Creating a neon logo animation in After Effects CC | Jonathon Parker | Skillshare

Creating a neon logo animation in After Effects CC

Jonathon Parker, Passionate MoGraph and VFX Lectu

Creating a neon logo animation in After Effects CC

Jonathon Parker, Passionate MoGraph and VFX Lectu

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6 Lessons (30m)
    • 1. Course Promo

    • 2. Lesson One - Baseball Player

    • 3. Lesson Two - Animating the text

    • 4. Lesson Three - Animating the Circle

    • 5. Lesson Four - Adding the Glow

    • 6. Lesson Five - Summary

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About This Class

Do you want to be able to create a slick neon animated logo like the one below?

If the answer to that question was yes, then this is the course for you!


In this course, we will be looking at a few techniques and tools that will enable you to create an animation like the one you see above.

We will be looking at the following subjects:

  • Creating a character completely out of linework
  • Animating our logo with the trim paths tool
  • Converting text layers to shape layers
  • Creating a realistic Neon glow with After Effects built-in tools.

Once you have completed this course you will be able to adopt the same principles across other projects!

Please upload any of your own work into the Class projects!

Meet Your Teacher

Teacher Profile Image

Jonathon Parker

Passionate MoGraph and VFX Lectu


My name is Jonathon Parker, a Motion Graphics and Visual Effects lecturer from the UK.


Firstly, a little background about me! I have always been the creative type and always strive to improve and push my creative skills further and further.


As stated above I am already teaching in the UK as a Motion Graphics and VFX lecturer – The difference with my courses will be the fact that they come from an educator, not someone doing this just in their spare time! All my courses focus on teaching and assessment. I will teach you a few skills and then set you an assignment to check that those skills have been learnt. I also see the importance of generating handouts and resources for the student, so I have included these in my courses also!

&nb... See full profile

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1. Course Promo: Hi guys, welcome to this course on creating a neon logo animation inside of aftereffects. Now we're gonna cover a range of different techniques in this course, we're gonna be looking at shaped layers. We're gonna be looking at converting text layers to Shape layers so that we can do a certain type of animation. We're going to be looking at creating our own neon glow without any additional use of third party plug-ins, because the glow inside of artifacts can be pretty tricky to you. So I'm gonna be giving you some tips and techniques on that. So by the end of the animation, you should have a really, really nice finished piece and you can follow along with my version and then apply these techniques to your own animations and do your own logo animations. If you create some of your own, please upload them so I can see. So I'm really excited to see that. Now let's not waste any more time and let's jump into the course. 2. Lesson One - Baseball Player: So it's time to jump straight on into After Effects to create less. But let's have a quick little watch again of what we're going to be created. So it's really quite simple. But there are few techniques such that each show you obviously. And that's why when its class. So yeah, we're going to start off with the baseball player. Then we're going to do the text and then we're gonna do the circle and we're gonna do a final stylization, and then we'll have a final summary class. Okay, so it's just going to be a few classes I split this up into. Anyway. Let's jump on into After Effects to get this done. So I'm gonna go File New Project, and I'm going to click yes or not. And now I've provided you with a link to where you can get this photo. It's on pixels, dot-coms royalty free, you can use it. So I'm going to provide a link to that in the project files. I don't want to I don't know, supply with the original image because it technically isn't mine. So it's just a link and you'll be able to get the same image. Okay? So what I'm gonna do is I'm gonna create a new composition after I've imported that, and I'm gonna call it MLB animation. So I'll click OK and I'm going to drag this image time we're gonna be doing is using this as reference. Because in order to animate these lines, we need to actually first draw them. So I'm going to scale this down to roundabout. I think, yeah, stack are kinda size. And what I'm gonna do now is lock this layer. And if we go back to the one which I created, just to have a look, all clothing is in red, all the skin is in blue, and the bat is in white. So we want to bear that in mind. All his clothing, I want in a red Stroke. Okay? So what I'm gonna do is I'm gonna get my pen tool and I'm going to change my filter none and my stroke to lead. And I'm going to start clicking and going around his clothing. So if I start with the helmet, strokes a little bit too thick, but we'll change that later. And I'm like go around like this. And also I want to now come here but you can see it bends like that, which isn't good. So what we wanna do is hold Alt, click and drag this handle now to hear, and it'll combined nicely. So I'll go round like that. It's got a nice curve. Hold, Alton and just pointless in the direction you wanted to go. And some thing like that is going to be good. I'm now going to change my stroke to say too, yeah, two's fine. And I wanna carry on join. But what you gotta do is if I carry on join, sometimes it'll stay connected. If I hadn't changed a stroke, for example, let's go back. Let's say I wanted to do a crop just across from left to right. Now, it'll stay connected, or let's say I wanna do is t-shirt, luck is staying connected and we don't like that. So in order to stop that happening, just click this drop-down and clicking the contents, just click that content word. And now I can start doing a new one. But say I've done all I wanted to do there and I wanted to do down here. Well, it stays connected and goes across his neck, which we don't like cyclically contents and start clicking new. Okay. So I'm gonna delete shape 23 for now. I'm going to come back to the stroke and just set it to two. And now it should be on to by default. Okay? So what I now want to do is I want to do is line across here. So make sure I contents in the Shape layer is selected. I'm going to come in and be careful if you go to close, it'll try and add a point on here, which isn't what you want. So you basically just come as close as you can and click and drag to set our curve. Click and drag. And I can click and drag just to kind of curve around like this and around. And then this final one, click and alt click to make sure that we point this in the right direction now and come as close as you can. And I'm gonna adjust that. There we go. So we've now got two lines on his helmet. And what you want to do is you want to keep this going. You may, at some point, if you see I haven't got anything selected, I haven't got the contents selected by stop clicking. Enjoy. And now you can see it's made another shape layer. So just delete that and make sure you click contents because we wanted all within the same one. And what you're going to want to do is you're going to want to come around and do his whole life lines. So I'm gonna come down into the for the spit and it's I'm actually doesn't go with them. Wireline is it actually comes around, you can see here. So its sum then along the lines of and then we'll come up here. And I think that's good for that line. So I'm just going to click contents. And I'm gonna come down here. And maybe I want to come down here now. And you can see as I do, it just messes up over there. So what you wanna do is click on this little thing by here and it'll carry around ok, and keep on going around something like this. And then you gotta outline contents. And basically this is it guys. I keep on doing this until I've completed the whole thing. Now I do add little creatures in like this, so I'll add a line like that for the detail. Click contents and keep doing that. Now, bear in mind when I'd had mine finished. When I did that one I showed you earlier, I actually had about 70 odd shapes in.NET or 70 odds, different kinds of light on particular lines yet. So, bear in mind that for the close, thus, the kind of a mindset that I had. And I like to add these little details because they just, they just add a whole lot more to it. Okay, so what I'm gonna do is I'm gonna time-lapse myself. Actually do add in all these lines in. Okay, and then you can kind of see mind when it's finished. So I'm going to keep the code environmental climax and speed up any yet it okay, I've realized something now. I've just drawn this little line in here, and I've realized that I wanted to kind of come our endpoint come a little bit closer. Just there's no kind of little gap. And what I want to do to do that is you need to drop down into the individual shape, come to the path. Click the paths and now I can click the actual point in there. I'd like to move it down. So if you want to do any of the movement of the points like that, all you need to do is click the dropdown and the shape come down into the path. Just click it and then you can click individual points to move them down. And I need to know I don't need to move any of these, but yeah, just wanted to let you guys know that. Okay. So I now have all my line work done. So let's minimize Shape Layer one and turn off the visibility for the image. So you can see this is what I've got. Now when it came to the shoes, I always feel that the shoes end up looking a little bit weird, but I do follow the contours of them so it shouldn't. But what I tend to do with the shoes, as you can see that this line, this line, but here, this curve, I add this little curve in just to kind of give a little bit more form. And sometimes if I can't see the laces clearly, like could see one of the bows over here, but I couldn't see the other ones. So I just kinda put it there because I know that it is there and it helps Salat. Okay. So this is what we've got. So this is the guy I now need to kind of go through and I'm going to pick a White to do his skin. No, a blue soy to do his skin, I think. And it's a white with a bat I chose. Yeah. So I'm going to go through and do his skin now with a white, in fact, with the red, I'm actually going to add this in by here, this curve. Then I'm going to do the wife for the skin. And I'm going to do now, so it blue for the skin and then I'm going to do white for the bats. So I'll time-lapse myself doing that also. When I do the skin and I do the bat, that's going to be on a new shape layer. So in order to do that, instead of just selecting the contents when I have the pen tool, I just need to minimize this and make sure nothing selected. And when I start with skin now pick a new stroke, blue or something like that. And now when I start to draw in the skin because I haven't got anything selected. It will now do it on a new shape layer. Ok, so we want that separate. Okay, so I've now filled in the bath which is on a separate layer and turn it on and off. You can see I've done the skin, the hands are a bit tricky. You do have to do a little bit of guesswork where the lines are, but use minds of reference that's more or less where they are. So if we now turn off the background layer, this is what we've got with those three layers. So it's looking quite nice. We now first of all, I want to. Rename these strong and cold S1 body just by right-clicking. And we'll call this one skin. Didn't click rename and skin. And I'm going to call this one. But there we go. So what we wanna do now is we want to actually start animated knees. So I'm gonna do a select them all. Just to tell you, I'll just do the body first-order one by ones for easier. I'm going to come into the drop down. I'm gonna go add, and I'm gonna go trim paths. I'm now going to turn this off by hear that shape path visibility because it's a pain. What we wanna do is take the start or take the end actually all the way down to 0. Heads the stopwatch, come forward, say 50 frames, which is two seconds, and then bring that back up to a 100. So what we've got is that little animation. Okay? Now what we wanna do is we basically want to copy this for the other layers. So I'm gonna go into skin, go into the drop-down, trim paths and twiddle f down, comes at the beginning, during the ends down to 0 at the stopwatch, 50 frames bring it up to a 100, and it's now going to be the same for the bat. So at shrimp halfs, wherever that's gone to, there we go. So 0 for this one, hit the stopwatch, come to 50 and bring it up to 100. There we go. So what we've now got is this animated in N, which is quite nice. But we also want to offset this, ok. So we don't want them all to happen the same time. I want the body to start happen in first. So I'm gonna come to 20 frames and bring the skin by 20 frames to come in later. And I'll about fame 14.5, the bat start animating in. So we've got the body first, then skin, and then the bat. In fact, what I call the well do is offset the skin and the bat by another ten frames. So the skin starts at 30 and then the Bad Stat 50 because we want the skin to kinda come in. This, this body is still animate in quite a lot and we want this to come in a little bit later. So yeah, I think that's kind of what I want. So again, you can kind of offset them more few ones, but that's what I'm happy with. So I'm gonna shift, click them also click and then hold shift and click the top one, Control or Command Shift and see to precommit them. And I'm going to call this baseball. And he said, haha, flare out at the end and click OK. So we've now got them all in 13 km. Okay, So this is our nice animation. Now, in the next lesson, I'm going to show you how to do the text and then circle, and then we're gonna stylize it with a nice glow at the end and bringing everything together. So I'll see you guys in the next lesson. 3. Lesson Two - Animating the text: Okay, so we've got the baseball player done and we want to do the text now. So I'm gonna go and get my text tool. And I'm a typed down here. And L, D, and K. I'm going to highlight this text and I'm just going to orientate a little bit more. So when I come down here, I want to highlight it, the text I'm using this and called Cocoa goose. I'll put a link to that in the description is on I'll just put a link to it. Not and descriptions are in the project files. I'm gonna make this a little bit smaller, okay, and I'm also going to space this out. So if you come up with a character panel, you've gotten this by here, okay? And we're just going to drag this Suez spaces them out a bit more. I'm going to align to the centre. And I'm also going to check my, I'm gonna bring my baseball player YS aligned centers wherever I want and bring him over. Just a touch. In terms of the position. Just sweet aligned a bit more. There we go. Okay, so I've got MLB, but I'm gonna carry on moving this up. Remember we are going to have a circle in here. So again, we've got baseball player and then scale him down a touch actually so hit, yes. And I'm gonna bring us to 90. And I'm going to move him up. And I'm going to move the MLB app. I'm holding Shift while I move it up by the way, so it doesn't just like go left and right. Behold shifted, just goes up and down. Ok. MLB. And I think that the font, I'm just going to bring it down a touch like that to a 150 for me. Just so you get something that looks like this. Okay? Now, what I wanna do is I12. I can't add a trim paths on here. If I come down into the text and go to animals, there's no chimp paths. So what I'm gonna do is I'm gonna convert it. So like click the layer, come to Create and create shapes from text for use in a slightly older version of aftereffects, create shapes from texts may actually be in the main menu, but mine's just in here. So I'm gonna click that. And now I've got shape player and it says MLB outlines. And it's even to end up the visibility of the text layer. So what we're seeing in the window is actually the shape layer. So if we click in and go to contents, I've got m, l and b. And what I wanted to, for m, I want that to be red, strongly committed to the stroke. And I'm going to select a red. Okay? I'm now going to come in to l. I'm going to come into stroke. And I'm gonna turn this one to wherever it is. Yeah, blue. And there we go. In fact, there's a little I was a little bit purpley, so stronger blue. There we go. So we have gotten the same color scheme going on here. Now, what I wanna do is I want to, for the M, i want to add a shrimp paths. And you can see, let's put this below the stroke. You can see that for the m, the m will have its own trim paths because within the group. Okay? And we can do one individually. So trim paths, I am going to bring my end time to 0, come forward about 254 aims and bring that up. So what we've got is that M animated like that. And in fact, I think I'm going to pick that 30 frames and highlight the last train and they're going to hit F9. And that'll just ease it in. Ok. In fact, now that I've done that, I am quickly going to go back into the baseball player and highlight all these layers. Hit you. Select the last key frames and I'm going to hit F9 to ease, ease them. If you haven't got lifeline and keyboards just right-click. He famous system is 0s. Okay? And it'll just make that, make it easier in a little bit nicer soon Turner earlier, but that matter. Anyway, coming back to MLB outlines, let's bring this up so we can see everything like that. Brilliant. Okay, so we've got the M animating in like that. I now want to do the same for the owl. Select the owl could to add goto trim paths, bring it down below stroke and fell, and come to the beginning. And we'll go to what was stumped at frame ten. So we'll bring the end down to 0, stopwatch and come forward to frame 40. Because again, we've offset it by ten frames and I'm gonna bring this up. Then that's that one done. I'm gonna hit B to allow one down. And you'll notice I've got three shapes in here because there's actually three shapes that make up the B. Okay, I'm gonna come to trim paths. Make sure this goes below the stroke and the FEL. I'm go into twiddle up, down and I'll start a frame 20, bring it down to 0 at the stopwatch and come to frame 50. And I'm going to bring that back up to a 100. So I'm also going to make sure this one is selected like click keyframe assistant, easy, ease. I don't think I'll remember to do that on the L nine didn't so click, Right-click and easy, ease. And I'm very sure I tend to over here. Yeah. So what we've got now is if we just look at the text, we've got the text animating in a little bit of an offset. And that does a along with our little baseball player. So that's as far as I'm gonna go with this lesson. In the next lesson, we're going to add the circle them. We're gonna stylize it with a glow. And then we're going to summarize. So she's material in and I'll see you in the next lesson. 4. Lesson Three - Animating the Circle: Okay, so what we wanna do now is add our circle. This one's really easy. I have noticed I've got the text layer left over from last time. So I'm just going to delete that tax layer because it's taken control with this shape layer. Anyway. What we wanna do now is we want to go and add a circle, but make sure that no layers are selected. Select the ellipse tool. And now member no laser selected. I'm gonna start clicking and dragging, holding Shift and Alt soy shifting Control or Command and Shift on the Mac. Click and drag from the center and something like that. Okay, I can see this cutting off the m and the b, but I can also see that it's gone too high at the top. So I'm let go. And by stroke is white by default because I think that was the last one I used. But just make sure you click and change it to white. Now, with this shape layer, what I'm gonna do is I'm gonna come to my align with it selected, aligned the vertical and horizontal. Line it up pretty much for you. But if you need to, you can just come and click and drag. So it aligns better. Well, I'm gonna do is I'm going to bring us into touch. So I'm gonna go to the ellipse path. I'm going to go on 140 pixels for the path, for the size of it. So I'm gonna go 120, they go 10-20, hit enter. I can probably come down to 1000 nerve-wracking and not a 100 thousand. And I may need to now move this down. Something like that is just made it a little bit tighter. Okay, so now that that's done, I'm going to and add a trim paths again. And let's just come up. Now with this trim pathless, Just drop it down. And then at time 0, I just need to turn this shape visibility off because otherwise you can't see it. So now we can see it. Okay. So I'm going to come forward to where do I want this started? I think I want this to be the last thing. So I ran around 45 frames on the hits 0, a stopwatch for 0. And I'm going to come forward to maybe 65 or 70 actually. And I'm going to bring this to a 100. So let's easy, ease that last keyframe. And let's see how this all looks together. Circle comes in at the end, but it happens a bit fast. So I'm gonna bring the end into 85. And C are not Locke's. Yeah, like that. The bat is still coming in by about frame a 100 actually. So I'm going to offset these. So select them both and offset. So my last frame with the circles on frame a 100. Let's now see how that would looks. So we've got the circle. There we go. I like that. In fact, I went to a bit slower song and move the first keyframe to 50 and see how that looks now. I think that can go even slower. What about the first frame, 130. And I think that's probably going to be yeah. There we go. That's nice. They kind of the bat and the circle finishes at the same time. The circle takes a while to go around. Now it goes, you could still, to be honest, bringing us back to ten frames. I don't think that would look terrible. Now, you can kind of do whatever you want with this guys. I think I'm going to bring mine to this in-between spot. I'm gonna bring into 20. So it starts and fame 20. Ok, so let's rename this to circle. I've got the beginning circle and collapse that we got MLB. In fact, and just remove the word outlines. And we've got baseball player. By the way, this background layer. Now I'm actually going to just delete it out of the camp. And this is what we've got so far. So in the next lesson, I'm going to show you how to add a glow. Now the standard glow and artifacts isn't nice to work with. So I'm gonna show you how to do that. Okay? So I'll see you in the next lesson. 5. Lesson Four - Adding the Glow: Okay, so let's afterglow. Now I want to add this glow to everything. So instead of an Internet per layer, what I'm going to do is right click in this empty space and go new adjustment layer. Or you could just go up to here layer, a new adjustment layer. But I prefer just to do dunya is quicker. I'm going to now come across to effects and presets. And there we go. We've already got close elected. I'm going to glow and this adjustment layer. And you can see as I turn it on and off, doesn't really do a great deal. So I'm going to turn my globe threshold up to 65. I'm going to turn my radius ten, which is fine. Somebody on their intensity to 2.5. okay. It doesn't look like it's done a lot. It hasn't. What I'm gonna do now is get this glow and I'm going to hit Control or Command on the Mac D, so Control T and it'll duplicate that glow. I'm gonna change my glow radius to 35. I'm just so basically if I undo, it, just pushes it out more. So areas to 35 and I'm going to keep the intensity to three. And if that's still kinda not work in for you, I think you can be more stronger head control g again, and you can start boiling down some of the stuff. So if for example, we bring our low-intensity time back, then sometimes help that we can solve any time two by 0.3. And you can see in spring in terms no, 0.1. Yeah, I think that's that's better. Whether you want to do that or not, you can bring your cloud, various diamonds, well, vacuum batch. But we've now got Bhatt In fact. I think actually I'm happy with that. So yeah, that's what we've got there. Leave it on or off. We've now gotten this kind of glow coming in with age, which is really, really nice. And VAT, let's just preview them back. So and that is our final badge animation. So obviously you can do this with any shape that you want. But yeah, that's what we've got going on. So I kind of hope you enjoyed this little class. I'm going to do a final summary, just, just an actual lesson kind of summarize in some of the key points from this. So by all means tuned into that if you want, if not, check out. So my other courses. And if you want please upload your work so I can kind of see what you guys have created. If, especially if you've used this on some of your own stuff as well. So yeah, chase for tuning into this class, hopefully I'll see you in the next lesson. We'll just summarize a few things. But if not, Cheers for 2D anime. 6. Lesson Five - Summary: Okay, so let's do a quick summary. Now in terms of the glow, I've actually decided to turn glow three off because if you look at my laces and extra glow just kind of takes it away and this glow is work in. If we turn the adjustment layer off, you can definitely see is having an effect is really nice. And to be honest, the main place I'm going to be looking at the text and kind of his face and the bat. And you can definitely see us going on the face and the bat. And you can certainly see it in the text as well. Again, turn it Osman layer on and off. We go. And I probably should rename this to, oh, there we go. Anyway, let's start breaking it down some circles, pretty simple. The MLB, I'll just use the text tool. And with the text, remember, I use this little thing right here to space the characters out. I right-clicked it, and I went to create, create shapes from text, ok, because you can't animate a trim paths on a text layer only on Shape layer, which is annoying. But there we go. That's how we get around it. But a baseball player, Remember, all alignment for the body we want within one layer because it just means we're only going to animate the trim powders once with a body, we've got a 110 different lines. And if we wanted to animate, we had them all on separate Shape layers. We'd have to animate trim parts a 110 times and nobody wants to do that. So remember, each time you want to add, add a new line on the same layer, just click the contents, start drawing. And then say gave me a 111 than for example, just click back in the contents to the next one. Blackman contents do the next one. So it doesn't do on a new shape layer, although Anglo tweak those three because I don't want them. And there we go. When you do wanna do on a new layer, just make sure that you've selected the contents and the layer. And now when I click join ETL Jew and new one, ok. And so we did one for the scale and one for the path because we wanted to offset them. If we wanted them all at the same time, then we could have just done them all on one layer. And I wanted to offset them so as things come in slightly later. So that's MLB does a circle as baseball now. Yeah, so just the asset, really, what I do want you to do, guys, if you've done this on any of your own projects, last saved them the outline of a logo for your YouTube channel or whatever. I want you to upload what you've done because I want to actually see it. I'm really excited to see that and check out some of our other classes chairs for T1. And I hope this has helped you and I'll see you in a future video tutorial.