Creating Animated Pie Charts In After Effects (In JUST 1 Min)

To animate a pie chart in After Effects, set up your workspace and create a new composition. Use solids to represent data slices, apply the Polar Coordinates effect for circular transformation, and animate the chart for a dynamic presentation.

October 7, 2023
Creating Animated Pie Charts In After Effects (In JUST 1 Min)
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Adobe After Effects Pie Chart Tutorial

Displaying information through visual infographics is a powerful way to convey complex data in a digestible manner. Animated pie charts, in particular, have become a popular tool in the world of motion graphics and presentations. Their dynamic nature not only captures attention but also offers a clear representation of percentages or data segments.

What You'll Achieve From This Tutorial:

  • Creation: Learn the step-by-step process to craft an animated pie chart.
  • Animation: Understand how to bring your pie chart to life, making data representation more dynamic.
  • Customization: Grasp techniques to adjust and modify your chart based on specific data and aesthetic preferences.

Creating a New Composition

This is where you'll be doing most of your work. Think of a composition as a canvas where you'll place and animate your elements.

Steps to Create a New Composition:

  1. Go to the bottom of the screen where you'll find the "Timeline" panel.
  2. Just above it, there's a button labeled "New Composition." Click on it.
  3. A window will pop up. Here, you can set the dimensions, duration, and frame rate of your composition. For our pie chart, a standard HD resolution (1920x1080) should suffice. Set the duration to how long you want your animation to be, say 10 seconds for starters.
  4. Click "OK."

Precomposing for Organization

Precomposing is like placing various elements into a folder. It helps in keeping things organized, especially when dealing with multiple layers.

How to Precompose:

  1. In your main composition, select the layers you want to group together.
  2. Right-click on one of the highlighted layers.
  3. From the dropdown menu, select "Precompose."
  4. A window will appear. Name your precomp, for instance, "Pie Chart."
  5. Click "OK."

Imagine you're placing documents into a folder. This folder (precomp) can then be moved, scaled, or rotated, and everything inside will follow suit.

Setting Up Solids and Assigning Values

Solids are the building blocks in After Effects. For our pie chart, each slice will be represented by a solid.

Creating a Solid:

  1. Right-click in the "Timeline" panel.
  2. Hover over "New" and from the side menu, select "Solid."
  3. A window will pop up. Here, you can choose the color of your solid. Remember, each solid color represents a slice of your pie chart.
  4. Click "OK."

Assigning Values:Imagine your pie chart represents sales data. If laptops represent 20% of sales, you'll set the solid's X-scale value to 20%. To do this:

  1. Select your solid in the timeline.
  2. Press "S" on your keyboard. This brings up the "Scale" property.
  3. Unlink the scale values by clicking on the chain icon.
  4. Adjust the X value to represent the percentage (in our example, 20%).

Applying the Polar Coordinates Effect

This effect will transform your linear data representation into a circular pie chart.

Steps to Apply the Effect:

  1. With your precomp layer selected, go to the top menu and select "Effect."
  2. Navigate to "Distort" and then select "Polar Coordinates."
  3. In the "Effect Controls" panel, change the "Type of Conversion" to "Rect to Polar."
  4. Adjust the "Interpolation" to 100%.

It's like taking a straight piece of paper and wrapping it into a circular shape, turning your linear data into a pie chart.

Animating Your Pie Chart

Animation brings life to your pie chart, making it more engaging.

Steps to Animate:

  1. In your precomp, select all solids.
  2. Parent them to the bottom solid by dragging the pick whip (spiral icon) to the bottom solid.
  3. Keyframe the bottom solid's X-scale from 0% to 100%.

This animation will make it seem as if your pie chart is drawing itself, slice by slice.