Monthly Archives: November 2015

A Keynote tutorial showing an advanced use of MagicMove to animate a still photo

Microsoft has finally acknowledged how poorly the vast majority of its Powerpoint users apply their technology. Too much text, and chintzy clip art.

In Office365 its Office team has introduced two “new” features called Designer and Morph.

Here is an official video from one of its engineering team, Christopher Maloney.

Apple Keynote users are likely to shrug their shoulders knowing that Keynote has had such design aspirations almost from its beginnings in 2003, and the Morph equivalent, MagicMove, was introduced by Phil Schiller at Macworld in January 2009. (Steve Jobs had stopped keynoting the year before, when he introduced the original MacbookAir).

Since then, many Keynote users have adopted MagicMove into their workflow, although many of us have always thought Apple could do so much more with it.

Perhaps it will now that Microsoft has caught the bug of more evolved animation, but if MagicMove does up the ante, it will likely be because the desire for iOS parity has been achieved with more powerful A-series processors and more RAM in Apple’s mobile devices.

The bleating that accompanied the shift from Keynote 5 to Keynote 6 a few years ago, when quite a few special elements of Keynote were omitted, has quietened. More features have been returned or added to Keynote, and at least there appears to be life in the iWork engineering team with more frequent updates in recent months.

I am a big user of MagicMove, because it saves time, mouse clicks and “build clutter”. When a single slide has so many builds, it’s hard to decipher what one has created. This is not helped by the Keynote team who have not updated the layering of elements in the way Microsoft achieved it years ago, as shown in the video I created below, in 2011!

The other problem with its build order is the inability to name groups after one has combined elements. All groups are simply labelled group, rather than an even minimally useful: Group 1, Group 2, etc. Perhaps that is still to come.

It seems clear to me though that Keynote users are some of the most creative people out there, taking what the engineering team offers, then re-purposing it in novel ways which perhaps surprise and delight the team. That was certainly the experience I enjoyed when I visited the team in Pittsburgh in 2009.

So I want to take you through another tutorial on using Keynote’s MagicMove to create some popular designer memes you’ll see in videos and current affairs television, where the graphic artists have employed very expensive pro software.

I get better with Keynote when I’m inspired by the pros and try to emulate what they do as much as possible in Keynote, and only when necessary step outside and use inexpensive third party software.

Here is an example of a meme I will attempt to emulate in Keynote. What you’ll see below is a pro-user’s After Effects tutorial using a parallax effect to create movement on a still photo. The effect is seen in the first minute or so and the rest of the video is the “How to” part:

Clearly, for some presentations you’ll need to leave Keynote to use either After Effects from Adobe, or Apple’s own Motion. Each has quite a steep learning curve if you’re used to the simplicity of Keynote. The resultant movie will then be imported into your presentation.

But Keynote still has some tricks up its sleeve. In the video tutorial below, I step you through how to bring movement to a static photo, like the After Effects illustration above.

It uses Keynote’s MagicMove, Draw with pen, and Mask with selection elements, and also utilises a third party software from MacPhun called Snapheal Pro. As always your comments are valued, especially if you have other workflows to share.


An Apple Keynote two-part tutorial showing how to create more engaging stories using “Draw with Pen” and the “Line Draw” build

Continuing my series of tutorials to help beginners to Apple’s Keynote presentation software, in this blog entry I am going to show you some examples of using the Line Draw build together with the “Draw with Pen” shape selector.

Using these two elements can allow you to illustrate an idea demonstrating change over time, as if you are drawing a free hand line with multiple curved elements. The idea is to replicate in Keynote the diagram, below, which I used for a workshop on introducing new IT for psychologists and the challenges altering one’s workflow can bring.

From Alex Miller's Pure Danger Tech website

From Alex Miller’s Pure Danger Tech website

I have divided the tutorial into two videos. The first is how to create the line from scratch within Keynote, below. The second is a tutorial using the same animated line, but this time stopping it along its path, allowing the presenter to interact with the audience before moving to the next element and repeating the process, all within Keynote.

Using the diagram, above, this will happen three times.

Video tutorial 1: Creating the line using “Draw with Pen” and the Line Draw build.

Video tutorial 2: Stopping the Line Draw build at three locations to emphasise ideas for the audience.

There are numerous ways to achieve the same effect. Drop in comment to share an alternative idea.

A Keynote presentation skills video tutorial on using hyperlinks – how to move beyond linear slide shows to something more interactive.

One of the problems with current slideware tools like Keynote and Powerpoint is their encouragement of linear presenting styles.

You start at Slide 1, and finish at Slide N, wherever that may be. You might decide to skip over some slides if time is running out, or your judge your audience can safely ignore Slides 5,7 and 10, for example.

Such linear presenting is very worthwhile for brief and to the point sessions.

But if you are running an all day workshop, or you’d prefer to be much more flexible in your content delivery, and invite your audience to participate in the proceedings, then you’ll need to learn about Hyperlinks.

In the video tutorial aimed more at beginners (but advanced users will enjoy too), I take you through some user cases for hyperlinking, and then show you how to create them.

Please share with your friends, and use the Comments section to provide feedback and suggestions for further video tutorials