Pan & Scan* Update

Chances are, if you hear sound through anything other than the speaker inside of your desktop tower, you probably have at least stereo sound. That’s good.

You might notice that when you watch Gone in 60 Seconds, some car sounds travel from one speaker to the next as it passes by. This is called the end of Nicholas Cage’s career but also the sound mixing technique is called panning.

In a continuing effort to waste your time I have devised a preset that will automatically PAN a sound or music based on a layers screen space position. I’m still working out a few bugs but I’ll post the presets when I can. My mind has been thinking about expressions a lot lately and I might have some more experiments to post as well. Until then.

Watch the Super-Chopper


Here are the settings used for this comp. You can control the low & high output so that the audio doesn’t cut out completely. I probably wouldn’t mix my audio in AE but this was a fun experiment indeed. With a little more work it could be setup like the 3D falloff preset to fade the audio as the object travels away in Z space. Right now it is screen space (2d).

September 14th, 2009 @ 1:41 am
YES!! I've needed something like this! Save me time editing it later in vegas.

September 14th, 2009 @ 1:42 am
really cool stuff. looking forward to it!
Nicolò Rebughini
September 14th, 2009 @ 1:44 am
Sounds cool.
Is the doppler effect included in this preset?
September 14th, 2009 @ 1:48 am
I thought bangkok dangerous was the end of his career!

Cool effect Andy, ill look forward to experimenting with the preset!
September 14th, 2009 @ 1:49 am
I thought I was going to be first :( lol

This is awesome AK as always! can you give any info out on how this new preset works? like technical details of how this thing would adjust the sound to pan & scan like that based on a layers screen position? because I can't wrap my brain around how that could possibly work

Thanks for the site and everything :)
September 14th, 2009 @ 1:50 am
Man I love Gone in 60 seconds. Mainly the epic sounds and soundtracks
September 14th, 2009 @ 1:50 am
I actually really like Nick Cage despite not loving every movie he is in but it helped my joke. As for understanding how it works, I'll probably discuss that in the preset demo and you can always look at my code, I keep it open.
Samael Daemon
September 14th, 2009 @ 1:57 am
Poor Nicolas, at least Angelina was hot at that time..
Ben Wotton
September 14th, 2009 @ 1:57 am
Hey that's cool. is there a way to scale the level of the effect, e.g instead of something moving from waay left to waay right you can select to have a slight pan?
September 14th, 2009 @ 2:01 am
oh okay, thanks!!
September 14th, 2009 @ 2:12 am
Dude forget the audio how the heck did you do the sky and the flare? I wanna learn that! What did you use? Horizon?
September 14th, 2009 @ 2:12 am
Dude forget the audio how the heck did you do the sky and the flare? I wanna learn that! What did you use? Horizon? and how did you get that 3d flare?
Jens Christian
September 14th, 2009 @ 2:23 am

Is it possible to do the same thing with surround sound?
September 14th, 2009 @ 2:30 am
looks and sounds good cant wait to give it a go
September 14th, 2009 @ 2:35 am
you turn AE into an easy-to-use audio app with that preset...
September 14th, 2009 @ 3:04 am
Wow this technique would really help a lot in a scene with a lot of gun shots and fight.

I am working on a scene with a single persons cloned into making it a battle sequence. would really help with the rocket explosions and bombs goin off at different places..

Plugin seems versatile. Taking a small lead from this i would probably use few fighter plane flying randomly above...:)
September 14th, 2009 @ 3:05 am
Really great Andrew. And very nice Lens Flares ;)
Did you made them with Knoll Light?
September 14th, 2009 @ 3:06 am
cant wait to learn that!!
September 14th, 2009 @ 3:10 am
very fast speed!!
September 14th, 2009 @ 3:14 am
hey that sounds great. will it be able to change the sound based on the Z-position?

and gone in 60 seconds was not the end of his carreer, i think ghost rider was the death blow.
September 14th, 2009 @ 3:42 am
Thank you Andrew! this tool will be really usefull for my next project!

I will wait for your preset! nice doing as always Mr. Kramer!

By the way. I hope your wife and your little daughter is fine and you have also much time for them and not just for us! :)
September 14th, 2009 @ 3:48 am
very nice :) waiting this preset with impatience :)
September 14th, 2009 @ 4:02 am
Nice idea Andrew,
but you should make possible to change the value of the pan, sometimes it s not usefull to make pans so heavys
Nice work anyway
Thanks for all
September 14th, 2009 @ 4:13 am
WOW! great idea! and as the object moves further away in Z space the volume decreases and then increases again as it moves closer??? wow! u are on your TOES!!!! nice!
September 14th, 2009 @ 4:15 am
Yeah thats awesome! I love doing panning in other programs but didnt know how to do it in AE... I am still new to the program. Your tuts help so much man! Your awesome!
September 14th, 2009 @ 4:19 am
Sounds really interesting cant wait!!!! You are definitely the King of AE!!!

Thanks Andrew
South Africa
September 14th, 2009 @ 4:27 am
Thanks Andrew, this is really great quality stuff.
September 14th, 2009 @ 4:58 am
I beleve that boy this is man Thanks
September 14th, 2009 @ 5:01 am

Eleanor may not take kindly to your comments about Nicolas Cage!!
September 14th, 2009 @ 5:04 am
very good! Andrew
from GABON
September 14th, 2009 @ 5:20 am
Heres a link with a link of a soundtrack made for Gone in 60 seconds. I like the epic music.

Fits perfectly to the scene in the movie. Ok anyway, you are all right. The movie is not outstanding. In fact, one could have down so much more with this idea. The movie gets boring and not really thrilling:D:D:D:D:D. We can also create better music with Pro Scores:D:D:D Much better

melle (Germany)
September 14th, 2009 @ 5:27 am
At the very end when the chopper flies out of the picture to the left, there's a glitch in the audio, like the panning is too fast and it jumps from middle to the left - is that in the source audio file, or is it an effect of the preset?

September 14th, 2009 @ 5:32 am
Nice, this has so many uses.
September 14th, 2009 @ 5:34 am
One more example:

Listen this with headphones.
Dominik K.
September 14th, 2009 @ 5:35 am
Eleanor is a beauty. This movie is awesome but i think that this szene in the youtube link ruined it a little bit.
September 14th, 2009 @ 5:38 am
Woah, I second (third considering his double post) Tony, the background is beautiful.
Chad ONeal
September 14th, 2009 @ 5:39 am
nick cage one of my favs
September 14th, 2009 @ 5:52 am
hey just watch/listened to it and works fine. Its like the chopper is moving from right speaker to left speaker.

wow never dream that was possible, how do you come up with these stuff. You most have a factory of MONKEYS in suites working for you, hope you feeding them well.

great stuff as always.
September 14th, 2009 @ 6:43 am
Hey Andrew, you're great with visual graphics but hopefully you'll never take up commercial flying or you'll have a lot of sick passengers!!! :)

Very cool sound FX....another very useful tool.
September 14th, 2009 @ 6:57 am
Just for the record, his last movie "Knowing" is great and the cene of the crashing plane is amazing!
September 14th, 2009 @ 7:00 am
Excellent! Love the presets and all the work you do to help the community. Love the work on "Fringe" keep it up. Great to see you getting recognition and work, and by J.J. Abrahms no less, kudos!
September 14th, 2009 @ 7:04 am
Sound mixing inside of After Effects! An interesting tool, Andrew.

I've always felt that AE could do a lot better when it comes to working with audio. Is it too much to ask to be able to scrub through a composition and hear the audio?
September 14th, 2009 @ 7:08 am
Excellent! This will definitely be a great tool, and save time in I can go order pizza...;)
September 14th, 2009 @ 7:31 am
Very cool idea.. but, but, but...
I don't think I could do sound editing in AE.
But for people without a audio editor I would think this would be very handy. I made this ( ) and had 5-10 tracks for each shot. Trying to do it in AE would have been VERY hard.
September 14th, 2009 @ 7:32 am
What?? not even a reference to... THE WICKERMAN!!!!! somebody kill me if i have to watch that movie again
September 14th, 2009 @ 7:40 am
wow, that sounds great! I use other software for audio editing though.
September 14th, 2009 @ 8:09 am
Are you using Trapcode Horizon in the chopper video?
September 14th, 2009 @ 8:10 am
Wow that's cool! :D
Phil Wukong
September 14th, 2009 @ 8:16 am
YES! Thank you in advance, Andrew!
That preset is just what I need! I'm tired of adjusting all the sounds manualy...

Thanks again! You're awesome ^_^
September 14th, 2009 @ 8:16 am
Oh wow!
Thats pretty pro.
Thanks Andrew.
September 14th, 2009 @ 8:30 am
Andrew, congratulations, you are the best.
I wish meet you one day.
My dream is it
Johann Torres
September 14th, 2009 @ 8:32 am
thank you mr. Kramer!
September 14th, 2009 @ 8:33 am
Somehow funny, dunno what the pilot has drunk already ;-)
No, real, you're doing an excellent job, Andrew!
September 14th, 2009 @ 8:35 am
that's a very big mosquito !
September 14th, 2009 @ 8:56 am
Thats interesting. I have just been learning some surround panning techniques inside of Sony Vegas. I know you do visual effects and motion graphics, but a tutorial on this new subject would be fab!
September 14th, 2009 @ 9:04 am
Wow, i like all the things that u do. i want learn to do this!!!!!!
Arjun Yonjan
September 14th, 2009 @ 9:14 am
My first comment

Thanks AK for this.

I know about the stereo panning and i also had practised this technique. But don't know suround sound technique like 5.1, 7.1 are done. Hope you'll forward some steps for this.
September 14th, 2009 @ 9:24 am
Holy taco that chopper is super fast! Glad COD doesn't have that one...
September 14th, 2009 @ 9:24 am
I can't wait for it...
Sounds VERY good...
September 14th, 2009 @ 9:55 am
Hah, the Nicolas Cage thing cracked me up... mr. Kramer has always got something new... :D.

Well, yeah, the panning technique is really useful for creating realistic motion compositing. I don't actually do it, but I have guys in my company that do it... me... I'm a compositor, that's my gig :D, I'll pro'lly write a comment on that blog after this one :D
September 14th, 2009 @ 10:19 am
Thats AMAZING!What is the plugin going to be calld and will it be free or paid? ;)
September 14th, 2009 @ 10:23 am
Bout time somebody told it like it is...
September 14th, 2009 @ 10:24 am
Aw man Andrew, Nic Cage is my favorite actor, even in the horrible movies, cool idea though
wolfgang lovenbrau
September 14th, 2009 @ 10:32 am
i would have a Kramer Looks Plugin

something that i apply and my productions become fantastic just like yours

please help me
Erica Langworthy
September 14th, 2009 @ 10:39 am
Thanks again for sharing your hard work,insights, and jokes!!

I've learned A TON from ya :)!
September 14th, 2009 @ 11:13 am
Hey, I actualy wrote something similar yesterday when I wanted to work with stereo sound - you could use simple trigonometry in expressions with with Audio Levels and Stereo Mixing efect in AE. It' s useful and make good atmosphere to your mographs.
September 14th, 2009 @ 11:14 am
Man, this is a good one. You're the man Andrew! Thanks.
September 14th, 2009 @ 11:24 am
Pretty easy to do manually, but will definitely come in handy with after effects. Can't wait
Nicholas Cage
September 14th, 2009 @ 11:34 am

My lawyers will be speaking to you very soon Mr. Kramer
September 14th, 2009 @ 12:20 pm
haha this just made me relize my speakers were backwards
September 14th, 2009 @ 12:25 pm
Hail the Doppler Effect! :D
Olympia Logger
September 14th, 2009 @ 12:56 pm
You have such a good competent grasp on so many aspects; why don't you find out about getting accreditation and just go ahead and open a Real PRODUCTION COLLEGE and charge 5k/semester with tracks for 2 or 3 levels of certification. I'd pop 5k a quarter to learn this stuff in a real class setting and be able to ask questions and get critiqued in real time!

(Sam could pick up some extra cash slinging mashed potatos in the school lunchroom too!)

Basic skills 5k
Advanced skills 10k
Pro skills 15k

...and a genn-you-ine Andy Kramer sheepskin at the end !!!
September 14th, 2009 @ 1:01 pm
I completely agree about Gone In Sixty Seconds being the end of his career.
the HK
September 14th, 2009 @ 1:01 pm
Wow, I was thinking of actually the same thing in my vecation, and how I could create it! :D
The Fly
September 14th, 2009 @ 1:22 pm
Oh, It's not a chopper, it is a fly :-)
September 14th, 2009 @ 1:43 pm
Very cool effect,

teach me
teach me
teach me
your the best andrew
teach me
teach me :P
September 14th, 2009 @ 1:44 pm
Hey Andrew, this is cool and all, but what's the point? After Effect's isn't an audio editing software, it would be easier to just edit the sound separately in a different program.
September 14th, 2009 @ 1:49 pm
YES! Thank you soo much Andrew
September 14th, 2009 @ 1:57 pm
Even if the helicopter is at the right side of your ear you should still hear a low touch of it in the left ear and not only in the right and the volume should be lower aswell :P
Really nice I must say! Can't wait for it, it'll save lots of time! :)
September 14th, 2009 @ 2:00 pm
Clearly you've never seen Lord of War or Bangkok Dangerous. They aren't the best movies, but they're certainly better than most of the movies he produced prior to Gone In 60 Seconds. :p

In any case, the expression idea is interesting enough, but I fail to see much value in it. I mean, who really uses AE for sound? The sound bed is either done before or after the motion graphics, and almost always in a dedicated sound application.

My negativity aside, I'm sure there are thousands of kids that will still benefit from your efforts. Keep it up. :)
September 14th, 2009 @ 2:03 pm
In addition to my last comment....wouldn't applying this plugin/script take more clicks then just panning the audio manually? I mean its not exactly difficult or time consuming.
September 14th, 2009 @ 2:05 pm
Andrew, I have been trying for ages to do Anamorphic Lens flares. Could you please either post the project file, or maybe a tutorial on the subject of Anamorphic Lens Flares.

Knoll Light Factory itself won't do them properly, and I have been struggling for a long time to make them in AE.
September 14th, 2009 @ 2:07 pm
yeah, i heard this on my hi fi speakers listening to music :p , never known it's called Pan :)

September 14th, 2009 @ 2:36 pm
"by TOny
September 14th, 2009 @ 2:12 am

Dude forget the audio how the heck did you do the sky and the flare? I wanna learn that! What did you use? Horizon? and how did you get that 3d flare?"

Look at this for the lens flare:

Just put the light intensity down to 0. Or you could use a Null, I haven't tried.
September 14th, 2009 @ 2:58 pm
Are you linking to "Scale" as well for volume? Might be interesting.
September 14th, 2009 @ 3:44 pm
Hey, I'm not if it's my speakers, but it sounds like the sound is working in reverse.
September 14th, 2009 @ 3:55 pm
Awesome *drools* yea really awesome...

*scans page for any negative comments.....nope.....all good.....continue on automaton droids!
September 14th, 2009 @ 3:57 pm
2 words:

con air

Some actually think he can act?

If so....we're doomed as a society I hope you know.
September 14th, 2009 @ 3:11 pm
Hey andrew, i knw ths myt print off topic bt i wana knw wht the fractal(not fractal noise) found unda generate tab cn b used 4, iv tryd playn arnd wth it bt it seems am 2 dumb 4 it n i hvnt found tuts(as 4 nw) o hw 2use it. Any help/tip appreciatd. Thnx.
September 14th, 2009 @ 4:14 pm
Its nice to see a preset for this. This can be done manually in Vegas using Envelopes but it gets really tedious. Nice thinking Mr.Kramer :)
September 14th, 2009 @ 4:27 pm
" AirWolf the Return! "

Very cool, I would love to add this effect to a particle system, is it possible? Also , Any news on Quickmatte ?
September 14th, 2009 @ 4:40 pm
awsome, can't wait, but yo andrew, do you make these lens flares yourself or is there a 3rd party lens flare pack you used in this demo, I loved that lens flare!
September 14th, 2009 @ 5:47 pm
The flares are not from Light Factory, they are my custom flares actually.
September 14th, 2009 @ 5:56 pm
Yeah, I figured they had to be custom, because KLF can't create anamorphics like that. I have been trying to figure out a technique to do them for ages, so I do hope you would share your knowledge and technique on it.
September 14th, 2009 @ 5:58 pm
Cool ...except I would never use AE to mix/master audio.

If you are going to the trouble, might as well make a 3D surround sound version too.

Diego G.
September 14th, 2009 @ 5:58 pm
It looks good, but actually I use Sony Vegas to do the sound editing, maybe with AE'll be easier but Vegas is cool too.
Andrew, you rock! :D
September 14th, 2009 @ 6:10 pm
End of Nicholas Cage career indeed lol. I love that. cool post man. elements like this though shouldn't be abused of cause then it can make the movie bad lol
September 14th, 2009 @ 6:14 pm
Yo, you have to talk about the lens flare in your tutorial.
September 14th, 2009 @ 6:49 pm
Good to hear sounds awesome as always thanks Andrew
September 14th, 2009 @ 7:07 pm
Did you use this expression for the demo?

If so, will there be some sort of setting to "gradually transition" the sound from 1 speaker to the other?

Jumping from 100% left to 100% right doesn't sound very good.

I assume you can add something to the expression(s) to gradually transition. If so, I think it would make the sound much more realistic.

(Unless this is one of the bugs you are talking about that will be fixed) :)
September 14th, 2009 @ 7:24 pm
Hey you are cool. Great, great, great!!!!!

you`re my idol men.

Jean from Chile
September 14th, 2009 @ 7:31 pm
Hey, is this going to be compatible with 5.1 channel surround sound?
September 14th, 2009 @ 7:48 pm
THANK YOU! As someone who wants high quality work (audio included) and someone who wants to save time, this is it! Ive constantly had to edit the audio in an external editor (Mixcraft) and produce a new audio file at the right timing! Thanks again, Andrew:D
September 14th, 2009 @ 8:28 pm
You could apply a Falloff like effect or just an automated volume slider for shifts in z space. you might also apply a pitch shift or eq preset to roll off the lows to approximate doppler as objects recede. Very cool stuff Andrew!
September 14th, 2009 @ 9:12 pm
Good idea Lindsay. Controlling the audio eq would be quite clever.
September 14th, 2009 @ 9:43 pm
Dang it! You made me realize... my speakers must be backwards!!!
(all this time...)
September 14th, 2009 @ 11:46 pm
- just like Nicholas Cage :D
September 15th, 2009 @ 12:01 am
Thanks for letting me know my left and right speakers were hooked up wrong.
September 15th, 2009 @ 12:03 am
Just a side note make sure that when your sound travels all the way left or right that it doesn't get eliminated, or maybe even add a white noise track so that the audio remains something. (I noticed that when the choper was off screen you lost the audio on that channel)

Otherwise keep up the good work AK
September 15th, 2009 @ 1:26 am
AWESOME work man!
September 15th, 2009 @ 2:55 am
Its actually called the doppler effect,
September 15th, 2009 @ 6:22 am

The doppler effect is the changing of pitch with distance, not the changing of volume with distance. :)

Although a doppler preset would be amazing too.

@Andrew Kramer

The falloff idea is very exciting. Lots of possibilities there. I'm thinking we should create a futuristic city like in Blade Runner, with various compositions (flying cars) zooming past a 3D Camera.
September 15th, 2009 @ 6:30 am
Hey guys,
If you're interested in editing audio for your videos and don't have a good editor I would check out Cockos Reaper. It's free. Well... you can buy a liscense depending on how you decide to use it. But the eveluation time never expires, no sound blips, or limits what you need to do. Sounds weird? yeay I know. I use it for my editing audio for videos.

For my music I still use Pro Tools. But for free you can't beet it! It looks pretty nice as well and comes with some great sounding plug-ins right off the bat. It excepts VST, DXi, and VSTi plug-ins from almost all major companies.

and no... I'm not here to spam. I just like it a lot. Check it out! It may help you out a lot.
September 15th, 2009 @ 9:47 am
Will you be able to move an object within -Z- space and the audio higher and lower?
September 15th, 2009 @ 9:52 am

I stand corrected, been looking for a way to do a doppler effect for ages, still have not found a way yet. As for the fall off I completely agree with you.


September 15th, 2009 @ 10:40 am
Awesome!!! thanks, I've been needing a preset like that!
Trystan Seven
September 15th, 2009 @ 10:43 am
Yay! Previously I've been importing sounds into FL Studio and using it's pan function, but this should save me a step :D Thanks!
September 15th, 2009 @ 10:52 am
Great!! Just what I needed :D
September 15th, 2009 @ 3:13 pm
It just helped me realize my speakers were on the wrong sides
September 15th, 2009 @ 5:19 pm
Gak sabar nih tuts nya yang baru...
(I can't wait for the tuts...)

September 15th, 2009 @ 6:51 pm
Andrew states "In a continuing effort to waste your time..."
I think we can all agree that he needs to double his efforts. He has never wasted a minute of our time.
Thanks for your true efforts Andrew!
September 15th, 2009 @ 8:27 pm
some folks are very talented than Andrew Kramer,
you should agree with this Andrew Kramer.(Lindsay)
thanks for your Presentation.
September 15th, 2009 @ 10:01 pm
since you dont recommend audio in AE, what program do you usually edit audio in?
Kevin C
September 15th, 2009 @ 11:12 pm
I thought this might be something that could also be used in Premire Pro CS4 as well, but now that you've added the screen grab, I guess it can't. :(

Still looking forward to it though!
September 16th, 2009 @ 12:31 am
Hi Andrew
new nice idea ..
but If you Allow to me ..
the sound should not be cutting From one of two side

if noise coming from left , sound should be a little higher from Right .. in math

Left Right
60 40

like in real life

thanks Andrew
You are the best
wolfgang lovenbrau
September 16th, 2009 @ 3:51 am
actually i dont find after effects a useful tool for audio. i rather prefer sony vegas, a lot more fast and user friendly.
ok this is an experiment but.., better use your energy to develop video plugin
September 16th, 2009 @ 4:46 am
Thanks for sharing this, just what i lookd for!.. Realy cool stuff!
September 16th, 2009 @ 11:07 am
Hi andrew,

how did you this nice lens fler? :)
September 17th, 2009 @ 10:31 am
I messed with fading audio a bit and this is what I did and it seemed to work. I made my source video a 3D layer. I made a null object and applied a slider control to it. I alt-clicked on the slider's stopwatch and put in this expression:
((thisComp.layer("Source Video").transform.position[2]/72)*.0254)*340
*this was kind of a pick-whip onto the z position of the layer.

I then pick-whipped the audio levels to the Null Object's slider control and added a little bit more to it.

temp = thisComp.layer("Null 1").effect("Slider Control")("Slider");
[temp,temp] *.18655

*I added the .18655 for a smoother transition to -48dB and back.

I think it might be a start.
September 17th, 2009 @ 2:51 pm
this willl be soooooo awesome :)
when r you gonna post it
September 18th, 2009 @ 8:45 am
Now this is amazing, Genius Andrew!!
September 19th, 2009 @ 8:34 am
hehe to be honest i was thinking to make a preset like this too... seems like you are first :P
Loay Emad
September 23rd, 2009 @ 5:47 am
Wonderful Andrew
I'm Looking forward to see it a live
and BTW.....the Idea is very creative
September 25th, 2009 @ 9:16 am
Andrew, I never knew this was possible, fantastic, and am I correct in saying that the volume of the sound is directly relative to the position of the layer?

Thanks man
HÃ¥vard Fandrem
October 3rd, 2009 @ 2:14 am
Wait a second, did you use Optical Flares in that Super-Chopper?
October 8th, 2009 @ 6:05 pm
"Gone in 60 Seconds" was not the best but it was definitely an entertaining movie.
November 3rd, 2009 @ 3:59 pm
thanks! now I know I have my speakers hooked up backwards!
March 20th, 2010 @ 3:42 pm
Jeez, what ever happened to this, Andrew? xp
you forgot?
May 17th, 2011 @ 6:43 am
Nice 3d audio compiler!
October 23rd, 2011 @ 12:45 am
I truly loved this post. You write about this topic very well. I really like your blog and I will definetly bookmark it! Keep up the super posts! .
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