Start a hosting plan from $3.92/mo and get a free year on Tuts+ (normally $180)
In this holiday season, it's always fun to send cards to each other, well in this tutorial we are going to make a lovely animated New Year card that you can post on Facebook and tag all your friends in or whatever else you might wanna do. Enjoy and we'll see ya next year!
Every few weeks, we revisit some of our reader's favorite posts from throughout the history of the site. This tutorial was first published in December 2009.
First we create new compilation.
Menu -> Layer -> New -> Solid...
Menu -> Layer -> New -> Solid...
Draw equilateral triangle using "Pen Tool" on layer "Tree".
Menu -> Layer -> New -> Light...
Animate "Position" parameter of the level "Motion Path 1"
Open view in two dimensions, top view window to the right "Top", "Active Camera" to the left. Using "Convert Vertex Tool" and "Selection Tool" fix curves in animation.
In the "Top" view window using "Convert Vertex Tool" and "Selection Tool" we make rounded spiral.
Switch right window to "Front" view. Arrange curves in both windows.
Select all animating points of "Position" parameter, and move all points to the middle of the "Top" window.
Select all animating points of "Position" parameter and, holding down "Alt", click on the last point and drag it to 15th second.
The point is to stretch animation points proportionally in this time segment.
Hide layers "Motion Path 1" and "Tree". Add effect "Particular" to the layer "Tree Particular". Select "Tree Particular" layer and go Menu -> Effect -> Trapcode -> Particular. Here are the settings of this effect. Thoroughly check them all:
If you have done everything right, you must see this picture:
Now let's change balls on our fur-tree to snowflakes. Create new composition. Menu -> Composition -> New composition...
Find a vector snowflake in the Internet, clip-arts or draw yourself. Add .eps file with snowflake to composition "snowflake".
Make the snowflake larger.
The snowflake needs to be white. Menu -> Effect -> Color Correction -> Hue/Saturation
Insert "snowflake" composition into "New Year Card" composition, turn it off and lock.
Open "Particular" effect settings of the "Tree Particular" layer.
If your computer began to work slowly, you should switch "Particle Type" parameter back to "Sphere", so calculations would take less time.
Add camera to the project: Menu -> Layer -> New -> Camera...
Camera adjustment is very creative task, you can do everything up to your imagination. Here are my camera's settings:
Let's add a reflection to our fur-tree. It wolud not be correct, but it doesn't matter for the time being. Select "Tree Particular" layer, Menu -> Edit -> Duplicate... Rename it to "Tree Particular reflection". Change "Scale" and "Position" parameters and make this layer to start from 0:00:10:05.
Add Menu -> Effect -> Transition -> Liner Wipe... effect to the reflection. Also add transparency animation points: in first point it equals 0, in last - 100.
Add more snow to the background. Menu -> Layer -> New -> Solid...
Add "Particular" effect to "Snow" layer. Select "Snow" layer and go Menu -> Effect -> Trapcode -> Particular. Here are the settings for this effect:
Add background. Menu -> Layer -> New -> Solid...
Color background, add "Ramp" effect to it. Menu -> Effect -> Generate -> Ramp... Also add animation to the effect, so background color would change with camera motion. Don't forget to move layer to the bottom of our composition. Here are the settings:
Add black margins. Menu -> Layer -> New -> Solid...
Add mask to "Black field" layer with "Rectangle Tool" and invert the mask.
Add the name of this wonderful site "AE TUTS". Menu -> Composition -> New Composition...
Select "Horizontal Type Tool" and write "AE TUTS" in the middle of the screen.
Add "Text" composition into "New Year Card" composition, then turn it off and block.
Now let's make our text to appear vividly. Menu -> Layer -> New -> Solid...
Add "Particular" effect. Menu -> Effect -> Trapcode -> Particular... Settings:
"AE TUTS" layer animated parameters settings:
If you did everything correctly, you should see this:
Lesen a bit "AE TUTS" text. To do so, move text a little in depth on Z-axis and a bit move up:
Add a glow to "AE TUTS" and "Tree Particular" layers. Select "AE TUTS" layer. Menu -> Effect -> Stylize -> Glow... You can leave the settings default.
Repeate Step 38 for "Tree Particular" layer. Menu -> Effect -> Stylize -> Glow... You can leave the settings default.
With "Horyzontal Type Tool" add "Happy New Year!" text and turn it a little.
The last touch. Add a star to the fur-tree. Menu -> Layer -> New -> Solid...
Using "Pen Tool" draw small star on "Star" layer. Don't forget to put it where it would appear.
Make that layer to start from the moment, the star would appear and add "Shine" effect to the layer. Menu -> Effect -> Trapcode -> Shine... Carefully setup all parameters of effect.
"Shine" effect animated parameters
That's all. The project is ready to final render. Attention! If after Step 19 you switched particles from snowflakes back to circles, then before the final render repeat Step 19 and switch particles back to snowflakes.