How to Create a Professional Logo Animation

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Tags - VFX
Software:
  • Blender 2.64
Discover How To:
  • The Secrets behind making a good logo animation
  • How to make metallic, brushed metal text
  • How to create a shiny gemstone

Chapter Marks (Full Length )

modelling icon37.08modelling icon319.08simulations27.43icon-lighting39.05simulations53.35
Software:
  • Blender 2.64
Discover How To:
  • The Secrets behind making a good logo animation
  • How to make metallic, brushed metal text
  • How to create a shiny gemstone

Chapter Marks (Full Length )

modelling icon37.08modelling icon319.08simulations27.43icon-lighting39.05simulations53.35

Finished Result

Download the Finished .blend

It used to be that only big name movie companies could afford logo animations, but now that every man and his dog owns a youtube channel they’re becoming somewhat common. Throwing some bevel on your text just isn’t going to cut it anymore.

If you want to stand out you need to plan your logo animation carefully.

When you’re just starting out, the best thing you can do is watch as many logo intros as you can. You’ll learn a lot about what works and what doesn’t just by doing this.

So here’s some good videos to start with:

Tips for making a good logo animation

  • Think about what the company stands for, and how to portray this in the animation (is it professional, creative or fun?)
  • Start the animation by not giving much away. Make the viewer want to see more, then reveal the logo piece-by-piece.
  • Keep it under 10 seconds. The shorter the better.
  • Most intros end with the logo on a black background. It’s not a rule, but if you want to keep it consistent with the industry, it’s a good idea.
  • Spend time building a quality sound design. Bad sound can ruin any good visual.

Did you make your own logo animation using this tutorial? Post your results in the comments below!

Summary

Hate long videos? Find what you need in the steps below. (Italian Translation)

Creating the Logo

1. Add new text (Shift+A > Text) and type out your company name.

2. Change the font to anything you like. I chose Optimus Princeps.┬áRotate the font by 90 degress so it’s flat when looked at in front view (Numpad 1).

 

3. Set Extrude to 0.05, Depth to 0.009, and Resolution to 4.

4. Convert the text to a mesh (Alt+C) and clean up any problems that was caused by the bevel (the first E in my example).

Creating Brushed Metal text

5. UV unwrap the text (U) using ‘Project from View’ (in front view).

6. Add a new material and set the shader type to Glossy. Set the roughness to 0.05.

7. Go to the Node Editor, and create the following node setup:

Lighting the Text

8. Position the camera front on to the text.

9. Add a plane and scale and position as shown. This will be used to cast reflections on the text. The text is 100% glossy, so it won’t catch any diffuse light.

10. Add a new material to the plane. Set it to Emission with a Strength of 3.

11. Go to the Object panel and under Ray Visibility, uncheck Camera. This will make the object invisible to the camera.

How to make an object invisible to the camera in Cycles

How to make an object invisible to the camera in Cycles

Oooo... slick. But the text kind of disappears at the bottom. Let's fix that...

Oooo… slick. But the text kind of disappears at the bottom. Let’s fix that…

12. Duplicate the plane and place it below the text as pictured. Make a new material, set the strength to 1 and color to slightly yellow (for mo drama yo).

Perfect!

Much better! Now the whole word is visible, whilst still lookin schmexy…

Creating a Gemstone

13. Go to File>User Preferences>Addons and enable the Extra Objects addon.

14. Go to a new Layer. Press Shift+A, Mesh>Extra Objects>Gemstones>Gem.

15. Press T to bring up the toolbar with the mesh options. Set the settings as shown:

16. Add a new material to the Gemstone. Set the shader to Glass and the color to light green-aqua.

17. Go to the modifier stacker and add a Bevel with a width of 0.0040.

Creating the gemstone reflections

Without anything to reflect, the gemstone will be nothing more than a green smudge on your screen. So let’s add some “sparkle” using the background.

18. Go to the node editor and click the World icon in the bottom bar. Add a Checker Texture node and connect it to the background. Set the Scale to 20and Strength to 3.

I'm trippin out man! Make it stop!

“Cool refractions bro, but the background’s makin’ me trip!”

19. Add a Light Path and Mix node, then connect as pictured below. This will make the background invisible to the camera.

How to make the texture invisible to the camera

Much better!

Much better! Checkerboard wallpapers were like soooo 1970s anyway.

But wait, there’s more! We actually don’t want the checkerboard background to cast any reflections either. Otherwise we’ll run into problems later with our text. So let’s turn off reflections too.

20. Duplicate the previous Mix node and connect as pictured:

How to make a background texture not show up in reflections

How to make a background texture not show up in reflections

21. Select the text and go into edit mode. Select “Pictures” using the box tool (B) and press P>Selection to make it a separate object.

22. Separate the two words and place the gemstone in the middle.

Slowly getting there.

Creating a “floating particle” background

23. Add a Plane, scale it up to cover the grid floor and place below your scene out of view of the camera. Add a Location Keyframe (i) on Frame 1.

24. Go to Frame 10, move the plane above the camera and add another Location Keyframe (i).

25. Go to the f-Curve editor. Delete the X and Y location tracks (as they aren’t needed). Select the Z-Location track and press V>Vector (this will make the animation linear without slowing down).

26. With the plane selected, add a new Particle System.

27. Set the Emission amount to 5000. Start: 1, End: 10. Lifetime: 260.

28. Set the Normal to 0. Brownian: 0.1 (subtle drifting behavior). Gravity: 0.

Play the animation now and you should see this

Play the animation now and you should see this

29. Somewhere out of view of the camera, add a Circle and in the toolbar, set the Vertices to 8 and Fill type to Ngon.

30. Add a new material to the circle. Set the surface type to Emission with a Strength of 4.

 

31. Select the plane again and under the Particle Settings, Render, click Object select the name of the Circle. Alter the size till you have small-ish particles.

32. Go to the Particle settings, enable Rotation and Dynamic. Set the Initial Orientation to 1 and Angular Velocity to Random: 2. This will make the particles gently rotate as they float around.

Yay! We got particles all up in here. It doesn't look pretty though because there's no sense of depth. Let's fix that...

Yay, particles! But it looks terrible because there’s no sense of depth.

33. Select the camera and set the Focus point to the Text (should be the word “Emerald”). Set the f/Stop to 0.05.

Yay! Depth!

Yay! Sweet, sweet DoF.

Volumetric Lighting

NOTE: Volumetric lighting is currently not available in Cycles (as of November 2012), so the Internal Render engine will be used.

34. Create a new scene using Link Object Data.

35. Name the new scene Volumetric Lighting and set the render engine to Blender.

36. Add a spotlamp with a Halo step 5.

37. Add a plane and subdivide it 7 times (W).

38. Use the circle tool (C) to select random holes in the mesh.

39. Delete those vertices and position the plane at the top of the spotlight cone, but out of view of the camera.

40. Move the spotlight and plane to a separate layer. Go to the render layer settings and select that layer in the layer options. Check All Z.

41. Go back to the main Scene and jump to the compositor. Add another Renderlayer and set the scene to Volumetric Lighting. Add another mix node and connect as shown:

The Fac value determines how thick to make the volumetric light.

Making the text glow

42. Select the Text, go to the object panel and set the Pass Index to 1 (do each text object separately).

43. In the RenderLayer check Object Index.

44. Go to the compositor and add an ID Mask (Add>Converter) and a Mix Node. Connect as shown:

45. Add an RGB Curve Node and Blur Node. Connect and change as shown:

46. Finally, add a Mix Node, set to Add and connect to the rest of the compositor as shown.

47. To keep things organized, create a group out of the newly created nodes (Ctrl+G). Set the name to “Text Glow”.

Making the gemstone “shine”

48. Select the gemstone and set the Pass Index to 2.

49. Go to the compositor, add an ID Mask set to 2, and a Mix node. Connect as shown:

50. Add a Glare node and set as shown:

51. Add another Mix Node and set as shown:

52. Keep it organized by grouping the newly created nodes (Alt+G).

The new method for creating Vignettes

53. Add an Ellipse Mask (Add>Matte) and set the settings as shown:

54. Add a Blur Node, set to Fast Gaussian, Relative, Y, 10% and connect to the Ellipse Mask.

55. Add a Mix node, set to Multiply and connect as shown:

56. Keep it tidy by making a group out of those newly created nodes (Alt+G).

57. For the final touch, add a color balance node and tweak the middle wheel to be slightly purple (complimentary color of green).

Complete composite:

Animating the logo

58. Go to Frame 200. Select the text and add a LocationRotation keyframe (i).

59. Select the camera and position your cursor over the Focal Length and press i to create a keyframe.

60. Go to Frame 100. Move the Emerald right in front of the camera. Add another LocationRotation keyframe (i).

61. Position the word “Emerald” behind the gemstone, slightly rotated. Add another LocationRotation keyframe.

62. Move the word “Pictures” behind the camera. Add another LocationRotation keyframe.

63. Zoom the camera in to Focal Length 60 and create another keyframe by hovering over the field and press i.

Playback the animation now and you should see a completed logo animation, fit for any movie production company :)

Finished!

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