As more companies and agencies compete in the realm of video production, it is important to find ways to stand apart from the crowd. One way is by tapping into the world of motion graphics and bringing images, logos, and typography to life with animation.

Most video editing applications allow editors to add text and logos and perform basic movements in time. However, the limitations of the software can be spotted to the trained eye (incorrect kerning, weird font sizes, and an awkward interface). That is why training in Adobe After Effects or other similar programs can increase production value. With unlimited control over animated imagery, companies can produce videos that have stunning footage, flawless editing, and motion graphics that match the brand guidelines of each client.

Real World Example: Adding Vibrancy to a Black and White Logo

Recently I worked on a project where I was given a simple black and white logo from the client to be used in the video. While I could have easily placed it in the final video without anyone noticing, I took it upon myself to add some pizzazz. I first added color to the logo and put each element on its own layer in Adobe Illustrator. I then imported the logo file into After Effects and began animating the various sections according to the vision I had.

The elements that were the most fun were the hot air balloons. I chose to position them in 3D space, giving them subtle blurs as to simulate a shallow depth of field. For the motion, instead of setting specific keyframes, I chose to add a wiggle expression to each balloon’s position property. This expression quickly created random motions in all three dimensions—x, y, and z—giving the balloons more life without spending too much time. I applied the same wiggle expression to the rotation of the Joy in the Journey banner.

While it didn’t take a lot of extra time to produce, it was an essential addition that transformed the video into a complete package. Take a look at the logo transformation below.