Keynote Pro Tip – Export Animations to Video in Full HD

Have you ever tried to export an animated Keynote presentation to video? If so, you have probably been a bit disappointed with the quality of the final video. As the integrated marketing manager here at Word Wizards, part of my job is to deliver professional quality media presentations. My software of choice for multimedia slide show presentations is Apple’s Keynote.

Keynote Logo: A podium with a microphonne and notes.

Keynote has great animations, solid graphics, and a set of professional looking master templates to start from. Once I put my slides together and set up the animations and transitions, I usually export the complete slideshow to a video file. The final step is to drag the video of the slideshow into a video editing software and add the final touches; i.e soundtrack, video transitions, and other media not included in the slideshow.

Garbage In, Garbage Out

So whats the problem with the previously mentioned workflow? One needs to export the slideshow video in full HD quality or the final product will just look worse and worse as editing and encoding goes on. I really can’t explain the technical reasons behind why that happens in this article, but it has to do with the nature of video compression and encoding. What I will say is a golden rule in any type of media production. The final product can only be the same or less quality than the input media. Translated that means bad video in usually means worse video out.

Video that has been digitaly distorted
Pixelated Video

Trial and Error

When you try to export Keynote presentations to video, you might find that the pristine quality of your beautiful presentation has been replaced with video junk. I first came across this issue a few months ago preparing a presentation for a new service we are launching called CloudScript. I noticed that no matter what I did, the video was looking pixelated and jerky. I tried to find information online about how to fix the problem but it seemed that a lot of people have been experiencing this issue and there is no real consensus on what to do. Well, after many failed attempts, and even more experiments, I think I have discovered the formula for the highest quality video export from keynote.

Keynote Video Export Method

Here is a step by step guide to make this clear and simple.

  1. Make sure your slides are the same aspect ratio as your movie will be. If you do not match your slide aspect ratio to that of your final movie project, the video will look squeezed or stretched when you try and compress it. Also, it turns out that having conflicting aspect ratios can lead to crashes in the software at the end of your export. This is very important to maintain video quality, and I would recommend doing this before the presentation is developed so you don’t have to go back and fix the slides.
  2. Check to see if you have enough space on your hard drive. We are talking uncompressed raw HD video here people. Last time I did this, a 5 minute slideshow exported a 20 GB file. Of course that will compress down to much smaller later, but if you do not have enough space on your hard drive, the export will proceed even slower than normal and will eventually crash when your workstation runs out of memory.
  3. Click File -> Export and select QuickTime. In the QuickTime Settings window you have options for “Playback Uses”. Personally, I always record the timing for my presentations before exporting so I select “Recorded Timing” from the drop down menu. I also usually leave the audio out of the export because I do the audio in a video software for more precise control, but that is also up to you.
  4. Under “Formats” select “Custom” from the drop down menu.
  5. Make sure you have the right aspect ratio in the next screen. If you did step one correctly you will be able to use “Full Size” in the video drop down menu I always use 1280 X 720 in the standard HD 16:9 aspect ratio. Once again the audio doesn’t make much difference here, but remember, garbage in garbage out. If you use audio, go lossless and go high bit / sample rate. When your options are just the way you want click “Settings” next to video.
  6. Follow the Bullets below for settings on this page: These are the magic settings for the best possible quality video export!
    • Compression Type: Animation
    • Frame Rate: 24
    • Key Frames: All
    • Depth: Millions of Colors +
    • Quality: Best
  7. Click O.K. Then click next on the following screen. Finally choose a location and enter a name for the video file and click Export. 
  8. WAIT! Grab a cup of coffee, or three, because its going to take a long, long time. This is one thing other articles out there fail to explain. The progress bar for keynote video exports is not accurate. Sure, it looks like its half finished, but its NOT. DO NOT CLOSE KEYNOTE until the program has become responsive again, I promise it will, just give it plenty of time and don’t run programs that are CPU intensive at the same time as the export.

The Final Step

Now that you have a huge, beautiful, full quality HD video, drag it into your video editing software and make any final adjustments and finishing touches. Once your ready, export to a compressed media format, (mov, mp4, flv, ext…) sorry, I will not be covering these steps in this article. If you need help with the final conversion give us a call we are here to help.

Its a Wrap

That’s all she wrote about this my friends. Remember, Word Wizards Inc. can help with this type of media rich animated presentations as part of our Graphic Design Solutions. Check out our website to learn more about our many services and capabilities. Please leave a comment if this post helps you out or if you have questions. Send us your glorious HD presentations made using this method and we will put them up on our blog!

Check out a presentation that I did using this method.

**Make sure to change the YouTube Quality setting to HD 720**




The iPhone 5 First Look – Features, Not Fluff

Most articles about the new iPhone 5 seem to focus on how the new mobile device will stack up against its competitors, or how it will impact Apple’s stock price. On a different note, today, I will explore some of the new features of the iPhone 5 for what they are. The iPhone 5 marks the first full iPhone version upgrade since the passing of Apple’s founder, Steve Jobs. Its time to open the wrapper and see what technological wizardry Apple has come up with this time.

Horizontal profile of the iPhone 5

Trim The Fat

The first feature of notice is the impressive but non-intrusive redesign of the iPhone’s physical profile. The iPhone 5 is reported as being 12% smaller in volume, 18% thinner, and 20% lighter. Apple has always made its goal to design simple, elegant technology, and it seems that they have continued with this tradition once again. If only I could shave off the weight like the iPhone can…

Jared lost weight!
The iPhone 5 lost weight, so did Jared, why cant I?

The comfortable and familiar horizontal width of the iPhone has stayed the same, keeping your hands happy. However, the vertical height is slightly longer in this iteration. iPhone 5 has achieved a a perfect balance of compact ergonomics while extending the vertical length of the screen to a full 4-inches. Did someone say screen, like… retina screen? That seems to be the perfect place to proceed with my analysis.

Click here for details about the design of iPhone 5

Feast Your Eyes

The iPhone 5 retina display

Retina display makes colors brighter, pictures more expressive, movies more life like,  yada, yada… The new iPhone is obviously designed for premium quality visual stimulation, boasting a stellar 1136-by-640 resolution. The new screen is designed to play HD movies without annoying letterboxing, solving one of my long time grievances with the iPhone line. Despite these improvements and changes, the iPhone 5 looks almost exactly like the iPhone 4S when seen from the front, which, depending on who you ask, could be a good thing or a bad thing.

Finally Faster – LTE and the Legend of 4G

Comedian Louis C.K. does a bit about how impatient we are with mobile devices that I find hilarious, “Just give it a second!”. I wont go there for now… but the point is that a large group of people just like myself were tired of our 4G friends who use other devices gloating about how fast they can surf the web, download apps, and watch streaming videos. The updated LTE capabilities of the iPhone 5 mean that the new iPhone now can operate on the fastest available mobile networks.

Don’t ignore that the wireless capabilities also got a speed boost. With the new Dual-band 802.11n capabilities, Wi-Fi data transfer rates on the iPhone 5 can reach up to 150 Mbps! That’s bloody fast… Speaking of fast, lets move on to the heavy-duty brain of iPhone 5, the incredible A6 microchip.

One Chip To Rule Them All – The A6

The One Ring

Complaints about the speed of previous iPhone models was not just limited to internet limitations. It seems that we have become so accustomed to lightning fast computing devices that mere milliseconds of waiting time are too much to bear anymore. With iPhone 5, noone should ever have to complain about a slow smartphone ever again.

The A6 is a monster and masterpiece of microchip technology. Faster processing and graphic response often come at the expense of your battery life. Not so with the A6, it is designed to deliver breakneck speed while maintaining an impeccable battery life. These improvements in efficiency and raw power sooth many of the most common complaints about older iPhone models, how much faster can these things get?

Sounds Like Progress

Out with ear buds, in with EarPods! EarPods are a long awaited upgrade to the included earphones that come with a new iPhone. As an audio snob I have a simple but effective rule, don’t believe it until you hear it. That being said, I can’t wait to get my hands on a pair of these to see if the claims of comfort, stability, and clarity live up to the hype. Until then I will just say that when it comes to subtle innovation, this was a big move that some of my fellow bloggers out there have missed as important.

Apple Ear Pods

Face it, ear buds sucked… They hurt after awhile, they sound bad after a few loud songs, and they generally feel cheap and sound cheaper. Hopefully EarPods will do my snooty ears justice, we will just have to see about that…

While were on the subject of sound, I would like to add that they have revamped the microphone system on the iPhone 5 as well. In an attempt not to butcher the technological blah of how these microphones are better than before, here is a quote directly off the Apple website.

“It’s designed with three microphones: one on the front, one on the back, and one on the bottom. The front and back mics work together to achieve beamforming — a technique that helps iPhone focus on sound from the desired location for clearer audio. New noise-canceling technology reduces background noise.”

Sounds interesting, pun intended… I have always thought that the sound quality of iPhone calls was better than your average smart phone, so we shall see if this offers improvement or not.

iSpy iSight

iPhone 5 Panorama

One of the seemingly most important features of any smartphone is the ever increasing camera capabilities. It seems that along this trend, the iPhone 5’s beefed up still and HD video cameras do not disappoint. Lets face it, the new panorama capability is way cool. I know that there has been an app that does this for ages, but now its a fully integrate feature of the phone and works instantly and seamlessly with the swipe of your touch.

The camera is apparently faster, clearer, and more stable. Upgrades that allow it to satisfy the urgent needs of all the gadget lovers out there who must own the best camera phone in the world or they will cease to exist.

The HD video capabilities is no longer limited to the back, allowing you to chat in face time HD for the first time. I still don’t think its possible to record from both cameras at once but I guess I am the only one that wants that feature…

Connect the Dots – Introducing The Lightning Connector

The long awaited “lightning connector” has arrived with mixed feelings from Apple enthusiasts and critics. I am not sure how I feel about it, but it seems that the old 30-pin connectors just couldn’t keep up with how thin the iPhone 5 has become. That’s like buying a new pair of skinny jeans after shedding 20 pounds. The question is, does Levy’s want you to loose weight for your health, or so you have to buy new jeans, belts, and other waist dependent accessories?

Either way its seems pretty cool, I cant find much on their site about how functionally different it is from the old connector, but hey, it looks cool and its reversible.

Where Am I?

My personal favorite new iPhone 5 feature is all in the maps and navigation. Google maps on iPhone was a horrible mistake, biz 101, never partner with your rival, it generally doesn’t end well… I almost perished on the road many times because of the weak interface, shoty click through directions, and generally poor functionality of iPhone map system of the past. It reads the directions to you, enough said!

Click to find out how Apple Maps will save us all

Apple Gets Siri-ous

I am very excited to play around with the improved Siri features on the iPhone 5. Last time Siri proved to be a bit lack luster, she still wont tell me how to play a B minor fith chord like in the commercial. Apparently she cant handle more requests, provided better results and works faster and perkier than before. This is going to be one thing that needs to be tried before opinions are formed.

Click here for more about Siri

iOS 6

I could write an entire article about iOS 6 I will just refer you to Apple for now on this one… I will add one point of warning however… When I upgraded my iPhone 4 to iOS 5 last year, it slowed way down. If you are not going to upgrade you phone, don’t be shocked if your old phone starts to drag.

Learn more about iOS6 on Apple’s website

iCloud

iCloud on the iPhone 5 seems to be getting closer to a complete cloud based entertainment and lifestyle solution. I never really got the iCloud bug but hey maybe thats just me. Anyway there some really cool new features here, including shared photo streams, find my iPhone, and iCloud tabs.

As always, refer to the source for details  about iCloud

Additional Features

Here are some more cool features to explore within the new iPhone 5!

That should keep you satisfied for now. Check back to our blog for our expert revie once we get our hands on the new iPhone 5. By the looks of the lines it could be a while!




Video Tech Review – Voila Screen Capture Software

Word Wizards is currently launching a new service called CloudScript. As we prepared to roll out this new offering, we needed to make a demo video that would show our potential users what it does, what it looks like, and how it works. There was only one solution, create a video using screen capture software that will show the world what CloudScript can do. Once we reached this conclusion it was up to me to decide which screen capture software we would use for this kind of a project.

A Sea of Choices

Software to capture video from a computer screen has been around for a long time. There are many different options out there to choose from. Some are geared toward bare bones recording, with no fancy features and moderate quality recording. On the other end of the spectrum there are software solutions for screen capture that offer incredible additional features, full editing capabilities, and tons of professional quality functions. Well, my mission was to find the best quality option for the most reasonable price.

Voila by Global Delight

When I started digging around for reviews and comparisons of the multitude of screen cap software out there I cam accross many positve accounts of Voila by Global Delight. Its packed with features and fits our price point perfectly. There are definalty more sophisticated options out there, but the interface and usability of Voila made it perfect for our application. With the ability to capture high res images, HD video, and internal computer sound, we felt that Voila was the right choice for us as we began to start grabing content and images to promote our new service.

Voila Home Page and Features

The Price is Right!

At a mere $29.99 this is defiantly the best quality option in the price category. Not only will this be a valuable tool for our current marketing project, but it will give us all sorts of new capabilities to offer our clients in the media industry. After only a few minutes of playing with Voila, I was already recording and starting to gather good material.

The Verdict?

Voila provides everything you need for this sort of project and more. We fully recommend that anyone who might be interested try it out for themselves and get a taste. Check out their website if you want to know more, they seem to perfectly articulate why you would want to use Voila over other software on this page.

http://www.globaldelight.com/voila/whyVoila.html