The Tool for 2D & 3D Pie Charts in Illustrator

July 27, 2019 posted by



okey-dokey so in this tutorial I'm gonna show you how to create better-looking pie charts all in Adobe Illustrator hey guys you're watching danske the place to be to develop your creative skills in this tutorial I'm going to show you how you can create better-looking pie charts or in Illustrator and I did a video similar to this a while ago it got a lot of love it also got a lot of criticism a lot of people thought that I should have used the pie chart tool and while it's true illustrator does have a variety of different graph tools well we are designers we are creatives we're not simply just gonna enter data into some excel style spreadsheet and whilst it's true you might be able to create a graph that is more accurate that is more data driven than ours ours will be better it will be brighter more magnificent than anything you can possibly imagine and maybe not today maybe not tomorrow but one day – fun ok so a designer of revolution aside should we just jump into illustrator and I'll show you how to do this righty-o so we now in Adobe Illustrator have a new artboard 1920 by 1080 and the first thing I'm going to do is grab the ellipse tool from the tool bar on the Left left click and hold shift to draw a circle we'll make this nice and big this is going to be the size of our pie chart and I'm going to select the stroke set that to none and just double-click on the fill and we'll give this a color so we'll just go with yellow for now click OK now this is something that I didn't find out until very recently as a hidden panel that enables you to create pie charts so easily an illustrator can't wait to show you this so over here on the right we have the transform panel okay you can move the X to the Y position width height rotation all this good stuff but if you go down here specifically for circles you get this added option so you can click this and we get all these different pie chart options so we can adjust the ellipse angle the pie start angle the pie end angle and if I change this you can see it actually takes a segment of pi out of the circle and we can click on this little double ended arrow here to invert that selection so this is great we can actually create accurate pie charts really easily so what I'm gonna do is if I change this to 90 for example and you can of course click in the box enter your own value or use the up and down arrow keys to manually adjust this but I'll keep mine at 90 for now so great we have a nice gorgeous segment take it out of our pie so what I'm going to do is hold alt or option and drag and also hold shift as well just to keep it in line that will create a copy and on this copy if I go to that transform panel again what I'll do is I'll change the end so we'll put the end as 90 and essentially swap this around so there we go we've got a new pie segment and I'm gonna double click on color picker we'll just pick a different color and then what I can do now is I can actually bring this one out again so alt option and drag holding shift go to that transform panel and then maybe we'll change this to 45 so I'm just gonna keep having it and then the one over here will change this one from 90 to 45 and there we go you can pop that one back in maybe I could change the color will change this to like a purple or something so as long as everything you create adds up like to a complete circle and there's no gaps then you can adjust these values and just create a pie chart as you need to but remember it's not data driven or anything like that so if you do want to do that use use the damn pie chart tool if you really want to but if you kind of have a rough idea like I know that this quarter segment is 25% of a circle and then if I half that like I've done here half of 25 percent less 12.5 percent hopefully I've done that correctly but you can kind of roughly work it out okay so we have a pie chart I'm gonna pop this back in the middle and I'm actually gonna rotate mine so just hover over the corner rotate and I'm gonna hold shift so it just snaps that rotation to 45 degree increments so I want my two extra segments to be pointing down now if I select all of these I go to effect 3d extrude and bevel this window pops up here I can check preview from the bottom and I can adjust the 3d extrude and bevel for my pie but you can see everything is just going all over the place so we'll cancel that first thing we're gonna do is got to object and group so we'll group our three pieces of pie all together in fact I'm just gonna move this over here just so you can see what's happening so we'll do that again effect a 3d extrude and bevel we'll check preview and you can see now as I move this around here all the segments move around together so you can adjust the angle depending on how you like your pie to look for me personally I like to just set all of these to zero go so we're completely flat again and then I'm just going to rotate on this so the top one here this is the x-axis you can enter a value or you could just click and drag so you're looking for the red lines we'll drag this up and we're just going to keep dragging like so depending on the angle that you'd like for your pie now we can also go down to extrude depth we can click in here and enter a different value and you can see it makes your pie taller or we can just click and drag the slider depending on how high you'd like to make it now you'll also see we've got quite of banding on this pie if we go down to these shading here we have this at plastic shading you can switch to diffuse it looks very very similar now the reason we get the banding is we have the blend steps at 25 by default so that is illustrator is trying to blend the darker areas in the lighter areas to kind of create this 3d effect with only 25 steps so you can get so much color in there and you get that banding which doesn't look great so what we're gonna do is we're going to increase this by dragging this up this will add more essentially more steps more colors into that graduation from dark to light and you can see there the more increase this yes it will be a little bit more demanding on your computer but not by much I don't think in most cases and you just get a much smoother gradient so what we're gonna do is what we're actually not going to use plastic shading but that's just a nice little tip to know if you want to go that route you could just click okay there you go your pie charts done but we're gonna just make the colors look a little bit better so let's just select no shading click OK and you can see that we've actually lost all definition of our pie chart we have no shading whatsoever so what I'm gonna do is I'm actually gonna add my own color so if I select this it's still grouped let's just go up to object first we'll expand the appearance so the appearance of the paths actually match what we're seeing on screen there we go fantastic if you want to check this you can go into outline mode which is command or control Y on the keyboard there we go the paths match what we're actually seeing so that's good and next I'm just going to select this and go to object ungroup and just maybe ungroup this a few times just to be sure and then I can pull all of this apart looks good to me now I can do is start applying color to these individual pieces so I'm just gonna hold shift and select these two segments the colored ones and hold shift and use the down arrow key just to nudge these out the way I'm gonna work on this one first so I can just set this top piece now double click the color picker and I've got some colors here so we're going to get FDD zero zero zero click OK or press return there we go a little bit brighter now these ones here these are gonna be darker so I've gone with ec9 5:09 so that's on the inside so it's gonna be a little bit darker and we'll just select the ones on the outside f f/a b15 press return in there we go still we have some pie now I can go and tweak this for sure I could maybe double click on this bring that down a little bit so there's lots of different ways that you can tweak the colors but you can see just by doing this and we haven't even shaded this this is still using solid color it just in my opinion looks a bit more appealing than using that original default 3d extrude effect with kind of black as the shadow coming through we could go and add some shadow ourselves who wanted using the gradient tool but I'm gonna keep this as solid colors for now and I've got these two colors down here so what I'm gonna do is I have this purple now to pick a slightly darker version or a lighter version what I like to do is just move in a diagonal so you can see I'm here to pick a slightly darker one I would just go down and to the right a little bit click OK and then you get something that looks really nice and complements a lighter shade as well this works in most cases we could even go lighter so just up into the left of course that doesn't really make sense in this example because I want it to be darker so it's consistent between the two halves but that's how I like to pick colors so if you're going darker down and to the right lighter up and to the left and then what I can do this looks like a bit of a cheese wedge actually you can't see this but this actually looks like a block of cheese so I'm gonna hold shift and use the arrow keys to nudge this back up and you could have these just kind of down a little bit if you wanted to kind of pull one piece of pie out and then label it and talk about that specifically depending on what you're using this for or if you just put it all the way back together and well this is using single color as I mentioned we could graduate this a little bit so if I select the top part here of the pie I'll click the gradient tool and we can click freeform gradient and we get these three points up now if I just select one double-click the color picker and will enter a color for what was that FDD zero zero zero press return and then I'm just going to double click all of these FDD zero zero zero so I'm just adding the same yellow color for all of them so again we have our solid color and then what I can do is actually just click on one of them double-click the color picker and we can't go up anymore but we can go to the left a little bit like this click OK and you can see it adds a very subtle highlight and we could actually go and accentuate that even more and then we can move this around in real time so if you wanted to add shading whether it's shadows highlights or like a light source onto your pie just to give it a bit more depth something like this then that's something that you can do depending on the type of pine that you're trying to create but there we go that's how to create better-looking pie charts all in Adobe Illustrator guys I really hope you enjoyed this tutorial if you have any questions or comments you know what to do drop those down below but as always like this video if you enjoyed it take care and I'll see you next time

20 Comments

20 Replies to “The Tool for 2D & 3D Pie Charts in Illustrator”

  1. Dansky says:

    In the name of pie charts we will rise! 😂

  2. 70u'11 Di3 says:

    Great! + +

  3. gabriel freitez says:

    the intro xD

  4. VanHellsing Niko says:

    This intro!… so funny, ty

  5. Daniel Taylor says:

    Great content, Dan! Thank you for sharing!

  6. J Wong says:

    LOL Loved the rant. I would really like to see how you did the clip effects.

  7. Anna Friedchick says:

    Hey Dansky, tnx for an amazing tutorial! Can you please tell which version of Illustrator do you use?

  8. riahasays says:

    Lmfaooooo that little rant was hilarious 😂

  9. Valdair Leonardo Sgarbossa says:

    Dansky you are the best 😂

  10. qieter says:

    But who uses 3D pie charts?

  11. Arie Aloni says:

    Absolutely 24k gold

  12. Paranolverizer says:

    haha . That was a cool intro 🙂

  13. MiriSueO says:

    Best tutor on the internet!

  14. zeroks16 says:

    1% = 3.6 degrees so you don't need to 'get it roughly right' if you want to spend 10 seconds to calculate correct angles

  15. Miller says:

    Awesome!!!!! I really appreciate it.. Thank you so much

  16. Abbas Mushtaq says:

    Great tutorial. You are day saver. And this Top is so dope. Mind if you would like to share the link for it?

  17. Alfred Lewis says:

    Great, thanks a lot!

  18. Elvin says:

    could you please make a tutorial about how to create 3d graphs based on excel data?

  19. Sujith Vengara says:

    Oh my god, this is awesome. Really life saving…

  20. Lineworks says:

    That intro though 👌😂

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *