I've been working on this for the past day and it's my first time ever using after effects. I'm a little over ambitious sometimes and I really wanted to make this work so I might have jumped into Jake's other class to learn how to rig a character and I used that brief knowledge to make this cabin character come to life and complete the scene.
This was tough because I wanted each tree to have a little different way of animating. You'll notice some appear from the stems and some drop down from the sky where I used a an opacity keyframe and the positioning frames. Because this is nature and nothing is static I figured out a little wiggle motion to make the trees sway, and I warped the smoke a bit after it comes out of the chimney. Jake, you will probably shake your head at all my mistakes and long way around simple things but I achieved the effect I wanted so I'm happy! Hope you guys enjoy.
I had some trouble lining up the cabin and the mountain once it jumped up. Is there any way to compose a animation in one tab and have the background layer almost transparent so I can line it up? The way I did it was I made the mountain and trees animate first, then I went and made the cabin/character animation and put it on the top layer.