An Ae Shape layer will lend itself well to animate a geometric dendrite. Of which, the most recognizable dendrite would be a snowflake.
an animated snowflake using shape layers and different modifiers.
Here, Sergei walks through how Mikhail created his geometric dendrite snowflake using shape layers in After Effects, along with the popular Ae Plugin, Trapcode 3D Stroke.
There are a great many Russian tutorials out there — Most of which, if you don’t speak the language with be lost. Ukramedia’s Sergei Prokhnevskiy, partnering with his Russian friends over at VideoSmile.ru, has translated a Russian tutorial into english.
The first translation comes to use from Mikhail Bychkov, who originally authored geometric dendrite snowflake tutorial. Mikhail Bychkov is a motion graphics designer based out of Moscow, Russia.
You can download the After Effects project file to follow along here.