Discovering the art of animated logos with Adobe After Effects CC

Adobe Inspire by Jeff Foster

You've seen the clever and often beautiful animated movie studio logos that open a theatrical presentation, or the title graphics that come to define the brand of a television show or video production company. Many of them are memorable or entertaining. You can apply some of these creative and inspirational animation techniques to an average logo design for your corporate client or small-business production.

Seeing a great movie studio logo animation before the picture starts — from 20th Century Fox or Universal Studios, for example (see below) — is like watching a warm-up act. I've often mentally deconstructed some of them while sitting in the theater, imagining how I would create them myself by combining video, 3D, and motion graphics in Adobe After Effects — often to the point of distraction from the beginning of the feature film.

Almost any static logo design can be easily animated in either 2D or 3D in Adobe After Effects CC with layers created in Adobe Photoshop CC and Adobe Illustrator CC. This article shows you some examples and concepts as well as three techniques for creating 2D or 3D logo animations. You should have a basic understanding of how Illustrator CC and After Effects CC work, since you'll be able to download and explore some of the project files.

What to animate and why?

Depending on the logo design you're starting with, you'll need to first determine why you want to animate it and what story you want it to tell. Where will this animation be used? Will it be an animated avatar for a company's online presence or website? Are you creating an animated title for a video production? Or is it for a product or service business? Whatever the case — you want it to convey a message or evoke an emotional response. After all, this is the extension of the logo or title design process. The original logo design was created with purpose and should tell a story — now it's your turn to bring that story to life. read more...

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