December 23, 2023 : Digital Candy Cane Breakdown

I really liked how the candy canes turned out in this year’s Holiday card. It took a few steps to get to the end result so I figured I’d share the progression:

Digital Candy Cane Design in After Effects

I ended up using After Effects – technically, the base shapes were done in Illustrator when I was creating the card’s general layout, but this could have easily been done in AE as well. I’m sure Photoshop would have been just as capable, but I used a fair amount of mattes, masks, and blending modes; and I am more comfortable doing that in AE.

Originally, I was planning on going with a more illustrative look so I could have easily stopped at #3 or #4; but as I kept working through things, I liked the realistic look more and more. The shadows/highlights really helped achieve the look I wanted, but I think the unsung hero that really sold it was the noise layer.

posted by Pi Visuals at 12:34 am

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December 15, 2023 : Tis’ the Season – For Digital Candy Canes

Another year, another Holiday Card. For those keeping track, this is the seventh year I made one with/for the family. Here’s number 7:

Digital Candy Cane Design

Every time it seems like a rush job; but by keeping things simple, I feel it was pretty manageable this year. As always, there are a few things I would have liked to tweak a little more, but overall I’m pleased with the end result.

I’m a big fan of the candy canes, which were created in After Effects. In fact, the whole card was done in AE (with a splash of Illustrator) versus using Photoshop. This was mostly due to my comfort level with the software, as I’m sure it could have been done easily in PS. I plan on writing up a quick post describing the steps. It wasn’t too complicated but there were a series of layered effects, which gave a solid look.

posted by Pi Visuals at 12:04 am

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