Create Animated Backgrounds For Keynote Slides

The opening and closing slides of a presentation are often on the screen for a while, so why not make them more interesting than just some text? You can easily add a video as a background to a keynote slide. With iMovie you can create a few different backgrounds that you can reuse.
Video Transcript / Captions
Closed captioning for this video is available on YouTube: Create Animated Backgrounds For Keynote Slides.

Hi, this is Gary with Today I'm going to show you how to make an animated background for your Keynote slides.

I was recently giving a presentation and I had a Welcome screen up as the first slide on my Keynote presentation. Something, kind of, like this. Except I didn't want to have a static background. It's kind of boring. I thought it would be more interesting more modern if I was kind of an animated looping background. So it turns out it's pretty easy to make these and very easy to use them in Keynote.

So I'm going to do it here using iMovie because you probably already have iMovie on your Mac or you can download it for free from the Mac App Store. You can also use something like Motion or Final Cut or an Adobe product. All sorts of things to create these animated backgrounds and even download some that are already online. You can search for them. But that costs money and all those apps cost money as well. So let's do it in iMovie.

So I'm going to create an iMovie project here and I'm going to go straight to backgrounds. There are a bunch of different backgrounds that iMovie has. Some of them are already animated. Three that really work for this are Curtain, Under Water, and Blobs. I'm going to use Blobs. I think it's a very versatile one. I'm going to drag and drop it here into the timeline. I'm going to adjust the timeline so I can see more of it and stretch the edge so it's a minute long. Why one minute? Well four seconds would be too short. People looking at it would notice that it's looping. A minute is plenty long enough and it's also not going to create a huge file.

So the one thing I don't like here is the color. I don't want to be stuck with this red and yellow color all the time. I want to be able to adjust that. So what I'm going to do is I'm going to use this slider here. I'm going to click on the color tools here and I'm going to use this slider to desaturate it. So now I have a gray scale set of blobs that I can colorize inside of keynote. Let's Export, Share, File from the file menu. I'm going to use Full Resolution 720 may work for a lot of things. I'm going to use High Quality. You may want to go with Best. Better Quality Compression. I will Save it out as Slidebackground.

So now back in Keynote I'm going to drag and drop that file onto the slide. I've saved it here on the Desktop so I'll drag it in and it's going to appear on top of all my text. So with that video selected I'm going to go to Arrange and send it to the back. So the next thing I want to do, is with it still selected, I will go to Format, Movie. I will change it from Start movie on click, turn that Off. Change it to Repeat. I can either have it Loop or Loop Back and Forth. Loop Back and Fort actually works kind of nice because it will go forwards and then backwards so there won't be a dividing line when things suddenly snap back to the beginning.

Now if I Play I can see it in action. Now how about coloring it in. So to color it in I'm going to create a shape. I'm going to put a square there and drag it so it's full size. I'm going to send it backward so it's behind the text but in front of the video. Now under Format, Style I can change its opacity to something like 50% or even less. Let's do 35%. Then I can change its color to whatever I need. So let's change it to a teal color there. Now when I Play you can see I've got a colored background. So I can change the color of that shape on top of it to make it a different color. That works really well.

So now I can create a bunch of these. I can create the Under Water one. I can create the Curtains one. I can go into another app and create more there or download some online and have a variety of them I can use on these opening screens. I can also use them on closing screens as usually those are up for awhile at the end of presentations too.

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