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After Effects - Animated Infographic Video & Data Visualisation

How to make an animated opacity percentage slider in Adobe After Effects

Daniel Walter Scott

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Hi there, in this tutorial we're going to do this where this kind of image white thing goes. And we've even brought the percentage counter back. It's an easy one, let's go and do that now in After Effects.

First thing is, we're going to make a New Project, then we're going to make a New Composition. And I'll call this one 'Color Bomb'. And 'HDTV'. We're going to make it 5 seconds long. Make sure the background color is black, click 'OK'. Going to bring in an Image. So 'File', 'Import', I'm going to bring in this Jpeg called 'Color Bomb', and I'll drag it on to my Stage. Then I'm going to lock it so it doesn't move. And we're going to draw our little Transparent box that slides across it. It's like that, remember that color circle that we used to create the doughnut in the Pie Chart? It's not that fancy, it's easy to do, and the effect is pretty cool.

So we're going to go to 'Layer', 'New', we're going to make a new 'Solid'. Make sure it is black. And give it a name, this one's going to be called 'Transparent Box'. And we're just going to slide it across. But first of all let's change the transparency of it. So down here, click on 'Transparent Box'. Click 'T' for Transparency, or Opacity. And get it down to something that looks good. You can kind of slide it across, mine's at 65. It's a clear kind of definition of that line now. I'll put it back to where it was. Go back there. So, we just need to add some Keyframes. So my Playhead's right at the beginning. I'm going to click on the Layer, 'P' for Position. Start the stopwatch, and after some time, I'm going to get it, and click, hold, and drag it holding 'Shift', just to get it going across. If you're finding that hard, just drag this little Slider as well.

Now, this is going to be 90%. It's 90% of people of Creatives who use Photoshop as part of their creative work. Now, 90% of this Color Burst, not sure how you calculate it, so I'm just going to guess it. If you're a data scientist, and you're watching me, probably this whole tutorial series you're cringing when I'm just going, "That will be fine." Probably you want to calculate it properly. I'm not, in this case, so...

So, that's it, moves across. When you do a few things, we're going to do some Parenting. First of all, I need to add the Easing. First thing we always do, it's getting to look nice. And then we'll get some stuff to Parent to it. So carry on, because there are a few extra little tips we're going to learn. So we have used the Easing to get it to look nice. And I twirl it back up now. I want to add a line, so it's a little bit clearer. It's fine, but I like a little line across there. Move your Playhead along, so it's completely stopped. Grab your 'Pen' tool. Pick a Stroke color by clicking this box here. I've picked kind of an off-gray. The size of this, maybe '3 pixels'. And I click once up.

I'm going to make sure it's just high enough to cover that part of Color Burst. Holding down 'Shift', so I just click once, then holding down 'Shift', click once again. And now I'm going to have to zoom in a little bit, just to see-- space bar to move across. It's kind of there, just going to move it across. Move it across a little bit. Just so it's around the edge of that. Kind of transparent box there. Now, trouble is, it does this. Not connected. So what we can do is, make sure your Playhead is all the way at the end, so they're both lined up, then all you do is Parent them. Let's actually rename this one here, so this is going to be my 'Line'. Parent them, I would like my Line to follow my Transparent box, please. You guys be buddies. That's Parenting.

A few other things, so we're going to do a Text Box, and at the end, we'll bring in our Percentage Timer again, and the cool thing about that is we can just cheat. Not sure it's a cool way of cheating. So, you... And when it gets to the end here, I'm going to grab my Rectangle tool. Make sure you have nothing selected. If you do have something selected, like if I have my Transparent Box selected, and I start drawing out objects, it becomes Masks. And I don't want to do that, I'm going to undo. Just make sure you got nothing selected down here. Then grab your Rectangle tool. And draw out a rectangle for my Type.

Now, mine's really preset because I was playing around with this, practicing this tutorial for you. So what you might have to do now, is go up here. Click on the 'Color', pick black. Click the word 'Fill', and 'Transparency' down to something else. I've got mine at 65. Stroke around the outside, I don't want, so I click on 'Stroke', click 'None'. So I've got my little box, my Type to go into. Now we're going to put our text in there. I've got some text in the exercise files, but it's not that much, but I'm going to go out and grab it. It's in the 08 Mask file, and it's called Photoshop, I want to grab this text here, and grab my 'Type' tool, click once, paste. Messing around with the Type. I'm going to maybe adjust that a bit. Stick together to fit in there. Yes, it's looking okay.

So, problem again, it's not playing along. Eventually the Playhead is along where it's all stopped, and then say you two, Parent, this, Transparent Box, everybody's following the Transparent Box. Nice! The next thing we're going to do is put on our percentage counter. We don't have to do it again, so we're going to cheat, and steal it from another project. So once you've downloaded all these things you do a lot of copying and pasting, or stealing, or File Save As, and just adjusting it because this one here would be particularly easy to adjust for lots of different data points because you just changed out the Image in the back, change the Text, and you're away.

So what we're going to do is, double click in here to Import. We can actually import other After Effects files. So, in your '08 Masking', I've put one in here called 'Number counter'. You can go and find the one that you've made in the previous tutorial if you've got that around, but I've got this nice simple one here called Number counter. What happens is it brings it in. So, here's the Number counter into this little group. That's everything that was in that project. Inside of here, there's the Comp we made. And what we can do is, double click it, here he is there, that's the thing I made. We might have some font problems because I adjusted this middle one here. This 'Lust', I like it, it's free, well it's part of Typekit.

So all we need to do is, here, I want that and that. I want the 53% and the percentage sign, they're on two different layers, just hit 'Copy'. I'm going to close down this Comp. Now I'm on my Color Bomb, just going to 'Paste'. I'm going to move it along to about there. We need to adjust the numbers now because at the moment, it's kind of working. 'Space bar' So, it's the Keyframe on '53', that are our most important, so just have that selected, hit 'U'. There's those Keyframes. So what I want to do first of all is probably drag this one back to the beginning because that's the one at 0. Then this next one, I want it to be wherever this thing finishes. It kind of finishes about there, so you come along. And the other thing is that the data is wrong. So it's 53. So with it selected, click on this one called 'Effect Controls'. If you can't find it, go to 'Window', go to 'Effect Controls'. Oh, I can't even find it, in there somewhere.

And what I want to do is change it from here, and I want to change it to 90. Okay, I know where it is now, there it is, 'Effect Controls'. So that's it. We've borrowed it, it's working, now we need to Parent it. Do the exact same thing, just make sure

If you Parent it back here, it's at the beginning here. And I Parented too early. Transparent Box, it works, but that's just kind of a reference point, watch... bye. So I'm going to undo, and then before I Parented both of these I make sure my Playhead is where everything stopped and then go 'Parent' to the 'Transparent Box', it's the Pied Piper box. Everybody follows him. That's kind of going to be it. I'm going to add Motion Blur, because it looks cool. So I'm going to close all these down. I'm going to add

It's easy just to drag across them all. Make sure it's on the whole project. It's going to take a little bit longer to Preview. You might not like it, I do like this. And that my friends is a cool little transparent white to show our Data, and we learned a few things, we're Parenting, and how to steal from other Comps. Let's get on to the next tutorial. Easy fun.