Join Richard Harrington for an in-depth discussion in this video Creating a glass bug, part of Motion Graphics for Video Editors: Creating Animated Logos (2014).
Another type of treatment that I have to do all the time is creating a bug. Something that goes in the corner to watermark my footage. This is, in fact, a rising trend with the growth of web video, as people want to protect their content and make sure that people know where to go to get more stuff. So, let me show you how a bug can be designed to promote your network or brand identity, or to just put a watermark on something to let folks know who the content creator was. To start out, I'm going to open up a logo into Photoshop.
Now this is an Illustrator file, and it comes in with plenty of resolution. But what's important here is that we decide which areas are going to be in the bug, and which areas are going to be transparent. Or, if necessary, if there's going to be variable levels here. So to make this a bit easier, I'm going to split this logo apart. Now, you can do this inside of Photoshop using tools like the magic wand to select areas, and that works well. Or, you could actually be a little more precise. And for this, I'm going to take that Illustrator file and actually, imagine this, go into Illustrator for a second.
It makes it a lot easier to split up that file. We're just going to convert this into a layered document. Alright, I've got that there. Let's bring up the Layers panel so we can see it. And you see all the different pieces of the logo itself. So, that's fine. And, what I want to do here is select the C, C, and U, and I'll group those. That's great. And let's just name that CCU. And we can throw these away. And then, let's take all the black circles.
I'm just clicking on them so they're active. And group those. And we'll call that inner circle. And then, we've got all the rest. And these are the circles on the outside that are making up the rest of the cloud. That looks good. Group, outer circle. Alright, everything else can get deleted and cleaned up. And that works well. If you didn't have all those layers, remember you can always select an object and click on the Panel menu and tell it to release to layers.
We covered some strategies for preparing Illustrator files earlier in our class. That looks pretty good. And what I'm going to do now is export that. So File > Export. And, what I'm going to do is create a layered Photoshop file. There we go. Easy enough. And we'll click OK. It's going to write those layers, which is great. And I can now quit Illustrator and come back in here and open that up. You see that everything is indeed three separate layers, which is going to work well for me.
Now there are some groups here and that's fine. But what I want to do is simplify things. So I'll just convert this to a smart object. There's that CCU, convert that to a smart object. There's the inner circles, and convert to a smart object, there's the outer circles. And what we want to do is apply some individual bevels. So we'll start here and apply a bevel to this. So there it is, Bevel And Emboss. And I'm going to adjust that until I get a bevel that feels about right.
Now, don't over do it, it's really easy to go too far. You could play with if those bevels are smooth or chiseled. In this case, I'm going to take that to be a little bit more chiseled, so it's a hard edge on the letters. That feels pretty good. Click OK. And here for the inner circles, I want to make that a little bit different, so I'll do Bevel And Emboss. And we'll do a nice, smooth, pillow type emboss, so it has a soft edge. There we go. And that cuts nicely.
Soften it up a little bit more. And then, we'll reuse that effect on the bottom here. So I could just copy that, right-click, Copy Layer Style, and Paste Layer Style. Now the thing is, is that this is almost working but it's not quite right. Let's make this a bit bigger here, we'll increase the canvas size, so there's a little more space. So Image > Canvas Size, and I'm just going to bump that out a bit. And let's place our video file in the background, just for some reference.
And this is not going to be part of the finished graphic, but I just want to keep it back there so I can judge how things are working. We'll start with the base layer. And if you look at that outer circle, what I want to do is leave the opacity of the layer style as is, but I could pull down the fill. So essentially, if I take that all the way down, you see that the original white goes away, and we're just left with the bevel. Now, that's a bit much. I want to leave a little bit of that white in there, so I'll bring that back so it's more of a ghosting, so we see through it.
It's translucent, as opposed to purely transparent. But, using the Bevel and Emboss effect here, I could refine that size. That looks pretty cool. And it starts to take on a bug like look. Alright, that looks good, let's turn on the next layer. And same thing here, let's lower the fill opacity. Now the challenge here is that there two are combining. So I need to knock out a hole down here. If I Cmd+click to load this as a selection, I could then choose Select > Inverse to reverse it.
And now, it's very easy on this layer to add a mask. So you see that it cut a hole through, leaving a place where that logo's going to come in. That feels pretty good. And there is this CCU sitting on top. And we'll just knock that down a little bit more. Same sort of thing though. I could Cmd+click on that, so it's active. Select the Inverse so everything else is chosen. And then add a layer mask, so it punches a hole. You see, by cutting holes in things, it makes it a bit easier to have the effects punched through.
Now that looks pretty cool. Let's make a video timeline here for a second and press Play. And you'll see that the video background is indeed showing through that bug, with different levels of transparency, and that feels pretty good overall. What I'd like to do now is save this so it's ready to use. Alright, to do that, it's pretty simple, we'll just toss the video layer away, and the graphic looks about right. Back in the Actions panel, earlier I showed you the Video Actions, and if you don't see those, just click the Panel menu and choose it from the list.
One of the actions is called Alpha Channel From Visible Layers. So if you choose that, you could just click Play, and it will create an accurate alpha channel based on the transparency. There it is. Let's take a look at channels. You see it did a good job. There's my complex alpha, and it actually has all the bevel and transparencies stored inside of it. So that looks perfect. What I could do now is save that off. File > Save As. I recommend, for video projects, you save that as a TIFF and leave the Alpha Channel included.
You can get rid of the layers if you want, or keep them if necessary. Let's call that CCU_logo_bug. I'll click OK. And if I switch over to a video tool, I want you to see how well this works. So I'll launch Premier Pro really quick. And let's just bring in a test video clip there. And I'll import the new graphic that I just made. There it is, the TIFF graphic. And I could drop that on a higher track and cut it in. And you see, you've got your translucent logo bug, where the video can play through.
And it shows up very well. And of course, in your video editing tool, feel free to take advantage of your motion effect. You can easily scale that as you see fit, and move that into place, so it's got the right position. We made that much larger than necessary. But that's the way to make the classic network ID where you've got a logo with mixed levels of beveling and transparency, so it's really easy to brand your content. And this will come in handy when you're publishing to the web or need to watermark your stuff as a way to just show who worked on the project or who the client was.
This course was created and produced by RHED Pixel. We're honored to host this content in our library.
- Acquiring logo files
- Understanding what file formats are supported
- Sizing a vector logo in Photoshop or Illustrator
- Saving a logo with transparency
- Importing a logo into After Effects
- Animating layers
- Extruding a logo in 3D
- Rendering the animation
- Creating cast reflections and cast shadows
- Filling a logo with a pattern
- Adding rays and glows