MacMost Now 753: Simultaneous Videos With Keynote

While iMovie only lets you include one picture-in-picture at a time, you can use Keynote to merge multiple videos. The technique involves putting many videos on one slide, and then exporting the presentation as a new video. You can use this to create a variety of effects.
Video Transcript / Captions
Closed captioning for this video is available on YouTube: MacMost Now 753: Simultaneous Videos With Keynote.

Hi, this is Gary with MacMost Now. On today's episode let't take a look at another way that
Keynote can be used as an advanced video tool.

So, iMovie has lots of limitations. It is a great video tool and it is very easy to use but for instance picture in picture you can only have one other video on top of your existing video. You can combine two videos at the same time but no more.

Well, with Keynote you can actually put multiple videos on the same slide. So you have the ability to put three, or four, or more videos on a slide and have them all play together. Then you can export that as a video. So here is a simple way, for instance, to combine four videos in one using Keynote.

So in Keynote I am just going to create a new document from a theme. I am just going to use the black background here and then I am going to get rid of the default text so I have a blank canvas to work with. Let's set the view to 75% so I can see the entire slide. Now I am going to direct some videos to it. So in the Finder here I've got four videos I want to drag and I want to have them appear at the same time. I'm going to select all four; these are just standard quick time movies. Drag them all in and they will appear.

Now, while I have them all selected I am going to go to the Inspector and I'm going to shrink them all so they will fit better. Right now they are pretty large so I am going to create them where they are 360 in width. So now I have all these videos here and I am going to arrange them so that they will fit altogether in a nice grid.

But first let's take a look at them and figure out which one goes where. Look at this one here, this is me in the upper left. So I can see that is the upper left video that I want to use. So I'm going to put that one here in the upper left, this one should be upper right. This is me in the lower right, so I'm going to stick that one down here and this one down here should be the upper right, so I'm going to move that one up there, and that means this one goes down here.

Now I can use the guides in Keynote to really easily lock these on. So for instance I will lock this one that way, this one across here and this one I will lock in a nice grid. So let's move these closer, very easily and there we go. So now I have them all together and when I play them they should all play at the same time and in a nice sequence.

Now it really doesn't work very well when you just play them here, just play and it kind of previews it. The audio is a little out of sync and it doesn't quite work. So what does work really well is to export.

I am going to File, Export and here it has the time to basically render each video and make sure every frame is perfect. Whereas playing it in real time it has trouble keeping up with four high definition videos playing at the same time.

I go to Fixed Timing for the export here. I go to Quick Time Export, Fixed Timing because I am not going to advance manually through the slides. I know these videos are about twelve seconds long, each one of them. So I am going to do a twelve second duration for the slide and I am going to export Full Quality. I am going to make sure I have Audio turned on because I want to export these with the audio in them. Then I am going to go here and export it to the desktop and you can see the export happened and it will render each frame. You can actually see the rendering happen here. It will take a little while.

So now let's take a look at the finished product. "This is me in the upper left, this is me in the upper right, this is me in the lower right, and this is me in the lower left."

So now of course this is nothing special if you are used to using a tool like Final Cut. You can do this in Final Cut easily. But if all you have is iMovie and you have Keynote or just get Keynote for things like this, then you can use it once in a while to do it. You don't have to do it with four videos in the corners either. You arrange it anyway you want. You can make one video fill the space and put two or three videos in different spots along it. Have it appear on different slides, do different timings. All sorts of things. You can actually combine going from slide to slide and then also have different videos appear at different times to create some sort of complex video you just can't do in iMovie. It is a creative process. So you have to experiment with the different videos and putting them on slides together and coming up with something that you like.

Hope you found this useful. This is Gary with MacMost Now.

Comments: 5 Responses to “MacMost Now 753: Simultaneous Videos With Keynote”

    Vivian Rosser
    7 years ago

    Hi after watching your tutorial on having four videos using keynote I gave it a try and was almost successful but I did something wrong because the 4 are all speaking at the same time could you please advise. Thanks

      7 years ago

      So they are speaking at the same time, but they shouldn’t be? That’s the question. They all go at the same time, of course, so it is a matter of WHAT plays at the same time. In my first video I speak right away. In the second, I pause for 3 seconds, and then speak. In the third, I pause for 6 and then speak. In the last, I pause for 9 seconds and speak. No computer tech stuff there — just building the videos as I wanted to use them in this example. Unless you wanted this exact same example, you would be doing something different.

    Heiner Rodas
    7 years ago

    As always Gary, this is great stuff. Thanks.

    Richard Greene
    7 years ago

    Very cool.

    Chris Eschweiler
    6 years ago

    Great Tutorial, Gary!

    I think of Keynote as “The Poor-Man’s Motion” or “The Poor-Man’s After Effects.” Great program, and Export options make some interesting effects possible.

    In your video, you opened Keynote and selected the black theme. The next thing you did was to manually delete the two text boxes.

    I’d like to suggest that you instead go up to the menu bar and, under “Masters” select “Blank.”

    This will clear the boxes, and make sure they’re gone even if you change themes.


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