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Creating a professional-looking animated logo

David Thorp's logo created in SketchBook MotionIf you are interested in making professional-looking animated logos, you should start by looking at this example, created by David Thorp in SketchBook Motion.

David used layers and a combination of animation modes and behaviors to create this.

This article breaks down the process for creating this animated logo. We won’t go over every step, just the parts that are unique or just really creatively done. Try to apply the principles used in this example to your own work.

Logo layers in SketchBook MotionThese are all the layers in this project. This helps to illustrate how complex and ingenious this scene really is. What’s quite interesting is that all the animation is Beeline.

1. Create the following content either in SketchBook or SketchBook Motion:

•  Main image (for this example, the lettering and background), plus alternative versions of the logo and graphic elements
•  Background design
•  Flared highlights and highlights

2. Import any content from outside SketchBook Motion using Import icon in SketchBook Motion > Import to Layer icon in SketchBook MotionImport to Layer.

If any image other than the main image has a solid background, use the built-in option to let the app try to clear its solid background. This will make less work for you and create a transparent background.

3. Now, you animated the following:

Background design

Design logo content in SketchBook Motion

There are two versions of the background design animated. One is the original image. The other refines the effect. You might notice there are two design layers animated in the scene. Both will use the Beeline animation; however, only one has additional modifications to its opacity.

Design to start in SketchBook MotionSubtle change in SketchBook Motion

1. Select the design layer, assign the Beeline animation, and draw a line for it to follow. In this case, the line goes from the top of the screen to the bottom.

Fade in and out in SketchBook Motion

2. For only one of these layers, select Controls, then Advanced Controls and make changes to the opacity of the second layer (so it can fade in and out).

3. From here, there are two additional layers that help to complete the background. The first dims the edges of the logo and design.

Shade in SketchBook Motion

Dimming layer

Shade result in SketchBook Motion


4. The other layer added is a lattice of the design that isn’t animated.

Lattice in SketchBook Motion


Original triangle in SketchBook MotionSecond triangle in SketchBook Motion

There are two versions of the triangle. One is the underlying image and the second has some transparency to enable the animated effect between them to fade in, shine, and out. There’s also a flared highlight that travels along part of the triangle.

Triangle effect in SketchBook Motion

1. Select the highlight layer between the triangle layers and select Beeline.

2. Draw a line from the left of the screen to the right. You want it to be just above the “v” of the triangle.

Path in SketchBook Motion

3. Select the flared highlight layer above the triangle and select Beeline.

Flared highlight in SketchBook Motion

4. Draw a line to trace the bottom “v” of the triangle.

Highlight path in SketchBook Motion

5. Select Controls, then Advanced Controls and make changes to the opacity (so the highlight can fade in and out) and scale (so the highlight grows, then shrinks, as it fades way).

Opacity in SketchBook MotionScale in SketchBook Motion


The first part of the lettering is pretty much the same as steps 1 and 2 in Triangle. There are two versions of the lettering. One has some transparency to enable a layer with the Beeline animated effect to travel across the top of the letters.

Lettering path in SketchBook Motion

Here is the highlight traveling across the lettering.

White highlight animated in SketchBook Motion

This also uses the flared highlight that travels along part of the letters. In this case, there are multiple highlights that are animated using Beeline. In the image below, it shows the paths for each highlight (six in total).

Path for all highlights in SketchBook Motion project

All these flared highlights have their Scale and Opacity customized in the Advanced Controls. Their curves start and end at zero, but reach 100% for the portion of the animation where they are visible. Here is an example of one set of Advanced Controls:

Scale and Opacity customization in SketchBook Motion (animated logo)

Here are the flared highlights and traveling highlight together.

Animated lettering in SketchBook Motion

Dave Thorp's logo animated in SketchBook MotionWhen all these animated effects come together, the result is a very professional-looking logo animated created in almost no time. Hopefully, now that you’ve seen how this scene was created, you can see ways to incorporate these techniques in future projects.

Updated on October 13, 2017

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