Thursday, December 9, 2010

The Making of a Logo

The first step in the process of making any logo is to come up with an idea of how you want it to look. Jeffrey told me that he wanted the title of the movie with a brick or stone texture and a drop of blood dripping down the D in Death. So I opened up After Effects and fiddled around with that idea for a little while and then decided that I didn’t like the way it looked. I thought about it for a while and I suggested to Jeffrey that I do a sort of fort or prison made out of stone with the blood dripping down a wall and the title of the movie above the wall. As you have seen, that is basically what I did in the end.

The logo is comprised of three main parts. The words “Pain of Death,” a stone building, and blood dripping down the wall. Obviously, the words were the easiest part. All I had to do was choose the font and the color, actually in this case I used two fonts and two colors. I typed the text into After Effects, selected my fonts and colors, tweaked the layer until I was happy, and I was done with the text.

The building was a little harder. I didn’t have any photos of suitable buildings and even if I did it would look flat when I animated the crane movement with the camera. So I decided to assemble a building out of several photos. In the end I chose three pictures that Jeffrey took while we were attending the San Antonio Independent Christian Film Festival.

This image was taken on the River Walk and I used the wall in the foreground for the wall with the blood on it.

Jeffrey took this picture while we were visiting the Alamo and I thought that the arch was perfect for my stone building.

I needed something blurry and grayish for the background and this somewhat randomly taken picture is what I found. Please ignore the ducks.

I imported these images into After Effects, cut out the stuff I didn’t want, and layered them in 3D space with the text and a virtual camera.

Now I needed the blood. I thought about painting it in but eventually decided it would look a lot better if I could film something that looked like the real thing and rotoscope it to the wall. Slaughtering the fattened calf wasn’t an option so I had to go for the next best thing, fake blood. I sort of followed a recipe and sort of concocted my own thing but in the end I came up with a mixture of: water, honey, corn starch, food coloring, and chocolate. I filmed it dripping down a large piece of paper and rotoscoped it onto my wall. It took a little tweaking but I did end up with blood dripping down a wall.

After I had put all that together I animated the virtual camera that I created earlier, rendered it all in full 1080 HD glory, and uploaded it to Vimeo. Oh, I also cleaned up the sticky red mess in the kitchen.

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