Video Intro with animated logo in Blender

This is a picture from a video intro I created for a friend’s marketing agency to enable him to use this for Youtube online videos.

Slipstreamer Logo 3D versionThe video was entirely done in Blender (except for the audio in post-production).

Breakdown:

(1) The 3D version of the logo (font and glow-line element) was modeled after the 2D illustrator version of the logo (which is shown in the last part of the video as a blend over into a still image). As the special font was not available, I used simple mesh build (2D, then extruding into 3D and edge beveling) which was actually pretty fast. If you want to see a tutorial on how this is done, check Andrew Price’s old tut on recreating the Starcraft 2 logo.

(2) The animation idea was to have the logo emerge being brought into the scene by the slipstream effect (which actually is the source of the name – my friend who uses this is a cycler and will promote cycling training videos with it). For this I wanted to have a light swosh over the path of the glowline. Initially my idea was to use a deforming mesh, but I discarded it in favour of a particle system emitting a single object which I hoped to simply motion blur along the path in the compositor. (Full motion blur was only delivering CPU render – slow in cycles).

slipstreamer setup

This turned out to be difficult. Pro: the set up of the single emit material sphere object travelling along the path as a particle from the system was pretty easy. I duplicated the particle system to also emit a spotlight for lighting the letters to give it more effect. However, the post-render motion blur in the compositing proofed to be a pain, because the blur is applied in both directions depending on the sample. This is not an issue for linear movement. But for radial movement (along the climb of the slope of the glowpath) it had the blur “jump” around or “bounce” outside the slope. I had to do about a dozen test renders to get the timing right.

Overjump

Alternative: Thinking about this post production, it would be easier to use a mesh showing a one-directional blur and deform it along the path with a lattice modifier – however, I do not believe this would stack with a particle system emitting such a lattice deformed object. Therefore it would have to be set up as duplicates with separate animation keying – more control, a lot more effort as well.

Alternative 2: A mesh object with a curve modifier – but I have not tried that yet.

(3) I also animated the glow line to emit stronger while the slipstream animation was running. This was a pretty simple key.

(4) Post render of the image sequence, I added the motion blur for the slipstream object and the blur for the glow line. Also some final touch ups for colour and lense distort (only tiny).

Comment on this: I think it is ridicolous that in real photography we try to take raw pictures and composit them in a converter to sharpen the details, undistort them, ungrain them, take abbreviation out. In rendering we go exactly the other way and seek to selll images that have all these flaws to make them more believable.

(5) The animation was put together with sounds and the blends into still image using Magix Pro X4 – but every other video editing software will do. Music is from machinimasounds.com – check it out, I can recommend it. From a sound design perspective – which I find very important to sell an animation, it was important to time the music and blend over effect to the final still image logo with the closing sound.

I used free swosh sounds from freesounds.org, however, the ability to use sounds from that platform commercially is pretty limited (I can understand that). I found three alternatives for affordable sound packages. A pretty big library can be bought very cost attractive from http://www.blenderhilfe.de. Also, check out Video Copilot from Mr. Cramer, he just announced the release of sound effects packages. Finally, some sound effects are available from Filmriot (check them out on Youtube).

Here is the final result on YT:

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