Video-creation Course — Seven Days, No Charge

Free YouTube Course

This video-creation course is free. It will teach you how to make entertaining videos in 7 days. You’ll even learn how to make animated GIFs like the one to the left.

Lesson 1

In this lesson you will learn how to make pictures and text move in a variety of patterns. People expect to see movement within a video.

Materials suggested for this course

  • Mac desktop (or laptop) computer
  • Keynote presentation software
  • ScreenFlow video editing software for Mac (or at least the free trial copy)

Keynote costs $20 and ScreenFlow costs $129.  In order to finish this course, you will have very few other expenses.

Use FREE trial copy of ScreenFlow

  • You don’t have to buy ScreenFlow
  • Download a free trial copy
  • Don’t upload your videos to YouTube yet
    • They have a watermark
    • Good enough to practice with until want you want other people to see your YouTube videos and animated GIFs

Getting started with your first video:

Work Out All Animation

Each point below is illustrated in the YouTube video at the bottom of the Keynote section.

1. Outline on paper

    • Making a video can be overwhelming

  • Speeds up process if you think of your goals and then write out the scope and sequence of the video creation events on paper.
  • Probably not want to start outline until you have collected some video clips and/or still images
  • Script will involve stringing those clips and images together.

2. Open animation software

  • Use Keynote to create your animations
  • Download a copy, etc. from the Apple website
  • As of this writing the cost was $19.99
  • Use it with a Mac.

3. Open new screen in Keynote

  • videoOpen Keynote
  • Click on File > New
  • Make sure the White theme is selected
  • Click Choose

4. Clear screen and add rulers

  • Select graphics
  • Press Delete
  • Click View > Show Rulers

video5. Size screen at 44 & 22

  • Width & height of your presentation to be in the same proportions as a YouTube video?
    • Drag the right side so that it ends at 44 units
    • Drag the bottom so that it ends at -22 units
  • Maximum size of animated GIF is 500 x 500 pixels.

video6. Drag graphic onto slide

  • Drag a graphic from your Finder to your Keynote slide
  • Drag corners out to size picture
  • Select an Effect. In this example I used Pivot.

7. Add size, colour and an Effect to text

  • Click text box at top of screen
  • Drag edge of box to make the right width
  • Double-click the text in the text box
  • video
  • Bold it
  • Type in text you want
  • Select text
  • Press Cmd/+ repeatedly until you have the size you want
  • Click on color box near top of screen
  • Select color you want
  • Position box where you want it
  • Click blue inspector icon
  • In the drop-down Built-in Effects box, select an effect
    • For example, the text in point #9 below uses the Bouncy Effect
  • Watch the tiny moving picture in the display box and make sure you are happy with the duration
  • Don’t forget to save frequently
  • Use eyedropper to change text color to match an image
    • See animation to the right.

8. Decide sequence of events and adjust order

In the video below it seemed best to tell them where we are going before showing the map. So, the order of the text became #1.

9. Click the play button to check your work

See the animated GIF to the right. See the YouTube video below to see the location of the Play button.

YouTube video

Watch the video in full screen mode.

Video record your presentation

  • Past several years I have made all of my YouTube videos using ScreenFlow for Mac
  • Click this link to learn about many of its amazing features.  Click that link to see just some of the amazing things you can do with ScreenFlow
  • Only $129 USD
  • Link above even shows you how to buy it
  • If you don’t have $129, get a FREE trial copy
  • Use that to practice
  • Only problem is that every video you make will have a watermark.
  • Every other feature works like the real thing.

If you do not have a Mac, the next desktop computer you buy should be a Mac.  There are graphic things you can do on a Mac that you just cannot do on a PC.

My rules of thumb

  1. People have short attentions spans. They usually will not want long videos. So, I make a video with ScreenFlow and then edit to as short as is reasonable.
  2. Have each new concept shown for 1 – 2 seconds so viewer can grasp it.
  3. Never have more than 2 seconds without movement.

Concepts you’ll learn today

1. Enlarging clips to make them more editable

  • videoSlider in lower left-hand corner of ScreenFlow screen
  • Moving it back and forth making clips easier to work with.

2. Start at top Keynote slide

  • videoMoving text and pictures using Keynote
  • Remember to always start at slide #1.

3. Start recording, then press Play

  • In video below you see location of button that starts a ScreenFlow recording
  • Just before recording countdown ends, press Keynote Play button.

4. Maximum 2 seconds between stationary components

  • videoMy own little bias
  • Never let an image show up for more than 2 seconds until there is some movement on the screen.
  • Have scrubber (the vertical red line) before the 2 second point of a still image
  • Right-click on timeline and press Split Clip
  • Select the excess footage and press Delete key to get you to some movement.

5. Start movement at an interesting point

  • Watch the video below
  • Very large number begins the subsequent segment for a split second.

6. No gaps between video clips

  • Make sure that no small gaps exist between video clips. (But you should have gaps between audio clips.)
  • Otherwise, black portions will appear on screen
  • Use slider from point #1 above to enlarge the clips and look for gaps.

7. Freeze frame


  • videoSometimes a clip is too small
  • When that happens, move scrubber to within clip, right-click and click Freeze Frame
  • Discard tiny snippet at end of freeze frame
  • Now entire freeze frame will be a single image
  • Drag it to make it larger or smaller.

8. Text icon

  • videoClick text icon and then click on the text box below it to add text to video
  • Snippet on timeline must be above main video timeline in order to show up
  • Experiment by clicking on other features
  • Try changing the colour of text.

9. Shapes with Annotations icon

  • videoClick annotations icon
    • Experiment with drawing arrows, boxes, etc.
    • Try making them different colours.

Remember this

In the first few lessons, it may seem like it takes too long to make a video.  Please note that, after you have made a few dozen videos, you will be 10 or 20 times faster.

Lesson 1 homework

  1. Make a Keynote presentation in whichvideo
    1. You have a free picture of a sunset from the Dreamstime or the website.
    2. Have the sunset picture come in with a 0.75 second Iris effect.
    3. Create some text explaining something in your picture in 3 words or less.
    4. Text comes in as bold 72 point font with a 2.5 second Squish effect.
  2. Turn your Keynote presentation into a ScreenFlow video.
  3. Use an orange arrow to connect the words to what you see on the picture.
  4. Split a clip that has a sunset in it. Use Cmd C to copy your new snippet into your clipboard. Press Cmd V to paste your little snipped on the other side of your red bold font clip. Use freeze frame to help you make your new sunset snippet exactly one second long.

Trouble with your homework?

If you are having trouble figuring out how to do your lesson 1 homework, watch the video below.

Go to lesson 2.

Bonus lesson


The two animated GIFs above are very complex to create. You will likely need lots of practice making YouTube videos & animated GIFs before you can create something of this calibre.

The explanation of how to create them is not in a numbered lesson. The numbered lessons are designed to be learned in 7 days. It would take much more than 7 days before a student of this course would be able to make those 2 coordinated animated GIFs.

I (the author of this course) created the GIFs for an inventor who wanted help marketing the Side Sleeper. I created the pair of 25 second videos above for the top of the home page. In half a minute people can have a good understanding of what the side sleeper does. It is more effective than just text & a still picture or 2.

After you finish lesson 7, you will be given the password to open up The Bonus Lesson.