Animating Along a Path In Keynote

You can create complex motion animations in keynote using a variety of functions. An object can follow the path of a shape. You can also add scaling, rotation and other special effects. You can also build an animation step-by-step and combine changes into a single movement.
Video Transcript / Captions
Closed captioning for this video is available on YouTube: Animating Along a Path In Keynote.

Hi, this is Gary with Let me show you how to animate an object over a path in Keynote.

I'm using Keynote version 6. I want to show you a neat animation feature that you've got in Keynote. You can animate any object, a piece of text, an image, whatever you want. But in this case let's just do something simple. Let's just put a shape on the screen and let's say we want to animate this star to move around in a path.

Now in order to create a path for this star to follow we need to create a shape. Now for most of these it doesn't make much sense. A line following a path on line makes sense, using the curve here makes sense. Even a circle or a square can be used sometimes.

But let's draw with a pen and I'll just be able to create a path here and you can hold down and create a nice curve and I can just create some lines like that. When I'm done I'll hit Escape. So I've got this path here and then I've got this star. I want to be able to select them both. So let me move the path to the back so now I can select the star and path.

All I need to do from here is to go to Format/Shapes and Lines and select Make Motion Path from Shape. Then I have to select, out of these two, which one is the path. I'll select that one and you can see it moves the star to the beginning of the path. You can see a shadow of it at the end of the path.

Now I can hit Play and when I click you can see how it follows the path.

A few things of interest here. The original path, that shape, is still there but I don't need it any longer. I can actually select it and Delete it. You can see the star is here and I've got the red button there which then shows me the path. So I can see the path remains even though the original object is gone.

I can also do various things to change the path now. One of the things I've got here is this plus button at the bottom. I can actually set it to do things like blink or bounce. Let's have it jiggle here at the beginning of the path. Hit play, it jiggles, and then I hit forward arrow again and it follows the path. So it is basically doing a bunch of different things in the animation.

I click on the final one here and then I see all the points here and I can actually move them around. A double click on them will change it to a curve which is rather nice to be able to do. I can also select and delete one and I can control click and then is a bunch of different things I can do to the point itself. I can also set something here at the end for another kind of effect when the animation is over.

Now there is another part for the animation for the slide as well as other things you may have set. So you go to Animate panel here on the right and I've got this selected. I can see in the Build Order here I've got the jiggle that I've set right there and also the shape move. I can select each one and I can also set how it starts.

So I can have it just immediately happen after the jiggle like that so now I don't have to hit the spacebar or forward arrow again. It just starts automatically. You also see various things here on the right as I have this selected. This is selecting the animation. You can see its called the Move. I can set the duration, the ease in and out, and whether I just want it to be linear or not. I can also add those same actions here at any point.

So an action at the beginning of the move and an action at the end of the move. So in addition to the little special effects like jiggle and such you can also change something in it, like say the scale, and you can do it from this button as well. So let's scale this up here at the end and we can have it get much larger.

I can look at it in the Build Order here and I can see there is that scale there and I can have it happen after Build 2. I can even have it happen with Build 2. So Build 2 is the move and Build 3 is the scale. So what is going to happen is it will scale up as it is moving.

Now you can actually use Animations to create everything here instead of using a path. So I want to show you how to do that.

I've started here with the star over again. I'm going to Add an Effect. I'm going to add a Move. You can see it creates basically a simple line here. I can put that line there, I can make it into a curve, and then I could add another action, another Move, and put this somewhere else and turn this into a curve.

Then the cool thing is that I could do other modifications here. I can go to this one and I can add a rotation to it. So now if I look at the Build Order it will move this first part, rotate, and then move again. But I could add these into each other so that they happen at the same time. So I have this one happens on click, this one happens with Build 1 so it is going to rotate while it is going, and then this one will happen immediately after, it won't wait for a click. So now you get this combination of things. Rotation and then a Move.

You can do it all without adding a shape and you can use that to better combine things. You can even add, say right here, have it pause and do a jiggle right there, and I can see the Build Order. It moves and rotates together, it will jiggle right after that, and it will move again after that.

Comments: 6 Responses to “Animating Along a Path In Keynote”

    lauren eisen
    5 years ago

    awesome! thank you for the very helpful & useful tutorial!

    Law Thim Fook
    5 years ago

    Great tip, Gary. Thanks and with much gratitude.



    Juan Salazar
    5 years ago

    Gary, I follow your instruction step by step but I can’t get available the option “Make motion path from shape”

      5 years ago

      This is a great idea in keynote and I am really wanting to use it. I have the latest version and no matter how much I try to send the star to the back or front, I cannot get “make motion path from shape” to work. It is constantly greyed out. I think the previous comment is also having the same problem. Macmost is great and if wasn’t for Macmost, I would have sold my mac and gone back to horrible windows.

        5 years ago

        Try creating a blank Keynote presentation. Just put one item on the slide, and try it with that. Get the hang of it first, and then try it in an existing project.

    Lou Schultz
    5 years ago

    I need take an object on a slide and move it to a specific location. Next I need to start a new slide and have the original object at the location it was moved to on slide one. I could do these easily with the old version of keynote but not with the new one. I may have as many as 25 objects I am moving on a slide and now I have to copy each position and paste a copy at this position on the next slide. It is taking me forever.

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