How to make an infographic (Video)

How to make an infographic (Video)

Posted on 23. Mar, 2009 by in Uncategorized, wallstats

Ok so the title is a bit misleading.  This is not really a video tutorial on how to make sweet visualizations.  However this video is a fast-motion recap the entire process I go through when making an infographic.  The full sized image is below.

You should view it in full screen,

Ok what was that?

While working on a graphic for, I took a screenshot of my Photohop window every 10 seconds.  Then 2,482 frames later I had a 1 gigabyte flip book.  My good friend Duston, who is a whiz with editing, put them all together with some B-roll I shot and some music by Four Tet (which you can get here).  The whole process is something I call, Flowcapping, and I encourage all designers to give it a shot, it’s fun!

I generally don’t create infographics with too much planning so there are several points where I just try things out then scrap it.  If you have any questions, just let me know in the comments.

Here is the final image.  It was originally posted on and has some 50+ comments, if you want to join the hatefest.

Golden Parachutes

Keep an eye out, I’ll be flowcapping almost everything I do and posted the vids here.

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  1. Rob Beals, March 23, 2009:

    So it looks like you exclusively use Photoshop? You use the pen tool for outlining the men jumping? Great job as usual Jess. You’re skills inspire me.

  2. Jess, March 24, 2009:


    Yeah, the pen tool is the only way to get nice curves in photoshop. No point in bringing the whole thing into illustrator just to rock a few paths.

  3. Tim, March 24, 2009:

    hey Jess. I really like that. People don’t understand what I do for work, so something this might be a good way to show them. It all seems a bit frantic though! Maybe it’s all the dr pepper?

    How did you take the screen shots? Manually? If you have an automated way of doing it I’d be interested to know the details.

    Did you leave the web cam running as well, or just take a few scenes to put in? The acting looks a bit hammy 🙂


  4. Jess, March 24, 2009:


    I think it’s frantic because it is 5 hours of work boiled down to 2 minutes. I actually don’t work as fast as the video depicts 😉

    I have tried a dozen screen grabbing apps but the best by far is SnagIt. I just set it up to grab a shot of a specified window every 10 seconds and it collects as pngs in a folder, about 2,500 for this project, though I had to cut a bunch out when I neglected to turn off SnagIt while I went to run errands or something, and it was still taking screens.

    No webcam, just some b-roll with my digi.


  5. Robert Kosara, March 24, 2009:

    This is very interesting, thanks for posting!

    One question I have is something I’ve never understood about graphic designers: why do you all use Photoshop? Wouldn’t it be much easier to use a vector-oriented tool like Illustrator, where you don’t have to decide on resolution so early and have a lot more control over the objects?

  6. Jess, March 24, 2009:


    My decision to use photoshop is based purely on my ignorance of how to effectively use that program. I grew up using PS and never had any art or design training so it is what I feel comfortable with. I think most graphic designers who have degrees in such should be adept at using Illustrator for projects like these.

    Fortunately, 95% of my projects have pre-defined resolution requirements. Learning Illusrator is something I’ve been ‘getting around to doing’ for years. Haven’t needed to yet though.

  7. Matt Brett, March 26, 2009:

    Awesome video, and great idea to show everyone how you design your posters. I figured the jumping banker was stock art when I first viewed this one. Cool to see you tracing and reproducing it from an actual photo.

  8. Praveer, April 16, 2009:

    Thanks – this gave me a whole new way to look at the mountains of information we deal with in the medical world!

  9. michael boll, June 2, 2009:

    Thanks so much for doing this tutorial of sorts. I am using your work to inspire my middle school students to come up with infographics of their own.

  10. Darwin Grenwich, July 3, 2009:

    Very cool. The skill and time it takes to bring a graphic like this to life are evident in your video. This should be shown to clients and employers who might occasionally ask, “How come it took all day?”

  11. David E Bock, October 14, 2009:

    WOW! I totally dig visual info and your vid totally shows how you do it! It’s cool to see talent at work! Makes one appreciate the end result so much more! Thanks for posting.

  12. ck, January 2, 2010:

    great job. awesome you took the time to share your work process – I defo agree with others; that clients should get a window to the process as well

  13. Shayne, February 19, 2010:

    Jess.. That was really inspiring. The way to depict your ideas in such a beautiful interface is getting a fire lite under my a$$. Can I ask you a word of advice, what would you recommend for someone just starting out with photoshop? and all the supplemental software you use?

  14. Paula, April 28, 2010:

    dude amazing! My colleague and I are newbies at infographics and are working on an entire website’s worth (around 7)…. and that was just amazing and inspiring, I wish we had you around. Keep up the good work.

  15. iasilva, June 25, 2010:

    Hi, I like that song playing in the background. What song is that?

  16. Daniel, July 30, 2010:

    Hey, Great video! I’m very new new to all this stuff but i have a lot of data that I think would make great chart art for our new website. Can you tell me exactly what version of Photoshop you used and any other necessities for someone getting into infographics??

  17. Lizabeth Duxbury, September 19, 2011:

    I’m really enjoying the design and layout of your website. It’s a very easy on the eyes which makes it much more pleasant for me to come here and visit more often. Did you hire out a designer to create your theme? Fantastic work! Thanks!

  18. watch nfl games, October 2, 2011:

    It’s onerous to seek out educated individuals on this topic, but you sound like you realize what you’re speaking about! Thanks

  19. Dino Dogan (@dino_dogan), November 10, 2011:

    awesome work dude…loved it 🙂

    Do you think anyone can do this with some time and effort or is it one of those pesky skills that require talent?

  20. Shu Pickard, February 25, 2012:

    I precisely desired to appreciate you once more. I am not sure the things that I might have implemented in the absence of these pointers documented by you regarding such field. Previously it was a very hard matter for me, however , coming across a new expert avenue you managed it forced me to jump over delight. I am just happy for this support and in addition wish you really know what a great job you happen to be putting in instructing many people through the use of your web blog. I’m certain you haven’t met all of us.

  21. Colleen Steward, March 13, 2012:

    Have you ever considered writing an ebook or guest authoring on other sites? I have a blog based on the same subjects you discuss and would really like to have you share some stories/information. I know my visitors would value your work. If you’re even remotely interested, feel free to send me an e mail.

Sorry, comments for this entry are closed at this time.


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