7 Replies Latest reply on Jun 6, 2016 10:44 AM by bogiesan

    Creating a line graph with spreadsheet data?

    louisen13117016

      Hi, is it possible to create a line graph by importing all the data from a spreadsheet (or pasting) rather than inputting it manually? I have a set with many data points and it is not feasible to enter them all manually. I want a simple line graph to chart the historic price of gold, so I need price on the vertical axis and dates on the horisontal axis. I want to be able to animate the line from left to right. (Not just wipe it because that would make it go much faster at places where the curve is steep.)

       

      I have tried a script called Infocharts Creator, but it doesn't have the line graph that I need. I have seen people suggest that you put a picture of a graph in the background and trace the line with the pen tool, but I need to make it completely accurate and preferably quick to make.

       

      Any suggestions? I'm kind of surprised that AE doesn't have the same kind of graph tool as Illustrator where you can just paste your data. (Or am I missing something here? I'm new to AE.)

       

      If there is no solution in AE, is it possible to save just the line from an Illustrator graph as a path to use in AE? (Then I could have the rest of the Illustrator graph fixed in Premiere Pro and just have the line in AE.) I have tried but I can only make it a png which doesn't help.

       

      Very grateful for any tips you might have!

        • 1. Re: Creating a line graph with spreadsheet data?
          Szalam Adobe Community Professional & MVP

          You can copy and paste paths from Illustrator to AE.

          • 2. Re: Creating a line graph with spreadsheet data?
            Mylenium Most Valuable Participant

            I'm kind of surprised that AE doesn't have the same kind of graph tool as Illustrator

            Animated data graphics are a whole different beast and a minor sub-set. And in all seriousness - who would want a crappy implementation like the one in AI? There are way better tools to do such stuff.

             

            Mylenium

            • 3. Re: Creating a line graph with spreadsheet data?
              louisen13117016 Level 1

              OK, but what are those tools? I will be making videos of financial research that needs to be published within a couple of hours of filming. And the graphs may have hundreds of data points. Is that feasible?

              • 4. Re: Creating a line graph with spreadsheet data?
                louisen13117016 Level 1

                But how do I convert the line of a line graph to a path? I can select just the line, but it seems there are restrictions to graphs so you can't convert them the same way that you would other shapes. But as I said I am quite new to Illustrator as well, so maybe there is a way?

                • 5. Re: Creating a line graph with spreadsheet data?
                  Mylenium Most Valuable Participant

                  I can select just the line, but it seems there are restrictions to graphs so you can't convert them the same way that you would other shapes.

                   

                  Sure you can. That's what the Expand command in AI is for. As for your other stuff - obviously tools like MathLab, EasyStat and so on have tons of charting tools that support SVG, PDF and all sorts of image exports, including sequences. Otherwise there's a million ways to create charts with the help of expressions and scripts. You might want to browse AEScripts.com and do a generic web search. Back in the day I did a couple of these things for tutorials...

                   

                  Mylenium

                  • 6. Re: Creating a line graph with spreadsheet data?
                    Andrew Yoole MVP & Adobe Community Professional

                    When I need to quickly render a graph for something I'm working on, and it doesn't need to be heavily customised, I use Apple Keynote (the Apple presentation equivalent of Powerpoint). 

                     

                    It builds quite nice 2D and 3D graphs of many types, and does nice animated builds if required.  You can paste data in directly from Excel, or Apple's spreadsheet program Numbers. 

                     

                    I create the graph on a keyable background colour, because Keynote doesn't output alpha channels, and animate any builds quite slowly so I get plenty of frames to play with in AE.   Keynote allows you to export the graph as a Quicktime with the specs of your choice.  My choice is usually lossless, like Quicktime Animation codec.

                     

                    Then import to AE, key out the background, and use Time Remapping to build the graphic at the required speed, and with any incremental pauses etc.

                     

                    It's not a practical solution in all cases, especially if your client has specific visual requirements, but it's saved me many hours of work in jobs over the years.

                     

                    IMG_0084.png

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                    • 7. Re: Creating a line graph with spreadsheet data?
                      bogiesan Level 4

                      I will second Andrew's suggestion for Keynote. We do this often. We don't have the rapid turnaround you're looking for but it should be an efficient process once you've practiced and created some template slides that you know will work. The main issue we deal with between our financial people and our audiences is getting anyone to comprehend the difference between the nonexistent ability to portray deadly accuracy (there just aren't enough pixels available on screen to plot thousands of data points) and the need to communicate information quickly but legibly; the audience needs to see the information, grasp its importance, get the message we are promoting, and believe both the data and the message delivery can be trusted.

                       

                      I've been told by analysts, "Putting up bad data makes you look like you're lying. We can fix  that because we'll find out from other sources. But putting up data in the wrong type of chart just makes you look stupid. Can't fix stupid."

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