1. 3D & Motion Graphics
  2. Motion Graphics

Send A Happy 2013 New Years Card

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Read Time: 5 min

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!

Republished Tutorial

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.


Step 1

First we create new compilation.

Step 1Step 1Step 1

Step 2

Menu -> Layer -> New -> Solid...

Step 3

Menu -> Layer -> New -> Solid...

Step 4

Draw equilateral triangle using "Pen Tool" on layer "Tree".

Step 5

Menu -> Layer -> New -> Light...

Step 6

Animate "Position" parameter of the level "Motion Path 1"

Step 7

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.

Step 8

In the "Top" view window using "Convert Vertex Tool" and "Selection Tool" we make rounded spiral.

Step 9

Switch right window to "Front" view. Arrange curves in both windows.

Step 10

Select all animating points of "Position" parameter, and move all points to the middle of the "Top" window.

Step 11

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.

Step 12

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:

Step 13

If you have done everything right, you must see this picture:

Step 14

Now let's change balls on our fur-tree to snowflakes. Create new composition. Menu -> Composition -> New composition...

Step 15

Find a vector snowflake in the Internet, clip-arts or draw yourself. Add .eps file with snowflake to composition "snowflake".

Step 16

Make the snowflake larger.

Step 17

The snowflake needs to be white. Menu -> Effect -> Color Correction -> Hue/Saturation

Step 18

Insert "snowflake" composition into "New Year Card" composition, turn it off and lock.

Step 19

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.

Step 20

Add camera to the project: Menu -> Layer -> New -> Camera...

Step 21

Camera adjustment is very creative task, you can do everything up to your imagination. Here are my camera's settings:

Step 22

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.

Step 23

Add Menu -> Effect -> Transition -> Liner Wipe... effect to the reflection. Also add transparency animation points: in first point it equals 0, in last - 100.

Step 24

Add more snow to the background. Menu -> Layer -> New -> Solid...

Step 25

Add "Particular" effect to "Snow" layer. Select "Snow" layer and go Menu -> Effect -> Trapcode -> Particular. Here are the settings for this effect:

Step 26

Add background. Menu -> Layer -> New -> Solid...

Step 27

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:

Step 28

Add black margins. Menu -> Layer -> New -> Solid...

Step 29

Add mask to "Black field" layer with "Rectangle Tool" and invert the mask.

Step 30

Add the name of this wonderful site "AE TUTS". Menu -> Composition -> New Composition...

Step 31

Select "Horizontal Type Tool" and write "AE TUTS" in the middle of the screen.

Step 32

Add "Text" composition into "New Year Card" composition, then turn it off and block.

Step 33

Now let's make our text to appear vividly. Menu -> Layer -> New -> Solid...

Step 34

Add "Particular" effect. Menu -> Effect -> Trapcode -> Particular... Settings:

Step 35

"AE TUTS" layer animated parameters settings:

Step 36

If you did everything correctly, you should see this:

Step 37

Lesen a bit "AE TUTS" text. To do so, move text a little in depth on Z-axis and a bit move up:

Step 38

Add a glow to "AE TUTS" and "Tree Particular" layers. Select "AE TUTS" layer. Menu -> Effect -> Stylize -> Glow... You can leave the settings default.

Step 39

Repeate Step 38 for "Tree Particular" layer. Menu -> Effect -> Stylize -> Glow... You can leave the settings default.

Step 40

With "Horyzontal Type Tool" add "Happy New Year!" text and turn it a little.

Step 41

The last touch. Add a star to the fur-tree. Menu -> Layer -> New -> Solid...

Step 42

Using "Pen Tool" draw small star on "Star" layer. Don't forget to put it where it would appear.

Step 43

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.

Step 44

"Shine" effect animated parameters

Step 45

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.

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