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Adobe Illustrator CC - Advanced Training

How to make a pie chart line graph & bar graph in Adobe Illustrator CC

Daniel Walter Scott

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Hey there, in this video we're going to make charts, graphs, pie charts, and things. We'll even make them 3D like this guy down the bottom here. All right, let's go do that now in Adobe Illustrator. 

I've just started with a blank document. Next we want to go and find the tool we want. It is this tool here. So hover down. Yours might look slightly different depending on which one was last used. We're going to use the Column Graph Tool, even though-- I can say, with a Bar Chart apparently a Bar Chart goes, or Bar Graph goes left to right. I'm going to use this one. Now when I create my graph you really need to decide how big you want it. It's surprisingly hard to resize afterwards. I'm going to click, hold, and drag out a rough size kind of graph. You can resize it, but easier to do here. 

What we want to do now, what you're meant to do is, we need to click this option, 'Import Data', and from your 'Exercise Files', pick 'Charts - Bar', click 'Open'. And it freaks out. So basically it has only such specifically formatted data, it's pretty much useless. The easy way, it's not useless, but it is quite specific. So open it up in something like Excel or Google Sheets, whatever you have access to. Puts the default from that, can't remember. I'm going to copy and paste the data I need. Now be very specific about what you copy. I'm going to copy this, excluding the title because I'm going to add that afterwards. It's not super clever like Excel. I'm going to copy it, and go to Illustrator and click in this first field here, and paste it. I'm going to click this tick box, that little tick. Kind of says, go and look at it again. It's pretty good. 

There's a couple of things you want to do. One is, let's say I click on this, and I accidentally well, not accidentally, I closed that, I'm finished with that, I called it Data Panel. Now I want to go and adjust this. So let's say I want to change the font. It's nice to work with the Direct Selection Tool. Try not to ungroup it, because at the moment it's a dynamic chart that I can adjust afterwards, but if I ungroup it, it kind of turns into shapes and pieces. Actually what I'll do is, 'Black Arrow', select the whole thing. And you can see over here, my Character Panel, I'm just going to pick these here. So this is where you add your, I guess, your niceness. Niceness is not the word I want, but sex it up a little bit. Another nice word, a word that I didn't want. 

I'm going to go through, I'm using the White Arrow. The Direct Selection Tool is really handy for just going through and going, I want you, I want you. Pick you. I'm going to color them all, please hold. Grab this last one. We've customized it a little bit, now let's say I want to change it. As in, some of the-- maybe it's the Sales Report. So next month it's a little different. Now to update it, all you want to do is, with it selected, on the new version of Illustrator you can just hit 'Graph Data', and it pops back up. You can go and either copy and paste it, and replace it, or whatever you want to do. Let's say that things changes, it's no longer 150, it's 110. It's gone bad for Brewed, click on the little tick, and it's adjusted. 

Another thing you might do is you might adjust-- well, that's on the new version, I'll just quickly explain it for people in the older version. You go into 'Object', 'Graph', 'Data'. Brings back the same thing, data. Let's say you want to change the chart. So, in that option over here, under 'Properties', go to 'Graph Type'. You can just go through and say-- there's all these options along here, I'm going to pick a 'Pie Chart'. Actually let's look at Line Chart. No, Pie Chart, let's do that, let's click 'OK'. 

The weird thing about Pie Charts is that you need to have the data in the right kind of format. So I'm going to go to 'Graph Data'. And basically what we need to do is, this here, we transpose row and height. It wants to see the information kind of going that way, watch this. Then click 'tick', and life is good again. All my colors are gone, which I couldn't live with, so I kind of colored it. 

There are a couple of things you can also do now. With the White Arrow, we can select on this and what we're trying not to do is breaking that link between that being like an active graph. So we can update and change it easily. So I'm going to grab my White Arrow. We can do cool stuff like this, where I drag it out to maybe have like a pull out, where we explain a little bit more. The good thing about it is that if I click it on with my Black Arrow again, this data is still live, I can go through, and say actually this is back to 350, I made a mistake here. Click 'tick', and everything adjusts. 

So you're keeping that connection to the data. There are times where you do need to break that. I'll show you a couple of reasons why. Can I close this down? One cheap trick, actually I'm going to undo it so that it's back in there. A cheap trick is, I want to make it like a doughnut. Like you saw at the front there, or in the Intro. You could cut a hole in it, or-- actually I'm going to start from the center here. Hold down 'Shift Alt', I'll draw a circle from the center. I should knock a hole in it, and make it a Compound shape, or just put a white circle in it. Looks like the doughnut shape. 

The other thing I want to do is I'm going to click 'A'. And I want to get rid of the Stroke around the outside. I can do that easy enough, 'Stroke'. Set to, I'm guessing here. Can I do that? I can, totally. Awesome. That circle also needs it. Now it's looking okay. We've still retained all that, I guess, connection. So what I want to do now, I want to actually break that connection. We'll do some cool 3D stuff like we saw at the beginning. 

So I'm making a copy of my good one, with all the data still connected. There are times when you want to say, actually, just want to smash this to pieces so I can do some cool things with it. To do it, I feel like you want to go to 'Object', 'Expand', but you can click on that forever. That doesn't work, you need to actually go 'ungroup' in this case, which is a little strange. It says it's going to break that link. And I say, "Yes," because I've got some stuff to do. What I might do, first of all is, I might do a proper Compound shape where I select all of this. Are these all connected? They are. So I'm going to have to ungroup them. Put them again, now they're all bits and pieces. They're still connected, stop being connected. Ungrouping lots. Now they're all separate pieces. 

So I'm going to click all these, I'm going to grab my Shape Builder Tool. Remember, I hold down 'Option' key on a Mac, or the 'Alt' key on a PC, and draw a circle. And now, there's a hole in the middle. How do I know there's a hole in the middle? I can use my shortcut, 'Command-Shift-D' to see the Transparency Grid. I'll turn it off. If you're on a PC, it's 'Control-Shift-D'. Why do we need natural hole? Because we need to make that 3D shape. So with this selected, what I might do is make another copy of this. I have copies everywhere. Let's go to 'Effect', '3D', and 'Extrude & Bevel'. It's going to do the look we want. Click on 'Preview'. It's not grouped, so that's going to do really weird stuff, watch this. Hit 'Cancel'. So we need to group it. Also make sure there's no Stroke around the outside. If you have a black Stroke around the outside it makes it look a little lame when it gets into 3D. We just have black edges. 

So back into 'Effect', '3D', 'Extrude', click on 'Preview'. And now we get to do some fun stuff. Not fun, it's pretty cool though. I like it. Let's click 'OK'. One thing you can do is you can go to Outline view. So 'Command Y', or 'Control Y'. Or 'View', it's this one here, toggle that in and out. You can kind of look at it still in Plain view. And what you might decide is, grab the 'Black Arrow'. It's grouped, I'm going to double click it to go inside the group. Now I'm going to click this one chunk. It's going to be a little slow because it's doing 3D stuff in the background. I'm going to click this arrow loads of times until it disappears. I'm going to hit 'Command Y' again to get back. You can kind of do this, like 3D pull out thing. Feel like this needs to be rotated around. I should have done this in the 3D view. It's really weird if you try and rotate it, it's rotating it but then going back to the 3D, and doing some weird stuff. 

We'll look at the cover, line charts, and Scatter graphs, it's all basically the same. Dump in the data, you might have to clean the data up a little bit. Then it's kind of making it look nice. These are some examples of things I've done. They're not beautiful, but it's-- trying, like to fancy up graphs and data for annual reports, those types of things. 

All right, that is going to be it about how to do it. There's a couple of other things I want to show you. Actually let's go and jump to that other stuff now. All right, where are we? We are in the middle of a Sales Pitch. I guess I want to show you where we'll take it from now. I often get my graphs to a certain level, then I want to animate them. And Illustrator is not the tool to do it. It's generally After Effects. I've got a course for that, and I'm going to kind of show you, not to sell the course, kind of to sell the course, but just to show you like what you can do with graphs. 

So it's called Data Visualization and Animated Infographics. There's lots of pictures of me, I should have had a shave. It does a lot of things, we change from graphs from say, Excel, or Illustrator. And we do the-- I'm going to mute it. You can kind of see, the same graphs, with a little bit of, I don't know. Animation just kind of brings them to life if you're doing PowerPoint presentations things for YouTube. It just covers-- any other nice looking things in that? No, it's just me. Check that out, you don't have to do my course, but go and check out. Check out After Effects for animating that sort of thing. 

Now, don't go yet. The next one is not a Sales Pitch, but it is future awesomeness. Let's jump to that now. All right, where have I brought you? I've brought you to watch YouTube with me. It's worth watching, I promise you. You can go and just look at ProjectLincoln, Bernard Kerr, he's a Kiwi guy. This is Adobe Max, their big conference they have every year. I'm lucky enough to speak at it. If you do get to go, this year it's in L.A, last year it was it was Vegas. Very exciting, right? 20,000 creatives doing presentations and awesome things. So come check it out. 

They've got this thing called Adobe Sneaks. And all Adobe Sneaks are, it's like what Adobe are doing in the background, it's not released yet but stuff they're trying to work on. Enough talking, I'm just going to let this play out. This is me, ending the video. You don't have to watch anymore. It's six minutes long, you can watch it, you don't have to. But man, it's cool. I hope it's going to be out soon. Okay, let's hit Play now. 

You don't mind me saying, everybody welcome Bernard Kerr, with ProjectLincoln. I'll turn my microphone off. Hello Max. Whoever out there has ever had to make a nice looking chart or Data Visualization? Me. Have you found the process painfully slow and frustrating? Yes. Would you like some super powers to be able to do it at lightning speed? I got to say, this is the first time I've heard a crowd cheer for Data Visualization. In the past you've probably used one of three different approaches. You might have tried drawing something from scratch, you might have found a template that was close but not quite exactly what you wanted. Or you may not be familiar how to code. Or some combination of the three. 

So all these approaches start with data that's sort of stuffed into a machine, and spits out the visualization. But ProjectLincoln flips this up on its head and says, "What if you could sketch first, and then bind your drawing to data?" That means any of the visual properties of something you've drawn could be bound to data. That could be its position, its size, its color. Even text could be bound to data. And these data driven drawing tools live on top of the drawing tools you already know and love. 

So let me show you how this works by trying to build you a poster for my friend Kim Chambers. You may remember Kim for close to last couple of years. She's not only a sensation, she's also an extraordinary swimmer. One of seven people on the planet to have swum the ocean seven. A set of gruelling marathon swims all around the world. So I'm going to make a poster for her. So all I'm going do here, in Lincoln, I'm going to bring in a simple spreadsheet. This is for the North Channel swim. So from this picture we're going to grab these variable names from the top of the spreadsheet and put it into this palette. And this is what we're going to use to bind our drawing to data. 

So if I want to make a Bar chart, I just make a bar the size, and shape, and color that I want. Then when I hit the Repeat Grid I get a Bar for each of those swimmers. Now if I want to set the length of this Bar I can select the right hand side and bind it to the Time Variable. And now all these Bar points are bound to time, and I can adjust them with this Axis Control. If I add some text, I just added some text here. At this point it's the same all the way down, but I can bind that to the swimmers' names. I could do the same for time. 

I'm going to open up my Swimmer Library, and I grab a swimmer. So I've got the swimmer sitting here, repeated that same way all the way down, but I've got this new concept which I call a Sticky Anchor. With this we set up a relationship between the Anchor Point of one object and Anchor Point of another. So now they have this offset. Now I'm going to throw in a flag. Obviously not all of these swimmers are from New Zealand like me and Kim. So we bind them to the country variable. Fill that in with some dark gray. So here's Kim, and looks like she's wearing the wrong bathing suit. So let me bind that swimmer to the Gender Variable. So now we have actually three women swimmers who have done these crazy swims and they were 17 hours in the waters; it's a long time, right? 

So now that I'm sort of happy with my design here I can apply all these bindings to each of the other swimmers. So now they automatically just get generated based on the data. I can also throw these all on the same page at the same time. Small multiples, and I can control the spacing between them too. Bar charts, maybe not your cup of tea, maybe we'll try something a little more sophisticated. Now I'm going to do a Weather radio. Now if you know what a Weather radio is, it's actually a visualization of weather showing you the high and low temperatures for every day of the year, for the entire year, all in one go. This would be really useful for Kim to know about when she's planning these swims to know what time of the year to go for these crazy swims. 

So this time I'm going to bind the right hand side of this bar to the high temperature for the day. The left hand side is going to be bound to the low. Now when I hit the Repeat Grid I have 365 of these Bars in an arranged chart. Now I'm going to bind the color of this bar to the average temperature, with this new color control. So these guys are running off the page, it's 365, and now I'm going to throw them into a Radial Pattern, and then we have a--

So of course we can apply these findings to all those different cities that she would be swimming from to work out where actually to go. I don't have time to do a full poster here, but here is a sort of design we worked on earlier. It's awesome! I just built 14 Data Visualizations, simple and complex ones with total creative control and freedom in less than four minutes. Cool, guys? 

All right, that was awesome. I'm hoping we all do a video class very soon on how to use Lincoln, or whatever they end up calling it. All right, that's the end of this one. It was good fun watching a YouTube video. We should do it again. In the next video we'll do something, a little bit more Illustrator. Let's go and do that now.