Making of….”Electric Car”

This is a making of “Electric Car” video that we created for They Might Be Giants.
A demo version of the song is used in the video up until the end of the 1st chorus.

They Might Be Giants -Electric Car : Making Of from Tiny Inventions on Vimeo.

Storyboard & Animatic

Storyboards were drawn on paper and animatic timing was worked out in Flash.


For this project, it was very important for us to use recycled materials.
Some of the beautiful papers were donated from Kazuko & The Maysles family.


The bulk of production was completed in a very busy month.


Paper puppets and crafted objects were under lit to accentuate the textures.
This also gave the materials a natural lightwrap.


Digital photographs were assembled in Photoshop.


Characters and environments were animated in After Effects.
The cars were originally crafted but they were reassembled in 3D space in After Effects.


Additional lighting and atmospheric elements were added to give a magical touch!

This is the youtube link for the video.

32 thoughts on “Making of….”Electric Car”

  1. mikae

    wow… that was amazing. really interesting to see the process and execution is so beautiful. i can tell how much you put efforts on this. good job! =)

  2. davidjtate

    What plugin are you guys using over there for the digital puppet animation? Or did you simply use parents and the Puppet Tool with fancy, designed-in-photoshop layers? Or is it a secret? 😉

  3. tinyru Post author

    Thanks everybody!

    It’s simply puppet tool and parenting, nothing so fancy. There is a bit of coding for the girl and he crab.
    Those colorful targets are there so it’s easier for animators to grab each section. Photoshop file is also pretty simple. (head, body, arms, legs, multiple hands, mouths and blinks)

  4. Tulio

    i loved! i like very much to see how these amazing stuff are made!
    what pluging is that? that you used to animate the characters in after effects…

  5. Jeanba

    Huge and nice work !
    You are really very humble on top of it.
    It’s must be tidious to rig so many characters !
    Did you experienced some crashes with AE Puppet tool?
    (I often find it unstable) I like this Michel Gondry inspired universe (it reminded me of Human Behaviour and Science Of Sleep) Like Davidjtate I was wondering were did you find the colored target … (I guess I look up in AE)

  6. tinyru Post author

    >Tulio & Jeanba
    Thanks so much!!
    We didn’t use any plug-ins.
    It’s a very simple parenting and puppet tool but all combined in a little unique way so that it’s easier to animate.
    The colored targets are simple shape layer.
    All puppet pints are parented to Nulls with those targets with expressions.
    I think Max is going to put a tutorial together at some point.

    We were very fortunate not to experience any crash!
    Some of the wide/pan scenes got crazy heavy with the 3D car and all the layers but other than that, no computer problem!

  7. Emily

    That was fantastic! Amazing! I’m sooooo glad and jealous to see great animation getting made out there. Can’t wait to see what’s next.

  8. Jeremy G

    wow, that is too cool. i’m so glad you guys shared this! it sometimes seems like AFX was born to crash… but you guys really pushed it for all its worth! beeeeeeeautiful!

  9. Pingback: No Fat Clips!!! : Electric Car: The Making Of

  10. Hee-young

    Ru sang!
    i’ve seen it before, but i had to c it again!
    knowing that i’ll b seeing u in less than 2 wks reminded me of your magnificent work. hehehe :)
    i actually showed this animation to my students n had them talk about it (in english of course). they loved it too!

  11. Pingback: ‘Electric Car’ // theHub Magazine

  12. Max

    Thanks, Dan! Congrats on all your great work as well- The BNY Mellon spot is terrific.
    I’m sure we’ll run into each other soon.

  13. Dee

    WOW!!!! U are guy are amazing… I HAVE never this kind of work. WOW!! I love ur work & site and YES thanks for sharing the tips. that is so kind of you
    peace D

  14. Pingback: » Electric Car

  15. OSCAR

    I´d like to know how is the car 3d made, is with 3d layers, i´ts an object 3d imported,. thankyoy very much, a very good job.

  16. Paola Walsh

    My spouse and I stumbled over here different page and thought I might as well check things out. I like what I see so now i’m following you. Look forward to exploring your web page yet again.


Leave a Reply to Jeanba Cancel reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *