Elara Systems began life as an agency with a vision to change how companies use creative mediums – and since 2000, the California-based firm has racked up an enviable list of clients. Companies including General Electric, Philips, GlaxoSmithKline, and Siemens have all relied on Elara Systems to produce content such as 3D animation, virtual reality experiences, and immersive interactive tools used for teaching, training, marketing, and sales.
The company’s work must be seen to be believed—but it also must be seen to be reviewed by its clients, who are based all around the world. That’s why Elara Systems relies on Cospective’s web-based review tool Frankie, which provides the kind of visual feedback needed to meet and exceed clients’ demands and produce exceptional content across numerous industries.
Key to collaboration
“We have an eye for technology, and we have a tenacity that ultimately leads to a strong foundation of clients,” asserts Corey Adams, project manager for Elara Systems. “Our founders, Bob Dyce and Cameron Grant, have a passion for creative excellence and detailed accuracy. That quickly positioned us as a leader within the medical device, pharmaceutical, and industrial animation markets.”
Elara Systems has established itself as a go-to company for 3D animations in a wide array of fields. Whether it’s animating human organs, viruses, medical tools, industrial machines, or interactive training exercises, Elara fits the bill. In recent years, the company has expanded extensively into virtual and augmented reality, delivering immersive content for trade shows, the medical industry, and more.
“We found ourselves at the forefront of this new creative segment using art and advanced technology. We’ve worked hard to enjoy an exceptional reputation with our clients, and I believe that we are recognized as a leader within the industry,” says Adams. “We’ve developed in size and scope, and we excel at everything from the nimblest of tasks to strategically partnering with Fortune 500 companies—all in an effort to bring the most innovative and creative ideas to marketing and product development and training.”
Whatever the company produces, it’s visual in nature—and that work must be seen in intricate detail by clients, who need to be able to provide clear, actionable feedback and notes even if they are half a world away. That’s where Frankie comes in. Elara Systems has been using the tool for years, and relies on it throughout each project to stay in sync with remote clients.
“Frankie is an essential tool for Elara Systems because it allows us to view visual materials with clients in real time. Being able to have a collaborative relationship with the client is critical for our production process,” Adams explains. “It allows us to accurately capture client feedback, concerns, goals, and ideas—and at that center of that collaborative relationship, that collaborative interaction, is Frankie.”
Frankie comes in early in each collaboration at Elara Systems. From the initial client meetings, when working through reference materials or scripts, they’ll use a Frankie session to discuss the goals and planned work ahead. Each step along the way, from storyboarding to animatics and final delivery, it’s all done through Frankie.
“We’re always using Frankie to review visual materials with the client. It gives us the ability to run through that content and take notes that everyone can see in real time,” says Adams. “Not having a visual review tool like Frankie is similar to a music producer trying to edit a song without being able to listen to it. Frankie makes sense on a lot of levels, and is very intuitive. It is an essential tool for us.”
With clients in the United States, Europe, China and elsewhere, a visual tool like Frankie can also help bridge language gaps, allowing clients to draw right on top of an image, highlight areas of interest, and leave actionable notes along the way. “You don’t necessarily need to type in comments when you can draw and mark up the boards and the animation in such a way that you don’t have to have the same linguistic skills,” he adds.
Many of Elara’s clients encounter Frankie for the first time during their review sessions, and while there may be a few moments of getting used to the interface and real-time nature of the tool, Adams says that they quickly get a hang of the experience. Some have even become evangelists for the tool when it comes to working with other vendors.
“Once they come to that understanding, it’s like a light bulb moment! Like, ‘Oh wow, this is really cool. You mean I can make these marks and comments and review this in real-time?” Adams recalls. “It’s not long before our clients are very much onboard and really in tune with the impact that the software has on our ability to communicate and review material together.”
Elara Systems enjoys the Presentation mode feature in Frankie PRO, which allows them more control over delivering storyboards and pitching ideas at their desired pace. They also find the PDF summaries to be immensely helpful, especially in cases in which they leave a session open for days for various client employees to enter feedback. Once that’s all done, Elara can simply print out a copy and distribute it to the team, ensuring that everyone has a handy overview of everything that’s been sent.
“It’s just such an easy and intuitive tool to use, and it summarizes all of the feedback for us, frame by frame and shot by shot,” says Adams. “That’s absolutely critical for us.”
Nearly two decades into its life as a company, Elara Systems is evolving and expanding. Virtual reality, in particular, offers exciting new frontiers to explore—and that’s something that is sure to expand in scope and possibility in the coming years.
Whatever visual medium Elara Systems does its work in, the company can rest assured knowing that Frankie’s accessible and easy-to-use platform will help them stay in sync with their myriad clients. It’s a key part of their pipeline, utilized every step of the way to ensure that each collaboration delivers the desired results. It’s helped make Elara such a successful, multifaceted firm, and one that is positioned to carry on that momentum well into the future.
“Whether it’s with virtual reality, 3D animation and illustration, or video production, Frankie is a great and powerful tool that allows us to better collaborate with our clients and capture their feedback,” Adams affirms. “In the end, it means that we are providing them with the best product we possibly can, and that we are capturing their business goals and iterating on that.”