A Spray Paint Logo Effect Using After Effects

Animated logos can make your videos more professional.
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Adobe After Effects includes all the tools you need to create a professional logo using stencils and a spray paint effect. The composition editor enables you to import your logo as a layer and create a mask using the pen tool. If you want to animate your logo, you can add keyframes to the timeline and edit them by scrubbing the play head to the correct position. After Effects includes many built-in transition animations that can make your spray paint logo stand out.

Double-click the Project panel to add the background, stencil material and logo to your project. The background is the image file onto which you spray your logo, the stencil material is the image file from which your logo is cut, and your logo provides a mask for creating the stencil.

Press “Ctrl-N” to create a new composition. Drag your logo, stencil material and background to the composition window, ensuring that the logo is highest and the background is lowest. Select the logo layer to begin creating a mask.

Select the Pen tool and trace a Bezier curve around the logo. Click a point along the logo's edge to add a node. While holding the mouse button, drag the mouse to create handles and make the node curved. Continue this process until you reach the first node, then click the first node to close the path.

Click the stencil material's “Track Matte” menu and choose “Alpha Inverted Track Matte.” The shape traced from the logo is cut out of the stencil, and you can spray over it using the brush tool. To prevent the stencil from covering the entire background, choose the Rectangle Selection tool and drag the mouse over an area slightly larger than the logo. Now you can see the background, stencil and logo at the same time.

Select all the layers in the Composition panel by clicking and dragging the cursor over them, then right-click the selection and choose “Pre-Compose.” The layers are combined into a single, compound layer.

Select the Paint Brush tool from the menu bar and double-click the pre-composed layer in the Composition panel. Select a soft brush from the Brushes menu and a color from the Paint menu. Hold down the mouse button while dragging the cursor over the stencil to fill in the logo. A paint effect is added to the Effect Controls window in the Project panel.

Animate your logo by adding keyframes to the timeline. Expand the pre-composed layer in the Composition panel, then expand the “Paint Effect,” “Brush Tool” and “Stroke Options” properties. The End property under Stroke Options indicates the percentage that the paint stroke has elapsed during the animation. Since the entire paint stroke is currently visible, the End property is set to 100 percent.

Select the point on the timeline where you want the animation to end and click the stopwatch icon next to the End property. A keyframe is added to the ending point on the timeline. Select the starting point on the timeline, click the “100%” value next to the End property and drag the cursor down to reduce it to zero percent. Click the stopwatch icon to add a starting keyframe to the selected point on the timeline.

Add a transition effect to the animation to remove the stencil and show the spray-painted logo underneath. Search for “CC Page Turn” in the Effects and Presets search box, then drag the effect to the Project panel. This effect includes presets for animating your stencil.

Move the play head to the first keyframe in the timeline, right-click “Fold Position” under CC Page Turn in the Project panel and choose “Add Keyframe.” Repeat this step to add another Fold Position keyframe to the ending point. These keyframes hold the stencil in place during the spray paint animation.

Remove the stencil after the spray paint is applied by adding a third keyframe. Select a point after the last keyframe on the timeline. In the Composition window, drag the Fold Position cross-hairs to the gray area surrounding the background. Right-click “Fold Position” and select “Add Keyframe.” Now when you play the animation, the stencil peels away after the spray paint is applied, revealing the logo stenciled on the background.

David Wayne has been writing since 2010, with technology columns appearing in several regional newspapers in Texas. Wayne graduated from the University of Houston in 2005, earning a Bachelor of Arts in communications.