About Studio Flatland
Studio Flatland is a collective of artists and designers specializing in animation, post-production and motion graphics. We enjoy creating unique storytelling and visual experiences for companies and business brands.
Studio Flatland takes a unique, tailored approach to each project using whatever techniques and media will craft the most engaging world. Skilled in many dimensions of animation, the Studio Flatland team brings together video, audio, 3d, motion graphics and 2d traditional character animation into one vision.
As a company, we rely on media sharing for two specific purposes: project workflow and proposals. From email to Hightail, Dropbox and Box.net, plus custom webpages and lots and lots of links, at Flatland Creative, we’ve tried a variety of solutions.
During project workflow, we needed to share files frequently. Since we do a lot of character animation work, projects require numerous updates as a piece goes through design, storyboarding, timing, sound and animation, so we created folders and subfolders in Dropbox.
Since we also have a background in digital advertising, we often would be asked to create derivative content such as interactive material or animated web ads. Problem was, that this content could not be viewed from Dropbox or a computer desktop without the creation of a webpage where the material could be posted.
In addition for proposals, we would frequently need to send hand-selected samples to potential clients. If they wanted to see certain styles of character animation, of course we wanted to send them samples that were most relevant. Also, if they were interested in our broad range of services, like post production or motion graphics, we wouldn’t want to distract them with our many cartoon examples. This required emailing a list of links to our prospects or even editing together a custom sizzle reel per proposal = time consuming to say the least! Not only that but the video would then need to be Ftp’d in order to share it.
The problems were plentiful. Dropbox and Box.net lead to an array of issues. Streaming previews on Dropbox was often poor in quality. File times could lead to the inability to stream. Often, clients would need to download material in order to view it properly, which lead to difficulties in sharing content with larger groups of people, as well as the inability to view on mobile devices. Since many of our clients were on the go, a mobile compatible solution was desperately needed.
Webpages that hosted our digital content samples experienced other issues. Browsers often wouldn’t refresh content. This required brand new webpages to be created for each stage of development and each round of revisions to ensure that our clients were seeing the newest versions. Again, a huge resource and time issue.
Recently, a highly valued client praised our decision to switch to Simian. The project we worked on consisted of multiple videos that included educational content that required input from her internal team. With Simian, she was not only able to view updates easily on her phone, but we were also able to rapidly set up a project microsite that enabled her entire team to view the collection of videos and provide feedback on the spot.
Simian's mobile compatibility has been better than expected. I am one of the few people on the planet with a Windows Phone. Simian works seamlessly, even on this often neglected platform.
In addition, flash content can be uploaded like any other video. The Simian link embeds the SWF file perfectly, thereby allowing for full preview of the animation and interactivity. Simply uploading numerous files and sharing the folder instantly, has taken the place of the need to constantly create updated, custom web pages.
Another wonderful benefit is the analytics. In the past, we’d need to follow up with a client to make sure they had seen the latest update. Often times they had viewed it, but had not yet compiled feedback. With Simian, you can immediately see that have received and viewed the material. No more "did you see it?" emails needed!
Lastly for proposals, we are able to quickly grab related content into a custom reel. The creative on a Simian generated, interactive demo reel looks far more professional than sending a list of links and faster than editing a custom sizzle reel. Simian is so simple to use, my animation rep can even put together custom reels herself, without my help. This adds back valuable time to my day.
Simian enables us to better present our proposals and in-progress projects to our clients with less effort and less turn around time. Winning over clients is not only about the quality of your work – but also about the quality of the service you offer. Simian makes our service faster, easier and better not only for us – but for our clients as well.
Our clients have used our Simian microsites to share multi-video campaigns with internal teams for collaboration. Our agency clients forward our Simian presentation to their clients for review and approval, making Simian a winning solution for all involved.
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