Inlet connects companies to their customers via a proprietary network of partner destinations, reaching 6,500 financial institutions and 150 million customers nationwide. Companies can send bills, statements, and marketing communications to their customers at any of the destinations on the Inlet network.
Simple Story contacted me to collaborate on an explainer video for Inlet's eBill distribution. The project aimed to introduce how Inlet increases customer engagement, paperless adoption rates, lowers costs and enables faster payments.
I worked together with Gabe and Sarah to develop an illustrated storyboard for the motion graphics.
As I've never worked on a motion graphics storyboard before I was really excited to learn new stuff. Maybe a bit too excited as later on it turned out I would need to overcome challenges and personal struggles in order to deliver everything as promised.
Long story short, I took the project just before the Easter holidays, followed by a planned trip to visit friends, thinking foolishly that I have some kind of superpowers and I can handle my personal life and my work in a perfect harmony. Of course, that resulted in squeezing every free second to work on the project.
Even though it wasn't the perfect Eastern I learned a lot from taking the challenge, both as an illustrator and as a person.
Chatting with Gabe on the project kick-off call, I found out they were already working on it for a few weeks. Inlet's team wasn't convinced in the initial idea to use realistic visuals with animated design mock-ups and they wanted to try illustrating a story.
When I joined the project, the client had already approved the new script. The team has explored different styles and gave me clear art direction.
I created a list of all the frames, to get an idea of the scope of the project and how much time I would need.
Even though Sarah has already set the environment style, the characters were missing. Before going forward with the storyboard we needed to develop and agree on how the main heroine would look like.
Once we figured out the characters style, I went ahead and sketched rough thumbnails of all the frames and secondary characters.
This was all about pen tooling and coloring the storyboard, bringing the new characters to life and organizing the files.
Working with another illustrator and an art director was valuable when it came to spotting potential blockers, such as misalignments in style or overcomplicated objects that weren't working well for animation.
This helped me learn a lot about the "to do" and "don't" about motion storyboarding.
At work as in life, you can't rely "the other side" to agree with you on every decision. You need to step into their shoes, overcome your ego and think of the working solution.
For this project it meant, agreeing with Inlet's team on using their example bill designs and UI screens, even though they looked outdated. The video was targeting people who already were familiar with it and a complete visual update would be confusing.
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If you're looking to join forces with an illustrator, I'd be happy to hear more about your goals.