1. 3D & Motion Graphics

Animate Your Logo Into Characters

Scroll to top
Read Time: 6 min

In this tutorial, we will learn some of the cool new features introduced in Trapcode Particular v2.0. Inspiration for this tutorial is from the logo reveal of the Digital Domain Animation Company. It may not be as good as that (since it had been done completely using a 3d software), but I thought to give it a try in After Effects.


  • Trapcode Particular 2 You can download a trial version here.

Step 1

Create a new composition named "Logo" with these settings. It is in this composition that we place our logo.

Place the logo in the composition and adjust the size of the logo to fit.


Step 2

Create a new composition with the same settings as of the original composition 'Logo'. Place the original logo composition into this layer.

Step 3

Take a white solid with the same comp size and place it above the logo layer in the composition.

Step 4

Add "Fractal Noise" effect to the Solid and change the settings of the Effect. We do this in order to get a texture for the logo before emitting the particles from it.

Step 5

Change the track matte options of the logo layer to "Luma", which gives out this effect.

Step 6

Make a new composition for the particle layer choosing the settings as below.

Step 7

Using text tool, write "0" in a layer and reduce the time line to one frame. Using text tool again write "1" in other layer and reduce the time line of it to one frame. Arrange the two layers in sequence.

Step 8

Add a gradient to both the layers along with a drop shadow. In the Ramp effect choose the preset as Vignette lighting and slightly modify the gray levels. Have a smooth drop shodow. Duplicate the same effect for the "1" text later as well.

Step 9

Now we head for the main composition. Make a new composition with the settings. I have used a preset " NTSC D1 Widescreen Square Pixel " with frame rate as 29.97, but you can choose what ever you want.

Step 10

Drop all the comps, Logo, Logo Gradient and Particle into the main comp. Hide the Logo Gradient and Particle layers and enable 3d for the Logo Gradient.

Step 11

Now we go back to the Layer gradient composition and add 2 Linear Wipe effects to the "Logo" layer in it. Now we change these settings such that only a part of logo is visible. Change the angle of transition as given and key frame the effect at 2 sec.(0:00:02:00) as follows.

Step 12

Now move the slider to 4 sec. (0:00:04:00) and change the transition to 100% and 0% respectively.

Step 13

Now what we have in the time line is something like this.

Select the both the keyframes of the first linear wipe effect and move it a little left.

If you see, the resultant of this would be an effect like this.

If needed you can give some feather to the Linear wipe effect for smoothness.

Step 14

Now we go back to the main comp. Make a new solid "Particular" and add effect Tracode Particular v2 to the solid.

Step 15

Change the emitter settings of the particular. We should have more number of particles flying so we give 50,000 as articles/sec , if needed we can increase this as well. Change the emitter type as 'Layer' and in the layer emitter settings, select the layer as "Logo Gradient" and Layer sampling as " Particle Birth Time" ( This is very necessary step). Change the Layer RGB Usage as "None" since we wont be needing that as we have already have our custom particles.

Step 16

We go to particle menu and change the Life of the particle to 6 sec. The rest of the settings in the particle menu can be done later since it will be difficult to work and edit, if we change the particle type right now. So we leave it at the end.

Step 17

We move to the Physics properties of the Particular layer and change the wind in Z direction and -150, so as to make the particles come towards the screen.

We also give a little Turbulence to the particle so that they dont seem to be stationery.

Step 18

Now, we create a new camera with settings as of preset "35 mm".

Step 19

One of the new things introduced in the version 2 of Trapcode Particular is the " World Transform". This is a very good way to rotate or move the particles without actually moving the camera. Since this only moves/rotates the particles all the other elements in the scene are not affected, which is quite helpful sometimes, as of in this case. We animate the Z rotation using the World transform but not by the camera since this will also rotate the 3d layer(Layer Gradient) that the particles are emitted from.

Keyframe the Z rotation at 2 Sec(00:00:02:00) as 0 degrees and at 6sec(00:00:06:00) as 90 degrees.

Since the rotation starts from 2 Sec., we need to adjust the rotation. I use graph editor since this allows to edit the values easily and I can approximate the value at any time. The graph clearly shows that for a long time between 2 - 4 sec the value of incrementation is quite slow, but as we see their is an increase in the value and doesnt abruptly go a higher value, this ensures smooth motion.

Step 20

We will adjust the revealtion of the logo layer. Use the linear wipe effect and adjust its settings as below.

At 2 sec (00;00;02;00) Transition completion is 0% while at 4 sec(00;00;04;00) its 100%.

Also turn on visiblity of Logo Gradient Layer.

Step 21

Second best thing introduced in the new particular is the Shading properties for the particles. For this we make a new light. Change the settings of light as shown and name the light as "Shadow". Give the color, something from the logo.

Step 22

Go to the particular layer and switch on the shading properties of the particles.

Increase the ambient light a little to make the particles appear from the background. You get an effect like this if you move your timeline.

Step 23

Now, the best thing introduced in the new particular is the new Particle type layer. We now go back to the particle properties of the particular. Change the particle type as Textured polygon. Change the texture layer as "Particle" layer and Time sampling as "Random - Still Frame". In the rotation properties switch on the orient to motion and also increase the random rotation and random speed rotation values. Change the size settings and opactity settings as shown.

Step 24

Change the settings of the shading properties of the particular as follows in order to make the particles visible.

Step 25

Create a background for the animation. Take a new black solid with the same settings as comp and place it below all the layers. Use ramp effect to give some gradient background.

Step 26

Lastly, Switch on the Depth of field for the camera and adjust the focal length and aperture settings.

If you want a logo reveal, just put the precompose the Main comp and "Time reverse" it.

Did you find this post useful?
Want a weekly email summary?
Subscribe below and we’ll send you a weekly email summary of all new 3D & Motion Graphics tutorials. Never miss out on learning about the next big thing.
Looking for something to help kick start your next project?
Envato Market has a range of items for sale to help get you started.