11. Switching on the lights - The neon sign is now darkened using Curves (Effect>Color Correction>Curves). Move the playback head to the beginning and set the curve to be flat then at the moment the action switches it on select the neon layer and select Edit>Split Layer. The layer is split and moved to a new layer. Remove the Curve effect from this new layer.


12. Animating the lighting - From the Effect menu choose Generate>Vegas. There is a wealth of parameters to explore here but a good initial setting would be Segments: 6;Length: 1; and choose a contrasting colour. Switch on the rotation keyframe in the Vegas Effect at the beginning of the split layer then go to the end and change the rotation settings to: 4X +45°.


13. Adding the Snow - After Effects now ships with CC Snow but we are going to customize our snow.  Create a very small snowflake in Photoshop on a transparent background and import it as footage. Place it on the timeline. From the layer menu select New Solid, then from the Effect menu choose Simulation>Particle Playground.


14. Controlling the snow - In the effects control palette open the Cannon controls, set the position to 321, –150 (puts the emitter off screen) and the barrel radius to 320. Open the layer map and in the Use Layer menu, select the snow layer.

Finally the project must be turned into a movie. Select Composition>Make Movies. Press Render and have a mince pie.