Wednesday, October 2, 2019

Talkin' Heads w/ Google

One of my favorite projects to do with kids is to show them out to make Google Slides animations. And one of my favorite projects to animate is your very own talking head!

So how do we do it?

First you need to set up a fresh new Google Slide deck and you need to take a picture of your pretty little face. One thing that makes this tricky is that Google recently ditched the "Take a snapshot" feature from Google Slides. So while you used to be able to take a picture directly into Slides, now you have the extra step of inserting a picture from your computer. I highly recommend Alice Keeler's Webcam Snapshot, which takes a webcam snap and uploads it directly to your Google Drive.

[[UPDATE 2/1/18]] Take a snapshot is BAAAAACK! Yes!!! Makes this project a bit easier.

From there all you'll need to do is add the image to your slide from Google Drive.

Now you'll want to crop the background out of the image -- I like to use the oval crop tool to get as close as I can to isolating the head shape.

Then we need to create a mouth flap and a mouth color. The way I do this is by creating a copy of the face and cutting down a section that will move. I always put a solid color behind the mouth flap as well:

Now that all your layers are in place, you just need to copy the slide and move the mouth flap incrementally for each new frame.

Now you're talkin'.

Now you add something like a screen recorder (my recommendation is Screencastify) and you are creating your own animations, cartoons, and movies.

You can do this with anything -- it doesn't have to be your mouth. You can wave hands, have the wind blow your hat off, or dance a jig. The real beauty of a project like this is that you are showing students how to harness the tool -- now they can create whatever they want with it. The genius is the simplicity.


  1. Replies
    1. Yes! I saw that right after I published this post. So pumped that it's back!

  2. This is so awesome! Thanks for the tutorial. We are stuck with no green screen app for our MacBook Airs and wanted to do something like this to culminate a research project. This is a perfect solution! So happy I saw this posted on Twitter.

    1. Awesome! Glad you found it useful. I would love to see your projects when you finish them up with your students.

  3. This is great! I have done a stop animation with Google Slides pres and this is a great addition! Made this in less than 10 min.

  4. Where did you get the outfit, hat, hair?

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