Forgelock Intro Video

The goal of this site is to be a running thread that links our works together. The goal of Forgelock itself is to be broader, more multimedia, and include a lot of awesome, professional videos of building things. Part of the branding, then, is to have an equally awesome intro video for that Youtube and Twitch stuff.

Above is the first one I made up. This is 100% Blender and although not an in-depth step by step tutorial, I do want to go over the basics of what’s happening.


This is the general view of things: we have a ground plane (or a wall, I suppose, however you think of what’s happening) and the logo object itself. You can see there’s a very slight environment texture providing some ambient light and the material nodes for the glowing orange block is basically a yellow emission and an orange velvet (which is so subtle as to be not there. I was playing with it as a method for getting the insides to flow differently than the outsides, but it didn’t really work out. As it stands, the fresnel node is almost useless since the model isn’t curvy enough to have those sorts of angles be useful in the rendering itself – mostly, it’s all just there because I never axed it).

There’s also the particles themselves for the sparks. I’m on frame 48 here, which is almost exactly halfway through. There’s a wind and vortex modifier that give it that really nice whoosh effect as they die out. The secondary purpose of this is that unless you go to really random particle start values, the symmetrical nature of the logo means the particles themselves burst out very symmetrically which looks super fake. Having the vortex swirl them and the wind going from one side to the other pushes them into a chaos that’s more realistic.


Here’s the node setup of the particle itself (which is just an icosphere as an object) – basically we’re dividing the time of life vs age, so it’s taking how long the particle lives and how far along it is in that life and spitting out a single value. That value goes into the color ramp, so as it goes along that life it’s moving along that gradient. It starts white hot and burns through yellow into orange, much like a real spark or fire does. We can use that value for a second thing though: that age can also shift from one material to another, in this case the emission itself to a transparency, and “burn out” the spark as it travels so it’s not just dying and blinking out of existence. It’s a subtle difference, and the results of just disappearing at once aren’t┬ábad but it’s slightly more natural to do it this way, and it’s minimal work to achieve the effect. The particles themselves just emit on the frame when the logo lands and do their simulated thing from there.

The camera is pretty basic and there’s not much to picture. I’ve got it tracking to an empty and to do the screen shake, I simply take that empty on the frames just after the logo lands on the plane and move it around a little. You can use the camera rotation itself for this effect certainly, but I like the more delicate┬átouch a target can give and it keeps the camera key frames separate from the empty’s keyframes which is nice in a situation like this where the camera is also doing that second move at the end – you don’t need to worry about that movement interfering with any sort of rotational reset or whatever because you’re never actually rotating it in the F-curves.

At this point I was liking things but wanted to change out that wall texture. You can see the nodes for it below:



It’s a pretty standard thing, honestly. We’ve got the texture itself in the top left, some cheap quasi-specular reflection mapping in the lower middle and we throw that texture together with a rough bump to give it a little grit displacement for the lighting to really bounce off of from the logo emission.

The real trick here is the motion blur simulating shutter speed to make all the sparks look long and more realistic to physically filming it. It’s simply “Motion Blur” in the render setting, and I used a shutter of 0.60 which is 0.6 of a frame. At 24 frames a second, that’s a 1/40 shutter time – reasonable enough to real cameras, if slightly exaggerated.

Slap some vignette on there to keep the corners dark and make the yellow pop, a very slight amount of chromatic aberration for style (they say it’s for realism, but ironically digital things use way more aberration than even cheap real lenses give – it’s a rendering style thing these days), a little bit of bloom for the light and some minor RGB curve tweaking.

Next up, a bit of fire sound effects

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