. Click on the settings icon found in the upper left hand corner of each slide
  2. Click on 'Color'

select slide settings icon

pick your slide colour

  1. Choose a colour from the colour palette provided, use the eyedropper tool to choose a colour from your slide, enter a custom HEX code or click the dropdown toggle to open the advanced colour selector.

powtoon slide with a green background

To change the background image:

  1. In studio view, click on the "Background" tab on the right hand side.
  2. You can upload your own background image or choose a background image from Powtoon's stock image collections

background image selected from background library

How do I add shapes, characters, props, etc.?

  1. In studio view, click on either the "Characters", "Props" or "Shapes" tab.
  2. You can browse the collections that appear or type your search term into the search bar if you are looking for a specific object. Search queries will return results from all looks.
  3. Click on the object to add it to your slide

characters shapes and props icons in the menu bar

How do I add text?

  1. In studio view, click on the "Text" tab on the right hand side
  2. You can add titles, subtitles, body text and other pre-designed text elements.

Text menu open with a title text box on the powtoon screen

How do I add my own images and videos?

  1. In studio view, click on the ‘Images’ tab on the right hand side.
  2. Click ‘Upload Image’ to upload your own image files (.jpg, .jpeg, .png, .gif).

image menu open with upload image as an option

  1. In studio view, click on the ‘Videos’ tab on the right hand side.
  2. Click ‘Upload Video’ to add video files (.mp4). Video files cannot be longer than 90 seconds or bigger than 100Mb

video menu open with upload video as an option

How do I control how text and images enter and exit?

  1. Click on the object to select the sequence in the timeline. Drag either side of the blue highlighted sequence to control where and when your image appears in your video.
  2. Click on the right angle triangle on either side of the sequence.
  3. An effects panel will open where you can change how the object enters and exits.

enter and exit effects menu open

How do I animate shapes, images, props, etc.?

  1. Select the object to animate by clicking on i
  2. Click on the settings icon
  3. Click on "A to B"

click on image settings

select a to b

set a to b movement

  1. Adjust the object's size, rotation and position. This will become the final frame of your animation.

character options

  1. Use the playback controls to preview your animation. Make adjustments as necessary

How do I swap images?

Swapping images is an easy way to edit templates. This feature allows the new image to inherit all of the properties (animation, size, placement, etc.) of the previous image.

  1. Select the image that you would like to swap out by clicking on it. A dotted frame should appear around the selected image.
  2. Click on the "Swap" icon which will appear near the top left corner of your selected image.
  3. Select the replacement image using the tabs on the right hand side

select swap

select image to swap

How do I add a new slide?

  1. Click on the "+" icon at the bottom of your slides list to add a new slide.

Screenshot: Adding a new slide

How do I add slide transitions?

  1. Click on the transition icon between slides to bring up the slide transitions panel.
  2. Select and click a transition type to apply the effect.

Screenshot: Adding slide transitions

How do I adjust the timing of my video?

To adjust slide duration:

  1. Use the small "+" and "-" controls on the right of the master timeline to add and remove seconds from your slide
  2. Click on the large, blue playback button to preview your changes

Screenshot: Adjusting slide duration


To adjust the duration of individual objects:

  1. Click on the object icon in the master timeline to select the object sequence 
  2. Click and drag the vertical segments to change how long the object appears in the slide and the duration of any animations that are applied to the object 
  3. Click the small playback button to preview your changes

Screenshot: Adjusting object durations


How do I add background music?

  1. In studio view, click on the "Sound" tab on the right hand side.
  2. Choose from Powtoon's list of free background tracks or click on "Add music" to upload your own audio files (.mp3, .aac, .ogg)
  3. Before uploading a music file, you should be aware of any copyright limitations and make sure to credit the appropriate creators if required. Check out the library's guide on finding audio for your videos for a list of recommended resources

sound menu open with free sounds available for use

How do I export my finished video?

  1. Click on the white ‘Export’ button located in the top right hand corner of the editing page.
  2. Click on the YouTube button to upload directly to YouTube or the "MP4" button to download the video file as an .mp4 file.

export your powtoon

How do I add my videos to my class group?

  1. Begin on your homepage.
  2. Find “My Powtoons” on the right side of your homepage, and select “View all”.

powoon homepage with a mouse icon clicking on view all

  1. Locate the powtoon you want to submit to a class, and click on the ellipses next to the title. 
  2. In the pop up menu, click on “Duplicate to” and select your class group from the list. The default setting is "Just for me" which means that you are the only one who can view the Powtoon.

finished powtoon with class sharing options open

Why can't I see the timeline or the objects toolbar?

  1. To make sure that you are editing in "Full Studio" view, navigate to the Edit/Create slider at the top left hand side of the Powtoon studio page.
  2. Drag slider to ‘Create’ to get full studio view and timeline control.

get full timeline control

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