Video is one of the most engaging forms of content on social media. GIFs and short videos have been shown to grab the attention of more people than static images. As long as they’re not overused, GIFs can spark interest and add fun to your brand content.
But how are they made? Can you make them yourself? Do you need a designer? While some GIFs are complicated to make, some can be created using a tool you’ve likely never considered: Keynote. While primarily used for presentations, Keynote is a surprising GIF creator, as well.
Creating a GIF with Keynote
In this short tutorial, I’ll walk you through how to use Keynote to make a simple GIF.
Difficulty: Basic understanding of Keynote needed
Platforms: Twitter + Instagram
Step 1: Select your canvas size
When you create your new document in Keynote, you need to set up the document size to fit your platform requirements. For Twitter and Instagram, the image size of 1080×1080 pixels is ideal. Twitter allows you to upload GIFs, while Instagram allows videos. We’ll get to that in step six.
Step 2: Choosing a background image
Next, find an image or use a plain color background to begin your design. A great free resource for free stock photography is Unsplash.
Step 3: Adding text to your image
If you’d like to include text on your GIF, add a text box. Consider if you want a headline and a subhead, or only one line of text. I recommend keeping your headlines short and sweet unless you plan on doing multiple builds.
Note: More animations increase the length of the GIF. A good tip to keep in mind is you want to keep the length of your video to 10 seconds max. Anything more will increase the file size, which is limited to 15 MB on Twitter.
For this GIF, I’ve decided to use Helvetica Neue Bold at 309pt for the headline and Helvetica Neue Light at 52pt for the subhead.
Step 4: Animate your image
Select the first object you want to animate. This can be your headline, subhead, or an image or shape. Go to the Animate tab, click “Build in,” and choose an animation.
For the headline of this GIF, I’m using “Fade and move,” while using “dissolve” for the subhead.
Step 5: Export your GIF
Once you finish the timing of your animations and you’re ready to export, go to File > Export To and choose either “Export to animated GIF” or “Export to movie.”
Export to animated GIF
While this is the easiest option, Keynote’s compression of your animated GIF may affect quality. In the export window, you can adjust the file size and frame rate to ensure you export a GIF that can be uploaded to Twitter. I suggest using a large or medium file size with a frame rate of 24. See the final product below.
Export to movie
To create a GIF using this method to post to Instagram, you’ll need to complete one step beyond Keynote. First, select File > Export To > Movie and use the settings shown in the image below.
Tip: You can also try exporting your GIF quality setting to HD 720 to help with file size.
Once exported, you need to convert to GIF using a free video converter online. Open your browser and go to OnlineConverter.com or another conversion tool to create your final GIF file.
Step 7: Upload and share
Now, you’re ready to share your GIF on social. Choose your platform and use either your exported GIF for Twitter or movie file for Instagram.
Social media strategy and content creation
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