Procedural Logo

In my latest app, I came up with what I thought was a cool look for the logo. I created the following in After Effects. My initial thought was to render out the still frames and have them run in the app as an animated sprite:

However, rendering out all the frames led to over 200mb or so of raw assets. Granted, this number would drop after combining onto sprite sheets and compressing, but it was still far too much bandwith for a simple logo. Moreover, I’m not a fan of the aesthetics of compressed still imagery. I needed a different solution.

sprite sheet

A handful of the 90 odd images that would have gone into a sprite sheet for the animation.

I created a single god ray sprite in Photoshop (seen here).

I also created two logo sprites (one normal, one glowing). So instead of 90 images, I was down to 3. In Unity3D, I duplicated the god rays several times and added a Box Collider to each one. Then I wrote a godray script. The script told each god ray object to fade up and scale depending on its relative intersection with a trigger object. I also gave each ray a little wiggle. Finally I told the glowing logo to fade up when it intersected with the trigger to boost the overall glow effect.

The last step was to write a simple script to make the trigger object move back and forth over the logo. Because it’s procedural, I got the added benefit of being able to randomize the speed and the direction of the trigger from pass to pass. Here you can see the trigger object (the longer box) and the god ray objects at work in Unity3D:

And the final result below. Since the three sprites fit on the same sprite sheet, this version of the animated logo only takes a single draw call and costs 322 KB (uncompressed).

Not quite as pretty as the original After Effects version, but worth the extra work to get the size down. Now users won’t have to wait an extra several minutes for a heavy sprite logo to download. Instead this streamlined version should load fairly instantly.

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