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With a team of dedicated artist, we worked over a two month period to create Ink. This also included coordinating with an interactive team in New York, and the band in both L.A. and London, to bring this experience to life.
Creating a cohesive story across an interactive experience was quite the task on this project. The most challenging part of all of this was figuring out how to fully take advantage of the interactive medium. I had to create a story with inherently interesting choices to make, engaging viewers to wonder, “what would happen if I chose something else?” The ideation process began with loose post-it note sketches, and evolved into a tightly organized story matrix of frames, outlining all of the possible paths the viewer can take. This served as the road map for the entire experience.
Once our road map was clear, I worked with a team of designers, illustrators, and animators to giving Ink its visual aesthetic. To immerse viewers into the experience, we illustrated rich open landscapes to explore, and used a vibrant color palette to reflect the full range of emotions our character goes through.
Our characters, who we nicknamed “Ulysses” and “Penelope” after Homer’s Odyessy, went through several iterations before we landed on a design that was sophisticated and would work well in animation. Our team used a combination of robust 2D character rigs out of After Effects, and custom cel animation to bring Ulysses and Penelope to life.
To achieve a streamlined experience, we consulted interactive specialist Interlude, known for their amazing work on Bob Dylan’s “Like a Rolling Stone”. We utilized Interlude’s Treehouse platform to create the interactivity of the video. Treehouse worked seamlessly in our pipeline. Early in the process, we were able to have a live interactive edit, allowing us to and test and refine the user experience along the way.
To drive the narrative of the video, we had to create buttons that navigated viewers through the experience. The design challenge was to create integrated buttons that were an elegant balance of both aesthetic and function.
It’s no secret that I'm a huge fan of Coldplay, so the opportunity to collaborate with them was something I couldn’t pass up.
When I presented the initial ideas to Coldplay, there was an instant connection between us. With Coldplay’s blessing, I pretty much had creative freedom to craft the visuals that would depict the story of Ink. It’s an amazing yet terrifying feeling to have such high-caliber artists trust you completely to bring their song to life. I even got to meet them– great group of guys!
It’s clear from the the amazing response to the video from fans, blogs, and most importantly the band, that we’ve created something memorable and meaningful. I'm excited about my role in developing the landscape of how users of all kinds, consume and interact with the content they love. Wouldn't mind working with Coldplay again, that's for sure.