Jun 5, 2014

Animating LEAPframe

I am sometimes asked how I achieve certain animations or movements in my motion graphics pieces. The LEAPframe logo animation is one that I get asked about occasionally. It's also probably the simplest to break down because it's really only 4 different sections put together like a puzzle.

The logo is comprised of 5 basic parts:

 • Black shield
• Green petals
• Orange petals
• frame


We played around with several different concepts:

 • Unfolding
• Blooming like a flower
• Transforming
• Pop Out

But in the end we settled on a more fluid approach. To achieve this I decided to fill the middle in like an ink blot with color bleeding into the petals.

I started with some particles. Once they started feeling like I wanted, I masked the particles with an actual ink bleed sped up. I liked the result so I pre-comped it and duplicated it so I had 10 ink fills. The thought being one for each petal. I tweaked the particular settings on each to give them some variation and then scaled them differently, changed rotation, and offset the timing. We wanted the black to be comprised of colors so I changed the blend modes to multiply and changed the colors. I left a few black to fill in the gray spots. 

Once I had the middle octagon-ish shape like I liked I moved on to the petals. These were all shape layers so I just animated the path to look like they were being filled in with the ink. Nothing too complicated.


The “LEAPframe” text in the middle is just an alpha matte on the 10 ink bleeds. I animated the “LEAP” paths to make it feel more like an ink reveal. Nothing too special on it’s own:

To sell the idea of ink filling up a shape I added some drops flying out. These were basically just rough circles with an anchor point set way off center. I animated the shape path while also animating that shape’s layer position, rotation, and scale to give it a more organic wobble as each one dissipated.



I like how fluid and unified the end product looks despite being such a mashup of separate pieces. I guess being a motion designer is sort of like being an illusionist. Sometimes understanding the "how" of a trick ruins it. Sometimes knowing how you got tricked makes it all the more magical. Hopefully you still find the LEAPframe logo animation enchanting. 


Ryan Woolfolk

Ryan Woolfolk