MacMost Now 134: Creating iMovie Titles With Keynote

Gary Rosenzweig looks at how to use iWork's Keynote program to make animated titles for use in iMovie. You can use the transitions and special effects in Keynote to build an opening sequence, and then export it as a video to import into iMovie.

Video Transcript
Hi this is Gary with MacMost Now. Are you frustrated by the very limited number of title sequences you can get out of iMovie? Well, there's a way to use another Apple application, Keynote, to generate title sequences that you can use in iMovie. Let's take a look.
Okay, so, in iMovie you can see there's really only about 12 different title sequences, and you can vary them somewhat. But there's really not very many that you can use. And it's not very easy to create like a real set of titles for your movie. But, let's look at Keynote. So Keynote of course is presentation software that comes with iWare. It's a competitor for Powerpoint. So it's got some great transitions in it. So we go ahead and create a simple set of slides that's actually a title sequence. And we can control all sorts of things about this. So for instance, in the format bar here we can make fonts larger, we can change the color of them. Anything we want to do. We can go ahead and change the font. There we go. And we can add another slide. And we can even delete blocks, add blocks, add graphics. Like that. Now we've got two slides that could be an opening sequence. And then we can create a transition between the two of them. Okay, so then when we have two slides, we can go ahead and select the transition pallet here. And select an effect for the transition. So for instance here on this first slide we can effect a way for it to come in, and actually show it to us on this little preview screen. So for instance we can go ahead and do a barn door for the next thing. Or we can go that. And let's try this one here. Now when we play, it does a little effect there. We can also forget about the transition between these, and we can do individual text transition for instance. We can go ahead and do what's called a build in and do something like flames. And now when we play it, we get a cool video technique like that. Now once you have the effect you want, you can make the sequence as long as you want, you can drag images in, you can add all sorts of builds, and different transitions. All you need to do then, at that point, is say export. File Export. And then you have Quicktime as an option. You can go ahead and do time. So the duration of each slide. Then you can go ahead and select the format. You can do full quality, large. Include the audio if you put any sound in the individual slides or not. And then you go ahead and export it. And once you've exported it, you now have a Quicktime movie that you can drop in to iMovie and use as your opening sequence, or closing sequence.
So here I built one. On the first frame I was able to drag the MacMost logo in there. I straightened up the font for this. And I created this second frame here as well. On the MacMost logo, I've actually got a transition of a comet from left to right, and then a comet from right to let. Get the most from your Mac. Then I have a transition between the two frames of confetti. And then, Mac most is going to...MacMost is going to build with a flame, and that'll be my title sequence. So I go ahead and export it, and here's what I end up with.
Okay so my example's a little bit cheesy. But you get the general idea. You can use all sorts of cool transitions, fonts, layout options, in Keynote and export a really interesting opening, closing, or middle sequence for your iMove videos.
Okay, so, here's the thing. I really would like more people to see MacMost now. And the best way to do that is to actually get a nice high ranking in iTunes. Because if you rank high in the iTunes podcast list, you'll get more subscribers. But it's a chicken and the egg thing. You see, in order to get a high ranking you need more subscribers in the first place. So here's where you come in. If you've got friends who you think would enjoy the show and get something out of it, tell them about it. Just send them to MacMost dot com slash itunes dot html. There's a little about the show there, and there's a link for them to subscribe. And if I get some more subscribers to the show, then we'll rank a little higher, and we'll have more people watching.
Till next time, this is Gary Rosenzweig with MacMost now.

Comments: 32 Responses to “MacMost Now 134: Creating iMovie Titles With Keynote”

    9/17/08 @ 9:22 pm

    Excellent show! Had no idea I could use Keynote that way in iMove.
    Very useful tip, Thank you.

    Richard Greene
    8/3/09 @ 8:32 pm

    Like all of Gary’s video podcasts, this is a terrific tip. This one makes it possible to create amazing opening and closing title sequences giving your audience a wow reaction at the beginning and end of your iMovie masterpiece! Thanks, Gary.

    R. francis Stevenson
    11/4/09 @ 11:13 am

    Gary! Thanks ever so much… I have a BIG presentation that I have to get done in a few days. I am new to Keynote and have found the learning cure a little frustrating! For example, trying to get the whole presentation to export to Quick Time. The project would freeze-up in certain parts of the presentation. Some of the video slides would not play or they would play only for a second and then it would transition to the next slide with out playing the whole video? you have given me a new insight into how to skin this Big elephant! thanks!


    Steve Minegar
    11/17/09 @ 6:58 pm

    I am confused as to how you got the Quicktime video into iMovie. I just created a closing sequence on Keynote and now can’t get it to iMovie…what do I do?

      11/17/09 @ 7:21 pm

      In iMovie, choose File, Import, Movies… Then select the movie file you exported from Keynote.

        Steve Minegar
        11/17/09 @ 11:04 pm

        My mac shows the quicktime file that I made from keynote as though it can’t import it…is this because I don’t have Quicktime Pro? Am I saving it in the wrong version?

          Frank in DC
          2/22/10 @ 10:59 pm

          I’m having the same problem as you, Steve. How’d you figure it out? Please tell me that I’m doing something wrong or that there is a workaround!

    Steve Minegar
    11/17/09 @ 11:39 pm

    Figured it out…thanks! Amazing stuff…

    Erin Allen
    12/1/09 @ 5:05 pm

    I’ve got a group of slides in Keynote I want to display as a movie. Because some of my slides have a lot of content and others are just title slides I want to have different timings for when the slides transition, but export to QuickTime means I have to select fixed timings. Is there another way around this I’m missing?

    2/18/10 @ 8:24 am

    Hey Gary – I have an intro put together and it looks like I want it in Keynote. When I export to to Quicktime the timing of the transitions get messed up. I have 2 slides, 1 with several elements that build and then a second slide that is a single image. The biggest issue is the large dead space between the first slide and the second slide? I’m guessing that changing the “fixed timing” settings is what needs to change but that doesn’t seem to help? Any thoughts would be appreciated.

      2/18/10 @ 8:56 am

      Right, you can’t use fixed timings. Keep trying different settings, you’ll get it. Try recording your audio narration over it — even if you don’t say anything, to work on specific timing. It is hard to give you specific advice — you just have to play around and use Keynote for a while to get it to behave like you want.

    Mimi in Chicago
    5/16/10 @ 10:56 pm

    Hey Gary,
    My exported QT movie from Keynote is grayed out when I try to import it to imovie. What’s the trick?

      5/17/10 @ 5:55 am

      Try different export settings from keynote.

    11/15/10 @ 1:06 pm

    Hello! I was looking to make a movie title much like the intro part of the Mary Tyler Moore Theme Song, especially the first 8 seconds of it.
    Is there a way to do that with Keynote? or do I have to travel back in time to get that technology?

      11/15/10 @ 1:13 pm

      To get something exact like that, it is best to use animation software. Something like Flash or the like.

    11/21/10 @ 2:36 pm

    Gary! Your videos have helped me tremendously as I try to learn Keynote, iMovie and make a slideshow video. Thanks immensely! Here’s my question, though. I have some photo clips I dropped into iMovie, added effects, audio, and more. Now I want to add Keynote slides between for titles and other data. I’m having trouble getting the KN slides to fit. Is this adjusted in KN or iMovie? I’ve tried playing with the KN export size. The KN slides are too tall and are cut off.

      11/21/10 @ 3:04 pm

      Arg! I figured it out! I just used the “Fit” in iMovie!

        11/21/10 @ 6:38 pm

        You can also change the size of your Keynote presentation to match the size of the movie. For instance, if you are doing 720p in iMovie (1280×720) then produce a Keynote presentation of the same size. In the Inspector, under Document settings, you can choose any size. Or, you can choose from a selection of sizes (including 720) when starting a new document.

    12/31/10 @ 12:21 pm

    Haha I like how someone’s put adverts for microsoft on a video about mac video editing!

    Kathy Whitehurst
    2/7/11 @ 8:39 pm

    Hi Gary, I am trying to do this in Microsoft PowerPoint for mac. It allows you to save as movie. However, the cool transitions do not come over. Any suggestions. I love you site!

      2/7/11 @ 10:44 pm

      Perhaps PowerPoint just doesn’t support exporting transitions in video? I haven never tried it.

    2/16/11 @ 7:01 am

    I can’t believe how amazingly your videos are. Thanks!

    5/27/11 @ 7:25 pm

    Is it possible to have the Keynote slides play over the video in iMovie, or can you only do that with the iMovie titles?

      5/27/11 @ 7:26 pm

      Not sure what you mean by “play over.” But you can export from Keynote as video, and then import that into iMovie and use it as regular video.

        5/28/11 @ 8:30 am

        Sorry for the imprecise phrasing. What I was looking for was having the title text overtop the moving video on the same clip. So if I have a video clip playing the title is superimposed over that so both play at the same time. I now understand from your tutorial how to create a separate title video and import that into iMovie, but I am looking for a way to layer this title over an existing video clip.

          5/28/11 @ 8:33 am

          I’m guessing you mean you want it semi-transparent? That’s much tougher. You will need to create the titles in Photoshop or something like it, not Keynote. Then export them with 32-bit alpha channels. Then use picture-in-picture. See episode 423. But it is a difficult task unless you have some graphics experience.

            9/26/11 @ 5:47 pm

            Thanks…I’ll keep in mind once I gain some more experience…for now, I’ll keep it to the KISS principle and keep it simple :)

    Ashli Norton
    5/1/12 @ 5:51 pm

    THANK YOU! THANK YOU! Your tutorial really helped me, I just finished a video with Keynote for my app.

    I used a lot of Magic Move ;)

    Oh, ya, here’s the link to my vid

    Kevin Z
    5/17/12 @ 10:58 am


    I have an iphone 4S. I purchased the Keynote APP for iphone/ipad and I’m trying to figure out how to export an intro video I created in the Keynote APP so I can use it in a video I’m creating in Imovie…which is the imovie app for iphone/ipad. Any suggestions?

      5/17/12 @ 11:07 am

      You can’t do it with the iOS app version. There is no way to export a video.

    Kevin Murphy
    11/24/12 @ 3:28 pm

    Your Keynote segment fell into my lap in perfect timing. I had just completed my first Final Cut Pro X video–and realized that there had to be more potential in iMovie than I realized–because FCPX had been a horrible ordeal (I need to learn tons more before I’ll be able to use it well). So, I thought, there must be folks out there who can help me to do more than I have, to date, with iMovie–and there you were, with the Keynote segment.
    Thank you, Gary.

Comments Closed.