LIBRARY: Tutorials Reviews Interviews Editorials Features Business Authors RSS Feed

Creating a Logo Assembling Animation

Creating a Logo Assembling Animation
Adobe After Effects Tutorial


Creating a Logo Assembling Animation

Joe Chao (Cao Jun) Joe Chao,
Jiangsu, China
©2005 Joe Chao and CreativeCow.net.

Article Focus:
Joe Chao was once required to create an animation in which a flock of fireflies assemble into an insect shaped logo. In this tutorial, Joe demonstrates a quick method to duplicate the effect using Trapcode Particlular.



Watch the movie, download the project file and follow along.

My logo looks like this:
logo

Since it would be quite hard to make animated cartoon firefly entirely in AE, it might be a better idea to make the firefly in some other software. I chose 3Dmax6. It was not too complex to make such a cartoon insect role. I made it by assembling a set of basic shapes (spheres, cones, circles and so on). It looks like this in 3DMAX:
3DMax bug


Add key frames for its wings and render the looping animation from three different visual angles. Here is what they look like:

Render the looping

NOTE: You can make the fly animations in any software you like. You can even draw them in Adobe Illustrator. Because the final tga-sequenced animations are too large to upload, I have replaced them with three still pictures. You will find them with the project file linked in the yellow bar above.

We have prepared three fireflies' animations, but we still need something else before getting started.

1. Draw a night sky in Photoshop, if you do not want your fireflies fly on a black backdrop. I made one like this:

Night Sky


2. To make the animation livelier, we need to create some grasses in front of the camera. The grass can be created in many kinds of ways, but the quickest method would be using “particleIllusion from wondertouch”! You can find the grasses here:

Particle Illusion screen shot

I've attached a still frame of the animated grasses with my project file.

3. Abstract the logo in PS and save it as a PSD file.
Well, now everything is ready.

Create a new project, import all the elements I mentioned into AE, and we can start.


1. Create a new comp named as “bugclip1”. Drag a clip of the firefly into it. (in this case we can drag only the still frame). We can also add a growing animation for it. Do the same operation while creating “bugclip2” and “bugclip3”.


2. Create a new Comp named “buganimated”, drag “bugclip1”, “bugclip2”and “bugclip3” into it, sequence them one by one.


3.Create a new comp named “main”.

  • Drag the logo in, convert it into a 3D layer.
  • Create a camera and a null layer. Convert the null layer into 3D layer.
  • Set the null layer the parent of the camera
  • Add key frames for the null layer' z-position, so that the camera can zoom in from the logo. The last frame will look like this:


Last frame

  • Hide the logo.


NOTE: Don't spend too much time on adjusting the motion of the null object. We will adjust it again later.

4.Drag the layer “buganimated” into comp “main”. Create a solid layer.

  • Apply Trapcode Particular effect to the solid layer, select the preset “T-swarmflies”
  • Open the emitter settings, adjust it like this:
  • Add key frames for the “particles/sec” property. Set it to 60000 at 00:00:00,and 0 at 00:00:01.Then the emitter will create a large sum of “bugs” at the beginning and stop after that.

Here is the screen shot of the settings:

Screen shot of settings

  • Open the particle settings.
    • Set the life property to 30 seconds, so that no fireflies will disappear during the whole animation.
    • The Split Clip modes split the custom layer into three clips. AE will randomly select one of the clips and play the clip looping.

Here is the screen shot of the settings:

Screen shot of settings

  • Open the physics settings.
    • Select “air” physics model
    • Set the gravity to 0.

Here is the screen shot of the settings:

Screen shot of settings


  • Adjust the motion of the null object. Let the camera fly through the fireflies.
  • Now play the animation. It looks pretty good except the border of the flock is too regular. So we should make an irregular border for it.
    • Duplicate the logo layer, set the Z-position of the new layer to “-128”
    • Duplicate solid layer. Adjust the settings of the filter “trapcode particular”. Here are the differences:


Screen shot of settings

NOTE: this layer has two functions: make an irregular border; and add more details for the whole particular system especially during the end part of the motion. Because when it comes into our sight view clearly, the fireflies have been very small, we need not to select the Split Clip modes. The random-still frame modes can work very well.

5. To create the glowing logo, you'll need to unhide it.

  • Duplicate the logo layer
  • Apply Gaussian Blur effect to it. Add key frames for the blurriness property when the logo begins to appear.
  • Set various key frames for the opacity property by the wiggle tool. That will make the logo “flash”
  • Recomp the layer, and add a fade-in effect to it. Shift the transfer mode to “ADD”


6. Go to the beginning of the whole footage, create some fireflies flying in front the camera, so that the beginning of the animation will be more interesting.

  • Drag the “bugclip1”, “bugclip2”, and “bugclip3” into our comp, set motion for them, and let them fly in front of the camera.

7. Finally, add the sky background and grasses into the scene. Create the title “www.firefly.com”. BTW, You can also let the title emerge from a group of fireflies by the same means as the logo.

By now, we have gone through the whole example of making a logo assembling animation in AE using Trapcode particular. I hope it's been helpful to those who have just started learning particle systems.

Feel free to ask questions in the After Effects forum at CreativeCOW.net.



If you found this page from a direct link, please visit our forums or read other articles at CreativeCOW.net







Related Articles / Tutorials:
Adobe After Effects
Adobe After Effects Reverse Stabilization

Adobe After Effects Reverse Stabilization

You're going to be blown away by how you can power up your After Effects workflow with reverse stabilizing your footage! By separating your tracking from your compositing, you can focus on each step, and in addition, overcome the render order complexities when match moving elements and effects on a moving shot.


Roei Tzoref
Adobe After Effects
After Effects Content Aware Fill: When It Doesn't  Work

After Effects Content Aware Fill: When It Doesn't Work

There’s a new artificial intelligence-powered feature in Adobe After Effects called Content-Aware Fill that allows you to remove anything from your shots fairly easily! It's powerful, but if you’ve tried it you know that it doesn’t always work perfectly. So what do you do when it doesn’t work as well as you'd hoped? Filmmaker Cody Pyper is here to show what to try next!


Cody Pyper
Adobe After Effects
VFX in Adobe After Effects: An Artists Panel (NAB)

VFX in Adobe After Effects: An Artists Panel (NAB)

Join panelists Andrew Kramer of Video Copilot, Jayse Hansen, and Mary Poplin of Boris FX, along with moderator, Victoria Nece of Adobe, as they discuss the world of visual effects from an artist’s perspective.


Adobe Creative Cloud
Adobe After Effects
Scars, Tattoos & Digital Makeup: After Effects & Mocha Pro

Scars, Tattoos & Digital Makeup: After Effects & Mocha Pro

How do you add SCARS, TATTOOS or DIGITAL MAKEUP to a person's face? Learn how to use Mocha Pro's planar tracker and the Mesh Warp tool to insert a flat image/video on a (non flat) human face! Join VFX guru Tobias G from Surfaced Studio for a closer look!


Tobias G
Adobe After Effects
Compositing Secrets Everyone Can Use, Pt 5: Brightness

Compositing Secrets Everyone Can Use, Pt 5: Brightness

The first challenge to understanding the nature of brightness in compositing starts with remembering that we're not actually seeing color at all, but rather something of an illusion that appears to us as color! Join longtime VFX artist, editor, software developer, and business owner Simon Ubsdell for Part 5 of the best look behind the technology of compositing that you've ever seen, as he takes a look at the math behind brightness, and how to apply that to the compositing toolsets in your favorite editing, compositing, and color grading applications.

Tutorial
Simon Ubsdell
Adobe After Effects
60 Second Tutorial: Alien Invasion in Adobe After Effects

60 Second Tutorial: Alien Invasion in Adobe After Effects

Here's a fast, fun one! Sixty seconds to create and animate an alien using the 3D and Track Camera tools to animate your character in Adobe After Effects. Use the included files, or bring your own!

Tutorial
Adobe Creative Cloud
Adobe After Effects
What Are Adobe Motion Graphics Templates?

What Are Adobe Motion Graphics Templates?

A Motion Graphics Template, referred to as a MOGRT, is an animated sequence that is self-contained and can be used in Adobe Premiere Pro, Adobe Premiere Rush and Adobe After Effects, combining graphics, text, audio and video files, as well as vector or still images (including logos), to create a still or animation that can then be customized by the MOGRT user. The result is a dynamic creative tool that provides design freedom and is consistent to its users across apps and devices. Reuse, share, and even sell them!


Rod Harlan
Adobe After Effects
Compositing Secrets Everyone Can Use Pt. 4 - Advanced Alphas

Compositing Secrets Everyone Can Use Pt. 4 - Advanced Alphas

When most people hear the words "alpha channels", they think "transparency", but that's not exactly accurate. The truth is more complex, and a quite bit more interesting! Join longtime VFX artist, editor, software developer, and business owner Simon Ubsdell for Part 4 of the best look behind the technology of compositing that you've ever seen, packed with practical advice for applying the secrets of alpha channels that's simply not possible before understanding these underlying principles. No matter which applications you're using for editing, compositing, or visual effects, this one is a must-see!

Tutorial
Simon Ubsdell
Adobe After Effects
Compositing Secrets Everyone Can Use: Pt. 3 - Alpha Channels

Compositing Secrets Everyone Can Use: Pt. 3 - Alpha Channels

When most people hear the words "alpha channels", they think "transparency", but that's not exactly accurate. The truth is more complex, and a quite bit more interesting! Join longtime VFX artist, editor, software developer, and business owner Simon Ubsdell for Part 3 of the best look behind the technology of compositing that you've ever seen, packed with practical advice for applying the secrets of alpha channels that's simply not possible before understanding these underlying principles. No matter which applications you're using for editing, compositing, or visual effects, this one is a must-see!

Tutorial
Simon Ubsdell
Adobe After Effects
Compositing Secrets Everyone Can Use 2: Advanced Blend Modes

Compositing Secrets Everyone Can Use 2: Advanced Blend Modes

Whether you're a full-time compositor and VFX artist, an editor working in one of the many NLEs that supports Blend Modes (including Adobe Premiere, Apple FCP and FCPX, Avid Media Composer, DaVinci Rsolve, and VEGAS Pro), or whether you just want the additional graphics power that comes with insight into the secret world of pixels, this is the tutorial for you! Join longtime VFX artist, editor, software developer, and business owner Simon Ubsdell for Part 2 of the best look behind the technology of blend modes that you've ever seen, with some practical steps you can start taking today to make your work look better than ever.

Tutorial
Simon Ubsdell
MORE
© 2019 CreativeCOW.net All Rights Reserved
[TOP]