3.19.2009

Ronin Media Logo Animation

I recently completed a logo animation for a friend of Animal.



So I never really posted my process to get to a finished piece on here and thought I'd share how I got to this finished piece. From beginning to end this took about 2 weeks. Jeff came to me with the image below and asked if I could come up with an idea for the animation.


I juggled some ideas including samurai sword fighting, anime, and asian culture, and then the opening sequence to Kung Fu Panda came to mind as inspiration to draw from.





So I drew up this storyboard with this artistic direction in mind.


He also needed a typeface for his logo, so I presented these options that I thought best matched the culture of the character.


Jeff liked the storyboard, so I moved forward with quickly creating a rough animatic for timing in Flash. Very quick.

video
After this step, when animating the samurai, my animation needed to match up as closely as possible to the drawing Jeff gave me. So I created a vector version in Illustrator since I knew that I would need to eventually anyway (since the version Jeff gave me was a bitmap that would probably get pixelated in the video). This also gave me a good idea to remember where the clothing wraps, how low it should hang, how much of his arms are showing, his hair length, etc so that while animating I could keep these things in mind.


I then created a rough animation test to get the movement of the guy running and jumping, hand animated in Flash.

video
I then blocked in color and started finalizing background art.

video
I wanted the background in the opening to be very eye-grabbing, so I used bright warm/hot colors with rough textures to mimick the old feel that you might see on old chinese transcripts. I wanted this to contrast the flat colors on the character and the dark background at the end.


I exported separate layers from Flash as PNG sequences with alphas, then imported these sequences into AfterEffects to create motion blurs.

video
Finally it was time to jump back on the logo type. Jeff picked a typeface he liked best from the options above and I went with it. I wanted to make sure the text really popped on top of the dark grey/black background and was very legible. I went into Illustrator and below is what you see in the final footage.


The sound was added afterward by a friend of Jeff's. I regretfully forget his name, but will make sure to update when I find out for his credit that really makes this piece work! Overall, quick and easy process - thanks to Jeff for the great opportunity to have some fun with this!

Thanks for reading!

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