By the end of this article you will have learned how to make a simple animated bar chart, with three bars that pop up to the desired height (getting higher from left to right) and labels that count up to the desired value.
Note that this will be updated with video and images when possible.
If you’d like to follow along, you should have Alight Motion installed on your device. This seminar only uses a background image, which can be downloaded below.
If you’d rather follow along with a finished project, import the project into Alight Motion with the link below.
Completed Element Link: http://alight.link/7Lrgeb2KvngYh3Qt6
Create the X/Y Axis Lines
Let's create a new 1:1 project to house our chart. In the main interface, tap +, then Drawing, then choose vector drawing. Use the controlpad to drag the cursor to the top left of the screen, then tap on the controlpad to add a point. Do the same for the point on the lower left, and on the lower right, using the red guidelines to help you make sure you're vertical and horizontal. By default, Alight Motion fills any drawings, so you should see a triangle at this point.
Leave the Vector Drawing panel and tap Color & Fill. Choose None to remove the fill and just leave the path. To make the path visible, leave Color & Fill, and tap Border & Shadow and turn on Stroke. Let's make it a little big thicker. While we're here, let's also add arrow ends to the chart. Tap Start and choose the arrow head. Use the slider to make it a bit larger. Tap End and do the same. We will animate these later, but let's leave them for now.
Create and Animate Graph Bars
Now, let's add the bars to our chart. We're going to make our tallest bar first. Tap +, then add choose Shape, then add a square. Adjust the size of the bar using the handles or by editing the shape. We can also adjust the color with Color & Fill. Use the Move & Transform tool to position the bar on the bar on top of the axis, on the right. Don't worry if the bar covers half of the axis, we'll mask that out later.
With the bar in position, let's animate it. Right now, the bar is in it's final position. Let's move the playhead to 0:15 (half a second in 30fps), select the layer, tap Move & Transform, and then with position highlighted tap Add Keyframe. Now, lets move the playhead to 0:00 then drag the bar down below the axis with the controlpad, leaving enough room for the bar label. The area below the axis will be masked out, so we don't have to worry about it.
Note that using the preview to move layers will move the layer itself AND its keyframes, while moving with the control pad creates new keyframes.
Let's play our bar animation back. It might not feel natural because the bar is traveling at a constant speed. Let's add an easing curve to its motion to give it a more natural feel. In Move & Transform, with Position selected, tap Easing. We want the bar to move in quickly but then slow down until it's finally at rest. Let's tap the third curve and drag the right slider up and to the right a bit. This will ease our bar into position.
As a final step for the bars, let's add Motion Blur, which will provide anti-aliasing, and will make our motion appear smoother. We now have an animated bar.
Now we need to add a label to our bar. Tap +, Text, then let's type 2000. Tap the name of the font and choose a bold font so that the label shows up clearly. We can also change the color at the top of the screen to complement the color of the bars. We can then tap the checkmark to make the layer. Let's move the playhead to 0:00 if it's not already there.
Use Move & Transform controlpad with Position selected to align the text layer precisely over the next layer. Then tap Add keyframe. Move to 0:15 (the end of the bar's movement) and drag the text to the top of the bar. Play this back, and you'll notice that we need to change the easing curve for
Unselect the text, and then select the bar again. Tap Move & Transform, then Easing, then tap the overflow button on the bottom left. Tap Copy Curve. Unselect the bar and then reselect the text, go to Move & Transform, then Easing, then the overflow button then Paste Curve. This will copy the curve from the other layer onto this one. Let's then add Motion Blur to this layer too, and play it back!
As a flourish, we can then make the text shoot off the bar and then land again at the end of the animation, as if it was riding the bar. To do this, we can move the playhead to 0:15, and move the text layer higher, and then a few frames later we can move it back to it's original position on top of the bar. This should give it a little bump at the end!
Add a Text Counter
Creating a counter is easy in Alight Motion! Select the text layer, tap Effects, Add Effect, and then choose Count Up/Down. Count Up/Down has two parameters, Offset and Scale. Offset adds or subtracts from the number in the text layer, and is used for small changes, while Scale multiplies its value to the text layer, which is better suited for larger changes. For now, let's use both! Move the playhead to 0:15 and make a keyframe for both Offset and Scale. Move the playhead to 0:00, and reduce the values for both. Scale should be around Zero, but the actual value of Offset isn't very important. You can fine tune the easing curves to get the exact type of counter you want, but we'll keep things simple for now. Play this back and you'll see your counter grow as it rises up with the bar!
Once you have one bar completed, it's easy to do the rest. Long tap on the tab to the left of the bar layer on the timeline until it is highlighted. Tap the counter layer to multi-select. Tap the three vertical dots on the top right of the screen, and tap Duplicate Layers. Do this again so that you have three bars, each with a counter on them.
Multiselect each bar with their header and move them to the correct place on the axis with the preview and NOT the controlpad. Moving with the preview moves all the keyframes as well, which is what we want because we want all bars to exhibit the same behavior. Let's move them down a bit, as we mentioned above, so they appear lower on the graph. Don't worry about them poking out the bottom, we'll take care of that later.
We probably want the bars to appear in order from left to the right, so take the middle bar and counter, multi-select the layers and then long tap on one of the layers and drag them both a few frames to the right on the timeline. Do the same, but a bit more for the bar and counter on the right. Once you change the numbers for the other bars, you have most of your animated graph!
Mask Out the Trash
Now, let's get rid of the parts of the bars we don't want to see. Tap +, then Shape and add a square. Make it fill the graph, right to the edge of the axes. Now, multi-select the square and every layer except the axes. Tap the three vertical dots on the top right, and select Create Masking Group. This will make a mask that will hide everything (except the axes) outside of the square, leaving us with a far more polished look.
Animate the X/Y Axis Lines & Finishing Touches
We can now do a few small things to polish up our graph. Let's make the axes animate in at the start of the graph. Select the axes, tap Effects, then Add Effect, and add Drawing Progress. This effect is used to draw a layer out slowly over time. Let's go to 0:10 ish, and then tap End in Draw Progress, and then tap Add keyframe. We can then go to 0:00, slide the End slider to 0, and the axes will now draw themselves!
We can also improve on the background as well. Let's add the image we prepared of crumpled paper by unselecting everything, tapping +, then Media, and then selecting our image. Let's use Blending & Opacity with the image layer selected, and then slide the Opacity slider down to about 0.5. We can then unselect and select the masking group, open Blending & Opacity again, and change the blending mode to Multiply (in Darken). This should make the the making group slightly transparent to allow the paper to be visible.