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I am dipping my toes into graphic design. I recently saw the commercial in this tweet. In that tweet, something like PowerPoint is used at 3 seconds in and again at 8 seconds in. There is some color gradient with a smoke effect on top of it, then the text.

My question is, what tool was likely used to create these "slides"? I attempted to create something similar in PowerPoint. However, I can't get that level of sophistication with PowerPoint. For that reason, I'm looking for another tool to learn to get that level of sophistication.

Thank you!

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    It looks like in your example your smoke is moving so its video. How to do it with video is a different question. I would not use PowerPoint to develop any graphics. It's low resolution and stubborn. Develop your graphics in other programs and import them into PowerPoint. To make a smokey "slide" graphic that is monochromatic find a nice big picture of smoke (at least 2000 pix) open it in illustrator, put it over a colored rectangle of your choice, then try the transparency settings on the smoke. Lower opacity might make the effect you want, or some of the transparency settings like "Overlay". – Webster Jul 11 '17 at 19:30
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    As webster said, that was definitely not made in powerpoint. If you wish to recreate moving smoke behind text like that, then I would use Adobe After Effects or Premiere Pro to do so – Manly Jul 11 '17 at 19:42
  • Layering videos makes it more realistic, but you can create similar effects more simply depending on what you're looking to do. I think it'd be good to try something and then post a more focused question – Zach Saucier Jul 11 '17 at 21:37
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The example you linked to is a video, but I assume since you mentioned "graphic design", you don't actually mean a video.

You can create similar effects using almost any decent raster image editor which supports layers. GIMP(dot)org is free, so here's an answer based on using that software.

Find or take a photo of some smoke, perhaps something like this: enter image description here

  1. In GIMP, Click File > New to set up a new document.

  2. Set the foreground and background colours (the colours of your gradient) as required, by clicking on the foreground and background colour squares under the toolbar.

  3. Use the Gradient tool to make a gradient, by clicking and dragging on the image from one corner to the other.

  4. Click File > Open as Layers and select and open the smoke image. Resize or reposition as necessary using the Scale Tool and Move Tool.

  5. Set the layer mode of the smoke image layer to "Screen" and lower the opacity until you get the effect you want. In my example below, around 47% opacity.

  6. Then type some text using the Text Tool.

Example using GIMP

Example using GIMP showing arrangement of layers

  1. To export the image in a viewable image format, click File > Export As - choose a file format such as JPEG or PNG if you want to share it on the web. Save your work using File > Save As if you want a GIMP XCF file which retains the layers, which you can edit in the future.

Here is the XCF file for this example, if you want to examine it. The font is Roboto Light which you can get free from google fonts.

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