Illustrate & Animate a Christmas Snow Globe | with Adobe Illustrator & Photoshop | Maja Faber | Skillshare

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Illustrate & Animate a Christmas Snow Globe | with Adobe Illustrator & Photoshop

teacher avatar Maja Faber, Surface Pattern Designer

Watch this class and thousands more

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Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Watch this class and thousands more

Get unlimited access to every class
Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Lessons in This Class

    • 1.



    • 2.

      Quick sketch


    • 3.

      Draw in Illustrator


    • 4.

      Prepare frames in Illustrator


    • 5.

      Animate in Photoshop


    • 6.

      Export the file


    • 7.

      Final thoughts


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About This Class

In this class you'll learn how to create a fun and simple Christmas snow globe animation. We will use Adobe Illustrator to illustrate and Adobe Photoshop to animate. I will share my tips on how to make an animation without the need to redraw every frame and will teach you a few easy to follow steps which will take you from no globe to snow globe, in no time. 

This is a class for both professional illustrators who wants to learn how to quick and easy turn drawings into animations as well as for hobbyists who want to create a fun digital Christmas greeting to send to friends and family.

By the end of this class you will be able to create your own snow globe animation which basically means that you can make simple animations from all kinds of drawings.

I can’t wait to see what you create!

Follow me on Instagram @maja_faber and feel free tag me if you share your class projects.

Meet Your Teacher

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Maja Faber

Surface Pattern Designer

Top Teacher

If we haven't met before, I'm Maja Faber, your pattern-loving teacher and fellow creative.

I'm here to help you every step of the way! I've been in your shoes! Yes, I'm talking about YOU I've been frustrated, overwhelmed, and wanting to give up more times than I can count. Learning a new skill is hard! I know the struggle.

After spending years of trial and error, trying to find my style and my unique path in the surface pattern design industry, I found my love for creating patterns in Procreate. My creativity started to blossom, and I haven't looked back since then.

As a surface pattern designer and educator, I've helped over 100,000 students grow their creative practice and overcome creative blocks through my fun and easy-to-follow online courses. I'm excited to h... See full profile

Level: Intermediate

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1. Introduction: Hi, I'm Maya, and I'm back, and I'm a Surface Pattern Designer and illustrator based in Stockholm, Sweden. In this class, I'm going to show you how to create this fun and simple, snow globe animation. We will use Adobe Illustrator to draw and Photoshop to animate. I will teach you my way of doing this, which means that you don't need to redraw everything in the animation. This is a class for you who wants to learn how to quickly make animations from your drawings, so you can share them on Instagram or send it as a Christmas greetings to your friends and family. By then in this class, you will be able to create your own Christmas snow globe animation, which basically means that you can create animations from all drawings. This is a great class for both professional illustrators, who wants to learn a quick and easy way to make animations of the drawings. As well as you, who just want to create a fun and digital Christmas greeting card to send to friends and family. 2. Quick sketch: Let's start with a quick sketch just to get some ideas for the snow globe. What you need to figure out here is what you want to include in your globe and what parts of it that you want to animate. As you can see, I'm just sketching up some ideas really quickly. Because it's a snow globe, I know that I want to animate the snow falling, but maybe I want to animate something else to make it feel more alive. I usually keep it really simple and go for a few nice details to animating my drawings, and this time I'm going to make this one. I'm going to animate the snow falling on the trees, and maybe I can add a few blinking stars in the sky. When you have your ideas ready. Let's move on to the next lesson, where we will dive at in and draw up our snow globe in Illustrator. 3. Draw in Illustrator: In this class, we will draw directly in illustrator. I will use the app Astropad on my iPad Pro, which works like a drawing tablet directly into illustrator. The app just mirrors what I see on my desktop screen to my iPad so that I can draw directly in Illustrator with my Apple pencil on the iPad. But for this class, you could use any drawing tablet. Let's make a square document in Adobe Illustrator that is 1000 pixels wide and high. I usually start with deleting all of the colors except black and white in this Swatches panel, and then I add my color palette. I will start with making a pink square to use as a background. I use the rectangle to make a pink square that is 1000 pixels and align it to the art board. I will make a new layer to drawing on top of the background layer, then I use the ellipse tool to make a reference circle that I will use when I'm drawing up my globe. If you want to skip this step with drawing up the snow globe, you could use the template that you can download in class. Make a new layer on top of the circle layer and start to draw up your globe. I'm using the blob brush tool, which is my favorite drawing tool in Illustrator. If I double-click on the tool, I can make the settings for the brush. I also use the smooth tool to make the lines a little bit smoother whereas needed, and as you can see, I'm drawing this up pretty quickly. When I'm done with the globe, I continue with drawing this green little thing that the globe stands on just using the blob brush tool and the eraser tool to get my edges nice and sharp. In the globe I want at night sky, so I'm using the shape builder tool. Just select all and then click on the shape to make that part separate shape in your object. I'm making the sky a dusty black color. Then I draw the snowy ground with the blob brush tool and fill it in with the shape builder tool. I'm going to have some trees in my globe so I'm just quickly drawing these up and move them around a bit to make it look balanced. As you can see, I'm drawing everything up pretty quickly and I don't mind about the details that much when I draw because I can always fix the details later, and for that, I usually use the smooth tool and the eraser tool. Next, I'm going to draw a small little road in my globe. I'm drawing a light gray road with the blob brush tool again on top of the snowy ground. The last thing I want on the snowy ground is a little red cottage, so again, the blob brush tool and drawing up a rectangle to make it a house, and I will make a pink roof and a little chimney on the top. Of course I want some windows on my cottage so I'm just drawing up some really quick, dusty dark windows and a door, and I use the eraser tool to fix the details. I'm adding a little bit of white around the windows and the door to make it look like a little cottage. I will add some stars in the sky that I can make blink in the animation so I'm just using the star tool and are adding some stars in my night sky. Then I move them around a bit to make it look balanced, maybe something like this. I want to make the stars a little bit smaller, so I select them all and go to object transform and transform it, and then I take down the scale a little bit. Then I'm going to draw the snow that will fall on top of the trees in my animation. Let's add the snowflakes that will fall in the globe and in my night sky. I'm using the blob brush tool and our drawing dots instead of just clicking to make dots as I want them to be not perfectly round. If you want your snowflakes to be perfectly round, you can just click with the blob brush tool. Last but not least, I'm going to add a text for this, I use the free Google fonts mountains of Christmas, I link to it in class so you can download it, or if you using my template the text "let it snow" is included in the template. Great, I'm finished with this illustration, so now we have one illustration with everything included. When you're ready, head over to the next lesson, where we will make a few different versions of this illustration to prepare it for the animation. 4. Prepare frames in Illustrator : To be able to make an animation of this, you need to create a few different frames of your illustration and something needs to be changed from every frame. That is what will make it look like parts of the illustration is moving. I think that the most common way to do this when you make simple animations is to draw different versions of your illustration. But in this class, I'm going to show you a quicker and easier way to do this using the Puppet Warp tool and also moving around your objects. Let's start with making a copy of your drawing. I usually copy the whole artboard. I've saved the original one so that I always can refer back to that one. Select the artboard tool, then hold down the "Alt" key and left-click to drag and make a copy. I will make two copies, one to use as a start frame on the left and one as an end frame, that's the one on the right. In between, I will make more frames later on. The first thing you do is to prepare your start frame. On my start frame, I don't want any snow on the trees. As I want it to look like it is the snow that is falling that makes the tree's white with snow. I just delete the snow on the trees in this frame. In my animation, I want the stars to blink just a little bit. I choose a few of the stars and make them bright yellow color. The last thing I would change in this one is that I want it to look like the snow is falling. I just move around the snowflakes a little bit. They really don't need to look balanced in every frame as real snowfall is random. The most important part here to think about is that no snowflake can stay in the same position as it was before. That would just look strange in the animation. There you have it. The start frame is finished. Pretty easy, wasn't it? Let's make frame number two. Here we want some snow that has fallen on the trees. I start with making a copy of the original illustration where I have snow on my trees. Then I just lock every object that I don't want to touch using the shortcut "Command Tool" on my keyboard. I start with making some different stars yellow than in frame number one so that it will look like the stars are blinking. Then I move around the snowflakes and I make sure that no snowflake is in the same position as it was in frame number one or in the original illustration, the end frame. Now comes the really fun part, instead of redrawing objects to make them look like they have moved in our animation, we will use the Puppet Warp tool to change the look of the object that we already had drawn. Here, I make the snow that has fallen on the trees smaller. I select the snow on the tree and then I click on the Puppet Warp tool. As you can see, you get these little pins that you can click and drag around. If you click somewhere in the selected area, you add pins, if you click on delete, when you have selected a pin, you delete it. If you want to select multiple pins, you can hold shift and click on the pins that you want to select. Now, this Puppet Warp tool is one of my new favorite tools in Illustrator and I think it's such an amazing tool. You can use it for a lot of things and it's really efficient and it's so much fun to use. If you haven't used it before, I can really recommend just experimenting and see what you can do with it, because it's a really useful tool. In my illustration, I'm making the snow on the trees smaller in this frame number two and I will make the snow a little bit bigger for each frame so that in the end it will match the original illustration. That would make it look like the snow actually falls on the trees. A little bit more natural than if we would just go from no snow to all snow if you know what I mean. Then I actually just continue with my other frames and I changed the position of the snowflakes for every frame, I change the stars, which ones are bright yellow and I change how much snow has fallen on the trees with the Puppet Warp tool. How many frames you need depends on how big of a difference you want to have from the start of your animation to the end of it. I usually make these really simple animations and usually I end up with something around five to seven frames. If you don't follow along with all this talk about frames right now, you don't need to worry. Just make these steps and you will see what I mean in the next lesson, where we will make the actual animation in Photoshop. If you're finished with your frames, let's move on to the next lesson where the actual magic is happening the animation in Photoshop. 5. Animate in Photoshop: We're finally making the animation of our cute little snow globe. This is actually a really simple thing to do with just a few super easy steps. Follow along, and before you know it, there will be snowfall in your snow globe. Let's open Photoshop and make a document that is the same size as the artboard in Illustrator. Mine is square, 1000 pixels wide and high. Then head over to Illustrator. Here, I just copy might first frame using Command C on my keyboard and paste it in Photoshop using Command V as a Smart Object. Continue to copy and paste your frames from illustrated to Photoshop until you have all of them in different layers in Photoshop, I have five frames, five layers. To make it easier to see which frame that is selected, I just renamed the layers in Photoshop to 1, 2, 3, 4, 5. I then hide all of the layers except Number 1, by clicking on the ice symbol. Then, I go to Window and click on timeline. This is the tool that lets us create our animation. It's a pretty cool tool. Click on Create frame animation because we have frames and that is what will make an animation of it. As you can see in the timeline window, you already have your first frame there down on the left. The timeline window works like this. The layers that you have selected and are showing in the layers panel will be included in that frame that you are showing in the timeline Window. In frame number one, you want your illustration Number 1. After that, we will add a new frame. You can just duplicate your frame by clicking on the documents symbol in the timeline window or go to new frame in the little menu. In the second frame, you want to hide Illustration Number 1 and show Number 2. Then we actually just continued duplicate the frame hide Number 2 show number three, and so on until you have five frames in the animation with your five versions of your illustration. When you have all five frames in the timeline Window, select the amount of seconds that you want this frame to be played. I'm choosing 0.2 seconds for every frame in this animation. There you have it. Click on the little play button and watch your snow globe illustrations turn into this animation. Pretty cool, isn't it? Now, I can check if everything looks good. For me, it does. I've done this a few times, so I know what to look for. But otherwise you can just head back to Illustrator to change some details until you're happy with your animation. That's actually all to it. Now, you made your own snow globe animation. Let's move on to the next lesson where we will export our animation so that you can use it for whatever you want. 6. Export the file: It's time to export the file and finish up our Christmas snow globe animation so that you can share it and use it. We will export in two different file formats, GIF and an MP4 file. If you're sharing your animation on, for example, Instagram, then you need a MP4 file. Let's start with the GIF. So go to export, save for web and choose GIF. Now, I usually don't mix around with these settings as I haven't really needed to do so. So I just choose GIF and hit save, name the file and now it's ready to use. When we export as MP4, which is a video format I want to share the animation on Instagram. The video needs to be at least three seconds long. So to make your animation three seconds, simply just select all your frames in the timeline window and hit the duplicate button. As my frames are 0.2 seconds, five frames will make 1 second. So I will duplicate my frames two times so that I have a total amount of 15 frames, which makes it three seconds long. Then I go to file, export and render video. Choose where I want to save the file. Make sure I have high-quality selected. Again, I usually don't need to change the settings here, so I just click render. There you have it. Your animation is finished and you have exported it as a GIF file and as an MP4. 7. Final thoughts: Okay, so here's my final snow globe animation. I would love to see yours, so make sure you share your projects on the project page. Now that you know how to make a Christmas snow globe animation, you can actually do the same method for any kind of simple animation. It doesn't need to be Christmas inspired. If you have any questions at all, please feel free to ask them on the community page. If you like my classes, you can hit the "Follow" button by my name here below to make sure that you don't miss when my next class is released. If you're sharing your animation on Instagram, feel free to tag me @majaronnbackdesign so I can see and maybe share what you create in class. I hope you enjoy this class. I would love to hear what you think. If you want to, you can leave a review here under review page. Thank you so much for watching and have fun creating your snow globes.