There are a multitude of plugins that you can use to help you get the look you want for your animated infographic in Adobe After Effects. One of these is Infocharts Creator by aescripts. How does this plugin work? In this movie, author Ian Robinson will demonstrate how to use the Infocharts Creator plugin by aescripts in Adobe After Effects.
- [Voiceover] Here's a rather helpful infographics creation tool from the folks at AEscripts.com called Infocharts Creator. Just so you can see where this script came from, it's from AEscripts.com, and it's called Infocharts Creator. You can download a try and check it out on your own system. All right, I'm gonna go ahead and minimize Safari and jump into my After Effects project. Now, in the Project Panel I'll click once to select the composition, and then go up under Window and scroll down to my scripts.
I'm gonna choose the Infocharts Creator script. If you don't know how to install this, there will be directions from the AEscripts.com website. The first thing it's gonna ask me, would I like to import a CSV file? And as a matter of fact, yes I do. We can go to the Exercise Files folder, navigate to our assets, in the CSV folder, and I want to choose this Snowfall Boulder inches.csv When I click open, the data will be loaded into Infocharts Creator, and I'm just gonna go ahead and reposition this and make this window nice and large.
So the data's up here, but I actually need to process the data to create the graphic. So under the process, I need to choose where I want to create names for the columns. So I want my names to come through these years, and notice I didn't actually label this column. So when I click on the pull-down, I have a blank area and then I have my calendar year and snow year. So I want my names to come from this blank column, and then my values, I'll click on the pull-down, and I want to go ahead and choose my values from the calendar year.
If I like this, I'll choose Copy All, and everything will be added down here into my final data area. I can click on any specific row, and I can move them up or down if I need to change an order, and as a matter of fact, I can add items and remove items as well. All right, so this looks pretty good to me. What I want to do is create a bar chart. There's line charts, bar charts, and ring charts. Let's just create a bar chart.
Notice, the second I click that button the script is gonna create all kinds of layers. Now all we have to do is just close this window and look at our project. Notice I have a big white background here, and if I press the space bar, everything will animate into the scene, but it's really kinda hard to see what's going on. So I'm gonna press the space bar to stop playback. No script is always gonna deliver everything perfectly every time. It's just a really helpful tool to help you build a graphic that much faster. So in this instance, I'm gonna go ahead and try and change the background color first.
So let's click on this layer here, the dashboard theme layer, that will allow me to adjust the theme. I need to go to my Effect Controls so I can see all the different parameters that the script writer has given me the ability to change. So if I scroll down here, I can go to Background Color, and I'll just click in this color well, and let's choose a different background color. I'll actually choose kind of a dark blue, maybe make it a little less saturated. There we go, and I'll click OK. Now I still can't really read anything, but I am at 30% magnification, so let me bump that up to about 50%, and still, I kind of want to make things a little larger.
So let's see if we can make anything larger. I'll scroll up, and the first thing I notice is the graph width and height. So let's go ahead and increase the width of the graph, I'll make it a little wider, and I can increase the height just a bit, and now I want these bars to be a little wider, so I can increase the bar thickness just with a slider. One thing I can't do is change the size of the type in the Effect Controls, but since this is a script, I do have access to all the layers.
You just need to be very careful when you're making adjustments to layers that are hidden, because they're hidden for a reason. They have a lot of scripts tied to those different layers. But I know I can quickly and easily change the size of our type. So here I'll go ahead and Unhide all those layers, and I'm gonna click here on Layer One and scroll down, and I'll hold down Shift and click on Layer 11. This will select all my text layers. And just so I can quickly and easily select them all faster in the future, I'll go ahead and change this color to orange.
So, any time you color code layers, you can quickly just click on the color code and say Select Label group, and it'll automatically select any labels with those colors, or any layers with those colors. Now with all these text layers selected, I want to go to Window and make sure that my character panel is active. So over here on the right, I'm gonna go to the size of my typeface, and I'll just click and drag to make the size a little bit larger.
So we'll set it up around 45. Okay, now I'll go ahead and hide these layers because I really don't want to make that many more changes. Let's go ahead and reselect our dashboard theme layer. And notice how these numbers are offset at the bottom. That is a setting. I'll scroll down here, and my text offset is set to 10. I'll set it to zero, and now I have a nice clean baseline for my lines to grow up on. Now, notice the default settings for the script are set up for dollars, and while I appreciate the fact that a lot of things in the world rotate around money, this is just a simple weather graph.
So I don't need the dollar symbol. If you look closely, Layer 22 has a dollar symbol in brackets. This is being referenced by all those other layers. So what I'm gonna do is press Return, and then, instead of typing any other type of value, if I wanted to say Euros or something else, I'm just gonna type a space. That space is going to be inserted in front of these numbers. So if I just click off of that layer, now I've in essence deleted that dollar symbol.
But it was important that I didn't press Delete, because the script is referencing that space. Okay, let's click on our theme one more time, and I want to look through some of the other options. Notice I can change other things, like the bar color, or even the font color, or the number of vertical parts in this little graph in the background here. What I do want to change is the number of decimals. So if I scroll up here, I have decimal places. Let's change that to zero, because these are all round numbers. Now I just need to change the type for my bar chart.
So in my CSV this was snowfall for the calendar year. So I'll just double click on the text and I'll say Snowfall, and I can go ahead and set that. So now if we scrub through, you can see relatively quickly and painlessly, I've created an animated graph that actually has numbers rolling as the different columns are moving up, and I really didn't have to work too hard. It was just a matter of running the script and then sort of customizing things through the themes.
And on occasion, I had to go ahead and unshy some layers so I could make some of my typefaces a little bit larger.
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