First Intro For A YouTube Channel

SENIOR COPYWRITER AND FILM DIRECTOR. I help company owners humanise their brands by telling authentic, immersive stories that inspire, entertain and educate us.

SG UK sound -YouTube Channel intro from Jay Penrake on Vimeo.

My son, Jay Penrake, has been studying animation with a private tutor at Real Animation Works for two years now and, although still only 14, he’s already producing some good work. In this short post he writes about a project he completed for a friend at school, using 3DS Max, then After Effects…

Jay: Early January, 2015, I gave myself a small project – to come up with an intro design for my friend’s YouTube gaming channel called SGUK, which stands for Serbia Gaming (he’s from Serbia). My friend, Alex, didn’t ask but I felt I should repay him in some way after he introduced me to Call of Duty and gave me some tips on how to get better at it.

I started the project using the software program by Autodesk called 3DS Max. It’s a complex 3D modelling and animating program which I’ve been studying with my personal tutor at Real Animation Works since I was eleven. I started off by animating two letters: ‘S’ and ‘G’, the initials of my friend’s channel. I got them to roll in from either side, meeting in the middle. It worked alright, but I still felt like something was missing. I tried to add smoke, but the effect looked out of place. The letters were was too shiny, the lighting was weird, it was tacky. It had to be redone.

It felt like 5 hours of work down the drain. With the help of my older sister Shiona, I recreated the intro in Adobe After Effects. I watched a couple of How to YouTube tutorials for the kind of intro design I was looking to build and got to work straight away.

That same night I finished it – it almost looked professional! I used a template I found on YouTube,  but I knew I had to make it my own, so I changed the colour of the smoke from purple and pink to yellow, I also made the background black and added a logo that didn’t look tacky – to me, it looks modern and stylish.

The final step was to add sound. I exported the project as a QuickTime video and imported it into Adobe Premiere Pro. Again, with the help of my sister, I found a sound file on the internet that produced a wind whoosh sound and I added it to fit the intro.

Thanks to practice working with 3DS Max and Maya, I didn’t find After Effects difficult to understand. I now plan to make a few more video intros like this – but better. I’ve recently had a few friends at school asking me to do intros for their YouTube Channels, so I guess I’m going to be busy trying out new ideas!