Exporting Video Files from Keynote

Posted on by Larry

[ This article was first published in the September, 2010, issue of
Larry’s Monthly Final Cut Studio Newsletter. Click here to subscribe. ]


Chris Eschweiler sent this in:

As I was catching up on past episodes of the Digital Production Buzz, I came across your suggestion to use Keynote to create text animations to drop into Final Cut.


In that May 27th episode, you said that the finished animations give you just one final frame that you can stretch out to achieve your desired duration.


I writing to say that it *is* possible to get the duration you desire from within Keynote.



After you’ve created your slide in Keynote, go up to the Inspector and select the second pane, “Slide Inspector.” In “Transition, ” select your desired effect…say, Dissolve.


Under the Start Transition drop down, change the option to “Automatically” and choose the amount of time you want the finished build to hold under “Delay.”


When you export your text animation to a movie file, the text will build, hold, and dissolve just exactly as you programmed.


I do this sort of thing all the time for clients…including your esteemed co-host, Mr. Michael Horton who is currently in Holland ramping up the third annual Amsterdam Final Cut Pro User Group SuperMeet. </shameless_plug>


Keynote is a really great program…a “poor man’s Motion.” And for $79 it’s a powerful, yet inexpensive, addition to the editor’s arsenal.

Larry adds: Thanks, Chris, for sending this in.

UPDATE – Sept. 22, 2010

Nicolas Nilsen adds:

Hi Larry


In your last Newsletter, at the bottom, under the title “EXPORTING VIDEO FILE FROM KEYNOTE” Chris Eschweiler talks about the way you (Larry) use “one final frame that you can stretch out to achieve your desired duration”.


Chris says it can be done within Keynote. Of course it can be done the way he describes. It’s possible and easy. But the problem is that it costs a lot in terms of FILE SIZE.


If the “desired duration” is done from inside Keynote (the way Chris suggests) it’s video time.


If you do it with a “Freeze frame” from inside FCP, you can make it as long as you need (stretch it as long as you need), and it DOESN’T COST A THING in terms of video file size.


“Freeze frame” is LIGHT. “Duration” in Keynote is HEAVY

Larry replies: Nicolas, thanks for your comment. I totally forgot about the difference in file sizes between these two methods. Thanks!

UPDATE – Sept. 26, 2010

Ben Balser adds:

I’m surprised more FCP users are not taking advantage of Keynote as a very cool, very easy motion graphics tool.


But, as for the issue of stretching out a still as a freeze frame in FCP, as opposed to having a slide linger for awhile in Keynote, here’s my take. Yes, the original Keynote generated QT file will be technically larger if you extend the time in Keynote, but by how much? Not much at all. A few seconds is not going to double the file size, or even increase it by much at all. Output from Keynote won’t be extended by much time, either. I don’t think it’s enough of a difference to make any argument to not do it in Keynote. Besides, Keynote is creating fresh frames of the original image for your QT movie. FCP is duplicating frames. I’d rather keep the image fidelity created from Keynote.

Larry replies: Ben, the file sizes CAN be significant if you need lots of video between transitions. My vote still rests with creating still frames in Final Cut, rather than trying to precisely time segment durations in Keynote. Still frames will look as good and be MUCH faster.

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One Response to Exporting Video Files from Keynote

  1. evan1138 says:

    What is the smallish vertical line under my titles on the timeline? Sometimes the line is at the lower left end of the title in the timeline, sometimes it’s elsewhere. I’ve spent a couple of hours looking in help and on the web with no success. Any ideas?

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