Since the pandemic, the food delivery apps have been a saviour as they delivered not just food but groceries too. And Swiggy Instamart became one such app which helped one pick up groceries in one click without any struggle of going to the market. The app made use of fun illustrated artworks which guides users right from placing orders to the checkout process; and these artworks were done by artist Soumyadipta Roy.
The graphics at the instamart are fun but simple which tells the story to the customer how Swiggy is working behind delivering the item. In conversation with Animation Xpress, Roy expressed, “Interesting part was that the graphics had to be hyper simplistic and they had to look sweet and very relatable, but it also had to show what Swiggy was doing on their end to register and bring the package to the customer. This was going to be on the forefront of the app so I had to be very diligent with things I do. For example, characters on the screen had to have masks to make sure that the illustration encouraged covid protocols, or let’s say how the packaging was being handed over so it reaches the customer safely. These are some important things that I had to keep in mind while presenting it in that fruity graphics style. Everything you see there, took me a few weeks to do with Vinay and the team at Swiggy Instamart.”
He got this opportunity as his acquaintance and his senior Vinay Prasad mentioned it during a telephonic conversation. For Roy it was quite exciting as graphics were destined to be at the fore-front of the Swiggy Instamart app. Because of that he realized that they had to be very involved and treat it the way it deserved. Prasad introduced Roy to the team at Swiggy whom he was working with, and in no time their ideas started working together in the meeting and Roy was brought on board.
Swiggy manager VFX Vinay Prasad shared the testimonial end of the collaboration, “Heading a VFX team in a food tech platform is quite challenging in its own ways. We wanted to solve the time perception for users in post order screen. Roy being a very old friend and having seen his work over a decade, I approached him on a freelance basis to create engaging illustrations for Instamart stakeholders. I had a clear sense of direction and wanted highly skilled hands to deliver a result which would be accepted by Swiggy users. And he did with ease using his great draftsmanship skills and today million of users interact daily on the post order screen. Great work Roy. Thanks for your timely support.”
According to Roy the experience was quite fun. During the brainstorming session, their team was going back and forth, working on multiple ideas, finding the right style, the right choreography, character looks, colours needed to be synchronized to bring the graphics to life. He added, “Since it had to be animated, all the parts of the illustration – the head, neck, shoulders, hands, eyes, mouth – everything had to be separated from each other because they needed to move independently while animating. Vinay and I have a good working chemistry for years now, and it’s always a pleasure to work with him and this time with his team as well. Vinay was responsible for checking how the graphics were coming out. And I am happy that he was the one on this because I know how much he cares about what he does, and the wizard ideas that he brings on the table.”
The entire process took about a few weeks. Prasad and Roy were constantly combining their ideas together. Roy continued, “We had choreography to frame, poses to think of, camera language, facial expression, colours, and then marrying all together in a simplistic fashion. So the chances of creative differences and conflicts in this was very high. And I’d like to say Vinay was very nice to work with. He brought so many interesting ideas to the table and was also so respectful about my ideas, which felt so productive that things kind of worked out very smoothly. I think every week was just a successful one because at the end of the week we were quite happy about things we did.”
One of the biggest challenges he faced was when all of the illustrations, despite being separate parts, had to still look like one piece and needed to look very fruity and smooth. Since customers would be seeing them therefore the smallest of things made a huge difference for him and the team. He continued to explain, “When the hands, upper arm, forearm, shoulders, are drawn separately, there is a high chance that it would leave behind odd looking joints that show up in animation. And that was non-negotiable for me. I prefer to be diligent. I remember making quite a few drafts to literally engineer those joints in a way that even when animating it still looks smooth and pretty. These are the parts that mostly get overlooked by people, but if we don’t take care of them then it shows up and the work starts to look poor. Vinay himself knew about these important points and how much diligence it needs, and that’s why I think our working style made things run.”
Currently Roy is working with Technicolor as a 3D DMP trainer and in comparison to that his project with Swiggy was quite different. He enjoyed the whole process because the illustrations were similar to what he did for the edtech industry while supervising creatives for BYJU’s the learning app, and his past experiences came in handy. Apart from that he also did a bunch of research on how Google did their graphics. “Their science and reasons behind what they do and how they do has been influencing the whole world, so naturally after studying them I could feel a great impact on the knowledge that I possess for graphics now,” he added.
At Technicolor training and recruitment division, he is currently training a bunch of talented creative individuals, and all of them have successfully landed up with jobs in either MPC, Mr X, The Mill and Technicolor. He plans to train new creative individuals that are being hired for the upcoming movies and AAA game projects which they have in line.