Daily Archives: January 4, 2012

A new build feature discovered in Keynote 12 or just some really smart Keynote authors working at Apple?

Welcome to the first blog post of 2012!

In the lead up to my two presentations at Macworld in a few weeks time, I’m creating some Keynote effects which I hope will tantalise and enchant my intended audience.

Since there will be more people reading this blog than will attend, I thought I’d use you as a guinea pig to beta test some of my ideas. I’m going to put up some Keynote effects over the course of the next few weeks until I depart for San Francisco. The challenge will be if you can work out how I did it – and whether you think they are effects worth demonstrating and teaching at Macworld.

I was thinking about this in December, but my accidental discovery of a video on Vimeo (I’ve been playing with the AppleTV over the hot, slow days of summer here in Australia) has moved the schedule forward.

In fact, the effect I’m going to show you is one I didn’t create, but one created for a “sneak peek” keynote at Supermeet NAB Las Vegas in mid-April before the official  launch of Final Cut Pro X in  June 2011.

Now even if you don’t use FCP X, but you’re an Apple follower, you’ll know the huge ruckus this rewrite created in the professional editing community, with many saying it was iMovie Pro or “iMovie on steroids”, lamenting the lack of compatibility with previous versions, the exclusion of much loved previous features, and so on. I’ve been predicting for a while now that Keynote too will get the FCP X “treatment” when its next upgrade is released, and that prediction is somewhat forged by Apple’s long time between updates suggesting a rewrite. And if Apple can do what it did to its professional users with FCP X, it will certainly have no second thoughts about Keynote, which is in desperate need of a rewrite too, if only to put a “Magic timeline” into being. It too might be called a Magnetic timeline as it is for FCP X, (see live link, below).

I want to feature a video from Vimeo taken at the Las Vegas sneak peek of FCP X, by Emanuel Pamperi. It shows FCP X’s chief architect, Peter Steinauer, going through some of its feature set, to much rousing applause (especially the price of $299!). That applause turned to dismay when the same crowd got its hands on FCP X in June, from previously mentioned reports. There were even “Hitler parodies” made, wondering what Apple was thinking when it made the serious changes it did! (Link: http://www.google.com.au/search?sourceid=chrome&ie=UTF-8&q=hitler+parody+final+cut)

Emanuel’s video is in two sections of 25 minutes, and you can see section 1 in its entirety here (but don’t go there just yet): http://vimeo.com/22329493

About 9:10 in Steinauer introduces new features known as Content Auto Analysis where FCP X analyses the raw data such as searching for faces or crowds or colour matching. I’ve taken the video and edited it so you see how he brings in each feature, starting with the raw source (an SD card) and its target (an iMac).

Here is the edited feature set below (edited, because it’s not in real time and there’s no sound track):

1. Notice how the sequence begins with three elements: SD Card -> iMac

2. The first feature – what would be a dreary bullet point in another presentation software – comes in, separating the SD card and iMac with move builds. Notice how the arrow duplicates and separates in the one build. Probably there were two arrows layered over each other in step 1, and each arrow moved as part of the build. (Well, that’s how I would have done it.)

3. New features are added from the bottom up in table format, again keeping the focus on the features in an animated fashion, rather than static bullet points.

4. But do you notice something I’ve not been able to duplicate? Each new cell of the table both dissolves in and moves upward as the whole table moves to make room? Please go back and have another look because it’s easy to miss.

5. I’ve tried to reproduce this but Keynote 5 will not let a move and dissolve build together: it’s only after one build completes that the other build can occur, as the screen shot below shows. There is no Automatically with option.

6. So either I’m missing something, or what we saw at Las Vegas was a new Keynote feature, something I’m sure many of us could put to good use as we attempt to rid the world of bullet points!

I asked my esteemed Keynote colleague and theme creator John Driedger to have a go, and he came up with the same semi-solution as I did: we can move, then dissolve but not at the same time. (John will hopefully have some new themes and elements for me to show at Macworld).

So, over to you: Can you reproduce the effect here just using Keynote; do we have evidence of a new Keynote feature; or merely that the keynote author used a third party motion app to create the effect?

If you think you can do it in Keynote, email your Keynote file to me (lesatlesposen.com), I’ll verify it and post it as an update here. No prizes (yet!)

UPDATE (Jjanuary 5) : Problem solved using MagicMove and opacity controls. Well done to Spydre for suggesting this solution!

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