MacMost Now 735: Creating Fast Animated Photo Collages With Keynote

You can use Keynote to make photo collages with its smart build feature. These collages can feature photos moving and changing quickly on the screen. You can then export them to video files and use them in iMovie.
Video Transcript / Captions
Closed captioning for this video is available on YouTube: MacMost Now 735: Creating Fast Animated Photo Collages With Keynote.

Hi, this is Gary with MacMost Now. On today's episode let me show you how to use Keynote to create great photo collage videos.

Now I actually get asked this quite a bit. How can we create cool collage videos that are really fast and things that you commonly see on television? If you use typical slide show stuff the pictures move kind of slowly from one to another. But you want to create something quick say for an intro or montage. You can use Keynote to do that.

There is something in Keynote called Smart Build and you can use that and then export the video.

So here I am in Keynote. I just started with a blank Keynote presentation just the one with the black background. I am going to change this first and only slide here to be completely blank. I am only going to need this one slide because I am going to use Smart Build for the animation.

To add a Smart Build there are various ways you can do it. One for instance, is to just go to Insert - Smart Build and pick the type of Smart Build you want to use. So let's just use the Swap one as an example. So, it brings up the inspector here and shows you the Smart Build settings. It also brings up this little window here where you can add images. You can do it directly from the Media browser. You can also drag and drop from the Finder. I am going to go into the photo section here in iPhoto and just grab a bunch of different photos here and drag them all into this drop zone. It is going to drag twelve of them in there. Now I can close that and I can see that I have twelve images in here. If I were to play it now I would see one and I would use the forward arrow key to advance to the next.

Now that's not what I want. I want it to automatically advance. So with the Smart Build selected as I have here I can use the inspector to change how it works. One of the things I can do, for instance, is to speed things up a bit. Let's do it as half a second. You can see the preview here. It's a little bit better, more of what I want.

I can also click on more options here and get the Build Order. Now I want them all to build the same but instead of on click I want them I want them automatically to go have them go with no delay. Now you can see a preview of what happens. So now let me go and try it out and you can see I get a very fast animation of all of these photos.

Now let's try some other ones. Swap probably isn't the best one. Something like say Shuffle, you can see the preview in here has an interesting effect. But also Push and Flip would be a good one. Let's go and preview Flip. Then if it is going too fast I can simply go and slow things down by changing the duration here. So this might work a little bit better. So you can imagine some music or maybe some intra-audio going over at the beginning of the video.

So once you have the effect that you want and it looks just like you want when you play it you can, of course, export it as a video and you can go and just use Fixed Timing for the advance so it starts automatically and then use Full Quality, Large and export it that way.

Here it is in the Quick Time Player so it is a straight video. I can take this video file now and just drop it into iMovie.

One detail you may want to take care of is in the inspector go to your Document settings here and you can actually set the slide size. So for instance if you are creating something at 720, this is perfect at 1280 x 720. If you are creating a video at 1080 then you want to switch to 1920 x 1080 here and it will resize everything. When you export the video it will be that size. It will match what you are doing in iMovie.

So this is another example of why Keynote is an invaluable tool for anybody that creates videos whether you are using iMovie for home stuff or you are doing so pro stuff with Final Cut Pro you can use this to create all sorts of cool special effects, cool little slide shows like this. Keynote is definitely a must have. Just export the video and then import it into your video editing software.

Hope you found this useful. Until next time this is Gary with MacMost Now.

Comments: 13 Responses to “MacMost Now 735: Creating Fast Animated Photo Collages With Keynote”

    Wayne Garriepy
    7 years ago

    Absolutely, one of the least understood, yet greatest apps for video production. Even more amazing than I think Apple realizes. Been singing it’s praises for nearly 6 years now. Does things even FCP can’t do.

    7 years ago

    I can’t find Keynote on my iMac. Where do I get it?

    Heiner Rodas
    7 years ago

    Gary, You’re awesome, this tip is priceless. Thanks!

    Paddy Zoller
    7 years ago

    Gary, I love this tip. I’ve used KN to create movies before and I’ve even put them into a iMovie, but I’ve done it by saving as a QT .mov to Desktop and then moving it to the same folder as my video imported from my movie camera. If one doesn’t have a movie camera and just wants to save the QT movie to the DT or ? how do you get them into iMovie. Sure appreciate your help on this. I’ll use KN a ton more in the future. Loved Wayne’s comment….he’s right, Apple does not give it enough Weight.

      7 years ago

      Save them anywhere. Then choose File, Import, Movies inside iMovie.

    Paddy Zoller
    7 years ago

    Thanks Gary, funny thing is that I tried just that before and it didn’t work AND then I tried again (with your encouragement and WA-LA… works. Super!! Maybe I just needed the confidence that it was the correct way. In doing reading on the internet I read that it takes a conversion program for .mov files. Any thoughts on that?

    Thanks again for all the terrific content.

      7 years ago

      .mov is just a file type — you could have many different types of video format in a .mov. So it is probably true that some .mov files need to be converted. But most do not.

        Paddy zoller
        7 years ago

        Thanks again. Much appreciated.

    7 years ago

    Can I also put some music on it or i should use other software?

    7 years ago

    The one problem I have with quick transitions is that often the individual pic can’t get fully resolute. Even on the demo you built, the pics were grainy and even on the video after you exported. How can we overcome this? Is it entirely dependent on the speed of the CPU?

      7 years ago

      If exported to video, it might depend on the amount of compression.

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