Motion Graphics from Keynote to Video

My process for creating animated motion graphics is unconventional but it has distinct advantages over the industry standard method of using Adobe AfterEffects or CC Animate. Instead, I design a slide deck in Apple Keynote using slide transitions and object builds, export the timed presentation as a video file, and then edit it to time, narration, and music in a conventional video editing suite like Adobe Premiere, Camtasia, Final Cut, etc.

This method saves time overall and allows me to turn around projects on a much faster timeline with an equivalent (better?) level of visual quality. I ascribe some of this success to a sense of good taste – I have done the work to understand the design principles that make my presentations look sleek and professional. But I also find that designing in Keynote rather than Photoshop/Illustrator allows me to focus on the content rather than getting lost in the tools and techniques. Keynote has a lot of nice default tools for adding a subtle professional sheen to everything that would require meticulous tweaking in AfterEffects to achieve comparable results.

An added bonus is that most of my source material comes in the form of a PowerPoint deck sent to me by a subject matter expert. Rather than rebuilding the content from scratch in Adobe tools I can just open the PPTX in Keynote and start to beautify and animate the already-existing content using Keynote’s visual tools.

I arrived at this process organically, mostly because I didn’t have access to Adobe tools early in my career. I started as a charter school teacher, and making Keynotes was my daily stock & trade. I had time to try all the features of Keynote and push on it to make beautiful, appealing presentations. It’s genuinely one of my favorite pieces of software of all time – its simplicity belies a huge set of media creation tools. Like a high-quality musical instrument, it gives you back more than you put into it rather than fighting you to do just the basics (my experience of PowerPoint). So I’ve gotten away with using it as my first stop to get my ideas out and get content ready to animate, even in professional, mission-critical situations. Here’s how I do it:

The Process – Big Picture


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