NAB Update: Data Storyteller wins Videomaker’s Best of NAB 2023 award! It was great going to NAB and getting validation from Videomaker and many of the folks that came by the booth that there is definitely a need for better data visualization tools for video production. Please sign up for the beta and let us know what you think!
I’ve had a fascination with data visualizations for a while. When done right they can get be both beautiful and incredibly informative. And with the world awash in data, big and small, there’s a lot of stories that can be told by looking at data.
Data Storyteller is a plugin for Adobe After Effects, Premiere Pro and Apple Final Cut (Resolve is coming!) that hopes to make this easier for video production. We’re about to go into beta with it, so if you’re interested in joining the beta, reach out to:
We realize that individual video editors don’t need to do this kind of work all the time, but it does come up. And for some of you it comes up a lot! So there needs to be a better way of creating visualization, be it a simple bar chart or a Bubble chart showing years of data, than trying to shoehorn Excel charts into video.
The focus will be to try to make it as easy as possible to create cool visualizations. There will be various templates to start with as well as a Wizard to guide the initial creation. Of course, often the hard part with data viz is selecting the data to visualize. So that part you’ll have to figure out. :-) But once you do, hopefully we can make the animation part relatively easy.
1.0 will support Bar, Line, Scatter/Bubble charts as well as maps for US and the world. All of these can be linked to simple CSV or Excel files for basic animations or you can create more complex animations using larger data sets or even multiple data sets (e.g. 25 files with 25 years of the same data). We have plans for more chart types but those are the initial charts. The backend for Data Storyteller is D3.js so there are many chart types we could do in the future.
We’re still a month or two away from release, but we want to get it into the hands of those interested in doing this type of work. So if you want to get the beta when it’s available, please reach out to firstname.lastname@example.org
Our team of anarchists will be at NAB 2023, booth #N1316 (North Hall) demoing the beta of DataStoryteller – So you can check out the two new plugins and the types of animated charts and map visualizations that can be created.
Chief Executive Anarchist
Here are the Key features DataStoryteller offers:
- Support for Simple or Complex Data: Imported CSV or Excel files can be simple spreadsheets or more complex, with multiple sheets or large data sets.
- Built-in Spreadsheet: A built-in spreadsheet allows users to see and select all of the data or select specific cells, rows, and columns that they wish to visualize.
- Multi-file Animation: One of the strengths of Data Storyteller is the ability to upload multiple data sets. For example, multiple years of census data can be uploaded and then animated year by year, creating complex visualizations that tell a story with much more depth than a simple bar chart.
- Range/Filter Animation: Editors can choose to slowly reveal or hide data by animating the spreadsheet selection or filtering values that are higher or lower than a user defined threshold. By using keyframes that determine when and where each new data point appears, it is possible to create animations that animate specific data for more impact.
- Multiple Dimensions: Another strength is support for data with many attributes. For example, in our Census data, for different cities you might want to show Age, Income, Crime level, and Cost of Housing. Any of these can be used to control X position, Y position and Size and Color of the resulting data point. All of which can be animated over time.
- Preset Templates: A wide variety of templates help users get started on creating beautiful data visualizations.
- Vector Charts: The charts are all vector based graphics, so can be rendered at any size, including HD, 4K, 8K, 12K or higher.
DataStoryteller charts and maps can be setup from scratch or by using a template. Setting up a basic chart works much like creating graphics in Excel or Apple Numbers, with the advantage of all features being tightly integrated with the video editing platform. The integration with After Effects, Final Cut and Premiere Pro makes it easy to apply changes and show the animations in the video editing application, without the need to export/import files back and forth.