DCM: Final Ident

After collecting inspiration and trying out new techniques on After Effects, I created a final ident for DCM. My final animation has turned out quite a bit different from what I originally intended to do, however I have still stuck with the intended look and feel that I accumulated from my research.

The Emotions of Cinema

The ident is representative of the way in which audience’s are entranced when they are in the cinema, feeling different emotions from what’s on the screen in front of them, which is why I used a hypnotic and almost psychedelic effect to begin with. The cinema is also a way for audiences to enter a new world. It’s as if audiences are in a world inside a world inside a world. The world being the one in which we live in and then the world of the cinema and then the world of the film. I implicated this through the use of the octagons appearing inside each other. I could’ve used circles but I thought that may have been too obvious for the representation I was trying to acheive. Octagons also look more visually interesting.

I found the audio on a copyright free website where users submit their own sound effects that they have made. I was looking for something with a futuristic element to it. The sound I used fits perfectly with the visuals as it’s as if the visuals are making the sounds rather than just playing along with it. The sound effect also reflects the abstract feel I have gone for overall, making the audience feel as if they are being sucked in to the cinematic world.



I began work using Illustrator to create the octagon shapes using the line tool in various colours. I then imported them onto a new After Effects project.

I created the ‘psychadelic’ patterns by using repeaters.

I made a new solid, which is used as the background for the pattern and then added a new shape layer and made a rectangle.

I then changed the size aspects to make a square shape and set the fill to ‘no fill’ so all that can be seen is the stroke. I then adjusted the stroke colour to created some muted tones.

I then set the keyframes for the size of the square so it goes from 0 to 150. I also wanted to adjust the stroke width of the square to go from 0 to 50 then to 0 again. This creates the illusion of the square getting larger and then smaller.

I highlighted these keyframes and easy eased them and gave them a slightly different curvature in the graph editor.

Next, I highlighted the rectangle shape layer and added a repeater. The repeater adds everything that is repeated in the rectangle layer including position, scale, ect.

I changed the properties of the repeater and added more copies, so there were about 15 squares. I adjusted the position of the squares so they were a lot more spaced out and the offset so they were more central on the composition.

Since the repeated imitates every aspect of the shape layer, I adjusted the rotation of the shape layer to 45 degrees so that all the squares looked more like diamonds and continued to adjust the position to how I wanted it to look.

I then duplicated the repeater and changed the properties so that the diamond shapes filled the entire composition.

I duplicated the rectangle shape layer (which now looks like diamonds) and all of it’s keyframes. To create the ‘psychadelic’ effect I moved the duplicated shape’s keyframes along so that they animate at a slightly different time to the original shape.

In order to make the animation as a whole more interesting I added a fill to the duplicated shape, (unlike the original which has no fill).

At this point the animation doesn’t really end smoothly, so I made some minor changes to the duplicated shape so that they tiled the whole composition with no gaps between all the shapes. I nudged the duplicated layer into the no fill space within the original shape, and then the ‘psychedelic’ effect is created.

Once that was done, I then simply used scale keyframes on each octagon so it looks as if they are appearing one by one from a distance. I then used rotational keyframes so that they all moved in different directions in the same space. I scaled them down again to 0 so that they disappear.

Finally, I added the DCM logo to the composition and added opacity keyframes to the image so that it slowly appears and then disappears.


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