Alright, so you want to make a spinning animated logo that is 3D?
Cool, So did we.
A quick mention, the logo must be an .SVG, or Scalable Vector Graphic for this to work properly.
You can import a .png as a plane, however, you are unable to add 3D Geometry to this, as far as this tutorial is concerned. (We tried that first, and didn’t have any luck.)
So how exactly did we turn our flat logo, into that animated loop, which can be used for Alerts, overlays, and more?
Table of Contents
Enter Blender, The best free 3D software in existence for making an animated logo out of an SVG
If you’ve never heard of Blender, well, you’re in for a treat. Blender is, as the title says, a 3D modeling software that is capable of doing 2D & 3D modeling & animation. This is one of our favorite tools to literally just play with.
So last night( as of this article’s original post date) we wanted to make our logo 3D, and animated.
And spinning. So we did!
How long did it take us?
Just two hours.
Will it take you two hours? It depends, really. You might play with the shaders for a while, maybe adjust the camera a bit, who knows… But if you follow this guide to the T? Mmm…Maybe half an hour?
Just remember, Save often, Blender crashes fairly often when you start to get into more complex renders.
The first Steps – Delete the Cube & Import the SVG
Welcome to Blender, where your first step to any project is to Delete dat cube.
If you’ve ever done 3D design in Blender before, you know this is the initiation into the world of Blender…Blending…Blendy? Whatever! Just delete the cube.
You can also press X once you have the cube selected. This is a hotkey. There are MANY hotkeys in Blender, and all of them are very useful. You may find this little tutorial article helpful to get to know the important ones. (we’ve got it bookmarked.)
Next, you need to import the .SVG of your logo!
If this option is not available, you may need to enable it in the plugins.
How to enable .SVG import if it’s not enabled
- Click Edit
- Select “Preferences” It has a little gear
- in the search bar, type “svg” minus the quotations
- Ensure it is “checked”
Next up: Making the SVG 3D
Before we can actually make this object 3d, you will need to scale it up. to do this, Ensure you are in object mode.
- Box select the logo.
- Next, press “S”
- Press 4, then enter
- If it’s big enough, stop there, otherwise, press S again and keep increasing it’s size. until it is big enough for you. (It doesn’t matter much, you just need it big enough to manipulate.)
Once the scale is large enough, you will want to convert it to a mesh.
Once that is done, If you have a strange-looking image like you see on the webcam portion of our logo, then you will need to move the individual layers of the logo on the Z-axis to their respective positions that retain the look of your image. Before you do this, however, since the mesh conversion created so many friggen faces, we need to reduce the number a bit.
To make this easier, you will want to apply a modifier to the mesh real quick.
The Decimate Modifier – Reducing that absurd face count to something more manageable.
Decimate modifier to the rescue!
To get to this window, located at the bottom right of Blender in the default “Layout” scene, simply click the “Wrench” icon with the objects selected. Remember, you must still be in Object view for this to work.
We had the best luck with “Planar” and set the “angle limit” to 1. this reduced the face count from 538 to a mere 7! With no loss of geometry!
Now, you can go into Edit mode, and select each face, and adjust their z positioning.
Shifting the faces into their places
Select a face, you may have to adjust the camera using your middle mouse button.
- Press “G” Followed by “Z”
- move your mouse slightly until the face rests in its proper position with respect to the rest of the image.
- Repeat for every face.
Ensure all of your layers are in the proper position before proceeding!
In our example near the beginning, we forgot a layer and turned what should have been the black ring to that blue color. We left it as is to serve as a reminder that you can go all the way and have to go far back in the process and redo it if you miss it here, so take your time with this step.
Setting your materials
Before we continue on to the next step, we strongly recommend setting your “materials” for each object.
A material is a sort of shader that the Blender engine uses to do its magic. With it, you can change the colors to whatever you want, the textures, give it depth, make it shiny, refractive, Transparent, WHATEVER.
For our purposes, we need only to change the color of the material to match our brand colors. If you don’t do this now, you’ll have the fun time of selecting each face, and deselecting anything you accidentally select. It’s a pain.
The Base color is the one you want.
However, you can take this shader, the “Principaled BDSF” shader, and adjust any and all of the values to your liking. We strongly recommend checking out tutorials on shading though, because, for a novice, it makes zero sense.
Join the Objects into one & Set Origin
The next step will make your life much easier. Pressing “Shift-J”, you are able to join multiple objects created by a multi-layer SVG into one object. This makes your life much easier. You want to do this part AFTER you space out each layer, because, if you do it early, it will make selecting the faces much harder, as they are all overlapping each other.
Also, this will allow the next step to take place, and not have the logo get distorted.
You want to set the Origin of your logo at this point. This will allow your logo to spin on an axis around the center of your logo, rather than some random point in space. You want it to rotate, not revolve.
You want “Origin to Center of Mass(Surface)” most likely but play with it a bit. Everyone’s logo is different.
Finally, We make it 3D!
With the origin set and objects joined, we can finally turn this logo 3D and make it animated!
To start, you must be in “Edit Mode”
- Press “A” to select all.
- press “E” to Extrude
- move mouse up or down. Press Enter when you’re happy with the thicknesss.
- Now would be a good time to re-set origin to “Origin to Center of Mass(Volume) if you see the center point being a bit off if you want to get a perfect rotation.
YAY, it’s 3D!
Easy, right? This part is, sure. But the setup to get to this point isn’t so easy.
We also need a preliminary rotation of the object, or you need to point the camera at it top-down like. Both result in the same thing.
Pressing Numpad 0 will allow you to view what the camera sees, which is what is used as the reference point for rendering. Ensure it is pointing at the logo with ample headroom to compensate for rotation.
Animating the 3D object, Home stretch!
With animation, you can do pretty much ANYTHING you want with your logo. Bouncing? Yeah. Rolling? Totally. Spinning? Yerp!
For the purpose of this tutorial, we are simply adding a spin to the logo.
You’ll notice at the bottom of the “Layout” tab, there is an animation window. Drag that up a bit. See 250 on the right? Set that to 60 or 120. (Changes the speed of rotation while remaining smooth looking)
We will be setting our animation to run at 30 fps with 60 frames, or 60 fps with 120 frames. Mind you, doubling the frames doubles the render time. The result is a 2-second clip at 30 fps or 60 fps respectively. You can also set the fps to 30 for the 120 frame animation for a 4-second loop if you prefer that.
Once that is set, Now we can begin animating:
- Ensure the timeline starts at 1.
- Click the “Record” looking button, which is called “Auto Keying”.
- Now click 30, and select the object by pressing “A” if it isn’t selected, ensuring you are in “Object Mode” at this point.
- Press R, followed by Z and then 90.
- Press Enter to confirm rotation along Z-axis. If it moves rather than rotates, your origin was not set properly earlier. Press Ctrl-Z and redo the origin.
- Click 60 in the timeline, then R, Z, -90 (Trust us, 90 will do the opposite of what you expect.)
- Finally, Shift-E in the timeline and select “Make Cyclic”.
Hit the play button, and test. If it loops as you expect it to, you’ve merely got rendering left!
Rendering your 3D Animated Logo
With everything else finished, you merely need to prepare for the rendering of the animation.
Exciting, right? Great work so far; You’re developing a skill that can be quite valuable!
And you can stream this skill live on Twitch or Mixer or whatever other platforms you want. It’s a win-win really.
The Ultimate Guide to a better stream
There are so many different things about streaming that you need to know what to look for before you actually know what to look for. That’s why we wrote this massive guide to help you along the way.
Shameless self-plug out of the way, we are nearly there. You might have noticed the camera had that checkerboard pattern, where yours may have been a solid grey. This is intentional and is a pre-requisite to having a transparent background for the animation.
The key setting here is under the “film” tab. Ensure “Transparent” is checked. This will get rid of the “world box” in Blender.
But before you get gun-ho and “Shift-F12” to render the animation, there is one last thing we need to do.
Here is where you define your render settings. These settings must match for the codec, Container, and Color(RGBA) must be selected. The rest, you can play with to your heart’s content. This will render out as a .MOV with transparent frames. This yields the greatest quality of all the options.
SAVE NOW, OR RISK LOSING ALL YOUR PROGRESS IF BLENDER CRASHES DURING RENDER!
However, if Blender or your computer crashes before the render is complete, the .mov is corrupt and cannot be recovered. Saving before a render is considered good practice.
Convert to .Webm for use as a Stream Alert!
Then, you can use an online .mov to .webm converter if you wish to use the animation as an alert on streamlabs/Streamelements.
OBS can read .MOV files by default using the media source, so this step can be skipped if it is destined as an animated overlay element.
Congrats! You’ve successfully made your very own animated spinning 3D logo (Or other assets)!