In our recent video about the upcoming dual camera feature on the new iPhone 7 Plus, we featured an animated graph charting iPhone camera improvements over the years. Instead of relying on Motion or a third party plugin to pull off the animation in Final Cut Pro X, we tapped into Keynote instead.

While it’s true that Keynote is primarily a presentation app in the same vein as Microsoft’s PowerPoint, it can also work as a handy Final Cut Pro X companion for producing quick animated graphs and charts. Watch our video walkthrough to see how it’s done.

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How to make animated charts in Keynote for Final Cut Pro X projects

Step 1: Open Keynote and go to File → New.

Step 2: Under Choose a Theme select Wide and double-click a theme.

Step 3: Click View →  Zoom → Fit in window.

Step 4: Delete any text boxes, text, or other pre-filled assets.

Step 5: Drag a desired background image from the desktop onto the canvas, and resize it so that it fills the entire canvas.

Step 6: Click the Chart button → 3D and click to select a 3D chart that you’d like to feature.

Video walkthrough

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Step 7: Once your chart appears on the canvas, select the chart and click the Edit Chart Data button.

Step 8: Use the spreadsheet to add the needed data points to make your chart paint the desired picture. I like to copy and paste data from Numbers, especially if you have a lot of data to present.

Step 9: Use the Inspector to edit the look and feel of the chart, change fonts, colors, rotation, shadow, 3D depth, etc.

Step 10: Click View → Inspector → Animate.

Step 11: Click Add an Effect under the Build In section in the Inspector.

Step 12: Select the 3D Grow effect. Change the duration to 3 seconds, and the Delivery to Cascade. Click the Preview button to see a preview of your animated chart.

Step 13: If satisfied with the look of your animated chart, click File → Export To → Quicktime.

Step 14: For Format select 1080p, click Next, give your video a name, and click Export.

Step 15: Insert the exported video file, which contains your animated chart, into your Final Cut Pro project.

Keynote charts in FCP X

One thing that I particularly like about using Keynote is the fact that you can access many of the same features and options on the iOS version of the app. It’s easy to create animated charts on your iPad or iPhone, save them to iCloud, and then later export them as videos for your Final Cut Pro X projects on your Mac.

Keep in mind that you can alter many of the aforementioned steps to fit your use cases. Indeed, Keynote isn’t just for presentations, but it can be a powerful companion tool for custom Final Cut Pro X animations.

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