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🏗️How to Make Animated ✨GIFs✨ For Amazon Web Services (AWS) Architectures:🏗️ A Step-by-Step Tutorial🏗️

| 6 min read


AWS architectural diagrams are a must-have tool for visualising the design and structure of cloud infrastructures.

They give clear, concise visual representations that make it simple to express complex system designs.

But what if we could go a step farther with these static diagrams? What if we could make them more interactive and engaging?


When I came across Ankit Jodhani’s LinkedIn article, I was immediately attracted by the dynamic architecture diagrams he displayed. These graphics twinkled, sparkled, and undulated, bringing the observer into the world of the architecture in a manner that static diagrams simply couldn’t. The mystery surrounding this animated wizardry prompted the question: what advanced, possibly extraterrestrial technology was at work here?

Surprisingly, the solution was not found in the far corners of the universe, but rather within a piece of software we’d known and used for years - PowerPoint. Yes, the secret behind these vivid diagrams was the same PowerPoint we’d used for many school presentations and office reports.

Ankit brought dynamic life into the traditionally static AWS architecture diagrams by cleverly manipulating PowerPoint’s animation tools, giving them a whole new level of involvement and engagement. His work exemplifies how creativity is not about the tools we use, but about how we utilize them.

The fascination of this unique method of displaying architecture schematics was simply too strong to resist. As a result, I’ve decided to examine and demystify this technique, presenting you with a detailed step-by-step instruction for animating your own AWS architectural diagrams.

By the end of this journey, you will not only have a better understanding of PowerPoint’s capabilities, but you will also be able to build eye-catching AWS architectural diagrams that will wow your clients and coworkers.

Join me as we explore the unknown area of animated AWS architecture diagrams and bring your AWS architecture diagrams to life!


Before we begin the step-by-step process of developing colourful and interesting AWS architectural diagrams, let’s double-check that we have all of the necessary tools. These preparations will not only prepare you to follow this course, but will also lay the groundwork for your future endeavours in building dynamic presentations.

The following are the essential requirements:

Microsoft PowerPoint: The first thing you’ll need to bring your AWS architectural diagrams to life is Microsoft PowerPoint. This article was created with the most recent version of PowerPoint from Office 365 in mind, ensuring you’re taking advantage of all the latest features and functionalities.

AWS PowerPoint Toolkit: A toolbox is essential for creating accurate and visually appealing AWS visualisations. It provides a comprehensive collection of AWS-specific icons and resources. You may get it from the official AWS website by clicking here.

AWS Icons Finder: While not required, this tool can greatly increase your efficiency. This is a small web app for fast searching and copying AWS icons for your diagrams. To try it out, go to James Kim’s AWS Icons Finder.

How to Make Animated AWS Architecture Diagrams

In this section, we’ll go over how to make a dynamic, animated AWS architecture diagram. From selecting your architectural layout to putting the finishing touches with animation and effects, this procedure entails a series of comprehensive processes. Let’s get started!

Choosing an AWS Architecture

To begin, make sure you have an appropriate AWS Architecture on hand. I’ll be using the easy to understand Git to S3 Webhooks example from the AWS Architecture Deck for this instruction.


How to Choose Your shape

Now, choose the shape you’d like to move around your building. I’ll use a simple circle for this exercise.


Customizing Your Shape

This is where you can be artistic! You can change the colours and shape effects, like a glow, to make your chosen shape look even better.


What about Animation?

To animate your icons, move your shape to where you want it to start, and then go to the animation tab. Here, you can choose how your video will look. In this case, I like the ”Fade” look most. Let’s select that.


Positioning Your Shapes

To move your shape, copy and paste it to each spot where you want it to go.


Fine-tuning Your Animation

I suggest that you open the Animation box and give your shapes an exit animation. So, they will be gone when the movement is over. For the same reason, I chose ”Fade” for the closing animation as well. Make sure you choose the red ”Fade” option, as this is the animation for leaving, while the green ”Fade” choice is the animation for entering. Then, put your motions in the right order in the Animation pane.


Adding motion to our animations

To give your animation movement, click on each dot and choose “Add animation.” Then, go to Motion Paths and pick “Custom Path” from the list. This lets you make a motion path for your shapes that fits your needs. You can also choose from a number of pre-made paths, such as straight lines or loops, depending on what you want. Make sure that these lines are in the Animation pane in the right order.


Setting the order of your animations

If you want all of your animations to start at the same time, select them all and click “Start With Previous.” Also, start the animations in this order: first the green one (for the entrance), then the blue one (for the moving), and finally the red one (for the exit).


Reviewing Your Animation and Exporting It

Once all the routines are set, you can play through it to make sure everything looks right. Change the order of the images if you need to. When you are happy with your motion, you can save the slide as a GIF. How long it takes to make your GIF depends on how good you want it to be.


With these steps, you should be able to make your own AWS design diagrams that are both interesting and useful. If you have any problems, don’t worry. If you send me a LinkedIn DM, I can also send you a sample PowerPoint that you can use as a guide for your own work.


Now it’s time to turn your static diagrams into active, interesting presentations that will wow your audience.

Again, a big thank you to Ankit Jodhani for giving me the desire to research how to do this!

Happy AWS_ing!!

Thank you for taking the time to read this! If you like the article, please clap (up to 50 times!) and connect with me on LinkedIn and Medium to remain up to speed on my future articles. 😅

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