Radio Detection And Ranging

Radio Detection And Ranging

Posted on 29. Apr, 2007 by in After Effects

Collision detection and audio triggering. Learn how to build a radar that actually works using only four keyframes! This one is a must-see!

This tutorial is no different from the others. It’s not creating a certain effect. Oh no. It’s about solving common and uncommon problems, and about finding solutions to situations that might occur in the future. All to help you work more efficiently by saving huge amounts of time. It’s not about the final visual result, but the way to get there.

So… what is this tutorial really about? We’re going to create a Tea Cups With Lids Amber Rings Wholesale Tea Trays Toddler Sleeping Bags radar that really works! Draw the radar, animate the target over it, and watch how the radar detects the object by itself, marks it on the grid and even makes a beeping sound.

This whole project consists of only four keyframes, and few expressions, that will detect the collision between the target and the scanning line. When the collision occurs, the target will become visible, and a beep sound will be generated.

You must see this one! I hope you’ll like it. Enjoy!

There is an update for this tutorial. If you’re using After Effects CS3 than you should check out the CE PixelSampler tutorial, where you can learn how to use my CustomEffect to detect collisions.

Download: Tutorial project file (After Effects CS2)

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38 Responses to “Radio Detection And Ranging”

  1. marra182

    29. Apr, 2007

    The expressions for the collisions are pretty clever.
    Thanks for all the tutorials, I always learn a lot from them.

  2. SG

    20. May, 2007

    Thanx 4 all da gr8 stuffs.
    You are just awesome with your every tutorials.

    Once again thankyou & keep going.

    Sandy —-> SG

  3. lovenara

    01. Jun, 2007

    thn for let us use your tutor in our own work
    BTW i change the color,look
    and use it here ( with your credit included )at

  4. AnferTuto

    29. Jul, 2007

    Hola faretaste

  5. Antonyb

    29. Jul, 2007

    pure gold, thanks

  6. videoman

    30. Jul, 2007

    just GREAT!

  7. Aron Duby

    31. Jul, 2007

    oh man, that is sweet! I went through the pain of doing all of that by hand a few months ago, not that much fun. This definitely goes in the tool box. Thank bro!

  8. eric

    31. Jul, 2007

    very very nice, thankyou for your time putting this together. One can never say “sweet” enough! SWEET!

  9. PEDRO

    31. Jul, 2007


  10. kurtmo

    31. Jul, 2007

    Nice Stuff! Thanks for creating this. It’s informative to see how different people use different techniques to produce same effects. more great tools here for my work.

  11. Sonny

    04. Aug, 2007

    Hey Maltaannon great video tutorials! It was good to see some expression work, and it shows that it’s not too difficult to work with expressions,in fact you made using them seem essential. Entertaining too can’t wait to see more.

  12. Shalom

    27. Aug, 2007

    Just WOW

  13. Wise3

    03. Oct, 2007

    Excellent. Thank you for all.
    I discover your site by Videocopilot Site.

  14. Merstzik

    24. Oct, 2007

    I observe you for some time and I have to leave at least one comment! I’m pretty amazed by your tutorials. On one side they are very advanced and on the other you present it in a very simple way without any useless steps. Thanks for your “creation”.

    By the way.. it is nice to see some fellow countryman who do his best to pass his wisdom to everyone. CHEERS! AND DO YOUR BEST!

    (another one who came here thanks to videcopilot ;))

  15. Jay

    31. Oct, 2007

    Great Tutorial. Love the fact that it is all generated in AE. please keep them coming.

  16. Isha

    21. Nov, 2007

    Wow. You’ve got those expressions down. I made a radar a long time ago, with keyframes and it was quite tedious to make a small change- based off of just keyframes. Thank you so much for this expression-oriented tutorial. Have a great day!

  17. Maltaannon

    21. Nov, 2007

    Check out the updated version at the end of the CE PixelSampler tutorial. There are no expressions involved, and it still works.

  18. Mickey

    28. Nov, 2007

    Very awesome. This is my first time here and you are truly a master at what you do and I will be watching everything you do!

  19. ameth

    17. Dec, 2007

    Very Very good and excelents tutorials and stuff, i live in cuba and tha after effects and all the programs of adobe are my passion, thanks one thousand maltaannon you are icredible, good luck for you, ameth

  20. Artillusion

    15. Feb, 2008

    This is really great tutorial thank you.
    You use some Pro expressions, really sweat.

  21. Faisal

    06. Apr, 2008

    Hi, this is really amazing and very informative tutorial. But i will be thankful if you would kindly tell me the expression that you used on the opacity of the aircraft. thanking you.


  22. Maltaannon

    06. Apr, 2008

    The expression is in the tutorial and in the project file. Like I’ve explained in the tutorial…. it’s hard for me to explain it in Polish, not to mention explaining in English so you’re on your own. Sorry.

  23. kobygold

    27. Jul, 2008

    Great and inspiring Tutorial! Very cleverly built animation and expressions!
    You’ve made me think if it is possible to trigger audio, which is not created in AE, but is a WAV file that would repeat itself automatically after each collision detection…
    I wanted to ask you if it’s possible, but then I came up with the solution!
    So, thank you for the inspiration, this could lead to more great animations !

  24. CristalCube

    03. Aug, 2008

    Thanks for this awesome tutorial Maltaannon, keep it going.


  25. Apex

    19. Aug, 2008

    I cant help but wonder where i could get the expression code you used in that tutorial, you said you copy and pasted it. im using a mac so maybe thats the problem but i dont know. all i know is that when i extract everything from the .zip file all there is are the project files, no mention of where to get the code and you dont stay over it enough to pause the video and copy it. cheers!

  26. Maltaannon

    19. Aug, 2008

    the code is applied to the layer – just where I pasted it

  27. suppa

    01. Sep, 2008

    could someone paste the expression which animates the opacity from 100 to 0 at every collision detection? i’m baffled, cant think of anything. im using some other effects along with opacity, and the echo doesnt give a good result.


  28. Maltaannon

    01. Sep, 2008

    Just download the project file. Or even better – check out the PixelSampler tutorial and check the update of this tutorial at the end.

  29. suppa

    02. Sep, 2008

    thanks for the swift reply, but i was referring to what you mentioned in the original tutorial (“we might write an expression that would animate the opacity to go slowly from 100 to 0” or something of the sort). i’m using glow effect and some other stuff on the detected objects and echo only multiplies the object, while i’d like to animate the glow properties and such along the opacity.

  30. Kakarot

    03. Oct, 2008

    napraede niezle :) moze poziom ang to nie Adrew Kramer ale tutki naprawde niceowe :)

  31. olarenxxx

    25. Oct, 2008

    hi man what the encryption password of the project thanks

  32. Maltaannon

    25. Oct, 2008

    There is none. You must be doing something wrong.

  33. nageswra rao

    17. Jul, 2009

    thats good

  34. kwame

    15. Dec, 2009

    An amazing tutorial. Great stuff . Thanks for time and efforts into making such tutorials for us.You are a star.

  35. chakri

    04. Mar, 2010

    i need code to display targets in display and that display is in computer and the code is in C# language…Is it possible to do like that??? The problem here is : we just get the target values from radar or radar display.The user can show the radar anywhere in the world by using a web browser or a standalone application.

    • Jerzy Drozda Jr

      04. Mar, 2010

      Sorry but I cant make any sense of what you’re asking for. Can you rephrase?

  36. Howard

    27. Dec, 2011

    Brilliant! Thank you so much!!

  37. Dan Barry

    14. Mar, 2013

    Thanks Maltaannon for the great tutorials.