Join Richard Harrington for an in-depth discussion in this video Extrude a logo in 3D, part of Motion Graphics for Video Editors: Creating Animated Logos (2014).
One of the useful things about vector shape layers is that they can be turned into 3D objects pretty easily inside of After Effects. There are a handful of steps, but this is a great way to make a quicky 3D logo. I'll just clean up the project a bit, putting a few things into the Sources folder. That works pretty well, and let's just double check what we have here. We've got the two logos prepped. We've got our CCU logo and then the clean depth background. So I'm going to take this other one here, make a new folder called Precomps, and we could tuck away this logo, which we didn't actually use.
That's a precomp as well. That's the one we animated, and, let's just double check here. This is the one over the background. So let's rename that CCU logo. Fine. We'll drop that out here on the project. Be careful not to highlight anything, or it becomes nested. And let's just rename this here. Let's make sure that layer is 3D. And you see up here the renderer says, Ray-traced 3D. You can also click that as a shortcut to get in there. This gives you some additional abilities. Notice, for example, that Material and Geometry options are now visible.
Okay, lets extrude this layer. To give it a little bit of perspective, I'm going to rotate it on it's y-axis, and we'll zoom in a bit here so you could see it. Under Geometry options, you'll Bevel Depth as well as Extrusion Depth. Let's start by pulling that out a bit, and you see the logo takes on some actual depth. Of course, right now, it is filled with black. So that makes it a little bit hard to see, but if we select the shape layer, under the contents here, you'll see that there's controls for fill.
And we could change the individual characters, or we could go ahead and just modify the whole thing globally a couple of different ways. For example, let's start by adding a light to the scene. Now, we can refine this a bit more, but you start to see the light comes in. It's giving it a little bit of depth. Alright, what we need though here to really make this work, are some reflections.
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- 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