Case Studies

Collaborating with clients as a remote motion designer

Karen Mc Guinness
Karen Mc Guinness, Customer Success Specialist
5 min read
5 min read

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Marc Eijkelenboom is a freelance motion designer from the Netherlands. He works primarily with 2D and 3D animation and has collaborated with a wide range of clients including IBM, Rabobank and Network Rail.

Due to the nature of his work, collaborating with clients is an integral part of Marc’s creative process. He spoke to us about how Boords has helped improve his workflow in his one-person creative company.

“Storyboarding is an essential part of my process. It’s a great way of getting on the same page as the client I’m working with.

Storyboarding on the go

As a freelance motion designer, Marc works remotely and is often based in different parts of the world. The accessibility that Boords offers suits his nomadic lifestyle perfectly and means that he can stay connected while on the move.

"Anything that’s web-based makes my day-to-day easier.

Board 6 A sample storyboard from Marc

For Marc, Boords acts as a communication tool between himself and his clients. It ensures that both sides are on the same page about what to expect as a project moves towards production.

Storyboarding is the best way to start communicating about the direction to take the animation in.

Marc generally begins a storyboard by sketching his images in either Photoshop or Illustrator. He then uploads these images to Boords alongside the action and voiceover notes. At this point, the sketched storyboard is ready to pass over to his client for the first round of feedback. After reviewing the comments left via the shareable link, Marc usually creates a second version of the storyboard and makes adjustments based on the feedback that he’s just received. Typically this involves adding, removing or re-ordering frames, and editing his sketches. The conversation tends to go back and forth a few times until they eventually settle on a final storyboard.

Client collaboration

Before discovering Boords, Marc had been on the hunt for an online storyboarding tool made with animators in mind. As he works primarily on client projects, he needed a simple way to make changes to his work and keep track of feedback.

Board 3 A sample storyboard from Marc

He used to create storyboards in InDesign but found that he was having considerable challenges with this approach. Editing and re-arranging frames were particularly difficult to manage.

“With InDesign, it’s difficult to change the order and edit the individual frames.

Each time a client would suggest re-ordering a frame, Marc had to manually re-number all of the following frames as well. This, he says, was “a real pain” and meant that he was spending far too much time simply organizing his storyboards.

Keeping up with client feedback was also problematic for Marc. Some people would send their comments to him by email, while others would leave their feedback on the PDF. When multiple storyboard versions were thrown into the mix, this was a nightmare to manage! He needed a solution that would keep all of his notes together in one, central place.

Effortless editing

Now that he uses Boords to present storyboards to clients, Marc has found that his whole collaborative process is a lot more streamlined.

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Iterations run smoother as he can quickly make adjustments to the frames, based on the feedback that he’s received. He no longer spends valuable time on finicky tasks, like editing frame numbers. Having the ability to effortlessly re-order frames is what Marc notes as his favourite feature in the app.

“ You can just drag frames around and the numbering changes automatically.

Having comments attached to specific frames also helps make the revision process a lot less complicated.

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Marc recently collaborated with New York based consultancy agency, August to create a series of six explainer videos. During this project, Boords helped to establish a solid foundation for the videos to be built, which in turn helped simplify the pre-production phase significantly.

“Having all the boards organized in one place and being able to quickly go back and forth between different versions was a huge help.

Karen Mc Guinness
About the Author

Karen Mc Guinness is a Customer Success Specialist at Boords. Originally from Ireland, she currently works from sunny Greece.