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heyvern

My first animated logo

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So this is the first time I've done an animated logo with AM. Turned out pretty good. The company sells Kettlebells which are used for building muscles. For those of you who don't know, muscles are things in your body that are slowly shriveling up as you sit in front of the computer for hours and hours with out moving anything buy your hands and fingers.

 

This isn't the final version. It's a low res sample. The final is HD and doesn't have the orange glow.... man it looks SWEET. I'm watching the final render right now... still about 90 minutes to go.

 

pkb.mov

 

Here's what the final will look like:

 

pkb_final.jpg

 

 

The zoom was just straight forward key framing with that little "bounce" at the end. I used fog on the camera to have the letters zoom out from. Worked great. The orange glow is actually a fog image. That is COOL. Fog images. Neat. The fog takes on the color of the image... but of course not using that image for the final but still a neat trick.

For the last bit I used Newton physics for the letter "bounce" when the kettelbell hits the ground. I needed the letters to bounce but end up in the correct spot afterwards. First I made the letters "dynamic box objects". I did this so a letter like the "P" wouldn't just fall over... actually a lot of them would just fall over because they are slanted. A box object defines the shape as a box so letters like the "P" won't be top heavy and fall over. After simulating the bounce of the letters I just went in and copied the keys for each letter from before the bounce to after the bounce. This created the illusion that they bounced a little and ended up in the same spot.

 

To bounce the letters (you can't really "bounce" things from an impact that easily) I placed two temporary ground planes under each row of letters. I keyed the letter objects "up" a bit before the simulation so they had an upward force. They go up and then down onto temporary ground planes under them to stop the movement. After the simulation I just had tp clean up the key frames a bit, modified the keys so the upward motion was smooth and didn't go to high. I also removed most of the rotation keys. They are like a billion miles long to get that trailing 3D extrusion and some of the excessive rotations looked bad. Overall this was still WAY easier than trying to create the bounce effect by hand.

 

I don't know if this is normal but I did some wacky things with lights to get that black kettlebell to "stand out" from the black background (that was what the orange glow was for originally. It looks good now against black so the orange glow is history).

 

I have lights around the kettlebell with huge intensities... like... 1400%. I don't know why or how I ended up having to do that but there was just no way to get those rim highlights to show up otherwise. I ended up putting in a reflection panel (on the upper right) to give it more shape. Almost all of the lights have intensities well above "normal". The back of that thing glows like the sun but you hardly see it from the front. Anyway... whatever works right?

 

 

-vern

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It works really good!

And thanks for writing the making of, it is very interesting.

Maybe holds between the blocks of letters appearing would give more punch.

 

Michel

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That looks sharp.

 

Keep on flying!

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NICE! You have discovered one of A:M's (shhhh) 'hidden' strongpoints: MOTION GRAPHICS. The sky is the limit to what you can do with this app. THANKS for the word on 'fog images'... I still haven't tried that feature (after 10 years!) but I DID just recently start using the 'ignore fog' feature. I was trying to adjust the fog's 'in' and 'out' limits endlessly until I discovered 'ignore fog'. FOG in A:M adds a LOT to your realism...even in small doses, and it does NOT add too much to your render times...

 

 

MUSCLES. I too, have been spending too much time sitting in front of a computer and as a result my 'upper body' has gone quite soft. My legs arent in bad shape because I play ice-hockey 2X per week in a league all winter. Recently, I discovered that my local high school has a program where they share their state-O-D-art workout facility with the public for a very nominal fee. I have been using the treadmills, weight room, and pool all spring and can actually feel a bicep in my arm again... LOOK IN TO IT, it's well-worth the time and expense, and more and more community high schools are doing it to offset costs. NOW- if I can only save my eyesight! These monitors are KILLING ME!!!

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Looking good Vern - Kettlebells ? - Do they taste good? - Do you get a lifetime supply?

 

FOG IMAGE??? yikes - where have I been for the last 10 years? Amazing.

 

(you know what that means - One pink cloud fogged, turquoise front projected, orange-reddish IBL-ed, Golden frog coming up)

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Thanks for the feedback!

 

Animus,

holds on the letters... I tried a few other things first but decided I really wanted that opening to zoooom in FAST. It's actually a teeny tiny bit slower than I wanted but close enough. I used a lot of bias tweaking on the key frame curves and if I tightened them up it makes them go wonky and I have to tweak them again. It looks good. I wanted those letters to really zap in and SLAM into place quickly. I think they will be using this for the intro to training and demonstration videos. (I realize now I could have created just one action file for all the letters and offset them. It would have saved a lot of time but I thought of it too late.)

 

Nancy and John,

The fog image... I've never used fog before really. So then I was sitting there with this logo trying to figure out how to have the letters "appear" out of "nowhere"... hmm... how the heck... mist? Dust? Particles? Gradient combiner with animated transparency?.... ... hold on a second... fog? Will fog work? YES FOG! Then the problem was the request for a black background. A big black kettlebell on a black background... .... it nearly drove me nuts so then I figured out that image trick in the fog. I never used fog so it was all pretty new to me. Of course after playing around with the image in the fog... the client wanted to take out the color. At that point I was arguing that the black kettlebell would "vanish" against an all black background... but just to be cooperative I did a quick test render (the one I posted above). It actually looks BETTER than the color fog image. It works.

 

It took about two hours to render the final... and DAGNABBT! Have to render again. Look closely at the image I posted. Look at the left side of the letter "C". There's a black "smudge". An obvious "dent" in the model. The AM AI import is always a bit... hit or miss when it comes to this stuff. I thought I had fixed all the wonky connected splines but I missed a spot. I also rendered with an alpha channel which I thought was even worse because it removes the background until I realized the background is entirely black anyway... I took out the orange fog image. ;).

 

Anyway the black smudge on the C might be fixable in photoshop... but do I spend two hours painting out the spot on 180 frames or do I go to bed and let the computer do it? Easy choice. ;)

 

-vern

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Well it's done!

I added some motion blur just at the end for the kettlebell falling. It's subtle, about 10 frames only 5 passes at 20% but enough to soften the motion.

For some reason QT export "washes" it out. The "original" looks fine. I need to fix that.

 

pkb_final_motion_blur_hd.mov

 

I have to say not bad for a few days work. A few days work to complete a project in AM for me is like a nano second. ;)

 

-vern

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I was going to mention the 'C'... when it comes to extruded text in A:M... there is most-always a little 'reworking' involved whether you used the .ai or font wizards. Some fonts more than others. I've found a good thing to do is to look at the bezier-points in Illustrator, or Photoshop and try to pre-think how they will convert into patches... patches LIKE 4 sides...so look at each letter carefully to make sure that 4 sided patches will evolve in the wizard, and add a point here and there as needed.

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Thanks John,

 

That's normally what I do. In this case I didn't create the original extruded letter models. I noticed some creasing and bad spots and went through the whole thing very carefully... I missed that one tiny spot mostly due to not doing tests at high resolution (stupid vern).

 

----

 

On the subject of the QT Pro export. I can't understand why it's getting "washed out". Is that just the nature of the extreme compression of the codec (H.264)? The original targa files look great (same as the still frame in the first post). The problem is I'm using QT Pro on the Mac. The original files look the same in the mac before and after export but on windows the exported H.264 output is washed out compared to the originals.

 

-vern

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Yes the fog image was removed per the client request. They wanted the logo on an entirely black background. I just made the camera color black so the fog is black.

 

-vern

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