Most basic animated chart

Animation with python

This post explains how to build a very basic animated chart with Python. A loop is used to output several simple scatterplots at png format. A tool called image magick is then used to concatenate those images in a gif.

📍 Basic scatterplot

Let's start by building a very basic scatterplot. This is extensively described in the scatterplot section of the gallery, so let's go straight to the point:

# libraries
import matplotlib.pyplot as plt
import seaborn as sns

# grey background

# Scatterplot with 1 data point
plt.scatter(1, 10, s=600, alpha=0.5, edgecolors="grey", linewidth=2)
plt.xlim(0, 10)
plt.ylim(0, 100);

🔁 Loop

That was easy. Now let's build a loop that will produce this kind of chart at .png format at each iteration. For each step of the loop, the circle will be slightly moved toward the top right side of the figure:

# image resolution

# For each year:
for i in range(0,10):
    # initialize a figure
    fig = plt.figure(figsize=(680/dpi, 480/dpi), dpi=dpi)
    # Build the scatterplot
    plt.scatter(i, i*i, s=40+i*600, alpha=0.5, edgecolors="grey", linewidth=2)
    plt.xlim(0, 10)
    plt.ylim(0, 100)

    # Save it & close the figure
    plt.savefig(fname=filename, dpi=96)

Now, you should have a set of 12 images in the specified folder (/Users/yan.holtz/Desktop/ for me). Image magick is a command line tool that allows to concatenate those images in a gif file.

✨ Build a Gif

Install ImageMagick with this line of bash: brew install imagemagick

If you don't have brew installed, visit the image magick homepage for explanations.

Once the tool is installed, you can concatenate the 12 images using the following command:

# Bash
# convert -delay 80 Scatter*.png animated_scatter.gif

Note: the above line of code is written in bash, not in python. You have to execute it in a terminal, not in your python environment.

And here is the final result title

Animation with python


Contact & Edit

👋 This document is a work by Yan Holtz. You can contribute on github, send me a feedback on twitter or subscribe to the newsletter to know when new examples are published! 🔥

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