How to make an AR card without spending endless hours creating content? Maybe some of you think that it is not that simple.. and you wouldn’t be wrong if you didn’t know some handy tools that do almost all the designing for you!

Want to know how to make an AR Christmas card without spending a whole day designing and animating? Then you have found the right place—keep on reading!

Designing the card

First things first—you have to figure out the dimensions of the card. In this tutorial we’ll be using Canva to create the designs. You can just choose one of the card dimensions that Canva offers or create a custom size. If you are planning to print the card out in a local printing service, we recommend checking with them if they don’t have size limitations. If they do, keep in mind that you have to use their custom size format. Don’t worry—Canva still offers templates for custom sizes.

 

Now to the creative part—creating the design. Using a template to create the design will save a lot of time. And lucky for us—there are a lot of them. Just remember to personalise the templates and make it unique. But before you start designing, check out our previous post How to create an augmented reality marker for tips on how to make the design easily recognisable by AR.

 

Don’t forget to also design the inside of the card and add instructions on what to do to experience the surprise. Instruction styling tips and assets can be found in the post How to download Overly app: copy-and-paste instructions for your projects.

Create the card design with templates. Add instructions in the back.

Card with animated graphics

If you have chosen to add animated graphics to your card, then don’t close your Canva tab just yet. Canva provides a ton of animated graphic elements to choose from—just pick and add the ones you like. You can also add videos or static graphic elements with default animations.

 

Once you are done, you can choose the file format to export the design file with the animations in—video format (.mp4) or GIF file format. If you have added sound effects to your animations, then you have to export the design file in video format. When exporting the video file, check if the end file matches these requirements—the file size doesn’t exceed 300 mb and the dimensions of the video doesn’t exceed 1920 px on any side.

Steps

1. Get Overly app for mobile

2. Scan this image with the Overly app

3. Experience magic

Scan this image with the free Overly app

Card with animated video

If you are weighing more to the thought of creating an animated video greeting, then this example might be for you. You can continue using Canva for creating the video also, but for this we want to put another platform in the spotlight. For creating the AR video we used FlexClip. FlexClip provides multiple video and presentation templates with placeholders and animations and all you have to do is personalise the content!

 

For this card example we chose a 9:16 video template and also created a custom card size to match the video aspect ratio. FlexClip templates are a great solution for quick video creation because they offer multiple and different pages and you can choose which ones to keep. Also customisation couldn’t be easier—just pick content from their stock or upload something of your own and replace the animated placeholder in the template. And if you still want to customise some of the animations then don’t worry, you can add custom animations to the template elements.

 

For this example we created an image with a transparent background to use with the template. Here we used the iOS 16 image cutout feature—the easiest way to remove the background in an image. You can watch a short tutorial on how to do it on Hardreset.Info channel: How to Crop Item from Picture on iOS 16?

Steps

1. Get Overly app for mobile

2. Scan this image with the Overly app

3. Experience magic

Scan this image with the free Overly app

Card with personal video

Lastly, if you are looking for a Christmas card idea that makes photos come to life—this idea could fit just right. Here we won’t search for content in pre-made assets but in our camera roll. Now that it’s December, your camera roll probably is filled with images and videos with memories of the year. And if not—no reason to panic, December isn’t too late to start making those.

 

First step is to find the video. You can edit the video before hand or upload the chosen video straight to Canva. The next step is to find a photo to add in the card design. A great way to match the photo with the video is to use a still-frame from the video as the photo. But if you are not very familiar with video converting or just none of the video frames look flattering, then a regular picture will also work.

 

Then the next step is to crop and align the video with the image to make the illusion that the image comes to life in AR. In our example we used the photo as the first frame of the video so we cropped and aligned the video 1:1 with the picture in the design.

Steps

1. Get Overly app for mobile

2. Scan this image with the Overly app

3. Experience magic

Scan this image with the free Overly app

In all of these examples we created animations and videos without alpha channel and keeping the Christmas card design as the background. But if you are interested in creating more advanced AR experiences, we can suggest you to give these posts a read:

 

Do you have any more quick augmented reality ideas you’d like to add? Leave a comment or Contact us to share your holiday season projects and thoughts.

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