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Create your own animation style for any chart element

Create your own animation style for any chart element

by Sanket on May 19, 2011 · 1 comment

in Tutorials

All the charts in oomfo are animated and have been known to create a great first impression. But that’s not all. Using the Styles feature in oomfo, you can effortlessly create your own animation styles and apply them to any chart element. Your caption can fade in to visibility, the axis labels can travel across the chart and the divisional lines scale up to size. In this post, we will take a detailed look at creating two different animation styles – an elegant one for the column chart and a jazzy one for the line chart.

Creating an elegant animation for the column chart

The definition of elegance varies from person to person. For me, it is scaling the divisional lines at the back of the chart horizontally to their full size. This, of course, is in addition to the default animation the chart has.

First up, create a simple column chart. Click on the Insert chart button in the oomfo ribbon to bring up the oomfo chart builder. Go ahead and select the 2D column chart.

Selecting the column chart

We will stick with the default data itself for the chart, and head straight to the Chart Cosmetics tab to create the animation style. The custom animation, as I pointed out earlier, is created using the Styles feature of oomfo. In the bottom part of the Chart Cosmetics tab, you will see the heading Customize Individual Chart Elements with icons to create, apply and edit styles. This is going to be your bread and butter for all types of custom animation and styles. Click on Create Styles to get started.

Create styles

This will bring up the Create a Style dialog box with tabs to create different kinds of styles – animation, font, blur, bevel, glow and shadow. In this case, all we need to concern ourselves is with the animation tab which is the default one.

The Styles dialog box

Since we are creating an x-scale animation effect, select the animation type as, well, x-scale. The Start from parameter allows you to set up a sequence of animation for different chart elements and the duration parameter specifies the time in seconds the animation will take. For example, you have created an animation style for the caption which starts at 0 (i.e. as soon as the chart appears) and has a duration of 1s. You have another animation style for the data labels but want that to start only after the captions have finished animating. So you will set the Start from for the data labels as 1. The easing defines the style in which the animation will happen, for lack of a better word. The best way to understand them is actually play around with them. The default values for all three parameters work well in our case. Finally, save the style with a name and click Ok.

Saving the animation style

Now it’s time to apply the animation to the divisional lines. Click on the Apply Styles button next to the Create Styles button. This will open the Apply Styles dialog box with a list of all the chart elements and the styles you have created. You can select chart elements one-by-one and apply any number of styles you would like to. In our case, this is pretty simple.

Applying x-scale animation to the div lines

Click Apply. You will be able to see a preview of the style you just applied in the Preview pane. If you don’t like it or need to finetune it, click on Edit Styles and modify it as per your requirements. For now, click Finish, position the chart in the slide and hit slideshow. Then sit back and enjoy the elegant custom animation you have just created.

Column chart with x-scale animation

How about adding another elegant style to the chart? Let’s add a fade-in effect to the horizontal grid at the back of the chart. Following the same route, go to the Create Styles dialog box and create a Transparency Fading animation.

Creating the fade-in animation effect

Again, the default values for the other parameters will work just fine. So save the style and move on to applying it to the horizontal grid.

Applying the fade-in animation effect to the horizontal grid

Go to the slideshow and check out how your combination of two animation styles looks. Quite elegant, don’t you think?

Creating a jazzy effect for the line chart

Time for some fun and lively animation effects. How does creating a line chart and making the anchors bounce into their positions sound to you? Yes, that’s right. You can easily do that too using oomfo. Let’s get started.

The first natural step is creating a line chart. I have used a single-series line chart to keep things clean and simple.

Selecting the line chart

Just like in the example earlier, head to the Create a Style dialog box. Since the anchors would be traveling (bouncing) vertically to their place, the animation style would be Y Position. You can create a horizontal bounce effect too but that just doesn’t look natural. The default for Start and Duration work fine. You can make the bounce effect faster by reducing the duration to 1s but anything more than 2s will be a bit too slow. And to actually create the bounce effect, all you need to do is set the Easing to Bounce.

Creating the bounce animation

Save the style and move on to the Apply Styles dialog box. Select ANCHORS from the chart element list and apply the bounce effect to it. You are done. The line chart’s anchors are now ready to bounce into place as you will see in the preview pane as soon as you hit Apply.

Applying the bounce animation effect to anchors

Finish the chart and hit slideshow.

Line chart with bouncing anchors in slideshow

That’s how easy it is to create custom animation for different chart elements in oomfo. Play around with the range of styles, the different easing effects, set up different animation sequences and find that perfect animation style for yourself.

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