Join Richard Harrington for an in-depth discussion in this video Size a vector logo in Adobe Illustrator, part of Motion Graphics for Video Editors: Creating Animated Logos (2014).
Let's start by preparing a logo with Adobe Illustrator. Illustrator is a vector program, designed for working with vector graphics. Now, it does have some raster abilities. But most logos are vector files. This is because the logos are designed to be printed at various sizes, maybe as large as a billboard, or on the side of an airplane. And by designing a logo with vectors, it's an efficient file format that can be easily scaled, as well as simplified for printing jobs, where things like spot colors are necessary. But even for motion graphic design, a vector logo is often the best file.
Here, I have a vector logo. And I'm just going to try and bring that into Premier Pro for a second, so you see what happens. Let's try to bring that file into the Project panel. You'll note that it does come in, but it didn't really come in properly. In other words, it's not going to be the exact size that we need. And it's been turned into a raster graphic with a very automated way. Let's drop this into a new sequence. Let's say we were working with a 1080p sequence. And I'll add that logo in.
You'll note that it's quite small on the screen. And if we choose to zoom this and scale it to make it larger, it doesn't scale very cleanly. For example here, let's look at this at 100%. And you see that the file has become quite pixellated because the vector graphic is merely a pixel based raster graphic that's been scaled up. So, that doesn't look very clean. Let's remove that and instead prepare that logo to the correct size using Illustrator.
To start, I'll choose File>New and switch my profile to Video and Film. You see this now offers several presets that match standard sizes for video and film projects up to 4K resolution. I'll choose HDTV 1080, and it loads the preset of 1920 by 1080 for the project. If I twirl down, I can see some other settings here that give me an idea of what's happening. With the ability to adjust the transparency grid as well, if I'd like to see that. Okay, things look pretty good.
I will click OK and the new file's created. And you note that this file has safe title guides. Remember, safe title guides are a video's way of using margins. If you put something too close to the edge of a TV set, it becomes a bit difficult to read. Now, safe title has lost some significance with the rise in web video. But if you're delivering to broadcast standards, it's still important that you keep elements that are meant to be read a little bit inset on the screen. This provides a comfortable margin, so the viewer has an easier time consuming the information and ensures that manufacturer variations between different television sets doesn't cut off the outside edge.
Alright, for the strictest standards. Anything meant to be seen should fall inside this outer most box called action safe. And for broadcast television, anything meant to be seen and read, should fall inside this inner most box, which is 80% of the image for title safe. I'll choose File>Place. With it selected, I can place it into the file and it pops up with a cursor to help me do that. When I click it is added, I can now scale this and that makes it a bit easier to add it.
Holding down Shift+Option, I can scale from the center equally if needed. And I can use the lines there for guidance to help this line up. And, I'm going to let the box push out towards the Action Safe area while keeping the words inside of Title Safe. All right. That looks pretty good. Let's just adjust that so it's centered. That looks good. And, I will click Embed to add it to the file. All right, that graphic is now sized and I can save it to bring in to my other application.
If I look at the Layers panel, you'll see that the file is actually there with layers intact and we'll use that more in just a moment. I'll choose File>Save As, and in this case, I'm going to convert this. Note that I can keep it as a vector file if I want, and then adjust the file name and choose Save. Everything looks good. Let's hit OK. And the RGB color profile has been correctly assigned for video graphics. Let's switch back to Premier.
And bring that file in. There we go. I've added it to the project and drop it in. And you see that it now safely fills the frame with minimal issues. And the transparency is, in fact, intact. If I put that over a background, you see the transparency shows through. Okay. We'll work more with this in a later module. If your video editing tool doesn't recognize vector graphics, simply choose File > Export. This will bring up additional formats.
Things like a PNG graphic work pretty well. And this will have embedded transparency. Note, there, you have the choice of leaving it as transparent and I recommend that. You can leave the resolution set to screen, it'll still work correctly and choose OK. Let's also choose File>Export one more time and most editing tools will recognize the very versatile Photoshop format. Which allows you to then save that out to create a PSD file. Just make sure to set RGB as the color model. And the resolution doesn't really matter for video.
It's still going to use the 1920 by 1080 of the dimensions of this original document. I can click OK and the file is written to disc. This single-layered file was useful. But, what I'd like to do is prepare it for animation. So, we'll take a look at that next.
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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