Visualizations: Animation

From dftwiki
Jump to: navigation, search


This page is maintained by Dominique Thiebaut and contains various interesting visualization examples or related material found in the media and on the Web, in various forms. The authors of the visualization, or its source is indicated in the Author/Source field of each entry. I try to locate the actual authors as best as I can. I also try to find out what particular software tools were used to generate the visualization. This is reported in the implementation field.

The different visualization systems shown below are organized by application domains, and by type (borrowed and adapted from Viz4All).

The application domains include:

Visu Anim.png


Tim Howard's 16 saves in World Cup


Category: Animation
Implementation: NA
Date: July 4, 2014

From Yahoo.sports: You've seen Tim Howard's World Cup record 16 saves in the U.S.'s 2-1 loss to Belgium and all of the glowing praise — even from the highest offices in the U.S. government — that has followed. But do you know what's better than watching 16 Tim Howard saves in a single World Cup match? WATCHING 16 TIM HOWARD SAVES ALL AT THE SAME TIME IN ONE MAGICAL GIF by Yahoo Sports' senior social editor Eric Orvieto.
(Click on the image to see the animation.)

Animating Bird Songs

Category: Animation
Author/Source: Andy Thomas at
Implementation: NA
Date: 2014

From Australian artist Andy Thomas specializes in creating ‘audio life forms’: beautiful abstract shapes that react to sounds. In this animated short, he visualizes two recorded bird sounds from the archives of the Netherlands Institute for Sound and Vision ( in Hilversum.
More bird song visualizations can be found on Andy Thomas's site.

Animating an NBA Game


Category: Animation
Author/Source: Fred Fathom's Blog
Implementation: Processing
Date: March 2014

From Fred Fathom's page: [...] Back in 2011 we got our hands on one of these sets of data, thanks to Brian Kopp, for the Oklahoma City Thunder vs. San Antonio Spurs game of February 23, 2011. Using Processing, we built a sketch to parse through the game’s data, and help us dynamically navigate through the gameplay and statistics.

The definition of baseball "Cutter"-throw

Category: Animation/Sports
Author/Source: The New York Times
Implementation: NA (edited by Joe Ward?)
Date: June 29, 2010

From the NYT article: In his 16th year with the Yankees, Mariano Rivera, who is 40, has become a kind of living god of baseball. While his regular-season statistics are remarkable, in postseason play, where the pressure is at its highest, he is sui generis. He holds the lowest earned-run average in postseason history (0.74) among pitchers with at least 40 innings pitched.

This data visualization is actually a very effective animation illustrating the definition of a "cutter" throw in baseball. The animation is 3D, and the most exciting part of it is when the scientists take all throws of a season and overlap them showing the points where all the balls hit the plane of where the batter stands. A heat-map indicates that the cutter places balls away from the center of the plane, in corners, i.e. away from the batter's sweet spot. An interesting interview with Joe Ward can be found on

3D Painting with the iPad

Category: Animation/Art/Algorithm
Author/Source: BERG, London
Implementation: iPad + stop animation
Date: Sept. 2010

From We’re working with Beeker Northam at Dentsu, using their strategy to explore how the media landscape is changing. From Beeker’s correspondence with us during development: “…what might a magical version of the future of media look like?” We [Dentsu] are interested in the future, but not so much in science fiction – more in possible or invisible magic.
We have chosen to interpret that brief by exploring how surfaces and screens look and work in the world. We’re finding playful uses for the increasingly ubiquitous ‘glowing rectangles’ that inhabit the world.

Visualizing BP's Oil Spill


Category: Geographical/Animation
Author/Source: Ruth Lang, uismedia,
Implementation: Mappetizer
Date: 3. August 2010


Background-Image: MODIS-Terra, USA7 Subset - Aqua 1km True Color image for 2010/129 (05/09/10)
NOAA Satellite and Information Service
under CC-by-sa License.
All texts under the GNU Free Documentation License.
GeoNames under CC-License.

Turn it Off!

Category: Animation
Author/Source: Nigel Upchurch's Vimeo Site
Implementation: TBA
Date: Oct. 2010

From Upchurch's page: The Sept 2008 survey by Harris Interactive for 1E can be found here:​energycampaign/​downloads/​PC_EnergyReport2009-UK.pdf. Energy usage statistics calculated with the EU Energy Star calculator here:​en/​en_008b.shtml. A 'Value PC' with 17" LCD monitor, left on all year uses 304.2 kWh more than the same computer turned on for 45 hours a week. Multiplied by 13.8 million is 2,863 GWh. Turbines are calculated as 870 x 1.5 MW turbines x 365 days x 24h x 25% capacity = 2,858 GWh. Research taken from here:​faq-output.php

Visualizing the US Open 2010


Category: Animation/Multi-Media

PointStream graphics for the US Open
Arius3D's PointStream Technology

Date: Sept 2010

A very sophisticated display of actions taking place during matches between players. The time lines are circular, with one full circle per set. Make sure to watch the Tutorial (button on the graphics) to fully understand what is going on.

From Information Aesthetics: Users are able to select individual matches which occurred in the past or are still in progress. A "Momentum Meter" shows who is on top of the match, while a series of filters at the bottom (e.g. ace, double foult, netpoint, breakpoint, ...) allow for deeper analysis of the data. Visually, each player is distinguished by the color green or blue. Each ring represents a set, going from the inside to the outside. Each bar represents a point, with its height according to the serving speed.

Flight Patterns

Category: Animation/Geographical
Author/Source: Aaron Koblin

From the New York Times: The animations, and a series of equally hypnotic still images, were created by Aaron Koblin, a young “data driven” graphic artist and game designer, originally as part of a broader “Celestial Mechanics” project at the University of California, Los Angeles.

Aaron Koblin is Technology Lead of Google’s Creative Lab where he helped to launch Chrome Experiments, a website showcasing JavaScript work by designers from around the world.

25,000 Barrels a Day

Category: Animation/News

John Powell, created on YouTube and picked up by the New York Times

Implementation: Unreal Game Engine UDK
Date: May 2010

From the New York Times: Here’s a new entrant [in visualization], using software tools from the gaming world to illustrate what a low-end estimate of the volume of oil gushing from the Gulf of Mexico seabed looks like if displayed as stacked barrels.

World Cup 2010 Twitter Replay Mash-Up


Category: Animation/Social Networks
Author/Source: The Guardian, UK
Implementation: NA
Date: Friday, June 11, 2010

The Guardian put out a very interesting animated mash-up of the twits that are generated during World Cup games. The animation shows the statistics of the words found in twits exchanged at various times during the game as filled circles with the word inside the circle. The larger the circle, the more frequent that word. For example, in the pictuer above, about half way through the 1st half of the game, the score was 0-0 (center circle), and the three more important words in the twits were 2010wc, CIV, and ronaldo. The game was Ivory Coast (CIV) vs. Portugal, for which Ronaldo is a player.

Go to the The Guadian's Web site to see the full animation in action!

RSA Animation: The Power of Time

Category: Animation/Hand Drawing

Royal Society for the encouragement of Arts, Manufactures and Commerce

Implementation: YouTube Videos
Date: 2010

The RSA (Royal Society for the encouragement of Arts, Manufactures and Commerce) has been a cradle of enlightenment thinking and a force for social progress for over 250 years.

To learn more about the RSA, visit:

You can book to attend RSA Events for free, and you can also listen or watch our events live online. Find out about RSA Events coming up by following @RSAEvents on twitter or visiting:

Animating the Edit History of Wikipedia


Category: Animation
Implementation: NA
Date: 2005

Animation of the history of a wikipedia page done by Jon Udell.

The animation
Some information from the associated blog

CCByNc.png You can remix, tweak, and build upon this page non-commercially. Your work must acknowledge Dominique Thiebaut as its author and be non-commercial.