Behind the scenes: Christmas card 2020

As is Mindful Education Christmas tradition, we are delighted to present our 2020 animated Christmas card. Produced by our talented in-house Creative team, this year’s version is a twist on an old classic – The 12 Days of Christmas.

A huge amount of collaboration and hard work went into making our Christmas card idea come to life. See below the step-by-step process of how the Creative team made the Christmas card come to life.

Before the final theme was decided on, the Creative team gathered virtually for a number of sessions to pitch and discuss ideas.



The team first hand drew some of their ideas for the card, before getting into the animation.


With the decision to go with a twist on ‘The 12 Days of Christmas’, the next step was for the Creative team to get to work on the storyboard. They thought of scenarios we’ve all experienced in the past year, and quickly sketched each up, so we could see how it would all work together. We then put each sketch in a timed sequence with a temporary song, so we could see how long each scene should be.










In the final animation, you will notice each style of animation is slightly different, this is because each member of the Creative team was asked to animate a different frame in any style they would like, as long as they focussed on using a blue colour palette. Using the same colour palette allowed the Mindful brand to shine through in each frame and create synergy from one frame to the next.



Most of the team animated their scenes in After Effects, a program not too different from Photoshop, but for moving images. Above you can see a work in progress from ‘Eleven Cheeky Takeouts’, with each of the items on the table drawn individually, and placed on the timeline in After Effects.



To make the animation come to life, each animator used different layers to (you can see above a demonstration of how this works. You’ll see that each moving part has been assigned a different colour, as this makes it easier for the animator to distinguish all the parts from each other during the animation process. They are coloured according to the colour scheme in the final video so you can’t tell they are all separate parts



This image shows a behind the scenes look at ‘Three Banana Breads’, which was hand drawn. We used frame-by-frame animation here, similar to old cartoons, where every frame of the animation (in this case there were 12 frames for each second of animation) was drawn from scratch.


We knew pretty quickly that we needed to add some music, the 12 Days of Christmas is a classic after all! Callum, a Junior Motion Graphics Designer, quickly got to work putting his musical and technical skills to work and created our very own version of the song.



Above, the picture shows the final step in creating the full video, the timeline in After Effects for the master file that composites everyone’s work together. To create the final video, each of the individual clips had to be put together, mixing in the music, and adding in the opening and closing scenes.



On behalf of everyone at Mindful Education, we wish you happy holidays and a prosperous 2021!


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