In this step-by-step tutorial I show you how to take your iMovie video-creation skills up a notch, by incorporating slick animations made with Apple Keynote.

iMovie is a pretty capable, cost-effective video editing application that covers the basics pretty well. But iMovie is limited when it comes to graphics. Luckily, there’s a powerful video graphics and animation tool pre-installed on your Mac: Apple Keynote.

Keynote is more than just presentation software. It’s a video graphics and animation powerhouse (I call it After Effects Lite). But what’s really exciting is the ability to export sophisticated video animations made in Keynote and use them in your iMovie projects! This capability opens up all kinds of creative possibilities for your iMovie videos.

Exporting an animation from Keynote and compositing it into an iMovie project is essentially a three-step process:

  1. Create your Keynote animation (animated logo, or lower-third graphic)
  2. Remove the slide background of your animation
  3. Export your animation from Keynote as a Movie. If you want the background of your animation to be transparent when you bring it into iMovie, be sure to select Apple ProRes 4444 under the Compression Type settings in the Movie Export dialogue. That will add what’s called an “Alpha Channel”. The Alpha Channel will store the transparency information of your exported movie.

Gear used to make this video (Affiliate links):

Michael Kinney

Michael is an award-winning media creator with 30 years of professional video production experience. He's written, produced, directed, hosted, recorded, and edited a variety of media projects - from TV documentaries to interactive learning.

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  • Michael,

    In your “Video Learning Toolkit -4 Must-Have Tools For Creating High-Quality, Low-Cost Learning Videos” you specify Camtasia but I see you are using Screenflow!

    Yes, both are fine tools but when is using Camtasis better than using Screenflow? What does one do that the other doesn’t?

    • Great question, Gad. I use both Camtasia and Screenflow, for different things. I use Camtasia when I’m screencasting on Windows, as Screenflow is Mac-only. I use Screenflow when I’m screencasting on Mac OS.

      However, Camtasia has a powerful feature that Screenflow does not have: the ability to create interactive videos through hotspots and quizzes (check out some of the Camtasia tutorials on this site). So, when I need to build interactive videos I’ll jump into Camtasia – on either PC or Mac (Camtasia is cross-platform).

      Screenflow, in my opinion, is a stronger video editor than Camtasia. However, I specify Camtasia in my “Video Learning Toolkit” because it gives you just about all of the features of Screenflow, plus interactivity, plus it’s cross-platform (covers just about everybody). Hope all that made sense. MK