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After Effects Logo Animation Slingshot Shatter

What could this be? Well, it could be a bit silly and just a little bit of fun. We are, after all, seeking to capture their attention in the first few seconds and whether or not this is an absolute for your site, it will open up some windows on possibilities for your logo with After Effects.

One of the coolest things about our current development environment is the ‘open source’, Blog, endless stream of free information and ideas (and online articles, like ‘Ezines’!). I certainly find many ‘how to’s’, techniques and daily inspiration in my meanderings. One thing that really helps a lot, helps a lot with After Effects is not just the steps but actually being able to view the project so I am going to begin including the After Effects projects that accompany these lessons on my site, an index will be available. This is a work in progress, but I want to provide complete ‘working models’ as I share the things that so many have shared with me.

Now, back to the logo lesson.

The basics for our slingshot shattering logo begin with the capability of transforming After Effects text into shapes and this technique has one of my favorite attributes: it has one step. It has one step, no special settings that determine the outcome and you immediately have a shape with all the flexibility and customization of any shape.

With your text layer chosen, under “layers”, choose ‘create shapes from text”. ( In After Effects CS3, under layers, choose ‘create outline’ ). When you do this, After Effects ‘turns off’ the original text layer, it simply ‘unchecks’ the eye display option. The text is still there and in my logo animation, I added a little introduction with a 3d text preset randomly appearing on the stage using the original text.

Now turn to the shape you created. It is a shape. If you open the layer, you will see the separate word shapes, shapes for each of the characters in your word. I chose the first letter to be the apex of my slingshot for a little more depth and screen presence. Zoom in on the character a bit and you see it is made of connected dots. With your selection tool, select a group of them, form a rectangle around the ones you want, moving your mouse with the selection tool highlighted. You will see the ones selected filled indicating you have chosen them. Now drag the group around a little bit. Play with the versatility you have. Drag them down, to the left, right seeing that as you drag this group, this partial section of your character, you are ‘stretching the fabric’ so to speak. You are stretching and expanding that part of your shape and it narrows just was it would appear if you were stretching an elastic object.

Every position you touch as you stretch can be animated. You are simply changing their position and if you enter the position stopwatch before you begin, applying a new position at new points on your timeline creates the animation. As always in After Effects, it helps to visualize, to ‘play around’ a little bit. Picture when you really pull back the elastic of a modern day slingshot. Then at the full distance from you original position, reunite your character in a very brief moment, just a couple frames so it bounces back very quickly.

At this point, all we have to do is apply a little shatter. Really, ‘right out of the box’, shatter effect will suffice but it too has many parameters to play with so have fun there too. This would be great in a logo animation to make a statement, a bang, a drawn out presentation, a building climax, when the punch line explodes, so does your logo! This is great fun and a really easy trick, with After Effects.

Source by Tom Womack

About Maria Kane

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