I have been experimenting with gradient fills for a recent project. First, the gradient tool in PPT 2010 is great! It still has some usability issues, but overall it is easy to use and has a lot of flexibility. Here is one effect I developed and below is a link to download a slide with the gradient shape.

1. Start with an oval. No outline and any fill.

2. After applying a custom gradient fill here is the result.

3. To create the gradient fill I adjusted 5 elements:
1. Open the FORMAT SHAPE dialog, go to the FILL section and for fill type choose GRADIENT FILL
2. Change the type of gradient to PATH
3. Make the far left color black. Slide to position of 10-15%. Transparency = 0% (solid black).
4. Move second color to right side at position of 80%. Make color white, or change Brightness to 100% (white) and set Transparency to 100% (no fill).
5. Add a third color bar/stop even further to the right at position of 95%. Make color white (or set brightness to 100% to change any color to white) and make it slightly transparent with Transparency at 25%.

4. Now position gradient cirle under any object for a bit of perspective.

5. Because the shape was created with transparency, it can go onto any color background.

Download slide with gradient shape here (35K).

– Troy @ TLC