A Simple Example of Data-Driven Animation and Visualization

animated-data-visualization

A Very Simple "Scene" of Data-Driven Animation

This scene shows the workflow for two orders and is comprised of:

  • Six “Static Objects”, i.e., people and their names. They are called “static” because they do not move
  • Two “Dynamic Objects”, in this case an Order (yellow) and a Re-order (orange), which flow from person to person as they progress through the workflow

In order to create this scene two excel spreadsheet or csv files are needed: one for the static objects and one for the dynamic objects. Alternatively, database tables can be read using template Vuzop SQL statements.

  • To define a static object you need to give it
    • a name
    • a location in space
    • a color
    • a shape
  • To define a dynamic object you need to specify its movement in two ways:
    • the from and to static objects it moves between
    • the beginning and ending times of its movement

This example shows a simplest possible scene to help understand how Vuzop works. You can create scenes with hundreds, or even thousands of objects.

Arranging Static Objects in a Scene

  • The layout to the right is created with the entries in the spreadsheet below it, one row per object in the scene.
  • The coordinate values for the x, y and z axes are somewhat arbitrary and are mostly important in relation to each other.
  • The clock is positioned automatically.
so-layout

Animating Dynamic Objects in a Scene by Reading Data from a Spreadsheet or Database Table

Play the video to the right to see how data is read and dynamic objects are created and moved.

  • The transaction data being used is shown in the table in the video. As the rows in the spreadsheet (or database table) are read, a dynamic object is drawn in the scene, with the timing of its appearance and movement calculated by the beginning and ending timestamps.
  • Technical note: in actual use the From and To columns contain the numeric values from the Static Object spreadsheet (or table), but for ease of understanding, the object names are shown in this table instead of their numeric values.
  • In order to study this closely it is recommended that you use the space bar to stop and start playback. You may also consider viewing it in youtube fullscreen in order to use more playback controls and settings.

Creating a 3D Layout and Animated Scene

  • In the video to the right the transaction data is exactly the same as above, but the x, y, z coordinates of the static objects have been rearranged, this time using different values in the z axis.
  • Additionally, two different viewing positions are used to demonstrate the 3D rendering of the scene. (the camera moves at about 10 seconds)
  • The new layout data for the static objects is shown below the video, next to the original 2D layout data for comparison. Again, specific values of x, y and z are mostly important relative to each other.
  • Note that the image shown in the still shot in the video frame is after the camera has moved and rotated. To really compare to the original layout, the beginning of the video must be viewed.
so-layout-csv-vz-3d

Additional Features for Creating Data-Driven Animated Scene Visualizations

This example shows the bare minimum of features used for creating an animated scene driven by data. Vuzop provides many features to customize the arrangement of static objects within the scene and to control the animation of dynamic objects as the scene is played. There are many other features as well to assist the overall user experience and usability of playback. Please contact us for more details.