#3 - Animation/Illustration Overview - Rain Scene

Tree Rain Scene - Creation Thumbnail.jpg


This my first of more quick overview "tutorials", I say that word lightly since this is just me speaking over a timelapse of the creation. Eventually I'd like to get deeper and actually create some tutorials that go through my process for creating explainer videos, cartoons and other artworks I'll be working on. For now, at least I can give the viewers a peek into my process.


To create this scene I started with some basic vector drawings in Illustrator. The tree trunk/branches, ground, leaf templates, sky, planet/moon and clouds were what I started with.

Next I brought that into After Effects and duplicated the leaf templates to create clusters of leaves on the branches. I also added a wiggle effect to the rotation property of each leaf as well as each cluster. This gave them the illusion of wind rustling them. I also added a low opacity white inner shadow to the clusters to simulate moonlight reflection. 

To give the tree a more realistic feel of wind-caused movement, I pre-composed the tree along with all of the leaves and applied a CC-Bend-It effect to the tree. I then applied a wiggle effect (so many wiggle effects guys!) to the bend property of CC-Bend-It so the whole tree sways left and right.

Then to get the overall texture of the look, I grabbed an image of painted paper texture off the web and masked that onto each element in After Effects. I also used the Multiply mode for each texture in order to remove the white from the image and use the texture of it only.

The planet or moon has a feathered circular mask on it to give it the effect of fading into the sky, as if it's only lit from one side. I also did something fun with the sky, I had the textured paper jump randomly around rapidly over the sky which simulates a stormy feel. To me the effect feels like distant rain, busy clouds and the mist that a good windy rainstorm has.

Each rain drop is a path that stretches across the screen with a trimmed path that travels along it (using the offset parameter of the trim paths effect). I looped this trim path animation and then duplicated and staggered the rain drop layer and littered the screen with them. Each splash is just an ellipse growing and fading away as well as 2 small strokes with a trim paths effect on them as well - allowing them to trace on/off the screen.

Finally I drew a deer! Probably the more straightforward of the steps. I animated his head to move (very minimally) up and down on a loop in order to simulate a slow and steady breath. Of course I tossed the texture layer over him to make sure he fits the scene. I also tinted his colours to properly light him for the environment. Although I drew him as if he was drenched in sunlight, I darkened him and applied a blue tint in After Effects.

A good rule of thumb there, the more raw you can leave your elements the better. By drawing the deer with natural fully lit colours, I had free reign in After Effects to apply/remove any filters I wished and still have the untouched version beneath.

That's it boys and girls, hope you enjoyed the read and the work! I'll be making more, whether you like it or not!