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Project: Mombi - 30s Explainer

What goes into an explainer video, start to finish? I had the privilege of finding the answer to this question after completing this 30-second explainer project inspired by School of Motion’s Visual Essay Production (Explainer Camp).


Creative Direction, Illustration, Design, Animation, and Sound by: Todd Egan

01: The Brief 

Mombi - a fictitious tech company offering an array of IoT services, akin to Google, in a parallel universe. Their motto is ‘Making the Miraculous Ordinary’, advocating a safe, friendly, and confident internet brand that cares about data security and privacy. Mombi typography, brand colors, mission, project requirements, and script were provided. 

Visual Script_Mombi.png

02: Concept 

The visual script becomes the basis for a more formal treatment and is presented to the client during the pitch for review and discussion, and the key informer to the discovery phase for visual research, moodboards!

Click to enlarge.

Animation Concept Description

03: Moodboards

The branding style is minimal, geometric, and simple with abstract visuals. Pinterest serves as a collection depot to gather similar visual styles together not only as an inspirational launch pad to hatch ideas from but also to present to the client in kitted idea groups or 'brackets' of different illustrative options: 1-Safe, 2-Literal, 3-Abstract. In this example,  I want to provide the client with three style types for their narrative while keeping on par with their brand style such as color palette, line quality, etc.). Generally, I will have a personal favorite but pitch the pros and cons of each style, excited about developing whichever option the client chooses.

Click to enlarge.

04: Storyboards

Every idea starts with pencil and paper. After exploring a few variations of thumbnails keeping the perspective of scene cuts, complexity, and clarity in mind, they are digitized into what will eventually become the assets used in the final animation. Using black & White helps keep the focus on the content.

Click to enlarge.

05: Voice-over

As this project requires a spoken script, a temporary voice-over track was composed to be included in the forthcoming stages of project development and review, necessary not only for timing animation,  transitions, and SFX design but to augment the insight of the final output for the client this stage of review. I had the advantage of utilizing at-home recording equipment. to give the client an idea of the final output before commissioning a voice-over artist (when allocated.)Adherence to a basic voice-over workflow (i.e. vocal warm-ups, reciting script lines in triplicate with varying expressions, editing the best takes for cadence, tone, and timing.) This is to give the client an idea of the final output before commissioning a voice-over artist (when allocated.)

  • Microphone - Shure SM58 + Pop Filter

  • Interface - Scarlett 2i4

  • Software - Garageband, Adobe Premiere

Mombi Scratch VO v1Todd Egan
00:00 / 02:15

06: Animatic

The storyboard sketches are recreated digitally in Illustrator, the next step in solidifying the visuals and frames for the animatic. 

The voiceover (scratch) is still composed with professional techniques i.e. appropriate recording equipment, multiple takes, and editing the best takes for voice cadence, tone, and timing. This is to give the client an idea of the final output before commissioning a voice-over artist (when allocated.)

07: Design

Color and style time. After the storyboards and animatic are approved, the frames are fully realized in brand colors, textures, etc. This provides an opportunity to not only get a closer idea of the final deliverable but also solicit feedback for any style changes. fully fleshed-out frames in color specs and transition development that will most closely resemble the potential final delivery, as well as the basis for the next stage, the boardimatic.

08: Boardimatic

An animatic with an upgrade. The boardimatic, created from the design boards, provides a closer rendition to the final output for client review and input, and the opportunity to make design changes before the animation stage. In addition, the music track and other sound design is inserted into this render offering a more cohesive preview of the full narrative experience, as well as feedback for sound revisions and its timing.

09: Final Delivery

Once the boardimatic is approved and any last-minute changes are implemented, the final animation stage brings everything together. I want to thank Vanvelvet for her skilled guidance. I am thrilled with how this turned out. Feel free to check out my other work. If you are interested in an animated video, please don't hesitate to contact me.

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