How to create a Radar animation using Xcelsius?

In designing a UFO Tracking dashboard for the Reportapalooza guest challenge, I decided that I needed to create a radar simulation. The math to get the radar to spin past zero wasn’t overly hard, but really through me for a loop at first (no pun intended)!

How to Create:
1. Setup play selector data

Cell A1: 0
Cell A2: =If(A1=100, 0, A1+1)

2. Insert play selector

Source: A2
Destination: A1

Xcelsius Tricks

3. Setup pie chart data

Section 1 – Scanner when spanning across zero
Section 2 – Blank space after scanner
Section 3 – Scanner Slice
Section 4 – Blank space before scanner

Xcelsius Trick

4. Insert pie chart
5. Pie chart options > Behaviors > Animations and Effects: Turn off data animation (or the scanner will spin backwards after hitting 100%)
6. Make data series 1 and 3 blue and make series 2 and 4 black
7. De-select the show lines option for the data series

Xcelsius Trick

8. Insert 2 ellipses over the pie chart to create inner rings
9. Spice it up. I used a dot that fades in when the scanner crosses that area (i.e. 60-70%). Kalyan used sequencing numbers to create a film reel countdown.

Source File

  • Ah that’s how you did it, very nice job!

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  • Mark Bradley

    Joshua — This was a cool one — Nice Job! Thank you for sharing!


  • Very cool. Nice job

  • Adil

    I don’t know why most of the people trying something which the tool is not made off. Please all of us make sure there is some business relevance out of it.

  • I personally think that Xcelsius is an amazing tool that can be stretched to do many things that it wasn’t intended to do.

    The radar simulator was used in an “everyday” dashboard for the Reportapalooza competition, so I more created it for fun than business use. I did figure out the underlying functionality when I had to build a timed delay into a dashboard. In that example, I utilized an animated pie chart to show the timer status countdown.

  • Larry

    Nice example of thinking outside the box. Like Adil, I’m not sure how useful this particular example would be in a business environment. However, sometimes this sort of creativity has unexpected benefits down the road in a real business scenario. Great job Joshua!

  • Hi, I’m junior. can you write some post using this radar simulator? I really want to know how this can be used for dashboard. Thanks for sharing this awesome example.

  • amrut

    hi, can you write some post using movie type opening screen? i want to know how this can be done in xcelsius? Thanks