Note: This is only an initial mock up..
I was briefed in on new project to create some Christmas trees that look like they are pealing out the page for an e-card.
This is what I did:
I created a spline in the shape of a xmas tree, then extruded it. I added a sub divide modifier so when the xmas tree bends it looks smooth and not made up of big polygons. I then added the bend modifier and animated the various properties until I got the desired look. I took a clone of the trees and used them to boolean out a hole in a plane. I put a orange coloured plane under the scene. I then set up the camera and lighting. Then rendered it out at 10fps (because its a gif and a high frame rate would mean big file size) and imported it into AE. In AE I animated the Logo and text transition. I then rendered it out from AE as a Quicktime file. I imported the video in to Photoshop where you can use the ‘Save for web & devices’ feature to save it out as a animated gif.
And there you have it a quick run down of how to create a animated gif. I’m really pleased that I now know this process because this technique can be used quite a lot in the web world.