How to animate the 'swirls' in this logo?
February 7, 2009 9:56 AM   Subscribe

How to animate the 'swirls' in this logo?

I am looking for some pointers / starting points as to how I could learn to animate the 'swirls' in this logo. The end result should be a (hopefully small) flash movie. I have a reasonable amount of experience in After Effects but know just the basics of Flash itself. I am pretty good at teaching myself new things if I have a very specific goal I want to get to. I have a feeling I should not try to do this in 'step by step' animation (there is a better word for this which escapes me now) but rather by scripting an 'automatic' animation of geometrical shapes/vectors. Problem is I have no idea where to start....
posted by dinkyday to Computers & Internet (7 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
If you know After Effects and have Illustrator, I would stay with that. Use a tutorial like this:

And then export to Flash.

Either go directly to the SWF or with Cs4 you can now export as an XFL file and open this directly in Flash if you need to add other elements.
posted by jeremias at 10:22 AM on February 7, 2009

A few thoughts while you wait for the experts to weigh in:

Creative Cow has lots of AE tutorials.

You don't need to use Flash to wind up with a Flash movieā€¦
posted by dpcoffin at 10:25 AM on February 7, 2009

You could draw the swirls as vector shapes inside Flash and then do shape tweening: add keyframes every n frames, edit the shapes at those keyframes except the first and last ones (so it'll go back to the original shape at the end before looping back to the beginning), and then convert all the interim frames to shape tweens.

This could be as labor-intensive or as simple as you want, depending on how elaborate you want the motion of the swirls to be.
posted by ook at 10:55 AM on February 7, 2009

Ex-Art-Directort-Hat: I'd call them tapeworms, not swirls. Either way, you probably want them to sort of 'wriggle' more than anything.

If you have this as vector art (Illustrator) and you are comfy there or with AE, then yeah, just stick to the tools you know and make the frames you need. It probably won't take more than a dozen or two. If it's truly small and it's destined for the web, then an animated GIF would be kinder than a Flash movie. The "right" way is to keyframe it in Flash and so on, but the learning time investment will probably cancel out the time-savings for a one-off effort.
posted by rokusan at 11:08 AM on February 7, 2009

Those are helices, not swirls. They should be behave like 3d objects and do barrel roles, it's arbitrary, but in science animations helices always do barrel roles and little else until they get broken down.
posted by 517 at 11:36 AM on February 7, 2009

Correct Link.
posted by 517 at 11:49 AM on February 7, 2009

Photoshop has an Animation palette that makes it quite easy to create animated gifs for the web.
posted by Fleebnork at 4:30 PM on February 7, 2009

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