After Effects – Logo Animation – Part 1

By Tom Womack

Using After effects text animation is one of the basic tools in logo animation. When it comes to media animation one of the first design decisions and which tool is best for the job depends on if your logo is primarily text and can be represented using a text tool the animations that are available for text.

Let’s first look at how you would go about animating your logo if it is primarily a text logo with some graphic highlights. One of the most powerful set of presets in the Adobe After Effects arsenal is the text animations. Just about everything you can imagine, everything you have seen from text tumbling out of the sky, to sliding in from one side or another, to changing colors and glowing is available as a text preset.

For a simple experiment, use the text tool to create your logo text, choosing your characteristic font. Create a simple backdrop that contrasts with your text. Directly across from the text ‘twirl down’ arrow is the ‘Animate’ feature with it’s twirl down set of animate features. Choose ‘position’ under animate. You will immediately see a new component under your text, ‘Animator 1′ with it’s own position component and a ‘Range Selector’. Twirl open the range selector to see ‘start’, ‘end’, and ‘offset’ options, each with it’s own stopwatch indicating that each property can be animated.

We know about ‘a picture says a thousand words’. For a quick illustration to see how simple it is to set up an animation using these basic settings, set the range selector to it’s default values of 0% for Start, 100% for End, and 0% for Offset. Set the range selector position 0,-200 (0 for x offset, -200 for y offset). This setting for y will position your text above your stage.

Click on the stopwatch at time ’0′, move your timeline to 3 seconds and move the Start value to 100%. Scrub the timeline then preview your animation. You will see your text falling ‘out of the sky’. For one simple setting that will add another touch of diversity with a single switch, look under the ‘Advanced’ section of your Range Selector for ‘Randomized Order’ and click this from off to on. Now when your characters animate onto the stage, they appear randomly. This is a very popular effect with movie and television introductions, commercials, and of course, web site logos.

Full Moons, Dogcreek, think globally, act locally. Web Designer Tom Womack uses Adobe Design Suite creating dynamic sites with rich media. Adobe After Effects is my application of choice having endless possibilities. I use Premiere Pro for video editing, Flash for final Web compatible movie. I am on a constant learning curve and regularly update my media page.

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