How to Create Simple Animations using Keynote
Stop frame animation creates the illusion of movement by playing a series of still images in quick succession. Key frame animation achieves a similar effect by defining a start and end point, how long it takes to move from one to the other, and the shape of the path. Keynote can achieve this effect in two ways: as a transition from slide to slide, or as an action within the same slide. These techniques can be used to make your presentations more dynamic and eye-catching, but also as a way to create simple animated movies.
Duplicate slide (Edit > Duplicate, or Command-D).
On the duplicate slide move the object you wish to animate to its end location (you can lock other objects by choosing Arrange > Lock or Command-L).
In the Inspector (Option-Command-I) choose the Slide Inspector, make sure the Transition button is selected, then with the first slide selected in the Navigator (View > Navigator) choose the Magic Move effect.
The Slide Inspector, with Transition set to Magic Move .
If you’re using Keynote to create an animated movie (rather than simply as an effect in a presentation), you will also need to start transitions automatically and decide how long the delay between slides should be.
To export your slides as a movie, choose Share > Export then click the QuickTime button.
Choose Fixed Timing from the Playback Uses: drop down menu. If you set the slides to transition automatically in the Inspector, slide and build durations in the Export window will be ignored.
The indicated Slide and Build durations are ignored if the Start Transition is set to ‘Automatically’ in the Slide Inspector.
It is important to note that using this method, Keynote places a slight pause between slides, whatever your settings for delay and/or duration, so if you want the effect of constant smooth animation with no pauses, then the next method is for you!
This method allows you to duplicate an object (image, shape, text box) on the same slide and define the path along which it travels.
Select the object you wish to animate.
In the Inspector (Option-Command-I) choose the Build Inspector.
Click the Action button then choose the ‘Move’ effect – a copy of the object will appear (known as a ghost) and a red path joining it to the original.
Object with its ghost and motion path.
Move the ghost object to its destination. You can create complex paths by using one of the following methods:
Option-Click on the path to create a node and move the node; in this case the properties in the Build Inspector will apply to the whole path.
Click the ‘Add Action’ plus button: this adds another ghost with a second path whose properties are independent of the first.
Clicking the ‘Add Action’ button allows you to define a ‘complex’ path.
Once you have more than one moving object on the same slide, viewing paths is achieved by clicking the red button at the bottom right hand corner of an object to reveal its ghosts and their motion paths. These disappear when you click another object so Option-Click on the button to keep them visible.
To select a path click on it with the mouse, or click the ‘More Options’ button in the Build Inspector and select from the list. You can also use this list to reorder the actions, and decide when they start. Again, if your aim is to create a freestanding animated movie (as opposed to an animated presentation), you will probably want to choose to start Builds (or Actions in this case) automatically.
A neat effect that you can create using this action is scrolling titles:
- Firstly, create your titles in a text box and make sure you have space at the top and bottom of the box by adding a few returns. Move the text box to the very bottom of the slide so that only the space above the uppermost text is showing.
- Add a Move action to the text box object. Grab the bottom of the ghost that appears and drag it all the way up so that only the empty space below the lowermost text is visible.
- Finally make sure the Acceleration box says ‘None’ and set the duration so that the titles scroll like they do in the movies!
Start by writing your titles – add returns at the top and bottom of the text box.
Drag the text box to the bottom of the slide so you can’t see the text.
Add a Move action.
Drag the ghost to the top of the slide so you can’t see the text.
To make the movie file as smooth as possible choose Custom… from the Formats drop-down menu.
Set the frame rate as high as it will go!.