1. 3D & Motion Graphics
  2. Motion Graphics

How to Create Photo Realistic Branded Product Mockups

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In this tutorial, I will show you how to create realistic looking logo mockups in After Effects using layer styles. I will also show some small tips on how we can use a few native AE plug-ins to achieve these different looks. Let’s jump in!

Building Our Core Effect

Step 1

Insert your stock footage in a new composition.


Step 2

Since this is a diary with a leather cover, the logo would be kind of embossed into it. Before we start creating the mockup it’s important to understand the light direction of the image.


Understanding the light direction will help to achieve a photo realistic look.

Step 3

Make a new composition for Logo.


Insert your logo here.


Step 4

Insert the logo composition into the stock photo composition, make it a 3D layer and adjust it according to the perspective of the image.

For this image, these settings should work.



You can see the logo looks flat on the diary. Play around to get better results but for now this looks good enough.

Step 5

Duplicate the stock image and choose Alpha Matte.


Step 6

Again duplicate these two layers and change the top matte mode to Alpha Inverted Matte.


Step 7

Right click on the image which has Alpha Matte option and select Layer Styles > Bevel and Emboss.


Step 8

Use the following settings.


You should understand that the settings here are subjective to this image. Any other image might require slightly different settings. Since it’s a leather object, the size would be a little bigger.

Also apply Curves to give it a darker background.


You should see something like this.


Step 9

Now right click the 2nd image which has Alpha Inverted Matte option selected and do the following.


Step 10

Apply Drop Shadow with the following settings


You should see something like this.


You can see the shadow and little highlight are in opposite directions. That’s the key to achieve these effects.

A Work Around for Photoshop

Step 11

Let’s export it to Photoshop.


You will see this warning, but just click OK.


This is the output file opened in Photoshop.


You can see that there are no logo effects here and that is because Photoshop does not support the Alpha & Luma Mattes.

Step 12

Let’s solve things for Photoshop. You may never need this for Photoshop, but its good to learn how to solve this problem just in case.

Create a new Camera.


And make a very large new Solid.


Step 13

Apply Motion Tile to the solid layer.


Now pre-compose the solid, moving all attributes into the new comp.


Step 14

Enable Collapse Transformation for this layer.


Normally you would not need a camera or the Motion Tile effect, but if you want to have a moving camera, the large solid, Motion Tile, and Collapse Transformation will come handy.

Step 15

Lets Auto-trace our Logo.


There are now a number of masks created on this logo.



Step 16

Paste all the masks on the pre-composed solid layer.

Also copy the Transform properties of the Logo layer which we adjusted in the beginning and paste them on the pre-composed solid.


Step 17

Copy the Layer Style Bevel and Emboss and apply it on the White Solid pre-composed layer.


Set all the masks mode to Add because the Bevel and Emboss would be on the outside of the logo edges.


You can see one of the them has Subtract selected and that’s because there is a little circle in the letter "A" that needs to be adjusted. Your logo might have some of these things to watch for as well.

This is what you should see.


Step 18

Now duplicate the pre-composed solid layer, copy the Transform and Layer styles from the 2nd stock image layer which has Drop Shadow, and paste it on the duplicated layer.


Step 19

Now change all the mask settings to Subtract except the one which was previously subtracted. This time select Add for that one single mask.


The reason why we did this is because we want the shadow to be inside of the logo.

You can see the result.


Now this is looking really good.

Step 20

You can now delete these four layers.


We would also want the area between the embossed effect to be a little darker.

Bring another Logo layer under these two pre-composed solid layers. Apply the same Transform properties and apply the Fill effect to it.



Change the Opacity settings and reduce the value.


You should now see this result.




This is looking pretty good.

Step 21

Let’s export it again to Photoshop. Here is our updated file opened in Photoshop.


It’s still not looking great and the reason behind this is that Photoshop accepts the blending options a little differently than After Effects and each layer style offers an additional blending mode along with it.

So the grey color will be effected differently with Multiply selected in Photoshop than it does in After Effects.


Change it to this in After Effects.


Step 22

If you export it now, you should see the exact same result as you get in After Effects.


You can also select and hide the layers separately in Photoshop just like you can do in After Effects.


Additional Examples

Step 23

Lets take a look at another image.


I have used the same technique here as the previous one, except the bevel will be less than it was on the diary. That’s due to the nature of material. Your computer’s logo sign looks this way most of the time and our task is to get the desired look.


Understanding the light direction will help significantly.

Step 24

Let’s work on a different thing now.


Step 25

Insert your logo.


Make it a 3D layer and adjust its angle according to the bag.


Step 26

As you can see, the bag has some ups and downs on its surface. We can achieve that effect with the help of the Bezier Warp effect. Apply Fill and Bezier Warp to the logo.


Adjust the settings of Bezier Warp so it looks right in the image.


Adjust as needed and apply Curves to help the logo’s color feel the same as the bag.

Step 27

Apply a Layer Style on the logo by selecting Inner Shadow with the following settings.


Duplicate the Logo layer and make a mask on it like this.


Step 28

Change the color of the Fill slightly and use the following settings for you Inner Shadow. Select the blending mode Add for the layer.


This is the result you will get.


By changing the color to a golden style on both the layers, you will see this. It’s supported by a light source with a golden light.


Step 29

For the next image, I just adjusted the transform settings and applied Fill with a white grey color. Then I used some Shadow and Bevel Layer Styles to make this look.



Step 30

When you download this project file you will see some more stock images, which will help you to explore other variations of this effect.



For the glass bottle, I just used the CC Cylinder effect to give it a cylindrical look to match the roundness of the bottle and the rest is Layer Styles.

We are now done with the tutorial. You can also check my portfolio on Videohive to see some nice animated mockup examples which are not included in this project file download.




These are just a few other examples that utilize the layer styles in After Effects.


In this tutorial we learned how to create photo realistic logo mockups just using After Effects. Additionally, we learned some basic ways to export the file to Photoshop so the output of both versions would look the same.

I hope you picked up something useful from this tutorial. Feel free to leave any questions in the comments below.

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