Project Breakdowns

How Bar Chart Race Can be Created in After Effects

The more access to the data we have, the better visual representation needs arise. Bar chart race animation gained a phenomenal traction on Youtube with the help of Flourish libraries data visualization. While I am not familiar with it, out of curiosity I decided to create something similarly looking with Adobe After Effects. After trial and error BCR solution was developed, which include a wide range of different techniques in a single place. From template creation with expressions, scripting with Extendscript and automation of the process - it became a reality. In this post, I will share key insights how Bar Chart Race Animation can be created in After Effects, as well as provide a link to real-time project showcase. As words are words, and without proofs, they can be interpreted and become misleading. Thanks!

First things first - what it is, and why it's needed. Basically, BCR animations can be used for any data visualization related to time series, but not necessarily limited to it. Yearly, monthly or daily statistics between different data entries to compare with are the most commonly used. The data type is not strict at all - from plain countries statistics, to basically anything else which changes over time. You might say "hey, isn't it better to have just a final image of the data, like any charts do"? Well, whenever we can visualize data in motion - its always a pro, not a con. Think about quarterly companies statistic reviews - wouldn't it be more entertaining for all participants to see the progress while presentation happens, instead of looking at the static charts only? As you can imagine, the use case - literally limitless up to your imagination.

  1. General overview of the output
  2. Data file review
  3. Video settings configuration
  4. Video template .aep design
  5. Colors & adaptations
  6. Texts auto-resizing
  7. Automated rendering
  8. Multiple resolutions
  9. Script execution and output generation

This initial project breakdown is a starting point for video series, which will cover all topics above in depth. If you are interested in Bar Chart Race Animations within Adobe After Effects, I encourage you to subscribe to my Youtube channel, Instagram as well as blog posts on the site - that way, you will be sure not to miss the latest updates, and give me a feedback, whether it matters. Thanks for your time, and in case you have questions - do not hesitate to get in touch. Hope to see you around. Cheers!

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