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How to create an animated YouTube intro/outro using Keynote

Spicing up your YouTube videos with an animated intro is easier than you think! Here’s a tutorial on how you can create your own using Apple Keynote.

Video animations can be tricky, even time consuming for those who need to get over the learning curve of using tools like After Effects.

You can certainly do more with a higher-end application, maybe even outsource the project on Fiverr.

But if you want to save on some budget and just need something simple yet effective, I’m going to show you how you can create your own animated intro/outro using Apple Keynote and iMovie in under an hour.

TL,DR; Watch the tutorial

If you don’t want to read through this article, watch the video tutorial below or view it on my YouTube channel.

Let’s break down to the steps demonstrated in the video…

Gather your image assets

Before we dive in, we first need to collect the images we’re going to use for our animation.

In this tutorial, we’re using the following:

Be sure to save these as transparent PNG files if you wish to use a background other than white.

Create a new project in Keynote

Next, launch Keynote and create a new presentation.

keynote start screen

Here we’re going to select the basic, white template.

Your presentation is defaulted to Standard format but select Wide, as this needs to be in widescreen format.

Adding images and text

Import your images onto the canvas.

Arrange and resize them until you’re happy with the layout.

adding images in apple keynote

Adding a subscribe call to action button

You’ll notice that I listed a subscribe button as part of the image assets to include.

When you add a visual cue, your viewers are more likely to subscribe to your channel.

apple keynote add youtube subscribe button

Animating your assets

Now that our images have been placed and arranged the way we want them, it’s time to add some spice by animating each image.

On the top-right of the interface, look for the Animate tab, which will then list a bunch of options for you to choose from:

keynote animate options

Notice that if you hover over an item, you can preview the animation before applying it.

I recommend using animations that aren’t too drastic from one another so you maintain a sense of cohesion and clarity as each element animates.

Once you’ve selected your animations, preview as a slideshow to see how it looks, adjusting as you need.

Don’t worry about the speed of the clip at this point. We’ll deal with that in iMovie.

Export your project

Once you’re happy with the result, we can now export our creation.

Go to File > Export To > Movie….

keynote export to screenshot

The export movie settings will appear.

Here you shouldn’t need to change anything except the resolution, which is defaulted to 720p.

Select 1080p for your resolution, then export your file to your computer.

apple keynote export movie 1080p settings

Finishing up your clip in iMovie

Now that your intro is ready to use, let’s open up iMovie.

Here we’re going to make a couple of tweaks to get it just right and ready for use in your projects.

Open a project in iMovie and import your clip.

apple imovie screenshot

Adjusting the speed

The first thing is adjusting the speed, since it was a little slower than we like when previewed in Keynote.

Above the video preview panel are your clip settings.

Select the speed settings and then adjust the speed up your clip.

apple imovie speed settings

In this case, we’re using a custom value of about 240%.

Preview your clip and see if it’s quick enough. If not, adjust accordingly.

Extending the end of the clip

You may find that your clip ends too quickly and you’d like to hold the last frame for a couple of extra seconds.

No problem!

Select your clip in the editor, then right-click the end and choose Add Freeze Frame.

imovie add freezeframe

This will add a freeze frame of the end of the clip.

Preview the clip again to see the result.

Adding a transition effect before and after the clip

The last thing we’ll do here .- which is totally optional – is to add a transition effect at the beginning and end of the clip.

I recommend doing this so you don’t have to add it every time you use the clip in a project.

apple imovie add transition effect

Here we added a Fade to Black effect for each. What you choose is completely up to you.

The finished product

We’re close to the finish line!

Have a final look at your clip, making any final tweaks until you think it’s just right.

Here’s a preview of what we ended up with:

It isn’t super-flashy, maybe it could use a background texture or gradient, but it’s otherwise clean, professional, and because we didn’t use a ton of detail with the text, it’ll be readable on mobile devices.

Exporting your file for use in your projects

If you’re happy with your final result, all you need to do now is export the video.

apple imovie export clip options

Now you’re ready to use it in your video projects!

Have fun!

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