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Tutorial: Animating a Company Logo in Adobe After Effects CC

While animating a client's logo can be a time-consuming process, it adds more production value and life to your video projects. This tutorial will demonstrate how to create dynamic logo animations using Adobe After Effects CC and Adobe Illustrator.

Working with the Logo in After Effects

Now, we see that our logo exists on separate layers inside the After Effects composition (Figure 4, below).

Figure 4. The logo in After Effects as individual layers.

Next, we will navigate up to Composition in the toolbar and adjust our Composition settings in the Composition Settings dialog box. Here we will select a 1080 preset, as we know this logo will be used in a video that has 1920x1080 settings. We can also change the duration of this project in this panel (Figure 5, below).

Figure 5. Adjusting Composition settings.

As you can see in Figure 6 (below), the logo is quite a bit smaller than the video settings we are working with. This is why it is important to use a vector-based logo, because it allows us scale all of the layers so that they fit nicely within our frame size.

Figure 6. Our logo is currently much smaller than the video size we chose for our After Effects composition.

Before we scale the layers, we want to make sure the Continuously Rasterize option is enabled. We turn this on in the timeline panel by selecting the square with lines icon to the right of the layer name (Figure 7, below). Enable this option for each layer.

Figure 7. Enabling the Continuously Rasterize option for each layer.

Next, we can start with the black background and press the S key to reveal the layer’s scale properties. From here, we can drag these values to the right and make the background fill the screen (Figure 8, below). Now we can adjust the scale values for the other layers to make them a little bigger. Select multiple layers in the timeline panel by holding down command on the Mac or Ctrl on windows as you select the items. Now press S to reveal all of the selected layer’s scale properties. From here we can drag to the right and scale up each of the selected layers.

Figure 8. Scaling the background by adjusting the layer's scale properties to fill the screen. Click the image to see it at full size.

Now, the issue here is that as we scale each item, they do not stay in place. This is why it is important to use the original logo as reference when you are making these changes. We can move things back into their place by adjusting our position properties.

Starting with the camera, we will press P on the layer to reveal the Position properties. Here we can adjust the values by dragging to the left and realigning the camera (Figure 9, below). 

Figure 9. Adjusting Position properties. Click the image to see it at full size.

Next we can reveal our position properties for the tethering cable. We will press P on that layer and adjust our values to bring it underneath the company name. Finally, we will move the Trademark text back to its original location (Figure 10, below).

Figure 10. Everything properly scaled and back where it should be, we can now move on to animation.

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