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If you are looking to create a Christmas lights animation, then you are definitely at the right place. In this tutorial, you will learn to create an amazing Christmas Lights Animation in Adobe After Effects without using any third-party plugins. This is an advanced tutorial but I made it easy for beginners. This is 100% editable, you can easily change the light bulbs, and colors. You can watch the video tutorial or here is a step-by-step guide.
Let’s get started.
First of all, We need to create a Glowing light bulb.
Step 1: Open Adobe After Effects and then create a new composition. I am calling it a light bulb. Set the resolutions to 750×750 pixels. Frame rate to 30 frames per second, and set the duration to 2 seconds. Go to the file menu, and import the bulb vector file. Select the vector file and click import. Choose the import kind to footage and layer options to merged layers.
Step 2: Drag the vector file to the composition. Right-click on it then go to Create and choose Create shapes from the vector file.
You can delete the original vector file. We don’t need it.
Step 3: Select the shape layer and press control + D to make it duplicate. Hide the second shape layer. Then Go under the first shape layer properties > Under the content and select group 5, and delete it.
Hide the first shape layer, and unhide the second shape layer. Go under the properties, then under the content. Select the first 4 groups and delete them. Rename the first shape layer to the holder and the second shape layer to a light bulb.
Step 4: Go to the Layer Menu > Then New > Select the Null Object. Select both shape layers and parent to the null object. Select the Null Object layer and press the S Key on the keyboard to open scale properties. Increase the scale from 100 to 115%.
Step 5: Go under the light bulb shape properties then under the Contents, then under Group 5, then under the Fill. Click the little stopwatch icon of the color to add a keyframe.
I am going to change the light bulb to yellow. But you are free to use any color you like. Go to about 1 second on a timeline. Then change the fill color to light yellow. Copy the first keyframe and paste it to the end of the timeline.
Let’s add some glow effect to the light bulb.
Step 6: Select the light bulb shape layer and make it duplicate. Rename it to light bulb glow or any name you like. Go to Effects and presets then search the Effect of Gaussian blur. Drag and drop to the Light bulb Glow layer. Click the stopwatch icon to add a keyframe.
Go to about 1 second on a timeline and change the blurriness to 315. Go to the last frame and change the blurriness value back to 0. Go to Effects and presets, and search for the effect glow. Drag and drop to the light bulb glow layer. Change the glow threshold to 55%, Glow intensity to 0.5.
Step 7: Select the light bulb composition. Go to the Composition menu and choose Add to render queue.
Click on lossless. Change the format type to Quick Time. Change the channels to RGB+Alpha, then click render.
Our light bulb animation would be rendered with transparent background.
We need to create wires. So, follow the next Step.
Step 8: Open Adobe Illustrator and create a new document of 1920×1080 Pixels. Change the stroke color to black and the fill color to none. Change the stroke to 3 points. Select the rectangle tool and create a rectangle. Select the rectangle and copy it. Then create a new layer and paste it. Again create a new layer and paste the rectangle stroke again. Now, we have three layers for rectangles.
Step 9: Hide layers 2, and 3. Select layer 1 then go to the Effect menu then Distort and Transform and choose Zig Zag. Then Click Ok. Hide layer 1 and unhide the second layer. Also, apply the zig-zag effect. Change the size to 35 pixels and ridges per segment to 15. Select the smooth points. Select the third rectangle layer. Also, apply the zig-zag effect. Select the relative option and change the size to 1%. Change the ridges per segment to 18. And select the smooth option. Now, unhide all layers. Now, Save the vector file as wires.ai.
It’s time to connect the light bulb footage to the wires. So, follow the next step.
Step 10: Open Adobe After Effects and create a new composition. I am calling Christmas Lights Animation. Set the resolutions to 1920×1080 pixels, 30 frames per second, and Set the duration to 10 seconds. Go to the file menu, then import the vector file and the light bulb transparent video which we created earlier.
Step 11: Drag the wire vector file to the composition. Go to effects and presets and search the effect Fill. Drag and drop to the vector file. Change the wire color to gray then decrease the scale to 5%. Drag the light bulb footage to composition. Press the S key to open scale properties and change the scale to 15%.
As you can see our light bulb animation is only 2 seconds longer. Let’s fix this. Right-click on the light bulb footage. Go to interpret footage, then click on Main. Here you can change the loop amount to 15.
Now, Drag the footage to increase the duration.
Step 12: Move the light bulb closer to the wires.
Duplicate the light bulb and change its position. Then rotate it something like this. You can add as many lights as you want.
Step 13: Right-click on the wire layer, then Go to layer style and choose bevel & Emboss. Select the random layers and slightly move the layers to the left side.
Step 14: Select all layers. Right-click and choose pre-compose. Rename it to light bulbs. Right-click on the composition then go to the time and choose time stretch. Change the stretch factor from 100 to 50.
Drag the work area, then right-click and choose trim compo to work area. It will make our animation faster.
Step 15: Go to the file menu, and import the wall image. Drag and drop to the composition. Go to the Layer menu, then New, and select the solid Select the wall image and press the T Key to open opacity properties. Then Reduce to Opacity to 15%.
Step 16: Duplicate the light bulb composition. Rename it to the Glow. Hide the top layer. Go to the effects & presets and search for the effect of Gaussian blur. Drag and drop to the glow layer. Change the blurriness value to 100.
Search the effect glow and drag and drop to the glow layer. Reduce the opacity to 30%. Change the layer mode from normal to Add. Now, unhide the original layer.
Let’s change the light bulb colors.
Step 17: Double-click on the light bulb composition. Select any layer you want. Go to the effects & presets and search the effect Hue & Saturation. Drag and drop to the bulb layer. Change the master hue value to change the color.
Now, Copy the effect and paste it to random bulb layers. You can easily change the bulb colors you like.
Our Christmas Lights Animation is ready.
Here you can download the Free Project file. (File Size: 4.4 MB)
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