Adventures in Keynote Animations

I finally got a chance to poke around the new version of Apple’s Keynote and it’s like Christmas morning came early for me! While there are several new features and additions, I’m most excited that Santa delivered a new animation called Line Draw. What? You’re not excited? What if Apple had called it the “Indiana Jones Flight Map” Animation? Aha! Do I have your attention, now?
In a previous tutorial, I explained how to approximate the line being drawn over a map to indicate a flight path like the one our ruggedly handsome and fearless hero takes to each new adventure. The drawback was that we had to fake the line being drawn by using the “wipe” build effect. That effect can only animate in one direction, which kept Indy from doubling back on his path. The new “line draw” build effect animates the line along the path, no matter how meandering it might be.

Watch the video below to see the complete effect, then check out the individual steps I took to create the flight path.

  1. Created a circle for the starting point and added a build-in dissolve effect lasting .6 seconds
  2. Used the “Draw with Pen” option under the Shape menu to draw the path. Added the line draw effect with a timing of 20 seconds.
  3. Created a circle for the ending point with a build-in dissolve effect lasting .6 seconds

The flight path was drawn on top of a map.

Choose Format > Shapes and Lines > Make Editable to change the flight path.

Choose Format > Shapes and Lines > Make Editable to change the flight path.

In this case, I used a map I created in Apple Maps and played with the Adjust Image feature, found under the View menu. I basically just moved the sliders up and down until I had a look I liked.

The image settings used for the map, along with a 64% opacity setting.

The image settings used for the map, along with a 64% opacity setting.

Next, I added a free/public domain video of a plane flying to simulate the overlapping images effect from the movie. It’s not as fancy as what you’d see in a Hollywood blockbuster, but then I’m not Steven Spielberg. I set the movie to loop—and one of the newest Keynote features allows you to select the start and end points for the movie at last(!)—and sent it to the back. Lastly, I applied an opacity of 64% to the map to let the movie show through.

When my images were all in place, I set the animation/build timing:

  1. Movie: build-in effect “start movie” directly after transition
  2. Departure dot: build-in “dissolve” with Build 1, with a 1 second delay
  3. Route line: build-in “line draw” with Build 1, with a .7 second delay
  4. Arrival dot: build-in “dissolve” with Build 1, with a 20 second delay (the time it takes the line to draw)
The settings for animating the line being drawn.

The settings for animating the line being drawn.

There you have it…now Indy can travel from London to Kiev and still head back west to Madrid! Sorry, but due to copyright, you’ll have to hum the theme tune yourself.

Other Keynote updates of interest, as listed on Apple’s website include:

  • Enhanced support for OpenType font features like small caps, contextual fractions, and alternate glyphs
  • Improved Instant Alpha
  • Create table, chart, and shape styles from an image
  • New themes
  • New builds and transitions (some that had previously been removed)
  • Improved Magic Move, including text morphing

As a designer, Keynote is a handy tool to have in your bag of tricks. Let me know in the comments what specific things you’d like to learn in a future how-to tutorial.

Posted on: October 27, 2015

Erica Gamet

Erica Gamet has been involved in the graphics industry for an unbelievable 30 years! She is a speaker, writer, and trainer, focusing on Adobe InDesign and Illustrator, Apple Keynote and iBooks Author, and other print- and production-related topics. She is a regular presence at CreativePro Week’s PePcon and InDesign Conferences, and has spoken at ebookcraft in Canada and Making Design in Norway. You can find Erica’s online tutorials at CreativeLive and through her YouTube channel. When she isn’t at her computer, she can be found exploring her new homebase of Seattle and the greater Pacific Northwest.

1 Comment on Adventures in Keynote Animations

  1. SO GOOD! I’ve been trying to do this on the cheap for ages, and only now read your hack. Worked beautifully…THANK YOU for sharing!

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