Jordan JS

Digital Production Artist w/Animation Focus



Dib's House (Science-Obsessed Kid)

1.) Concept

I got the idea to recreate the house that Dib - from the show Invade Zim - lives in. Dib has a gifted scientific mind and the design of the house reflects this hi-tech mindset. It's also booby-trapped to deter his nemesis, Zim, from infiltrating his home. I love this character, and by extension, his house, so this would be my dream home. 

Reference images:



2.) Design, Part 1: Building in Flash and Illustrator

I decided to start the drawing process in Flash, as I'm more familiar with that software than illustrator. It was a bit difficult exporting raw vector lines into Illustrator and keeping my objects preserved, so I stayed in Flash when applying color. The upshot of this was that I was able to have more control of the color using filters and tints in Flash. Overall, it just feels faster to me.

Line Art:


Original Color:


Improved Color:


There was a downside to this though: Illustrator won't import SVG's (the only format I was able to use) with filters applied, so... I just screenshotted my improved-color house and made a version of it without ANY filters applied. Then I used the eyedropper tool to reapply my fills and gradients. Whew!

3.) Design, Part 2: Getting it Into After Effects

After seeing all of the tutorials, I thought it would be best to avoid bringing in repeated elements into my AE file, so I made a version of my Illustrator file with all of that stuff deleted. Then, after some tooling around, I found that you can actually bypass the cutting and pasting into individual shape layers in After Effects by having everything already in layers in Illustrator. "Sweet!" The only thing is, even though my Illustrator objects were in groups, groups does not equal layers, so I still had a lot of layer sorting to do, haha. 


4.) Animation Test in After Effects

I did the animation/graph editor exercises just to familiarize myself with everything. I just used the door element form Jake's tutorial and a little something I drew in Illustrator. Here's that:


5.) Working in After Effects.

This is where I'm at now. I've got all my preComps sorted out and am just in the process of doing some basic animation. I'm still not entirely sure how I want it to look, but I have a general idea.


6.) The Animation

After many hours, I've finally finished my animation! I enjoyed working on this and will probably be making a few edits soon. One thing I'm already noticing is that it takes too long for the lightning rods to appear, which is lenghtening the animation, which caused me to render the gif at a pretty small resolution in order to be under 2.1 MB.

I'll be saving this optimization work for another day though.


I couldn't help myself and uploaded a slightly better quality version to imgr too. The colors are still not perfect fue to the limitations of the GIF format.

Dib's House - Higher Res


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