Creating Animated Infographics Vox-Unboxed by Kathryn Wantlin

To build basic Adobe CS proficiency I selected an animated section of this Vox Video to "unbox" and recreate myself, deciding which tools would best meet the visual goal and finding tutorials myself to execute it.

I'm going to rebuild the graphics section of this video from around 6:48-7:00.

I'll use Illustrator to create the visual pieces, before any animation.
I'll use After Effects to animate the pieces and any waveforms.

Some stills of my progress:

The Final Product:

My Tutorials: Every link and video I Googled in the process of making this.

Adobe Illustrator:

Note: It's very useful before you start to familiarize yourself with Adobe After Effects first (see one of the below AE tutorials), since animation requires each moving piece to be in a separate layer. Some pieces you might actually want to save and make directly in After Effects. The specifics are up to you, and in my unboxing I made all my components in AI, though this was not completely necessary.

1. Grid Lines Tutorial: Make an evenly spaced lines and combine them into a grid. Turning down the opacity will give it the pale, background effect shown in the video.

2. Gradient Tutorial: Make a customized gradient and use the gradient tool to drag the color palette onto a range of elements in your layer. The midpoints and color-centers both in the gradient panel and on your layer once you apply the gradient with the tool.

3. Text-to-path Tutorial: Necessary to apply a gradient over multiple pieces of text. Since gradients must be applied over paths, you must turn your text pieces into paths.

4. Gradient Along Text: Once you do that, use the gradient tool and drag it over all the text (being careful not to include other text in tool's path.

5. Compound Paths: I made the keyboard by overlaying several rectangles of my desired key-size. Thus, when I went to apply the gradient along them, in order to remove duplications in each key and instead have one gradient across all keys, I needed to combine them into one compound path.

6. Kerning and letter spacing: Though the font I used was as close as possible, you can improve the visual composition by adjusting letter spacing yourself using kerning.

Adobe After Effects:

1. Basic AE tutorial: To get an idea of how AE works on a basic level, see this tutorial which goes over anchor points, how to create transitions on layers, and how to transition in your AI file to AE.

2. Text Slide: Make text slide in from a specific point in the page. The trick is to "bond" it to a rectangle in a separate shape layer and then apply the transition.

3. Squiggle: I didn't end up using this, but AE offers many ways to create wiggle effects across any range of the page.

4. Exporting: Export your animation (for Mac/Quicktime)

Bonus: Adobe Photoshop to remove distracting text from this page's title image.

1. Magic Eraser Tool: To remove header-looking "Redbone" and "Childish Gambino" text from this page's title image, I used the magic eraser to strip away bits of the text at a time, allowing the tool to replace those pixels with the surrounding background. Though it appears to leave some distortion, at normal range it's unnoticeable. :)

Created By
Kathryn Wantlin