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Old November 4th, 2003, 01:23 AM   #1
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Any software out there for animating charts and graphs?

I work for a company that produces marketing videos which make heavy use of animated charts and graphs. I was wondering if anyone out there can suggests a good program that can generate animated charts and graphs and and export them as a quicktime movie for use in an NLE. Many times our clients will make last-minute changes to the numbers, so a program that can make graphs simply by entering in text and numbers would be ideal, but I would also like to keep layers separate in case I need to add effects to certain graphics. I guess I'm guess I'm looking for the charts and graphs version of Apple's Live Text program, if such a program exists. Until now, I have designed charts in Photoshop or Illustrator and imported the files into Final Cut Pro and then animated the separate layers -- a very cumbersome process. There has to be an easier way. Anyone?
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Old November 4th, 2003, 01:48 AM   #2
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I don't know if this helps, but you can create animated charts in PowerPoint, I just don't know how to record it into video file :-) You can use all the PowerPoint transitions to make flying supply and demand curves and the whole works.

INSTRUCTIONS:
1. Right-click on the chart and select Custom Animation
2. Select which charts elements to animate in the Introduce chart elements section.
3. Select "how" the chart elements appear/animate in the Entry animation and sound section.
4. Press Preview
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Old November 4th, 2003, 02:14 AM   #3
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Thanks for the suggestion. All of the charts and graphs we receive come from PowerPoint, and if it were possible to animate and export the graphics it would be the best solution. The reason I never bothered using PowerPoint-made graphs is because their thin lines don't show up very well on an NTSC video screen. Can PowerPoint charts be customized to be more video friendly? Does anyone know if Apple's Keynote could do the trick?
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Old November 4th, 2003, 11:34 PM   #4
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Mike's suggestion sounds interesting, although I have never attempted animation with Powerpoint. Whatever the application, try downrezing your screen to 640x480. There are shareware applications that can do timed captures of the screen and save these as sequential bmp files, such as chart000.bmp, chart001.bmp, etc. See if

http://downloads-zdnet.com.com/3120-20-0.html?qt=bmp+timed+capture&tg=dl-2001

helps. They can also capture from a user-specified rectangular region of the screen. You can then import files these into either Adobe Premiere 6 or 6.5, which will make an avi clip of them. I suspect many animation programs can do the same. Playback can be faster or slower than what you captured at. There is some adjustment necessary in the size, going from 640 across to 720, but Adobe describes how to handle this.
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Old November 5th, 2003, 08:23 AM   #5
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You can customize your charts to look any way you like in PowerPoint. Once you have it looking right, use a program like Camtasia Studio to record the presentation. It will record it into any video format you choose.

You can set up the PowerPoint presentation to run on its own using timings, or manually change slides. Either way, Camtasia will record it. You can edit the recorded output from within Camtasia Studio then export it to whatever video format you are using.
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Old November 5th, 2003, 11:15 PM   #6
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Ideally what I'm really after is a program that genereate a chart or graph by pluging in the numbers and info, and then animate it in a variety of ways, such as having the bars come in one by one. Even if I could export PowerPoint presentations as Quicktime movies, PowerPoint does not offer a lot of options for animating the content. I did find, however, that Apple's Keynote software CAN export presentations as Quicktime and it has a better variety of animation presets than PowerPoint. Still, it's not exactly what I need, but it will do the job until I can find my dream program.
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Old November 6th, 2003, 02:14 AM   #7
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I'm not into scripting myself, but I have a feeling this could be achieved with a script in Vegas, using the text generator and pan/crop tools.
Pop around to the Vegas forum and have a word with Edward.
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