Hispanic Advertising – Using Sketchup To Extrude 3D Advertising Graphics

We recently closed a client in the Hispanic advertising space so I was reading the AdAge Hispanic Fact Pack. This, crossed with recently going through the initial tutorial in Google Sketchup made me want to play with the pie chart as a 3D infographic for better visualization.

I did not do that. By no stretch does this graphic do a better job of conveying the information than the flat pie chart. This is just a proof of concept.

But, it was a fun journey and I thought it might be helpful to explain the process of converting a pie chart into a 3D visual using Sketchup.  Here are two proofs of concept.


After the jump you can see the step-by-step process used and download the source files to continue editing it. Feel free to extend and improve.

Step 1 – View the AdAge 2005 Hispanic Fact Pack and convert that to a small Excel sheet.


Step 2 – Generate an Excel Graph from the Spreadsheet – close to the defaults. If  you aren’t familiar with Excel I highly recommend www.lynda.com for computer training. She is awesome.


Step 3 – Create a Sketchup Project and Import a PNG (File Menu) of the Excel Chart (I just took a screen shot of Excel and pasted it in Fireworks to create the PNG.)


Step 4 – Use the Arc tool and the Pencil tool to draw the pie chart shapes.


Step 5 – use the Push/Pull tool to extend the pie shapes up. Use the Tape Measure to exactly make the pie shapes in agreement with your data.


Step 6 – Use the Paint Bucket to apply textures. I picked colors consistent with the default colors from Excel but certainly these can be anything. The transparency on each texture was set to 50 ish.


Step 7 – to emphasize TV as 65% of hispanic advertising spending, I took screen shots of Univision and La Madrastra.  These were imported and on the import dialog box I checked "use as texture" which allowed them to be applied to the inner portion of the big blue pie slice.


Step 8 – Maneuver and export 2D graphic from the Sketchup File Menu. In this case you get a somewhat confusing view of web sites being used to illustrate the dominance of television for Hispanics.


Step 9 – Sketchup Files for download: (requires Sketchup of course to open)

Download HispanicAdvertAdage_SchipulGraphicText.skp

Closing thoughts

As always, the most difficult part is structuring the data and presenting it fairly. As mentioned at the start, this 3D visualization of Hispanic marketing, to me at least, conveys far less information than the flat pie chart. So this is more of a technology test and proof of concept.

Fun thoughts – I’d like to see ad dollars as pillars by country of origin or similar integrated with Google Earth. Good luck with that and feel free to let me know how it works out.

All contents Creative Commons – feel free to use for any purpose with the exception of whatever restrictions AdAge has on the data.